From start to finish, this cruise was a winner...and some of it was blind luck. Before embarkation, my partner and I gamed a bit at the Seminole Hard Rock casino - within five minutes we won $100 in slots. Nice start.
Embarkation in the new terminal is fast and pleasant, and the new ship Equinox is stunning. Unlike our previous Millenium experience (a physically beautiful ship), there seemed to be less to orient you once aboard Equinox - no small maps handed to you, and nothing in the cabin. This is a minor point, however, and the clever lucite 2-D ship displays throughout the vessel were very helpful. The quality of the public spaces throughout the ship are impressive...and rivaled only by the extraordinary public restrooms (I've rarely seen as nice on land) and cabins. We saw several of our fellow traveler's rooms (more below) and they were uniformly great. The bathrooms are larger than I've experienced on a ship, the towels and robes thirsty, the beds and pillows outstandingly comfortable, and the veranda roomy. The stateroom staff were equally impressive. My partner and I went Concierge Class, and would do so again in a heartbeat. Fretted robes, constant fresh fruit and ice, daily canapes - what's not to love? We also took the last remaining room on the Equinox fantail, and now feel spoiled for anything less. The Equinox fantail rooms ("Sunset" cabins in Celebrity-speak) were about 75% open to the sky, but graded deck to deck to maximize privacy. Of all the stunning cabins we saw, I wouldn't have traded ours for the nightly experience of sailing under a canopy of stars. We saw inside cabins (nice, but inside), a standard cabin with large extended veranda (you could sleep two out there) and a "Celebrity Suite" with separate living space & couches, bathtub and chaise on the veranda. Sweet. Another bit of luck was not only befriending a delightful young woman, but her great fortune winning the Penthouse Suite in a game of bingo. I doubt I would ever have, or ever will again, spent time in such an opulent stateroom, and feel lucky to have had the chance. For the record: the Penthouse is fabulous but I'm not sure worth the expense, the Celebrity Suite was nicer than just about any hotel I've been in, but the fantail cabin for me is the way to go.
The "Silhouette" main dining room is lovely, and they do an impressive job. Like all main dining rooms, however, it can be a bit frenetic and noisy. Of the four alternative restaurants we dined at Murano (unquestionably the best), Silk Harvest (top-notch Asian, but too much of it!) and Blu (the best room, very high quality fresh meals.) The buffet "Oceanview Cafe" could tend to crowds and a certain feeding-frenzy at times, but again, the food quality was outstanding. Brunch, Lunch and Tea in the Silhouette should not be missed. My only dings are few and minor. There were very few lectures/presentations, and there was nearly nothing anywhere of the history of the ship, the line, or of a nautical nature. (Note to Celebrity: people want to learn about sailing and the ocean - maps, photos, tutorials, lectures, anything!) The nightclubs (with the exception of Quasar) tended to roll up pretty early, and I'm not sure how comfortable the cruise director Gary was with the "Friends of Dorothy." Finally, the Guest Services & Excursion staff seemed a little less than involved, even with us - two very low-maintenance, happy passengers. As I say, minor points. Not to be missed: the Hot Glass Show. Outstanding! The artists were friendly and highly talented, and the entire process was engaging. Also the excursions themselves were top-notch, and executive chef Steve hosted a live show/cooking competition the final at-sea day, and was a hoot! Ending the cruise I played quarter-slots...and within five minutes had won $135. Nice finish. As always there's more to say. In sum, I expect to sail with Celebrity again and would highly recommend this experience.