The Equinox exceeded our expectations. The ship is contemporary, sophisticated and absolutely spotless. The activities are varied and endless, our son loved the teen zone and enjoyed the independence of toing & froing from a variety of activities which included a 'casino night' which meant he was in bed later than us!
Our Sky Suite was immaculate, spacious with plenty storeage, very comfortable and the larger than average corner balcony was a highlight of our trip enjoying breakfast there every day and two dinners courtesy of our superb butler Selva; who was a credit to Celebrity and delivered delicious cakes every day around 5pm! The bathroom was spotless, well thought out with plenty drawer & cabinet space. The interactive TV enabled us to book shore excursions, purchase photographs and track the ships course 24/7. This cabin was remarkably quiet, at the end of a corridor with no passing footfall and with no neighbouring balcony to the port side this accomodation provided a quiet haven with the most amazing views. The porthole is the perfect private seating area for a teenager complete with cushions & curtain!
We chose Celebrity Select Dining in the Silhouette Dining Room but we would not do this again. Select Dining guests are seated on level 4 which is almost like a gallery overlooking the main restaurant in all it's glory. The tables are very close together and you can find yourself inches from fellow diners on every side. It turns out that if we'd chosen the early sitting at 6.15, the doors stay open till 6.45 which would have suited us even on excursion days. We dined in the Tuscan Grill twice and found the food was good, the service overly attentive but the views from the window tables when sailing were amazing ; we watched the sunset when sailing from Naples. Murano is definitly the only 'fine dining' option on the ship and cannot be faulted. It could easily be mistaken for a Michelin restaurant. No views though but the staff & the presentation make up for that. The Silk Harvest was extrememly good too and it's staff were superb, this restaurant has window tables with views. The Ocean View Cafe is very large & buffet style but it does work, the food is good & it's quck & fuss free, ideal for lunch.Bistro on 5 serves delicious crepes and seemed to always be quite quiet. All the speciality restaurants are worth the supplement. On the first night look out for the buy on get one free offer, go & book as soon as you board. We would strongly recomment that if you like to eat between 7 & 9 pm that you make all your reservations before you board.
Our first stop was Naples, we'd done the Amalfi Coast before so we got off & boarded the open top bus tour which was minutes walk from the ship & saw Naples that way. At Santorini we did an organised tour which we enjoyed but we'd have been happy to just do Fira by Cable Car ourselves as it was over 100 degrees and not really 'touring temperature' for us. At Kusadasi we also took an organised tour of Ephesus and would recommend this as the only way to see this amazing sight. Kusadasi itself is well worth spending time in & look out for jewellery at well below British prices - only go to Celebrity approved retailers though. We didn't get off in Athens but we regret that after the fact, we did have a view of the Parthenon from our balcony though. In Corfu we used the shuttle bus in to the old town, there are lots of shops but Corfu itself is not spectacular. Dubrovnik was absolutely beautiful, again we took an organised tour but there is no need to do so. The ship runs shuttle buses and the old town is easy to navigate, easy to spend a day here although it is expensive. The sail in to Venice up the grand canal is an unforgettable experience. This was the first time Equinox had sailed in & was the largest ship to do so to date. The views are spectacular. We were spending an extra 3 days in Venice so we stayed on the ship that afternoon & evening and enjoyed many of the facilities in relative peace & quiet. Whilst in Venice we stayed in the Danielli, ate in a restaurant at Rialto called Bancogiro which we'd been in a few months ago and would recommend as a 'bistro' serving 'local specialities' like liver & fish; on the canal at a busy gondola & bus station with lots of atmoshpere. The Danielli has an arrangement with the Exelcior on the Lido so we had a day over there by the pool. The shuttle boat is free and you pay 30 Euros approx each to spend the day using te Excelcior's pool etc - well worth it. Our Gondola ride from the Danielli gondola station cost 100 Euros for 45 minutes (before 7pm) and was well worth it. We walked to Via Garibaldi, the widest street in Venice & wandered around this local area - home to the butcher, baker & candlestickmaker and a great way to escape the throng in St Marks Sq. The Danielli terrace must be 'the' place to watch the Equinox sail back up the Grand Canal and that was an amazing sight to behold. We had an amazing holiday and would definitely recommend this ship & this Easter Mediterrinean route despite the high temperatures and no dolphin sightings we have a marvellous time.