Embarkation: A little awkward because we had 2 cabins on different decks and they check in different decks in different places. Worked out ok, but it was annoying. After check in, our party reunited and were on board by 11:30am. Cabins became available a little after 1pm.
Our cabin: Category 1A, Cabin 7288. Spacious, and contrary to some other opinions I thought there was enough storage (and I don't pack light :) Bigger than usual balcony, on the slant of the hump facing aft on the starboard side.
Food: About the same as RCCL. No better. The only specialty restaurant we did was Bistro on 5, which was great. LOVED the Italian dessert crepe, and the service was outstanding.
Service: The service throughout the entire ship was amazing and several steps up from RCCL. The staff:guest ratio was perfect, and there was always someone wishing me a good day, asking if I needed anything, etc. Absolutely outstanding.
Entertainment: The production shows were good and more elaborate than I've seen before. Didn't care much for the headliner acts, but that's just my taste. The acts seemed geared toward the significantly older people onboard, and they seemed to be enjoying it. The Hot Glass show was unique and VERY cool!
Activities: Plenty of unique onboard activities to choose from. Great variety and involvement of ship's officers was a nice touch. Enjoyed not having the constant bellowing about bingo, gold sales, art auction, etc. Once a day (noon) address by the captain followed by a few reminders from Dru, and that was it.
Chair Hogs: Not really a problem, and I had no problem removing towels if I wanted a particular chair. The pool butlers were very accommodating in that regard. We never had a problem finding a spot near the pool, even on sea days.
The ship itself: Absolutely beautiful. Cool artwork everywhere you look, and nice displays of glass done by the glass artists onboard.
Smoking: I absolutely HATE smoke, and on RCCL there are places I just cannot enjoy because I can't stand it. Not a problem on Equinox. It was so refreshing to be able to enjoy the casino, my balcony (nope, didn't smell a whiff!), the lounges, wherever I wanted without being "smoked out". The smokers onboard were courteous and stayed in their designated areas, and I'm so grateful they did!Fellow passengers: Definitely an older crowd, 65+ish and then some. Very few kids, but there were some. That being said, we met more people than we usually do on a cruise. The passengers on this ship just seemed friendlier. And some of those older folks can really party. The average age was up, but the fun level was still there. I didn't feel like I was on a floating nursing home or anything even close. Lovely people, and fun, too!
Elite perks: Valuable to us. Between the happy hour (held in Sky lounge from 5-7pm) and the internet coupons (we had 180 minutes between the two of us) our onboard bill was the lowest it has ever been.
Enjoyed the quiet breakfast at Michael's Club. Didn't get a chance to try Persian Garden. The laundry was a nice perk, and the pressing. Very nice!
Overall, it was a great 10 days. We made many new friends and had a terrific time. My only disappointment was that they don't sell the glass items made onboard at the glass show. You either have to bid on a select few as part of the art auction, or hope you win one in a raffle. I wanted the turtle they made and would have bought it outright, but I couldn't.
Nice tour guide and bus driver, pretty, lush, green island.