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Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Nsteerage: Bigger is not necessarily better


Nsteerage
3 Reviews
Member Since 2011
104 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 3.0
Dining 2.0
Embarkation 3.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 2.0
Service 3.0
Shore Excursions 4.0
Value for Money 2.0

Compare Prices on Celebrity Equinox Transatlantic Cruises

Bigger is not necessarily better

Sail Date: November 2011
Destination: Transatlantic
Embarkation: Other

Reviews about the food on this ship had it rated as excellent, best of almost any cruise ship. I didn't find it that great, but maybe my expectations were set to high because of our EXCELLENT experiences previously on another Celebrity cruise ship. I am not a gourmet, but I would rate the food aboard the Equinox as average with a number of areas in much need of improvement.

Most of the onboard staff left much to be desired. The exceptions were our dinner waiter, assistant waiter, and cabin steward who went out of their way with their service and attitude. It seems that the wait staff and cabin steward were assigned more tables and cabins than the wait staff and cabin steward on our previous cruise. They worked hard but were always courteous, cheerful, and helpful. On our previous cruise our matre d' visited our table every day, but on this cruise (other than in passing) we only saw him two or three times during the entire cruise.

The seventh-level, forward-facing, More Ocean View staterooms (Category 7?), are probably ones to be avoided. When docking or undocking the mechanical noise and vibration is horrible. It is unbelievably loud and probably rates a significant score on the Richter Scale, making it difficult to carry on a conversation or hear the television. It is at the level of the helipad, so the next level up may provide a better view (but when you're at-sea, it probably doesn't make much difference). At least it was quiet after we were docked in port or while we are at sea. Wish we had known about the noise in advance.

Getting around the ship was easy, EXCEPT for the elevators where there always seemed to be a waiting crowd, especially before and after mealtimes and when the shows let out. There were only 12 elevators in two areas of the ship to serve a 2,850 passenger capacity (compared to 12 elevators in three areas serving 1,950 passengers on another Celebrity ship).

Most of the Guest Relations staff were polite and considerate, but they often had incorrect information and once, when trying to correct an error on our on-board account, I ran into a person that really had an attitude.

Most of the shows were well worth the time to go. The crew talent show was amazing, they really have some talented crew members. The Corning Glass Blowing demonstration was really interesting, even though the weather was a bit nippy during some of their demonstrations. The crew provided blankets for those chilly shows.

Celebrity's internet rates have increase dramatically since my last experience six months ago. They didn't offer debarkation day specials on their internet packages because they "have lowered their prices," I was told. What a lie! The same package that cost me 35 cents per minute six months ago (including a debarkation day discount) now cost me 48 cents per minute. Starting the cruise this way didn't help my attitude.

Visits to the bridge and/or the engine control room were, previously, a no-cost benefit for the asking are now part of a $75 and $150 per person tour. It was also disappointing that, at one port of call, it cost $25 for a shuttle from the pier.

By the end of the trip there were a lot of passengers coming down with a cold or flu and we did too (not a great going home present). Staying in our cabin and miss some of the activities probably didn't help our mood. Disembarkation was a zoo. It was almost two hours from the time we were supposed to be at our meeting point until our group was actually called.

Despite my disappointment in the actual cruise and ship-board experience, the overall trip was great. The time in Rome before the cruise, and the visits at the various ports of call were great. The weather certainly cooperated and the only rain occurred on an at-sea day.

This ship was much bigger than our previous cruise (passenger capacity of 2,850 vs. 1,950); but bigger is not necessarily better.

Toulon, France (our 3rd port, but not listed in the drop-down selections for a review):

Not happy about the $25 that the cruise ship charged us for the bus to get to and from the pier/dock. We probably should have checked out a local taxi. None-the-less, this was a great visit and we enjoyed just wandering around on our own. A lot of the buildings and architecture were interesting and the very large street market was an experience.


Cartegena, Spain (our 5th port, but not listed in the drop-down selections for a review):

This was a leisurely port of call where we took a (very short but inexpensive) double-decker bus tour and wandered around the areas close to the docks. Unfortunately we found an "everything for €2" store where it was almost like the mad Christmas sales thatyou see in the movies. Despite the crowds in the €2 store, this was a nice relaxing day (and we probably got a bargain or two).


Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal (our 6th port, but not listed in the drop-down selections for a review):

This was the only port of call on this cruise where we took a shore excursion offered through the ship. It was most enjoyable. My mind set about growing pineapples was make right after the visit to one of the local pineapple plantations and the view at the Sete Cidades Crater Lakes was great although the weather blurred the color differences of the two lakes at the bottom of the crater. The guide/escort for this tour was great. She provided a lot of information about the attractions that we visited, as well as for the many point of interest that we saw along the route. Our only difficulty noted was that walking through the Antonio Borges Botanical Garden is a little tough on those visitors who were a little less mobile and required a cane or walker. Less


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Cabin review: Celebrity Equinox Ocean View Sunrise Deck (7) 7104

The seventh-level, forward-facing, Ocean View staterooms (Category 7?), are probably ones to be avoided. When docking or undocking the mechanical noise and vibration is horrible. It is unbelievably loud and probably rates a significant score on the Richter Scale, making it difficult to carry on a conversation or even hear the television. It is at the level of the helipad, so the next level up may provide a better view (but when you're at-sea, it probably doesn't make much difference). At least it was quiet after we were docked in port or while we are at sea. Wish we had known about the noise in advance. The closets don't seem to be as deep as we had on a previous cruise, we had to tuck the clothes we had hanging in order to close the door. Drawer space is limited, but not a problem when also using the suitcases stored under the bed. The location is at the forward end of the ship so, with respect to traffic and hallway noise, it is nice and quiet. The slanting, forward-facing window makes the cabin larger (or seem larger). It had two chairs but would have been nice if there was a couch and a bigger table to play cards and etc. There certainly is enough room for different furniture.

Port and Shore Excursions


Barcelona is another marvelous place that cannot be appreciated in just a short, one-day visit. We did take the hop-on/hop-off bus tour which was most enjoyable. The recorded narration was understandable and keyed or timed to correctly describe whatever we were near or passing at the time. There were three separate loops (we only rode on parts of two of the loops) which made it quite easy to see a lot of Barcelona in a short period of time.

Livorno (Pisa/Florence): This was a great port of call and, like Rome, there certainly isn't enough time to see it all. We booked a private excursion through Rome Cabs, the same company we used for our transfer from the FCO airport to our hotel in Rome. Our guide/driver was very informative and, as the mini-van could get us right to the various attractions, required very little walking. We went to the Field of Miracles to see the Leaning Tower, stopped at Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) for a panoramic view of Florence, visited the Accademia Museum, Signoria Square, saw the "old bridge" (Ponte Vecchio), as well as a number of marvelous cathedrals and other sights. On the way back to the ship our driver/guide even stopped at a grocery store so we could pick up a few things. As noted in my comments about Rome, this is Rome Cabs (romecabs.com), Stefano Costantini's company. Beware of any other limousine/tour company with a look-alike name; the service and value might not be as great as the REAL Rome Cabs.

This was our last stop, the port of debarkation. Although we have enjoyed the hop-on/hop-off water taxi on previous visits to Ft. Lauderdale, this trip was just dinner with a friend and a layover for our flight the next morning. The Ramada Inn Cruiseport is a nice and convenient facility although, with our early flight, we missed the breakfast that was included with the room.

What a marvelous place. We arrived three days prior to embarkation and, obviously, didn't have enough time to see everything. We did visit some highlights,... Vatican City, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and etc., so didn't go away disappointed. Don't miss the free walking tour that starts each evening from the Spanish Steps (www.newromefreetour.com). We had an easy pace and very knowledgeable tour guide. We stayed at the Relais dei Papi, a small hotel near the Vatican. It extraordinarily neat and clean (recent renovations ?), economical, with first-rate helpful and English speaking staff. We didn't go wrong with any of their eating suggestions, directions, and help for getting a taxi or etc. A very good breakfast was included each morning and the coffee/tea/espresso/hot chocolate and juice/water machines were always available in the breakfast area. There always seemed to be snacks available, too. We used Rome Cabs for our transfer from the FCO airport to our hotel. These guys are great!! Our driver was waiting for us at the meeting point (just like they show in their video), helped us to the Mercedes sedan, and got us right to the front door of our hotel. As confusing as the streets of Rome can be, our driver was very knowledgeable. One comment/warning; beware of any other limousine company with a look-alike name, and even other drivers at the meeting point holding a placard with your name. This is Stefano Costantini's company: Rome Cabs (romecabs.com). We took a train from Rome to the port at Civitavecchia but avoided the crowds, hassles, and hazards of the Termini Station (Rome's grand central station). Instead we caught the train at the Roma S. Pietro station which is near the Vatican City and close to our hotel. This is a small station that was very easy, convenient, and economical for us.

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