Hi!! We took the Celebrity Equinox on her February 2012 sailing. We got married the day before (2/12/12), and wanted something easy...the thought of struggling through security at the airport after the craziness of the wedding weekend did NOTHING for us.
A little about us...me (aka the Diva) = 38 year old attorney. Him (aka the Cowboy, yes he really is an urban cowboy) = 53 year old in upper management in the auto industry. We both love wine (which brought us together), live music, dancing, and..well lounging and drinking :). Even though we live in South Beach, we're not huge party people, but we do like to go out.
Now for the cruise....embarkation was a BREEZE. They greeted us with mimosas, and immediately booked us in for a Valentine's dinner at one of the specialty restaurants (Silk Harvest). Pretty slick on their part I must say.
The ship itself was gorgeous. Large, but not overwhelming. It was well maintained, and just ooozed luxury at every turn. Our cabin was well laid out, and our balcony was perfectly sized. The service was spectacular. I especially loved the cold towels they gave you when you returned from an excursion.
As to the food, I am a vegetarian and my husband is not. The waiter in the main dining room was super sweet, and every night provided me with a separate vegetarian menu. Overall the food was good, although a couple of the veggie selections were a bit bland. Silk Harvest was good...sushi was on offer, and lots of veggies for me. We also went to Tuscan Grille, which was good. Hubby enjoyed it more since it was a steakhouse...I was along for the ride. The TO DIE FOR food experience was Murano!! He did the 6 course wine pairing, and even though I ordered vegetarian items, the sommelier created pairings for all of my courses. We also had the caviar...not very vegetarian but OMG. Another place we were fixtures at was the creperie. It was worth the extra fee...soups to die for, and of course, the crepes. I did not like the selections in the main cafeteria...I preferred the creperie, or the AquaSpa Cafe which had light healthy options.
At our ports of call, we did the tours sponsored by Celebrity except in Roatan, Grand Cayman and Cartegena. The Celebrity tours included one of the Panama Canal, a coffee bean factory in Costa Rica, and the Tulum Mayan ruins in Cozumel. All very educational and worth seeing. In Roatan, we did a Victor Bodden tour, where we drove around the island, went to his animal sanctuary, and relaxed on a local beach. WELL worth it, and half the price of the Celebrity tour. In Cartagena, we opted to explore the city with 2 other couples we met. Again, amazing experience! We found a yummy little wine place where we feasted on antipasto and wine for a couple of hours for dirt cheap. We did Grand Cayman on our own, heading to the beach and a restaurant a native friend recommended. We found the island was expensive, and the beach was not impressive in my opinion.
The only downside of the ship for us was the nightlife...or lack thereof. We went to a show, which featured some very talented performers. They had a live band, but it seems that the space between the 6:30-8:30 dinner seatings was the only time you saw life on the ship. When we got done with our dinner at 10pm, there were tumbleweeds going by. The nightclub? Empty except for the DJ. The gorgeous wine bar? Empty. The martini bar (which was OUTSTANDING)? 3-4 couples. And us. Of course, the reason is probably the demographic. We were probably the youngest folks on the ship by far. No exaggeration. Ok, maybe 3 other couples that may have travelled with their families were younger, but really....MUCH older. Everyone was very nice, but the sidewalks rolled up at 10pm.
During sea days, the pool was the place to be. The music poolside was pretty blah, but we survived. There were several pool options, hot tubs, and areas to lounge. We didn't take advantage of the lectures and such going on, but there was plenty of that to do if you were so inclined. I hit the gym a few days...there were plenty of nice, new machines...but it got crowded for the cardio machines at times. I went first thing in the morning, and at times I had to wait a few minutes.
Disembarkation was a bit slow due to the volume of passengers, but hey, we weren't in a rush. Overall, it was organized and we moved efficiently.
I absolutely loved it The next time I do Celebrity (and there will be a next time), we will maybe go with other couples so that we can create our own nightlife!