I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. We had very high expectations for this cruise as our cruise on the Equinox last year really set the bar quite high. My wife and I 32 and 37, respectively and consider ourselves “foodies” who ... Read More
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. We had very high expectations for this cruise as our cruise on the Equinox last year really set the bar quite high. My wife and I 32 and 37, respectively and consider ourselves “foodies” who enjoy some of the nicer things in life. Considering the majority of people on these cruises are older, I hope this review will help for the relatively younger people. Overall, I would recommend this cruise ship and cruise line as Celebrity does a great job generally. Here are the details:
Ship: Definitely showing some age. The brown/tan with teal trim on our deck (9) didn’t even look modern for when the ship was built 17 years ago. It looked like 80s décor. A lot of windows looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in quite a while. Our room had a fair amount of dust accumulating in various areas. But we went through with some disinfectant cloths and cleaned it up quickly. No need to complain on the first day for just some dust. Bed was comfortable, balcony was average. Be aware that the pool is on deck 10. We were on deck 9 and at about 6:30am I would start to hear kids running around above us. My wife is a deep sleeper and didn’t notice, but I heard a lot.
Drinks: Get ready to wait for your drinks. This is not a jab at the bartenders, but rather the process that Celebrity makes them follow. It literally takes them as long to key in what you’re drinking as it does for them to make your drinks. I asked a few bartenders about it and they all agreed that it’s very frustrating for both themselves and the guests. Most of us bought the premium drink package, so why force them to take 15-20 seconds to chronicle what we drink each day? It can really become quite a laborious process.
Food: We upgraded to Aqua Class and we bought the Specialty Dining package with four dinners, so we never ate in the regular dining room (San Marco). The service and food in the Tuscan Grill and Qsuine was top notch, as was the food. The food on Celebrity is fantastic and is one of the best selling points for us. We don’t go on cruises to eat as much as possible and we try to stay as healthy as we can while also enjoying nicer dishes. This is definitely doable on this ship. Blu is the other option for Aqua Class and above. The first night we got there at 8pm and were told it would be 10-15 minutes to wait. 20 minutes later, the host told us it could be another 30 minutes. We ended up going upstairs to the Oceanview Café and getting stir fry (which was great!). No big deal, but we ate earlier than we would have liked when we went to Blu because of the wait later on.
Rooms: Our room attendant, Martin was fantastic. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience and he was super respectful when we wanted to sleep in or when we needed something.
Entertainment: My wife and I used to work in the theatre industry in NYC so we have seen a lot. We realize this cruise ship is not a Broadway theater, so we don’t set our expectations that high. The cast on the ship is great and really put on a decent show. The special guests they bring on throughout the cruise are FANTASTIC. We were blown away at the quality of the magic, singing, piano playing and comedy. After the show, we elected to go to the lounge most nights where we met our favorite bartenders (Adi & Jose Javier) and a bunch of new friends. The first night, I asked the DJ for a request. His response was “I’m in the middle of my set” and then told me he had already played a bunch of what I was asking for. I was very surprised by this reaction as the entire point of being a DJ on a cruise ship is to cater to the guests’ musical tastes to the best of your ability. He didn’t do that very well. However, he was a good DJ and a lot of people stayed up LATE dancing.
Ports of Call: Venice (extremely crowded in August, but that’s to be expected), Dubrovnik (also very crowded but super cool and we spent a night docked there), Mykonos (rent an ATV!), Athens (get ready for long lines at the Acropolis and drink water), Santorini (VERY long lines for the cable car and make sure you have Euros- we had to walk up 600 steps because the ATM on board wasn’t working), Katakolon (get off the ship and go see Olympia!).
Overall: Our time on the Equinox last year was preferable. I realize it’s a newer ship, but it’s still a fact. It was cleaner and better laid out. It seemed like the crew generally were happier. The gym was three times larger. However, we will look back on this cruise fondly and all the small annoyances will go away with time. I just feel that when you are paying thousands of dollars per person for an international cruise, the things I’ve pointed out in this review should be addressed. Read Less