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437 Celebrity Equinox Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the Caribbean itinerary and previous experience with Celebrity. BOAT DESIGN Really like the design of the boat. Now second favourite to Viking ocean cruise ship. It felt fresh and light filled Enjoyed the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Caribbean itinerary and previous experience with Celebrity. BOAT DESIGN Really like the design of the boat. Now second favourite to Viking ocean cruise ship. It felt fresh and light filled Enjoyed the solarium with soaring glass ceiling and windowed walls for the days when it was too windy to sit outside. It was supposed to be adults only until 4:30 although a couple of people brought kids in. The boat didn't feel too crowded on sea days. The common areas were very comfortable. Lots of places to sit. The Library was a good design feature with comfortable chairs - multi-storey. Didn't have much by way of books that one would actually want to read (lots of decor books). But as with many others, I was reading on my iPad so that lack of books not a problem. There was also a well-designed room with board games that seemed quite popular. DINING and food. Main dining room had good food, good service and was quite elegant. Did not try the speciality restaurants. Had breakfast and lunch at the buffet was quite good with many options. There were always Asian and Indian food, pasta options. The ordinary coffee Lavazza (ie not the premium coffee drinks that you pay extra for or a la carte) was very good. Best of cruise ships I have tried (Princess, Norwegian and Disney ). The a la carte coffee drinks seemed to be a bit more expensive than other ships from what I can remember but the regular coffee was decent. I don't drink alcohol but my husband does. Husband was able to buy a drinks package without me purchasing one (not all cruise ships allow). GYM was very good with good classes. From past experience I knew the spin classes might sell out so went straight to the gym on boarding to sign up. The two fitness instructors were very good, friendly, encouraging and enthusiastic. The gym is on the 12th deck - cardio equipment with views of the sea. There are machines and free weights. Near the gym is the AquaSpa cafe with such things as oatmeal with apple cider vinegar, mini wraps, gluten free mini - muffins etc. SPA was very pricey. There were discounts for spa services later in the cruise and I ended up doing the teeth whitening which gave me good results. Entertainment - really enjoyed the American Ballet Theatre performance (two principal dancers doing pieces from Nutcracker). Entertainment otherwise okay - prefer Princess ships for music and comedy in the evenings - in terms of quality and quantity. Loved the Celebrity App which used the ship's internet for free for messaging with spouse and finding out what events were on - when dining rooms opened etc. NB you don't need to purchase internet to get the free messenging. Paid for regular internet was slow but okay for checking messages.We didn't pay for the expensive streaming internet. Excursions were fine. Would have preferred more detail on the excursions. We did the bike trip in San Juan which was good. Although the description apparently indicated the wearing of closed toe shoes, there wasn't a reminder on the ticket - which resulted in me having to run across the street to buy water shoes or not be allowed on the trip. Best embarkation and disembarkation on a ship I have experienced, Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to try Celebrity, and thought the Equinox was the ship to try. We couldn't have been more impressed. The ship is beautiful, and in great shape.The crew very friendly, and the captain had a great sense of humor, and was ... Read More
We wanted to try Celebrity, and thought the Equinox was the ship to try. We couldn't have been more impressed. The ship is beautiful, and in great shape.The crew very friendly, and the captain had a great sense of humor, and was always out in view.The food in the Tuscan grill and Le Petite was excellent. The MDR was very good, and Ocean view Cafe very good for a buffet. We were impressed enough that we booked the Edge for a 10 day in 2022.The shows, too, were very good. I've seen people on CC knock Celebrity for cutbacks. I don't know, or care what there was that I missed. I've been on all the mass lines, including Princess, which, I believe, is the closest competitor, and as far as I'm concerned, Celebrity blows them all out of the water. I know the Equinox hasn't had the full revolution yet, but the ship is in excellent shape with maintenance never ending. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are repeat Equinox travelers, after doing the Western itinerary in 2018. With great service, accommodations, and food, it's hard to beat the Equinox. This trip was booked as a holiday getaway for Thanksgiving. We even were able to ... Read More
We are repeat Equinox travelers, after doing the Western itinerary in 2018. With great service, accommodations, and food, it's hard to beat the Equinox. This trip was booked as a holiday getaway for Thanksgiving. We even were able to watch the Cowboys game from the Lawn Club! We selected a concierge class cabin, and would not do it again. Unless you really want the extra cruise points, I would just stick with a Veranda or splurge for Aqua Class. The daily snacks were pretty bad,and we never received most of the advertised benefits. However, my wife did like the "premium" robe in the room. Ports in Brief: San Juan - Explored old San Juan and found a hole-in-the-wall rum bar. Had a great time, and I always enjoy Old San Juan. St. Thomas - Was honestly a little disappointed. We were docked quite a way from downtown, and had to take one of the "taxis" every where. After coming here a few times now, we'll probably not go back to St. Thomas for a bit. Samana, D.R. - The worst cruise port I have ever visited. I would strongly advise you stay on the ship here. I won't go into too much detail, but I don't see Celebrity visiting Samana much longer. Nassau - Spent the day at the Hilton British Colonial for some beach time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
wanted to try something different. have cruised extensively on other lines, notable RCCL which our status conferred to Celebrity , which was a nice perk. Embarkation was a breeze, no lines. Ship beautiful, clean. had lunch in Lumanae, ... Read More
wanted to try something different. have cruised extensively on other lines, notable RCCL which our status conferred to Celebrity , which was a nice perk. Embarkation was a breeze, no lines. Ship beautiful, clean. had lunch in Lumanae, first of many. LOOOOVED THE dining room and staff. Cant say enough about that. STayed in AFT Sky Suiite. View was great. was a little concerned about virbration, expecially when docking, but we were on 12th deck, never felt much except for when parking. Had Room service breakfast each morning, Eggs benedict yum. All staff were fab. Never saw the supposed Butler tho. unless we called. Never had flowers in our room, which I found strange because i even inquired about their absence to the Concierge. The Michaels Lounge was just wonderful. drinks, canapes, espresso and capucinnos. all the drinks on this cruise were special. especially martini bar and the World Class Bar. had the premium package but did not do it justice really. Entertainment was good. not GREAT. but good enough. Capt Tsoas is charming and participated in some of the entertainment. Cruise Director Dan was funny and grew on me/. We had 9 people, including 3 children, ages 8, 7 , 6. Kids club was a bit overwhelmed, 350 plus children onboard due to holiday, they were not the best but then again, this is not a line known for childcare. Ours had fun anyway. they loved eating on the balcony, having their ice cream. swimming, etc. Service far exceeded both Princess and RCC:L; ACROSS THE BOARD. pORTS. Naussau, kids went to swim with dolphins, I stayed onboard, i don't like this port. Sumana ( DR). dangerous port, no one needs to get off boat. poverty and possiblemugging awaits. St. Thomas, best port. went to megans bay. wonderful day. I did not book for the ports, wanted to experience this ship. I would travel on EQuinox again in a sec!!! Also, trying some other Celebrity ships in future. booked a Europe cruise for 2021 while onboard, got some great perks. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Always rated high in many areas. Food in the dining room and buffet,very bland and very disappointing. Ship very clean, above avg. staff, the solarium was great. The food is what really brings down the rating. Nice inside, cabin bathroom ... Read More
Always rated high in many areas. Food in the dining room and buffet,very bland and very disappointing. Ship very clean, above avg. staff, the solarium was great. The food is what really brings down the rating. Nice inside, cabin bathroom didn't have a lot of space. Samana not ready for cruisers, yet, not worth going on a beach tour, very poorly planned by Celebrity. Will try Celebrity again, can't be this poor twice! Martin, in Guest Relations was very helpful and well above the norm. Budi our room steward was also well above average. This cruise had highs/lows, more than other ships we've been aboard. The buffet is very well laid out and planned well - no congestion. Celebrity really needs to address the food quality problems, we did hear others complain. Very nice ship, esp. for ten years old. Another item that was surprising, no light on the balcony. Again, the Solarium was a great place to spend time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
In the last three years we have sailed on RCI, NCL and Carnival and decided to try Celebrity. While the others were good, Celebrity was by far the best! And honestly in many ways it was not even close. Start by an embarkation that ... Read More
In the last three years we have sailed on RCI, NCL and Carnival and decided to try Celebrity. While the others were good, Celebrity was by far the best! And honestly in many ways it was not even close. Start by an embarkation that literally took 2 minutes. Have our tickets on our phone. Do the facial recognition and walk on board. It was that easy. We booked Aqua Class because we wanted to have access to BLU. Both nights we went to dinner there, it was very good. The wait staff was terrific. The food was great and the atmosphere was terrific. Ate breakfast at the Buffet in morning. Never had a hard time finding a table and the Omelet guys were great. Best Croissants I have had outside of France. Best dinner was at the Tuscan Grill. Just decided to give it a shot and it was unbelievable. Our waiter was terrific. Basically he put together how we should approach the menu and it was perfect. Also went to La Petit Chef because it looked fun. Great food, neat concept and our waiter was very good. Had fun eating with a couple we met on the ship. The Solarium was also so nice and relaxing. Hung in the pool for hours just meeting and talking with people. Cabin and balcony were perfect and our Cabin stewart was great. He would see us coming down the hall and made sure he opened the door for us. Kudos to Dan (Cruise Director) and Kellie (Activities coordinator). Met Kellie at the muster drill and had fun chatting with her throughout the cruise. Dan was terrific. Shows are good. McCartney show was especially good. Celebrity spaces the shows and activities perfect so that you can have dinner at 7:00 then do a 9, 10 and 11 activity or show. Minor thing but it shows how celebrity works! The NFL games were on!!!! And they put the Chiefs game (even though I am not a Chiefs fan) on the outside screen. So great to lay on the lawn and watch football on a sea day. (we had to beg and plead with Norwegian to put the NCAA basketball tournament on) Equinox is so well laid out. And the ship is spotless. Public bathrooms look like country club bathrooms. Even with 2900 people on board, there are so many nooks and crannies to find a place to relax, have a drink or read a book. Bartenders were also great. Never had problem getting a drink. Kudos to the bartender at Craft Social who I talked to a bunch and tried different beers. What makes Celebrity and this cruise on the Equinox is they handle every detail with precision. That is what impressed me so much. My wife and I are in our mid 50s and met so many great people around our age on board. It is not a party boat. Just a great cruise where Celebrity just hits the mark on service at every turn! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My D/W and I are Diamond on Royal but love both companies. I started doing the research for an anniversary cruise and wanted something different than sailing on Anthem out of Bayonne. The Equinox was rated very high, so I looked into one ... Read More
My D/W and I are Diamond on Royal but love both companies. I started doing the research for an anniversary cruise and wanted something different than sailing on Anthem out of Bayonne. The Equinox was rated very high, so I looked into one of her sailings. For many, many cruises, my D/W and I would walk back to the ship from some port and I would look at the aft cabins and tell her “one day, I want to try one”, so I booked a Sunset Veranda on Equinox. I read reviews, I did research...people complaining about soot, noise etc. It concerned me. I even came close to canceling right before final payment was due, but boy am I glad I didn’t. The Equinox could be compared with the thought of “old time cruising “. Elegance everywhere you look. Add a staff that is eager to accommodate your wants and needs, well it was a match made in heaven. We really cruise to be together and renew the “us” time without distractions. Our home life has us running in many different directions (my last six months of work...retirement for the second time), and grandkids and an 86 y.o. Mother-in-law, so when we get away, we relax. I chose a three day specialty dining plan and we really enjoy it. We went to Tuscan twice and Murano once. I probably should have reversed the two but they were great nonetheless. We had the table side lobster at Murano...it was to die for. Our waiter was so on his game, but that was the way we found the staff on Equinox...”Top of their game!” Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Although it was our 4th cruise on Celebrity, it was also our 2nd cruise on the Beautiful, Sleek and Luxurious Equinox! I am a Celebrity Loyalist! Would not consider using another cruise line because I’m very satisfied with Celebrity! ... Read More
Although it was our 4th cruise on Celebrity, it was also our 2nd cruise on the Beautiful, Sleek and Luxurious Equinox! I am a Celebrity Loyalist! Would not consider using another cruise line because I’m very satisfied with Celebrity! They give me good Value for my money... Although I took a beating in the casino... lol... I still am enjoying myself because the crew caters to your every need! All the Fortunes staff were professional but still fun to be around. My favorite server and bartender was Ramesh, a very sharp young man from India. It was his first contract and truly enjoyed his work. He was fast, and ALWAYS Smiling! The casino hostess (Andreea)was a very charming young lady that addressed any issues or questions from Blue Chip Club members quickly and made sure everyone enjoyed themselves! Our wait staff in the Main Dining room was Fabulous as well. The French Onion soup is STILL the best In the World(Not kidding!) And we found ALL our evening meals there were excellent! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have cruised well over 15 times and this by far was my favorite cruise. This was my first Celebrity cruise. The pros: the food in the Silhouette Dining room was delicious, the Mexican buffet & Pizza at the Oceanside Cafe were very ... Read More
I have cruised well over 15 times and this by far was my favorite cruise. This was my first Celebrity cruise. The pros: the food in the Silhouette Dining room was delicious, the Mexican buffet & Pizza at the Oceanside Cafe were very good. The chef’s carved beautiful pumpkins for decorations throughout the ship for Halloween along with elaborate spooky desserts. The bathrooms were ALWAYS clean in the public areas (major kudos). The public areas were also very clean. Managers greeted us each day in the Oceanview Cafe to be sure we were happy with the service (and we were)! The ship was rarely crowded getting on and off. Embarkation and Debarkation were very smooth. We got checked in and on the ship in less than 30 minutes. The cruise staff overall was very friendly. The live music each night in the main lobby was very enjoyable (I sat and listened for hours). The staff put much time and energy into everything on this sailing and it was apparent to me. We felt welcomed and the staff were excited to have the guest there. They tried to make the best experience for each guest on board. Cons: the pillows in the room were not very comfortable and there was a lack of hand soap in the women’s restroom. Nightly shows in the theater were lacking in comparison to other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our second ever cruise having had the most brilliant of times on our first cruise, also on the Equinox in June this year. We thoroughly enjoyed this one again BUT standards seem to be slipping in some areas, to an unacceptable ... Read More
This was our second ever cruise having had the most brilliant of times on our first cruise, also on the Equinox in June this year. We thoroughly enjoyed this one again BUT standards seem to be slipping in some areas, to an unacceptable level. Good bits first. Our concierge Jan was brilliant, he served us the first time too. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he even went out of his way to help us find our destination in Puerto Rico even though he was off duty. Love the band Nu Image. Food top quality. The bad bits. Entertainment in the theatre very average, there was nothing on at all that attracted us. The service in the bars, we had an issue in the Mast Bar where the bar staff made no effort to find out who was next in line. We had to walk away once and we saw others do the same. In the Ocean View bar we had an even worse experience, the lady who served us took cards for both drinks, swiped them, only gave us one drink then disappeared as she had finished her shift!!! We had to start all over again and when I explained what had happened to another member of bar staff they offered no apology. Really poor. I wish I had complained to Guest Relations but when on holiday, you don't really want to as you're there to relax. Not too keen on the Silhouette Restaurant. The food was poor both times we've been and the waiters served those on fixed dining first which is unfair, we were ignored and had to wave to get their attention. The captain and senior officers - how the ship misses Captain Kate who when we sailed first time we saw daily and she did her daily updates promptly at 10 which were always interesting. We saw the new captain once all cruise and he would come on the tannoy now and again but gave the impression he didn't want to talk to us. No doubt he is a very good sailor but he had poor communication skills which are surely a must for a Celebrity ship. Does look as though the bad outweighed the good which it didn't, we'd already booked to be back on the Equinox next August and whilst on board this time booked another for April 21. But I think Celebrity do need to know these areas for improvement as if they continue as they are, we may well look elsewhere. I hope they read and pay attention to all reviews here. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for multiple reasons, first we had heard about celebrity’s top notch service and wanted to give it a go (usually cruise royal or carnival) It was great, definitely a upgrade the ship has an elegant feel with fun art ... Read More
We chose this cruise for multiple reasons, first we had heard about celebrity’s top notch service and wanted to give it a go (usually cruise royal or carnival) It was great, definitely a upgrade the ship has an elegant feel with fun art scattered throughout. There’s tons of deck space both covered and in full sun, we really enjoyed the solarium type area with a nice relaxing vibe nice size pool and two elevated hot tubs overlooking the ocean. Secondly the food, I was very impressed with the food onboard. The main dining room was outstanding food and service both were top notch. The buffet had great food as well, I will say the hours were a little bit frustrating as multiple times I went to eat inbetween meals or late at night with not much but fruit and maybe pizza. Third the shore experiences the ship was on time and quick to get on and off everytime it was needed, the shore excursion we did through the ship on Tortola was fantastic. A ferry style boat took us too virgin Gorda and we did the baths, this is highly recommended and already want to go back.. lots of exploring and beach time. We ate at the restaurant qsine and it was fantastic I was nervous the food was going to take a backseat to the show and that was not the case at all the lobster and steak were cooked superb Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Did a B2B Caribbean in august, 2019. All aspects of the cruise were very good. The staff were very cheerful and hardworking, it's clear that the leadership on this vessel is top notch. Wife enjoyed the glass blowing class. Food ... Read More
Did a B2B Caribbean in august, 2019. All aspects of the cruise were very good. The staff were very cheerful and hardworking, it's clear that the leadership on this vessel is top notch. Wife enjoyed the glass blowing class. Food was overall very good in main dining room and a few visits to buffet. Did not feel need to eat at any specialty restaurants. Had a small hurricane scare, but felt the captain did a good job taking measures to safeguard everyone on board. Been on a lot of cruises and have always been happy with Celebrity. Had a balcony cabin that was quite nice. I really like the fact that most passengers were happy and content. The cruise critic ship rating system was accurate and a good tool for selecting cruises. I would give them a four and a half rating if option was available. Will highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I'm not really much of a cruise guy, but as cruises go, the Celebrity Cruise we were on was pretty good. When I travel, especially overseas, I prefer to go directly there and stay there for a week or more, exploring. Stopping for 4 to ... Read More
I'm not really much of a cruise guy, but as cruises go, the Celebrity Cruise we were on was pretty good. When I travel, especially overseas, I prefer to go directly there and stay there for a week or more, exploring. Stopping for 4 to 6 hours in a port just doesn't satisfy my curiosity about a new place. And I never shop at Diamonds International or any of those other jewelry shops that are found in every port. If the ship recommends a place to eat or drink, I know that's NOT where I want to spend my time. ;-) I took this cruise because it was essentially free, a gift from MGM casino (where we like to play the slots). All we had to pay were the port fees and gratuities (and we had enough frequent flyer miles for free Delta airfare to Lauderdale). Actually, we made a little money on this cruise -- we were in the casino each night and both of us were pretty lucky. The Silhouette main dining hall (where we were on select status) was excellent, very accommodating of our dietary requirements and the food was varied and well done. The Murano was top notch French and well worth its premium price (which really wasn't that much). The Tuscan Grille was disappointing and I would not recommend it. Le Petite Chef was different, sort of fun, even though the food was just okay. And the buffet — well, it was a buffet: decent food, but a zoo loading up your plate, weaving your way through the crowds and finding a vacant table. We had breakfast there most days, but quickly learned to skip the pancake and omelet stations and just grab the things that were available without a line. And Café al Bacio (& the nearby Gelateria) was excellent -- best coffee, espresso and mocha concoctions. Service at the poolside Mast Bar and at the Sunset Bar was sketchy. One or two of the bartenders would excel, but most of them were disorganized, unattentive and, in one case, acted like they wish they were anywhere else in the world. Not very customer service oriented. That was so very noticeable, in part, because most other service personnel throughout the ship were excellent. But if one more bartender had tried to push me to buy a beverage package, I might have thrown them overboard! That was the most annoying part of the trip and the pitches came throughout the cruise, every time we asked for a drink. Neither of us drink enough to make the package a good deal, and we don't like being locked into a "package." We're more "spur of the moment" than that. It certainly made sense to offer the package on boarding, but after that, every pitch became an annoyance. I think they should have little stickers that say “No thanks”. They could put one on your wrist band the first time they were told you weren’t interested and not annoy you again. I am a usually minor mobility issue, but it flared up halfway into this cruise. The ship kindly let me borrow a wheelchair for our onshore excursions which enabled me to enjoy our time ashore. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are an engaged couple (male 31; female 28; both military veterans) and took our first cruise on Celebrity Equinox. We chose Aquaclass for the spa access and after reading great reviews about the exclusive restaurant, Blu. We typically ... Read More
We are an engaged couple (male 31; female 28; both military veterans) and took our first cruise on Celebrity Equinox. We chose Aquaclass for the spa access and after reading great reviews about the exclusive restaurant, Blu. We typically travel "well," and this was truly one of our best experiences to date. We generally like low-key relaxing atmospheres with friendly people, but definitely still enjoy having drinks and such. This cruise matched our lifestyle to a T. EMBARKATION: We showed up towards the end (had a late brunch with a family member in Ft Lauderdale) so almost no one was there. Super easy and got on the ship without issue and in less than 5 minutes. CABIN: We were in Cabin 1630 and had a balcony. We thought it was perfect. Bigger than expected and very comfortable bed/sheets. SHIP: Overall (and we have nothing to compare it to), we thought the ship was great. It's not so big that it's overwhelming, but small enough where you can get anywhere quickly. Elevators usually worked fine. Great decor and seemed fairly updated. The only minor critique would be that the pools are very small (and the hot tubs even smaller), but again not sure if this is typical because we have nothing to compare to. *DINING*: This is really where our praise lies. Blu restaurant was absolutely amazing. Between the quality of food and the STELLAR service from Putu and his team, our expectations were shattered. It was so good that it has made me realize most of the US-based service industry is full of whiny grouchy servers and restaurants that charge astronomical prices simply because they can. We stayed in Miami for a few days after the cruise and every restaurant was terrible following our experience in Blu. Note that you need to stay in Aquaclass to have access, but it's really not that much more expensive and definitely worth the extra cost. I would recommend googling the Blu menus, as they have some really interesting choices. Also, the sky is the limit (meaning you can order as much as you want). We were especially happy with their allergy-friendliness (fiancee has celiac). The chef prepared anything she wanted and checked with her as to what she would like for the following evening. I cannot say enough great things about Blu, both for the quality of food and outstanding friendly service. We tipped extra at the end. SERVICE: In addition to the great service in Blu, I should also mention our awesome stateroom attendant, Gede. If he is the standard for the rest of the ship, then no reasonable person could ever lodge a serious complaint about anything. We wanted for nothing and felt like it was personalized service even though he had several other rooms each day. We also tipped extra for his great service. As for the rest of the ship, everyone is so friendly and welcoming (even if this is a show, they do a great job; fake it til you make it!). From the bartenders to greeters, 5-star all around. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: (all excursions booked online for a discount through the ship ahead of the cruise) - Puerto Rico: we did a self-guided tour of the old fort. Cool place to see, but not much else to do around there - St Thomas: did the catamaran excursion to St John and snorkeling. Great time and highly recommended. They also include a LOT of free drinks on the way back. - Tortola: we did the Escape to Jost Van Dyke and HIGHLY recommend it. White Bay Beach is the nicest beach I have ever seen in the world (and I have been to over 30 countries). Also basic lunch included and a drink. We ended up walking to another beach bar for more privacy and drinks. - Bahamas (Nassau): unfortunately, this was the only port it rained (early formation of Dorian) and our excursion to Pearl Island was cancelled. Ended up taking a cab to Atlantis with another couple and having quite a few drinks at a beach bar. Still a great time. SPA: Spa access is a great included feature of Aquaclass. The steam room, heated tile beds overlooking the water, and aromatherapy rooms were an awesome daily experience. OVERALL: The food in Blu and the stellar service from Putu's team and our stateroom attendant, as well as the general relaxing atmosphere of the ship, are what made our first cruise such a great experience. We met several experienced cruisers who told us that Celebrity is by far the best non-luxury line (we plan to test out those lines in a few years). We are excited to book our next cruise with Celebrity, perhaps on the Edge after seeing an ad for it on board. We also felt that the trip was a great value for our money, especially for what was included in Aquaclass. We overheard a few other couples saying that their MDR experiences were not that great. We signed up for the Captain's Club and plan to be back asap. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Where do I begin? This by far has been the most wonderful vacation we ever did. The crew on the Equinox is outstanding! We upgraded to concerige class. The embarkation was easy, nice lunch in the dining area. Snacks brought to our ... Read More
Where do I begin? This by far has been the most wonderful vacation we ever did. The crew on the Equinox is outstanding! We upgraded to concerige class. The embarkation was easy, nice lunch in the dining area. Snacks brought to our stateroom every afternoon. Our state room attendant Edy was friendly and made our stay special. You have to go to the martini bar and visit Putu who does his Cocktail moves and the rest of the martini bar crew. They really made our trip unforgettable! We never went to any other bar once we saw met this crew. I completely understand why the Equinox is rated #1 for so long. Amazing! The food, the decor, the personality and attitudes were top notch. Disembarkation was smooth and fast. We have been told that starting our first cruise with Celebrity Equinox was setting the bar high and spoiling ourselves. We truly believe this was true. Again amazing! When you stop by the martini bar tell Putu we said hi! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have just returned from a great week on the Equinox. This was our 12th Celebrity Cruise and 20+ overall. This ship is in excellent condition and very beautiful in all the public areas. This was our first time in a suite and we ... Read More
We have just returned from a great week on the Equinox. This was our 12th Celebrity Cruise and 20+ overall. This ship is in excellent condition and very beautiful in all the public areas. This was our first time in a suite and we both agree the experience was amazing. The retreat sundeck and the lounge were both great experiences as well as eating in Luminae. We never really figured out what the Butler was there for and ended up utilizing him very little. As an Elite Celebrity guest we both agree that the suite experience was great but that overall, Celebrity is just better at customer service then other lines. We enjoyed Michele Redding the guitarist and would typically end up heading to where he was to enjoy the music and views of the ocean. We both agree, that the ship never seemed to be crazy busy even in the Oceanview Cafe? Ports: San Juan- Just ok, been there before and getting in at 3;30 leave very little time to do very mush except walk around the town and shop. St. Thomas- Rented a Jeep and went to Hull Bay and then to Brewers Bay. Both were very nice and much less crowded! Tortola- Book an excursion to Virgin Gorda- This really is a must while in the area. It is a beautiful island. All of them are in various stages of recovery but still beautiful places to visit. Upon leaving Tortola make sure to be up top as you sail through the Drake Channel - very picturesque. Nassau- stayed on board. It rained but this place is really a poor choice for Celebrity. Wish they would head elsewhere like Key West?? We will for sure be back on the Equinox and Celebrity Cruises Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our third sail on Celebrity and overall we had a great time. DISCLAIMER: We're going to point out a few things Celebrity can do better, but do not let it discourage you from taking this cruise on the Equinox. Celebrity is our ... Read More
This was our third sail on Celebrity and overall we had a great time. DISCLAIMER: We're going to point out a few things Celebrity can do better, but do not let it discourage you from taking this cruise on the Equinox. Celebrity is our favorite cruise line and we had an absolutely fantastic vacation! The most helpful part of our experience was talking to other Cruise Critic members! Go to the Meet and Mingle! Talk to people. You will learn so much. We flew in to Fort Lauderdale the day before sailing and stayed at the Hyatt Place. Nice room, noisy lobby, within walking distance of several restaurants. We walked to Gregorio's, an informal Italian eatery. It was marvelous. The hotel had a shuttle, but we did not use it. We went straight to the valet, and in two shakes we were in a van with another couple and on our way to the Equinox. Embarkation was AMAZING. We love Celebrity's online check-in. We showed our Xpress Pass boarding passes and walked on at 11:00 a.m.! I strongly advise you to download the Celebrity app for your smart phone. You will not even need the paper copies of your Sea Pass, as you can access them from the app. The app also has interactive deck maps, a handy personalized schedule, a way to view your Xpress Pass account, and the ability to book reservations at specialty restaurants. We went directly to our cabin (a great aft facing Concierge room) and dropped off our hand luggage, and stowed some things in our safe. It looked like our cabin wasn't exactly ready, so we went for some lunch in the Oceanview Cafe. We found out later that the security team thought the contents of our safe belonged to disembarking passengers, and raced all of it to the cruise port -- but then figured out we had just checked in. We felt bad about it, but were impressed with their thoroughness. Before embarkation we had purchased the soda package. We had done the math 10 different ways and could just not see how we would drink $59 worth of sodas and alcohol per day. During our first lunch, Evan in the Oceanview gave us a deal: 50% off our second Classic Drink Package. That tipped the numbers in our favor, and we did it. Although he was very busy, Evan patiently explained the program and answered all our questions. Our overall impression of the Equinox? A spotless, well-run ship with a happy crew. We cannot recall one single time in which a crew member was less than cheerfully helpful. Even if they had answered the same question many times that day, crew members were always glad to share their knowledge. We were less than pleased with the excursions, but more on that later. Abdul, our room steward worked tirelessly to see that our cabin was made up to our wishes. We certainly appreciated his efforts and small touches. We booked a Sunset Veranda (SV) concierge class cabin. After many cruises, we knew this was the level we wanted, and were not disappointed. We had a large family in the corner suite next to us, and were worried at first about the noise they would make, but except for a little good-natured giggling each afternoon before dinner, we had no problems. Dining experiences aboard the Equinox are plentiful and varied. We ended up eating all our breakfasts in the Oceanview Cafe. Good food, good variety. Helpful staff. I must make a special note of the "Toast Guy". He was by far the most cheerful member of the crew and I enjoyed chatting with him while waiting for, "the best toast on the ship" each morning. Lunch at the Oceanview was hit and miss. The key to a good experience was arriving early. On one port day many passengers arrived back on board about 2:30 and it seemed all of them headed for the Oceanview, only the Oceanview was getting ready to switch to dinner, and there were very limited choices and even fewer seats. It's not like this is a surprise to Celebrity: This must happen each time at that port. A true disappointment on the Equinox was the lack of sugar-free desserts. I know his sounds awfully petty, but on our last cruise (Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas) we had many sugar-free choices each day. Celebrity, you need to up your game! You know the average age of your cruisers, and that they will appreciate these choices. One dessert on the buffet was labeled, "no sugar added" but after one bite, we were positive it had sugar. We both have to be very careful about added sugar, and were sad that we had to be on guard for the rest of the cruise. If you need a couple to be on a sugar-free taste-testing panel, we're your team! This is not a reason not to cruise on the Equinox, but as my husband said, in this day and age there should be many more choices available than just the sugar-free jello on some days. Dinner for us was in the Silhouette Main Dining Room each night. This was a planned decision, and it worked well for us. We asked for a two-person table, but when we booked none were available. We were seated at a ten-person table, in the farthest left hand section of the Silhouette. At first I was very disappointed. It was like getting put at the kid's table at Thanksgiving. On the second day we left a little early to get to the show, and saw how shockingly close the tables were in the main section of the dining room. From then on we appreciated our quiet little corner. We found it strange that everyone at our table had an aft-facing cabin and that we all had Abdul as our steward. We hope someone can explain this thinking to us. Overall, we enjoyed the food at the Silhouette. We had a great waiter. The sommelier started off slow, but grew to know our tastes. The appetizers were very good. The entrees were pretty good except for one very tough steak Diane on the second night. We did eat at two of the specialty dining restaurants. Once for lunch at Sushi on 5. Meh. We have a great sushi restaurant here in our hometown and it was nothing extraordinary. The other time was for a "Progressive Lunch" at the Tuscan. It. Was. Fabulous! We will do this again. Most frustrating was the wait to get a drink at a bar counter. Several times it was approaching 15-20 minutes. With that number of people and the number of staff, it's just, well, inexcusable. They know when, where, and how much people drink. Get it together, Celebrity. A personal request is maybe stock some diet tonic water. We really enjoyed the main evening shows. The production was of a higher quality than we have seen on any other cruise. We had so much fun at the Silent Disco nights and wished they had them every night. Cruise Director Maarten put on one heck of a party for the final cruise of his contract. So much fun! We were a little disappointed in the number of music choices around the ship, such as combos or quartets. We booked all our excursions through Celebrity. Okay, Celebrity, we think we know why you are so vague in your online descriptions of your excursions. If an excursion doesn't work out, you can claim that a third party had control of it. But in the end, it comes back on your reputation. We have a few limitations, and frankly felt we had to settle when it came to excursions. We did not book an excursion in San Juan because of the riots the week before. We went on the Kayak, Hike, and Snorkel in St. Thomas. It was crowded, a bit unorganized, and across the bay from a garbage dump. In Tortola we went on a beautiful beach day, but the hike between the two beaches was much more strenuous than described. Lots of bending through caves, etc. You must be very physically fit to be able to do it. In the end was it worth it? My husband and I disagree. It was the most beautiful beach we have ever seen (and we've seen a lot), but the hiking part of it let me down. My husband believes that the excursion was worth it, and not to be missed. We did it because we paid for it and we weren't sure we'd ever be back, but it will reflect on the way we look at --and trust-- excursions with Celebrity. In Nassau we took the Sea and Sea tour. The tender out to the glass sided submarine included a narrated tour past some stars' homes and villas. It was interesting. The submarine was better than one we had been on before. But the bus ride up to the fake straw market and fort was cheesy. It was not worth the $80 we paid. Departure. Ugh. While on the ship we bought the "Post Cruise Pier to Airport Transfer". We knew we would have to grab our luggage with the help of a porter to get to the bus. The bus ride itself was $16 each and we felt at the time that it was a bargain. Oh no. Once off the ship we headed to the bus. At no time during the purchase on ship did anyone at the guest relations desk tell us to KEEP OUR RECEIPT! Guess what, at the bus, they demanded our receipt before they would let us on. And when I said demanded, I mean it. The bus personnel did not give a rat's ass if we missed our flight or not, but they were not letting us on without proof of payment. We even had specially numbered tags on our bags that showed we had purchased the transfer. Finally I scrambled to dig in our Celebrity app and found our purchases (another reason to get the app!) and she accepted it. Just after we got on, the bus lady argued loudly with a man in a wheelchair who also did not have his receipt. It would have been a scary experience if I could not have found it and we had missed our plane. One of the bus personnel just sat in a luggage cart staring at her phone instead of trying to help us. What a shocking difference between Celebrity and this company. A special warning about the Fort Lauderdale Airport. We had someone on the ship tell us that you cannot check your bags more than two hours before your flight. We did not believe her, as we have never in over the 100 flights we have taken ever ran into anything like this. But when we got to the airport it was true. We had to literally sit on our luggage with hundreds of others for two hours until we could check in. Absolutely ridiculous. You can check your luggage all the way to your final destination from the ship for $25 per person. DO IT! It is the best bargain on the ship. Then take a cab to lunch and then to the airport. Learn from our experience. In all once you cruise with Celebrity you will not go back to lesser lines like Carnival ever again. This is beautiful ship with an outstanding crew. Go out of you way to sail on her! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Thought a cruise was a good way to see multiple places and not have to pack and unpack but we were disappointed. Arrival at ports were poorly planned, many of the facilities looked like they were from the ‘80’s. Food was just ok staff ... Read More
Thought a cruise was a good way to see multiple places and not have to pack and unpack but we were disappointed. Arrival at ports were poorly planned, many of the facilities looked like they were from the ‘80’s. Food was just ok staff seemed overworked and especially in the buffet area grumpy. My idea of a vacation isn’t waiting in line to board, get food etc. shows were ok even with a drink package sitting down at the restaurant you needed to keep showing your card - the first three days be prepared to be accosted for add ons to purchase. If you want To belly up to the table and eat and drink as much as possible then maybe a cruise is for you. We paid the extra money for concierge class but a bit of a dud no real value associated with paying the extra money. Seems like the cruise line also spends nine time driving you to diamonds international then sharing any information about the local sites. I am sure there is a very profitable business relationship that exists there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there ... Read More
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there was no shifting needed. All b2b passengers are required to leave the ship and go through USA customs as the first week ends. It took only a few minutes, and we were back on board. The Equinox had just been through a refit, so everything was new and shiny. The ship is kept in spotless condition for the entire cruise. Room service is outstanding. Your steward knows your name and addresses you that way - how they can remember all of their passengers amazes me. Rooms are tidied immediately after you leave for breakfast. and prepared for the night while you are at dinner. Towels and sheets are changed frequently. The cabins are large and nicely furnished. The shower is good sized, and solid - no floppy shower curtain to contend with. The television is large, and the remote is fairly easy to manage. Your steward will explain it to you if you need help finding programs or your account on line. Dining in the main restaurant offers early and late settings on deck 3, and "any time" dining on deck 4. The menu offers something for everyone, and notes things such as gluten free or sugar free. The "always available" portion of the dinner menu offers my favorite French onion soup, Escargot, and salmon. Enough said! Theater entertainment is shifting toward acrobatics and production numbers several times during a cruise. Other nights feature a comedian or musician or singer. Two shows allow you to enjoy your dinner hour and take in the show either preceding or following. My only bit of concern was the library. The room itself is beautiful and has great lounge chairs and a large number of shelves. The missing part was books! Very few new novels in English could be found. The majority of books were in foreign languages, and had apparently been donated by past passengers. There was no filing system, so you just had to pick up a book and look at a few pages to determine if it was in a language you could read. All lines seem to be letting the idea of a library fade away. And yet you see many passengers reading as they enjoy the pool area or one of the lounges. Bring your own paperbacks if you want to be sure of having something to read. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple ... Read More
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple chic" atmosphere and the efforts to offer high quality service. We know there is not as much activities and features as other cruise lines and ships, but this is what we are looking for. A quiet high quality vacation. And this is what the Equinox has always delivered for us. This 3rd cruise on that ship was the best. The service, the food and the overall vibe were perfect for us. We were on the Equinox last December. To be totally honest, the "Revolution" is barely visible. The hull was painted blue (find it nice), a few public venues have been updated, the stateroom locks are now RFID based and the signage font has been modified. A small evolution is more representative of the changes, not a revolution. But it did not matter to us as the Equinox was still in good shape last December and they keep maintaining it very well. Stateroom Attendant : Iis was our room attendant. She was wonderful. So efficient, polite and genuinely caring. We would always see her smiling. She quickly understood our preferences, our little requests and our activity patterns. Such that the room was always in grate shape when we came back and stocked to our liking. We really appreciated the fact that Iis was so efficient, but not always roaming around our room. One of the best attendant we had. Food : We dined 6 nights at the MDR. We had gone for Anytime Dining. Never waited more than 3 min (but we had made reservations before hand in the Celebrity App prior to departure). We always appreciated the MDR and this cruise was no different. Actually we found that the food was a notch above what we had in December (and we thought that the December food was great). We were super lucky as we were assigned the same waiter we had in December: Duarte. He is THE best waiter we ever had. He is so attentive, efficient, polite, knowledgeable and always with a smile. He quickly understood our taste and proposed great combinations. His service makes the MDR experience even better. Even though the menu was essentially the same as our December cruise we had some of the same choices and also tried some new items. It did not feel like a repeat to us and we fully enjoyed the meals. Martinez was our assistant waiter. He made a great team with Duarte. He was also always smiling and he worked almost like a ninja. Fast in filling up glasses before we would ask and almost working in the shadows. The MDR hostess was Mariana. Such a lovely hostess. Some nights were very busy and you she would managed to still treat you like royalty as if there was no one else around. Always keeping her cool laughing and smiling. We also tried for the first time Murano. It was a very nice experience. We had a combination of Chateaubriand and Lobster. The lobster is table side prepared and was soooooo good. The Chateaubriand was also delicious, but I found my wife’s beef Wellington at the MDR to be even more perfect. It was nice to have a meal in a setting that seemed more like a restaurant (a bit quieter and more upscale). Would we do Murano again? Maybe, but not on our next cruise. We would likely try Tuscan Grill, just to get some variety. At Murano we had the honour of having Aurore as our sommelier, She is great. Her passion for wine is contagious. Her suggestions were very good and she convinced us to participate in the « around the world » wine tasting event that occurred the next day (at sea). What a fun activity. For 30$/person you get to taste 12 different wines and a few types of cheese. Very nice experience and Aurore definitely stood out as the best sommelier. Her explanations and suggestions made the experience even better. We also tried the 8 course japanese meal at « Sushi on 5 » with Sake pairing. This was lunch on the late arrival day (ship arrived in San Juan at 3h30 pm). The food was so good. Very plentiful and very varied (not just sushi). Tried very unusual (and tasty) types of Sake. A very unique experience. For breakfast and lunch we mostly did the Oceanview Café. Breakfast selection is mostly constant through the whole week, but good selection and quite good. Lunch selection varies a bit more during the week. My only complain is that the lunch buffet stops at 2h30 pm and they really do remove all of it super fast. So if you had a late breakfast or are coming back from an excursion you better get there before 2h30 pm. They do still put out some food between 2h30 - 6h00 pm, but selection is much more limited (pizza, pasta, cold cuts, salads and desert). On RCCL they had the full lunch buffet going until 4 pm or even later. But food was good and plentiful. We love having breakfast and lunch on the outside terrasse at the back of the ship. Entertainment : As we had cruised on the Equinox last December, we had already seen the big ticket shows. We had really enjoyed them at the time so this time elected not to see them again and enjoy more the rest of the ship in the evening. We did go to the 3 standup comedian shows. We found them quite funny. A lot of improv and interaction with the crowd. The house band and various singers were very good. Especially Sashi who was the solo singer. She would be seen at various locations throughout the week. Ports of call : We did appreciate that we had two sea days on this cruise (but this is very personal. some may disagree). San Juan : We were weary of the late arrival to San Juan (3h30 pm). But we actually enjoyed it. It allowed us to wakeup late, take our time and enjoy the 8 course sushi meal. And THEN go tour San Juan. We walked by ourselves old San Juan and did a thorough visit of the Castillo del Morro. Ship leaving at 11h00 pm gave us plenty of time to visit and be back on time. Hint: there is a Walgreen and a CSV right there by the dock. Perfect to buy last minute items, bottled water, etc. US Virgin Islands : We had booked an excursion to Turtle Bay / Buck Island with Celebrity (Caribbean Fast Cat Island Snorkelling and Beach). The tour was very well organized. All the staff was positive, energetic, very service oriented. Departed and arrived on time. The transit to Buck Island was a bit bumpy due to windy and choppy conditions. A few folks got sea sick (my wife included), but staff onboard were really caring about them. The snorkelling area had nice clear water. Not too deep. Unfortunately we saw no turtle, just a few small colourful fishes. The corals were ok. Nothing spectacular. We then went to Honeymoon Beach. Nice little beach actually very close to Charlotte Amalie (but you feel much farther). Very nice clear water. Restrooms available and two small restaurants. British Virgin Islands : This was the highlight of our cruise. We had booked the « Tour to Virgin Gorda Baths » excursion with Celebrity. This included a fast ferry ride to Virgin Gorda Island followed by a 5-10 min open-air bus ride to the Baths. Ferry was clean and both rides were nice and efficient. Likewise for the bus rides. Once arrived we walked 10-15 min to first beach. The walk was quite beautiful. The scenery is very desert like. Quite surprising. Cactus and desert vegetation. Very beautiful. And then the beach Wow! That was a nice beach. The sand and water really resemble Pacific islands (Tahiti). The beach was surrounded by beautiful rocks and boulders. Stead there 30-40 min. Then we slowly walked our way to a second beach. This walk was through the world famous rocks and grottos. Very unique experience! These rocks have been shaped by thousand of years of water current. So beautiful! You do not get water above your waist (hardly above your knees actually). You have to step some stairs and ladders. All very well laid out. The second beach was also splendid! Rocks and perfect water. Very well worth it! Other excursions were coming directly to the baths by catamaran. Then the folks had to swim from their anchor point all the way to the beach. And you do not get to do the nice walk from the parking to the beach. There are washrooms at the second beach and a small restaurant that also sells drinks (and bottled water). Nassau : We booked a beach break at Blue Lagoon with Celebrity. It started not so good. The ship arrived at 12h30 a few minutes after a large MSC ship and a smaller Royal Caribbean vessel. So a flood of passengers just got of those ships almost simultaneously. As we shared the same dock with the MSC ship, the area was very busy and chaotic. It took about 45 minutes before we boarded the ferry to Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon staff did their best but there was many people everywhere and little space. But once we got onboard the ferry things became fine. On the island we headed straight for the North Beach. This beach is on the Caribbean Ocean (not the internal Lagoon). Very pristine beautiful water (a good number of large rocks at the bottom though) and there were just 10-20 people there. Very quiet and calm. We had lunch at their buffet. Had a choice between burger, chicken burger, BBQ chicken and foot long hot-dog with a choice of sides (fries, rice & peas, fried plantain, salad, veggies). We had the hot dog that was quite good. Loved the plantain! The restaurant area was al-fresco, looked brand new and very clean (staff always cleaning up). Good lunch ! They also included iced tea or lemonade. A bit too sweet, but this is quite personal :-) All in all a nice beach break. There seemed to be a lot of activities offered for families and kids, but we just wanted quiet time by the water and that is what we got. The ferry back was also uneventful. Could catch nice views of fancy houses and Atlantis. Embarkation : we had done the online checkin using the Celebrity App. We had also taken our photos using the App. I was a bit apprehensive of privacy, but they take our photos over at the port anyway. But it turned great. By the time we were dropped off the taxi to the time we were at the Oceanview Cafe looking at the buffet, there was maybe only 10 minutes! Most of it spent walking up the stairs to the buffet. Our stateroom keys/cads were waiting for us at our room. The face recognition worked great and allowed us to bypass any lineup. BTW, Terminal 25 is brand new and very beautiful… but we only spent 2 min there. Disembarkation : similar experience for disembarkation. Once off the ship we went through facial recognition check with Customs (super fast) and the preceded to pick up our luggage that was waiting in a huge room, grouped by sections. Once we had our luggage we just walked off the terminal. No extra customs line up. Again an affair of just a few minutes. Celebrity as embarkation nd disembarkation really down to a science. Captain Kate : Much has been written about Captain Kate. I have to admit that my wife and I are now part of the fan club. Her daily announcement were fun and educational and you could see her all over the ship. She seemed to genuinely care about the guests and also her staff. She was also very keen in acknowledging her officers and their achievements. A nice touch! And the icing on the cake: she does really shake every passenger hands (if they want to) when you disembark! Not required, but very appreciated. It was a real pleasure sailing with her. By the way: YES ! they did remove the foot rests on the balconies. Is it that bad? Not really. The balcony table is also smaller! A real disaster? No, we managed with the smaller table and still had breakfast overlooking the ocean. I agree those are not the best decisions, but hey! nothing to really influence our cruise and experience. All in all a very good cruise on the Equinox. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise in the Future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this cruise about a week after getting off the Equinox last year. Last year was an 11 out of 10 starts. This year, maybe an 8. The refurbishment is not anything that anyone can see really. We noticed some new paint and new ... Read More
We booked this cruise about a week after getting off the Equinox last year. Last year was an 11 out of 10 starts. This year, maybe an 8. The refurbishment is not anything that anyone can see really. We noticed some new paint and new carpet but that was it. The furniture in the common areas was exactly the same and needed some updating. The staff wasn't as happy as last year either. The BIGGEST disappointment was our cabin. We booked cabin 9366 because the deck plan shows that it has an angled out (larger) balcony. It doesn't. I just spoke with customer service and they said you can't rely on the picture of the deck plan. WHAT?! How can you show a picture of the deck plan and then say it isn't the right plan? FIX IT!!! Per usual, the food was great. The ship was clean. Getting on and off the boat was an ease both in the US and in our ports. Well done. The timing of some of the ports was odd though. In Puerto Rico we got to port at 3:30 in the afternoon which is too late to do any type of excursion when traveling with a child. If you have been on other cruises, you will probably be disappointed in the entertainment on Celebrity. Also, considering that we were on this ship a year ago it was VERY disappointing to have the exact same shows (topper, and life) occupy 3 of the show nights. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are not new to cruising, but this was our first Celebrity cruise. We are sold on the brand. Despite the fact that we can't wait to sail with Celebrity again, five stars would be an indication that there is no room for improvement ... Read More
We are not new to cruising, but this was our first Celebrity cruise. We are sold on the brand. Despite the fact that we can't wait to sail with Celebrity again, five stars would be an indication that there is no room for improvement or growth. If I could, I would rate our overall experience 4.5. We enjoyed three aft concierge class balcony cabins on the ninth deck. The adjoining/connecting cabin feature on the Equinox is refreshing and has a cool factor. You cannot enter or exit through the interior of the rooms. Instead, there are double doors that serve as a foyer of sorts. When the double doors are closed, you are the "connecting" cabins are encased. If you leave the door to each connecting cabins propped open or unlocked, occupants can freely move between each cabin. You access the double doors with your stateroom key. Aft balconies that "connect" to a sky suite enjoy access to their cabins through a single door that open into a spacious hallway. You control your level of privacy. We also loved how swiftly our request to unlock the partisans of our balconies was honored. It was like we had one huge, extended balcony all to ourselves. We received five-star cabin and room service. Our cabin steward was marvelous and ready to accommodate. Every dining experience, whether in the main dining room, in the cafe or at specialty restaurants, was also five-star. The staff you encounter daily understand the concepts of professionalism and customer-centered service. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel like we were genuinely on vacation. Celebrity deserves an A+ in those areas. However, Celebrity ranks poorly when it came to a customs matter. Unlike previous sailings with other cruise lines, we were led to believe that we did not need to complete any customs forms or declare purchases in writing. The day before we returned to Ft. Lauderdale, my husband -- to my own pleasant surprise and initial shock -- bought our college sophomore a pair of chocolate diamond earrings. It is not the first time he has paid thousands of dollars on a cruise ship for diamonds, so questions were asked upfront. The manner in which my husband was approached as we disembarked was disturbing. (Hence, the less than five stars). A member of the Equinox staff approached my husband in a covert way and asked him to come with her --- no explanation or clue as to why. It all happened quickly and in the confusion, he ended up getting separated from our group. My husband says he expressed his concerns and received an apology for the manner that he was escorted to customs. Nevertheless, it should not have happened. Much has been written about expansive renovations that will take place among the Celebrity fleet. The Equinox was fresh off a dry dock, but it is my understanding that some areas of the ship benefited more than others. There are beautifully appointed restaurants, sitting areas and other public spots throughout the ship. I specifically asked a veteran member of the staff about the staterooms. The Equinox did not get the major "revolutionized" renovation many expected. Based on previous pictures, however, I could tell that the new beige and blue color schemes for the drapes, bedding and carpet was an improvement for the cabins, giving ours a relaxing feel. We booked about 60 days until sailing, which I consider last minute. I considered it a blessing to find three concierge class balcony staterooms next to each other. The perks -- especially the expanded room service menu -- were wonderful. I am thankful for the fast and reliable Internet service. We selected the complimentary Internet package as one of our promotional offerings. I had no issues completing some graduate course assignments by deadline. I also appreciated the ability to make reservations for any-time dining in the upstairs main dining room. The food was delicious, the service was consistently outstanding and the atmosphere was pleasing. Our servers were professional and personable, but never intrusive. Tuscan Grille allowed us to break the monotony of our evenings. Everything about Tuscan Grille fits the definition of fine dining at its best. An overview of our port experiences: I have given up on shore excursion offerings in the Caribbean. Celebrity partners with Private Journeys, which was no help. After an initial response from an agent and my follow-up question, I did not get another email until just days before sailing. The agent's email stated that a lead did not work out and she was unable to help after all. It turns out that we were a million times better off researching and planning day trips on our own. We had an amazing time at a resort in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. For $30 a person plus taxi fare for the four of us, I was able to book one of the most memorable and fun day trips of my life. A The scenic BVI, followed by St. Thomas, was the highlight of our port experiences. Magen's Beach in St. Thomas was crowded with guests from the Equinox and two other cruise ships, but we found a spot to set up beach chairs and umbrellas, which must be rented from the gift shop. We have been to Nassau, Bahamas countless times. We did not leave the ship. As for Puerto Rico, this was my second and last time giving it a chance. We went there about a week before the protests. We had no idea a political uprising was brewing, but we knew something was way off and talked about it. The atmosphere was tense. With the exception of a hostess standing outside a bar, no one seemed friendly or helpful. You know something is off when cabs are lined up along the port but you have to initiate conversations to get a ride. I observed many fellow cruisers returning to the ship after a brief venture out. We walked to Walgreens and made our way back to the ship. We did not make it to any of the shows or participate in enrichment activities. I enjoyed the solitude of the library, however. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We've cruised many times, including Celebrity. In fact, we cruised on the sister ship ( ) and everything was fine. Where do I start. I imagine the most frustrating part of the trip was lack of internet. For folks who can truly unplug, ... Read More
We've cruised many times, including Celebrity. In fact, we cruised on the sister ship ( ) and everything was fine. Where do I start. I imagine the most frustrating part of the trip was lack of internet. For folks who can truly unplug, this is not for them. For some who might need to check emails periodically, forget it. Here's an interesting story: Tried to log onto e-m the first business day. Over the weekend, I met the IT manager, and asked where the best possible place would be on the entire ship to have the best access. I should have been concerned when he was puzzled by that question. He guessed that mid-ship would be the most logical place, and by the way, my office is right over there... I first tried logging on to simple em from my room. Nope - one bar. OK, so I'll take his advise, pack up, move to mid ship. Well, 95% of the outlets were European. Found one. Waited 30 min. to download EMAIL!. Never downloaded. Went to another part of the area-found another plug. Same Result. Well, too bad you told me where your office was. Knocked on his office door, one of the IT people, who was nice, wanted to inspect what I was attempting. He was surprised at lack of signal and agreed it was lacking. He had an idea of using the ships computers. So we trekked up to the ships computer area - same result. Keep in mind we had the best possible streaming package available. There was obviously no answer, no way to get a descent signal. I actually had to go offshore to Starbucks in San Juan. Very frustrating but they still manage to sign up as many people as possible at $350 each. Seems the network was clearly overloaded. Not a good ship if you need to conduct business at any level. Now the food - I won't go on forever, but we gave up on the dining room after 2 meals. Ended up at picking though the buffet. Even gave them an honest shot and dined at a specialty restaurant - all sub standard. I'll say the crew was nice, the Cruise Director for Entertainment was the best I've ever seen in 30+ cruises. The rest of the time was all as expected. They really need to work on the food & internet access. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just finished up a week on the Celebrity Equinox- Eastern Caribbean Itinerary and it was, overall, a great experience. However, I would be less than honest if I didn't also state that the cruise fell a bit short of expectations. ... Read More
Just finished up a week on the Celebrity Equinox- Eastern Caribbean Itinerary and it was, overall, a great experience. However, I would be less than honest if I didn't also state that the cruise fell a bit short of expectations. Following is my effort to provide an honest and fair assessment of the Equinox and our experience on her. For reference- my wife and I are 50's/60's and have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and one previous Celebrity Cruise (Mediterranean). Wife is from Scotland, I'm American, but have lived in UK and traveled a fair bit, mostly in Europe. THE SHIP The Equinox Itself is a beautiful ship that is generally well laid out and easy to navigate. Cabins are very nice- Ours was an aft balcony which we really enjoyed. It was a pretty long walk to the elevators & stairs, but we didn't mind. For those who may have health or mobility issues, a more mid-ship location would probably be advisable. Although we generally try to use the stairs to help burn off calories, there were ample elevators and although the ship was full, the wait times were never long. The ship was well maintained and clean, and there were plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship which we appreciated. THE CREW/STAFF & ENTERTAINMENT We found the crew to be very friendly and helpful. Bartenders were often busy, but worked hard to accommodate everyone. The Celebrity Song & Dance crew were quite good and we enjoyed their presentations, particularly 'Topper'. The House Band was excellent and the other entertainers did a good job, as well. We also felt Maartin (Cruise Director) did an outstanding job. Overall, I'd rate the entertainment at an 8 out of 10. FOOD This is one of the areas where we felt Celebrity has 'fallen off' a bit. While the Silhouette Main Dining was Good, it wasn't Great. The service was excellent, but Celebrity has clearly elected to decrease it's food costs somewhat as compared to our last cruise with them. In fairness to the company and as a restaurant owner, I can understand the huge challenges they must face when attempting to feed so many people with varying tastes and still maintain profitability. However, I really hate the fact that Celebrity, as well as most of the other cruise lines have elected to push the extra-cost specialty restaurants so heavily. It's quite obvious they are using a lower grade of beef and seafood in the main dining room and only serving 'Prime' or upper-level 'Choice' in the specialty venues. That would be easier to accept if the cost of dining in the specialty venues didn't run $50+ per person per meal. I just believe that is a bit excessive for most cruisers. The Oceanview Buffet food was very good and equalled or exceeded that of buffets on our past cruises with a myriad of choices MOST of the time. Unfortunately, this venue was more or less shut down during the afternoons and after around 9 to 9:30 in the evening; offering only pasta and pizza at those times. Late-night dining options were very limited, although free room service was available until midnight. Apparently, the 'Midnight Buffets' are a thing of the past? Burgers, fries, hot dogs, etc were available at the Mast Grill, but I'm not sure on the hours of operation. We chose not to eat at any of the specialty restaurants, but heard generally positive things about them. PORTS of CALL This was really our biggest disappointment with the Equinox's Eastern Caribbean itinerary- Not so much the Ports-of-Call themselves, but more the timing. The stops (in order) are San Juan, St Thomas (USVI), Tortola (BVI) & Nassau. We elected to take this cruise primarily because we wanted to see San Juan and Tortola. Unfortunately, these were the two ports in which we had the least time (basically, only a half-day). I've been to St Thomas a few times and am not a big fan (although it does offer one of the best beaches in the Caribbean). Given its close proximity to San Juan & Tortola, I would much prefer to have concentrated more on those ports. MISC As is the case with every cruise I've been on, Celebrity 'pushes' those activities which provide them with extra profit- Art auctions, shore excursions, shopping in certain stores, etc. To their credit, their promotion of these things is not in the least obtrusive (as it sometimes is on Norwegian and Princess). My only complaint here is with their "Shopping Programs". The 'Shopping Guide (Michael) and probably the cruise line itself obviously has some sort of 'arrangement' with certain stores in each of the ports. It's fine that they offer recommendations for shops that sell 'genuine' & legitimate merchandise; however, these 'shows' are a bit misleading in that the great deals they go on & on about are not really that great. I priced some rather expensive watches that were supposedly 'Duty and Tax Free' making them a great bargain, only to discover I can buy them just as cheaply back home. But, my real complaint here is that maps they give you of each port, show ONLY the shops they are promoting. FINALLY I will definitely sail with Celebrity again. In spite of the areas above where I have outlined a few issues, I still believe they are one of the best, if not 'the best' of the mid/upper-level cruise lines. I've read some pretty negative stuff another reviews and have a hard time believing these people were being objective. For example, one reviewer of a March, 2019 cruise made the comment that the smoking areas around all of the bars bothered he and his wife. Hogwash! There ARE NOT smoking areas around all of the bars. Equinox has 4 designated smoking areas, 2 of which are locate on the starboard-side of bars- One completely aft and the other on the top deck forward. All one has to do at either of these, is sit on the port side where it's smoke free. None of the other bars allow smoking. Another cruiser complained about embarkation, I honestly do not see how it could have gone any smoother. I thought Celebrity did an outstanding job of getting everyone on and off the ship smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our Ideal Vacation: I think the first thing that I think everyone should state is what they're looking for in their cruise vacation. We were a group of four girls in our late 30's to early 50's who wanted to get away for ... Read More
Our Ideal Vacation: I think the first thing that I think everyone should state is what they're looking for in their cruise vacation. We were a group of four girls in our late 30's to early 50's who wanted to get away for a week's worth of extreme relaxing, reading, staring at the water, eating good food and just not having to do everything for ourselves for a week. We're not foodies, we're not super into all activities and we definitely did not want to feel busy. Three of us are seasoned cruisers, one was on her first cruise. So that established, the Equinox did NOT disappoint any of us in any way. Celebrity's Target Audience: Few notes on Celebrity if you're not familiar with the cruising world. They cater mostly to the 30-50 crowd who are not extreme partiers but enjoy great service, food and the ability to take in a wide range of activities from cooking classes and line dancing to evening Great Gatsby parties. There isn't an overabundance of kids on board but enough. I can't speak to the kids activities. You won't find raucous, loud partiers often which was just fine with us. Embarkation: The cruise embarked from Ft. Lauderdale Terminal 25 - which was newly built for the edge. Provided you have done your advance check-in as they advise you to do and have your credit card on file and all of the information provided - the check-in was smooth and we were on the boat by 11:30am (we arrived around 11am). Proceed right to your stateroom and pick up your key cards for your room right away and drop off your carry on. The rooms will all be ready by about 1pm. The Stateroom: We booked this cruise last year in order to get a room to accommodate 4 people with a larger balcony - in our case this was stateroom 9237 which is Concierge Class and in a perfect location just steps away from the main atrium elevators with a large balcony (must've been 13-15 feet deep and about 7 feet wide - it would fit two loungers and two chairs without issue - we had one lounger, 2 chairs and a table). The room was comfortable and had enough storage for the 4 of us to unpack. Unfortunately the Equinox revolutionizing was shortened due to a crane accident in Nassau that diverted them to dry dock in Spain, but the carpets, bedding and drapes are new, as is the TV (not that we turned it on the entire vacation, but looks lovely!). Our cabin steward was lovely and helpful. A young woman whose parents are taking care of her children back home as she works very hard to provide for them. She won't see them again until January. Having been part of many FB groups where the "is Concierge Class worth it?" debate constantly arises - to that I state that its less about being Concierge Class and any perks and more about what you want in your stateroom. We wanted a larger balcony - this just happened to be found in CC. We weren't interested in any of the other perks really. The Food: Having cruised for the past 5 cruises on NCL, I'd forgotten just how good the Celebrity food is. I'm not talking from the point of a foodie who wants fancy dishes I can't recognize. I was looking for variety, good taste and freshness - as were the other girls I was travelling with. We abundantly looked forward to every meal and did not encounter anything we didn't find tasty and fresh. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants since we were abundantly happy with what was provided in all of the complimentary dining venues. The Entertainment/Activities: Maarten/Martin (spelling?) our cruise director was funny and approachable. We didn't take in a whole lot of activities other than some trivia games. We mostly would go to the shows in the Equinox Theatre. The comedian the first night was quite funny, unfortunately the other shows involving the singers/dancers weren't as high quality as we've seen on other lines. Our main complaint being that certain singers were very pitchy and not really singing in a good vocal range for them. It made it a bit hard on the ears at times. The Crew: This is where the Equinox shines above and beyond. So rarely have I seen a crew that genuinely seems so cohesive as a group and happy to be interacting with guests. We had Celebrity Select dining (aka anytime dining), but they sit you in the same section each night. Our waiter and assistant waiter Rhys and Raul really made the week's suppers specials. They were absolutely lovely and we ended the week with a group photo as well as a group hug. Raul was excited to send a picture to his wife and kids back home to show them his "Queens" that week. I'm always very cognizant that many of the crew have families who they are far away from for a very long time. We were fortunate to have Captain Kate for most of the cruise (except the first couple days). She will be moving to the Edge in mid-August. She's regularly found around the ship and clearly enjoys her crew very much and they in return love her. As four women travelling together it was lovely to see a strong woman at the helm of the ship and as cat lovers - we thoroughly enjoyed that her cat lives with her on the ship. Check out Bug Naked on Instagram - makes me laugh. Disembarkation: This was perhaps the most smooth disembarkation I've ever experienced. We chose to leave our luggage out the night before and take a bus transfer arranged by Celebrity to the airport in Ft. Lauderdale. We disembarked at 8:20am and were at the airport just a little after 9:00am. Summary: Phenomenal. We loved every minute of it and would go again in an instant. We unplugged from the world for the week with no internet or cell service, we laughed, we read, we enjoyed eachother's company and the beautiful relaxing setting where our biggest concern was what of 10 entrees to eat and where to go read or nap. We definitely overheard many conversations from people who seemed determined to just complain about anything - from one gentleman who said that cake was atrocious and he had better recipes (I'm not sure which cake - I encountered at least 20 types during the week and thought them tasty), to the woman who bickered on about not being able to wear beachwear into the main dining room, to other really trivial complaints. We are already planning our next Celebrity Cruise and the Equinox is high on our list of ships we want to sail again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Celebrity Equinox Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 4.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.5 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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