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10 Celebrity Equinox Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

2015 Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review I am going to take a different approach in writing this review. This will be a collective summary of my wife and I experience on the 11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox ... Read More
2015 Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review I am going to take a different approach in writing this review. This will be a collective summary of my wife and I experience on the 11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox sailing from Feb 23 – Mar 6 – 2015. It all began last year during our 14 Night Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse. We decided to pay a visit to the Future Cruise Sales Dept. on board and select a cruise for 2015. We opted for the 11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise as it presented us with cruise stops that we have not visited before, albeit shorter than our normal 14 day cruise vacation that we are accustomed to, never the less it appeared interesting enough to book. So the 5 couples that we always travel with agreed and this brings us to this review. I must mention that booking a future cruise on board your present cruise is very rewarding and should be highly considered for anyone thinking of planning a cruise. Please pay them a visit while your cruising, it will be worth it. We always ensure a day prior to cruise departure and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Convention Center/Cruise Center on 17th Street in Ft Lauderdale. We enjoyed our stay in clean and well-kept hotel premises. They do provide free Airport to Hotel shuttle, but you have to call them and may have to wait, perhaps well over 30 minutes, so taking a taxi right away after you secured your luggage might be more satisfying. Included in the price of your room is a tasty most appreciative full breakfast. This feature is a huge plus in our books. Location, location, location, this hotel is within walking distance of ALL YOUR NEEDS. We stopped in at Walgreens for last minute essentials and had a beautiful meal right across the street at BRAVO RESTAURANT. Next morning after our breakfast we decided to burn some calories and walked to the bridge to view the Equinox moored at Terminal 18 and were fortunate enough to witness the drawbridge in action. We did all our pre cruise visits on foot, no cabs needed. The boarding time was moved ahead to 2 PM. No boarding before 2 PM as the ship and terminal was being sanitized and prepped for our cruise. There was an outbreak of Noro virus the sailing before and Celebrity did their due diligence and we were thankful for that even though it resulted in delay. This was not a normal embarkation process due to the outbreak but it resulted in NO NORO on our cruise. Can’t complain for that. Congestion on the ship, delayed getting in our room and a late departure was the result. We always are prepared, our motto “Expect the Unexpected”. Upon entry, we upgraded our Beverage Package from Classic to Premium, a smart move on our behalf as this provided us all the beverages we elected to drink (Martini’s, special cocktails, craft beers, specialty coffee, upgraded wines) all with a swipe of the card with no charges. Our B2 Balcony room was 6152 on Deck 6 Forward Starboard. Being a little apprehensive on its location but we settled in quite nicely. Not our favorite location, but acceptable none-the-less. It really did serve us quite well. Room was always well kept and presentable by our stateroom attendants. We think all staterooms are comfortable and provide ample space for your voyage. Our days on the ship consisted of pretty much of the same pattern. Up early, shower, some java and a croissant in our room, out on the balcony checking out the vista, may be some photo ops, then preceded to have breakfast provided in the Ocean view café and the Main Dining Room (MDR). Breakfast items were always the same except for 1 or 2 items that resulted with OK satisfaction. Then we went along our merry way to enjoy our excursions or on sea days exploring and enjoying the ship. Our itinerary had Georgetown Grand Cayman, Cartagena Colombia, Colon Panama, Puerto Limon Costa Rica, Belize City Belize and Cozumel Mexico along with 4 at sea days. Elected to take a ship-sponsored excursion at all stops except in Cozumel, which we have been several times. Grand Cayman was a high light for us. Taking part in the Sting Ray City excursion provided us with fantastic memories recorded on video and photos beyond imagination. What an experience to hold a Sting Ray in your arms all by yourself and stand in the sea with these docile creatures having them swim beside, through your legs and up against your body. Must recommend this excursion. Cartagena was a surprise, lovely and a pretty city having very warm temperatures (30 C ) and enjoyed the walled old city as well as the Castillo. Nice blend of the old and modern experience. Entry to pier was very picturesque. Thoroughly enjoyed this visit. Our next stop was Colon. A must for all who visit for the first time is participating going through the Panama Canal in a boat (other than a cruise ship). This man made wonder is of epic proportions will leave you with life long memories. Along the 50 mile-long waterway, there are 3 sets of locks, Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun. Our excursion took us through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks; the rest of the way was in an air-conditioned travel bus. Went from Colon (Atlantic side to Panama City (Pacific side). A long and hot day was spent but no charge cold non-alcoholic refreshments and a small meal were provided on the boat. The next stop on the agenda was a bus, boat (canals) and train tour of Limon Costa Rica. Here we seen some of the native fauna and flora, the Del Monte banana plantation with of course some samples. We had rain showers and misty conditions for the better part of the tour but cleared up towards the end bringing all creatures out and about, the howler monkeys did let us know they were there, seen the native birds and smaller green creatures camouflaged amongst the dense rain forest. Costa Rica is mainly rain forest and is indicative what you will see. Belize City was also a bright spot for us as we hovered the lagoons and shallow waters in an airboat. Quite an experience riding with ear protection (a must) and wind blowing in your face, zig to the right then zag to the left slowing right down as we approach the abundance of wildlife (Birds and Turtles) giving all aboard a fantastic opportunity to see and photograph. The areas we seen are only allowed to be used by the excursion airboat because of the shallow water and not to damage the biological environment. Canoeists are not allowed. Our only stop in Cozumel was at Senor Frogs located right at the International Pier where we moored for their giant margaritas and double shot. We browsed around the shops at the pier for a short while and returned to the ship. There were 6 ships docked at Cozumel that day, so go figure. I will mention to book excursions at all these ports, unless you elect to remain on and enjoy the ship. Typical days at sea on the Equinox were easygoing and very relaxing for us. We simply used the Solarium for quiet time and rest and ventured out to the main pool area to spend time cooling off in the pool, catching some rays and satisfied our hunger pangs at the Mast Grill-the best tasting burgers at sea. You gotta eat there. We did not bother with the limited mediocre activities and what Celebrity calls enrichment programs, these simply don’t interest us. A factor that really impresses us with the Solstice Class ships is the space provided. When you consider the gross tonnage of the ship and the passenger capacity; the space provided is phenomenal resulting in absolutely no congestion and plenty of ship space for us cruisers to maneuver around with pleasure. This is a great feature we certainly appreciate. Also adding to this is the fact there were very few children present on this cruise, which makes an almost adults only cruise. We found the shops on board the Equinox to be a non-factor having very little impact drawing us to them. Not much content of interest. A very nice area we spent some time during the day is at the Lawn Club. Green natural grass to enjoy a game of bocce lawn polo or lay a blanket and enjoy a picnic with beautiful Sunset Bar providing refreshments. We behaved like many other cruisers and spent time photographing the ship from bow to stern, top to bottom all nooks and crannies being careful not to omit any photo worth part of the ship totaling well over 2000 photos with some impressive footage on video. The Silhouette Dining Room was our choice to engage in having early seating for dinners. All our dinners were consumed here. Did not eat at the Specialty Restaurants. Food in the MDR was quite frankly sub par. My wife was not pleased at all; she filled up with bread sticks and French Onion Soup. I will give the food only a passable grade. You may ask why we continued to eat in the MDR? Well it was our friends and our cruising group who made the experience pleasurable. We had a table for our own group and enjoyed their company. Lunch and breakfast was usually at the Ocean View Café, a buffet style eatery with different food stations to choose from providing a repetitive menu day in day out. What looks like a lot of different foods, really is not; as some of the stations are doubles, but I will say that you can get a full assortment of food with an all right level of satisfaction. We never had trouble finding a seat and the wait staff was always present to offer getting refreshments or to clean your table. Providing the main entertainment was the Equinox Theatre. We elected to omit 5 shows in this venue. When you consider the price that Celebrity charges for a cruise, the entertainment aboard the Equinox was rather poor. The resident Celebrity singers and dancers are elementary and the Special Guests they had were not much better. The female pianist singer performer Claire Vinkesteijn was entertaining as was the Juggler/comedian Pete Mathews. Phil Tag a comedian had the crowd in stitches at times and kept us all awake providing some good old comedy relief. The rest was all down hill from there. All the Celebrity Singers and Dancers show were poor grade as was Tony B, Marcus Tyrell and the Serenades (Motown Tribute) and two others; a comedian and ventriloquist. I must wonder about the Cruise Director. She and her staff are responsible for the arrangements in providing all entertainment. I would categorize her as terrible. This carries over to all areas of entertainment - DJ’s, Jazz group (not a fan); guitarist/violin group, resident party band (mediocre) and Shawna (Activities manager) try again. Maybe they are in the learning stage and might get better????. I do understand that Celebrity is trying hard to improve their entertainment, as they are well aware of their mediocrity. Please improve in this area; your work is cut out. Overall our cruise experience was satisfying, we did have ample relaxation and down time. Celebrity does offer a quality vacation with good service. It was good enough for us to book on board at the Future Cruise Office a 14 Night Exotic Southern Caribbean on the Celebrity Eclipse in 2017. So that tells you we enjoyed our Celebrity Equinox cruise. Our next cruise is a 8 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on RCI Navigator of the Seas followed with a 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on RCI Allure of the Seas in 2016 making this a 15 Night Cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
It's hard to think of ways that our 11 nights with family and friends could have been better. The ship is beautiful and the staff keeps it clean while maintaining a great attitude. We did the select seating (choose your own time) and ... Read More
It's hard to think of ways that our 11 nights with family and friends could have been better. The ship is beautiful and the staff keeps it clean while maintaining a great attitude. We did the select seating (choose your own time) and we ended up requesting the same table each night. By the fourth or fifth night Gregory and Jorge knew each (8 of us) of our preference in coffee and even anticipated desserts. The food was excellent. What I liked most was that the daily menu (left side) had a number of entrees that were 'can't miss'. When nothing appealed to me from the 'tonight side' of the menu, it was easy to pick one of the standards, especially the sirloin steak. Our rooms (inside) were big enough for us and our daughter to be comfortable and the extra bed was fine. For my wife and myself the size and quality of the inside stateroom was a pleasant surprise, and the $1500 we saved over a balcony will pay for another short vacation. Because the ship has so many public places to sit and read, sit and watch the ocean or sit and eat or just people watch, we actually spent very little time in our rooms. For anyone who is budget conscious I can highly recommend the inside. A big plus for us on the ship were the number of extra talks, tastings, seminars and things to do. The Corning Museum of Glass - Glass Blowing demonstrations were amazing and the three glass makers all had engaging personalities. The Apple talks were highly informative. It was shocking to see standing room only when the iLounge director was talking about the iCloud. I also appreciated him staying to answer questions after his talk. All in all I think most cruise lines are about equal, just different strengths and weaknesses. That being said I think Celebrity does stand above the rest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have never cruised on the Celebrity line before as the price was always out of my budget, but you get what you pay for. Went with a group of 13 and had a marvellous time. Was on deck 7 in an inside room mid ship. I truly missed a balcony ... Read More
I have never cruised on the Celebrity line before as the price was always out of my budget, but you get what you pay for. Went with a group of 13 and had a marvellous time. Was on deck 7 in an inside room mid ship. I truly missed a balcony but it was a late booking and was all booked up. The staff were excellent, efficient but relaxed. I never had a bad meal. Still miss the burgers around pool side. Speaking of pools, they were on the small side and as the days got hotter they were all very crowded. I love to swim so I just made do. Bought the spa package for $90 which let me use steam rooms, aromatherapy sauna and heated lounger. It was well worth it. I found it nice that I wasn't constantly asked to fork out money as has been my experience on RCCL, Princess, & Holland America lately. The itinerary was interesting and enjoyed swimming with the stingrays in Grand Caymen. Best experience for all 6 of us was in Belize. I booked the tubing in the caves privately with BUTTS UP and was delighted. The ship was charging $119 and Butts Up charged $50 for the same experience without crowds! They delivered everything they promised. I would cruise again on the Celebrity Line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our 4th cruise - 3rd with Celebrity & sailed once on RCL. We loved every minute of the cruise. You know you are on Celebrity the moment your foot touches the ship with the lovely welcome & excellent customer service. The ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise - 3rd with Celebrity & sailed once on RCL. We loved every minute of the cruise. You know you are on Celebrity the moment your foot touches the ship with the lovely welcome & excellent customer service. The Ship is bright & Silhoutte dining room delightful. We did find the lighting to be a little too subdued for reading menus!! There wasn't anything that we disliked about the cruise. Entertainment was excellent with a wide onboard program including Zumba classes. My only critism would be that that the Zumba classes would be better to be held at an alternative venue rather than poolside due to the heat. The onboard programs were wide & included interesting lectures, didn't have enough time to enjoy as many as I would have like. Hats off to Celebrity for catering for all interests, I particularly enjoyed Richard "The Nerd" with his internet & ipad seminars, & also his excellent service in the iLounge. Andres the Zumba instructor was also wonderful, I enjoyed his classes immensley. All those extra touches are there with Celebrity, including the chocolate on the pillows - we love these touches including the wet towels & cold drinks next to the ship after port calls. If I was to nit-pick - the fact that we had to turn the clock forward twice on the last day would be my only grumble. We turned it forward once at midnight & again as 14:00 on the last day. Maybe it'd have been better to turn it forward an hour the day before. We therefore lost an hour between 14:00 - 15:00 coupled with the fact that it was a sea day packed with activity as well as packing, I felt that I was running around all day. I would have preferred a more relaxing last cruising day. Liked that the restrooms had electronic automatic doors which you could tap with your elbows to open, excellent for hygiene purposes. The public restrooms were lovely with unusual wash basins & lovely orchids in everyone. We loved the ship & would definitely like to sail on her again in the future. Hats off to Celebrity for a wonderful holiday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My family who lives all over the world gets together once or twice a year to spend time together on a Cruise.My mother & my sister usually pick out the cruise line & destination & handle allot of the paper work for which ... Read More
My family who lives all over the world gets together once or twice a year to spend time together on a Cruise.My mother & my sister usually pick out the cruise line & destination & handle allot of the paper work for which I'm very grateful.. Boarding in Ft Lauderdale was relatively easy and the process went smoothly. My stateroom with a balcony was clean & comfortable & the cabin attendants courteous & pleasant. There is however NO COLD FRESH WATER on this Celebrity Equinox because of their plumbing design I was told by a staff member. I could only find cold fresh water in the large exercise room and of course at meal time. In your room the water is lukewarm at best. This problem exists on most of the Celebrity cruisers. I had a pitcher of fresh ice water delivered to my room twice a day. Most of the other passengers were considerably older, certainly not baby boomers like myself. Their was live music in the evenings which was nice & lots of dancing.I don't gamble but their were lots who did. I spend one or two days at the adult pool & the weather was so nice and warm with a gentle breeze coming in off the ocean. I also spent lots of time on my balcony nude & reading some great books which I thoroughly enjoyed.Unfortunately, The Food was the Worst I've ever had on any of the 12 other cruise lines. The chef was Australian(Executive Chef: Gavin Baxter) which was quite evident by his cooking.If you enjoy bland, dry salmon or the lack of any desirable seasoning on most of the food served this food is for you. Any attempt at French pastry or cuisine was a disaster.If you live on meat & potatoes & don't mind the absence of creativity you won't have a problem. In the past I've had good food from all over the world but I couldn't find any on this ship. I was very disappointed & meals were on occasion I never looked forward to. I found some very rude, uncouth people on board this ship as well. On one occasion while I was in the cafeteria for lunch a man about my age stuck his nose in my plate, smiled & walked away. Needless to say this didn't help my feelings about the food. ...The staff in the kitchen & on board the ship were great.. very friendly and helpful & went out of their way to help in any way they could. Even the Chef came out to our table to see if their was anything more that he could do. The prices for the use of the internet were extremely high & there were no real discounts which were disappointing to me. And last but not least was debarkation which took hours & was another disaster.Instead of a civil approach to debarkation in which the disabled in wheelchairs & those unable to stand hours in line GO FIRST, US SECURITY & CUSTOMS made those people wait in line for hours standing or sitting in their wheelchairs like everyone else. And I thought my country was any different than the 3rd world,lol. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
(1) I think this is the all time record for a ship sponsored excursion since the ship was scheduled to leave port at 6 PM but our group from Equinox (dozens) re-boarded the ship at 7:30 PM (ship was held for our return) The bottom line ... Read More
(1) I think this is the all time record for a ship sponsored excursion since the ship was scheduled to leave port at 6 PM but our group from Equinox (dozens) re-boarded the ship at 7:30 PM (ship was held for our return) The bottom line cause of this was being held up in the locks for 3 hours because the Panama Canal control is in the hands of Panama instead of the USA and they were holding 2 tour boats hostage for 3 hours (waiting for a big cargo ship paying big bucks to use the canal) under the premise that water is so precious that only big ships warrant dumping the umpteen million gallons of water (readily available) to allow ships to go thru locks. This is nothing less than an act of being held hostage by their country for their financial benefit and crapping on tourists with no regard whatsoever for their comfort (NO A/C ON CANAL CRUISE BOATS) and makes one wonder if someone with a medical emergency would receive help in time or just be written off as a casualty of Panama Canal misfortune. (2) X-Rails: Are you willing to endure hours of driving an oversized go cart? (no power steering - requires brute strength to turn these i.e. most women not strong enough) also, rather than needing a bandana to screen out dust on trail thru tropical forest - after torrential rains days before - this excursion involved driving thru huge deep mudpuddles (dozens and dozens one after another) BOTH WAYS on trail to and from Jade Caverns. On the trail many breakdowns (ours lost front wheel - mechanic guy was provided apparently because such things happen often - another one lost a back wheel) and for repeat off course incidents they must throw lever at rear bumper to get reverse - no gear controls in buggies. When they say "strenuous" with this excursion that's a gross understatement. (3) This was our FIRST one with Celebrity after having 8 cruises on Royal Caribbean sequentially moving up to ever larger ones as they were built: (biggest of 8) Explorer - Mariner - Freedom - Independence - Oasis - Allure - also did Sovereign 3 day with grandkids, and last year a 10 day on Vision of the Seas. We will likely go back to RCL and the new Solstice class ship with our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This will probably be a long review so here goes. The cruise on the Celebrity Equinox was my 60th birthday present from my husband. We are both retired and it was just the two of us going on the cruise. We have not cruised a lot. ... Read More
This will probably be a long review so here goes. The cruise on the Celebrity Equinox was my 60th birthday present from my husband. We are both retired and it was just the two of us going on the cruise. We have not cruised a lot. Previously we have been on the NCL Gem, NCL Epic, Emerald Princess and NCL Dawn (sans DH). We flew into Fort Lauderdale a day early on February 12th which was a good idea since our flights were delayed and we missed our connecting flight. We stayed at the Best Western Plus in Dania Beach and I would highly recommend it for pre-cruise. We took the hotel shuttle to the cruise port at 11:00 AM and the boarding process was fast and painless. We arrived at the ship at around 11:30 and we were on board with a glass of champagne within 15 minutes. We were in cabin # 1515 which was on the port side on deck 11. It was an Aqua Class cabin which was about 8 cabins from the front of the ship. Of course our cabin was not available when we boarded so we headed to the Cafe (buffet) on Deck 14. I really liked the way the buffet area was laid out as it was easy to get around and there were no line-ups. There seemed to be plenty of seating and we never had a problem finding a table. I can't say enough about the staff and crew on the ship. By the third day the chap taking the orders for eggs/omelettes knew my name! Once we had eaten our cabin was ready so we headed down to have a look. CABIN: I was not very impressed with the cabin considering how much you pay for "Aqua" class. Basically it is a regular balcony cabin with a few perks. You get a bowl of fruit every day and there is a bottle of sparkling wine/glasses on the first day. Later they will put some flowers in your cabin and they stay for the rest of the cruise. My biggest complaint was the lack of storage. There were five drawers which were not large and a closet. Over the bed there was a long cabinet with doors and one shelf. It was not convenient to get at things up there but that was pretty much where you had to put a lot of your clothes. For an 11 day cruise the drawers were pretty much full of socks, underwear and bathing suits. We did not plan to attend any of the "Formal" nights so all our clothes were t-shirts, casual pants/slacks and shorts. The majority of these were not going to be hung on coat hangers. I would suggest that Celebrity take of their closet space and install a set of open shelves for more storage. The bathroom had lots of storage although I don't know why. The storage cupboards were only about 8 inches wide but they went from the ceiling to the floor so there was lots of room for shaving gear and make-up, etc. The shower had both an adjustable shower head with hose and six individual nozzles that would spray your body if you turned on that option. The nozzles were adjustable and felt great if you had sore muscles. The downside is the advertised "seat" for women to use. I was very pleased to hear about this at first because I was not looking forward to trying to shave my legs in a shower. But there is NO seat! There is a round metal bar (which is about 1 foot long) set into the corner of the shower about 18 inches from the floor. From the corner of the shower (think triangle) to the center of the bar is about 8 inches! I tried sitting on this and believe me it is not possible unless you are 10 years old. The best you could do is to use it as a foot rest to raise you leg while shaving. I suppose it was better than nothing at all but not by much. The ship itself was beautiful with very tasteful furnishings and colour schemes. Everything was spotless although there were several areas of carpet that looked like they had been cleaned and then did not match the rest of the area. The Lawn Club was totally unique and we did get to play croquet, bocce and bean bag toss on various days. The grass was very yellow and worn in a lot of areas. On the second last day of the cruise they tore up all the grass and were in the process of laying all new sods so the next bunch of passengers would have fresh new grass. There were several things that we really liked about this ship. One was the Relaxation Room which was at the end of our hallway on Deck 11 and only for Aqua Class and Suite passengers as well as Spa customers. This room had about 10 single beds to lie on and it faced the front of the ship and was all glass windows so you had a great view and lots of peace and quiet. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Solarium on Deck 12 which is the enclosed pool area for adults only. It is closed off from the two main (outdoor) pools and the stage where they play music so it is a lovely place to relax with soothing music and a very beautiful water feature. The pool in this area is only 4'9" deep so you don't have to be able to swim to enjoy it. The rest of the area is filled with very comfortable padded loungers. There is also a small cafe area here which served all healthy foods and snacks during the day. Hot tubs: another failing on the part of Celebrity. There were two of these in the Solarium and four of them on the main pool deck. Instead of having jets of water these hot tubs had bubbling air coming out of them. The problem with this is that the tubs are very full and so the water is nearly up to your chin. With the water being churned with bursting air bubbles you were constantly getting water splashed in your eyes and face. Since the water is full of chemicals to reduce bacteria, etc. I was not impressed getting it in my eyes. The only way to get around this was to sit in the hot tub and not turn it on. I did not use it after my first experience. We booked all our own excursions in Cozumel, Roatan and Grand Cayman and did not take any excursions in Panama, Columbia or Costa Rica. A note to anyone who is planning to take this itinerary: the "docks" in Colon, Panama and Cartagena, Columbia are at container piers. The ship docked at 8 AM in Cartagena and we were able to see the pier from our balcony. We watched in awe as FIFTY white tour buses arrived and parked in a row on the pier for all the excursion customers. The temperature in Cartagena was listed as 99F on the day we were there. We walked to the small shopping area which was at the end of the pier and to our right. There were parrots, flamingos and monkeys outside in the gardens and shopping inside. However there were too few clerks and I ended up putting my purchases back and leaving because of the lines of people and the slowness of the staff. The warning is for people coming back from these bus excursions. I am not sure of the time but I will say 3 PM. FOURTEEN buses arrived back at the pier at the same time so that between 400-500 passengers had to line up to get back on board the ship and go through their security. There was only one gangway open with two lines of staff so all these passengers were left standing in 95F + heat and sun for quite a long time before being able to get back on board. Celebrity should really consider setting up some canopies for shade. I would suggest taking a lot of water and possibly an umbrella for shade. FOOD: - Being in Aqua class gave us the advantage of being able to eat at Blu which is special restaurant with healthier selections. We ate here twice (once for my birthday) and it was not to my taste. We both like plain food with not a lot of spices and sauces. The food here (and in the MDR) is more gourmet and not for us. We did have one meal in the Main Dining Room and it was completely full so the volume of people talking along with all the staff gave me a headache! The staff was excellent but we ate the majority of our meals in the buffet on deck 14. The food was very good at breakfast and lunch but very skimpy at supper time. Apparently most people who cruise with Celebrity prefer the fancier food in the main dining room and the specialty restaurants so there are very few people at the buffet at supper time. We didn't starve but the carving station often had chicken or roast pork at dinner. The hamburgers at the Pool Grill were wonderful. I would definitely recommend trying them and there was ice cream in the buffet all day until 10 PM. My husband enjoyed the pizza and he is very fussy about his pizza. We did have room service one day for breakfast and that was a wonderful treat. Everything was properly hot or cold and our room attendant called us beforehand to tell us that the meal was on its way. I do want to make a special mention of our room attendant, Rhodalyn, who was just amazing; friendly, helpful and took care of every request within minutes. ENTERTAINMENT: - We only went to two shows and both were comedians. Both were very good and family-friendly. There was an a cappella singing group that were excellent and performed often in the atrium on Deck 3. The highlight of the cruise for my husband was the hot-glass blowing exhibitions on Deck 15. There were two men and one woman who each created a piece of glass art during each show. It was fascinating and very informative. Some of the pieces are auctioned off at the end of the cruise for charity although the other pieces are not sold. CASINO: I am not a big gambler so I take a certain amount of money to play the slot machines whenever I cruise. I am not sure if I am paranoid but I will mention this to anyone who is interested. I played four different slot machines (only the 1 cent and 2 cent ones) and on the second last night of the cruise I was ahead by $31.00 which I had in a slot coupon. On the final night of the cruise it seemed (??) that ALL the slot machines had been re-set NOT to pay out any money. On the machines that I was regularly winning on I was getting no special bonuses and I tried all four of the machines I had regularly been playing and eventually lost my $31.00. This was no big thing but I will make sure NOT to gamble on any cruise ship on the final night from now on. The ship had a lovely card room with lots of games and puzzles and a beautiful two storey library with large, comfortable chairs. My only complaint about this was that one wall of each of these rooms was open to the central atrium so that when music was being played in the atrium it could be heard clearly in both the card room and the library. Personally, when I am playing cards or sitting down to enjoy a good book, I don't want loud music annoying me. LOBSTER night: a big complaint. We knew when we booked this cruise that there were "formal" nights and that didn't bother us because we normally did not eat in the MDR anyway. Our first cruise was NCL and we really enjoy and are used to "freestyle cruising" where you do not have to dress up for anything unless you want to. We had packed clothes to be "smart casual" so that we could eat in the MDR or the specialty restaurants if we chose to. However, on the two nights when lobster was on the menu in the MDR (and nowhere else) you HAD TO dress formally to get into the dining room. So basically we were denied this delicacy based on our choice to not pack suits, ties, dress shirts, dress shoes and an evening gown, etc. I even checked with Customer Relations to find out if we could eat in the MDR if we dressed in "smart casual" and I was told "no". DIS-EMBARKATION - This was very well managed and we were given luggage tags for a 9:15 departure based on the time of our flight out of Fort Lauderdale. We walked off the ship and were able to quickly retrieve our luggage and head to customs. THAT was a real headache. The line was very, very long and very slow. Apparently this had something to do with the Customs officers having computers and also having to use a fingerprint scanner on any passengers from Europe. Once through that we were outside and into a taxi within minutes. My husband and I will not be cruising with Celebrity again and that is a strictly personal choice. It is a more expensive cruise line and more formal that we like. We took this cruise because of the itinerary and the special occasion of my 60th birthday. We have yet to try Royal Caribbean and Carnival so those will be the next on our list and after that we will be going on the newest NCL ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My husband and I recently returned from taking our 18-month-old daughter on her second Celebrity cruise. There are many reviews on this board attesting to the beauty and five-star class of the Equinox, which I would certainly second. The ... Read More
My husband and I recently returned from taking our 18-month-old daughter on her second Celebrity cruise. There are many reviews on this board attesting to the beauty and five-star class of the Equinox, which I would certainly second. The ship is top-class in its decoration and shows. I found some of the staff to be less friendly than on our first Celebrity cruise aboard the Summit, but that is personally relative. The dining room, though elegant, felt more squishy and our waiter had more tables, but I assume that that also varies from table assignment to table assignment. From a mother's perspective, though, the Equinox was fantastic for those traveling with a young child. Since our daughter was under three and not potty-trained, she couldn't swim in the pool or join the Fun Factory activities. We knew that in advance and were just looking for a chance to hang out as a family without the distractions of everyday life. We were happily surprised to find the lovely, relaxed top-deck lawn that was perfect for little feet to release some energy. Also, between the stage and pool, there was a water feature (numerous small fountains at ground-level) that kept our daughter safely entertained. She never once looked jealously at the pool and she wasn't bothering anyone. Finally the Fun Factory had pretty loose "toddler time" hours so we were able to play with her using their well-kept toys and didn't need to devote much coveted luggage space to her toys. Beyond those nice surprises, I'm happy to report the same joys that we had on the Summit such as watching her face light up with all of the great live music and being able to catch so much live entertainment (we always sat in the back so we could make a quick exit if needed). Due to the fact that our server on the Equinox had five tables (15 people), it took a while to get the orders in (each course was served at the same time) and after the first four nights our daughter had had it with 1.5 hour meals. Instead we ordered from the Silhouettte dining room for room service a few nights and ate in the crepe restaurant or Oceanview Cafe the other nights. It was mildly disappointing not to eat in the main dining room but we also found the menu to be similar to our cruise on the Summit (on which we were able to eat every night with our then-9-month-old and a waiter that only had two tables). At last, I wanted to say something about our fellow passengers and their response to our daughter. Conscious that most people aboard who were our age were probably parents trying to get a break from kids and no one, including us, can relax with a runaway or screaming child around, we always aimed to take our daughter out of the theater/dining area/public space if she started to behave badly. As I mentioned, we loved listening to the live music but we tried to keep to the side of the performers or to find an inconspicuous place for our tiny dancer. Comparing the Summit (departing from San Juan on a Southern Caribbean cruise) and the Equinox, there were many more children on the Summit, which I attribute to the itinerary rather than the ship. The crowd on the Equinox was much more diverse- lots of French, German, South Americans and a ton of Russians and the crowd we overheard in the Fun Factory reflected that mix (mostly English as a Second Language learners). There were a total of six kids under three on the ship from what we saw on our 11 days on the Equinox. All and all, I think cruising is a wonderful way to travel with a young child. This Ultimate Caribbean, with its historic/cultural interests as well as beaches, was a bit of a stretch for us but ended up being fantastic. If you're on the fence about cruising with a kid, I say go for it! PS We had two cruise-sponsored tour excursions booked but ended up just doing one (Colonial Panama and Miraflores Locks- you can read my review in the Panama section). We pre-arranged Oscars tour in Puerto Limon and just caught taxis from the docks in Cozumel, Roatan, Cartagena and Cayman Islands. This gave us the flexibility to be where we needed to be at naptime and we could go at our pace. We travel a lot (60+ countries) and live abroad. We particularly had our guard up in Cartagena and it turned out to be our favorite port. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Exellent Equinox Reviewed By: Brown, Runcorn on 20th Apr 2010 Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises Times cruised before: 6-10 Cruise Ship: Celebrity Equinox Sailed: April, 2010 Destination: Caribbean Age: 56-65 We started our holiday flying from ... Read More
Exellent Equinox Reviewed By: Brown, Runcorn on 20th Apr 2010 Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises Times cruised before: 6-10 Cruise Ship: Celebrity Equinox Sailed: April, 2010 Destination: Caribbean Age: 56-65 We started our holiday flying from Manchester to Fort lauderdale and stayed in the Grand Hotel in FL Marina, this hotel was really 1st class,the transfers from the airport to hotel were good, next morning we were in the middle of a thunder storm, our luggage was loaded in to a large van and the next time we saw them was outside our cabin, we left the hotel 1130 and was having lunch on the Equinox at 1300 our cabin was available at 1330. Life boat drill was done in the lounges and a short video showed the procedure. We set sail at 1715, with one day at sea, our first port was Grand Cayman, we booked a trip to Stingray City this is small sandy reef about 1 mile from Cayman and we swam with stingrays for 45 mins also snorkling at the near by reef then sailed back to Cayman for some retail therapy, then back on board for 2 days at sea. The next port was Cartagena Columbia, it was very hot (96 degrees),the taxis were all touting for trips this one driver quoted $20pp round trip into town, there was 6 of us in a people carrier with AC in 96 deg this was very welcome, when you get to town you get a short walking tour and history of the town, then on to the market place and yep you guessed it more shopping, then back to the ship, we were out about 4 hours so in my mind it was a bargain for what we got. Sailed over night to Panama, berthed at Colon, my friend and I booked a trip to the Locks while the ladies went shopping(again),there's a small shopping inside the port. the Gatun Locks were a highlight for me because all my working life Ive worked on water and have always wanted to see this,then back to the ship. Sailed over night to Costa Rica. berthed Port Limon, a short walk thru the docks to a small craft market, then thru the gates and into town, what a disapointment this was, the town was run down and as it was Easter Sunday 90% of shops were shut, short walk thru a park brought you to the sea front which was falling apart, so it was back to the Equinox to enjoy the delights of the ship and the AC, there are other trips you can book on the ship such as go to the Rainforest or visiting a Banana Plantation so if the town is not for you then book a trip. Our next port was Isla Roatan Honduras, what a delight it was to sail into this port with its gaily coloured buildings it was 100% better than our last port, we booked a Roatan Highlights Island tour with Island Marketing, Our lady driver met us outside of the gate and six of us boarded her bus to take us to see the Coarl reef, the Iguna farm and the delights of the Island and we ended up at Westbay Beach, this was lovely, white sand,crystal clear water,everything you need there to eat and drink, after 3 hours of sea n sand it was back to the ship reluctantly, Roatan is such a lovely place, when we arrived here at 0730 there was a group of local musicians and singers to welcome ship into port, when we finally sailed they waved goodbye to us and were still in fine voice. Onwards we sailed, this time to Cozumel, we have been here before, nothing had changed maybe more shops selling the same things, there was 6 ships port so as you can imagine the place was packed, so it was back to the ship and spent our time in the pool or suning. And so we sailed off into the sunset back to Fort Lauderdale having enjoyed our cruise, but I dont think we will be coming to Central America again, with the exception of Isla Roatan. The Equinox The ship was a joy to sail on, the crew were nothing but the best,no matter what the request was our cabin steward(cabin 9236)dealt with it in an efficent manner the whole ship was kept spotlessy clean. Our next cruise is being booked, and I cannot wait to feel the warm trade winds of the Caribean and the magic of cruising. Staff I cannot name all the staff who looked after us, and when i say looked after I really mean it, our cabin was 9236 and the stewards name is Antonio, he is really efficient in his job, the table waiter and his helper became our friends,as did all waiters who waited on for breakfast and lunch. we met the Captain who gave us a tour of the bridge, the Engineer who gave us a tour of the Engine room, going to the engine room we even met some of the crew you dont see. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
I do think the Equinox has many good things about it. For instance, I very much like their buffet upstairs and many areas are attractive. That said, I find a number of things less pleasing. 1.) They have given 3/4 of one deck to alternate ... Read More
I do think the Equinox has many good things about it. For instance, I very much like their buffet upstairs and many areas are attractive. That said, I find a number of things less pleasing. 1.) They have given 3/4 of one deck to alternate restaurants. That leaves less room for lounges and theaters. I find this increase in alternate restaurants to be unsettling. 2.) The main restaurant service was very slow. We were stuck in the far corner and thus got no air at all. We were sweating all through dinner every night. I also found it odd that there was the exact same breads for dinner every night. No variation. Just as there is almost the exact same food in the buffet every day for lunch and dinner. Exact same breads there, too. 3.) The theater is not user friendly. Many seats have blocked or partially blocked views. There is simply no place to set a drink. all you have is a hole in the arm of your chair and if your drink if there, your arm can't be. Due to the somewhat small size of the chairs, that's not good news. The entertainment was lackluster all but 3 nights. 4.) There is an appalling lack of storage in the balcony cabins. I hate those tiny boards jutting out from the wall that are supposed to be substitutes for night tables. They are not. There are only a few small drawers and ours were so hot from the adjacent refrigerator that I was nervous about putting some things in them. There was some storage overhead but not enough. Likewise, I found the closet to be smaller than on many ships. 5.) All that grass takes up space that could have been used for deck chairs. The only uses for it that I could see was horseshoes, bocce, and croquet-- not exactly hot entertainment in most people's books. Likewise, the glass show was been there; done that. Is there anyone over 10 that has not seen glass blown? 6.) The cabins were hot during most of the day. Thankfully, they cooled off at night. Frankly, I did not like the design of the ship. The art was rather avant-garde and much of it was just dumb. I missed the usual large atrium. To me the center of the ship looks like an Embassy Suites. Most of the ports on this cruise were very interesting. Cartagena was lovely, though blast furnace hot. Colon was filthy but there was much to see of interest in the environs. The Embera Indian village was great, as was the canal. Limon and Roatan were also of interest. I always like shopping in Cozumel, so that was fine. But Grand Cayman is a bore. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Celebrity Equinox Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
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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