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21 Celebrity Equinox Holiday Cruise Reviews

Never knew there was such a group as Cruise Critic even though we have sailed before. My Son found the group and I must say it has made our trip so much more enjoyable. Thank you, Marcia, our fearless leader! It was such fun doing the ... Read More
Never knew there was such a group as Cruise Critic even though we have sailed before. My Son found the group and I must say it has made our trip so much more enjoyable. Thank you, Marcia, our fearless leader! It was such fun doing the Secret Santa. Met so many Canadians too. One of the best thing was when on the ship we met members of the CC while walking along or eating etc and it made us feel that we had a family on board. Although there were four of us, it was ever so nice to be on excursions with fellow Members. We met many lovely people and are going to socialise with a lovely couple who lives in the same City. I must say that we had a great time with our guide, Rey with Ricky Ricardo in Costa Rica. He was simply marvellous, tried so very hard to show us all he could and he remembered our likes too. For example I lamented that it was a pity we couldn't visit an orchard farm, he stopped at a house and asked for a couple of orchid flowers just for me! Nest were Andy & Jorge from Cave Tubing Company in Belize. Andy was charming while Jorge the strong silent type was very knowledgeable especially in the rain forest. Had a great time and thanks for the pics, Susan! Other excursions were interesting but these two stood out with that personal touch.   So, I have finally registered myself with CC and am looking forward to receiving and reading all info from Members. Thanks! X X X Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 16th cruise and 2nd Celebrity cruise. After trying 8 different cruise lines we have decided that Celebrity suits us best. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Plantation FL through stay123. Front desk personnel were very friendly ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise and 2nd Celebrity cruise. After trying 8 different cruise lines we have decided that Celebrity suits us best. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Plantation FL through stay123. Front desk personnel were very friendly and helpful. There are shopping malls on both sides with numerous retail stores and restaurants. The stay123 pre-cruise package includes a one night stay, free breakfast buffet with hot items and great coffee, free shuttle to the cruise pier, 7 days free on-site parking and a free shuttle back to the hotel. We sailed on the Eclipse last year and since they have identical deck plans, we found it super easy to get around. We had an oceanview room on deck 3, which allowed us to pick the free classic drink package on their Go123 program. Deck 3 is on the same floor as the Silhouette dining room & Passport Bar and only 1 flight of stairs up to the theater. We found the embarkation and disembarkation to be very efficient and on time. The doors opened for embarkation at 10:45 AM, we sailed through security, got our sea passes and we were onboard with our free glass of champagne by 11:05 AM. Cabins opened at 1:30 PM and our luggage arrived at 2:30 PM. We did the self disembarkation which was easy, as long as you were willing to stand in line and talk to people you somehow never met during the 10 night cruise! Our OV room was kept clean by Inacio & Nadine, plenty of storage, loved the circular shower doors. Cruise Director Paul was the best! We always saw staff cleaning or vacuuming; painting or washing the exterior while in port; public bathrooms were immaculate and all personnel were super friendly. A special thank you to Solarium attendant Mayo! We had Celebrity Select Dining and the 1st night we were seated in Sergio's area. We asked for Sergio & the same table every night of our cruise. Food was plated beautifully, served at the correct temperature & excellent quality! Recently, we have noticed, that other cruise lines have downgraded the quality, but Celebrity just cut back on the quantity. Which I am OK with - I have never gone hungry while cruising! My spouse had a draft beer at the new Gastrobar ($9.78 and not on the free drink package) Activities: played Bingo once ($39 for 3 cards, $49 for 6 cards and $59 for 9 cards) watched the cupcake demo, participated in the Reindeer Games, watched the Corning Glass show,, watched the Top Chef challenge and generally spent a lot of time at the Solarium pool relaxing! The best part of this cruise was the Christmas decorations. Especially in the Grand Foyer, where they built a whole gingerbread village between the two elevator. Then on the last night of the cruise they had Holiday Caroling lead by Cruise Director Paul (who has an excellent voice!) with faux snowflakes floating down into the foyer and several floors of passengers joining in. It was a true goose-bump moment!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We cruise so often it was difficult to find destinations we had not visited. The entire experience was better than previous Celebrity cruises because the ports of call did not have the usual lines since it was in the Caribbean. We left ... Read More
We cruise so often it was difficult to find destinations we had not visited. The entire experience was better than previous Celebrity cruises because the ports of call did not have the usual lines since it was in the Caribbean. We left round trip Fort Lauderdale, FL and made stops at Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Columbia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Food was good but not exceptionally good. Staff and waiters and bartenders were also in a festive mood which made it even more enjoyable. Holiday cruise had over 500 kids (so we were told) so forget using adult swim pool as the kids were in them all the time. Still there were spaces to enjoy and sun/relax. Lots of holiday themed events on board the ship. New Year's Eve was especially fun with lots of champagne so don't bother ordering a bottle as it flows from about 11pm until 1am. The shows were very uneven, the first being the worst, the aerial being the best. Some of the talent could sing others were often off tune and the comedian didn't do well so felt sorry for him, as he kept apologizing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This cruise was sold as the "ultimate" and the ship was rated with 5 stars ! This cruise was just the worst I ever experienced. Apart from 4 constant shopping channels on the TV with a cruise director who should be fired at all, ... Read More
This cruise was sold as the "ultimate" and the ship was rated with 5 stars ! This cruise was just the worst I ever experienced. Apart from 4 constant shopping channels on the TV with a cruise director who should be fired at all, this cruise can be considered as a "rocky horror picture show".. Christmas was celebrated with flying paper-planes and hard rock music, 30 minutes (!) the cruise director was playing the piano ( worse than an beginner ) where the guest were allowed to sing christmas songs,the dinner was very poor, no decoration on tables, noisy kids were running around during dining and there was no feeling like christmas. at the pool area the so called cruise director played with the awful house rock band hard rock as it worst. The show at the theater were unprofessional, cheap and stupid. Same on new years eve and during the other days. The food was ordinary, always the same and the presentation of it far away from 5 stars. But the worst thing was the lack of hygiene - kids with diapers occupied the pools and hot tubs, even the spa. This actually should be reported to the us health authorities. Lazy waiters were busy with internal discussions rather than to clean the tables and take the dishes away. Same with the area on the pool deck. On top of it the entire staff was unfriedly except the cabin attendant and the bar keepers on the sunset deck. There was neither control, nor security visible. I could continue the list of endless complaints but it would exceed this report. One thing still to mention - the captain could not answer the question how many guests are on bord this ship! In my opinion this ship was totally overloaded. I was happy that the "horror picture show" did end after 11 days finally. This cruise line never again ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was a repeat cruise for us. We enjoyed the Christmas cruise on Celebrity Equinox so much in 2012 we did it again in 2013 and we have already booked in 2014. The 2014 cruise on Equinox will span 11 days, span Christmas and New Years ... Read More
This was a repeat cruise for us. We enjoyed the Christmas cruise on Celebrity Equinox so much in 2012 we did it again in 2013 and we have already booked in 2014. The 2014 cruise on Equinox will span 11 days, span Christmas and New Years and go to the Western Caribbean instead of the Southern. So to say we are biased very positively toward this ship is an understatement. That is not to say we did not learn a few new things this year. (Note: I just read a review here from a fellow passenger who was on this same cruise with us this year and I can hardly believe we were on the same ship. We encountered nothing that would confirm their negative comments.) We are an American couple in our sixties who rise and retire early. Boring, maybe, but we love the Celebrity Equinox because it seems to be bustling at most any hour you want to bustle. Booking was Concierge C3 on deck 12. This room is on the part that juts out, on the angle, just aft of center on the port (left) side. The angle pretty much doubled our veranda size from last year. This is nice. Check it out. Here are my comments. Entertainment - it’s fine, but we don’t really use it. Too late for us. Gambling - maybe $20 total. Not a necessity for us. Shops - Fun to look. Bought some souvenirs. Specialty dining - We have tried them all. if you like culinary theater with your food it is a good deal. The price differential is not worth it for us versus the main dining room, but if you want to dress up and pretend, it can work. For sure there will never be crumbs on your tablecloth or empty water glasses. Food is more varied, but on par with standard venues (in my opinion). Main dining (Sillouette)- pay your gratuities up front and get the select dining. You can pretty much always eat when you want. We always did “table sharing” and met some really nice and interesting people. The maitre d’ often would seat us with folks from the previous night since she keeps that info. Food is good to excellent. Service is intense and professional. Portions are small allowing you to try several. Order a day ahead and you can get a specialty meal. Ocean View Cafeteria - huge choices and good food considering how many different nationalities needed pleasing. If there is a leaning toward one food nationality or the other, it is not American. There are many countries to sample. Cafe al Bacio - for coffee and tea concoctions plus sweets. it is great. Very relaxing. Drink package - GET IT. Book early enough and it is free, but by all means get it. It makes the cruise all inclusive with no hassles and nothing to sign. Room - very nice and clean. Nice bathroom, TV, bed, sofa, everything. Some complain it is too small and not enough storage. Recommendation is take fewer clothes and be thankful for what you are getting for a very reasonable price. The room attendant was ubiquitous, but not intrusive. If you needed something, you got it and he kept the room in perfect shape (except for our junk) and replenished. We never ate in our room because we never got into the habit of dining in our bedroom at home. Excursions - we did one ship sponsored excursion in St. Marten. It was a catamaran trip to snorkel. With about 12 guests, the motor powered catamaran took everyone snorkeling and then on an hour cruise of the island with rum drinks. We got way more entertainment than we paid for. Great time. Bars - we especially liked the Sunset Bar for sailing out of each port a 5pm daily. The Pool and Mast bars are convenient. The Molecular Bar is a treat. Pools - The “everyone pool” is vibrant, adult only pool is indoors and quiet. How considerate is that? Some folks don’t like the smell of chlorine. The alternative is not pretty. Internet and other Communications - It’s there. It’s rather costly. It’s not easy to use. It needs an overhaul. Customers should be able to sign up and get credentialed online far in advance of the cruise. Overall - this ship is big, bold and beautiful. At the end of the day, you are proud to board it. It is not trendy, gimmicky, nor does it create an adrenaline rush with zip lines and the thrill d’jour. For that we are grateful. If you are considering bringing more than one tuxedo, choose another cruise line. It offers everything to us and all in moderation, but in a clean, orderly and first class manner. Staff are its greatest asset. Our brief experience with Celebrity and the Equinox class has been extremely positive. Celebrity is a first class operation that has proven a good investment for us to ensure a relaxing, engaging and rewarding vacation. You will not be disappointed with this line if your expectations are reasonable. Disclaimer: I have no association with Celebrity or any cruise line or any travel business. We are just plain customers who have had consistently good experiences with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This is our second cruise with Celebrity after cruising with them to Alaska on Century in 2012, although we are established cruisers with other cruise lines over the past 18 years. We very much enjoyed the cruise aboard this modern ship ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Celebrity after cruising with them to Alaska on Century in 2012, although we are established cruisers with other cruise lines over the past 18 years. We very much enjoyed the cruise aboard this modern ship stopping at some interesting islands including St Kitts, where we took the Sugar Train excursion around this scenic coastline.Sadly it rained heavily on Christmas Day when we arrived at Barbados preventing us heading for the beach that day. Although the ship was decorated beautifully for our Christmas cruise, disappointingly, Christmas Day was a little flat with no festive Christmas entertainment like a panto. In common with our previous cruises, we expected a small gift from the cruise line and at least a decorated dining room table with crackers etc but to no avail. However, the kids were looked after on their special day. We had an excellent balcony stateroom which accommodated a comfortable sofa bed for our teenage daughter. Could have done with more drawer space as we had to rely on the overhead lockers. Our cabin steward served us well keeping the stateroom clean and hygienic. Great not to be overlooked on the balcony. Food in both the main dining room and buffet was of excellent quality and selection. Breakfast service in the dining room was slow, so we kept to the buffet where tables were always available. When ordering medium cooked meat dishes in the dining room, they always presented it rare which is not to everyone's taste.The same problem occurred in the Murano speciality dining option when we could not even slice our duck that was tough and chewy and disappointingly had to be sent back, causing knock on service delays at the table. The catering staff presented a wonderful brunch on Christmas Day with great choices including chocolate fountains to indulge!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Equinox Cruise December 21, 2012 10 days Caribbean St. Thomas, St Maarten, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica Embarkation: Couldn't have been easier. There was only one person in front of us and with having all the paperwork done ... Read More
Equinox Cruise December 21, 2012 10 days Caribbean St. Thomas, St Maarten, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica Embarkation: Couldn't have been easier. There was only one person in front of us and with having all the paperwork done on line in advance, things went very quickly. Got on the ship and the party was already started with the Oceanview Buffet open and great entertainment by the pool. Room: Having an inside room, of course it was small. However, everything was well set up and you felt that you had plenty of room. It was also pretty and with many different areas for storage, we had no problems. One thing I did on this cruise I had never done before was to bring my own hangers. The cruise lines usually never supply enough, but although I am sure you can ask for more, they are usually the fat wooden ones and they take up a lot of room. I brought the thin hangers that you may have seen on one of the shopping networks and I could fit in twice as much clothes in the closet! Just a little tip! Only took me 25 cruises to figure that out! No towel animals this trip, but there was turn down service with chocolates. Cabin steward did a nice job and we had no complaints. He asked if there were any special requests as soon as we got on and he made sure the items we requested (ie: extra towels, etc.) were always there. Dining Room: On our past Holiday Cruises, even though we requested a big table, we never get our wish as the big tables seem to be reserved for families. Also, I think years ago, the cruise lines tried to match up people at tables based on age or whatever criteria they used. In recent times, not so much. However, we were pleasantly surprised that we did get a large table for 8 and the other couples at the table were all around our age. Some were even members of our Cruise Critic Group. We had a great time with everyone and one couple lived only 20 minutes from us so hopefully we will see them in South Florida. The food was good for the most part but I found that sometimes there was usually nothing I wanted from the day's special menu or I wanted everything!!! Luckily, if you do not want the special selections for the day, you have a choice of Salmon, Steak, etc. that you can get daily. The food was good, but my husband did have some issues with the pastry. They even brought the pastry chef over to talk to us and he apologized as he said he had a new chef preparing the lava cake that evening! Nice touch to care enough to bring over the pastry chef. Most desserts were good and there was a nice variety . Most of the food was also excellent especially the meats which were very well prepared. Oceanview Buffet: The buffet had a lot of choices, but they were basically the same every day. Knowing I am going to have a big dinner, I don't like to have a big meal lunchtime so I opted for a sandwich, a slice of pizza or a little pasta. The sandwich area has deli meats, cheeses and salads (chicken, tuna, egg, potato, pasta, etc). They will make panini's for you with these items. At another area, they slice fresh pork or turkey or roast beef. So, I got these meats from this area and brought it over to the sandwich area, selected some cheese and had the panni made this way! Others who saw me do it thought it was a good idea so I thought I would pass along that hint. This is the first cruise I have been on where dipped ice cream was available for free on the ship (other than in the dining room) They usually only offer soft serve. This subject was brought up on other cruise critic reviews I read before boarding this ship as a not to be missed treat. They had lots of choices of flavors, however, many thought that the ice cream was a bit gritty (low milk fat content). I usually opted for the sorbet which was super refreshing especially when getting back from a tour of a warm Caribbean island. The buffet was basically OK, but most recently we had been on the Carnival Dream and their buffet was better. Specialty Restaurants: We only tried one Specialty Restaurant which was Il Bacio. For $5 a person, you could have your choice of a Panini, savory crepe and dessert crepes or you can have all three!!! It happened to be very good and very good value for $5!!! Activities: Cruise Critic: People on our cruise from the Cruise Critic Blog arranged their own sailing away party at the Sunset Bar at 4:00 on the day we left. From what I understand, it was so freezing not many people went. Since we signed up for the cruise critic party, we did receive an invitation in our room for a cruise critic function the following day which was held in one of the bars on the ship. The ship provided pastries and coffee. It was nice meeting the people we had been blogging with for months. Also, the captain and other crew members took the time to come to the party to meet us. There seemed to be a lot of activities on this ship that my husband and I wished to attend. We took part in a lot of the trivia activities and met a lot of other people who enjoyed this activity so we always had a group to have fun with. Met a lot of nice people this way. There were also cooking seminars and Melinda Bates who had worked in the Clinton White house did a few seminars about entertaining at the Whitehouse throughout the all the years and how things changed through the years with each administration. It was most interesting. We also took a tour of the galley and went back stage to see how the theater productions work. Although we did not take advantage of them, there were a lot of competition type activities involving passengers and the crew which I thought was a great idea and made you feel that the cruise line wanted to be very involved in your cruise experience. The shows were typical cruise type shows with a cast of dancers and singers. The Broadway Show and the Cirque Du Soleil type show were very good. The Acapella Group Lemon Squeezy was one of the best things on the cruise. I think everyone soon became Lemon Squeezy groupies. 4 young guys from Sweden who were so fantastic I think we almost made it to everyone of their appearances around the ship! They usually performed for 15 minutes at different venues around the ship. A lot of performances of bands and special events were held in the Grand Foyer area. This is basically a very small area and only a few people are lucky enough to get seats to actually see the performers in this area. There is other limited seating which would allow you to hear, but not see what is going on. Not a great set up. We usually got there early if there was something we especially wanted to see, especially the Squeezy's as we started calling them! Everything was very lively, especially when they had the 60's show and everyone was dancing and the dancers were using the elevators as go-go cages!!! Since it was a Christmas Cruise, Santa appeared and following a Christmas parade, Santa had gifts for all the kids. Additionally, all passengers received gifts in their rooms The Hot Glass Show was very interesting and an unusual feature for a ship. Naturally, on a ship you cannot have open flames as they do in most glass studios so a special oven had to be created especially for this ship. The Lawn on the top floor was also a nice touch and although we didn't take advantage of the functions there, several people had fun laying on the grass with Margaritas and chips! The Sunset Bar also on the same floor was the only place that guests were allowed to smoke cigars. My husband took advantage of that area and the waiters were very attentive and he met some fellow smokers to hang with in the afternoon. Captains Club Special Events: Our level with the Captains Club is select (not the top level), but there were a few special cocktail parties we were invited to which were very nice. Also, being in the Captains Club, we received coupons and I was able to take advantage of 25% off an internet package which came in handy. Since many people traveled with their I-Phones or I-Pads, there was no problem getting on one of the computers in the computer room. Excursions: We did 2 excursions from the cruise line. Having been in these islands several times, we opted to go shopping and not do any special tours. We toured the Harrison Caves in Barbados and took a tour around both sides of St Maarten (French and Dutch). The tour in St. Maarten would have taken us back to the boat, but we opted to stay in town on the Dutch side and go shopping. There is also a beach there, so we took the opportunity to have lunch at one of the restaurants by the water. Disembarkation: You can leave the ship early if you wish to carry off your own bags. We did not choose this option. Since we live only 20 minutes from the boat, we got off the boat later than those who had planes to catch. We had breakfast and then there were plenty of places to sit while waiting to get off the ship. The lines once we got off were a little long going through customs, but really not bad. We had parked in the Park & Fly/Cruise in Ft. Lauderdale near the port. It is less expensive than parking at the actual port. Within 5 minutes of leaving the terminal, the park and fly/cruise bus was there. We have used this facility many times and they are always consistently good. All in all, it was a fantastic 10 days with a lot of wonderful memories and we made some great friends which, in my opinion, is always the best part!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
After two cruises within the year on RCCL large ships which left us fatigued from all the activities we decided to take it down a notch with Celebrity. In terms of a entertainment we found it many steps downward but service and food were ... Read More
After two cruises within the year on RCCL large ships which left us fatigued from all the activities we decided to take it down a notch with Celebrity. In terms of a entertainment we found it many steps downward but service and food were definite steps upward. This was our fourth time on Celebrity having taken a 7 day cruise to Bermuda and two eleven day cruises previously. We chose Aquaclass instead of a suite due to only corner aft sky suites available at booking. While many love this location we do not share the affinity for the location. Our cabin 1523 located forward ship and under the gym and spa was perfect for us and one we wouldn't hesitate to book again. We found the cabin pretty narrow and storage a challenge but we made it work. However, the only benefits of Aquaclass I consider rave worthy are the shower and Blu dining room. Since we consume lots of water and told that bottled water would be provided daily in aqua cabins we skipped checking in our usually duffel bag full of Deer Park. The ship provided water but it was the reverse osmosis water served anywhere on the ship and rebottled in recycled brand name bottles which was disappointing. The dining room Blu isn't so much about the food as it is the size of the dining room--a more intimate atmosphere alleviating us the need to book a specialty restaurant. Our shipmates on the cruise were pretty mature with seemingly a high number requiring physical assistance or scooters. This cruise also had a high percentage of non U.S. residents that were engaging an quite friendly. Diners in Blu were also very friendly and we often engaged in conversation with the tables in close proximity. This made for the entertainment that was sorely missing on this cruise. I can only conclude that Celebrity directed monetary resources to the staff and services and not to entertainment. New Year's night was the most exciting with free champagne to toast even before midnight. Not to be missed on Equinox is the Molecular Bar where the bartenders are mixologists with drink prices of $12.00. We found the bartenders and staff at the Lawn Club great but I am convinced the alcohol is watered down-probably due to the drink packages available. Gym and equipment also get high marks. We tried our hand at the Casino out of sheer boredom and lost like most passengers reported. Overall ship service was absolutely great provided by a staff that appeared fairly relaxed and extremely courteous. Special shout outs to the staff of Blu and Celebrity's "Loyalty Ambassador." Weather in Dec-Jan was perfect and we made all the ports. In each of the ports we acquired tours from the locals with no major regrets. Cozumel- Been there done that so many times I wish it wasn't a stop. Hubby took advantage of this being the first cruise stop and went into "town" for a full body massage for $50.00 while I gem window shopped. Massage suite was air conditioned with only two massage tables/areas. It apparently IS the place to dump spouse to allow peaceful assessment of the stones. Costa Maya - Somehow we've missed this port on other cruises but we really enjoyed it. Recommend skipping the golf cart rental(60.00 for two hours) walk outside the gate and pay $2.00 each for a taxi to the beach area. Many beach cafes where a chair/umbrella and internet access is free with purchase of food/beverage. Beach great-bathrooms clean what else could you want? Many passengers stayed in the port area to swim with the dolphins and shop the vendors in the area-very Americanized. Costa Rica was also a great port and the place I considered the best for shopping on the entire cruise. Locals at the port "tent straw market" are not aggressive and are very courteous. This is the port for coffee, massages, manicures/pedicures (ladies take your favorite color) and other touristy items such as T-Shirts. Prices are considerable higher at other ports. In Colon, we were able to tour the Gatun locks, tour Colon the city, drive to Panama City visiting the old and new cities, and a stop for shopping on the way back to the ship. Negotiated cost was $150.00 for two. A highlight was that our tour guide drove us to two additional locks and across/back the two main huge canal bridges which gave us a great view of the canal in both directions. I recommend skipping the taxi "cartel" that will accost you in the terminal and instead find one of the "red polo shirts" tour guides at the bottom of the escalators. Initially we negotiated a tour to Miraflores Locks and Panama City with a taxi service paying the first $35.00 to the cartel with $115.00 to be paid to the driver upon completion. The cartel then will appoint a driver for you. However in our case the driver did not wanted more than $115.00 for his services. After arguing with the cartel and then telling us that he needed $5.00 more we terminated the arrangement, received our initial deposit back, and obtain the services of a "red shirt tour guide." Cartagena- $20.00 per person bus tour acquired from vendor. A mistake--other passengers will not respect the meet-up time and therefore some sites are skipped. Also the tour guide's main job is to get you into an assigned jewelry store to purchased oil dipped resin filled emeralds. Street vendors are really, really aggressive and are all selling the same made in China souvenirs. Picked up Columbian coffee and costume jewelry at cruise port. Internet Cafe available at port for $3.00/hr. Caymans - Had the privilege of tendering ashore to join the passengers from four other boats in port. I've always wondered why this is such a major cruise port. Bought $7.00/bottle beer at local cafe, taxi to Seven Mile Beach and back, and very amused at jeweler trying to convince me to purchase a "yellow diamond" without proper papers for 8 grand. I rewarded his efforts by buying a $25.00 rainbow topaz that I set in an empty setting. I spent days viewing the "yellow emeralds" better known as golden beryl onboard the ship--didn't purchase-but the salesperson offered to buy us champagne to think about it. She also visited us at the Molecular Bar to inform us we only had two hours left to make the purchase. Cruise recommended for those whose prime objective is relaxation and can self entertain. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Just got back from the 10 day Eastern Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Equinox. It was a great cruise. We had worried a bit about weather but figured if Celebrity was still sailing that part of the world at this time of the year, our ... Read More
Just got back from the 10 day Eastern Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Equinox. It was a great cruise. We had worried a bit about weather but figured if Celebrity was still sailing that part of the world at this time of the year, our chances were pretty good. It turned out great. It only rained on us once, and that was in the afternoon when we were ending our tour at Ephesus. Obviously, the weather can't be guaranteed but as I said, my mind was set to rest by the very fact of the cruise taking place and my confidence was rewarded. First time on Equinox. Second time on Celebrity. Have cruised a few with Crystal and once with Silversea. Our first experience with Celebrity was on the Millennium a few years back. Some of the quibbles we had with the cruise line then were similar this time, but just quibbles. Would definitely cruise again with Celebrity. First things first: The ports were amazing. A ten day cruise and only two sea days. Highlights were Ephesus, Rhodes, Delos and Naples (Pompeii). In Ephesus and for Pompeii we took Celebrity excursions. Both had excellent guides. I know a lot of people shun the cruise line tours, claiming overcharging but our experience in those two ports were good enough to reassure us for future trips. They are pricey, but the convenience and oversight make them worthwhile, at least IMHO. In Rhodes we had our own driver and guide and that was of course also excellent. Both ways of arranging tours worked for us. We looked after ourselves in Delos (Mykonos), Santorini, Athens and Messina. We were in Concierge class. After we booked our cruise, we told some good friends and they decided to come along. When they called, they were offered immediate upgrades to Solstice Class. I understand--luck of the draw and all--but it seemed a little weird that the people we had convinced to join the cruise were now eating in a separate dining room. They tried to invite us to the "Blu" but no dice! So in the end the four of us ended up eating once in Silhouette together, a couple of times in the speciality restaurants, and a couple of times in the crepe restaurant. We heard that there were other people in the same situation. Just seems silly that Solstice guests have to just make friends with other Solsticers, find other venues, or eat alone! We didn't like the main dining room. Service was okay; food was okay; but we generally felt rushed and the tables are way, way, way too close together. We had hoped for Select Dining--didn't make the short list--and found the early seating a bit early and the late seating a bit late. Ate breakfast once in Silhouette and again, just felt uncomfortable at how close tables were to each other. Although the dining room wasn't full, we were still all grouped together like we were in a diner and the staff wanted us handy to their stations. We liked the Tuscan Grille and ate twice in Silk Harvest. Food was excellent. Staff really nice. Perhaps a little overdone on the "Are you enjoying yourself?" interruptions. Loved the Cellar Masters bar and bartender. Dealt with the Concierge once and he was very helpful, arranging for our very early departure on the last day. The cost of the Celebrity cruise was so very reasonable that the "nickel and diming" of the charges for drinks etc. was only moderately annoying. That being said, my husband and our friends did feel strongly that charging for a tour of the ship operations was way out of line. Trying to figure out the cost benefit of the various drinks packages was also a struggle. Personally would prefer to spend a few hundred more for a ticket and have basic beverages included. (Soft drinks, water--the occasional beer or house wine..). Also, something quite weird: we were all encouraged to buy tix for a shuttle bus in Mykonos "in order to avoid long ticket lines outside." Never saw a long ticket line. Actually never saw a ticket line at all. Also never saw anyone asking for a ticket. That $8.00 per person was definitely a questionable charge. One thing we really liked was the diversity of the passengers. People were very friendly, not at all affected, and there were enough Brits, Irish, Aussies etc. on board that general good humor prevailed. Beware, however, if you like the occasional cigarette. Places for smoking are very restricted and can get quite crowded. No smoking indoors at all. Which made it a bit chilly for an after-dinner inhale. Passengers in those predicaments agreed that while they all understood that smoking is a filthy disgusting habit, fact is, some people still do it. There was quite a bit of grumbling that the staff (apparently) have a room on board where they can smoke but mere paying passengers have to brave the elements. On the other hand, the shared annoyance made for a spirit of camaraderie that was also, in its way, appealing. Does seem like one bar where the remaining tobacco fiends could gather would be popular--at least with the Europeans on board. From one extreme to the other: smoking to working out! The fitness facilities were great. Would be nice to have more room for individual workout routines a la body sculpting, crossfit etc. People were fitting themselves in and around the machines to do their pushups, situps etc., particularly when classes were in session in the only open space. Celebrity might also like to remind some of its staff that pushing to the front of buses/tenders to be first off or jumping lines in the Oceanview cafe in front of passengers doesn't send the right message. A few people commented on such experiences. Overall, loved the ports, liked the staff and the other passengers. Ship was in great shape. Food overall was fine. A few too many "extra" charges. Would be nice to stay in ports later in the evening for the opportunity to dine ashore. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise sometime soon. And the Equinox would definitely be first choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Each year my wife (age 32) and I (age 37)take a cruise or two. We have been on Royal Caribbean, NCL, Carnival, Princess and I was on Windjammer when I was single. Overall, no cruise was quite like our July 2012 cruise on the Celebrity ... Read More
Each year my wife (age 32) and I (age 37)take a cruise or two. We have been on Royal Caribbean, NCL, Carnival, Princess and I was on Windjammer when I was single. Overall, no cruise was quite like our July 2012 cruise on the Celebrity Equinox. The service, food quality,staterooms and most staff exceeded our expectations. And the bottom line is we would certainly cruise on Celebrity again. As far as details Arrival- we flew to Rome via Detroit on Air Canada. We arrived about 45 minutes late. Once there we had pre-arranged transportation to the Ship including a 2 hour Rome Tour with Rome Airport Transfers. They were great. They met us with signs in the Customs Area, and had a car waiting for us. We quickly saw the outside of major sites in Rome including in the Vatican City. The driver also provided some time for us to walk around and grab a quick sandwich and soda. We then went to the Celebrity Equinox in Civitavecchia. Check-in was quick and we were on the ship inside 30 minutes from the time we arrived. The ship sailed at 5pm, so we spent the evening exploring the ship. This trip we also had Select dining. This was one of the only issues I do not think this ship was ready for. Even though we had Select dining they still encouraged reservations... This seemed a bit strange. Once in the dining room however, each and every evening there were several great entree choices and the food was served as it should be... Hot items were hot. Cold items were cold. The deck Buffet also had nice items and choices as well, not just Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. In the Buffet as well as all around the Ship staff constantly asked "What can I do for You?". We thought this was a nice "extra" touch. Entertainment- was also a highlight. The cruise director Patti was certainly "out and about". She would encourage guests to talk with her, whenever they had questions. The Ship had three production shows including the Equinox the Show. This is not to be missed by any guest. There were also interactive nights including a Party in the Sky which included entertainment from the professionals, swing dance instruction and lots of dancing throughout the evening. This is something we had never seen on other ships. Our stateroom- was an inside cabin and was fairly large compared to Royal or NCL. Our cabin steward as also very attentive. We had laundry done one day, and it was done, delivered to our cabin and folded very well. Ports: Santorini- We did not have a tour and this was a tender day. It took over 2.5 hours to get off the ship due to local tender operations. We would recommend future guests look into tours. Not much to see late in the day if it takes this long to get off the ship, but it is a very pretty island. We did take the Donkeys to the top of the mountain from the tender dock, which was quite exciting. Istanbul- Did the Full Day Istanbul Tour from Ship... It was great. Very organized and a great way to see the city, historical sites and learn about this diverse city... Someday we would like to return to Istanbul for a longer visit. Kusadasi (Ephesus)- Did the Tour with Lunch from Ship... It was also great. Very organized and a great way to see Ephesus and the Kusadasi area. Athens- Did the Tour with Lunch from ship... Of course went to the Acropolis, and the Old City. We felt however that Athens was a quite under maintained city. Tourist areas seemed safe but other areas we explored on our own seemed a bit run down Mykonos- Went with another couple to the beach via the local bus system. This was quite an opportunity to see the island and tour as a local. The beach was not like in the Caribbean, but still very nice and the water very blue. Naples- Went to the Archive Museum and had Pizza with Ship Tour.. The museum was good as it provided a good final summary of the other places we visited. We would highly recommend this for guests doing this route. Disembarkation- was very simple at the port in Civitavecchia. We simply placed our bags outside our cabin the night before with a numbered tag and our bags were inside a tent at the port when we got off. Celebrity did not rush us off the ship like other lines do. Nor did they announce things all morning. We got off around 8am, our driver that met us at the beginning met us at the pier, and took us back to the Rome Airport. We left Rome about 1.5 hours late so our journey home took a bit longer than expected. Overall, a great trip and Celebrity for sure exceeded our expectations and we certainly plan to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Arrived a day early and stayed at Hotel Borge del mare In Civi. which I recommend. Room is adequate for the one night and the food and service good. They have free shuttle service directly to the ship. Embarkation was quick after an ... Read More
Arrived a day early and stayed at Hotel Borge del mare In Civi. which I recommend. Room is adequate for the one night and the food and service good. They have free shuttle service directly to the ship. Embarkation was quick after an 11:30 arrival. Rooms were ready atv1 PM so we toured the ship and had lunch in the Ocean View Cafe. Room with balcony was very nice, storage was adequate, suitcases fit under the bed. Bathroom was best at sea in my experience. Nice flat screen TV. Steward was excellent and professional. Shined my shoes. Above average compared to other ships. Select dining stress free. Had reservation at 8 PM each night. No waiting and most of the time had same table and waiter/assistant so they knew our preferences. Wine steward was also same. Had Premium drink pkg and suggest it. With coffees/lattes, fresh orange juice, wine at lunch dinner, and cocktails in evening it more than pays for itself. Bottled water at gangway for shore excursions great. Food was very good, nothing is perfect but overall very satisfied. Ocean View Buffet was best I have encountered so far. Serving stations free up the cafeteria wait on other lines. Food was very good and wide variety. In Istanbul they had a large variety of Turkish dishes. Service was good. Getting custom omlettes was hard at times with long wait. Only one cook. Fresh juice was great, extra charge. Somewhat slow for picking up finished plates. Crowded on port days AM. Pick up you items and take them to your room, much nicer or order room service. Only did RS once, fast, hot, and quite good. Used TV to order, challenging but got used to it. Entertainment throughout the ship was very good. Main shows in theater were quite bad. I never finished an entire show. This is definitely a weak area. The Martin Bar and staff were great. They put on their own shows. Cruise Director Que was okay. I liked that there were few announcements throughout the day. Tuscan Grill great service and steak excellent. Recommend it. Silk Harvest not so good. Service was overbearing, rushed, and made us feel uncomfortable. Sashimi was terrible and we lost our appetite after that. Left early, no desert. Replace it with Quisine! Cancelled Murano we were too full. We heard great reviews from others. Will try next time. Ports were excellent. Athens to see the Acropolis was nice but city is dirty and taxi drivers try to cheat you each time, lookout for the switcheroo when you give them a 20 bill and they immediately have a 5 in their hand and say you only gave them a 5 note. Istanbul was great. Ephesus is a must see site. Sicily great and Amalfi Coast beautiful. Did private tours in all ports. Great service, small groups-6 to 10, and half the ship tour cost. Suggest Ephesus Shuttle for Istanbul and Ephesus. Taxi Taormina in Sicily. Aldo's limos in Naples. All were on time, vehicles spotless, and guides very professional. I find Celebrity a cut above Princess overall. The ships are sophisticated, well designed. Equinox is beautiful. If they can only improve on the Equinox Theater offerings it would help. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Please excuse if following is boring but was a real chill out cruise. My wife and I have just returned from a smashing 10 nighter on the Celeb Equinox which we thoroughly enjoyed and went too quickly. Everything went well with no ... Read More
Please excuse if following is boring but was a real chill out cruise. My wife and I have just returned from a smashing 10 nighter on the Celeb Equinox which we thoroughly enjoyed and went too quickly. Everything went well with no complaints (except Wales rugby result against France when docked in Athens !!!!). The ship was outstanding, all the crew (no exceptions) were so helpful and first class and the food... YUM !!!. The shows in the evenings were very good, energetic and good variation (unlike some previous cruises we have been on). Plenty to keep you occupied throughout the day and when we had some bad weather (rain) whilst at Santorini, the entertainment was re-arranged that morning to provide even more events. This was a great example of how 'on the ball' and pro-active the whole crew were. First class. Our room attendant Dennis and our waiters Muriano and Joey were excellent at all times and social. All deserve star gradings. The ship was close to capacity but still felt had plenty of room and good to see that some passengers (mainly Spanish) told clearly not to 'reserve' their beds/chairs by the pool or elsewhere on the decks by clearing off somewhere else and returning later. Their belongings were put to one side and when returned (as in some cases 4 hours later) instructed would happen again. They soon stopped. Fortunate to have met several lovely fellow passengers for chin wags and our table companions were great fun. One issue we would like to comment on was the increase in cover charge for the speciality restaurants which now cost $30 a head. This may appear trivial but we noticed that there were free spaces on each evening.... unlike previous cruises we have been on where it was between $15 to $20 each. May not sound much but it put off other guests in booking an evening after meeting a few over the cruise days. Anyway, once sampled the food at dinner in the evening why go speciality. Top quality. One of the best cruises we have been on. Great time and hope to go again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
The Celebrity Equinox is a beautiful ship meticulously cleaned and maintained. The Eastern Mediterranean ports-of-call would make up a perfect itinerary except that each stay is too short by at least half. Even at that, first time ... Read More
The Celebrity Equinox is a beautiful ship meticulously cleaned and maintained. The Eastern Mediterranean ports-of-call would make up a perfect itinerary except that each stay is too short by at least half. Even at that, first time visitors to these ports-of-call (like ourselves) have to visit so many unskippable sites in so few days that it really is an exhausting trip. Aquaspa class offers nice accommodations (the showers are fantastic), better dining, and closer proximity to the pool and spa decks. The other advertised in-room amenities were just marketing hype: the "floral arrangements" were a single bud in a tiny vase, the afternoon canapes were marginal when they weren't irrelevant because of being ashore, the aroma stuff was nonexistent as was the "pillow menu" (though I have no doubt you can get as many pillows as you want with a quick phone call or word with the cabin stewarts). We loved the ports-of-call and the ship was spectacular. However, leaving Santorini before 10PM is immoral (especially when the ship simply holds station most of the night in front of the next port-of-call at Mykonos). Giving Celebrity the benefit of the doubt, I suspect that huge cruise ships in port beyond closing time for the souvenir shops would screw up the evening ambiance on the Greek islands. If we consider a repeat of the Eastern Med cruise, we'll give careful consideration to the smaller cruise lines with ships that can stay in port later or, alternately, the bare bones cruises that have you forfeit comfy cabins, good food and on-board entertainment for rock bottom prices and much longer port stays. It just might be better to spend the money saved on restaurants and entertainment in the ports and just use the ships for clothing storage and a place to sleep. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We enjoyed a 10 night cruise on this beautiful ship. We have sailed Celebrity before, once on Century and twice on Millenium. We wondered how Millenium could be over-shadowed, but we found out on Equinox! Although she is a massive ship, ... Read More
We enjoyed a 10 night cruise on this beautiful ship. We have sailed Celebrity before, once on Century and twice on Millenium. We wondered how Millenium could be over-shadowed, but we found out on Equinox! Although she is a massive ship, she never seemed overcrowded. We also found it relatively easy to find our way around, as there is a similarity in the layout of Celebrity ships. This ship is immaculate, we found no fault. Our cabin was spacious and the bathroom larger than we have found on cruise ships, with a good sized shower (with proper door, no flimsy curtain!)and plenty of storage for all our bits and pieces. Slight problem with the wardrobe in the cabin being close to the bed, made it a little awkward, but a very minor point. The balcony was a good size, with comfortable furniture. We made good use of it, as the weather was wonderful! Our cabin stewardess (Odeta from Lithuania) and her assistant to be really attentive. Every need was met and more! We chose second sitting for dinner, and found no complaints. We found the wait-staff, Arslan and his assistant Paulo to be polite and efficient, as well as entertaining! We had most agreeable table companions in Peter and Julie, Reg and Joy,and really enjoyed their company! None of us felt the need to use the speciality restaurants, as we were all well satisfied with what was served to us in the main dining room, the quality of the food was outstanding. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Ocean View Restaurant, and were impressed with how well organised it was. The absence of trays made for less of a "canteen" feel, and for anyone who needed assistance to get their food to the table, there was always someone around to help. The choice of food was amazing, and from plain eaters to those with a more sophisticated palate, everyone was catered for. The entertainment on board was more or less what we had experienced before with Celebity. West-end type shows, cirq-de-soleil type acts, the usual A Capello group, a very talented latin singer and guitarist, etc. The Celebity resident orchestra were outstanding. We enjoyed most of it. The only thing I would say was that the theatre performance for the second-seating dining was before dinner at 7 pm and we found this a bit awkward. If I recall correctly, on the other ships it was after dinner, and we felt we would have been happier with that. Small point only. We like to dance, and found the music excellent around the ship. The ports of call were interesting. New to us were Sicily, Turkey and the greek island of Myknos. We tend to do our sightseeing independently, but there were plently of organised trips to be had, both from the ship and to be organised at the port. One small piece of advice, if you take the local bus from Kusadasi to Ephesus, be aware that you will be dropped off 4 km from the top of the site. We found this out to our cost, but happily shared a horse and trap to the top of the site with a young spanish couple. The walk back to the bus stop from the bottom of the site was downhill, and only 1 km, so it worked out fine! Taxi will take you to the top then wait for you at the bottom. The site is breathtaking. We found the other ports interesting, and if you have not been in this area before, well worth the trouble. We would not hesitate to recommend this beautiful ship to you. You will be looked after to the highest standard from the moment you board until the moment you disembark. Nothing is too much trouble, and as we kept being told, anything you want, you only have to ask! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We arrived at Rome airport and were greeted by Celebrity staff and when we had retrieved our bags they were taken by Celebrity to be transported to the ship we were then taken to our coach for the 65 minute transfer to the port the whole ... Read More
We arrived at Rome airport and were greeted by Celebrity staff and when we had retrieved our bags they were taken by Celebrity to be transported to the ship we were then taken to our coach for the 65 minute transfer to the port the whole procedure was so smooth and efficient On arrival at the port we had no waiting time and were on the ship very quickly we then went to have lunch in the Ocean view which was excellent before going to our stateroom our bags arrived within an hour The ship is beautiful our stateroom on the starboard side was very comfortable and we relaxed before the ship sailed for our first port Santorini The itinerary was excellent and we had overnight in Istanbul where we had 2 tours booked we also booked a tour in Santorini which was well worth the trip as we saw the island the only drawback was the very long wait at the cable car at the end of the tour (we were told there are long queues) but very exhausting in the heat! The ship was spotless the staff attentive and friendly the entertainment very good We had the 9pm sitting for dinner in Britannia and the staff there were excellent as was the food We were celebrating my daughters birthday and there was a song performed by the staff much to the amusement of the guests ! We have used celebrity before on the Eclipse and the standard on Equinox was equally high we have already booked on Eclipse for a cruise next year The itinerary was excellent I would have liked longer at the beach at Mykanos on a tour which was 4 hours duration and would have prefered to just use a beach closer to the ship and then see more of the town Istanbul is a huge city Kusadasi a crazy shopping area with mega fake goods ! We did not go to Ephesus (too hot) and Salerno was interesting as we had already "done" Amalfi Naples and Sorrento previously To sum up Celebrity is our favourite cruise line as the standards are very good I hope they will keep it up Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
The December 27 sailing of Celebrity Equinox was our sixth cruise overall and second New Year's cruise. We're an energetic gay couple in our early thirties who tend to be relaxation-oriented while cruising. That is to say ... Read More
The December 27 sailing of Celebrity Equinox was our sixth cruise overall and second New Year's cruise. We're an energetic gay couple in our early thirties who tend to be relaxation-oriented while cruising. That is to say we're happiest on the beach or by the pool, cocktail-in-hand, and don't always take advantage of the myriad organized activity and entertainment options usually on offer (so you won't read much about them here). We also have little use for anything formal, but do notice and appreciate fine food and quality service. Pre-cruise After a harrowingly narrow escape from the northeast's Great Snowpocalypse of 2010 on the morning of December 26th, we stayed one night at Ft. Lauderdale's Hyatt Pier 66. We had a lanai room that opened out to the pool area. We enjoyed the Hyatt for its sleek aesthetic (lovely sliding louvered doors rather than curtains in the room, minimalist lobby, etc.), but found the hotel's location a bit bothersome. Yes, it's closer to the beach than hotels on the port side of the bridge, but we were only there for a few hours and just needed to get some shopping done and go out to dinner. This led us to the conclusion that we might be better off at the Embassy Suites, which seems to be situated in a more walkable area with more restaurants and stores nearby... We'll try that next time. Embarkation We headed to the ship at about 11:30 a.m. The new terminal is very well laid out and convenient. Clear signage and helpful staff abound. We easily located the line for Concierge Class and didn't wait a moment to check in. There didn't seem to be lines for any category, in fact. We walked right onto the ship without slowing down. Bravo. On Board For us, cruising has so much to do with the ship. For this reason, embarkation day is always one of the highlights of our trip... Exploring the public rooms and touring the facilities for the first time (with that signature glass of X welcome champagne, of course!) is always so exciting. And Equinox did not disappoint. Celebrity Equinox is truly spectacular. Easily the most beautiful ship we've had the good fortune to board. With stunning, modern, grand spaces (like the atrium bordered by eight glass elevators that travel 15 decks toward the sky) as well as intimate spaces (like Cafe al Bacio with its windows that look out onto the promenade, evoking that marvelous ocean liner feel) Equinox has it all. And somehow the ship feels even less crowded than other ships we've sailed on despite accommodating 1,000 more guests. After seeing photos, we'd imagined that the pool area might feel a bit closed in by the towering sun shades, but it doesn't at all. It's a truly awesome, open space. And nestled at the foot of each of those sun shade structures is a sort of mini-cabana - a wonderful place to spend a sea day. We were impressed with the Sky Observation Lounge and noted several times what a great space it was, but how underutilized it seemed to be. One of our favorite places on board was the Sunset Bar, aft on Deck 15. We spent many evenings up there with new friends. A truly fabulous venue for a sailaway cocktail... I hesitate to even mention it because I don't want anyone else to discover it! We also really enjoyed the Martini Bar on Deck 4. Barman Edy (pronounced "Eddie") is a genius. I won't say anything else because I don't want to spoil it for you. Just go spend some time with Edy and his colleagues. You'll be impressed! Overall - and in seemingly every design detail - Equinox is magnificent. One example is the feeling one gets when walking on Deck 4 between the Entertainment Court and the Grand Foyer... What could have been a simple corridor, or part of the casino, is a soaring airy space overlooked by the art gallery and Tastings/Molecular Bar area one deck above. This shopping arcade has a very upscale feel, as does nearly every inch of the ship. Design-wise, Equinox is so very chic. Not at all resort-y or kitschy. Just gorgeous. Stateroom We enjoyed our stateroom, Concierge Class (C3) 1277 on Deck 10 (bed near the verandah). The location aft of the atrium was ideal as we always wanted to ride on those amazing glass elevators rather than the less impressive forward set. Choosing a stateroom aft of the atrium also means the overhang from the public decks above is one deck higher (further removed) than it is from midship staterooms. This was our fourth cruise with a verandah stateroom and we were thrilled. The layout is truly awesome. I simply can't explain how they've made 200 square feet feel so spacious. A very comfortable space with tons of storage throughout. And the bathroom is almost shockingly large. We loved the furniture on the verandah and the fact that the sliding door can be fixed in any position on its track by rotating the handle to lock it in place. There's nothing like listening to the sea as you fall asleep. Absolutely the best stateroom we've had. Dining We ate everywhere on the ship we could! Tuscan Grille was our favorite. We enjoyed two evenings there and thought both the food and the service were unmatched. The filet couldn't have been more perfect. We thought the food at Murano was truly outstanding (the duck was extraordinary!), but the atmosphere was a bit too formal for our taste. Silk Harvest we thought was a lot of fun, with delicious food, but we are surrounded by excellent Asian food at home, so while Silk Harvest was a fun diversion, it was no culinary adventure for us. Still, I would recommend it without reservation. As I've mentioned, we like to keep things pretty casual on vacation, so the Bistro on Five proved to be a great fit for us. We never wanted to go to the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) for dinner, but there were two nights when we didn't feel like dressing up and having the whole Silhouette (MDR) experience either. On both of those nights we went to the Bistro on Five and enjoyed great food and excellent service in a much more casual, delightful atmosphere, for just a nominal fee. Surely the cover must be for crowd control. It's a wonderful place! The only restaurant we didn't get to try was BLU. Interestingly, one of the reasons we'd chosen Concierge Class rather than trying Aqua Class is that we thought we'd prefer Silhouette over BLU's "clean cuisine". If I were booking again today though, I'd choose Aqua Class. I found myself disappointed when friends who were in Aqua Class asked if we could be their guests at BLU one night and the maitre d' apologetically informed them that it was impossible. We would have really liked to try BLU. And of course, Aqua Class guest aren't obliged to eat in BLU, it's simply their option. And the setting is so much more intimate than the MDR that I think we would have enjoyed it, given our preferences. That said, however, the Silhouette Dining Room was very cool - glitzy and glamourous. And Celebrity Select Dining works very well. We made and changed reservations a few times without any trouble and never once waited to get in. The only downside is that you may not always get your preferred table... Another reason to try Aqua and BLU. If you value intimacy over glitz and glamour, that is. To each his own. Service The service aboard Celebrity Equinox was outstanding. Our cabin attendants Ozy and Alex were really wonderful. Never intrusive, but always eager to offer a cheerful greeting, run ahead of us to open the cabin door, or help with anything else. All the bar and restaurant staff were wonderful too. We had the premium beverage package and didn't notice even a hint of negativity about the arrangement from anyone. It's amazing that on a ship this large (the largest we've been on by a great deal), the service still feels so remarkably personal. The one negative issue that arose during what would otherwise have been a near-perfect vacation was Cruise Director Que's unwillingness to put an LGBT gathering in the Celebrity Today daily program. On previous cruises, this has never been a problem. Que explained to us that this is corporate policy and that "special interest" group meetings are only posted on a board near guest relations, never put in the cruise daily. Since we hadn't realized this was the case, we'd already missed two of these meetings and imagined there must have been others who were unaware as well. Putting an LGBT gathering (just a time and place) in Celebrity Today just once at the beginning of each cruise would make such a difference to LGBT guests and would require so little effort on the staff's part that I can't understand why Celebrity won't allow it. Still, we eventually did make a bunch of wonderful new friends and despite this issue, felt that overall the service aboard Equinox was first rate. Disembarkation Disembarkation was a breeze. We were assigned the 8:10 a.m. departure group (based on our flight out) and were told to meet in the Equinox Theatre at that time, and that there was no need to come early. We arrived at the theatre door at exactly 8:10, just as the activities staff was announcing that our group was welcome to proceed to the gangway on Deck 5. Just like on embarkation day, we didn't even stop moving. Just turned around and walked to Cafe al Bacio and off the ship. We found our luggage, made it through customs and were in a taxi before 8:25. Couldn't have been easier. Bravo once again. In Short Despite the one small issue with the LGBT gathering (will X change the policy?), Celebrity Equinox was precisely what we were looking for. The ship's fabulous public spaces, excellent facilities, multiple delicious dining venues, extremely comfortable quarters and friendly, professional service all made for a near-perfect combination. We look forward to being back onboard Celebrity's Solstice-class ships. Spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Ship was beautiful, staff very friendly & accommodating. I use a walker & found it difficult to open & keep door open to enter cabin over the sill. Inside the cabin I had to fold the walker (3 wheels) & store it behind the ... Read More
Ship was beautiful, staff very friendly & accommodating. I use a walker & found it difficult to open & keep door open to enter cabin over the sill. Inside the cabin I had to fold the walker (3 wheels) & store it behind the drapes as the passageway was very narrow. Purposely taking late dining to relax after going ashore, we found that most shows were changed to have the late sitting passengers see the show while the early seating passengers ate. Therefore, we missed most of the shows. Another reminder for all- If you have booked to take a cruise on a new ship that is coming into port for the first time, as was the Equinox (this year it will be the Silhouette), don't rush to get to the ship early as we had to hang around until 2:00 PM in order to board as the Coast Guard had to do its thorough inspection of the Ship. The food & elegant of service was not up to par as it had been on the Millennium in 2006, nor Azamara Journey in 2009. However, I love Celebrity & am taking the October 10th, 12 Day Holy Land Cruise on The Silhouette and remaining on Board for the Transatlantic Cruise into Port Liberty, NJ Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I am 17 years old and this is my 12th cruise. I have been on 3 NCL, 1 HAL, 1 Carnival, 1 Princess, and my 6th Celebrity cruise. This is the newest and biggest ship in my 12 cruises. We are a family of 9 all from Illinois and our ages vary ... Read More
I am 17 years old and this is my 12th cruise. I have been on 3 NCL, 1 HAL, 1 Carnival, 1 Princess, and my 6th Celebrity cruise. This is the newest and biggest ship in my 12 cruises. We are a family of 9 all from Illinois and our ages vary from 12-80. Embarkation: Embarkation is very well done. We unexpectedly needed a wheelchair and my grandfather received one with a guide from the port authority very quickly. Our guide was very nice and did an excellent job, its a shame they cannot accept tips. Public rooms: The public rooms are truly gorgeous. I cannot tell you how many times I just looked around and wondered the amount of time it must have taken to design all these rooms so elegantly. Also we understood from cruise staff that this was one of the fullest ships they have had, the public rooms did not seem overly full at all. The restrooms are also really, really nice. I must say. Cabin: We had an inside but my aunt and uncle had a balcony. Both cabins are very nice and the bathrooms are even rather large for a cruise ship. I had no problems with the water temperature or the pressure. The tvs also have a way to move so you can watch them while sitting on the sofa or while in your bed. A very cool feature! You can also see your photos on the tv which is sweet! Fitness: The fitness center is very nice, the only problem was that this was a very fit crowd so it was very difficult to get machine time. Enrichment: My uncle went to the enrichment series on weather and said it was very interesting. Dining: The oceanview cafe is the best buffet I have seen on a cruise ship. They have so many choices for lunch and its very easy to get around because it is not just a line each group has its own station. For example they have a line for sandwiches, a line for Mexican, and a line for pizza to name a few. The soft serve ice cream is really good and I thought the pizza was pretty good too. We ate in the main dining room every night and thought the food was pretty good not great but pretty good. A main problem was that our waiter and asst. waiter had 21 people to wait on while they usually only have 13-16. This made the dinners very slow and finished plates were not cleared as quickly as usual but this is the maitre d's fault. Entertainment: I only attended 2 of the Broadway styles shows both of which were good. I personally didn't care for the comedian, I cannot recall his name. Service: As with any Celebrity cruise the service was very good. I would have given it a 5 other than the MDR problems. Still very good service, don't get me wrong. Shore Excursions: We didn't book any excursions with the ship but did a tour with Oscar Brown in Costa Rica, and tours in Columbia and Belize. Overall: An awesome cruise, if you go in with a good attitude to any cruise you will have a great time. I mean its a cruise what is not to like?!? Its a very beautiful ship and has a great crew who work very hard! I hope to sail on her again sometime! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
A nervous month was spent pre cruise waiting to see if BA cabin crew would strike and disrupt our London-Miami flights booked through Celebrity. Thankfully the courts intervened. Flying directly to Miami was a benefit as we did not get ... Read More
A nervous month was spent pre cruise waiting to see if BA cabin crew would strike and disrupt our London-Miami flights booked through Celebrity. Thankfully the courts intervened. Flying directly to Miami was a benefit as we did not get delayed by the snow storms in NE USA which affected Cunard passengers for example. Flight on time and amazingly got through Miami immigration in a few minutes - no queue at all and staff polite! Celebrity air and hotel arrangements took us to Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel which was fine with ground transfers working well. Nearby Bimini Grill excellent for dinner. Check in at port and boarding was quickest ever partly because of booking Aqua Class. Staterooms were not ready until 1.30pm so lunch at buffet first. Bags arrived by 4pm. Aqua Class cabin was excellent differing mainly from others with the six jet shower. The real benefit of Aqua Class is dining in Blu Restaurant which we found outstanding both in food and service - breakfast and dinner there every day except one night in Murano's -again top quality dining. Open dining in Blu is settling in and we settled on 7pm virtually every night. The food was memorably good with only occasional odd menu items such as polenta with the pork chop and macaroni cheese with chateaubriand! We did not partake of the Persian Gardens (heated benches and steam rooms, sauna etc) which are an Aqua Class benefit. We used the gym every morning before 6.45 as by 7am none of the many treadmills were available. The Aqua Spa cafe which we used daily on Millennium ships was not the same on Equinox being located in a corridor almost and subject to ingress of smoke from one of the (few) smoking areas. We usally had lunch in the buffet restaurant which was varied and of a good standard although very crowded at times. The three main shows in the theatre were good although the Cirque de Soleil type 'Equinox -the show' may not be to everyone's taste. Other acts were varied and of pretty high standard although we did not try the late night adult comedian. The Cruise Director Gary Walker (English) was very approachable and open and available to all. The internet service seems slower than on the Millennium class ships and failed completely the night before docking when check in for flights was needed. We are not major sun bathers which was lucky as 3,100 pax filled all loungers very early indeed on sea days. Activities seemed well organised and attended. The New Year party on deck was good fun and the large crowds generally very well behaved -only a handful of drunk teenagers. This was a Western Caribbean cruise and the ports were mixed - Grand Cayman - fine for snorkelling and stingray watching - not much history. Our Cartagena tour was cancelled - twice! We had done a city tour there before so stayed on the ship. We did a monkey watching tour in Panama which was fine - we have done a canal transit in the past -so fun to speed along part of it. In Costa Rica we visited the Sloth sanctuary -well worth while and in Belize did an airboat tour of the swamps to view wildlife. Apart from the airboat breaking down and torrential rain it was fine. The five mile tender into Belize City must make it vulnerable to weather. All these tours were organised through Celebrity and yes were more expensive than direct booking or picking one up on shore. However past bad experience has left us wary of these local tours in this part of the Caribbean. On Cozumel we had booked a hire car from Avis on line and it worked well. Difficult to get in a days driving however on such a small island! Immigration at Fort Lauderdale was tedious but relatively efficient and by 12.15 we were at Miami airport after efficient bus connection. Thankfully we were on the 5.10pm BA flight as we understand the second flight went technical and left the following day. We made our connection to Belfast at Heathrow on time just before the snow arrived to disrupt many flights. An excellent cruise with Celebrity Equinox proving an outstanding ship and Aqua Class proving a fine experience thanks to Blu! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This was our 15th cruise on Celebrity. We range in age from 49 to 59 and have cruised several cruise lines over the years. We drove from Texas to the cruise as I don't like to fly. The ship was docked at pier 18, which is the new ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise on Celebrity. We range in age from 49 to 59 and have cruised several cruise lines over the years. We drove from Texas to the cruise as I don't like to fly. The ship was docked at pier 18, which is the new one for RCL. Parking was simple as was loading and unloaded. No one seems to do this as easy as Lauderdale. Getting through the check in was quick and painless and we were off to the ship quickly as we carried our own luggage off. The ship is very simple yet elegant. Not much glitz but I really liked the overall layout and look of the ship. Our room was 1019 and seems like the rooms are getting smaller and smaller with each passing year. Oh well, it was a place to sleep and hide from time to time. DW and friend both loved the Hot Glass show. The ladies sat through almost every show and never got tired of it. Also, I was a bit curious about the "lawn". Wow, what a cool idea for a ship. Very nice touch. Our first port was Grand Cayman. Never my favorite port, so we got off wandered around for a short time, got a couple of rum cakes and back to the ship. No need to waste time here on overpriced and cheaply made souvenirs. The next port was Cartegena. This was our first time to be in this port. We took a tour of the city using a private tour. It was a good idea. We were off to an early start and stayed one jump ahead of the ship tours. That meant we had time to wander around and see things without stepping on people at every turn. The monastery at the top of the hill is a stunning view. We had hoped to go to the gold museum but it was closed that day. Of interest was that this is a starting port for RCL. A ship loads and unloads at this port. It was odd to see a "terminal" in a place like this. Our guide laughed and said this is where the wild ones board. It also loads in Panama with mostly American passengers. I would go back to Cartegean again, but would like to see some different tours that take you out to look at nature and the country. Sadly, that appears to still be a dangerous thing to do. All the locals were very happy to have cruise ships back after years of them avoiding the port due to civil unrest. The vendors in the street are very aggressive, more so than Jamaica to some extent. However it was mostly easy to just say no or be serious about dickering for what they offered. We docked in Panama and took a tour to the rain forest. This was one of the oddest tours I have ever been on. Our tour was guide by "Ricky Ricardo". His English was somewhat limited. However the people on the bus were embarrassing. I have never seen such a rude and unruly group. We could have really been in trouble as we are serious birders and could not believe our luck to get such a noisy group. However the driver noted our watching birds and dragged out a well worn book. We left the group to make out down the trail and we lagged behind and drug the driver with us. His English was very limited and our Spanish a match. However we all spoke birds and nature and this became the highlight of the cruise. Some of the birds we saw and the driver's knowledge of the local birds was amazing.(You know you have a serious birder when he pulled out his cell phone and began to play bird calls to call in the birds.) We went to a second stop on the tour and almost had a riot on our hands. The rowdy group wanted to skip the second half as it was hot, and they were missing their lunch and bridge games. "Ricky Ricardo" said we WOULD make the second part though which was great as we saw several Coatimundi which were the first I have seen. The wild bunch went on one trail and the driver and us took off the opposite direction. More birds and a troop of Howler Monkeys were added to the list. Next was Costa Rica and we took a nature tour to an animal recovery site. This was well done and things were going well until it pounded rain as only it can in the tropics. Drowned rats we looked like but all had a great time anyway. (See how much fun a group can be when they are not being rude and ugly?) The next port was Belize and we did the Laminai and New River tour. This was our second time to take this tour. More pounding rain and a wild and wet ride down the river to the Mayan ruins. However once again nothing stopped our group. We were running late so we did not get to malinger down the river as in the past. Still a wonderful tour though. Last port was Cozumel and DW and friend went Tequila tasting. The girls liked the new museum set up there as they had a very nice set up of Mayan culture. Then we went off to town to do some shopping off the plaza. (Best deals and most fun had away from the cruise shops) The wind was howling as a front had come through and it was only 74 there. Nice day. The last sea day was cold and getting colder as we moved north. This is always a possibility during the winter in the Gulf of Mexico. SO.... A few things of note. We went to the Silk Harvest restaurant and it was every bit as good as others have said. The service and food were perfect. The main dining started off a disaster. We went down to main seating and had ordered when a group came in late and said we were at their table. When we checked our dining card more carefully, we found that we had been summarily exiled from first to second seating. The maitre'd was huffed that we were there and finally found us a new place to be. He did get us a new table the next day after we had the loyalty lady follow up with an email to him. Second seating was NOT going to happen. We got the best end of the deal as our new table mates, waiter and asst. waiter were all great. The food was normal for Celebrity and we like what was offered each night. JMHO..... deserts were always a miss. I ate ice cream every night as most of the deserts were not to my liking. Oh well.... I would say that the Ocean View buffet was a bit off. The food was good and always lots of choices. However we noticed that all week the selections barely changed. It was good but nothing new every day. The worst thing on the cruise was the smell in the hall on deck 10 forward. It was just awful and was there throughout the cruise. Sometimes, it even crept into our room. Our Steward said they were aware of it and trying to find a fix. They need to do that or this will become a major issue for anyone on that deck. No idea if it was on any other deck. Shows were on par with most ships, and we did not bother to take in most of them. The new show the first night had some good parts but could have been better. The smoking on the ship has been greatly reduced. No more smoking in the casino, in rooms or on the balconies. This is something that I really did notice and like. However there were still a few who did try to sneak a smoke on the balconies but it was WAY less than in the past. It will get better as time goes along. In general, this was the first time in years of cruising that I was able to enjoy the balcony without smoking someone else's tobacco habit. It was also nice to sit in the casino as long as I wanted and not leave gagging or having to change clothes reeking of smoke. We were very disappointed with the loyalty functions. The morning thing was nothing special and the evening meet in the sky lounge was very disappointing. No emails before we boarded the ship either. We have never been treated like this as elite members and we did notice it. DW said that it felt like we were just passengers and not valued repeat customers. Would we sail this ship again. Very definitely would. Was this a great cruise with a great list of ports? Perfect! We were very disappointed when we checked on booking this cruise for next Christmas as they had brain deaded the schedule. It was set too late to make the cruise and get back to school or have you children with you without missing a week of work or school. I have no clue what they are thinking on those dates. Guess we will look elsewhere which is a shame. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
First, the ship is awesome and the food was phenomenal. The ports were great and the excursions were fantastic. But, here's the rest of the story: Since our travel agent booked us a guaranteed stateroom 9297, we had to walk ... Read More
First, the ship is awesome and the food was phenomenal. The ports were great and the excursions were fantastic. But, here's the rest of the story: Since our travel agent booked us a guaranteed stateroom 9297, we had to walk all the way down the hallway to get to our dining, spa, and ALL activities. On Day 2, we noticed a STRONG SEWAGE smell in the hallway. It was disgusting, and so we thought it would be obvious enough for others to notice. And we heard others talking about it. My wife being proactive made contact with the Guest Relations to let them know that the "funky smell" was there every day. We suggested that they deodorize the hallways hourly to keep us from almost throwing up each time we left our stateroom. There were a few times that we noticed the smell of deodorizer, so they must have sprayed sometime. Finally, on Day 9 (after calling or complaining to our Stateroom Attendants every day) - we got a call from the Guest Relations that we could move to another stateroom. We did go check it out but the balcony was not as large as the one that we signed up for, so I asked them for other options. That's the last time I heard anything and the cruise ended! Upon disembarkation, we filled out the satisfaction survey, and stated (truthfully) that the cruise would have been a 10 except for the stench, and that would not sail with Celebrity again because of the way Guest Relations handled our complaint. Now, we finally got a call from Ms. Smith with Celebrity and we're getting nowhere! She does not have an email address, nor, does she believe our story. Furthermore, Ms. Smith "does not read Cruise Critic", and denies that there were any other complaints. (my further research shows otherwise)... Read 02/2009 review here on CruiseCritic.com So, if you happen to have been on this sailing Nov. 23, 2009 to Dec. 4, 2009 - please post on this thread. Man, I wish Celebrity would have done the "right thing" ... the ODOR killed an otherwise FANTASTIC cruise. It's THE WAY THAT CELEBRITY HANDLED the issue (It's a known problem, engineers were on board, and the manufacturer's reps are on board for the whole 1st year.) Unfortunately, I will no longer contribute my hard earned dollars to a company who denies a problem existed on my cruise, and won't make it right. Peace and Merry Christmas! BrokerO 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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