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99 Celebrity Equinox Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We have cruised on Equinox twice before and have done this cruise once before. For us Celebrity was always top for us before NCL, RCI MSC and others. Unfortunately they appear to have taken a commercial decision to plunge down market. ... Read More
We have cruised on Equinox twice before and have done this cruise once before. For us Celebrity was always top for us before NCL, RCI MSC and others. Unfortunately they appear to have taken a commercial decision to plunge down market. Their decision to actively discourage formal attire (and I use those words advisedly) and stop formal nights whilst they pander to the ripped jeans and T shirt brigade is disappointing to say the least. The shows in comparison to their rivals (and as they were before) were pathetic and the choice of food has diminished substantially. Again in comparison to NL the stuff during the day was woefully lacking, amounting to the odd trivia quiz. The crew are mostly trying hard but some appear to have almost given up. As it was raining heavily one day we thought we would have a drink at one of the bars before lunch. Every indoor bar was closed!!! The outdoor bars were all open if you wanted to brave the pouring rain! When we pointed this out to guest relations there was a shrug of the shoulders and a statement saying some would be open at 2 or we could go and have a drink in the cafe.Brilliant!!! The Blu restaurant was good for breakfast if you could get up in time! The speciality restaurants were all good particularly Muranos which is superb Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
What a smooth process for embarkation - we were booked in a Celebrity Suite and found ourselves guided to Michael's Club by a staff person from Guest Relations. There we met our Captain's Club Hostess Maila who personally walked ... Read More
What a smooth process for embarkation - we were booked in a Celebrity Suite and found ourselves guided to Michael's Club by a staff person from Guest Relations. There we met our Captain's Club Hostess Maila who personally walked us to our Suite (#1235) which was ready for us! Shortly thereafter we were greeted by our personal butler, Emir. Our suite more than exceeded our expectations in size and personal space. The veranda was large enough to accomodate a chaise lounge and table. However, the nicest part of this suite was the separate bedroom from the living area and the large walk-in closet. We probably underutilized the veranda but we managed to have a very special breakfast served by Emir while tendered in Santorini. It was a dream come true to be on the water, facing the white houses/businesses, and enjoying the yummy breakfast! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! We utilized Emir a few more times for breakfast before we headed out for our excursions. It was so much easier than fighting for a table in the Oceanview Cafe. A downside to this suite if there is one is the size of the bathroom; it only had one sink! I personally loved the higher end toiletries by Bvlgari and the special bottle of Perrier Jouet that was waiting for us in the room. Additionally, as advertised we had anl arrangement of fresh flowers and fruit. On day one we also had some appetizers but because there was so much food around never managed to touch this...on port day it was nice to have bottles of Evian water on our counter. A plus to booking a suite is access to the private dining room, Luminae. Luminae was a special place to dine for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The staff there were exceptional and it impressed us how they always greeted us by name! Our waiter, Florin, assistant, Gaga, and sommelier, Nikolina delivered exceptional service for each and every meal. Although the selections in Luminae were limited an option was to also view the daily menu in the main dining. Another suite perk was access to Michael's Club! Jole Jacoby was our Concierge and she delivered on answering my numerous questions and we need to thank her for getting us on the bridge tour plus dinner with our Captain Costas too! Thank you Jole for those special invitations which also included sailaway out of Malta on the helipad too! The speciality dining restaurants which all charge are worth the extra splurge. We only went to two of them but visited them twice: Tuscan Grill and Murano. Murano was a French/Continental restaurant and Tuscan Grill was Italian. Of the two I enjoyed Murano the best! Tuscan was disappointing to me because I felt the quality of the food was not up to what I was used to as we live near San Francisco and have many nearby Italian restaurants. Again, the service in these restaurants were exceptional, Overall the service and friendliness on this ship from the stateroom attendant to the officers was unparalleled. Other dining options we visited were the Oceanview Cafe and the Mast Bar. The cafe offered the usual buffet selections but the highlight here were the desserts. In the morning a coffee cart went through and the staff were so upbeat and energetic you couldn't help but smile. When in port the view afforded by the Cafe were breathtaking. The entertainment offerings were many and it was hard deciding on what to do! Our Cruise Director, Ajejandro, was energetic, personable and my husband and I agree that he is the creme de la creme of cruise directors. Ajejandro engaged everyone he came into contact with and his quick wit kept us laughing. His assistant Justin balanced out the humor and they made a great duo. The offerings in the theatre were for the most part good with a variety of performers. We enjoyed the Tenors of Rock and Greg London. What we felt was an area that Celebrity could develop was a true production show: we missed having a "Chicago"," Mama Mia" type offering. This sailing delivered the ports of my dream as we sailed out of Barcelona to: Rome, Amalfi Coast, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Ephesus and Malta. The ports of call were exceptional and for the majority of these ports we used outside vendors. Prior to this cruise I normally always used ship excursions but this time used advise provided by fellow cruisers and was pleasantly surprised by the personalized service and the small group (a big plus). In Malta we booked a Celebrity excusion and found ourselves on a large bus with our fellow passengers. Maybe because we were in a suite we never saw the people these fellow cruisers before...this could be a consideration if you are booking in a SUITE. Overall we would definitely book again with Celebrity and probably book a suite too. I so loved the personalized service and the quality of the services delivered. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Celebrity are our favourite cruise line and they did not disappoint. We left from Barcelona and as we were in a suite the check in was a very fast and efficient experience. The new extras that come with a suite are excellent. The ... Read More
Celebrity are our favourite cruise line and they did not disappoint. We left from Barcelona and as we were in a suite the check in was a very fast and efficient experience. The new extras that come with a suite are excellent. The dedicated restaurant Luminae served superb food although the options were somewhat limited. Only found out near the end of the cruise we could have also ordered from the main restaurant menu although we were never told this. Only other problem was that as our Sky Suite was at the back it was a very long walk from the lift. Probably helped to walk off the calories but as we both have arthritis it was sometimes difficult.Still find it suprising that there is no aft lift on Solstice class ships. The entertainment was very good and offered something for everyone. All the staff were as attentive as usual. Think this was one of our best cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband was very resistant to the idea of cruising but he had promised that we would go on a cruise for my 60th birthday and I held him to that promise. I researched ships and itineraries carefully, and had been assured by friends who ... Read More
My husband was very resistant to the idea of cruising but he had promised that we would go on a cruise for my 60th birthday and I held him to that promise. I researched ships and itineraries carefully, and had been assured by friends who recommended it, that Equinox was the ship for us - and they were right. Embarkation at Barcelona went very smoothly, taking no more than 10 minutes from getting out of the taxi at the port until we were actually on the ship. That certainly impressed him and from there on, everything was pretty much just fabulous! We spent a few hours exploring the ship and then we went to our cabin where our luggage was waiting outside. It was perfect, a good size for the two of us with adequate storage in the stateroom, and a light and airy room where you could actually see to put your makeup on - something you so rarely find even in the best hotels these days. I didn't even need to phone for extra hangers! I loved the well-laid out storage in the bathroom, too and the rather sophisticated shower was great and surprisingly easy to operate, even for me who generally prefers a bath. In our cabin, there was champagne on ice and fruit waiting for us, and every afternoon a modest tray of canapes was placed there, and they changed the fruit and iced tea (which we never touched anyway) daily. The Blu restaurant was a total culinary delight, so we did not feel the need to pay for any of the speciality restaurants on board although everyone spoke very highly about them. Sometimes, we ate at the Oceanview Cafe upstairs when I felt like something simple like salad, pasta or pizza. The food up there was excellent, fresh and varied. We found that we preferred to take breakfast up there most days. Afternoon tea scones and clotted cream were very naughty but nice and totally killed my resolve at not eating like a pig on board! The service everywhere on the ship was just excellent. Our room attendant was just the best. He even found an adapter for my three-point European extension lead (their European plug points only have two points). By the way, take on with you so you can plug in all your bits and pieces (Ipad, Iphone, electric hair straighteners etc)) Note. There is only one European plug point and one US plug point at the dressing table. As we rarely drink, we took only the premium non-alcoholic beverage pack, which covered all the bottled waters, smoothies and speciality coffees etc. However, next time I think we will take an alcoholic package because we were so relaxed without any pressures we probably would have enjoyed a drink or two in the evenings, sitting in the many bars and lounges. The one evening my husband decided to have a speciality beer and I had a Cinzano Bianco the bill was $28 which I think is kind of expensive, so yes, next time we will go for the premium alcohol package. Why not? We are on holiday! My husband must have told them in the restaurant that it was my special birthday because our very friendly and charming waiter (Ronald) came with the dessert menu and with a smile told me I wasn't getting any dessert today and then he came out with a gorgeous little birthday cake for two. Later that evening, as we went back to the cabin, we saw a big poster with balloons on our door withing me a happy special birthday, inside the cabin was champagne and a little personalized letter to me. These little touches are so memorable and lovely. The entertainment team were first rate, the shows that we saw were West End quality and the guest entertainers were good, too. Alexandro, the entertainment director was a scream and kept us smiling and laughing all night long. We enjoyed the glass blowing shows, and made use of the swimming pool and very well equipped gym. Didn't use the spa. We took the Internet Package, and it was easy, high quality, fast access, and I think it was worth it, as we were both able to use it if we logged on at different times. As for shore excursions, some were better than others. Being cruise 'newbies' we played safe and mostly used the Celebrity shore excursions but soon learned from other well-seasoned cruisers which port was easier to explore on your own. I loved the attitude of all the crew. Captain Kostas was so approachable, friendly and charming and the whole atmosphere of this ship was one of being really, really cossetted and cared for. The crew were meticulous in their cleaning and everything was tip top. I am not too keen on the photographers jumping out at you to take your picture every five minutes or the 'high pressure' sales staff on board but I did bag a few bargains in the $10 sales. The ship's daily newspaper was a good reference point for everything going on on the ship. We didn't use the casino but I enjoyed walking through it and watching the players. Would I go again? In a heartbeat yes. I was rather hoping husband would take advantage of the 'book your next cruise on board' offers but he didn't. We will be cruising again. I just loved every moment - and so did he. I cannot recommend this ship highly enough. I don't know if Aqua Class is worth the extra but anyway, husband slept so well and didn't complain once so perhaps it is. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had done this itinerary 4 years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to do it again. Ports: Being the second visit to the ports allowed us to be a bit more selective of what to see/do. For the majority of the ports we explored on ... Read More
We had done this itinerary 4 years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to do it again. Ports: Being the second visit to the ports allowed us to be a bit more selective of what to see/do. For the majority of the ports we explored on our own and had a wonderful time. We also did one Celebrity Excursion and two privately booked excursions. The Celebrity excursion was great, but we liked the others because they had fewer people so we had a more intimate and custom experience. Would definitely look into excursions on sites such as Viator. Ship Info: The Equinox is a beautiful ship. We had Aqua Class staterooms and would definitely recommend this if your budget allows. The extra amenities in the room were OK, but we really didn't notice that. What we did like was the dining experience in Blu. The service and food were outstanding. We didn't have dinner anywhere else! Also liked the unlimited access to the Persian Gardens. Even the buffet (Oceanview Cafe) far exceeded expectations. The layout, with serving stations, was great as it prevented any long lines. The variety and quality of items was also amazing. You can't go wrong on Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary,and the promo offers . We are celebrating our 45th anniversary and wanted to do something special. 2 friends joined us in this celebration cruise. Italy and Greece have long been ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary,and the promo offers . We are celebrating our 45th anniversary and wanted to do something special. 2 friends joined us in this celebration cruise. Italy and Greece have long been on our bucket list. We arrived in Barcelona 3 days prior to cruise,and stayed 2 days following,before flying back to Canada . Barcelona , is a wonderful city with lots to see and do. Took a taxi to the port which was only 2 min. away. Embarkation was easy and soon we were on board having a glass of champagne handed to us. Our rooms were not yet ready ,so after enjoying our champagne we proceeded to go for lunch at the Oceanview cafe. This buffet offers multiple areas of cuisine. Italian,Indian,Mexican,American etc. All items were labelled as to content for gluten free,vegetarian,dairy etc. Our friends who are Celiac ,and must be gluten free, were really impressed. The desserts were awesome! Beautifully displayed ,tempting and delicious. Over the duration of this cruise, food was always very good and very fresh whether it be in the dining room or buffet. None of us went to any of the specialty dining as we found the food always great at the buffet or MDR. We went for" happy hour" almost everyday before going to the theater. We managed to try a different bar each day. Which was fun. The theater shows were all very good. Many different types of entertainment .We enjoyed each and everyone of them. We had select dining in the MDR. Never had to wait too long. We were usually ready to eat between 8 and 8:30. We got to appreciate all of the wait staff but especially,David,head waiter ,his assistant Vishel and the wine sommelier,Ivan(the not terrible!) We always asked to sit in their area if possible ,and our wish was usually granted. The officers and crew on this ship are all very courteous and very attentive.Cruise Director, Alejandro(from Argentina) was great! So funny as well as informative. We took 4 ship sponsored tours. Imperial Rome,Exploration of Pompeii,Ultimate Ephesus ,and in Malta ,the Blue grotto. All of the tours had the most excellent guides. Very knowledgeable of their history and of their area. A word of warning,when the tour is labelled "strenuous" it is . Santorini we did on our own.Took the cable car up,and then took the local bus to Oia. A very beautiful place,my favorite. Mykonos too, we did on our own,also very beautiful. Athens ,it poured rain most of the day. Did the HOHO bus . This would have worked very well if not for the rain. We all enjoyed our sea days. Casino,shopping ,pool and hot tub. Or just reading and relaxing on our balcony. My husband and I have taken 8 cruises including this one. I do believe that this was our favorite . This ship is quite plain in decor as compared to the others. Doesn't have the WOW factor when you get on board. It is simple and restful and well maintained. The officers and crew are outstanding. Everyday, Captain Konstantinos gave us an update on weather and sea conditions,as well a "quote for the day". This quote usually had a groan factor! We did self disembarkation as we had an early private tour. All went very smoothly,and we were off the ship by 7:30 am. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I choose this cruise because of the ports we stopped in. It gave a real taste of the Mediterranean. Loved Barcelona! The ship is very spacious and clean. The staff was all very friendly and willing to help. We ate most of our meals in ... Read More
I choose this cruise because of the ports we stopped in. It gave a real taste of the Mediterranean. Loved Barcelona! The ship is very spacious and clean. The staff was all very friendly and willing to help. We ate most of our meals in the main restaurant and the food was very good. We stopped in Rome, Pompei the Amalfi coast, Santorini, Ephesus, Mykonos, Athens and Malta. My least favorite was Athens. The traffic was awful and the rain didn't help. My biggest surprise was Malta, had no idea what a medieval treasure that is. The best tours were the private tours. Cruise critic friends were so helpful. We found an apartment in Barcelona on a recommendation in the Gothic section of Barcelona. It was easy to get around and you could walk most places, Disembarkation was so organized, from leaving the ship to getting your luggage at the airport. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sailed from Barcelona after a three day visit to the city. The Silken Gran Havana was lovely and centrally located. I had made reservations with Barcelona Day Tours for airport pick up and an 8 hour tour of the city plus Montserrat. ... Read More
We sailed from Barcelona after a three day visit to the city. The Silken Gran Havana was lovely and centrally located. I had made reservations with Barcelona Day Tours for airport pick up and an 8 hour tour of the city plus Montserrat. They also picked us up from the ship to visit Sagrada Familia. I was very pleased with their services and for 4 women it made touring easy and comfortable. Embarkation was a breeze and within the hour we were in our cabin. We had aft cabin 2153, a Sky suite. Aft is our favorite location having had 2151 with wrap around balcony for a two week cruise to Australia/N.Z. The next door neighbors complained about noise from the Oceanview Cafe above us but it didn't bother my daughter or me. Our butler was Felix and stewards, Nelson and Jimmy who came to introduce themselves as soon as we arrived. All three were professional and made sure we had everything we needed. They were the best. We lucked out again with our waiters,Yavuz Balkan and his assistant Rodwin. They were attentive and most accommodating. Both offered a different meal if anything wasn't to our liking which in my opinion is over and above normal service. We dined in Illuminae once after the Concierge called to ask why we weren't dining there but we were with friends not in suites so chose to eat in the MDR with them. Honestly,the food was fabulous in both. The ports in Spain,Portugal, and Gibaltar were beautiful,interesting, and educational. My daughter and I tried to think which has been our favorite cruise yet and we could not choose one above the others primarily because when you sail with Celebrity, they're all fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
On recommendation from our travel agent, we decided on Celebrity Cruises and chose this 13 nights cruise on Equinox which turned out to be a very good choice! This was our first cruise and with nothing to compare, and relying entirely ... Read More
On recommendation from our travel agent, we decided on Celebrity Cruises and chose this 13 nights cruise on Equinox which turned out to be a very good choice! This was our first cruise and with nothing to compare, and relying entirely on comments from other "cruisers", we were so impressed with EVERY aspect that we now consider ourselves "hooked on cruising"! Apart from a couple of minor "negatives", which were resolved quickly and satisfactorily anyway, we simply cannot find anything to criticize about the overall experience. We unfortunately had to cancel our first shore excursion due to a medical condition and would like to compliment the doctor (Patrick O'Neil) and other medical staff for their professional, competent and friendly attention to our needs. The only part that we could not really give top marks was some of the Las Vegas style theater entertainment which was not to our liking, but on the other hand, we wish to especially comment on and congratulate the Classical Duo for the performances. Very nice female voice and the male guitar player who was quite simply SENSATIONAL!! Another special mention goes to Stephanie in Shore Excursions. Her friendly and competent manner was exceptional. Will we cruise again with Celebrity? ABSOLUTELY YES! Thank you Celebrity Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We decided to go on our first long cruise for our honeymoon and it was the perfect cruise and the best decision!. At arrival in Athens, the embarkation was pretty fast and smooth. They transfer our luggage directly to our room and our ... Read More
We decided to go on our first long cruise for our honeymoon and it was the perfect cruise and the best decision!. At arrival in Athens, the embarkation was pretty fast and smooth. They transfer our luggage directly to our room and our stateroom was ready around 14:00. We then walk around to get familiarized with the cruise and its installations and arrange for the Dinning Package and the Classic 7 Wine Bottle Package. Both packages were a very good decision, the Select Dinning Restaurants were outstanding. Tuscan Grill very good attention and service, excellent food, great wine and remarkable little details as a Limoncello homemade courtesy of the restaurant. Jonheider and Goran were excellent in their service performance. Both assisted us at all time with a great service. We returned for a second dinner at the Tuscan Grill on the second day at sea. Silk Harvest was also very good. The service at some point was a little bit slowly but nothing to really complain of. The food is of great quality and flavor and you can try several dishes and starters. Murano. Amazing. The service of Daniel was excellent, he assisted us from the beginning till the end with nice service, good talk and details. He brought us a cake with candles as a present for our honeymoon. We also were able to try several desserts and starters. For the main dish we both order lobster and Daniel prepare at our table with an excellent flavour and great ingredients. At last but no least we tried Sushi at 5. In my personal opinion they should change the name of the restaurant to something more elegant and nice because Sushi at 5 sounds like if it is a fast food restaurant or dinner room and when we tried it the last day at sea we discovered it is an amazing sushi place. The service is also very good, specially the attention from Sam who offered us the best Wasabe we have tried, natural one from the plant itself and cut in a shark skin table. If we knew the good quality of this restaurant before, we should have eat there two times. Regarding the wine package, it was also a very good decision. We could ask for a bottle of wine in any restaurant or even for our room. They have very good types of wine including Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Syrah, among others. Talking about other areas, we have to highlight the cleanness of our stateroom mainly based on the attention of Sim, our stateroom attendance. We heard that some rooms had problems with electricity and water which is such a pity but luckily we did not have any problem at all. The Ship we found it to be very good, clean at every time, with service people everywhere around and nice activities during the days at sea and after returning from the Ports of Call. The dinning room of the ship (Slihoutte) was very good. We had dinner 3 times there and were above average. The first day we had a confusion with the Sommelier since she did not bring us the bottle and instead she pour us two glasses of wine, nevertheless, she brought us the bottle afterwards and did not charge the two glasses. The rest of the days the attention and service was very good and the quality of the food was amazing. All type of different dishes and starters, including lobster, meat, salmon, etc. Regarding the activities we think mainly all of them were pretty good. The DJ was a little bit repetitive and ended the night very early some days. For the rest of the activities I found them very good. We would for sure return to a second cruise with Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having been on a cruise for the first time my impression of the trip from Rome to Barcelona was very good. I thought that to have to pay for water and soft drinks on a cruise ship is over the top as was the price to purchase them and the ... Read More
Having been on a cruise for the first time my impression of the trip from Rome to Barcelona was very good. I thought that to have to pay for water and soft drinks on a cruise ship is over the top as was the price to purchase them and the activities on board were limited other than that there was a lot of great advantages. The staff on board were great and very friendly and the ship was extremely clean. The restaurants were amazing especially the silhouette restaurant management staff of Alexios and Gilmon were fantastic their service was of the highest quality and when we went to the restaurant we asked for that table 436 every chance we could to be greeted and serviced by these amazing gentlemen. it was a pleasure being served by such a wonderful and helpful couple of men who have great pride in what they do and it showed in the way they delivered the food and the selections and information they advised us made going to the restaurant special. Thanking you heaps 10 out 10 boys well done !!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had a wonderful cruise experience on the Celebrity Equinox. Embarkation in Barcelona was very fast, maybe 10 minutes total from arriving at port to being greeted on the ship with a glass of champagne. All staff were extremely friendly ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise experience on the Celebrity Equinox. Embarkation in Barcelona was very fast, maybe 10 minutes total from arriving at port to being greeted on the ship with a glass of champagne. All staff were extremely friendly and helpful, cabin steward and dining room staff especially attentive. Meals were all very good, we ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet in Oceanview Cafe with a wide variety at each meal. Dinners at the Silhouette and we had the select dining but had the same table and staff most evenings. Cabin was a nice size and good storage space as was the balcony which had two reclining chairs and foot rests. Was a port intensive cruise so did not take advantage of the shows but lobby and pool entertainment was very good and enjoyed the blown glass shows. Nice variety of shops. Guests were nicely dressed in the dining rooms, much more so that on Caribbean cruises. Lots of families on board and saw little of the children but did see them engaged in some organized games and activities. Enjoyed ports, be prepared for very long days for excursions but well worth it. We did some Celebrity excursions and also booked some private depending on our interests. It was very hot and humid and it was nice to arrive back at the ship and be great with cold drinks and chilled facecloths, very nice touch when arriving back. The ship was easy to navigate and though big not overwhelming. We look forward to another cruise on the Equinox and hope to see the wonderful staff that provided service on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We did a 2-B-2 cruise on Equinox July-August from Rome to Barcelona and back. The cruise was absolutely lovely and so close to luxury you can get in a ship for nearly 3000 passengers and affordable price. The ship is in beautiful shape and ... Read More
We did a 2-B-2 cruise on Equinox July-August from Rome to Barcelona and back. The cruise was absolutely lovely and so close to luxury you can get in a ship for nearly 3000 passengers and affordable price. The ship is in beautiful shape and the staff were most of the time effective and courteous. Check-in in Civitavecchia went extremely smoothly as least for the select members of Captain Club. It took less than 15 minutes from handing out the bags to have a glass of sparkling inside the ship. Only problem, as usual in this port, was to get from the railway station to the terminal. There were no taxis available so we took the shuttle to the port and the second to the terminal with all the bags. That went still good but is not exactly a luxurious start for a cruise. The selling of beverage packages is noticeable but don´t let it disturb you. A simple no thank you will do. We did though upgrade our classic package to the premium. The Oceanview cafe was surprisingly quiet in the first day. Sail-away from Civitavecchia is never a highlight of a Mediterranean cruise but was still nice. The first night in the Silhouette Select dining was a bit chaotic as always but easy compared to many other cruise lines. We ate every night in Silhouette Restaurant when not having a dinner in special restaurant. The lovely lady in the door rather quickly learnt where we wanted to be seated after telling her that and the always got a table by Jonathan after that although some night were needed to wait 5-15 minutes. That is still acceptable when remembering the idea of select dining. In two weeks they thought learnt first in the last night that we wanted to have one English and one German menu. The dishes were delivered in the wished order (we always have several starters, sometime a main course pasta as starter as well) which not always happens in other cruise lines. The quality of the food has gone down maybe a bit and there were no gourmet delights but it was always nice. The somelier learnt also quite quickly to fill in the wine glasses in the right moment. The Oceanview cafe offered either no highlights but was edible. The food seems to be quite similar in the lunch and it tends to gets a bit boring in two weeks. We had a look on the dinner buffet as well and it was somewhat disappointing. There were almost every time enough bar staff to bring the drinks as well. Only on some days the cafe was full but still managed always to get a nice table. We visited the Tuscan grill twice. First time was better but it still up to the choices you make from the menu. The quality of the food was not spectacular but the portions were bigger and better than in the MDR. The atmosphere and service is of course more attentive. The Silk Harvest, the Asian restaurant, was a bit disappointing. Everything seemed to be too deep-fried for our taste but it was still a nice change. Murano was not as snobby as it was in our last cruise which was good. Before it was allowed to have only one appetizer and a main course, now you could have as many as you wished. Once again: no gourmet, but better than we others. It was still the only restaurant there I needed to send the portion back while the fish had absolutely too much salt. The problem was dissolved once again promptly and friendly. The wines were nice and with premium package you always pay only the difference when choosing a wine more than 13 USD/glass. Bistro on five was nice for the lunch. It was also the last possibility to have it before it changed into a sushi restaurant. Martini bar is our favorite. The staff was effective but not as entertaining as in some previous cruises. The world class bar was almost quite empty as they don´t cater the classic package at all. The lady in the bar was effective but once again not personally friendly. The pool bars seemed to concentrate on giving out the drinks, not being especially friendly. The guy in the slush bar never said a word but we heard him singing so there was nothing wrong with the voice. Otherwise the concept of Slush is a bit strange. Overpriced frozen drinks were good but served in a horrible throw-away beer mug. And the appearance of Slush could not be less inviting. The singers and dancers were extremely professional but the signature shows Topper and Elysium a bit strange. I guess we haven´t had enough drinks to get into the colorful dreamworld of the makers. Problem is that the shows on Celebrity seem to be too early for the Mediterranean people. If you are eating 20 o’clock you should see the 19 o’clock show. After the dinner there is not too much entertainment left. Sky lounge is not that lively and there was only one pool party per cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose to sail again on Equinox mainly because of a great cruise we had 3 years ago and a good sailing on Silhouette in April this year. Sadly this once great ship has like many under the RCCL umbrella sank into the budget grouping. ... Read More
We chose to sail again on Equinox mainly because of a great cruise we had 3 years ago and a good sailing on Silhouette in April this year. Sadly this once great ship has like many under the RCCL umbrella sank into the budget grouping. I would mention at this stage that a ship has to be really really poor in our opinion for us to post a review. I tried reaching out to the Hotel Director to give some constructive feedback and was contacted by the Restaurant Manager and the F&B Director. Both gave me assurances that things would improve dramatically but unfortunately they did not. I think that the crew and Management of Celebrity Equinox should perhaps realise that the guests on their ship spend vast amounts of money to vacation on their ship and to some its the trip of a lifetime. With this in mind they should perhaps realise that guests have an expectation to be treated like guests and not like "Cash Cows" and to be looked down upon by the majority of the food and beverage department. Food. The food on this ship is extremely poor. We ate a few times in the main dining room which was very poor indeed with limited menu changes. I realise that it must be difficult to cook for so many guests at one time but if you are offering this service then you should be able to execute the service and deliver a high quality food offering. Sadly the Silhouette dining room does not. Instead you are presented with look warm food that has obviously been left under heat lamps, steaks that are of a poor quality and overcooked, desserts that are obviously "bought in" and portion sizes that my 6 year old son would still be hungry after---cost cutting at its very best. We then decided to eat in the speciality restaurants and nothing really improved. Tuscan Grill Filet Mignon not cooked properly, side orders dripping in oil, onion soup very poor etc etc. Ocean View Cafe is a disorganised disgrace. There is no reason at all that the food should be so so bad. It is practically inedible. The staff in this area with 2 exceptions look and act like they just don,t want to be there, especially the bar staff who are just so disinterested in offering anything remotely like service. The Carvery offerings especially the beef are simply dreadful. Breakfast is hit or miss. All in all its not a good place to be. Room service was not available for the first 48 hours of the cruise then we managed to place an order. I would say that it was average. Service. Whilst the food is dreadful, the service in the dining rooms is generally good with the exception of the Tuscan Grill where we witnessed several crew members eating and drinking in the restaurant and getting all of the service whilst diners including ourselves looked on with empty glasses and dirty plates on the table. Service at the bars as previously mentioned is no existent. The Deck Bar staff are bordering on being rude whilst having no concept of how to manage a busy bar. Glasses are filthy as they are left to dry in the sun after being washed in a dirty glass washer. There are no bar servers at all on the solstice deck and they are generally to be found "moaning" behind their respective bars on deck 12\14. On a slightly more positive note the service in Cafe Al Bacio is stunning. Very very attentive and personable. I would suggest that the staff from here are deployed to other beverage areas of the ship. In terms of the drinks packages on the ship, we had a classic package included in our reservation (we did not ask for one or pay for one) the Bar Staff have this mentality of giving you the least amount of drinks they possibly can. We like a drink on holiday (who doesn,t) and tried ordering 2 drinks at the same time--1 for my wife and 1 non alcoholic drink for my son. As we had only brought 1 stateroom card as most people do we were told emphatically that we could order only 1 drink with 1 card even though they could obviously see that all members of our party had the drinks package. A small detail perhaps but one that annoyed a lot of guests on board. Cabin. We chose a sunset deck cabin on deck 6, which was very pleasant and was very well maintained by our cabin steward as they normally are. Our 1 concern was that we were being charged for drinks from the mini bar that we did not drink--slightly bizarre and we think this was based upon drinks we had brought to our cabin from the deck bars. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Being our first ever cruise we really didn't know what to expect, but from beginning to end it was very well organised with no disruptions. We had been staying in Barcelona in an apartment before the cruise, we hailed a taxi ... Read More
Being our first ever cruise we really didn't know what to expect, but from beginning to end it was very well organised with no disruptions. We had been staying in Barcelona in an apartment before the cruise, we hailed a taxi outside at 11am and by 11.40am we had checked in, boarded and were enjoying a welcome drink on board. Not knowing exactly what to expect we were approached by a member of the crew and invited to sign up for the specialty restaurants dining packages for 5 dinners for $129 extra. We did, and thoroughly enjoyed every dinner at Tuscan Grill, Murano, Silk Harvest and lunch one day at Bistro on 5. Money well spent I think, we really enjoyed all of it, especially Murano. After enjoying lunch in Oceanview Cafe on level 14, there was an announcement around 1pm to inform us that our staterooms were ready. We were on level 3 with an ocean view room, which suited us fine, as the first night out from Barcelona was a little rough, some passengers higher up were suffering from sea sickness. The saying that "the more you pay, the more you sway" was certainly true! I was surprised at the size and comfort of the bed, it was king size, and very comfy. The room itself was hotel quality, we have stayed in smaller hotel rooms. Special thanks to Irena who took care of our room for the entire 11 days, it was always spotless when we returned. The turn down service each night was great with little chocolates on our pillows. Juliia and Alan looked after us in Silhouette dining room when we ate there if not at a specialty restaurant and the food was always plentiful and excellent, with offerings of extra if wanted. Some of our table took extra lobster one night, it was excellent. The entertainers were great, we often sat in Ensemble Lounge after dinner to listen to Jess and Kenton, they were really great. Jayne Curry was on a couple of nights in Equinox Theatre, she is very talented and hilariously funny. We did a few of the shore excursions, we did St Paul de Vence on the first day, Florence on the 2nd, Pompeii and Amalfi Coast, Mykonos, Ephesis in Turkey. The organisation at moving all the people was amazing. With 2800 passengers on board, we always disembarked the ship in no time, on to buses and away. The only thing we didn't like was the pressure of the shopkeepers in Kusadasi, we wanted to buy but the pressure was too much, I had to get out of there. It was the same with the organised tour of Ephesus, it was great, but part of the tour is a visit to a carpet factory back near port where it is more or less compulsory to visit. Our guide told us all we had to visit as it was a part of the tour and we were not to leave. Not knowing, we went along. To begin with it was all okay, very friendly and they put on a display on how silk was woven, then we were ushered upstairs to a large room with seats all around. We watched a woman making a rug, then they closed the doors and we were more or less trapped in there. They displayed many carpets, mats and rugs, always telling us "no pressure", but by the end that couldn't have been further from the truth. They offered us all drinks and a lovely sesame bread, I knew then that the pressure to buy would be escalated. There was approximately 25 or so of us in the room, by the end of the display they had 25 sales people surround us, it was a really uncomfortable experience. I grabbed my wife and we departed, much to the dismay of the carpet people. All in all, it was a very satisfactory cruise, we will be planning another. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The entire staff had a professionalism, that was higher than my expectation. From the moment you walk on the ship they make you feel like a king, or queen. So many staff members new our name, and took care of every need with a smile. ... Read More
The entire staff had a professionalism, that was higher than my expectation. From the moment you walk on the ship they make you feel like a king, or queen. So many staff members new our name, and took care of every need with a smile. It was one of the best cruises I have had an opportunity to explore. The ship was big, beautiful, and clean. The shows were common cruise ship entertainment. This is not Broadway, nor are they professional movie actors, but as one group explained, they realized the difficulty of getting that BIG BREAK, and 4 men that met in acting school, formed a vocal group. They kept the audience entertained, with many top 40 hits from the 70's. There was a dancing group, with wonderful and unusual choreography, another singer that sang for the Queen on England. My critique would be fun entertainment. We had signed up for both shore excursions offered by the boat as well as private tours we arranged on our own. These tour guides know there stuff, we enjoyed all very much, A++++ for the tours. Our cabin was clean twice daily, which included a bed turned down service while we were at dinner, excellent service. The last tis would be the food and restaurants. Beautiful plate presentations, but I give this an average to good, this is because I am a professional chef. I think they did a perfect job at the Oceanview lounge, the buffets changed daily, and included local favorites of each port we visited, and then a grand buffet on toward the end of our stay, which included foods from all ports, WELL DONE! The Asian specialty restaurant food was ok. family style, but it did not come out hot, as if it was prepared ahead of time and not made to order. The common place for dinner was very loud so we ate at Blu, as we were in Aqua class and had some options, excellent service, menu changed daily, very common, average to good rating. The Italian specialty restaurant, was my favorite. We went once as the package we paid for included a visit to three different restaurants, Her I give it two thumbs up and excellent rating. From the appetizer of fried local squid, the eggplant parmesan, to my tender grilled veal chop. Then the finishing touch was a creme brulee, topped with pop rocks sugar, it exploded in your mouth, literally. wonderful place. Worth the money. Last was the French restaurant, some old French favorites, like Dover sole Veronique, very good, but the rest of dinner was nothing to brag about. I believe this is were I had a dessert crepe, which was not very sweet. There was a gastropub with craft beer, a burger joint by the pool, and a Gelato bar. Both the pub and dessert bar are additional cost. Great trip, would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We've chosen Celebrity 3 times before and we thought we knew what to expect. Good food, good service, relaxation. In fact we'd been on the Equinox before just 2 years earlier. This cruise was at best "poor". The ... Read More
We've chosen Celebrity 3 times before and we thought we knew what to expect. Good food, good service, relaxation. In fact we'd been on the Equinox before just 2 years earlier. This cruise was at best "poor". The excursions were mostly extortionate and most of the ports were completely uninteresting or inconvenient without paying for the excursions. But we don't particularly enjoy being with a bus load of cruise passengers all day so we prefer to normally do our own thing. This worked great in our Fjord cruise for instance. But on this cruise it was basically awful. Most of the ports are lined with taxi drivers badgering you to take their taxi or buy their tat. The surrounding areas were uninteresting and with the exception of Pisa, none of them had a worthwhile travel option with local transport. So welcome to a port and if you want to go anywhere then you need to walk. This was especially dodgy in Naples. The food in the main dining hall was also noticeably poor. I wont bother with the details. We paid the extra for the alternative restaurants and these were more like we expected. The contrast with the bog standard in the main hall was quite obvious. The other thing that we noticed more in this cruise was how we were almost constantly targetted for marketing from the ship. It felt like a floating tourist trap. Irritating pushy photographers literally will NOT let you walk past without forcing you to pose for a pointless photo. We actually found ourselves planning our routes through the ship because neither of us enjoy being forced to have our photos taken. This was all over the ship and it was also IN the dining hall and also in the Cafe Baccio place. We told the photographers "no thanks" but that made f all difference. By the end, I could recognise them and I could see that they knew we were the ones who said no before. This is just a tiny part of the whole marketting experience of the ship, The daily brochure with ART SALE and watches and the ludicrously expensive bingo. Basically everything was a very obvious rip off. Which leads me to the real nail in the coffin from our perspective. The reason we will never sail with Celebrity again is because of the gigantic bill we got when we got home from their "Cellular at sea" phone system. The ship has a paid Wifi connection so if you want internet then this is what you should use. Our phones have free european roaming so I wasn't worried about roaming charges. This made no difference. At some point my phone connected to the cellular at sea and unbeknown to me, it received 34Mb of data from the ship. This is a tiny tiny tiny quantity of data. The ship billed my phone for more than £500.. That's around $800. to put this in context, we used over 2000Mb of data during our cruise from the italian, spanish etc phone companies. By sheer luck, we didn't see a similar download on the cellular at sea extortionate service. When I phoned celebrity they told us they were not willing to rescind the cost. The ships that offer this service must be ripping off their customers by gigantic quantities of cash from this and celebrity must be making a killing from it. The whip already has cheap-ish wifi that also goes on the satellite, so having a phone service that can inadvertently be connected to and is charged at £500 for a tiny download suggests that nobody should ever use this service unless they absolutely love burning money. The wifi is a tiny fraction of the cost. Clearly Celebrity know all of this already and they choose to continue using it as a way to basically ROB their customers for hundreds or possibly thousands of $'s. My phone could have downloaded 10 times this much and we would have been forced to swallow this bill. What a disgusting way for them to make money. Basically I would not recommend this company to anyone any more. And we previously thought Celebrity was our preferred cruise company. Better than the cattle treatment of Royal Caribbean (at least that's what we thought before) . But now the difference is quite slim. Celebrity have definitely gone downhill. They do not respect their customers. Everything is about money. The whole experience is monetized. Our state room attendants were nice though. Our next cruise will be with a better company because this was not an enjoyable experience. Coming home to the final insult of the deliberately extortionate phone bill confirms my suspicions of the management Just don't. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our 15th Cruise. Majority of which have been with Celebrity who we had found to give a luxury cruise in the past. Sadly with all the cutbacks they have made, they no longer deserve the heading of luxury.All the little touches ... Read More
This was our 15th Cruise. Majority of which have been with Celebrity who we had found to give a luxury cruise in the past. Sadly with all the cutbacks they have made, they no longer deserve the heading of luxury.All the little touches which we enjoyed like fresh flowers in the cabin when you arrived (just a few in a vase) - gone, cotton wool etc. gone. The staff are issued insufficient toiletries to keep all their cabins stocked (expectation that not everyone will use them) So dont expect them to be topped up during the cruise. The quality of the food was very hit and miss. A few meals excellent but the majority very average and some poor. In the main dining room service was excellent (staff were all excellent throughout the ship, to the degree they felt like robots - however their is a feeling this is through fear of bad reviews and demotion - we heard some sad tales from several we spoke with) having said this they were all very professional. The self service restaurant used to be my favorite for breakfast - the quality is now so poor we avoided it. Although not a lot better in the dining room. Gone is the lovely brunch I used to look forward to once during the cruise. Gone are the food demonstrations where a buffet was laid out demonstrating their skills. My husband's cream dinner jacket was ruined in their cleaners - after a long battle they finally compensated us fairly- it took firm persistence but we got there in the end. My husband was a cruiseaholic refusing to have any other type of holiday. On the last day he said ' I dont think I want to cruise any more if this is the standard now' - I never thought I would hear those words ! The excursions seemed poor value - although in port for a full day - we went to Sorrento on your own (coach drops you off) but we were only allowed one and a half hours to explore - which was no where near enough time - we should have taken the boat from Naples rather than use their coach. All in all - no longer the 'beautiful Celebrity **** ' as they kept quoting at us. During my negotiation over the jacket I mentioned we had been on this ship 2 years ago - and changed we found it - the officer said 'ah yes but it's 2 years older now' - he didn't have an answer when I asked if that was the case - why had the costs gone up so much then? Below you will see the issues we had with the cabin No longer worth paying for Concierge Class - you get very little to warrant the extra Believe it or not - in the main we had a good holiday, met lovely people and saw great countries - but 'luxury' it wasn't! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Based upon previous cruises with Celebrity we decided to book a last minute cruise on the Equinox. We were guaranteed an ocean view but were upgraded to concierge class. So we were quite happy with that. We had Champagne in the room upon ... Read More
Based upon previous cruises with Celebrity we decided to book a last minute cruise on the Equinox. We were guaranteed an ocean view but were upgraded to concierge class. So we were quite happy with that. We had Champagne in the room upon arrival and fruit (three granny smiths). However the overall impression is that the quality and attention to detail had gone downhill quite a bit. The food was ok but nothing like as good as previous trips. We were very lucky to have a really friendly table for dinner during the evening and made some nice friends. This helped us enjoy our dinners quite a lot. However we felt the rip off prices for drinks in the restaurants and bars was very excessive, then an 18% gratuity added on afterwards was quite obscene. We were plagued with staff trying to sell us drinks and specialist restaurant packages at extortionate prices too. The best thing to say about the cruise were the shows, they were all quite superb, but a little short. We booked three excursions and found them mostly overpriced and a bit boring, especially as the guides we had spoke poor English, they droned on and on and were really hard to understand. I thought the passenger standard of dress on board was far to casual bordering on quite scruffy sometimes and gave the cruise a poor ambience. Most of the staff were really friendly, but the bar staff were grossly inefficient, miserable and in need of some proper training. I have been put off a bit now as its certainly not as good as it was, so we may well look for something better. I am checking out Siverseas cruises reviews now. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first cruise and, overall, we think we chose a good ship. It was to celebrate my OAP status (during the cruise). Being in term time, there were few families and kids on board and the predominant age group was retirees of many ... Read More
This was our first cruise and, overall, we think we chose a good ship. It was to celebrate my OAP status (during the cruise). Being in term time, there were few families and kids on board and the predominant age group was retirees of many nationalities. English was the first language but announcements were in four languages. We found the process of embarking, and settling in easy, supported by enthusiastic staff on every level. It took a little time to orientate ourselves around the ship, which is to be expected. The food was excellent (be warned about how easy it is to put on weight) and on board entertainment (particularly in the theatre) was of a standard higher than we expected. The hot glass show (glass blowing) was a positive extra. The entertainments director (Alejandro) was energetic and a bundle of fun. We have no cruise comparisons, but more experienced cruisers that we talked to were generally positive too. Formality is relaxed with two “evening chic” evenings, where trousers and a shirt were adequate for men. Some passengers enjoyed the culture of dressing up. The ship is disabled friendly. Our cabin with balcony was well designed, storage space was good, the bed very comfortable and the support of our stateroom attendant was first class. He kept the place tidy and the daily clean ups were prompt (usually when at breakfast and at dinner). A minor negative was the one ply toilet paper, so any potential savings by the ship were quickly offset by the amount of paper used. There are no personal ironing facilities (contrary to what we were told by the agent we booked the cruise with) and ironing by the ship we felt to be expensive ($8 a dress). We kept to the same table in the main restaurant for most of the cruise as we appreciated the support of the staff there. The daily activities sheet was informative. Be warned, from the outset, the culture of the ship is to sell! Staff were trying to sell you Celebrity dining packages, the spa treatments and other costly extras (shore excursions) on a regular basis but I did not find them pushy. Shops on board were pricey. It would be easy to build up a costly final bill if you did not have prepaid extras. Select carefully unless money is not an issue. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We have done celebrity before, this was cruise number 4 whit them. And it was very good, the ports of call was perfect for us. That was one of the reasons that we picked this cruise. We are experienced travelers in late 20s early 30s ... Read More
We have done celebrity before, this was cruise number 4 whit them. And it was very good, the ports of call was perfect for us. That was one of the reasons that we picked this cruise. We are experienced travelers in late 20s early 30s married. We did celebrate 5 years wedding anniversary on this cruise. The embarkation went smooth, there was a loooooong line when we arrived at the port. But the line went fast and we were onboard in 35minutes. That was really good. The luggage arrived fast at the stateroom. The stateroom attendant was super, the room was in order 24/7. No lack of towels or other things. We had an broken drawer and we told the stateroom attendant, it was fixed in one hour. The ship is nice and clean. We like the size, is not to big or small. We like smaller ships also but celebritys solstice class is perfect. The stateroom are good sized 19m2 and have lots of storage room, and the beds are good. We ate at the mdr every night, we are no fans of buffet. So for lunch it is ok. The buffet have a large selection of hot and cold food. So everyone should find something they like for lunsj/dinner or snack. The food for breakfast/lunsj/dinner inn the mdr are good. Lots of choices and tasty. We like it and we dont see the point of paying to have dinner somewere else. Mast grill is good and easy, can be some line during primetime for lunsj. The bar service is good and fast. Compared to reflection i january is was express. The only down was in the martini bar, they didn't have a super flair bartender trio. They were good, but it was just missing a bit. The entertainment onboard is good, the shows were nice. It was good whit some english entertainment and sarcasm. The stars of the equinox were good and the shows they had were good. The houseband could have been better. It was a bit stressed music and repeating. We had booked some shore excursions before we left from home. They were great and it is expensive, but it is easy and if something happens we are taken care of. Disembarkation went fast and we was of before time, we had to wait for a taxi to the airport for 20min but overall this was a new record for disembarkation. Overall we are very satisfied whit the cruise, we will do celebrity again. Compared to other cruise lines we have tried, this fits us perfect. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We flew from South Florida to NYC and over to Barcelona. I was happy to have three nights there to get used to the time change and explore this beautiful, vibrant city. Be sure to walk the Rumbla. Our embarkation was a little hectic with ... Read More
We flew from South Florida to NYC and over to Barcelona. I was happy to have three nights there to get used to the time change and explore this beautiful, vibrant city. Be sure to walk the Rumbla. Our embarkation was a little hectic with a long line of passengers. We love the solstice class ship having sailed the Reflection on previous occasions. There are plenty of on board activities, including Shows, trivia, bingo, theme parties, art auctions, movies, wellness seminars, culinary demonstrations, fitness classes and Corning Hot Glass shows which I recommend seeing at night to enjoy the glow, Celebrity Life guest speakers and of course the lawn games. I found the service to be excellent and the crew to be friendly and professional. We enjoyed several shore excursions one of which explored the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, the Isle of Capri which we thoroughly enjoyed and the ruins of Pompeii. Our tour in Rome was also fabulous. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Vatican and the Coliseum and we also explored some churches. As we had previously toured Athens we opted to be on our own. It is easy enough to take a local bus which is located near the port and get to the Parthenon and other sites within Athens for a song. My fave thing to do in Mykonos is to explore the shops walk up to the windmills and enjoy some Greek cuisine in the Venice of Greece. Santorini is equally as beautiful. Whether you take the tram or a donkey you will enjoy stunning vistas so don't forget your camera. If you pedicure is wearing visit the KissingFish and let the fish nibble all your dry skin away! Malta was also a lovely stop. We loved our port side veranda cabin with it's comfy bed and large couch. Dining is always pleasurable on Celebrity. We find the food to be delicious and so plentiful. We usually skip the specialty dining and opt for the dining room which is beautiful. Although we usually enjoy the entertainment we find it to be somewhat lackluster. The singers and dancers are great but I and getting so tired of watching entertainers wind themselves up drapes. The guest entertainers are hit and miss. As this was a back to back cruise I am unable to comment on disembarkation. All in all this was a fantastic cruise with memorable ports of call steeped in antiquity. I would also like to mention that the internet speed on this cruise was excellent. The ship was participating in a study regarding new internet technology, which I thought worked great and would love to see it installed on all cruise ships soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Wow, what a wonderful cruise. We spent the wad on this cruise ($3K/each plus hotel and airfare) but it was completely worth it. We got the deal that allowed us free drink package, gratuities included, and $500 of onboard credit. We used ... Read More
Wow, what a wonderful cruise. We spent the wad on this cruise ($3K/each plus hotel and airfare) but it was completely worth it. We got the deal that allowed us free drink package, gratuities included, and $500 of onboard credit. We used the $500 to pay for dinner at Murano one night, upgrades to the drink packages, and two massages (GREAT massages!!). We were also in AquaClass and we just love AquaClass -- our 2nd time doing it and can't imagine not doing AC on our next Celebrity cruise. THE FLIGHT: We flew Delta from Atlanta through JFK. I am a Diamond member with Delta so I had some upgrade certificates. I paid the lowest coach airfare and upgraded to their intl First Class (Delta ONE). I used points to pay for my partners First Class airfare. We love Delta's ONE Class. Modern pods with lay flat beds and Westin Heavenly bedding, high defn 14" monitors in each pod with tons of movies and TV shows. Also, Atlanta celebrity chef Linton Hopkins designs all of their menus to western Europe and the food is terrific. We had filet mignon with asparagus and lobster mac 'n cheese. Delta has a Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson, who picks out all of their One Class wines and she does an excellent job. Great Spanish red wine pairing on this flight! The service -- as always -- on Delta One was superb. We arrived relaxed and replenished. BTW - we used Delta's Sky Club in JFK and that was stellar. They have an outside patio area where you can chill and have complimentary food/drinks while you wait for your flight. They even have waiters who will deliver drinks to you from the inside bar for a nominal tip. We sat across from Michael J Fox, who said he was on his way to Las Vegas, so that was cool! THE HOTEL: We arrived a day early as my partner had never been to Barcelona. We wanted to do some sight seeing before the cruise took off. We stayed just 2 kilometers from the ship, in Barceloneta. We got a small hotel room in a 3 star hotel called Hotel Oasis. The room and hotel were sufficient but nothing great. The location, however, was fantastic! Right near the piers and all the restaurants. And just 60 meters from the Barceloneta subway stop. We did the HOHO bus and got excellent pix. We bought tix to the Sagrada Familia right when we arrived (online) because it sells out quickly. We barely got them, for 5:30 p.m. We ate at some little restaurant in the Gothic Quarter. Don't remember the name. It was decent tapas. EMBARKATION: We took a taxi to the terminal (just 2 kilometers but 13 euros! They charge a 7 euro fee for drop off there!) but got there with no issue. The line was LONG!! We got there at approximately 12:40 p.m. and so did everyone else it appeared! The line moved fast though and once we got around the corner it split. There was one line for Elite members, Concierge/Aqua Class guests, and Suite passengers. Another line for everyone else. We got into the Aqua Class line and we were through security in less than 1 minute! We were at the agent's desk in less than 5 minutes! It was awesome! We were on board in just 35 minutes total! ROOMS: We've stayed in AquaClass on Reflection before. Rooms very similar. These felt a little larger but probably an illusion. The deck chairs were really worn (as opposed to the much newer ones on Reflection). The room, itself, was in good condition, however. We enjoyed it. The room was MUCH less noisy than the one we had in Reflection. Our travel agent recommended this part of the ship for noise and we're glad we took her advice. Our AC room on Reflection was near the back, near the Aqua Spa and it was really loud. FOOD: The part most of you care about. Well, we ate each night in Blu (the AC restaurant) except the first night in which we dined in Murano. Murano was fantastic as always but they've gone up on their price (now $50/person). Had we not gotten 30% off we wouldn't have paid full price. Not worth that much. Also the waiter was sort of stuffy but nothing bad about this meal. Anyway, back to Blu. Blu had some issues a couple of nights with the kitchen. It was really slow. The wine sommeliers and waiters, however, did their best to provide great service when the kitchen got really behind. One sommelier slipped us some wine that was a couple of dollars over the premium drink package in an apology for the long wait. That was great customer service we thought. The food at Blu, I must say, was just not as good as it was on Reflection. We talked about it as the cruise dragged on. The presentation was stellar but some things were not cooked at right temperature or were really bland. Other things (like the beef ribs) were crazily overcooked and dry. I would give it a 3.5 to 4.0 in terms of food quality/taste. However, some nights Blu really shined. There was one dish, a ribeye with black truffle, that was sensational! Another night they had a filet mignon, served with a celery root puree. Holy crap! That puree was the best thing I've ever eaten on a cruise ship. That would have won any Top Chef competition. Man, that stuff was so good that I ordered an extra side of just that puree. Wow. Also, there was a sea bream fish that was pan fried (can't remember the name of it) that was quite good. However when they missed they missed badly. The beef ribs (last night) were so dry I had to send them back. I ordered the NY strip off their every day menu instead. BTW - if you eat in Blu and don't try the every day NY strip steak at least once you're doing yourself a disservice. It's terrific! Great flavor! However, we did notice that the NY strip was a bit tougher on this cruise than the ones served on Reflection. And on another night they served a fish they called a "Chilean Sea Bass". We in the states know this fish as Pategonian toothfish. Well, I ordered it with trepidation. Surely this couldn't be Pategonian toothfish! And...well...it sadly wasn't. It tasted like a river fish, which I don't care for at all. And the broth surrounding it was very very bland. I sent it back. The restaurant manager (a lovely lady whose name I can't remember!) came over to see the problem. She said it was Barramundi (which is an "Asian sea bass" not "Chilean Sea Bass"). They need to change the title on the menu. I've had Barramundi in India. They can either come from coastal waters or lakes. This one definitely came from a lake. No thanks. Also, a couple of nights we got "hot appetizers" that were as cold as the expedite counter they had been sitting on for the previous 15 minutes before they were served. We didn't complain...we just didn't eat them. We never encountered this on Reflection. So, I'd have to give the kitchen a 3.5 out of 5 here. Now, the staff at Blu were superb! Waiters Rey and Shailej were fantastic! We had Shailej as our waiter on Reflection last year and he remembered us! We loved Oana (the hostess who always remembered our room # and our favorite areas to sit), the restaurant manager (again, can't remember her name!), back waiter Antonine, and the best wine sommelier we've ever had on board -- Red! Killer staff at Blu made up for the sometimes flat food. BTW - breakfast at Blu (we ate there 3 times) was terrific. The tableside Muesli service was fantastic and tasty. The eggs any style was a welcome menu addition. We also loved their coffee. Way better than the coffee in the Oceanview Cafe. If I were them I wouldn't put nutmeg on the french toast, however. Some people hate nutmeg (me!) but love french toast. I switched to a pancake on morning #3. Oceanview cafe is where we usually had lunch. Or we'd grab a burger/fries at the Mast Grill. Mast Grill had pretty good burgers and dogs but they were always running out of things and had no one to quickly get them replacements. As a result, people waited a lot for missing items to appear. Hope they can solve that one. Oceanview had buffet food. It's buffet food. Same as about any ship. Some things were good and some things were cold and chewy and bland. Go figure. Its a buffet. Meh. The pasta we had late night sometimes. We thought it was more bland than the pasta on Reflection but we thought that of Oceanview Cafe and Blu food in general. Murano was same quality as on Reflection but the service was way better on Reflection in Murano. The waiters did ballet service on Reflection and our server was warm and friendly on Reflection. BAR SERVICE: We had the premium drink package. We went almost every night before dinner to the World Class Bar (formerly the Molecular bar...no more liquid nitrogen drinks!!). Yelena was our bartender. She was terrific. She has a great personality and speaks her mind. Love that. Ivan helped her out some but he wasn't nearly as friendly...just a different personality. Also Andreea at the bar in front of Murano was terrific. We hung out there some and loved her service. Overall, the bar service was very easy to come by. This was in stark contrast to the horrid bar service on Reflection. Everyone had the drink package on that Caribbean cruise and it was harder than Hades to get service! Both Reflection and Equinox lacked drink servers who actually came to you while laying out. I guess that's a thing of the past. But the servers at the bars were all friendly, helpful, and had great warm personalities on Equinox. It was so easy to get a drink fast almost at every bar. ENTERTAINMENT: We didn't care much for the standard Celebrity singers/dancers (the singers, particularly the women, were good....just that their routines/shows were so unimaginative.) We've seen much better on Holland America and Princess. Celebrity never does a great job with this aspect, so I guess its their Achilles Heel. The entertainment brought on board, however, was pretty darned good. The British guy who did comedy and played piano was FANTASTIC! The other British comedian wasn't nearly as good. The Russian lady with the violin was out of sight too but every time she came out she took off another piece of clothing! By the last number she was down to almost ZERO. We were sure there would be no encore, as this may violate nudity laws! haha! The Eastern European circus performers were also great (think: Cirque du Soleil -Lite). COMMON AREAS: Very very clean and comfortable. Another reviewer said that this ship had an easy layout about it and I agree 100% We found the layout the easiest to negotiate than any other ship we have sailed on (10 previous cruises). Cafe Bacio was placed so well and therefore got a ton of business! Ditto for the Martini Bar, the theater, and the restaurants. It was so easy to get from one place to another. I don't think this ship is as pretty as the Reflection but its much easier to navigate. DISEMBARKATION: Very smooth except for taxi stand. We stood in the rain for 35 minutes waiting on a taxi. It was miserable. Nothing to fault Celebrity for though! SPA: Massage rooms were fantastic and so were our massages! We both commented that it was one of the best massages we've ever had. The masseuses are trained by Celebrity on each massage. We had the same massage and compared notes afterwards. They were identical and fantastic! The massage oils they use are first rate and the training is superb for their masseuses. Will do again if we have credit! We also went to the saunas 3 times during the cruise. We like Reflection's spa better. It had a cold sauna and 2 rooms with hot stone chairs in the Persian Gardens. But, this spa wasn't bad. EXCURSIONS: We've done many cruises and we know better than to buy excursions through the cruise ship. We always get external vendors. Much cheaper and the same, if not better, excursion. We found a company online that monitored cruise ship port dates and set us up with a package. We got full day tours of Ephesus, Athens (it rained all day!!), Rome, and Sorrento for just $78 each. Totally worth it! We went with a company called Cruising Excursions and it was totally professional and on the up and up. Would choose them again. Overall feelings about the cruise: tremendous staff!!! Good -- albeit not great -- food. Great ports! VERY clean ship! Friendliest staff we've had on any cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and can't personally see how anyone can give this cruise lower than a 4. I think it would even be hard to give it a 4! We loved it! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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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