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Sail Date: March 2014
I have never cruised on the Celebrity line before as the price was always out of my budget, but you get what you pay for. Went with a group of 13 and had a marvellous time. Was on deck 7 in an inside room mid ship. I truly missed a balcony ... Read More
I have never cruised on the Celebrity line before as the price was always out of my budget, but you get what you pay for. Went with a group of 13 and had a marvellous time. Was on deck 7 in an inside room mid ship. I truly missed a balcony but it was a late booking and was all booked up. The staff were excellent, efficient but relaxed. I never had a bad meal. Still miss the burgers around pool side. Speaking of pools, they were on the small side and as the days got hotter they were all very crowded. I love to swim so I just made do. Bought the spa package for $90 which let me use steam rooms, aromatherapy sauna and heated lounger. It was well worth it. I found it nice that I wasn't constantly asked to fork out money as has been my experience on RCCL, Princess, & Holland America lately. The itinerary was interesting and enjoyed swimming with the stingrays in Grand Caymen. Best experience for all 6 of us was in Belize. I booked the tubing in the caves privately with BUTTS UP and was delighted. The ship was charging $119 and Butts Up charged $50 for the same experience without crowds! They delivered everything they promised. I would cruise again on the Celebrity Line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our second cruise with Celebrity...and will not be our last!!...love love love this cruise line...the crew are friendly and helpful and the ship is elegant and spotless....from the moment you board and you are greeted you know you ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity...and will not be our last!!...love love love this cruise line...the crew are friendly and helpful and the ship is elegant and spotless....from the moment you board and you are greeted you know you are in for a special experience...our cabin was on the sixth deck....the room was clean and the beds...so comfy!!...very quiet....our balcony was right over the life rafts which did not block our view but they are very big and orange!!!...hard on the eyes....lol...we have booked on the ninth deck for our next cruise.. and closer to the elevators....... we loved the dinning room and enjoyed the different variety every night....so many new and wonderful entrees to try.....and if you didnt care for your choice you can always head on down to the buffet....although there were so many courses to dinner we were always so full!!... we enjoyed the entertainment....especially the tenors of rock.....what a treat to hear them!... we did go on several ship excursions ...some good others better....but I have to say the ones we found on our own we enjoyed the most.....probably because the groups were smaller...but overall we loved everything... Cant say enough for the staff who looked after us, both in the dinning room and our stateroom....all were excellent...they remember your name , what you like and need....so friendly and accommodating....service can make or break a vacation.....they made ours wonderful!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We did a Med cruise on Equinox when she was brand new and she still looks great. Unfortunately the embarkation went very slowly as only a few agents were checking us in. We stood in line for an hour but then got on board quickly. And is ... Read More
We did a Med cruise on Equinox when she was brand new and she still looks great. Unfortunately the embarkation went very slowly as only a few agents were checking us in. We stood in line for an hour but then got on board quickly. And is there anything nicer than free champagne and mimosas to welcome you on board? We had planned on going to lunch at Bistro on 5, but the buffet was scrumptious so we stayed there. The free classic drink package really spoiled me as I had a drink and a cappuccino with my lunch for free. The cabins were ready by 1 and I was very pleased with my partially obstructed balcony as it was only obstructed if I looked down. The cabin was very nice and our steward, Antonio, was great. Before our late seating each night, we visited the Molecular Bar or Martini Bar. Depending on where we sat, the piped in techno music at the Martini Bar was usually too loud for us to have conversation. Why do they do that? We took full advantage of the wonderful coffee, tea, and pastries at Cafe il Bacio - at all hours - and often sprung for an excellent gelato as well. We usually hit the buffet for salad at 6 to hold us over till late dinner, which ran to 10 pm. The food in the MDR was so wonderful - and our servers, Ioanna and Kristijan were so great - we never felt the need to go anywhere else although we did have one meal at Bistro on 5, which was good. Another thing we continue to love is how Celebrity has cold cloths and drinks available when you return to the ship. So nice! My only other complaint (that was Celebrity's fault) was the only ship's excursion we did, snorkeling in Belize, which was not as advertised and we were packed in like cattle. When we disembarked, it took more than 2 hours to get through Customs because there were 6 LINES for 2800 passengers. They told us Customs had recently laid off hundreds of employees. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
Embarkation was a breeze ,we arrived at the terminal about 11.30 and because we are Elite we walked straight to a desk and checked in, I guess we were on board in about 15 minutes of arriving. We thought the ship was beautiful and this ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze ,we arrived at the terminal about 11.30 and because we are Elite we walked straight to a desk and checked in, I guess we were on board in about 15 minutes of arriving. We thought the ship was beautiful and this opinion never changed during the cruise. Our cabin was well appointed , on deck 7 forward, our cabin Steward was excellent and always spoke to us and smiled. The tv in the cabin was OK we got BBC News and Sky news and also some coverage of the Winter Olympics . We had chosen select dining and went about 6 times to the restaurant other nights we ate in the buffet, we found the food to be excellent, great choice , warm plates( I hate hot food on cold plates) and it was lovely to sit at the sunset bar the evenings eating dinner. We nearly missed the brunch as it was not advertised and we only heard by word of mouth. We made good use of the Elite lounge in the sky bar very evening and met some very interesting people. The weather was glorious everywhere and we only saw a short rain shower early one morning. We did a private tour in Cartagena which was excellent and the old tow was very interesting we would have spent more time there but it was very hot and humid. In Colon we only walked round the shops at the pier ,same for Porto limon and Belize . We felt the ports were dirty and had lots of litter and rubbish round the piers which does give a bad impression of what the rest of the town is like. Cozumel was better much cleaner but we did find the shop keepers quite persistent and it was a bit of an ordeal walking on the shop side of the street. We went back to the ship and went into senior Frogs bar and had the largest cocktail. I have ever seen in my life, but at least we were within crawling distance of the ship 😜 We never had problems finding a sun bed on sea days and enjoyed the burger bar food on deck 14 and especially enjoyed the Aqua cafe in the solarium, absolutely yummy health salads. great entertainment enjoyed all we saw. We did not see the singer or the comedy shows as we knew hey would not appeal to the English sense of humour .Singers and dancers were very good and the Cirque de soleil show was amazing. The cruise director was excellent and we enjoyed his regular morning shows. We found all the crew and officers friendly happy and always willing to stop and chat especially the officers. We did think the grass areas was a waste of space and part of it could have been made into a mini golf course as we hardly ever saw the grass areas being used. We enjoyed the glass shows and saw quite a few pieces being made, we were amazed how much they went for at the auction 1000 USD plus. The bad. Dismbarkation. We asked for a 9.30 departure as we were going to stay in fort lauderdale . We waited in Tuscan and eventually our number 48 was called at about 9.45. We left the ship and everyone was all smiles, then the problems began. We queued for 20 minutes to go down the escalator to the luggage collection area. Things only got worse. When we started down the escalators we saw the queue of probably 1000 people all dragging their own luggage round a long snaking line to 3 immigration officers. We collected our bags. And joined the end of the queue. It took 2 hours to get to the front of the queue where the Americans were sent to 2 lines and non Americans to the other line. There was no warning that this was likely to happen and hence we were not prepared , no water, and no restrooms. We are fit and could drag our bags but there were older people and people with walking problems who really struggled. Celebrity could have warned us that this was going to happen they must have known. Overall we had a good cruise and would not let disembarkation issues spoil it, but in future we will walk off early. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Just back from the 11 day leg of the Equinox Caribbean Central America cruise. We are Celebrity Elite Plus cruisers so we know the line well and love Celebrity. However I was frankly concerned because I tend not to like very large ships. I ... Read More
Just back from the 11 day leg of the Equinox Caribbean Central America cruise. We are Celebrity Elite Plus cruisers so we know the line well and love Celebrity. However I was frankly concerned because I tend not to like very large ships. I felt that the Millennium -class ships were the largest I would enjoy. Happily sailed many times on all of those class ships. and then we went on the "solsticized" Millennium last year and were not happy. Adding 10% more people in the same size ship does not work! But the Equinox had an intriguing itinerary, so we tried it. I gotta admit when i am wrong. The Equinox is not only beautiful, but it really works! The flow is great and you never feel like you are on a 2850 passenger ship. There are always places to find solitude away from the crowds - unless you want to be by the pool on a sea day of course. The crew was excellent, professional and welcoming. We sailed in Aqua Class for the first time and ate every night at Blu. We never ventured out because the food was really really good! I had forgotten just how good Celebrity's food could be. Our hostess, Aurore from France, learned not only our names but our seating preferences quickly and our server, Agung from Bali was perfect. The staff in the Oceanview Buffet were always friendly and helpful and the breakfast included anything you could imagine. We had the Beverage package which is a pretty great amenity if it is included. We are not heavy drinkers, but have a cocktail before dinner, a glass of wine with your meal, a cup of expresso or hot chocolate in the Cafe after dinner, and fresh orange juice at breakfast, and you have saved a bundle! Only negative comment: I do agree with one reviewer who noted the arrogant bartender at the Martini Bar, usually my favorite hangout. I actually asked which vodkas were under the Classic Beverage package and he said it included Ketel One. I ordered a Ketel One martini and he presented me with a bill for $13. Seems that if you have Ketel One on the rocks, it is included but if you get it "up" as a martini it is not! He said any martini - even with the cheapest vodka or gin - costs $11+svc, and is therefore off the Beverage Pkg. But he said it like I was stupid for not knowing the technicality. That was the last time I visited that bar. Having said that this jerk was the total exception. I guess Divas come in all sorts! EVERY OTHER bartender and waiter on the ship was superb, friendly and professional. Of special note are Sebastian, the bar server from Denmark, and bartenders Devon and Sylvia. Look them up and say Hi! Warning: If you do the itinerary that includes Colombia and Panama, the passport and Customs process at debarkation is horrendous! What normally is a 15 minute exit process took us almost two hours of standing in lines. Celebrity should have warned us more clearly, but then nobody would have gotten off the ship so I get it.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
After having taken a number of cruises with Royal Caribbean, Last year we upgraded to Celebrity. It was a nice switch. We found this cruise with a number of stops that were unusual for the Caribbean runs. Yes it had Grand Cayman and ... Read More
After having taken a number of cruises with Royal Caribbean, Last year we upgraded to Celebrity. It was a nice switch. We found this cruise with a number of stops that were unusual for the Caribbean runs. Yes it had Grand Cayman and Cozumel, but it also had Cartagena, Columbia, Porto Limon, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. while we had been to Cartagena many years ago, we were amazed by the change, especially in the Boca Grande Area. As experienced cruisers we don't normally take the ships cruises, since we can find local operators with a greater ability to meet our needs. The ship is quite beautiful, but I understand it's going into drydock after the Caribbean season. Celebrity is noted for upgrading their ships usually every four or five years. This make the experience quite pleasurable for the traveler. The entertainment was not up to par, with the exception of a Cirque de Soleil type of show which was spectacular. The first production show was so bad we left halfway through. Our cabin seemed smaller than we were used to, though the veranda was larger and I spent quite a few hours there while we were under sail. The bed however was the most comfortable i've slept in on any cruise I've taken in the past. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants, since we found the food and service in the main restaurant exceptional. My only criticism was with the maitre'd, We had asked for a table of eight or more, since we like to spend time with a company of cruisers. My wife and I were on a table of eight, but their was only one other couple. We asked him to find another with others. We finally had to discover a group of two couples ourselves who we sat with for the rest of the cruise. The only other disappointment was disembarkation which took two hours. I don't think the fault was Celebrity's but our own ICE government agency, since it appeared that at least half of the immigration staff seemed to be missing.. In the past the in room entertainment contained a few entertainment channels. They have mostly disappeared, with TNT only remaining.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Wonderful ship and the crew made it special as they were very involved and visible . Lots of fun games that involved the crew and passengers. The ports on this cruise were varied with city stops and beach as well as rain forest. The ship ... Read More
Wonderful ship and the crew made it special as they were very involved and visible . Lots of fun games that involved the crew and passengers. The ports on this cruise were varied with city stops and beach as well as rain forest. The ship is still in tip top shape. My cons were they have terrible coffee now and they are nickel and dimming in areas they have not before. Example no regular yogurts in Aqua spa cafe, yes they had their up charge parfait but until I asked for them they were not available and even at that they kept them in a fridge hidden away (maybe 5). Same at lunch salad bar with a few choices but to the side they had many other offerings for add on's to the salad at a charge. This just felt like being taken. Great service love the restaurant Blu. Lots of things to do on days at sea and some good entertainment. Was very impressed with the Celebrity tour we took at the Gamboa rainforest, usually it is a big group and we avoid it but this time it was a nice small group and very well run. Fitness is great but lots of machines were out of order. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Let me preface this by saying that normally when I read negative reviews I often sit there and think "Oh this person must be such a snob, or impossible to make happy." My husband and I are neither of these things, but we do have ... Read More
Let me preface this by saying that normally when I read negative reviews I often sit there and think "Oh this person must be such a snob, or impossible to make happy." My husband and I are neither of these things, but we do have certain expectations when we go on vacation. I never expect perfection, that's silly...but I do expect fantastic customer service, good food, and solid entertainment. On this cruise, unfortunately out of those three, we really only got the good food... We were on the sailing leaving from Fort Lauderdale on February 10. We arrived at the port at around 11:30, and embarkation was fairly quick. They had some minor issues checking us in (we both appeared under my husband's name for some reason) and they fixed the issue and got us on our way (we found out the next day they hadn't in fact fixed it, but bypassed the issue, so my drink package didn't work properly until I went to guest services to get it fixed). Now on to the review... In general, although we were prepared to be in the "younger crowd" on the ship (we're 36 and 30), the demographic was a bit different than I expected, and not due to age...more mentality. The average age was likely around 65 or 70, but it was a more "stuffy" older crowd than I expected. People who wore "slacks" (I hate even using that word) at 10 AM just to go to the buffet, and who are happy to go to art auctions and lectures on nice sunny days at sea. Don't get me wrong, it was a great cruise due to the itinerary, but the ship experience itself left me nothing to be "wowed" by. It seemed like any generic all-inclusive experience (except it was far from all inclusive by the time I paid for the 5 night specialty dining package and the premium non-alcoholic drink package for two of us). The ship is very pretty, but with nothing that really sets it apart in an industry so filled with variety. The entertainment, for me, was pretty awful, with the exception being the comedian and the juggler. The three "broadway type productions" were pretty terrible. The dancers and singers were OK, but the production and choreography gave them nothing to work with! In particular the Remix show made me shudder at parts. It was just a random assortment of singing and dancing, with pretty terrible choreography. One of my favorite styles of dance is Bollywood, and I was cringing during the entire portion of the show. It was clear that the choreographer knows nothing about the style of dance, and likely just watched a few youtube videos to get the hang of it. I'm a huge believer in sticking to what you do well - it seemed that the cast didn't really get to shine in one particular area because they tried to cram every style of dancing and singing into these shows. It ended up seeming very disjointed and bizarre to us. The exception were the specialty acrobatic dancers who appeared during every show and totally stole it each time, even though by the third show they were simply re-using tricks they'd done in the first two. They were both absolutely amazing, especially to do what they did on a moving boat! We also had a few minor issues with guest services, and they were just not handled in the best manner...they seem to think that giving complimentary wine fixes problems...but for a 4 months pregnant person who doesn't even drink when not pregnant, wine fixes nothing. A sincere apology and desire to do better does everything, and those were lacking. My favorite was when I went to the guest services desk for the second time regarding the same issue (drinks charged to our room that were not ours, after the first time I went to report them they still did not get removed) on the last day, the reply was "Well, today IS the last day of the cruise, things get hectic around here..." I have worked in customer service my entire life. This is NEVER an OK answer. It's not the paying customer's fault that you're too busy to do a job properly. I paid for an 11 night cruise....not a 10 night with a "we're too busy to help you" last day! There were three staff members at the desk, and not one of them apologized that I had to come down for a second time to get it taken care of. All they did was make excuses as to why it hadn't gotten fixed. Anyways, before you start to think I'm just a crazy person ranting, there were some great parts too... The Pros: -As stated, easy and fast embarkation -Buffet food was good for the most part. Hot plates, good variety, and easy to get to each station with little to no wait. -Drink package (premium non-alcoholic) forced me to really drink lots of water and perrier as I wanted to get my money's worth! -DELICIOUS fresh mint lemonades -The Equinox is a beautiful ship, and very clean throughout -The pools are amazing, and there were surprisingly few people in them much of the time, even on sea days! -Specialty restaurants were amazing, and MDR food was very good too - A few staff members went above and beyond...Aries in Bistro on 5/Tuscan Grill and Carla in Silk Harvest were both amazing -Ping pong tables set up every day - plus a daily tournament too! My husband had a great time and we met some very cool people -Stereo Girls were great for live music out an around the ship! -THE ITINERARY! It was amazing - we saw some truly stunning places. The panama Canal was one of the highlights of my life - it was so amazing to see! The Cons: -I ate eggs benedict every morning and not once did they get a good medium egg. They were either raw (which I can't eat) or solidly hard -Perrier and red bull not available at many bars, and very slow service at some of the bars. We heard lots of people say that since the introduction of the drink package this has been seen more and more frequently. -Juice bar in the morning at the buffet was staffed by a lady who appeared to just not like her job very much. When it's morning, and she's one of the first people you encounter, it kind of sets a bad tone. Twice she served me fresh orange juice in a filthy glass...not just a few water spots, like dirty... -We noticed with many staff members, they just seemed to be "phoning it in" - either they don't love the cruise industry or they were all having bad days! They just seemed like staff members that you would encounter at an average hotel, not on a more upscale cruise line! -Very limited movie selection on TV, and no ability to hook our laptop up to the TV to watch our own -Entertainment was severely lacking, shows were just OK... -"Live music" around the ship was often played over a track. My husband is a huge fan of live music, and there is nothing worse than watching the band stop playing and the music continuing. The calypso band by the pool could be GREAT if they were simply playing their own music! -Issues with specialty dining reservations - they mixed up the nights I asked for, then when I went to get it fixed they said it was fine....then we showed up for our reservation on the last night and they didn't have record of it. Luckily it was early so they got us in. Wouldn't be a big deal, but when you pay an extra few hundred dollars to eat in specialty dining, the expectation for experience goes up So in a nutshell, we don't regret the trip, it was saved by the fantastic experience of wandering around Old Town Cartegena, seeing live monkeys and sloths in Costa Rica, and watching ships pass through the Panama Canal. But our next cruise will not be on Celebrity. We're just not their type of cruiser I guess... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This is my third cruise and my first with Celebrity Equinox. The whole trip was absolutely fantastic. I went away with my sister and parents. The boat itself was lovely. It was very modern in style and really had something for everyone. ... Read More
This is my third cruise and my first with Celebrity Equinox. The whole trip was absolutely fantastic. I went away with my sister and parents. The boat itself was lovely. It was very modern in style and really had something for everyone. Embarkation was a breeze and whilst we were waiting for our luggage went and had a look around the ship. As someone in my mid twenties I noticed that the crowd were quite a lot older on this trip. We stayed in Aqua Class which was totally worth it in my opinion. We had a balcony room which was lovely....fresh canapés, bottled water and iced tea every day. The rooms are very spacious and I was surprised at the generous amount of room in the bathroom. With Aqua Class we could enjoy the gym and spa for free and also dined in the Blu restaurant. Blu was amazing. I've seen on here a lot of people saying its the 'healthy' restaurant. Whilst I would agree to a certain extent I wouldn't exactly call it health food, with things on the menu such as steak, lobster, fresh seafood and a mountain of naughty desserts. The waiting staff in Blu were equally amazing. We did dine in the main restaurant one night and went to the brunch on the last day...both of our times in the main restaurant were also good. During the day we never had any problem finding 4 sun beds together. In fact, there were often empty sun beds for a lot of the day...even on the at sea days. Itinerary wise, there was endless amounts of choice for things to do. It seems every half an hour or so something else was happening; quizzes, ballroom dancing, ping pong tournaments, hot glass shows, zumba...the list goes on! The entertainment staff were brilliant and special note to Andres the Zumba coach who was excellent and never seemed to run out of energy! There were so many choices of bars. I really liked the molecular bar, the cocktails were delicious and so inventive, however these are only included in the premium drinks package. The sky bar was always mostly good for after dinner. I can imagine if it were a slightly younger crowd it would have had a really buzzy atmosphere however there did always seem to be people dancing. The nightclub Quasar never really took off. For the first couple of nights of the cruise it didn't open til midnight. They then started to open it at an earlier time. At its busiest there were probably 30 or so people in there. The music was good though and it stayed open pretty late! The excursions we did were fantastic; swimming with stingrays and dolphins in Grand Cayman, Zip-lining and crystal cave tubing in Belize, white water rafting in Costa Rica and Mayan ruins in Mexico. The only show we went to was the cirque du soleil type show which was very good but the other shows weren't really to our taste. There was a late night comedian that played on a few nights in Celebrity Central who was quite funny but VERY much catered to only the American crowd. I'm sure he would have been funnier if we knew all the references he was making. All in all, a brilliant cruise and I'd definitely go back on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Well we had a great time as usual on a Celebrity ship Embarkation was smooth - we arrived around 11:00 am and were walking on the ship by 11:15 greeted with a glass of champagne. We walked around the ship and headed to the Oceanview for ... Read More
Well we had a great time as usual on a Celebrity ship Embarkation was smooth - we arrived around 11:00 am and were walking on the ship by 11:15 greeted with a glass of champagne. We walked around the ship and headed to the Oceanview for lunch - I must say the selection of items were varied and what we had was excellent Upon changing we sat at the pool and enjoyed the warm weather - just a note that they must have cut back on the waiters at the pool - all week we usually had to go to the bar to get our drinks - oh well About 1:00 pm our rooms were ready and as usual it was very clean and everything was neat - our room steward Manuel was very friendly and kept our room extremely neat and clean - the round shower is great and provides you plenty of room - we were in room 9139 which is on the same deck as the pool - you could hear very faintly carts rolling from time to time on the deck above us (The Oceanview) - it never kept us awake - only complaint was the lack of hot water on numerous occasions when we were getting ready for our evening out The food in the Main Dining Room was fair to good - the specialty Restaurants are amazing - Murano is the best one with Tuscon running a close second - Silk Harvest is ok - nothing special - the brunch on the last sea day was beautiful and the selection of food was extensive - I know they charge more for the specialty restaurants but the food and service is well worth it - we ate two nights up in Oceanview and had a wonderful meal Each one of the ports are very different - Columbia is one port I have no interest in seeing again - the street vendors are relentless - Grand Cayman is very pretty and the Turtle Farm is very interesting - save yourself some money and walk past all the taxi's about 2 blocks up and catch the local buses - $2.50 per person each way to the Turtle Farm and $18.00 per person to get in - Panama was an education seeing as we took the Dome Train along the canal and Gatun Lake - the guide Mike was extremely informative and the scenery was beautiful - make sure you take the dome car if you take the train - Costa Rica was our adventure we went white water rafting - not many rapids but still an amazing way to see such a beautiful country - Belize is ok - we went snorkeling and were a little disappointed - the water was cloudy and the crew on the boat were about as interesting as a two toed sloth - Cozumel is your typical tourist trap but must say the shopping was the best of any port we visited Entertainment was very good and if you could not find something you like then it is your fault Service overall was excellent and all the staff are extremely friendly - it starts with the cruise director Paul who has been on other Celebrity Cruises we have done and he does a great job Summary - Equinox is a beautiful well designed ship and the crew is fantastic - we had a wonderful vacation and look forward to our next Celebrity cruise PS - be prepared for a long lines when you disembark thanks to the US Customs - also don't worry about tenderd ports it not that bad of a wait Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was our sixth cruise, and fourth on Celebrity. The Equinox is in great shape. What really made the cruise was the service. I cannot say enough about the dining room staff, specifically our waiter Nadim and sommelier, Maggie. Each ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise, and fourth on Celebrity. The Equinox is in great shape. What really made the cruise was the service. I cannot say enough about the dining room staff, specifically our waiter Nadim and sommelier, Maggie. Each night was just made wonderful by the perfect amount of attentive service. Our cabin service was excellent and as usuall when you leave for just an hour they rush right in to make up the room which is always appreciated. The itinerary including ports we have not visited before including Cartegena (which is wonderful), Pamama, Costa Rica, Belize along with standards Grand Cayman and Cozumel. They new and different ports helped make the cruise that much better. Overall I think Celebrity represents an excellent value given the premium experience for a relatively small additional fare. As a longer cruise the crowd was a bit older, but we still had a great time and the folks young and older who wanted to have a good time all managed to find each other! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I and my husband (37yo and 43yo) together with three of our best friends (30yo, 37yo and 41yo) took the Ultimate Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox 20-31 of January 2014. Some of us stayed four days pre cruise at South Beach. Our ... Read More
I and my husband (37yo and 43yo) together with three of our best friends (30yo, 37yo and 41yo) took the Ultimate Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox 20-31 of January 2014. Some of us stayed four days pre cruise at South Beach. Our hotel was the Carlton (not the Ritz) on Collins. I can’t recommend this hotel at all if you stay in the Miami area as it was so loud with old single glass windows. This was my fourth Caribbean cruise and my eight in total, my husband’s fourth in total while our friends were first time cruisers. The previous cruises have been on Celebrity and RCI. We have both enjoyed them all and the differences between the two lines. On Celebrity we love the food, the fantastic service given by everyone and the demographics which has been well divided among all age groups. For some reason though our fellow cruisers on this cruise was in average much older. This dampened the spirit of our single friends the first days. Not that I say that we couldn’t enjoy the company. On the contrary we had much fun with many (Alicia you were such a lovely company at the Sky bar) and the old “girls” constantly flirted with us in the elevator. Interesting to read Cruise Critic reviews or the boards were many are complaining on the younger crowd not dressing up according to dress code or being just rude. On this cruise that description better fitted on some of the older cruisers who just did whatever they wanted without thinking of others. Some were very rude not only towards other cruisers, but also towards the hardworking staff. I’ve cruised both the M- and S- class before and we all though Celebrity Equinox is slightly too large compared to the M-class, but as always we managed to get friends with a whole group of people as well as some staff. The S-class is tastefully decorated and in my view the most “modern” in the cruise industry. Many make the comparison to the W hotels, but as an architect myself I wouldn’t go that far. The whole ship is well laid out and logical as well as outfitted with a high finish. I was visiting the yard when Celebrity Solstice was built and it was fun to later take a cruise on her. I can really recommend visiting the Meyer Werft! I and my husband had an “obstructed” balcony cabin on deck six. I had carefully chosen this cabin (6174) due to that the life boats beneath is of a smaller type so when sitting down there is nothing “obstructing” the view. If one stands up looking down then one can’t see the ship’s hull meeting the water, but that wasn’t a big thing for us. Our cabin attendant Michael and his assistant were great and always greeted us with a smile. They were always accessible, either in the hallway or by phone. Don’t know if this is a new feature to be able to call them over the phone, but it was in any case great. What wasn’t great is room service. To order on the interactive TV was the easy part, but selection has gone downhill. If one wanted anything interesting then one has to choose the per fee items which wasn’t priced that bad though. Our cabin had the seating next to the balcony which we preferred. The seating and balcony creates a single larger space when laid out like this. The public areas I like the most on board are the whole entrance/atrium/shopping “street” complex with the Martini bar and Cellar Masters as well as the café and creperie. It’s well laid out, a smart floor plan and all interiors are stylish with a great diversity of styles without making the whole area “busy”. The Cellar Masters is not well used, but with a drink in one hand and nowhere to sit we often went here and had no problem finding a seat. Other areas I love are the main dining room, the specialty restaurants (except the Tuscany Grill which I find rather bland) and the Solarium. At dinner we were seated at the lower level next to the wine tower. First night we sat at the center since they hadn´t figured out that we were a larger group although our bookings were linked by the travel agent. We actually moved to the other location since we liked the fact we could see the whole center of the dining room, but still not being at the center with much more noise. This was a cozy location, but I can see that many wouldn’t like it due to the close proximity to the back area of the food deliveries. The first nights the whole group of dinner staff was great and felt very professional. This could be a very high end restaurant in Europe. Later during the cruise service slipped with a lot of orders messed up and we got food we hadn’t ordered. When pointing this out the head waiter was reacting as this was our fault. The assistant waiter was then stepping in and saved these dinners. The sommelier also failed to deliver great service mid cruise and ignoring our table for the first half of the dinner service, only attending tables which had passengers without the drink packages. This was though the only time we saw this happening and in other bars this was not an issue. We do all though appreciate Celebrity are still having this service and hearing that this will soon disappear was not good news. The dining room sommeliers are one of the few things still separates Celebrity from the competitors. Food. A topic everyone has an opinion on with a large variety of opinions when asking around. I cruised when Michel Roux was Celebrity Cruises food consultant. Everyone was raving about the food before my first cruise and what a letdown it was. The ingredients were for sure fresh and there many higher cost items on the menu which were nicely plated, but all food just lacked the most important thing – taste. After Roux left I had better food on following cruises with Celebrity, but the last cruise before this one on the Solstice was sort of a let down again. This time I was surprised about how great most things tasted on this “cheaper” menu. Some things like the salmon tartar appetizer was beautifully plated like on a very high end restaurant on land and tasted fantastic. There were though some main courses that didn’t really hit the right note and some of the meat dishes were a letdown. On the whole the dining room experience is much better than the cruise price would suggest. The Mast grill offers freshly made hamburgers and hot dogs. Gone are the tacos and nachos unfortunately, but one can find them in the Oceanview Café instead. The hamburgers are the best and we went up there a lot for an afternoon snack (we had late seating) and some of our friends commented after the cruise that the burgers we tried in Fort Lauderdale didn’t taste as good. The café on deck five was not packed with passengers on the drink package filling the seats for hours and hours as I read pre cruise. Rather empty in most cases. They offered same sweets as up in the Oceanview Café with a few special ones. A little disappointed also that they didn’t serve the small sandwiches I had on previous cruises. The coffee tasted well, but the specialty coffee drinks wasn’t any good. I thought we were going to use the café a lot due to our drink package and when thinking how much we sat here on previous cruises. As it came out we just sat here once and then ordered out three times. Staff is as on the rest of the ship the best and helpful. I tried the gelato (had a Captains Club coupon), but it wasn’t that much better than the included variety up at the Oceanview Café. We tried some of the specialty restaurants like Murano and Silk Harvest. First Murano which is outstanding and better for each time I visit. The menu has changed slightly and to the better with more interesting appetizers and main courses. The table side preparation is really elegant but the presentation of the lobster dish main course did not look appetizing. It tasted great though. The whole experience is something not to miss on a cruise and staff is fantastic without being up your face. Second Silk Harvest. I read quite bad reviews of this restaurant, but my memory of the first time I tried it out on the Solstice are positive. This time though the new main courses and the sushi wasn’t like a remembered it. The dishes are served family style for all to share and we opted for the waiter to make the selection. We got almost all the dishes on the menu out on the table and this was too much for us to eat. I think its better one decides for themselves since too much uneaten food just get wasted. Most appetizers were really good and I can recommend the Chinese main courses, but the rest was quite bland and the sushi rice was to “wet” due to that these weren’t made fresh at the time of ordering. We all had a great time though with great service and some of us thought it was the best dinner we had onboard. My last notes about food are the Oceanview Café and the Bistro on Five. The buffet on Celebrity is great, but this is only in regard of the food itself. We over heard people complain that there weren’t enough choices. Well the themes areas are the same everyday like pizza, Asian, Mexican, salad bar and sandwiches, but within these areas we found new dishes every day. I can understand from where this complains come from. We saw many having all kinds of food the Oceanview put on one or two plates. So after two days I guess these passengers had tested it all and from then on everything was a repetition. My complaint about this area is the interior style. It’s too cold looking and just oozes efficiency which works ok for lunch, but dinner time it doesn’t work. For diner I recommend taking the food out on the aft terrace which is much cozier and it’s close to the bar. We didn’t try the Bistro on Five on the Solstice so we said let’s do it now. The soup tasted great, but from there it was so so. Service was as always on Celebrity the best and they try their absolutely best to cater for our needs, but the crepes were not great. Basically a thin pancake folded with some boring filling and then some ketchup tasting sauce on top of it. The dessert ones are alright though, but didn’t leave much of an impression. As on the Solstice the gym is large enough and have all the equipment one can find on a land based gym. Enough free weights and plenty of space. One of the guys working there always said hi, but the girls didn’t care at all. Who cared though was Sanja working at the SPA. What a great girl! During the last days they throw a SPA special at the entertainment court and give you special offers which worked out well for me and my husband. The 75 minute massage cost almost half of the original price. What made it great was though Sanja who was very professional and gave me one of the best massages I ever had. After cruising on the M-class then the rest of the SPA experience leaves a lot to ask for. The M-class huge changing room and large sauna with a view is changed into a cramped area of which most space is just corridors and with a small sauna to fit even more passengers than the M-class. If one wants’ anything like the M-class then one have to pay extra. The Solarium is a fantastic space we used quite a lot, but the SPA Café is nowadays an extra fee space. Too bad, since it on the Solstice was such a great lunch alternative. I’m closely monitoring these small steps away from what Celebrity offered in the past and I’m more and more inclined to test other cruises lines. Not because they might offer a better experience, but the cost cuts might take away my loyalty to Celebrity. What I do love with Celebrity is the abundance of life acts and music. This is to my understanding not the case with many of Celebrity’s competitors. Great pool band, classic trios and jazz acts. It doesn’t end there. A guitar player we enjoyed at the Sunset bar, two young girls offering low key entertainment on pool deck and a good band in the observation lounge during the evenings. I myself like the production shows in the main theatre, but I can understand they are not for everyone. One has to understand the limited space they have to work with on a cruise ship and how many special acts they can afford on the budget they have to work with. So considering that I think they do a great job and the live orchestra is just something I really applaud to. Mike Pace was the late night comedy show. I write just his name because the whole package with Sin City Comedy didn’t work well. I have no problem with burlesque dancing, but it wasn’t well placed in the show. On top of that the “host” was mostly laughing at his own “jokes” which were the same throughout the three shows (each repeated twice) while Mike Pace put some effort to it and when he realized that many came back for the last repeated show he had new material. And how fun he was! The whole group enjoyed all the bars onboard and the diversity of them. For some reason though the Martini Bar was mostly empty and not the center of the ship as on our last Solstice cruise. It wasn’t full even on formal nights or nights before a sea day. They should also offer a smaller martini for us with a drink package which I read in some reviews they have done. Not so on this cruise where I got a no and a no every time I asked. Otherwise we didn’t notice any bad service due to the drink package. We got the same great service as always. There were though some things that need to be changed. First the LGTB gatherings which is not anymore advertised in the Celebrity Today (this was taken away some years ago together with other interest groups like Friends of Bill, which for some strange reason is listed again in Celebrity Today) and placed in the Martini bar. So on a crowded evening (like the first early evenings when the LGTB gathering was to be) this gathering just vanished in the crowd. Not a very good choice of bar. The second permanent change they need to make is the time when the disco starts. It’s listed to start at 12:00 midnight. So after the dinner and show we had to lurk around for over an hour before it started so many just didn’t bother. Some Canadians complained and it was moved to 11:00 PM and that worked better. Our biggest complaint and it wasn’t just us but all who used the disco, was the two bartenders working in there. I don’t know and frankly don’t care if this was their last weeks onboard, but they behaved really badly as if they stopped caring anymore. Not what I expect from the staff at Celebrity cruises. Never a smile if it wasn’t to each other, rude behavior and not service minded at all. They also didn’t know how to end service in the disco on the most populated night in a good way. So there was an argument and they didn’t know how to handle this professionally so security had to pop by and sort out the mess they created. I was personally treated in a very unprofessional manner one night at the Celebrity Central which the disco bar staff handles at night as well. I asked one of them if they had Celebrity’s own labeled sparkling wine since I knew that not all bars stocked it. The answer was the bartender faking going through his mind if they had it in a feminine way and returning with the Italian sparkling wine I specific asked not to bring. The other bartender was for a whole night just talking to his girlfriend whom he at one moment in front of everyone touched in an inappropriate way while ignoring everyone who waited at the counter. If Celebrity want to attract a younger demographics they want then they need to treat the disco as important as others areas of the ship. On a more positive not I want to mention the fantastic people working in the Ensemble Lounge and the Sky Bar during the evening. Erol, Salvador and the nice dark haired girl (who I unfortunately forgot the name of) in the Ensemble Lounge was very professional, learned our names and preferences. They made the best cocktails onboard by far and every pre dinner drink hour was a delight with them. Last I want to mention the bartender up in the Sky Bar who for most of the evenings took care of the bar up there single handed, but always gave everyone great service. He also kept a bottle of the Celebrity sparkling wine for me just in case I wanted a glass. We had a nice time talking to him about his family and being away so long from them. He created a classy atmosphere up there. I and my husband saw the last glass show and it was very entertaining. They do a great job in not only describing the step by step procedure to create these glass objects, but they are also funny and the hours up there pass by quick. Finally I want to mention the excursions. I looked around the internet before ordering any excursions to see the price levels in comparison to the ones offered by Celebrity. In many cases we could save 10 Dollars on taking the taxi on our own to E.G. the dolphin attraction in Cozumel or booking with a local operator, but since we hadn’t been to these places we weren’t sure how much hazzle and haggle it would be to arrange at port so we ordered all on line on Celebrity’s home page. It worked all fine except that a pre cruise canceled excursion wasn’t refunded until we complained onboard. This was then three months after the cancelation which we think is very badly handled. If you do any dolphin related excursions in Cozumel then be warned about the prices of the photos they take of you while being in the basin with the dolphins. Each photo package on a CD cost 150 dollars. You are not allowed to take your own camera with you so this is your only option. We said no thanks and then they lowered it to 100 dollar directly. We still thought this was a robbery and opted out. One can though film and take photos from land so at least we got some photos and film of the dolphins. If you cruised with Celebrity Cruises before you know they hand out cold towels and beverages when you return to port after your excursions and we all thought this is an elegant gesture and much appreciated after a long day in the hot sun. All in all this was a very good cruise. I wouldn’t say the best or really great since it had its glitches and they single guys’ couldn’t really enjoy themselves when there was no other singles in their age at all. Food is still very good in the main dining room and Celebrity still offer sommeliers, Murano is still outstanding, lots of live music everywhere and staff is extremely service minded. Celebrity Cruises still delivers a lot for the dollars and feel refined without being stuffy.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
(1) I think this is the all time record for a ship sponsored excursion since the ship was scheduled to leave port at 6 PM but our group from Equinox (dozens) re-boarded the ship at 7:30 PM (ship was held for our return) The bottom line ... Read More
(1) I think this is the all time record for a ship sponsored excursion since the ship was scheduled to leave port at 6 PM but our group from Equinox (dozens) re-boarded the ship at 7:30 PM (ship was held for our return) The bottom line cause of this was being held up in the locks for 3 hours because the Panama Canal control is in the hands of Panama instead of the USA and they were holding 2 tour boats hostage for 3 hours (waiting for a big cargo ship paying big bucks to use the canal) under the premise that water is so precious that only big ships warrant dumping the umpteen million gallons of water (readily available) to allow ships to go thru locks. This is nothing less than an act of being held hostage by their country for their financial benefit and crapping on tourists with no regard whatsoever for their comfort (NO A/C ON CANAL CRUISE BOATS) and makes one wonder if someone with a medical emergency would receive help in time or just be written off as a casualty of Panama Canal misfortune. (2) X-Rails: Are you willing to endure hours of driving an oversized go cart? (no power steering - requires brute strength to turn these i.e. most women not strong enough) also, rather than needing a bandana to screen out dust on trail thru tropical forest - after torrential rains days before - this excursion involved driving thru huge deep mudpuddles (dozens and dozens one after another) BOTH WAYS on trail to and from Jade Caverns. On the trail many breakdowns (ours lost front wheel - mechanic guy was provided apparently because such things happen often - another one lost a back wheel) and for repeat off course incidents they must throw lever at rear bumper to get reverse - no gear controls in buggies. When they say "strenuous" with this excursion that's a gross understatement. (3) This was our FIRST one with Celebrity after having 8 cruises on Royal Caribbean sequentially moving up to ever larger ones as they were built: (biggest of 8) Explorer - Mariner - Freedom - Independence - Oasis - Allure - also did Sovereign 3 day with grandkids, and last year a 10 day on Vision of the Seas. We will likely go back to RCL and the new Solstice class ship with our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was my fifth Celebrity sailing, and I now have about 56 cruises in total. In the early 2000's Celebrity had Chef Michel Roux overseeing it's food operation for the main dining room. At that time, the quality of the food was ... Read More
This was my fifth Celebrity sailing, and I now have about 56 cruises in total. In the early 2000's Celebrity had Chef Michel Roux overseeing it's food operation for the main dining room. At that time, the quality of the food was unsurpassed, and there was no need for speciality dining venues. In 2007, I went on the Constellation, and I noticed the food quality drastically went downhill. As a result, I did not have high expectations for the Equinox. My expectations were right on target. The food in the Silhouette Dining Room started out excellent, and as the cruise went on, the food got progressively worse. One night, I sent three entrees back because the quality of the food was inedible. Even certain foods which were prepared under the direction of Michel Roux many years ago now served on this cruise did not taste as good. I did not try any of the specialty dining venues. May I mention, no sorbet served in between courses during dinner as done in the past. In addition, fellow passengers shared with me that Blu started out great and the quality of the food went downhill as the cruise progressed. The buffets were great though. Be prepared to pay for afternoon high tea. This used to be free. I will say the tea was worth the price and it was magnificent. I was totally surprised at the lack of entertainment on board. There was no string quartet, no bands or singers at the pool, no festive decorations on the deck for the salsa night deck party, and basically besides a jazz quartet, mostly piped in music. I will say the piped in music was great and an interesting mix, but the level of entertainment did not meet my expectations especially for the price paid. The service was top notch. My waiter, Francisco, is a seasoned veteran and an asset to Celebrity. Overall, I would give very high marks to the service on board and to Lorena, in Guest Relations. She was very helpful and she provided accurate answers to my questions. Unfortunately, we had three days of heavy rain in Central America, but the weather did clear up in Cozumel. The ports and tours were great. I had been to that part of the world before, but not to Cartagena. I really enjoyed Cartagena and the old town is so beautiful and interesting. The passengers on board were wonderful. A great group of folks from all over the world. I had a blast chatting and laughing with them, sharing cruise stories. Conceirge Class is so not worth the price, The flowers that were delivered did not look fresh. The canapes were awful. The toiletries were scant, even if you asked for more. I would not spend the extra money again on that category in the future. Embarkation was a breeze. Debarkation was awful in Fort Lauderdale. It took about two hours to debark with hardly any porters or customs agents so it was a very exhausting struggle with undue stress. I was worried about making my flight which I allowed plenty of time. Fortunately, I did make the return flight home. Overall, I would give this cruise 4 stars. I had a fantastic time. Celebrity needs to improve on the quality of the food served in the main dining room and on the entertainment. I hope this review was helpful. Happy Sailing. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My family who lives all over the world gets together once or twice a year to spend time together on a Cruise.My mother & my sister usually pick out the cruise line & destination & handle allot of the paper work for which ... Read More
My family who lives all over the world gets together once or twice a year to spend time together on a Cruise.My mother & my sister usually pick out the cruise line & destination & handle allot of the paper work for which I'm very grateful.. Boarding in Ft Lauderdale was relatively easy and the process went smoothly. My stateroom with a balcony was clean & comfortable & the cabin attendants courteous & pleasant. There is however NO COLD FRESH WATER on this Celebrity Equinox because of their plumbing design I was told by a staff member. I could only find cold fresh water in the large exercise room and of course at meal time. In your room the water is lukewarm at best. This problem exists on most of the Celebrity cruisers. I had a pitcher of fresh ice water delivered to my room twice a day. Most of the other passengers were considerably older, certainly not baby boomers like myself. Their was live music in the evenings which was nice & lots of dancing.I don't gamble but their were lots who did. I spend one or two days at the adult pool & the weather was so nice and warm with a gentle breeze coming in off the ocean. I also spent lots of time on my balcony nude & reading some great books which I thoroughly enjoyed.Unfortunately, The Food was the Worst I've ever had on any of the 12 other cruise lines. The chef was Australian(Executive Chef: Gavin Baxter) which was quite evident by his cooking.If you enjoy bland, dry salmon or the lack of any desirable seasoning on most of the food served this food is for you. Any attempt at French pastry or cuisine was a disaster.If you live on meat & potatoes & don't mind the absence of creativity you won't have a problem. In the past I've had good food from all over the world but I couldn't find any on this ship. I was very disappointed & meals were on occasion I never looked forward to. I found some very rude, uncouth people on board this ship as well. On one occasion while I was in the cafeteria for lunch a man about my age stuck his nose in my plate, smiled & walked away. Needless to say this didn't help my feelings about the food. ...The staff in the kitchen & on board the ship were great.. very friendly and helpful & went out of their way to help in any way they could. Even the Chef came out to our table to see if their was anything more that he could do. The prices for the use of the internet were extremely high & there were no real discounts which were disappointing to me. And last but not least was debarkation which took hours & was another disaster.Instead of a civil approach to debarkation in which the disabled in wheelchairs & those unable to stand hours in line GO FIRST, US SECURITY & CUSTOMS made those people wait in line for hours standing or sitting in their wheelchairs like everyone else. And I thought my country was any different than the 3rd world,lol. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
This was our first cruise on Celebrity and we cruised to the Western Carribean and Central/South America. The 11 night cruise on the beautiful Celebrity Equinox included stops in Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Panama, Columbia and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Celebrity and we cruised to the Western Carribean and Central/South America. The 11 night cruise on the beautiful Celebrity Equinox included stops in Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Panama, Columbia and Costa Rica. Overall, my wife and I were truly impressed with the quality and level of service on Celebrity. The food in the specialty restaurants was outstanding and we also found the food and service in the main dining room to be very good. We did not attend the production shows, but we really enjoyed the alternate shows (comedian, pianist/singer, etc.). We are Diamond Level on RCCL, therefore we immediately qualified for Elite Status in Celebrity's Captain's Club. We found the Captain's Club benefits to outshine those on Royal Carribean. Elite Status members on Celebrity have access to the Concierge Lounge, whereas Diamond members on Royal Carribean only have access to the Concierge Lounge on some of their ships. The free 90 minute WIFI package for each member as well as the free laundry service came in very handy. I realize that I may be nitpicking here, as we really enjoyed the cruises we've taken on Royal Carribean, but there was "something" on Celebrity that won us over. After returning home,we cancelled our scheduled 7 night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona on Royal Caribbean and booked a 12 night Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Equinox with the same departure date. My wife and I are a "young" 64 and that may have a lot to do with our choice. The pool area on Celebrity is much quieter. I did not miss the absence of pool games, etc. I also did not lament the lack of a jumbo movie screen, rock climbing wall, etc. The live music around the pool on the Equinox consisted of contemporary music with several of the ships musical entertainers performing (no steel band). The padded lounge chairs in the pool areas also added a little more class and comfort. You probably can't go wrong on either line, but we plan to stay with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
By way of introduction, my wife and I are both 60ish and avid cruising enthusiasts, having gone on over 20 cruises in the past 27 years (RCCL, Princess, Azamara, HAL, NCL), this being our sixth cruise with Celebrity. In 2011 we had a ... Read More
By way of introduction, my wife and I are both 60ish and avid cruising enthusiasts, having gone on over 20 cruises in the past 27 years (RCCL, Princess, Azamara, HAL, NCL), this being our sixth cruise with Celebrity. In 2011 we had a wonderful 12 day cruise on the Mediterranean with the Equinox' sister ship, the Solstice, so we were very much looking forward to this Central American cruise, having knowledge of the ship and certain expectations as to food and service. I can accept the fact that service in general is not what it once was, and that specifically the cruise ship industry is mired in competition and oversaturation, with escalating costs, and that finding quality staff to service the hundreds of currently floating cruise ships is becoming increasingly difficult, but I don't understand how Celebrity could deteriorate so significantly in just a few years. If half as much effort was put into food preparation and meeting the expectations of their passenger guests, as was put into promoting future cruise bookings, selling ship sponsored shore excursions, up-selling services/ drink packages and specialty restaurants, etc., then Celebrity would have no competition in the cruise industry. The Equinox is a beautiful ship, well laid out, comfortable and spotless, with some unique features like the mid-ship Atrium with 8 glass elevators and an open view to every floor from the Lobby on the 3rd to the 15th floor (no 13th floor), and the tranquil glass enclosed Aqua-Spa Solarium for adults only, with dancing waters and serene music, although when the hot tubs fill with people yelling over the jets, the tranquillity is lost. The common areas are modestly appointed but modern, deck space is nicely designed with plenty of lounge chairs in full sun or shade, even on ship days, although the chairs are tightly packed and sometimes difficult to get on and off without rubbing thighs with your neighbors. Embarkation was relatively painless, we arrived just after noon and it took about 30 minutes and were met with champagne as we boarded (as per tradition), then we proceeded to explore the ship which we were familiar with and ended up in our cabin, with our luggage arriving around 4pm. The cabins are fairly plain but an adequate size, comparably speaking, with only a few drawers but large closet and storage over and under the bed; the large flat screen TV has about 20 channels, mostly devoted to ship stuff (excursions, shopping, views, amenities, etc.) and news channels, although there are dozens of free On-Demand movies and lots of music. TV was better than on most other ships. The veranda is small with two chairs and a table, but all that you need for breakfast coffee or late day cocktails. The cooler is packed with expensive beverages, which we removed and stuck in a drawer. The bathroom is quite roomy and perfectly laid out. The muster drill took longer than on most ships and was inconvenient to get to and from, but in light of recent cruising events it made you feel more secure knowing that its being taken seriously. As most readers of Cruise Critic are already familiar with cruising and only wish to confirm their expectations or want to hear the negatives and criticisms, I will not disappoint. On the six days that we were in ports (Grand Cayman, Cartagena, Colon/Panama, Costa Rica, Belize and Cozumel) we arrived about 7am and were rudely awakened with announcements on the PA system advising of disembarkation, tender service, shore excursion meeting places, etc. This went on every 15 minutes, and in 3 or 4 languages. If you were an early riser and going on ship sponsored excursions, then this was useful, but if you had no plans or enjoy sleeping in when on vacation and leisurely getting up to coffee by 9 or later, this was aggravating. The passenger makeup was probably 40% N. American, 40% European (mostly Brits, French, German, Italian) and 20% Hispanic and Asian, and the average age was well over 70 (which explains the Catholic priest on board providing daily services and probably reading last rites). There were also more scooters and wheelchairs on board than I've ever seen in one place. So the ship tried to be all things to all people and accommodate everyone's physical, ethnic and culinary needs, which may be necessary to compete in the cruise market, but it quickly became obvious that Celebrity should probably try to do less and do it well. Unfortunately on port days there were problems with disembarkation by tender as priority went to those having booked shore excursions through the ship and everyone else had to wait until late morning to get off. There was also very little information provided by the ship as to the ports of call. On every cruise we've been on, guests are provided with maps of the city or island, points of interest, history, geography, beaches, shopping areas, local customs, currency exchange and culture of the people. On this cruise you were provided only with ship sponsored shore excursion info and maps of the stores approved by the ship for buying Tanzanite and Rolex watches. As we have been disappointed repeatedly by ship sponsored tours (a sucker born every minute) and have no interest in paying a few hundred dollars for bus tours to see monkeys in trees, turtle farms, banana plantations or swim with dolphins, we were left to our own devices to get off the ship, find taxis, arrange our tours, find shopping areas and beaches. Celebrity needs to be less self serving and consider their guest's interests and needs. If I were more cynical I'd say that Celebrity goes out of their way to force passengers into conforming to Celebrity's way or the highway; and make independent activity by passengers both on and off the ship as difficult as possible so that you just follow the course of least resistance as dictated by Celebrity. As another example, the Main Dining Room was only open early for 1½ hours for breakfast and for 1½ for lunch (not open at all on port days), so the only alternative was the Oceanview Cafe, which was a zoo, only with less appealing food. So for those that sleep in or don't want to formally sit and order food, other than a few bistro type cafes, the only real choice for breakfast and lunch was the buffet, which had terrible traffic flow with five large stations in the middle of a 2,000 sq. ft. cafeteria. The offerings at each station were totally disjointed; the hot food was at either end and the drinks and coffee were on either side (and at the far end of the cafeteria by the outdoor patio, which was nice but very windy at times). People wandered aimlessly from station to station while banging into each other and staff, which seemed equally lost in the cafeteria. I've never experienced such chaos while dining, or had to duck out of the way of staff. There was an incredible variety of food in the Oceanview, but none of it was noteworthy. It should not be that difficult to tell the difference between a cheese blintz, a cannoli and a stuffed manicotti, however..... For the herds of "Biggest Loser" candidates on board I'm certain that the food was perfect. The plates were huge, with large edges which allowed one to pile on 4-5 inches of food without dropping a crumb, but for those that have a pallet rather than just a gullet, most of the food was bland, boring or inedible, and what was tasty usually ran out early. The cafeteria service was another problem, as you would order an omelette and stand there for 10 minutes... then stand in line for 5 more minutes to get toast while your omelette got cold.... then you'd look around for other items while everything got cold. After all that you would look around for 10 minutes to find a clean table to eat at. My wife and I never ate at the same time, as we would get to the cafeteria, get drinks, find a table then one of us would get our food while the other held on to the table, and then alternate getting food while the other ate by themselves. The Eggs Benedict were poached one at a time in a large pot while 10 people waited, rather than poaching 6 eggs at a time. On one occasion my wife waited for several minutes at a carving station while the three serving staff behind the counter scratched their lottery tickets and joked around. These continuous inconveniences eventually forced you to eat the cold scrambled eggs or pick up dried sandwiches rather than wait in lines. Cafeterias are never enviable dining alternatives however other cruise lines make every effort to improve the experience; there is usually a flow pattern or several lines with organized plating and at the end of the line staff usually take your plates and lead you to seating with or without other people, as you wish. It was quick, efficient and organized. Here, however, people in scooters were trying to drive and balance their plates while serving themselves then trying to find a table. This obviously encouraged them to order room service or get others to find food for them which was unfortunate, as the staff was of no help. Celebrity really missed the boat here......pun intended. The MDR was better in quality but very much hit and miss. On my first occasion I really enjoyed both the salmon and the NY strip, then on later occasions the same entrees were tough or dry and inedible. Portions were ridiculous as one person's entree looked like an appetizer while the other was enough to feed a family. You could not tell from the descriptions and every night everyone around our table wished they had ordered someone else's dish. Our waiter was very nice and tried really hard but his recommendations at dinner were nonsense and obviously parroted what he was told to say, probably making suggestions based on what was most plentiful in the kitchen that day. Another problem is that the Equinox has Early and Late seating for dinner as well as Select Dining (anytime), which doesn't work and adds to the chaos. It should either be 2 sittings or open seating for everyone. We had requested Select Dining ,which we didn't get, with Late Seating for two as a second choice. On our first night we didn't have our table assignment card with us so rather than look it up the Maitre'd just sat us at an open table with two other couples. On the next night we went to our assigned table only to find that it was a table for 10 with only the two of us sitting there, which looked ridiculous and made us stick out. Upon complaining we were moved the next night to a table for two next to the front doors, while dozens of other tables around us were empty. Nobody really cared, although the staff kept asking us daily if we were pleased with our new table assignment as though they had done us a great favour. Service in general was just mailed in, done by checklist, and not sincere or consistent. The specialty restaurants were definitely better. The Tuscan Grill had some atmosphere and the food and service were of better quality, although not sure that it was worth the additional $70 for the two of us, as the calamari appetizer was chewy and the meal took almost three hours with half hour breaks between courses. For this reason we cancelled our dinner at the Murano Restaurant which we enjoyed on the Solstice, as it was an additional $90 and we knew that the tableside cooking would have taken 3-4 hours and our reservations were for 8:30. Once again Celebrity appears to be trying to clearly distinguish between the terrible food and service in the cafeteria, the mediocre and inconsistent food and service in the MDR and the clearly superior food and service in the specialty restaurants which are what a cruise dining experience should be, but for an ever escalating cost. A less significant disappointment was the ports of call, which were somewhat pointless. Grand Cayman is lovely, but we arrived on a day with 6 other cruise ships, which made getting around difficult, the beach was packed and shopping was impossible. Cartagena was very hot and busy and we laughed at the ship excursions, so took a taxi to the Old City, which was nothing more than a tourist trap, with hundreds of small tacky shops with aggressive street merchants and pushy jewellery salespeople. It was funny watching the 25-30 horse drawn carriages single file in a smelly parade around a few city block with our fellow passengers paying $100 for this pointless ride. Colon is a run down and busy port city so you can't get out to the Panama Canal fast enough. It is unfortunate that the cruise doesn't go into the canal and Gutan Lake rather than park in Colon. Costa Rica and Belize are very poor third world countries, yet attractive in some aspects, but not much to see or do other than zip lining, which might not have been the best choice for this geriatric crowd. Cozumel was OK but the International Port was several miles south of the main port and city centre and somewhat inconvenient. The entertainment was average for a cruise and fine for the audience, with the one exception being an all Chinese band called Southside, which was just exceptional. They played throughout the ship at different times, with two incredible vocalists who did everything from Country to Hispanic melodies, with a special talent for Soft Rock and Jazz. The disappointment in the entertainment was the Theatre shows which were mostly held at 7pm and 9pm. This meant that late seating in the MDR forced you to watch the 7pm show so you had to get ready for dinner at 6pm. Once again it was of benefit for Celebrity not to have 8pm and 10pm shows like every other cruise ship, thus forcing night-lifers to spend money at either the ship bars or the Casino after dinner. Clever on their part but very transparent. Disembarkation was a nightmare and put the cherry on our disappointments, taking almost 4 hours as Immigration was understaffed, blaming the government sequester problems. I believe that the actual cruise price was of good value however everything on this trip was an up-sell or add on expense. The ship sponsored tours were far too expensive for what you got and capitalized on an older clientele which was nervous about travelling on their own yet wanted to see some sites in each of the ports. The alcoholic drinks were very expensive in most bars at $10-12 as was the coffee shop, Cafe al Baico, which had delicious pastries and desserts for free but unless you bought a $5 nothing special coffee, you were ignored by the servers. With a couple of drinks per day and a bottle of wine every second night and the gratuities, be prepared for an added $800-$1,000 on your tab, without any shore excursions. One final tip -- don't buy anything in the on board shops during the first half of the cruise as everything goes on sale by the end of the cruise..... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
SHIP We have been cruising since the early 1990's long before Cruise Critic appeared and the Equinox is the largest ship on which we have sailed to date. EMBARKATION This was very efficient and stress-free. Our flight left ... Read More
SHIP We have been cruising since the early 1990's long before Cruise Critic appeared and the Equinox is the largest ship on which we have sailed to date. EMBARKATION This was very efficient and stress-free. Our flight left Toronto a little after 07:00, and we were enjoying lunch in the AquaSpa Cafe at 12:30! Transfer from Fort Lauderdale Airport was fast and efficient, and the cruise check-in was very smooth. Celebrity has photographers on duty if you feel the need to have your picture taken, but unlike those from other cruise lines, Celebrity's photographers are polite and willing to take "No thank you" for an answer. They never bothered us on this trip. ACCOMMODATION We selected an inside cabin on deck 7. We always choose an inside cabin for 2 reasons, a) We spend very little time in the cabin, apart from sleeping, and b) Inside cabins are usually nice and dark; combined with the gentle movements of the ship this is a perfect lullaby. Our cabin was spacious and conveniently arranged. One nice touch; the light in the bathroom has a night-light feature, which helps you navigate the cabin safely without disturbing your partner after lights-out. There is plenty of storage space and a small safe. Another reviewer commented that the heat generated by the refrigerator melted a bar of chocolate he had placed in the top drawer of the console. Here's a tip: place any chocolate in the fridge rather than on top of it. DINING We usually took breakfast and lunch at the Ocean View Cafe and we enjoyed every meal. Some reviewers have described the Ocean View variously as a zoo or a works canteen. We disagree: the food was always good and the staff always helpful and polite. Some people either have ridiculously high standards, or they must be professional complainers. If the buffet atmosphere upsets you (but why it should is anyone's guess) take all your meals in the Silhouette Dining Room (open for lunch on sea days) or in the AquaSpa Cafe. We had an excellent dinner in the Murano restaurant. We enjoyed Cheese souffle, Latticed Turbot (a work of art), Scallops Wellington and Sea Bass accompanied by a delicious Gewurtztraminer. The sampler desert is delicious: tip, eat the ice-cream first if you want to avoid it melting while you savour the others. PEOPLE We appreciate the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of every one of the crew members on the Equinox. With a crew drawn from 73 different nationalities you can meet interesting people everywhere on board. Everyone we spoke to was friendly and cheerful and managed to find time for a brief chat. We realise that a vacation day for us is a work day for them, so we don't like to distract them too much, but they were always polite and as interested in us as we were in them. Tip: everyone likes to feel appreciated; we find friendliness is returned every time. There were several opportunities to meet and mingle with Captain and officers and they are equally cheerful and easy-going. Captain Panos runs a happy ship. Some crew members went over and above the call of duty and we want to recognize their efforts in making our trip so enjoyable. These are the crew members with whom we interacted most often. Firstly we must mention our stewards, Manuel and his assistant -- always cheerful and always helpful -- indeed this is true of all the crew who service the rooms in the forward area of deck 7. They work a long day, but are always friendly. In the Silhouette Dining Room we must mention Olena who is a first-class assistant maitre d'. She always manages to find time to talk to the guests at every table, and makes everyone feel special. We must also acknowledge Dev and Santiago who provided excellent service at our table. Similarly, Sonya did an excellent job of recommending wines and keeping our glasses full. Last, but by no means least, we must include Anthony and Cecilia who are just delightful people. In the Ocean View Cafe, Khryztyna made us feel welcome as did Denise (the only female sous-chef and token Canadian). We also enjoyed talking to Ana (Documentation Officer) Maria (Head of Housekeeping) and the excellent fellows who keep the pool area neat and tidy. ENTERTAINMENTS We're not interested in shopping, or in casinos, so we cannot comment on these areas. Musicals don't appeal to us, but we recognize the skill and dedication of the performers who delivered 3 distinctly different shows during our 10 days at sea. We attended several of the shows and enjoyed the speciality acts. Hypnotist Christopher Caress was excellent (he told me to write that!!!), as was pianist/singer John Bressler. The ship offers something for all tastes; like many other reviewers we enjoyed the North by North-West a capella group and the Chamber Music Trio. The Corning Glass display should NOT be missed. We could never get bored watching these artisans, and we tried to attend as many sessions as possible. Lori, Ryan and Brandon are incredibly skilled and consistently create amazing works of art that start as a blob of viscous liquid. It was fascinating to watch the pieces develop as they demonstrate their skills. Many beautiful glass creations are displayed throughout the ship. The onboard lawn is unusual, and standing on the turf while the ship was at sea was a strange experience at first; rather like experiencing an earthquake. The Activities Staff David, Nick, Doddy, Jaey and Sarah organized the Trivia games with great patience and made sure we never cheated (not that we would even consider cheating, of course). The Zumba classes with Nick were always well-attended. On the last sea day, one of us opted for the $150 See-How-It's-Done tour, and it was worth every penny. Our small group visited the bridge, the mooring deck, the helipad, the backstage area of the theatre, the crew mess and bar, the engine control room, the main galley and the ship's store rooms. The tour was followed by an excellent lunch in the Tuscan Grill. There was just one downside to this: while we were exploring these areas, Captain Panos was presenting a lecture on navigation. Most of us on the tour would have enjoyed listening to his talk, but no-one can be in 2 places at once. Sorry Captain, next time for definite! Sarah (Activities) guided us expertly around these restricted areas, and we met some very interesting people including Jonathon (Bridge), Damier (Mooring Deck), Bogdan and Stephanie (Theatre), Dave (HR) (crew mess, bar and facilities) Christos (Engine Control Room), Marius (Galley), and Earl (Stores). Thank you all for an excellent tour and the delicious lunch. SIDE TRIPS We took two side trips through Celebrity; the Bananas, Train, Boat trip in Costa Rica, and the Gatun Lock trip in Panama. We were not impressed with the Bananas, Train, Boat, excursion, but perhaps it was the wrong trip for us. We hoped we could spend some time on the canals, but that seemed to be the shortest section of the trip. The banana packing plant was nothing special -- you can see bananas being packed by watching How It's Made on the Discovery Channel. The train section was the worst. An asthmatic diesel engine struggles to haul two (yes, just 2!) coaches at a snail's pace through some woodland where you might see some monkeys. Big deal. The aquatic part was the most interesting, but as mentioned, it was also the shortest. We did see a caiman, an iguana, a Basilisk lizard, some birds called Kiskadees, some egrets and 100s of crabs. We can't honestly recommend this trip. The excursion to the Gatun Lock was far superior to the Costa Rican trip. We had an excellent guide who was a mine of information about the canal. His informed commentary added another dimension to this trip and we were very pleased to be able to watch 3 huge ships move through the lock. We'd recommend this trip for anyone interested in ships and history. SUGGESTIONS We had no complaints about the ship, her crew or any of the activities or meals we enjoyed on board, but we want to suggest a few small improvements that we believe might make a difference to people's enjoyment of a trip on the Equinox: 1)Portion Control. We enjoyed every meal we ate in the Silhouette Dining Room, but we noticed that if we ordered a cut of meat we were never able to finish it because the portions were just too large. A nicely cooked and well-presented pork chop was delicious, but two of us working together were unable to finish it. We were similarly defeated by a lamb shank and a pork schnitzel. We hated sending food back to the galley, especially when many of our servers are from countries were food is not always plentiful. Would it be possible to let dinners select the amount of meat they want, so nothing goes to waste? 2)Daily Schedule. The daily newsletter includes a schedule of activities, but how many people think to carry it with them when they leave their cabins? Would it be possible to post enlarged copies of the schedule in prominent locations (for example, near the elevators)? 3)Having the beverage section of the AquaSpa Cafe open during all daytime hours (not just during breakfast and lunch) would provide an opportunity to get refreshments on deck 12 forward. 4)Add a few more speakers/presentations with topics unrelated to selling the ship's goods/services, especially on sea days. 5)Disembarkation. As other reviewers have mentioned, this process seems to need some improvement. It was nowhere near the smooth, efficient operation we experienced when we embarked. Confusion led to chaos as people milled around trying to discover what exactly they were required to do and where they were required to be. The officer and staff on duty managed to get things under control, but it was a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent cruise. Perhaps this situation was related to the problems the US has with its Customs and Border Protection people, if so Celebrity cannot be held responsible, but we hope they will make every effort to streamline the disembarkation process for future cruises. SUMMARY We would definitely sail with Celebrity again, and have no hesitation recommending the Equinox and her crew. We select our trips according to the itinerary, and we have already seen a great deal of the Caribbean. Perhaps our next trip will be a Trans-Atlantic crossing, or the exciting idea of rounding Cape Horn. Bon Voyage Equinox! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
My wife and I have sailed 7 times in the last 6 years and our favorite ship is the Equinox. The athmosphere, service, and friendliness of the staff outshines any other ship that we have sailed on. The ship is beautiful and well maintained ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed 7 times in the last 6 years and our favorite ship is the Equinox. The athmosphere, service, and friendliness of the staff outshines any other ship that we have sailed on. The ship is beautiful and well maintained and was as spotless as it was when we disembarked from her a exactly a year ago to the day in 2012. The weather wasn't the best during our 11 days - cool for the most part, with lots of rain, but we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Embarkation was flawless - 16 minutes from the time the airport shuttle dropped us off until we ordered our first drink at the poolside bar. Staterooms - my wife's aunt and uncle were travelling with us and, being their first time on Solstice class, were very impressed with the size, storage capacity and layout of the room and of course, the excellent spacious bathroom. Dining - Oceanview Cafe (main buffet) is well layed out - multiple stations so long lineups are avoided, although can be chaotic at times (think of Dancing With Plates). Food is average buffet - however, Indian lunch is excellent, and the pizza is some of the best I have ever had. Masthead Bar/Grill - excellent hamburgers Tuscan Grille - good dining, however not as good as previous sailings MDR - Excellent, ate there 7 nights and every meal was superb. We were seated with a lovely scottish family that were a pleasure to be with. Our wait staff was amazing (table 254). Entertainment - We don't usually do the shows in the theatre as show times conflict with set dining. However, there is always something going on during the day thanks to the excellent Activities Manager David. There were 2 dance parties at night on the upper decks that were a lot of fun. For the ladies there was a jewelry fashion show, and later that night, a Glam Rock dance extravaganza in the main atrium that was a blast. Every night there was a happy hour at the Passport Bar with music and dancing provided by Southside. Adam Westcott provided excellent music - Spanish Guitar - thanks, Adam. Excursions - Grand Cayman: we booked a catamaran tour (private excursion) to Stingray City with snorkelling at 2 other stops. Most excursions in Cayman do not have alcoholic refreshments included, but the trick here is to pick up a six pack at the liquour store where the tenders stop. Cartagena: We had been here before, so instead of booking an excursion we picked up a cab at the cruise terminal (very new, very nice) and went to the walled city (Ciudad Amurallado). Taxi fares are standard - $20 for 4 people each way. We went to the stores at Los Bovados, walked around the city and churches, and ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe. (note: if you don't like fast, suicidal taxi drivers - take an excursion). Panama: We took the Shaping Of Panama tour (off the ship). Very disappointing. We have been in Panama City many times and wanted to show it off to my wifes aunt and uncle - we knew more about the city than the guide, who's idea of a tour was to drive around and point, or walk to a park and point at buildings, and then give you 5 minutes free time to explore. Colon: We booked a tour off the ship with YourLuckyTour - amazing zipline and tortuguero canal tour (7 hours) that was half the price of the ship's excursions. Well done, Eduardo!! Belize: It was raining so hard we just stayed on the ship. The tender takes 35 minutes to get into town. Cozumel: Took a taxi around the island - very flat and not much to see. Ships staff: Excellent - friendly and accomodating. Thanks to: Noreen - our room steward, Wait staff at table 254 - Outstanding!! Germann, Rodolfo, and Murat. Suni - Sommelier at Cellar Masters. Good conversation and very funny. Shiv - Waiter at Sunset Bar - never had to go to the bar, he was always there with a refresher. David - Activity Manager. Thank you so much for everything that you did! All in all it was a wonderful time - only exception was disembarkation back in Ft Lauderdale - 3.5 hours - but not Celebrity's fault. P.S - I hope Captain Panos has taken lessons on weather forecasts!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We made our own travel arrangements to join the ship flying with American Airlines from Manchester to Philadelphia. Then on from there to Fort Lauderdale. I would advise you to allow about 2.5 to 3 hours to transit through Philadelphia ... Read More
We made our own travel arrangements to join the ship flying with American Airlines from Manchester to Philadelphia. Then on from there to Fort Lauderdale. I would advise you to allow about 2.5 to 3 hours to transit through Philadelphia airport due to the security checks and having to collect luggage for the transfer. The Airport is great, large and bright with plenty of signs to help your transition. Arrival at Fort Lauderdale is easy as you have already had the checks done. On the way home all security is done from leaving the ship it did take 4 hours to get off and through the checks due to cutbacks on customs side of things so again allow time for flights. On the way home we did miss our flight to Philadelphia but the airport staff were fabulous and rearranged our flight efficiently with no fuss and no extra charges. On the plus side you don't have to collect your cases at Philadelphia on the way home they go straight through to your final destination. On arrival to the ship we were allowed to board straight away at 11am. Rooms were ready by 1pm. We used the time to orient ourselves to this large and rather beautiful vessel. Captain Panos greeted us all very graciously and we sailed at 16.00 hours. We had an inside stateroom on deck 8 we were delighted to find the stateroom was twice as large as any we had occupied on other ships. Our steward was Ashelle and she looked after our every need with dedication and a wonderful smile. We chose 2nd sitting at 8.30 for dinner and enjoyed the show prior to dinner at 7pm. Our waiters Aston and Poonam were very attentive. The MaitreD visited the table every evening to ensure we were happy with the service provided. The food was good with an excellent choice each night. The entertainment on the ship was excellent, the shows were broadway standard the other shows and entertainment around the ship were great. The hot glass show on deck 15 was truely amazing, who would have thought you would see that on a ship!! We also enjoyed the lawn club, playing french bowls and golf putting on there daily. Grass lawns on a ship who would have thought it! We particularly enjoyed our visit to Panama using a local Taxi with Henry our driver who took us to Gaton locks where we saw two ships passing through through the locks. We took a self directed walking tour in Grand Cayman and visited the museum which was very informative. We had a fabulous cruise and would not hesitate to use Celebrity again I am sure we will sail on the Equinox again and can not thank Captain Panos and his crew enough for a suberb experience Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
I will try to keep this concise. The ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean, Hand sanitizer everywhere !. The ports of call on the ultimate Caribbean were great !! here comes the bad stuff !! The food overall was a let down with the ... Read More
I will try to keep this concise. The ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean, Hand sanitizer everywhere !. The ports of call on the ultimate Caribbean were great !! here comes the bad stuff !! The food overall was a let down with the main dining room being the worst offender. It was very hit and miss. Either steaks not cooked well enough or tough. Cold vegetables and warm Entrees. Soup was either great or bland.Salad courses were minuscule and desserts nothing special. The 'Famous' baked Alaska was like a frozen dessert from a supermarket !! Our waiter was dull and mumbled a lot but the assistant waiter was very nice and friendly.Service and food was just not what we have had on previous ships. The ocean view buffet was very dull not great presentation and was just cafeteria quality.Nothing special offered. we had to point out mixed leaf salad with black/brown ends and stale cucumber.Pizza was good if you were lucky to get it fresh out of the oven. The oatmeal was like water. Could not get them to cook eggs fully.just small things but really impacted the trip.They don't do a midnight buffet as People were all tucked up by eleven usually but did a brunch which we missed and was supposed to be good,but only doing it once an eleven night trip is bad !! Cafe Baccia did great pastries but the cookies were like bricks you could break your teeth on them.The coffee was so so and again only warm not hot which was also an extra cost. Room serviceagain a bit up and down.One day cold then the next it was hot. The best place to eat was the 'bistro on five' as you got hot food and a decent portion for only $5 extra well worth it. Also the staff were great .. We did not try other speciality restaurants as we did not want to pay extra to just receive more average food for $40 or so extra. The service on the ship was again hit and miss, I felt a lot of staff were just going thought the motions. There were a few exceptions. The casino staff ,'Andrea' in particular the hostess who was great fun to talk to and made us very welcome. also the cabin stewards overall were very nice and had a warm hello. The ship entertainment especially poolside was virtually non existent.The various quizes we came across were roughly 20 question over and done !! However the shows were mostly good with one exception the 'Beatles' type show was dire but the others were good.A good comic and a great female singer who was funny too. On the next to last night they finally pulled a 'red and black salsa night' which was on deck at 10.30. This was great but everyone we spoke to said it was too little too late as we were nearly at the end of the cruise. It was the only time we saw anyone on deck after eleven P.M except an odd few !! The pool side band while not bad could not keep any tempo going and went from happy, to sad songs making the atmosphere go up and down !!The steel band were a bit of a joke too . !! Two guys with a background tape. A little cheap again !! The D.J in the club did not know thow to play to the crowd(had there been a crowd) as most nights the 'Quasar' was empty !! The Martini bar was very popular and seemed the busiest place before and after dinner as it was lively and the staff seemed more upbeat.But we are not big drinkres so that wasn'r for us really but when we did have a drink there it was nice . Overall not our best cruise experience. We are in our 40's and we on the young side on this cruise so I think they were catering for an older clientele.But even older people we spoke to said they were finding this trip dull, and they had been with celebrity many times so had more to compare to than we did. we did complain to the hotel manager and to be fair they gave us a very good compensation deal. I have not listed other things as I don't want to go on too much .Overall a beautiful ship but a lacklustre performance on many counts. I am sure others had a wonderful time but it was not for us. 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
This was my second cruise aboard Celebrity and looked forward to it based on the first (Summit) and the fact this was our 20th anniversary and were traveling with 6 additional friends. The first time on Celebrity was outstanding. Our cabin ... Read More
This was my second cruise aboard Celebrity and looked forward to it based on the first (Summit) and the fact this was our 20th anniversary and were traveling with 6 additional friends. The first time on Celebrity was outstanding. Our cabin steward seemed to pop out of nowhere and greet up by name and opened our door. We honestly thought he had a two-way mirror or camera.(Really, we did) This time the cabin steward was not nearly as attentive, but it was still a pleasure having the room expertly made. The first night in the dining room our service was sub par--slow service, cold food. However, after speaking to our waitstaff, things dramatically improved for the duration of the cruise--they were outstanding--and can only assume they had an off night the first night. I love that the many ports are broken up by days at sea, which provided plenty of time to relax and enjoy the on board portion of the cruise. Since this was an 11 night cruise, it was a mature crowd as you might imagine and everyone was extremely friendly. I enjoyed the movies, the games, the shopping and everything on board. However, I found the tours to be expensive so we got together as a group and booked our own once on shore. I would highly recommend this cruise and would recommend Celebrity. One thing, I thought the food was simply so-so which really surprised me. We did not dine in the speciality restaurants as the early reservations were taken. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We are 2 married couples, ages 54-58, and this was our 8-10th cruise, my 10th. Our general line of choice is Princess and this was our first cruise on Celebrity. We spent one night pre-cruise at Embassy Suites on 17th Street near the port. ... Read More
We are 2 married couples, ages 54-58, and this was our 8-10th cruise, my 10th. Our general line of choice is Princess and this was our first cruise on Celebrity. We spent one night pre-cruise at Embassy Suites on 17th Street near the port. It was a $15 cab fare from the airport to the hotel and we took a shuttle to the port in the morning for $7 each. Embassy Suites includes a great breakfast in the morning. Embarkation was the best ever! Simple, fast, efficient and we were on the ship in record time. Lunch in the buffet was congested and difficult to find a table, which is not unusual on embarkation day. We got into our cabin around 1:30pm. The cabin was very nice. We especially liked the bigger bathroom, including storage AND a shower door! Much nicer than the Princess bathroom. We also enjoyed having the sofa so all 4 of us could visit comfortably in one cabin. The furniture on the balcony was nicer than Princess, too. We had 2 teak chairs (reclining) and a small table. Our cabin Steward (Renato) was great and took very good care of us. He worked in tandem but I don't remember the other gentleman's name. They were awesome. The ship is beautiful and exceeded our expectations. The furniture around the pool areas is so comfy with pads and small living room-style seating areas, creating a cozy ambiance. Bar service around the pool area was fine. We chose select dining, and for the most part, had no wait at all to dine, even in the busier dining hours. We found the dining room to be a bit crowded in areas, where tables are almost touching. A bit uncomfortable at times, not really sure if we were dining with our neighbors or not. The service was superb. Our waiter (Kerim) could not have been better and they work very very hard. However, although the waiters are practically running back an forth, working hard for everyone, the average dinner was between 1 1/2 to 2 hrs, which is too long for us. The food was absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed every meal, even though they were lengthy. The buffet is large and there is plenty of variety, including hand-dipped and soft serve ice cream/yogurt/sorbet all day long. Breakfast and lunch at the buffet was great, although often a bit difficult to find a table. Dinner time at the buffet was sadly lacking and didn't meet our expectation. The choices were the same as lunchtime every night and varied very little the entire cruise. We would have enjoyed the dinner buffet much more had it mimicked the dining room menu more, which Princess does. Also, the lights were very dim in the seating area, almost as if it was closed. If the dim lighting was to create ambiance, they missed the mark. In fact, overall they missed the mark at the buffet for the dinner hour. The entertainment was superb. We enjoyed every show. My one criticism is that there was a lot of entertainment activity in the Grand Foyer, which extends several decks and is quite beautiful. However, there is very little seating in this area and it is very difficult to see anything. We missed a lot of good entertainment in there because it was so crowded and lacked seating. They need to move some of that activity to another venue where more people can sit comfortably and actually see what's happening. We tendered in Belize and Grand Cayman. Celebrity's tendering organization is a good concept. One day went much more smoothly than the other. Our shore excursions were booked through Celebrity and, for the most part were what we expected and were pricey but good. However, we had one mishap that was notable. Our other excursions were: Limon, Costa Rica: We took a boat ride down a river, sightseeing for wildlife. It was very nice. We then ate local fruit which was delicious. Our last stop was a banana plantation. We learned the process of cleaning, staging and shipping the bananas. Our tour guide was very good, informative and very nice. We were also lucky enough to see a deadly poisonous snake called a fleur de lance that had just been killed by a local man working in a field. It was at least 6 feet long very dangerous to the fieldworkers. It was something we will probably never have the opportunity to see again. We all enjoyed this tour. In Panama we took another boat ride on Gutun Lake. The boat was small and had a lot of people on it, but we saw a lot of animals. Many people were soaking wet when we returned from the wind blowing water up into the boat. The tour also included a trip to the locks. It was fine. In Colombia we took a private tour, which was a mistake. There were approximately 30 of us, from 4 or 5 different ships. The tour operator told different people different things, including how long the tour would be. Several people were in danger of missing their ship because they were told our tour was going to be 2 hours, and it turned into 3 1/2 hours. The tour man took them off and got them a cab back to their ship. I hope they didn't miss their ship. They were very upset. We spent a short amount of time at a beautiful old monastery, a fort, old town, and a shopping area. Sea days were nice, with plenty to do for those who desired. Lots of games, etc. I was impressed with the interaction the officers had with the passengers, often participating in games and other competitions on the beautiful lawn deck and around the ship. We missed the "do it yourself" laundry that Princess ships offer. Celebrity overcharges to send laundry out and I've read they're not very careful returning it in the same condition, including shrinking clothing. Overall, this cruise was great and we loved Equinox. I wouldn't hesitate to sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This is a long review with a lot of info...I am trying to hit on all the points I had questions about before this cruise. HOTEL: Arrived the day before at Fort Lauderdale. We were the last to be picked up on the shuttle...about a 1/2 hour ... Read More
This is a long review with a lot of info...I am trying to hit on all the points I had questions about before this cruise. HOTEL: Arrived the day before at Fort Lauderdale. We were the last to be picked up on the shuttle...about a 1/2 hour wait. Stayed at Holiday Inn Express on State Rd 84. A strip mall across the road had a grocery and liquor store and fast food plus some shopping. The room was as you would expect for this chain. The outdoor pool was too cold to swim in and there are no hot tubs. Took a taxi to Blue Moon Fish Company for waterfront dining. A great meal: expect to pay $200 with wine. On the taxi ride we realised we should have stayed closer to downtown for walking and nightlife...maybe around Los Olas Blvd. Breakfast the next morning (Included at hotel) was usual fare..nothing special. Shuttle to the ship was fast and efficient. Celebrity boarding was fast and easy and we had a quick lunch in the buffet. ROOM: we had a balcony room over the lifeboats. The bathroom was bigger than other ships and a good size shower and lots of storage. The cupboard over the bed is tricky to get to but there are few drawers so you need it.The bed is the usual 2 twins pushed together but comfy nonetheless. Balcony is wider that RCL and Carnival: nice chairs. Be sure to take advantage of free movies on the in room flat screen TV. They are recent and a great way to relax before or after dinner. DINING: we had early dining.We asked for a table of 10 but initially got a 2 squeezed between another 2 and another for 4. We have never had our dining request honored on any cruise and always have to change. (That created and awkward moment later on when a lady at the original 4 table asked why we left!) The dining room is crowded and noisy and when we moved to a table of 10 (6 after more drop outs) we had a hard time with conversation over the din. The dining room food was good, not exceptional. I ate vegetarian and they have a separate menu for that and a vegan one too. Ask your server. My husband found some portions too small. Of course you can always order 2 apps or app AND salad or like one young man we met, order one of everything in an attempt to "get your money's worth". Good thing we don't all do this or cruises would be twice the price! Breakfast in the buffet is great: good coffee, made to order eggs, fresh fruit. Lunch was also good: always some Indian food which is never served in the dining room. Buffet dinner is repeptitive and sparse. We ate 1 dinner at the Tuscan Grill, a special 7 course wine and food dinner organised by the sommeliers. It was my birthday and unfortunately a very rough sea evening and I had to leave after 2 courses. My husband managed to stay however he said, although good, he would not pay to do it again ($100 each) ENTERTAINMENT: we are not gamblers but like to watch. Thankfully, and unlike Carnival and RCL, the casino is smoke free. What a relief! No breath holding while you walk through. Shows are ok but sometimes hard to get a seat. Unless you love song and dance don't worry if you miss them. ON BOARD: the adult only pool was closed in so no sunning and too hot most days. The pool volley ball was fun fun fun and we came away with Celebrity gold medals for beating the officers! The pools were clean and cool and the hot tubs hot: no complaints.The progressive trivia on sea days was fun but some groups took it too seriously: it's a GAME. The prize is a small canvas Celebrity logo bag.... SHORE EXCURSIONS: we book these on line before the cruise as I have no interest in standing in line on board to find the most popular ones are sold out, or worse, booking privaste and missing the boat: see youtube for video of those who did. Yes, it's cheaper to go on private tours but price out how much it would cost to fly to the next port if you miss the boat and you might change your mind. COZUMEL: we did a Passion Island tour. Choppy catamaran ride and no swimming because of rough water but a great beach walk and superb salsa and guacamole at the buffet. BELIZE: snorkeling. Not the best we've ever done but clear waters and lots of fish. Nice risde there and back. COSTA RICA: banana plantation. Nice to see but a boring train ride to the coast where the bus was waiting. Do something else here. The market at the pier has wonderful local wood products: bowls and boxes...shop here of all ports. PANAMA: bus ride to Panama City via the Miraflores lock. Tons of people waiting to get in at the lock...we stayed outside on the grass. Took us to a "shopping center" 2 floors all the same and obviously just for tourists..then a "cultural center"...boring again. We sat out in the sun...and the LUNCH!!!what a joke. A "mystery meat" dry sandwich and dry banana muffin with water. Almost every one threw it out and the bus driver went to a local bar for take out. Smart! Take your own energy bars and fruit and drinks on this one. CARTAGENA: "Best of" tour was not good. Poorly prepared tour guide repeated everything at least 5 times! The stop at the fort was 10 minutes and the street vendors took that much time to get away from. The shopping stops were only 10-15 minutes...off the bus, see 1 shop, get back on the bus! Do see the fort but do a different tour. CAYMAN: been here before and we had no tour here but with 5 ships in port we knew 7 mile beach would be a zoo. We walked the main drag and shopped then tendered back to the ship. Overall...for my dollar, I will do RCL whenever the itinery suits. Second would be Celebrity and I would be hard pressed to do Carnival again. We have Alaska booked on Princess in August... stay tuned Hope I can help at least one fellow traveller...Cruise On!!!!! Read Less
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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