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6 Celebrity Equinox Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

We booked a wonderful Alaska cruise with Celebrity two years ago. So, given the quality of the food and entertainment we experienced there, we booked an 11 day Central America cruise on the beautiful Equinox. We were disappointed. The ... Read More
We booked a wonderful Alaska cruise with Celebrity two years ago. So, given the quality of the food and entertainment we experienced there, we booked an 11 day Central America cruise on the beautiful Equinox. We were disappointed. The Silhouette dining room doesn't serve the same quality of food their reputation says they do. The food in the main dining room, although varied, is bland and unappetizing to say the least. Knowing that their cruising clients prefer the occasional lobster tail or filet mignon steak, the company has moved these items to the speciality restaurants and forces you to pay $35 - $40 to get them at the Murano or Tuscan. The food there is exceptional but I personally resent being taken advantage of and paying for the "good" food that was always enjoyed in the past in the main dining room. Of course, it was our choice to eat the better food. Last year, I ate lobster and filet mignon in the main dining room with Princess cruises. The average age of the clientele on this cruise must have been near 75 and a good number of them were disabled or had mobility issues. I'm glad to see people of this age enjoy life as they do (we will all be there soon) but it does have an effect on the overall feeling of the cruise. In this case, it almost appears that the company scrimped on the quality of the musical entertainment knowing only 10-15% of the passengers would be late night dancers. The house band was not up to the same standard as my previous Celebrity cruise and left me disappointed. On a positive note, the crew was extremely well trained and courteous, the service was beyond reproach, the ship was immaculate and our stateroom was splendid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First time on Celebrity Cruise lines and it was a WOW! The room, service, entertainment and the staff were all great. A pleasure and so much fun. We will go again. This time we were on the Celebrity Equinox. Just the right size for us. The ... Read More
First time on Celebrity Cruise lines and it was a WOW! The room, service, entertainment and the staff were all great. A pleasure and so much fun. We will go again. This time we were on the Celebrity Equinox. Just the right size for us. The embarkation and disembarkation were so smooth, we never touched our bags until we got home. Just loved it. The dining room was great and the food was over the top as were the choice of wines. The activities and the ports were all very well thought out. The nightly entertainment was great and a lot of fun. The room were very spacious and the beds were king size and very comfortable. I can't say enough about the cruise. Fun, Fun, Fun. They even had real grass on the top deck, real grass, so nice on the feet. Can't wait to do it again on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Hotel night before and Parking: Cambria Suites, Dania Beach: Wonderful hotel with separate TV’s/sitting area and large rooms. Free parking for 11 nights. Close to restaurants and nice shopping area, but better to drive 5 minutes ... Read More
Hotel night before and Parking: Cambria Suites, Dania Beach: Wonderful hotel with separate TV’s/sitting area and large rooms. Free parking for 11 nights. Close to restaurants and nice shopping area, but better to drive 5 minutes there rather than try to walk over busy roads. Must wait to day of check-in to book shuttle ($5pp paid at desk). Do not pay van driver...He tried to rip us off and charge $10 each! Got $5 back from desk when we returned. Returned via cab to hotel rather than await shuttle ($20). We were allowed entrance to port and check-in at approximately 10:30am. Included Beverage Package was marked on shipcards. Then sat for a short time and boarded ship around 11am or so. The weather wasn’t great so we changed our plan from lunch poolside at Mast Grill to exploring Equinox and having drink/lunch at Oceanview Buffet…Excellent food and choices! Rooms ready around 1:30 or so. Pleased with our Concierge, Deck 10 cabin with best steward ever, Mario. I had typed up a list of items we like in our cabin at home and gave this to Mario….. i.e., icebucket, glasses, extra hangers, etc. All appeared soon after muster along with our luggage. Mario also cleaned out mini-bar, but told us he could no longer exchange the free white wine bottle in our room for something else. This policy has been changed. Unpacked and headed to Sailaway at Sunset Bar to meet Cruise Critic friends. A bit disappointed that Celebrity’s Sailaway party was affected by weather. Met friends at our nightly stop, the fun Martini Bar, then headed to dinner around 7pm. Never a wait for Anytime Dining on any night of our cruise. In fact, the hostess kept our “usual location and staff information” in her computer and seated us there nightly. Kudos to Suki and Meta. Fabulous service. Food was the best we’ve ever experienced. We had lots of On-board credit to use up, but didn’t feel using it to book a specialty restaurant was needed. Ate one night in MDR with two of our neighborhood friends and their UK friends/relatives who were staying in AquaClass as well as our two nightly tablemates. No problem having them join us in MDR. Loved the first of the new Celebrity Production Shows (think it was called Live). Second show, Elyssium wasn’t as good, but still enjoyed it. Sorry the third production show wasn’t ready for our cruise. This new concept of entertainment really seems promising. The comedian, Phil Tag, was the funniest man we’ve ever seen on a cruise. Ventriloquist (sounds boring, but don’t miss this one) was absolutely amazing. The lone male singer/entertainer was pretty good. Did not care for the flute player, the house band, Take Five, or the woman singer. Kudos to Cruise Director, Alejandro…Lots of fun. Also loved Andres, one of the entertainment staff. Not as crazy about his assistant. Felt like she really didn’t connect with passengers DJ Flow’s music and personality were the very best. Danced at a 70’s party one evening in the Sky Lounge which is very pretty….Fun w/DJ Gio. Don’t know if it’s getting older, doing lots during the day or more probably, not feeling great, but we passed on lots of late night dancing, etc. Next cruise! Enjoyed Sea Day and Meet N Greet with fellow Cruise Critic passengers. Alejandro, the captain (very friendly and fun) and other staff attended. Went to snorkel at Eden Rock in Grand Cayman. Just walked the few blocks from ship, seeing shopping area enroute. Unfortunately, the weather was rainy and didn’t see nearly as many fish there as we did on our last visit to Paradise Grill area right next store to them a few years ago. We did see a huge spotted flounder which was nice though. Snorkeling Chankanaab National Park this year was so much better. Missed our group’s scheduled slot pull since I wasn’t feeling well. Heard that they won $47 each…Oh well, next cruise! Thoroughly enjoyed our prearranged trip with Dora in Cartagena Columbia. Thanks for arranging, Steve! The walled city was beautiful as were the other stops. Would have liked more time to shop in the dungeon area though. Dora bought the group some fresh fruit which was really delicious, especially in the high humidity/heat of Cartagena. Panama – Toured privately with Robtad’s. When we arrived Roberto, the owner, told me we would be with another guide which worried me a bit since I had read so much about him. He informed me that our guide, Edwin Miranda Gurro, would be better than him. Edwin was extremely knowledgeable and fun and we were extremely happy with him. A great day…Thanks to Carl for arranging our tour. Thankfully, we had just enough time to see a huge cargo ship approach the lock, watch the water level change and the gates open. Amazing. I really wasn’t thrilled about going to the locks initially, thinking it would be slow and boring…NOT. The rest of the tour to various spots in Panama City was also fun and amazing. We tried to stop for a local lunch enroute back to the ship. However, traffic was crazy due to upcoming holidays and a parade so the group voted to pass on lunch. Costa Rica was probably our favorite port this trip. We used William Guerrero/Luis Martin’s private tour with Carlos as our guide. We stopped frequently along the way and saw amazing red tree frogs, green tree frogs, little ants carrying leaves, a paprika pod, a Ylang-Ylang leaf which smells like Chanel No. 5. Saw many sloths and other wildlife on the Tortuguero Canal boat trip. I had arranged this tour and was hoping my cruisemates would enjoy it. Glad that it was fun. Enjoyed relaxing on our next sea day and seeing some of the daily ship’s activities. Probably a good spot here to commend the fitness spa for cleanliness, equipment, etc. Although we didn’t take advantage of the paid items this year, the Zumba last year was great. Loved dancing with Alejandro and others during the day. Visited Blue Kay Beach Club which I had read about on Cruise Critic. Took $2 taxi back and forth. You can also take an open air bus for $3. We somehow missed where to board it though so taxi was fine. No charge to visit there although they do expect you to buy food or drinks. Pina Colada was awful. Local beer and nachos good. Walked the Malecon, passing various beach clubs. Great beach day. Shallow, clear water. Snorkeled our favorite spot in Chankanaab National Park the next day. So worth the $22 pp fee. ($2 coupon at their site). Split a cab with another couple so just $6 to get there. $12 for just 2 of us to return to port. Nice molded or wooden chairs with tiki hut umbrellas/tables included. Extremely clean. Saw a seal show in Spanish which was really nice. Adventure of the cruise….There are so many fish, small and large, very close to the easy entry steps to water at this amazing Park. We would never miss this Park at Cozumel. Best snorkeling ever except in an area we visited on a catamaran near Buck Island years ago. I had read that if one brings dog biscuits to draw the fish, your snorkeling would be even better. So I put some dog biscuits in my snorkel vest and open it a bit to take one out to put in my hand to break up occasionally while snorkeling. Wrong move! In a few seconds we were totally surrounded by fish, some pretty large. Beautiful, but they started swimming under our arms, over our heads, up our backs, etc. I dropped the biscuit that was in my hand, but of course they still could smell them in my vest! It felt like we actually were in a bucket of fish. Both of us were bitten a bit (not seriously), but knew it was time to get to shore and get rid of the dogbiscuits and clean vest out. (Later on that day on our ship someone told me that feeding fish in the islands is not permitted) We later headed out again and snorkeled along the beach very far. Fabulous…Lots of colorful fish including some big schools of them. Headed to the lagoon area at the Park and saw two iguanas which I love. Also saw some huge crocodiles in their exhibit. Had the most delicious salsa, chips and fish tacos of my life at their beach restaurant along with some light Tekante beer. Great, friendly service also. Nice to have a Sea Day before we disembarked. Enjoyed various onboard activities such as the Top Chef at Sea show, etc. Said our final goodbyes to Sukihara and Mehet in the MDR and our cabin steward, Mario. They were really terrific. Woke up in Fort Lauderdale at around 5:30am and sat on the balcony watching another large ship pulling in. We decided to grab some coffee and light breakfast items and eat there so we could relax before heading to the Equinox Theatre for our departure call at 8:20am. Celebrity had a recap of the ship’s activities playing while we waited. Nice touch. We were called on time to depart from this fabulous cruise full of wonderful memories. The only negative I can remember from this cruise was that customs was so SLOW. At first just one clerk for US passengers and then just two. The waiting lines were really awful. We’ve had just one other problem with customs in the past and that involved a drug bust which held us up. Understood that, but this time really seemed uncalled for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was the perfect cruise. Embarkation was good, the only problem that I would see where concierge passengers wait in different lines and the helpers do not guide you or tell you where to go... but it is all good. Our cabin was awesome, ... Read More
This was the perfect cruise. Embarkation was good, the only problem that I would see where concierge passengers wait in different lines and the helpers do not guide you or tell you where to go... but it is all good. Our cabin was awesome, concierge - 1024, spacious and quiet traffic. Carlton and Wilson were awesome in maintaining our cabin, we never in want.... Denis & Celeo in the MDR were perfect!! Service was awesome and food was great. We went to Murano's, mmmmm, the red balloon dessert was delicious and having lobster cooked at your table was an experience. The bars were great, classic package was good enough for us and really enjoyed not having a bill at the end. I have to say thought that we tipped with cash sometimes since we realized that their tips must be less. The one thing that I am very disapointed is the spa package that we bought at $80/pp to have access 6 times each, 1 during sea day... This was pointless and total waste of money since the chairs were always full and there were only steam rooms available.  A not to do.  We also did the unlimited photo package, it was worth it, it was fun and we have a bunch of pictures.  Celebrity has wowed us and we have booked another cruise with this company. It is worth it to look into it. One other negative is the after 11:00pm, the ship is a ghost ship and that is no way Celebrity's fault.  Just weird. The ports, they were all fantastic! Beautiful!! Poor also... Exucrsions, Grand Cayman - 7 miles Beach, took a taxi, Cartegena - Dora with Beach - Great, Colon - Mario with beach - Great, Limon - just walked around, grocery store for some real cheap coffee, Belize - snorkeling with Eco Tour - booked once off the ship and Cozumel - Nachi Cocom - quiet and all inclusive. Just a really good time!!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My husband and I are in our 50's and this was our 6th cruise, 2nd with Celebrity. We've done 2 cruises with Princess and 2 with Carnival. Unlike many others, we are not loyal to a particular cruise line, the line we choose is ... Read More
My husband and I are in our 50's and this was our 6th cruise, 2nd with Celebrity. We've done 2 cruises with Princess and 2 with Carnival. Unlike many others, we are not loyal to a particular cruise line, the line we choose is dependant upon the type of cruise we're looking for at the time.....family cruise, romantic getaway, etc. Itinerary and price dictate our choice for the most part. It was just my husband and myself this time and I have to say this cruise was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. A perfect combination of sea days and port days giving us lots to do as well as time to relax. Precruise - Embassy Suites, Fort Lauderdale. We had an upgraded room on the top floor with a view (distant) of the port. The room was enormous, extremely comfortable bed and the included breakfast the next morning was excellent. The free drinks and snacks at the manager's reception was much appreciated! Quick ride to the port in the morning (included in the hotel cruise package) and we were ready to cruise! Embarkation - the most organized embarkation we have experienced thus far. We arrived at 10:30 and were on the ship by 11:15. We were Concierge Class but all lines seemed to be moving well. Cabin - 2106 on the hump. Absolutely LOVED the location. 30 sec walk to the pools (and pool bar....nice) and the buffet. No noise whatsoever. Food - We had select dining and chose to eat in the MDR most nights. Service was good, however the sommeliers table assignments were changed after the 2nd night and we were forgotten one night and had to bring it to their attention. We ate in Murano one night and although the quality of the food was excellent, it was just too rich for my taste. My husband enjoyed his meal very much. We had the Chateaubriand for two and the dessert sampler. We had the premium drink package and were overcharged for our wine but had it corrected the next day. Silk Harvest was just ok but the service was probably some of the best we had on the ship. The waiter went out of his way to make sure we were happy. Tuscan Grille was my favourite! We both had the filet mignon and it was delicious. The creme brûlée has a layer of chocolate on the bottom and chocolate swirled on top which my husband liked but I prefer the traditional version myself. Buffet was good, I always found something I liked but breakfast got a little repetitive after 3 or 4 days. I really enjoyed the freshly squeezed orange juice and latte every morning though! We both enjoyed hitting the mast grill for a burger and beer after returning from a shore excursion. Mmmmm. We ordered room service twice for breakfast and it was delivered right on time and hot. Appreciated the call before it arrived and call afterwards to make sure everything was ok. Bars We both had the premium package and agreed it was worth it since we preferred the wines available with this package. Martini bar - entertaining bartenders and STRONG drinks. Enjoyed my white cosmos and dirty martinis. Always crowded but lots of seating in the areas around the bar. Pool bar - handy for bringing drinks back to enjoy on the balcony. We also liked sitting at the tabletop bar by the pools when the band was playing. Ensemble lounge - Dark, dreary and boring in my humble opinion but there always seemed to be lots of people in there so to each his own. Sunset bar - not the party bar it was on the Reflection but still fun and not nearly as busy Molecular bar - Entertaining but one drink a day is my limit there. Very filling. Tanned Russian was my drink of choice. Entertainment We only went to 2 shows in the theatre and were not overly impressed. Not horrible but not great either. I would also give the live band on the ship the same grade, mostly due to the poor mixing of their sound. Vocals were turned way down and guitar was loud. Acoustic guitar player Michael was awesome but his music was a little melancholy. Not really what you want to hear when you're on vacation. Many of Celebrity's passengers are baby boomers. Why they play club music around the pool is beyond me. It doesn't appeal to most baby boomers or older generations. The glass blowing show was incredible! We both really enjoyed learning about the process and seeing these talented people create some beautiful pieces. I won't review the ports in detail but the itinerary was what drew us to this cruise and it did not disappoint. The ferry trip through the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip and an experience we will never forget. We did the luggage valet service for $20 each and it was well worth it. We walked off with our carry ons at 8am and didn't have to worry about our luggage til we picked it up at our home airport. And Celebrity takes care of printing your boarding passes as well. FYI, our airline was not listed as one participating in the program but we had used it before so we inquired. They said it would work but they just hadn't included it. It pays to ask. I truly believe attitude goes a long way towards your enjoyment of a cruise. I overheard people complaining about the weather, the fact someone cut in front of them in line, etc. We enjoyed every day and had a fantastic holiday and we're looking forward to our Eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Reflection in September.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The embarkation was simple and quick. We were very impressed with the way we were welcomed aboard by the staff. The Equinox is a beautiful ship. The service was impecable and the staff was always friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all our ... Read More
The embarkation was simple and quick. We were very impressed with the way we were welcomed aboard by the staff. The Equinox is a beautiful ship. The service was impecable and the staff was always friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all our dinners in the MDR and have nothing but wonderful things to say about all the staff members. Even though we had select dining, we never waited. We were able to request the same table every night or at least stay within the area where Conrad was the waiter. He was very attentive to our needs and was always very professional. Carlos, his assistant, was a joy to talk to every night. He always had a smile and a good attitude. Henry, the wine service attendant, was awesome. He always knews my husband's name and the room number to retrieve the bottle of wine. We could not have enjoyed ourselves more. Being that I have some food allergies, Branko, the asst maitre'd made sure that even in the oceanview cafe I was taken care of and watched out for my well being. I am very impressed with all the attention and assistance we received. Overall we enjoyed our trip. We did not know what to expect since this was our first time on Celebrity, but we are not disappointed. The only thing we hope they improve are the night shows. We have experienced better, but they seem to cater to an older crowd, but it needs some improvement. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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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