1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Equinox Review
  5. Celebrity Equinox Cruise Reviews

423 Celebrity Equinox Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

This is my 8th cruise, I have previously sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Holland America. This was my first time with Celebrity and it did not disappoint - definitely the best ship yet. We departed from Fort Lauderdale, ... Read More
This is my 8th cruise, I have previously sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Holland America. This was my first time with Celebrity and it did not disappoint - definitely the best ship yet. We departed from Fort Lauderdale, although we flew to Miami as it was easier and cheaper coming from the UK. we spent one night on south beach, which I would recommend experiencing, but a night is enough to see it all. Embarkation was a breeze - when we arrived someone was there to take our bags from the taxi, and now they have facial recognition machines upon arrival which automatically checks you in, and took about 30 seconds. We then sat down and waited for embarkation to begin (we got to the port a little early), in Celebrity’s own terminal which was new and had plenty of seats. The service was fantastic, all staff were attentive and there were plenty of them. There was never a queue for anything, and we could always find two sunbeds together, even at midday on seadays. We are only in our 20’s and so found the rest of the passengers to be significantly older than ourselves, however there was still plenty to do which suited us, including the lawn club with an outdoor movie screen. We had the classic drinks package which was sufficient, although quite limited. If there was a specific drink you wanted which wasn’t included you only paid the extra however. Our stateroom attendant and waiter were faultless, and our balcony room was nice too - we went for a ‘restricted view’ cabin on deck 6 but it really wasn’t restricted at all, there was just a life boat underneath us. Glad we saved the money and went for this option. The ship was in top condition and although 10 years old, felt like new. The layout and size of everything was well designed, although the atrium was slightly on the small side. The solarium was particularly nice, and so relaxing. We spent a lot of time in here when we’d had enough of the heat! Silent discos were our favourite after dinner entertainment, and we never bothered with the shows as it’s not really our thing. We did one shore excursion, and the rest of the days just either walked or got a taxi to a beach, which was nice enough and often free! I have always been drawn to cruises because of the ability to explore new places and see the world, but I would definitely consider doing the exact same holiday again just because the ship and the whole experience was so great. Overall fantastic value for money, and don’t think anyone could not enjoy the level of luxury this ship provides. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Was pretty disappopinted with this cruise. It seemed very over crowded with not enough lounge chairs or seating in the main dining room. Not well thought out I think, about the layout or the maxium of people that would be expected to be in ... Read More
Was pretty disappopinted with this cruise. It seemed very over crowded with not enough lounge chairs or seating in the main dining room. Not well thought out I think, about the layout or the maxium of people that would be expected to be in one area, everyone on top of eachother. Food was "ok". Some crew members obviously not happy to be there. Some were rude, like you were a bother. There are certain "places" for certain "higher up" people that we weren't able to go in, told to leave. The excursions were NOT what we thought they would be at all. The beach excusions were all overcrowded with natives trying to sale you every little trinket. The cabin was clean with our Cabin guy being "wonderful" never missed a beat on anything. Enterainment was great the comedian was fantastic. Over all I felt cheated.. Would I go again? Not on Celebrity! I'll stick with Holland. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We would like to share our recent experience on the Equinox. Several years ago my wife damaged a major nerve in her right leg and though she can walk, she cannot climb steps well. We would like to share our experience. The ship is ... Read More
We would like to share our recent experience on the Equinox. Several years ago my wife damaged a major nerve in her right leg and though she can walk, she cannot climb steps well. We would like to share our experience. The ship is equipped to deal with a middle age and older clientele. There are steps to walk into the solarium pool, and there is even a chair lift to get in and out of the solarium pool and one of the two hot tubs in the solarium. The ship even has an onboard dialysis center. Upon arrival at the terminal, we were checked in and waited in the vast open area. The seats were fine, but the acoustics were terrible and the boarding announcements sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher. When we boarded we were greeted with champagne and allowed to go to our stateroom. We dropped off our carryon luggage and got our cards. We were in Veranda 7336. We met our room steward Denny and then went off to explore the ship. The Oceanview Café was a buffet dining experience that was quite enjoyable. There was authentic Thai and Asian dishes almost daily, and a vast selection of cuisines for all palates. We had a four night specialty restaurant package and enjoyed La Petit Chef, the Tuscan Grill, and Murano twice. All food and service was top notch. The formal nights were Day 2 and Day 10. In the main Dining Room we had anytime dining and our service was excellent. ( Thanks Enrique and Albert). Our Sea days were mostly spent in the Solarium in the morning and exploring the ship in the afternoon. During evening hours, we could be found at the Martini Bar until dinner, We attended two shows, Elysium and September 63, which was a Four Seasons tribute band that put on a great show. We spent a few nights donating to the casino, watched sports in the Craft Social bar and the other nights we just crashed after dinner. Our first Port was Saint Thomas USVI. We hired a taxi for a couple of hours, took a short tour, and then shopping. Just a word about the Taxis. My wife cannot step into a bus, shuttle, or large van. She can get into a minivan or car You can find these vehicles, but you must pack your patience and keep asking, You may pay a little more than the jam-packed tours, but to us it was well worth it, Our next port of call was St. Croix. We found a taxi to take us to Rhythm's at Rainbow Beach. During our research it had been highly recommended. There is small hill to negotiate to get to the beach. The steps to the bar were steep and tall. We worked around that by using the hill. Previous reviews said this beach was easy to negotiate with a sandy bottom. .We found it to be just the opposite. We were told that Tropical Storm Karen had come through and taken all of the sand away. Nothing but rocks, some of them quite large. We put on our water shoes, finally negotiated the bottom, and were relaxing in the water when a storm came through, complete with lightning and thunder. The Rhythm's beach bar did good business that day. Everyone there, from the kids who rented us the chairs and umbrella, to the bar staff were very nice. Just a bad weather day. The third port was Antigua. After some negotiating, we found a taxi for just the two of us. We had originally planned on the Dennis Dennis beach bar, but were told that the hill and steps there were very steep, and probably not doable for my wife. We instead wound up less then a mile away at Darkwater beach. This beach was beautiful, with a very fine white sand, There was a bit of a drop off in the water, but not terrible. The water and sand were gorgeous and we could see Montserrat while we were in the water. Overall, great day! The fourth port of call was Barbados. Once again we got a private taxi to take us to the Harbour Lights Beach Club. There is one short set of stair to negotiate, but once you get on the beach, just WOW! Crystal clear water, nice sand, and beautiful sunshine. A word of warning, the only bathroom at the club is upstairs. Luckily, we did not have to use those facilities. Stop number 5 was St. Lucia. After consecutive days in the sun, we opted to take a tour of the island. It was very informative and the driver was very knowledgeable. We had a bit of excitement on our way back to the port. Our car had a flat right front tire. We pulled in to a gas station only to find out that it would not even hold air. We offered to help him change the tire, but he insisted on driving back to the ship on the rim. More excitement than we needed for the day. The last stop was St. Martin. We had been to this island before, and we were very interested to see how its recovery from the hurricane a few years back, was progressing. The answer is - Not very well. Many of our favorite places were extensively damaged and are coming back. We decided to go to Little Divi Beach. There was a ramp to the beach. The sand was not as nice as some of the other beaches, but the water was beautiful. Getting in to and out of the beach was difficult as there was a steep drop off and an uneven bottom. After six port days in a row, we began our two day return trip. More great food, more French Martinis, more McCallan's scotch, and unfortunately, more casino donations. We met some great people, and had a great time. When we returned to Fort Lauderdale, we caught an Uber to the airport and were there in plenty of time to catch or flight. Until the next one.... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 4th cruise with Celebrity and 26th cruise overall. Our first cruise with Celebrity was on the Reflection back in 2014. Everything about that cruise was amazing and we were wowed. We declared Celebrity our favorite cruise line. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Celebrity and 26th cruise overall. Our first cruise with Celebrity was on the Reflection back in 2014. Everything about that cruise was amazing and we were wowed. We declared Celebrity our favorite cruise line. We took the Solstice to Alaska in 2015 and while it is identical to the Reflection in terms of ship architecture, the Reflection's interior decor we found more pleasing. Nonetheless, the food was good and we had a great time. We cruised the Celebrity Infinity on a Panama Canal cruise in 2017. This is when Celebrity fell out of favor with us. While the main dining room food was good, the buffet food was often at lukewarm temperature at best. The grill where they had hot dogs and hamburgers was serving cold french fries. I don't mean barely warm, I mean cold. Ever eat a cold french fry? The hamburgers and hot dogs ranged from barely warm to cold. When the food temperature was mentioned to the grill attendant, he just shrugged. We decided to give Celebrity one more try. Hence, this cruise on the Equinox. Since cruise critic had it rated as best overall ship two years running, we were looking forward to repeating our Reflection experience. Sadly, this was not the case. My wife and I are active seniors and experienced cruisers. We love cruising. The ship is our destination and we do not choose our ship on the basis of itineraries. We do not do excursions. We have taken several cruises where we never got off the ship at the ports. Food is 50% of the cruise for us. Entertainment 25% and the last 25% is divided among stateroom and activities, facilities, service, etc. We normally shop for bargains and get an oceanview room, unless we are going to Alaska, in which case it is worth the extra money for the balcony view. My reviews are geared toward rating those items on a ship that are important to me. I will start with what I think was outstanding about the ship. The ship is beautiful. The public areas are all grandly decorated and pleasing. The layout is very good. Service by all personnel from room attendant to dining room wait staff to guest relations was outstanding. The one consistency that I have found on all Celebrity ships is that their pizza, which in my opinion, is the best pizza of any cruise line at sea and is virtually always available, except at breakfast. Entertainment was not exceptional but was very good. The singers and dancers at the production shows were above average. Costuming and staging was average. Story lines and ability to follow what the shows were supposed to be about were poor. Acrobats were very good. All of the specialty acts in the main theater were very good. Music in the atrium and on decks was good. Entertainment =A- Stateroom was very nice. Very comfortable bed, decent storage. Bathroom storage the best of any ship I have ever been on - equal to Reflection. Stateroom size is the largest for standard category stateroom around any of the cruise lines (Princess is the smallest). TV selections were limited and horrible. Stateroom gets an A rating. Would be A+ except for TV selections. Pool temperature was good and pool depth ranged from over 3 feet to over 5 feet. As I am short, this was great. I did not need to hang on to the sides to stay in the pool. Now for the bad - complimentary food venues. MDR was above average for MDR cruise food. Wait staff were outstanding. Oceanview cafe was a zoo. Embarkation day everyone gets sent up to the buffet until rooms are ready and there are not enough tables or chairs for everyone and it is a crowded mess. This is true of all the mass market cruise lines regardless of what cruise you are on. We are used to this. However, after embarkation day, things usually smooth out as not everyone is at the buffet at the same time and there are only a few meal times were it is a little crowded. Not true on the Equinox. It was always crowded during mealtimes and difficult to move from station to station or to find an empty table or chairs. .The exception would be most times at dinner, since people were eating in the MDR. Late night snacks were generally not crowded but breakfast and lunch were awful. There are not enough seats and tables for the number of passengers. Food (except for pizza) in the buffet was average at best. temperature was OK. Taste was OK, but not better than just OK. Choices were repetitive. If you wanted a hamburger or hot dog at lunch, you had to go to the Mast grill which was a walk from the buffet. If you were dining with your spouse and companion at the buffet and they were eating what was at the buffet, you had to walk to the Mast grill, wait in line, get your food and walk back to the buffet. By the time you made your way through the crowd and sat down with your companion, they were finishing their food and yours was cooling. But the worst, the very worst, was the desserts, They looked gorgeous. presentation was exceptional. Taste was the exact opposite. They looked great and tasted horrible. Expectations were dashed with the first bite. Fruits were good. Watermelon outstanding. Late night snacks consisted of the ever present pizza, pastas, make your own salad bar with a number of toppings excluding hard-boiled eggs, bacon bits and shredded cheese. Those happen to be my favorite salad toppings so I did not eat much salad. There were limited sad looking cold cuts, Cut up french bread, and rolls. No regular thin sliced bread at all except in the mornings at breakfast. Limited fruit but no watermelon. No hamburgers or hot dogs or potatoes. MDR = B Oceanview cafe = C- Activities - not much. There were some trivia games. Dancing. Karaoke.Casino with $10 minimums as the lowest minimum at craps, roulette and blackjack. Craps table is open only in the evenings. Slots are tight. I will only play at $5 minimum or lower tables. I know they will win in the end but at $10 minimums, the money goes out too fast and that is no fun. A lot of the activities that featured talks were just sales pitches to get you to buy something or go to their "recommended" shops at the port. Not objective information but that is typical for most cruise ships. The on board cruise shops had a more limited selection than most ships we have been on. Activities = C- So, in summation we enjoyed the cruise but not as much as the cruises we have enjoyed on competitor's cruise lines. Would we book Celebrity again? Maybe if they improved the food, had more fun activities and offered a great deal that we could not refuse but our experience at this point is that the quality of the brand has decreased sufficiently that it would not be our first or even second choice. How this has been rated best ship overall two years in a row is beyond me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Positives The production cast was brilliant!! As we had seen all of the shows before, we were shocked at how well the singers, Ruby, Peter, Joselyn, Mervyn, A.J. and Lucy, along with the amazingly talented dancers, very ... Read More
The Positives The production cast was brilliant!! As we had seen all of the shows before, we were shocked at how well the singers, Ruby, Peter, Joselyn, Mervyn, A.J. and Lucy, along with the amazingly talented dancers, very impressively surpassed all of our expectations. Similarly, the Equinox showband, led by Nick, and the expert aerialists were nothing short of breathtaking This cast is truly second to none in all the cruises we’ve enjoyed on Celebrity. Awesome!!! All the guest entertainers were very good, but we were specifically entertained by the impressionist Jason Neistadt, the comedian Rondell Shierdan, Singer/Guitarist Michael Redden and the tribute band Dec63. We were also very fond of our extremely hard working and very personable, Cruise Director, Carlos. He was actually very talented and funny as well. We received superb service from our cabin steward, Wayan, and our waiters Hernando and Jose. Not only did they work hard, but they are very kind and pleasant individuals. Above average food options and quality in MDR and Oceanview Cafe, however, after numerous cruises, the food is becoming somewhat predictable. The Negatives Of course, we were expecting a Revolutionized Equinox, which is how the ship had been marketed, but clearly, for whatever reason this had not taken place. It would have been appropriate to advise passengers of the delay in completing the renovation, as that was a major reason for us booking that particular ship. Regardless, a broken panel in the front of the stage could have been glued back to the wall at some point during the 10 day cruise. We were surprised that in many cruises aboard Celebrity ships, this was our first Captain to be completely detached. This seemed both odd and very disappointing, to say the least. On prior cruises we have had the pleasure to sail with Captain Leo, Captain Zisis as well as others, who were a large part of the warm ambience on the voyage. Unfortunately, Captain Dimitrios chose not to interact with guests, and as a result, the climate on the ship felt significantly more impersonal. We were only aware of two activities staff members and a DJ, to host events. This was very strange for any cruise!! In general, it felt that there may have been a staff shortage in this department. Cruise Director, Carlos, often hosted events that, on other cruises, would have been handled by the activities staff. Whether by choice, or out of necessity, we are not sure. We did not like On Shuffle at all, particularly as we could hear the band on all decks of the ship. Too loud and not at all unique. We were quite annoyed by the incessant attempts to upsell both specialty restaurants and beverage packages on a day to day basis right up until the last day of the cruise; and now Celebrity has added yet a new charge for the beverage package perk. Clearly “nickel and diming” has firmly entrenched itself into Celebrity’s rationale and this is a great shame, and hardly, modern luxury!! In truth, as it continues, it will only cheapen the brand!! BTW, in comparison to the other mainstream cruise lines, the prices of Celebrity’s specialty restaurants are extortionate already, which perhaps, is the real reason they are not selling out?! The new non refundable deposits on future cruise bookings while onboard are yet another devaluing cash grab. In fact, this is the first time we did not purchase a future cruise certificate and will not likely do so in future, under these new conditions. Other lines offer such “deals”, but Celebrity used to be better than those, and now... they are not! Internet, though free for us, was nothing less than frustrating and a waste of our valuable time. Worst ever!! So, all in all, an enjoyable cruise for us, but of our six recent Celebrity voyages, this was the least inviting. Perhaps, the half glass of sparkling wine as we boarded the ship should have been the sign of things to come. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the Oct 4th sailing of the Equinox. We went a day early, stayed at Comfort Suites (who provided free transportation from the airport) in Fort Lauderdale, and had a delicious seafood dinner at Dockers within walking distance of ... Read More
We were on the Oct 4th sailing of the Equinox. We went a day early, stayed at Comfort Suites (who provided free transportation from the airport) in Fort Lauderdale, and had a delicious seafood dinner at Dockers within walking distance of the hotel. They had a nice shuttle to the cruise terminal for $10 each. Due to high swells at Grand Cayman and the tender boats not being able to sail safely, that port was closed. It was disappointing somewhat, but they gave us 4 extra hours in Aruba so that was nice. We had a wonderful time in the other 4 ports -- Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and Key West. Eagle Beach in Aruba and Mambo Beach in Curacao both were beautfiul, and had nice sandy beaches with plenty of palapas for shade. We chose an excursion that was a city tour and beach break in Bonaire. Coco Beach there was very rocky, chairs were crowded together, and there was not much shade, so it was our least favorite beach. The service on the ship was wonderful! Everyone, in every capacity, was so positive, happy, and helpful. We had excellent wait staff in the main dining room, Jon Jon and Kaydean. The food was so good there, that we saw no need to do specialty dining. Some at our table did, though, and brought back good reports on the Tuscan Grille and Murano. My husband wished they could do something about the TV service at sea -- we missed a lot of college and pro football games and the baseball playoffs -- but it definitely would not stop us from doing another Celebrity cruise. We had a wonderful time, and hated for it to end! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
So I had two rings stolen from my cabin worth over $2000 by a crew member. This theft was reported to Security who after my husband and I had already searched our room twice, searched it again with video cameras going. This theft was ... Read More
So I had two rings stolen from my cabin worth over $2000 by a crew member. This theft was reported to Security who after my husband and I had already searched our room twice, searched it again with video cameras going. This theft was escalated to the Ft. Lauderdale police and the Detective tried to recover them with no luck. Finally this matter was escalated to the CEO who had her Executive Team advise that she would not compensate us for this theft. The Celebrity terms and conditions state that they are not responsible for anything stolen from your cabin, even if it is in your safe. All potential passengers need to read the fine print because what the cruise line does not tell you will harm you. It seems outrageous to us that the cruise lines hold port talks to convince passengers to buy unique jewelry and then aren’t responsible when it’s stolen. embarkation- Embarkation on to the Equinox went fine. service-The service by the Cabin steward was good, the dining room service was excellent, however as stated I had 2 rings worth over $2000 stolen from my cabin. The security team on board did a terrible job as they didn’t recover my rings. This was after they searched the cabin with video tape going. This theft as you can imagine pretty much ruined the last 3 days of our cruise. dining-The dining in the main dining room was alright, the menus didn’t change much and the variety on the main courses rarely changed. cabin-The cabin was fine except for it was not safe since the crew stole from it. entertainment-The entertainment was good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Review of Celebrity Equinox cruise, September 23, 2019 Category: C2 Concierge Verandah Room: 1082 on Deck 10 Booked through: Travel agent (AAA) Early seating, Silhouette Dining Room Overall Rating: 4.46 out of 5.0 ... Read More
Review of Celebrity Equinox cruise, September 23, 2019 Category: C2 Concierge Verandah Room: 1082 on Deck 10 Booked through: Travel agent (AAA) Early seating, Silhouette Dining Room Overall Rating: 4.46 out of 5.0 Pre-Cruise Flying from Boston the day prior to the cruise was simple and easy. We booked our flight via Celebrity Flights and they were able to substantially beat even jetBlue and booked us on Delta, nonstop. The close proximity of the airport to the cruise port is a huge plus and makes life so much simpler than having to take a shuttle bus from FLL to Miami. This was our first experience on Delta in more than 10 years since they filed for restructuring and cut back on destinations and frequencies out of Boston forcing us to seek out another carrier. Having flown Delta almost exclusively since the 70’s with few exceptions until they cut way back, it was good to be back with them for this sequence of flights. We did notice that there were new seats on our aircraft and while a bit thinner than I remembered, and a bit tighter in seat pitch, yet it was not as noticeable and actually quite comfortable. The updated entertainment system was a step above what we remember from other flights of years ago and even better than jetBlue’s seatback system with touch screens and earphone jacks much easier to access. Itinerary Sea Day 1 and 2, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Sea days 3 and 4, Ft. Lauderdale. Weather The weather pre and during the cruise was typical tropical weather. We only had two days of occasional rain during the 12 day cruise and none were related to any organized systems. We were lucky. Airport Experience The Fort Lauderdale airport has always been easier to access than Miami. This year even more so since we flew in a day early and took a shuttle to our hotel on state route 84. It was hot however while waiting for the shuttle. Coming to the airport post-cruise for our flight back to Boston post-cruise was a little underwhelming in the Delta terminal, most likely due to half of the terminal being under construction and food choices very limited. Coming through security was the usual inconvenience but it was taken in stride. I did notice that while there was a somewhat adequate amount of charging stations in the gates D3-D5 area, many of the USB ports were damaged and unusable. Fortunately our plane (737-800) had AC power available and USB charging ports at every seat. Embarkation Embarkation at the brand new Celebrity terminal in Fort Lauderdale was a breeze and exponentially better than its former Miami terminal. The terminal was comfortable and bright. The only complaint is while waiting for our group to be called, the room was so “live” (voices echoing off the hard floors and walls with nothing to absorb them) it was very difficult to hear or understand the many announcements on either the PA system or by staff. Sound absorbing panels such as “Soundsoak” or an equivalent should be installed to reduce the amount of ambient and reflected sound. However, the PA system was sharp and crisp without any static or other noise emitting from the speakers. This is a vast improvement over the Miami terminal. We were told we could bring a case of bottled water aboard, so we purchased a case for $3.00 at Big Lots, placed a luggage tag on it and checked it through when we got to the pier. It was delivered to our stateroom in one piece with our luggage. What we didn’t drink during the cruise we gave to our cabin attendant. Cabin We were able to secure the same cabin this year as we had last year. The beds seemed to have new mattresses and were quite comfortable. The gentle swaying of the ship at night made it easy to fall asleep every night. The cabins on the Equinox at 194 sq. ft. are 9 sq. ft. larger than most other ships we’ve been on which come in at 185 sq. ft. The nine extra feet make a big difference in comfort. We found the thermostat easy to use and kept the room at our constant temperature. The bathrooms, especially the shower, have plenty of room to turn around in. There was ample storage space in the bathroom with plenty of drawers and cabinets. The main cabin also had plenty of storage with overhead storage units above each bed. The ample storage helped de-clutter the room. It was also nice to have two 120 VAC outlets at the desk for various chargers and for use of the hairdryer. We did pack a small 12-inch 4-port plug strip as we’ve done on just about every cruise and it made charging our electronics a lot easier. It was always unplugged during the day and obviously was not confiscated during the check-in procedure. Wait Staff / Maitre D’ Our Assistant Maitre D’, Georgios, was always front-and-center, and helped my wife with her dietary requirements if there was nothing on the menu she could tolerate. Fortunately, there was much more on the menus this year than last year and the few times a problem developed, he took ownership of it with seemingly little difficulty to produce an adequate meal for her. He made it seem so much easier this year than last. Our server Sahkile was on top of her game and very personable, and the assistant waiter Ronan had a very distinguished and professional air about him. Top notch all the way! If anyone reading this happens to have him as their Maitre D’, ask him about doing the “hokey-Pokey!” Food Where does one begin about the food on this ship? The main dining room selections were that of a solid 4-star restaurant, if not better. The portions were just the right size and as with all other cruises, you could have more than one selection or seconds or thirds of the same. We like the fact they seem to be implementing better portion control which leads to much less waste (and less expansion of the waistline!). The food was superbly cooked and the presentations were excellent. The variety on an 11-night cruise was excellent with no repetition of entrees. The buffet seemed to be steps above those of other ships. There seemed to be more servers serving selections from the buffet onto your plate than we’ve noticed on other ships where it is generally a free-for-all. There were many shields over the food areas to prevent contamination from people and plenty of serving utensils. The food always seemed to be plentiful and as always made from scratch in the galleys. There were plenty of choices to answer just about any diet or tastes. One day there was a Greek Festival with many home-made choices. The Moussaka was absolutely outstanding as was the Baklava and some of the other dishes I sampled. This was certainly steps above any local Greek restaurant I’ve been to at home. The day after the Greek Festival was the German Festival with what appeared to be home-made German knockwurst sausage and Bratwurst. They were the best I’ve ever had. The buffet was open late into the night for that last minute cookie, ice cream, pizza, or coffee. The “only” complaints I can offer are that on sea days it can be difficult to procure a table in the buffet area, but this is par for the course with almost any ship buffet. If you want a burger or hot dog you have to go out by the pool, and the burgers are overcooked. I understand why that is done for health reasons. It would be nice to be able to have burgers or dogs available in the main buffet area as well. We went to the Tuscan Grill one evening for dinner and it was without exaggeration a 5-star restaurant. The appetizers were exquisite and some were offered in half-sizes. After sampling a few of them I was full, but persevered for the filet mignon steak which was just perfect. Add to this the seemingly never ending bottle of wine for the six of us and it was one spectacular dinner, one which we’ll definitely do again on next year’s cruise on the Solstice. We heard the other specialty restaurants were equally as good and some of our newfound friends frequented the Murano numerous times during the cruise and could not stop raving about it. Throughout the central part of the ship on the mid-levels were a few other small dessert, coffee, and gelato stands all with excellent selections. Add to that the many small bars all over the ship, especially the martini bar, you’ve essentially got one constant party going. Shore Excursion Desk We had little interaction with them as we had booked some of our excursions ahead of time on line or through the Celebrity phone app while aboard the ship. The times we did have to visit them, they had all the answers and seemed to be based on actual experience and not just a script. When tickets for one excursion never appeared in our stateroom, the desk immediately provided duplicates. Additionally, the SED was able to assist with any problems in either booking shore excursions or dealing with the aftermath of either failed excursions or those that did not live up to expectations. They also had to deal with the effects of an excursion that unfortunately ended in the crash of a tour bus with a car and as occupants of the bus they handled the entire situation with the utmost of professionalism. Aline and her staff were there every step of the way to ensure all were adequately treated in the Medical Center and for the remainder of the cruise. Future Cruise Desk We met with them a few times during the cruise as we were gathering information for a future cruise for 2020. After looking at least a half-dozen options with numerous prices, we settled on the Alaska cruise out of Seattle. They were totally unfazed with our various itineraries and pricing requests. For the time being, we are booked and are now exploring pre and post cruise hotels and excursions. Entertainment This is one area that was somewhat improved over last year’s cruise. While the same acrobatic shows were still being performed, the other entertainment was much improved. As noted last year, the acrobatic shows were okay and after two of them they got stale fast and we left in the middle of the third show then. This year one show was enough and we just hung around with other friends in some of the many bars. However, the other transient entertainment was very good and somewhat improved over last year. We still miss the Vegas-style production shows as on other cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean. Ship Cleanliness The one thing we notice last year was the spotlessness of the ship in every location. That was still true this year and the crew were always wiping surfaces and cleaning and mopping floors. This is probably by far the cleanest ship we’ve been on in every sense of the word. Ship’s Staff We cannot commend the staff enough. From the attentive wait staff and Maitre D’, to the cabin stewards, and everyone in between, they are all top notch and very knowledgeable. They were always eager to answer our questions regardless of their areas of expertise, and if they didn’t know the answer they always got it for us. On Board Shopping Of the ten ships we’ve been on with various cruise lines, they’re all pretty much the same and offer very similar items. We noticed there seemed to be an increased amount of ship-specific and brand specific merchandise over what we saw on last year’s cruise. What stood out were some of the clerks in the stores and their “bubbly” personalities, especially Riri, Anja, and Lisa in the general merchandise stores, and the fellow with the suspenders in the liquor store. We cannot comment on the high-end stores upstairs as we had no interest in what they were selling. Children Fortunately we were sailing after school was in session in most states and therefore there were very few children aboard which was fine with us, and one of the main reasons why we chose this cruise line and this specific cruise. The few children aboard were fairly well behaved. Excursions At this stage of the game, we’ve been to most of the islands at least once. On the second sea day we had pre-paid for a behind-the-scenes all access tour of the ship. Our tour guide John was part of the Excursion Desk staff and gave us a superb insight into the inner-workings of the entire ship. We were provided with Bluetooth earpieces to hear our tour guide, John, quite clearly. That was a welcomed addition and made for a much more understandable tour over the hustle and bustle of the galleys. We were brought inside the main dining room galleys and saw the evening’s meals being prepared. We also went into the “stores” area where all the pallets of dry goods were stored. We also were brought into the recycling area and then into the ship’s laundry. From there we went to one of the ship’s engine control rooms to see it in operation and how the azipods and engines were controlled. Then it was a walk down “I-95”, the main service corridor on deck 2 for the staff and then up to the bridge to see the how the ship is controlled. Overall it was an amazing tour and well worth the price, even for a seasoned cruiser. We were invited to the helipad for our arrival in Barbados. It was interesting to see the docking maneuvers and how precise the steering and speed of the ship can be controlled. The island tours we took were all pretty much the same. Since we were in Barbados on a Sunday most of the town was closed except for the port shopping which was basically uneventful. While in St. Lucia we took the island experience tour which was quite interesting. Upon returning to the ship our tour bus was struck almost head-on by a car in Castries, about ½ mile from the ship. The local police, fire and EMS all responded and did minor triage at the scene which was right in front of their courthouse. Fortunately no one was seriously injured – just bumps and bruises with a few minor cuts and abrasions, although our tour guide and bus driver were transported to the local hospital for treatment. Since it was a ship-sponsored tour we were somehow able to have the ship notified of the accident and were met by the excursion manager at the dock and we were all escorted through security and checked out by their medical staff upon returning to the ship. The ship’s staff took exceptionally good care of us in their medical center. What surprised us was how fast word got around the ship that one of the excursions was involved in a crash. When we were asked a few times if we had heard about the crash to which my response was “uhhh, yeah, that was us!” Debarkation Debarkation was probably one of the fastest we’ve had and for all intents and purposes just kept on walking once our number was called to proceed off the ship, not even stopping for customs. Customs forms were not required and the only pause was very slight while carding out for the final time. SUMMARY AND COMMENTARY To sum up this experience, it was probably the best cruise we’ve taken to date, and one of the best vacations we’ve ever taken. A lot of this has to do with the people we traveled with courtesy of Cruise Critic, and especially our table-mates for dinner as well as the overall shipboard experience. Celebrity definitely has their act together and I hope they keep doing what they do best. All things considered, even with this our second Celebrity cruise, and on the same ship and stateroom we had on last year’s cruise, we did not raise our expectations. However, our expectations were exceeded almost as soon as we arrived at the Celebrity terminal at the pier and they continued to be exceeded almost every day and in every way. As noted above, we’ve already booked another Celebrity cruise for next year on a sister ship, the Solstice out of Seattle. Weather and Ship’s Safety 5.0 FLL Airport Experience 4.5 Embarkation 4.0 Cabin 4.5 Dining Room Waitstaff 4.5 Food 4.2 Excursion Desk 5.0+ Shore Excursions 4.5 Future Cruise Desk 4.5 Ship’s Entertainment 3.0 Ship’s Cleanliness 5.0+ Ship’s Staff 5.0 On Board shopping 4.3 Children (lack of) 4.0 Debarkation 5.0 Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent. Ship was boring. Basically a quiet ship by midnight. Only disc jockey at 1 or 2 locations after that. Casino was the worst I've seen in years. They were forced to lower table odds ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent. Ship was boring. Basically a quiet ship by midnight. Only disc jockey at 1 or 2 locations after that. Casino was the worst I've seen in years. They were forced to lower table odds because on a few people were playing. Blackjack was awful. All shuffling machines except at $50 & $100. When no one was playing they made one $25 table without a machine. Only 2 players played so they closed all tables except $5 one by 11:00 most nights. All tables under $50 had 6 to 5 and no even money on blackjack. They had a $5 table that had a $25 max limit. Hard enough to win with proper rules. Now it's almost impossible. Players realize this and are not playing. Didn't see many hits on slots of any size. Shows were not up to par with shows seen on other cruise lines. This was a Caribbean cruise and there was no island music at all on the ship. There was only one deck party they basically has no theme. They basically played Zumba exercise music and the line dances were more like an exercise class. Grand foyer is poor area for any activities with limited places for viewing. Itinerary and 11 day length were really the only good parts of the trip. Service and food were up to Celebrity standards but menu is getting a little old. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
11-night Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antiqua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Ft. Lauderdale CABIN: 1625 (Aqua Class) We’re 53 years old, married 23 years. For cuisine, I eat ... Read More
11-night Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antiqua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Ft. Lauderdale CABIN: 1625 (Aqua Class) We’re 53 years old, married 23 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian (vegetarian and seafood). This is our 13th cruise overall, fourth on Celebrity and second on Equinox. In addition to Celebrity we’ve sailed Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America and NCL. We'll be sailing Virgin Voyages in 2020. As you read through this you might think some areas are negative, but you’re paying good money to go on your cruise so I like to give a true sense of what everything was like for us. It’s very difficult to have a “bad cruise” because after all, you’re on a cruise ship being pampered day and night by the crew. The main difference between cruises is the level of service from the crew, the amount and types of activities, and the quality of the food as you compare ships. It’s primarily the level of service from the crews that make each ship experience unique and what ultimately ensures you have a great cruise. I’m arranging this review by topic such as Embarkation, Ship, Dining, Excursions instead of by day so you can read everything about a topic at once. At the end of this review is a “Quick Tips” section for first time Celebrity Cruisers followed by the Excursions. PRE-CRUISE HOTEL We always come into a port at least one day early to ensure no surprises getting to the ship. For this trip we returned to the Embassy Suites 17th Street. We’ve stayed there at a few times because while it’s dated, it is convenient to a shopping center that includes a Publix supermarket and several decent restaurants. The rooms are generously large as the hotel is older. But the hotel is not really that well cared for and at this point, we’re done with this hotel especially since we finally discovered the ease of the Water Taxi on this last trip. The Water Taxi is inexpensive for an all-day pass and it drops you off at Los Olas Blvd. and other locations around Ft. Lauderdale as well as having a leg that goes to Hollywood. There is a Hilton Marina hotel just down 17th street from the Embassy Suites that has a Water Taxi stop right outside. The Taxi runs till 10pm so plenty of time to grab dinner and hop a ride back to the hotel. Admittedly the Hilton does not rate much better than Embassy Suites when you look at the travel sites, but the ease of hopping the Water Taxi to explore the city is more appealing than the shopping center behind Embassy Suites. And if we need to go to the shopping center, it’s about a 15 minute walk up 17th Street. The Embassy Suites does have a cruise shuttle, but we opted to use Lyft for the ride to the port and it was $14 for a standard Lyft. We had two full sized suitcases, a carry-on piece of luggage and two backpacks. All fit easily into the standard car and we were at the port in less than 15 minutes. EMBARKATION Embarkation was quite smooth thanks to the newly refurbished Celebrity Cruises Terminal 25 at Port Everglades. One tip, when you come up the escalator after security, you’ll come into the main waiting room area. Instead of joining the bunched-up crowd at the top of the escalator, head to the far end of the waiting room where there is a second ship entrance. We found it far less crowded over there. The audio communications in the waiting room were very difficult to understand. Anytime an announcement was made, we had to ask the workers what was being said. Celebrity would do well to install large screen TVs above the ship entrances so we can clearly see who is boarding as they run through the various levels. We did take advantage of the digital check-in in advance having uploaded our photos so we were able to walk onboard using our boarding pass on our phones. It was such an easy boarding process without the need to stand in lines, get room keys and such. Go straight to the waiting room and then go onboard the ship when our group was called. Immediately after boarding we were able to drop off our carry-ons in our cabin which was awesome so we could explore the ship without lugging anything around. Our cabin cards (keys) were waiting outside the cabin. A great improvement over waiting until 1pm just to be able to drop stuff off. THE SHIP This was our fourth time sailing a Solstice Class ship, second time sailing Equinox, with the other two being the Silhouette and Reflection. Equinox differs from the others with the Hollywood Hot Glass show up in the Lawn Club area, formerly the Corning Museum Hot Glass Show. Equinox went through a partial dry-dock refurbishment in March of this year. All the original planned ‘revolutionized’ changes were not completed due to an issue when a Royal Caribbean ship caused some damage at the original drydock location. Equinox had to be rescheduled for another location across the Atlantic. Due to the change of location and shorter drydock timeframe, some planned changes will not be completed until the second drydock in 2021. She has a lot of European styling throughout, it evokes the feel of a classic ocean liner with many modern touches. Yes that is real grass up on the Lawn Club, Deck 15. It’s a fun place to gather and they have lawn games like Bocce to play. The Solarium Indoor Pool is one of the nicer indoor pools at sea. One ‘revolutioned’ addition is the Retreat Sundeck up on Deck 15 forward reserved for Suite guests only. From what we could see there is very little shade up there, it really is a SUN deck. Two more ‘revolutionized’ additions are the Cabanas and the large screen on the Lawn Club on Deck 15 aft. More on these later. Aside from those two obvious changes, the only other noticeable change for those who have sailed her before would be the new carpet in Concierge Class and above cabins and the change of Silk Harvest restaurant to Le Petit Chef (at QSine). The glass elevator areas behind the Grand Foyer on Deck 3 opens all the way up to Deck 15 allowing you to hear the bands and anything else going on all the way to the top of the ship. This is a good and a bad thing. The good is that you can be on any deck and hear the music. The bad is that if you’re just trying to play a game in the Game Room, read in the Library or work in the iLounge, the band sounds like it’s right in the room with you. The sound travels very well. Consider that when looking at the cabins directly adjacent to the rear elevators. Most everything in terms of food and shops are laid out on Decks 3, 4 and 5. Oceanview Café (buffet) is on Deck 14 as is the Mast Grill and the Aqua Spa Café is in the Solarium Pool area on Deck 12. CABIN: AQUA CLASS 1625 Our cabin was on Deck 11, Cabin 1625 near the aft of the ship on the port side. This cabin is part of the Aqua Class. We usually try to book an aft cabin because the vibrations from the engines helps us sleep though the vibrations were barely noticeable inside the cabin. Cabin 1625 was also very convenient to the aft stairs and elevators just a short walk away. Just one set of stairs up to the pool deck and two sets of stairs up to the Oceanview Café. We booked the cruise while onboard the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas. Yes, you can book cruises for both cruise lines while onboard an RCCL or Celebrity ship. We then had the reservation transferred to our Costco Travel Agent. We purchased the basic drink package and when the Premium package went on sale before our cruise, we upgraded to that package. Note that as of October 2019, the drink packages are going up per person. You really have to drink a lot of alcohol or coffee to make that worth it. The cabin itself is really no different than your standard Veranda room but with some extra perks for being in Aqua Class. Such as breakfast and dinner in the Blu restaurant, flavored iced tea each afternoon, afternoon snacks and the plush robes with slippers and other accessories as well as access to the Persian Gardens in the Spa and one bottle of Champagne. Being up on Deck 11 gave our cabin plenty of protection from the sun and rain thanks to the deck 14 overhang. It was like having an extended awning over our balcony. We heard no noise at all coming from the pool deck as it was not directly above us but in front of us. The bathroom layout in the Solstice Class ships is among the most efficient of any cruise line. The space allows plenty of room to stand at the sink with the arrangement of the shower and toilet. There are plenty of cabinets and shelf space and even the trash can is tucked away. The Aqua Class provided an enhanced shower with additional body jets to go with the standard overhead shower. The shower controls are really nice with the water pressure and hot/cold controls separated so if you need to turn off the water during your shower, it comes right back on at the same temperature as when you turned it off. The shower is small, but functional and includes sliding glass doors so you don’t have to worry about shower curtains sticking to you during a shower. Inside the cabin there is a decent-sized closet, but the dresser / drawer space is somewhat limited, just four drawers. A trick learned from a fellow Celebrity traveler is using 12” x 12” collapsible cubes placed in the cabinet above the bed. This cabinet can easily hold 8 of these cubes and we’ll put our underwear, socks, t-shirts and other stuff in there. Note that those cabinets above the bed are scheduled to be removed as part of the revolution so they may disappear after the 2021 drydock. Another great tip is to get a wall hanging, canvas shoe rack and hang that on the bathroom door. We’ve used that for most every cruise we’ve been on. Our room steward, Jonathan, was among the best we’ve ever sailed with. His attention to detail and going out of his way to stop what he was doing to unlock our door for us was above and beyond. POOLS The Equinox has two pools, one outdoor and the Solarium indoor pool. The main pool on Deck 12 is split into two halves by a walkway over the center. There is covered seating up underneath the Deck 14 walkway on either side. The back of the pool area features some oversized round padded seats and there are some padded loungers tucked between the ‘sails’ on either side of the pool area. The Solarium indoor pool is air conditioned and features padded loungers on wooden frames. They can be a bit uncomfortable for a long day at the pool and the backs do not come up very high. Reading on these loungers can be a bit more difficult if you like to basically sit up while reading. But it is lovely sitting in cooler comfort vs. baking in the sun. Pools are open late on Celebrity, as late as 10pm on most days. We enjoy the occasional after dinner soak and swim, the nighttime lighting is especially pretty in the pool area. COCKTAILS & COFFEE Cafe Al Bacio / Gelateria The Cafe Al Bacio is always very busy due to the normally great coffee and tea drinks they provide. I say ‘normally’ because for the first time in four cruises on Celebrity, the baristas on this cruise were disappointing. They seemed to favor speed over quality of the drinks. Some drinks were lukewarm, I had two cappuccinos that barely filled one third of the cup, Americanos that tasted like they were the last coffee dregs in the pot two hours ago. Actually the coffee flavor overall was much more bitter than on previous cruises, it tasted like they are using a much lower quality coffee blend than in the past. But there was no consistency and never a really good cup of coffee from this barista crew. Until now this has been a solid go-to coffee spot for me and one of the reasons we go with a drink package since my coffees are included. This cruise, the crew simply wasn’t cutting it and it wasn’t worth the aggravation after a while to be bothered with them. I also noticed that the Mocha drink tasted off and saw that they’re using a chocolate powder instead of chocolate syrup to make it now. My wife always gets iced tea here as they have a wide variety of teas to choose from. The brand of tea is still the same and they still have the wide variety of flavors. The Gelateria was quite sad. Nothing like when we first started sailing Celebrity four or five years ago. The inside of the case was always wet with moisture, the gelatos were melting and simply did not look inviting. The gelato sandwiches were especially sad. Not much filling and again they were melting and looked wet from the case. First time sailing Celebrity we skipped this altogether because we didn’t see anything worth paying extra money for. We didn’t even want the free scoop of gelato that came with being in the Captain’s Club. World Class Bar Most reviewers will rave about the Martini Bar and the “show” but we much prefer the World Class Bar on Deck 5. The only place on board where you can get a really good cocktail. They only make a limited number of cocktails that are displayed in the menus, but they are incredibly delicious. On this cruise, Jay was the master mixologist and continually made the best Old Fashioned for me each night. Note that this is a rum based Old Fashioned, not bourbon or whiskey. My second favorite drink was the Johnnie Walker Citrus Gold. We would have one or two drinks before the 7pm show, then grab another after the show to talk to dinner. If you like a really good drink, sample the World Class Bar. Slush Bar This was a disappointment for us as Celebrity opted not to open this bar at all during our cruise. It was supposed to be open on Sea Days, but never did. These are essentially alcoholic milkshakes and this was our afternoon treat on the other ships. Sunset Bar Lovely view looking aft on the ship, often a great place to meet and mingle with other guests as it’s always hopping. They make a decent Margarita on the rocks. Smoke can be prevalent as there is a large smoking section on the Port side. DINING We never use assigned dining for any of our cruises (except Disney because it’s required) and on this cruise we had the option to use Blu as our main dining room as it comes with the Aqua Class cabins. Note that on the first night of most sailings, Celebrity offers 30% off specialty dining for that first evening’s meal. You’ll usually find the folks outside the buffet area ready to take your reservation. Also look out for specials as the cruise goes along. For the final four or five nights of our 11-night cruise, they were offering 2 for 1 specials to dine. BREAKFAST: For breakfast you have four options depending on what you feel like that day. Aqua Spa Café in the Solarium pool area. Oceanview Café (buffet). Main Dining Room (or Blu or Luminae if you’re in those categories). Café Al Bacio (Deck 5) The buffet and main dining rooms will offer a full breakfast while the Aqua Spa Café offers a healthy alternative and Café Al Bacio offers sweets and continental items. AQUA SPA CAFE (in the Solarium Pool area, Deck 12 Forward) If you’re in the mood for something light and (yes) healthy, for breakfast, visit the Aqua Spa Café in the Solarium. ANYONE can eat here, it’s not a paid extra for Spa users, all guest onboard can partake of the light fare they offer such as avocado toast, bagels with peanut butter and fruit, fruit plates and breakfast bars. For an additional fee they also make smoothies, fresh pressed juices and a few other items, but the coffee, tea and the items put out each day are free for all guests. If you have the Premium Drink Package the Smoothies are included, I enjoyed the Antioxidant smoothie. SILHOUETTE DINING ROOM We only had one dinner here when we joined some fellow passengers after an excursion. The service was exceptional as always, but the food was meh. The starters were not bad, but my “rigatoni with prosciutto and crème sauce” was literally devoid of flavor. I could have ordered something else, but my wife was less than enamored with her entrée as well. As I knew this would be only meal in here, we just let it slide as we very much enjoyed the company of new friends. BLU Restaurant (Aqua Class only) Our first-time having access to this restaurant and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of food, especially the starters. Breakfast here is a combination of traditional eggs and the like along with some healthy choices. For dinners, we ended up ordering 2 or 3 starters because they sounded, and tasted, so good. The entrees were generally good to incredible. Blu was the most consistently good dining experience we’ve had on Celebrity for a ‘main dining room.’ Hostess Marianna was simply incredible, always smiling and always ready to accommodate our requests. Wayne and the entire staff inside Blu were impeccable in their service from the first meal to the last. Note that if you are in Aqua Class, the Blu Host can book your reservations for any of the restaurants on board. You can also ask if they are offering any specials for the restaurants. SUSHI ON 5 Sushi on 5 continues to improve each time we eat there. The rolls are completely on par with some of our regular sushi restaurants at home. First off for a vegetarian, it may not be worth it. Check the menu before you book to see if you even want to eat there. If you eat seafood, there are plenty of options and they are quite good. I honestly can’t remember the rolls as we had two or three of them, but they were all good. This is an ala-carte menu so you pay about US market value for the sushi. We didn’t find it priced much differently than the many sushi restaurants we visit around Atlanta. TAJ MAHAL INDIAN DINNER This was a special dinner offered one night on the ship and on our sailing it was a $40/pp charge. The dinner was held inside Sushi On 5 and featured an incredible selection of Indian Dishes. The menu will most likely vary with each sailing, but our dinner consisted of samplings from everything on the menu. Anything we wanted more of, they would bring it out. Some of the dishes included Samosas, Dal Tadka, Palak Paneer, Aloo Gobi, Butter Chicken, Hriyali Jhinga with Mango Salad (Shrimp), Murgh Tikka (Chicken), Chicken Cafreal. We joined another couple to make it a party of four and absolutely LOVED this meal. Celebrity is known for good Indian food in the buffet, but this was a step above what you get there. Well prepared, well seasoned, more spice and kick on a few dishes. So glad we spotted this dinner in our app prior to boarding. Note that as of our sailing, this dinner was only offered on sailings longer than 7 days. OCEANVIEW CAFE (Buffet and Ice Cream) This is a really good buffet as far as cruise standards go. A quick tip, there is a second Café Al Bacio on the port side of the ship as you enter the Café. Coffee only, they don’t have the specialty teas, but if you want a cappuccino or latte, you can get it right there. It’s also a full service bar. For breakfast the buffet does not really change. One thing I love at breakfast, and it’s my guilty pleasure on Celebrity, is the Fried Toast in the English Breakfast section. Add a slice of cheese, maybe a slice of ham, place a poached egg on top and you have a great egg on toast. For lunch and dinner, be sure to walk around the entire buffet at lunch and dinner as those do have some great variations. There can be some unique items are tucked away in a place you might not expect. Celebrity is known for the Indian cuisine in the buffet and it’s quite good. Not as spicy as you might get in a restaurant which makes it a perfect place to explore the cuisine if you’ve never had it. Throughout the cruise they will have theme nights to honor cuisines from Mexico, Italy, India and others. For the most part, breakfast, lunch and dinner, this buffet really hits the spot with outstanding dishes, with a few misses of course, like the pizza. Their dough still tastes like flour even after its baked. For salad, they have a very good salad bar, two actually, and most lunches I would put together a nice salad starting out at the salad bar and then adding either cold cuts or some of the hot meats to the top. You can make a great taco salad adding beef, onions and cheese sauce from the Mexican station for example. One day they had wonderful fajita style beef and I laid that on my salad. One area that you can really see the cutbacks from our first sailing 4 or 5 years ago to today is the cheeses, both in the buffet and all around the ship. Celebrity used to have a wheel of blue cheese out on the buffet for most all lunches and dinners. That was completely absent on this cruise except for the Italian lunch. And the cheeses that were out there, cheddar, provolone and others just didn’t have much flavor. They’re clearly using much cheaper cheeses than they used to and it really shows in the lack of flavor. Small thing I know, but the high-quality cheese is one thing that used to separate Celebrity from the other cruise lines. The desserts are VERY hit or miss, especially the cakes. They look great but oftentimes don’t have much flavor or they’re dry. One of our favorite desserts were found during “Mexico Day” when they had a dessert bar of churros, tres leches cake and other Mexican desserts. Those were great. The free ice cream is not bad and you really can’t complain about it because it’s free. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was technically our second cruise, though Hurricane Matthew a few years ago wrecked the first one, so I don't really count it. Cabin We had room 6165, which was a standard Verandah Room with a partially obstructed view. ... Read More
This was technically our second cruise, though Hurricane Matthew a few years ago wrecked the first one, so I don't really count it. Cabin We had room 6165, which was a standard Verandah Room with a partially obstructed view. The cabin was absolutely fine. The only obstruction to the view was the lifeboats below us, but that didn't make any difference to us. The balcony was big enough for the two of us to sit out and watch the sunrise with a glass of juice and a croissant, which was all we really needed. The beds were comfortable, there was plenty of storage space (not that I need much), and the bathroom was perfectly adequate. The shower was quite powerful and ran hot almost immediately. There were two sockets in easily accessible positions - there may have been more if we'd looked for them, but 2 was plenty. We didn't spend much time in the room as there were plenty of public spaces and the weather was good, All in all, a good cabin. It's worth noting that we only took the cabin as it included a free drinks package - without this, we probably wouldn't have spent the extra... Dining Originally, we had planned to eat in the speciality restaurants a couple of times, but after eating in the Silhouette Dining Room, we quickly decided that the food and service were very good, and we really didn't need or want to pay $40+ for a meal somewhere else. We had dinner in The Silhouette most evenings, as well as breakfast 3 or 4 times. We couldn't fault it any time, though as we had different tables a few times, the quality of the service inevitably varied. Most of the time, we ate breakfast in the buffet, as well as most of our lunches, and 2 or 3 dinners. This was probably where I was most surprised - I had expected the food to be adequate, but no more. However, it was fresh, and generally quite good quality, and we were more than happy to eat here when we were pressed for time and couldn't risk the main dining room. A couple of times, we ate at the Mast Grill, and again I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food served. They only do burgers and hot dogs, but they were good burgers and hot dogs. But best of all was Cafe Al Bacio. We had a drinks package, so we probably averaged around 3-4 coffees per day in here. The coffee was high street quality and the cakes were better than anything you get on the high streets (around us, at least!). The service was painfully slow, but you could get a takeaway coffee from the counter (and many people did). The gelataria next to the cafe was also good. The only real disappointment was the slush bar, which was closed for the whole cruise as far as we could tell. Moving on to the bars, they were without exception excellent. Each has its own theme and a distinctly different feel, from the Craft Bar (which feels like an English Sports Bar), to the ultra-modern Martini Bar or the Sky Observation Lounge (where quizzes and other events are hosted - a great place to watch the ship pull into or out of port). They all serve cocktails and a good selection of drinks, and to be honest we didn't spend as much time as we'd like in any of them! Embarkation was very smooth - we turned up a few minutes early, and were in our room within about 30 minutes. Our first cruise embarkation was wrecked by a hurricane (it took 5 hours of queuing to get on the ship), so this was a major concern for us prior to the cruise. Happily, it couldn't have been any smoother. The entertainment was plentiful - there was always live music playing somewhere on the ship, with a fairly wide variety. There were also many activities on board, from dancing workouts to colouring, to talks about Faberge Eggs. There was a different show every evening, and the standard of these was very mixed. A couple of the musical acts were exceptional, the musical shows were good, but the illusionist was genuinely appalling and we weren't keen on a couple of the other shows. The lawn is a nice idea, but we were quite disappointed on both occasions that we tried to watch a film there. There were only 3 working loungers (the others were broken), and it really wasn't practical to watch the film without them. Even if they'd all been working, ten? Really? One small criticism is that there is a library and a card game room on the ship. These are pretty much unusable when there is a band playing below them - the sound is channeled upwards and it's actually louder than when you are next to them. But the sets are only 45 minutes, so a trip to Cafe Al Bacio and back, and the problem's solved! In terms of Fitness and Recreation, we only really used the gym. We went between 7 and 8 every morning, and it was largely empty - there was never a problem getting a treadmill, and the rest of the equipment was also available. No idea if it got busier later in the day, though. One concern that we had was whether it would be difficult to get a lounger, but whilst the 'best spots' were inevitably unavailable most of the time (unless you happened to get lucky just as somebody was leaving), it was never difficult to find two loungers together out of the sun (or in it, if we preferred). The staff on the pool decks were always friendly and helpful, and offered us drinks etc. regularly. Whilst we didn't actually use the pools ourselves, they didn't look packed, and there were frequently jacuzzis available as well. One irritation that we did have was that the Arcade Room was open with the machines turned on for the entire cruise, but all of the machines to pay to play them were out of order, so we couldn't play, and they were wasting a lot of electricity. The shops were about what you'd expect - out of the price range of 90% of the passengers - but there was a sale most (all?) days that offered some good bargains. With no previous experience of cruises, it's hard to rate the service. Everybody was polite, service was generally quick and our room steward always had time to say hello. We weren't really into scuba diving and lying on beaches, so the decision to cruise the Caribbean was with hindsight a little odd (then again, the weather was nice). We did go on two Shore Excursions, of which the first was excellent (Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua), and one was abysmal (a waterfall in St Lucia). To be clear, the waterfall was nice, but the guide decided that rather than talking about the island, he'd tell us why each month should be 28 days, each day should start at dawn, and that there should only be ten months in the year. Seriously, you don't want to know! It was the most painful excursion of my life. Would we go again? Yes and no. The ship was everything that we'd want it to be, but to be honest, it was the Caribbean that was a bit of a let-down. It was difficult to get past the 'touristy places' to see the real islands, and to be honest, given that their economies are so reliant on tourism, perhaps that's for the best. We'd certainly cruise on one of Equinox's sister ships, and will probably do so. Again, judging value for money is difficult with no experience of other cruises to compare against, but comparing the cruise to holidays of other types that we've had, it seemed very reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas, St. Croix. Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten Number of Cruises – 27 Cruises on Celebrity – 6 Cruises on Equinox – 3 O.K. we love Celebrity and the Equinox. We figured we would have a ... Read More
Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas, St. Croix. Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten Number of Cruises – 27 Cruises on Celebrity – 6 Cruises on Equinox – 3 O.K. we love Celebrity and the Equinox. We figured we would have a rocky sea day heading south to St. Thomas due to passing tropical storm Karen, but it never grew to hurricane strength and stayed well east and north of us. Smooth sailing and sunny skies for 11 days. I doubt if I can add any original insights about the ports we visited, so I’ll relate some of the unique events occurring on our cruise. Docking at the Crown Bay pier, we were the only cruise ship in St. Thomas. The locals told us that we were the first ship to stop there in ten days due to weather concerns. I can’t ever remember being the only cruise ship in that port. The next day in St. Croix, my wife Joanne was relating this to a local shopkeeper and they told her they only see about twenty ships per year. In St. Lucia, the Navy’s hospital ship USNS Comfort was anchored a mile off our port of Castries. The US Navy took a 900=foot-long oil tanker and converted it to a hospital ship with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms and loads of medical staff. The ship is on a five-month deployment to the Caribbean and all-day long, Navy Blackhawk helicopters ferried patients to and from the airport in Castries. All of the medical care provided to the locals is completely free to them and when the ship departs it leaves several tons of medical supplies with the local medical services. Yes, it’s all paid for with our tax dollars, but it gives me a warm feel-good vibe that our tax dollars are doing some good in this world. One of the Equinox’s bus tours on St. Lucia had a head on crash when another driver drove on the wrong side of the road. Apparently, the bus driver and the guide had to be taken to a local hospital and Celebrity brought 20 bruised and battered passengers to the Equinox’s medical facility on deck 2. For the ship’s medical staff, it was an all hands-on deck response and fortunately there were no serious injuries. One couple were so impressed with the ship’s response that they immediately booked another Celebrity cruise while aboard. So, I’m sitting in Café al Bacio on deck 5 at around noon overlooking the three-story atrium and suddenly a Christmas show breaks out. The ship’s dancers popped an 8-track into the player on deck 3 and rehearsed a 30-minute Christmas song and dance routine. There were no costumes and this was not on the daily ship’s planner but it was a wonderful surprise to have Christmas in September. Hint for future cruisers: the grand finale number is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.” Perhaps this is just me, but I totally love seeing an electrical storm at night at sea. Sailing north to St. Maarten there was a storm that had to be 20 or 30 miles off our starboard side. We were in clear skies under a sliver of a new moon and every 20 seconds or so, the entire thunder storm looked like a giant flash bulb went off within it. There was no thunder due to the distance but you could see the storm soaring miles high. Good job Celebrity and mother nature. We had an unscheduled port stop in San Juan. Someone aboard had a medical emergency the night we left St. Maarten to head home. The Equinox was north of the Virgin Islands when It made a hard left to head for San Juan. We docked for five minutes at 5:15 a.m. to transfer a passenger to an ambulance on the pier and were off again. And no, passengers were not charged extra port fees for the stop. That day, the ship’s speed increased to 22.5 knots from 17 knots to make up lost time. Dining, crew, entertainment on the Equinox are all superb. We had two extra spectacular dining experiences at the Murano restaurant. Don’t miss it. We’ll be back, see you there. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
30th wedding anniversary. * Embarking from terminal 25 ft. Lauderdale, port everglades, which is used almost exclusively by Celebrity was a mess, no order at all; Upon arrival in the terminal 25 was met with a very large mass of people ... Read More
30th wedding anniversary. * Embarking from terminal 25 ft. Lauderdale, port everglades, which is used almost exclusively by Celebrity was a mess, no order at all; Upon arrival in the terminal 25 was met with a very large mass of people standing around Pressed up against the gangway that was not allowing entry to the ship. * Packs of people no queues, no signs, no directions or explanations why not being allowed to board. We completed about a week before on the Celebrity web page, the pre embarking docs Celebrity Express pass said to board 1200-1230. Boarding of the 100s jammed into the terminal 25 began at 1300. * During the wait pressed up against the crowd were a few celebrity employees roaming the 100s of passengers with computer tablets, taking pictures.Until we inched our way thru the masses that we discovered these roaming celebrity employees & struggled to learn what they were doing. the Celebrity employees did Not verify cabin number, drink pkgs, wifi, or Other items previously paid to the travel agent NOR items paid on the Celebrity web site by the passenger. On board that nite discovered wifes card did not have drink pkg upgrade fortunately before generating charges. * No key issued in terminal nor Gangway * No guidance from the gangway onto ship * The cabin contained 2Sea pass cards. I discovered before using the seapass card during the 12 day trip, that my wifes card did not have upgraded drink package associated with her seapass card. If I had not would have run up a large bill. I paid for the upgrade via the Celebrity web site weeks in advance of the voyage. I was required to go to guest relations, wait in Long line to straiten the mess they created. * Celebrity web site and the documents forwarded by the travel agent were dissimilar. never could locate on the Celebrity web site the specifics of: pre-paid items via the travel agent, or that I paid for on the Celebrity web site. Needed to patch the 2 together and hope they contained the total of all selections. * Online selections for pre-paid gratuities, drink pkgs, wifi that were selected weeks before sailing, were Not reflected online web nor app. * Celebrity app never same as printed daily planner on ship. Rooms, times for activities listed wrong on app vs. Print I.e. Never had menus for any dining venue. * Ran out of coke zero, then diet coke about ½ way thru voyage * Cancelled movie w/o notice * Venues unsuitable- several activities & games were hosted in ships areas with only 12 seats available. of the 12 seats, several empty seats were saved by passengers thereby creating disagreeable encounters when other people tried to be seated. attendees vastly exceeded 12 seats causing passages to be blocked to other passengers trying to proceed to different ship areas. * Specialty restaurant Tuscan grill was terrible (contrary to cruise critic reviews; maybe just the crew of the Ship?) 40% discount for specialty dining offered approx.. ½ way thru voyage which aggravated passengers who paid 100% for the same dinner. * Qsine Le Petit chef led to food poisoning were my wife projectile vomited during the next 12 hours * The Wifi for which I paid for, dropped a connection at least hourly * Three Holes were torn into 1 of our brand new baggage * At end cruise, we were given in the stateroom the wrong luggage tags to disembark @ ft. Lauderdale. Those Tags would have sent our luggage erroneously to Ft. Lauderdale airport never to be seen again. * FINALLY, With over a 1,00 passengers trying to disembark together, at the Ft. Lauderdale gangway I was prevented from departing the ship. blocked my exit with a security officer & told by the deck officer that the ship did not have credit card on file for me. the ship deck officer said the only credit card on file was for my wife. the deck officer said there was a $500 spa bill for my wife. the Celebrity officer said I had to go back into the ship down 2 decks, thru 1,000 departing passengers to Guest Relations to fix. I used a lot of colorful language to say that’s ridiculous that a credit card was not on file for me & only for my wife as I know the travel agent puts a card on file & I verified that a credit card was on file weeks before on the Celebrity Web site AND authorized it to be used by BOTH passengers(Mr. & Mrs.)in the cabin.Now on day 12, disembarking the ship says no credit card on file!! I offered to give them a credit card or number at the gangplank but they refused. N.B. crew stated card on file for Wife AND spa charge for Wife. So, why did crew even need a credit card for me?I should have walked off BUT instead went back into the ship, down 2 decks, past 100s of passengers, many of which witnessed the entire embarrassing episode unfold at the gangway where I was prevented from disembarking by security. Probably more problems... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
cruise exceeded all our expectations and was fantastic from the food crew and entertainment. only did 2 excursions which were island tours at St Lucia and St Marteen and did our own thing at the other islands. embarkation and ... Read More
cruise exceeded all our expectations and was fantastic from the food crew and entertainment. only did 2 excursions which were island tours at St Lucia and St Marteen and did our own thing at the other islands. embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and i was very surprised by this when you consider the amount of people on board. the service was top notch and the crew always had a smile on their faces and were very friendly. waiting staff in the silhouette restaurant were really friendly and efficient and helpful with some good information on the ports we were visiting giving us some good tips cabin was very good and roomy (deluxe veranda deck 8) and kept spotless by our cabin boy overall condition of the ship looked very good and was maintained at every stop my only concern was the quality of the drinks obviously the bottled beer etc is not a problem but i have been a spiced rum drinker for over 20 years and it is mainly what i drink yet at times when getting Morgans Spiced rum with coke it did not seem to taste right, one night you could not taste anything so i got extra rum straight whichI added to the drink and it didn't even make it taste any better - went on the Bacardi Oakheart which was much better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and what a great experience. The embarkation was smooth and well organised. There was a small issues with our cabin which was dealt with.Daniel at guest relation assistance was very good. ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and what a great experience. The embarkation was smooth and well organised. There was a small issues with our cabin which was dealt with.Daniel at guest relation assistance was very good. We ate in the Silhouette Dinning room which was beautiful.on our first night we were welcomed by Linda and we were seated in the section managed by Alejandro , Branson , Nadaha the Sommelier and Amalia, we cannot praise the staff enough they made our dinning experience something to remember. The food suggestions and wine was exceptional. Credit has to given to this group of staff, Each morning we visited the coffee shop Mark remembered our drink order every morning. Juariel in the lounge bar on deck 3 what a guy. Carlos the Cruise Director great effort goes into the planning of the activities well done. Loved the 2 comedians and the final show and the silent disco was fantastic what a laugh. Overall this was a fantastic holiday and I am sure I will travel with Celebrities Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I just returned from the 11 Day Caribbean sailing on the Equinox. The itinerary could not have been any better. 2 Sea Days to get into Cruise Mode and then 6 port stops to be followed by 2 more Sea Days. The Equinox is a ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the 11 Day Caribbean sailing on the Equinox. The itinerary could not have been any better. 2 Sea Days to get into Cruise Mode and then 6 port stops to be followed by 2 more Sea Days. The Equinox is a beautiful ship that is kept VERY clean! The entire crew were very attentive and gave you a sense that they truly wanted you to enjoy your holiday. We were fortunate to be in a corner aft Sky Suite on Deck 10, number 1403. Being in a Suite we were able to dine in Luminae for most of our meals. The food and service were both excellent. In Luminae Richie and Paul (waiters) and Yan (bar service) each provided amazing service for the entire trip. The full staff in Luminae were all wonderful and welcoming. We also dined with a group in Murano one night and had a spectacular meal. We also used the Oceanview (buffet) a couple of times for lunch and found it to be full of options and also seemed very well maintained and organized. We also enjoyed many of the entertainers and live music. Some other things we really liked: - Being handed a glass of champagne upon boarding - One sunny sea day there was in impromptu sorbet service parade poolside, an actual parade of waiters served sorbet to anyone interested - Being greeted port side with cool drinks and or chilled towels - Cleanest vessel we have ever sailed on - Due to the ship design and implementation live music played in the grand foyer in the evenings was able to be enjoyed from floor 3 through 5 in many venues (martini bar, café bacio, Craft Social etc...) - Activities such as putting in the grand foyer and archery were welcome new events. As were Yes/No and Filthy Feud. - I had read/heard that the entertainment was not at the same level as Royal. Maybe there were no broadway shows but the entertainers did a very good job and there was a show each evening. We also saw two very funny comedians. When the show is not to your liking just move on the next event... - We enjoyed the Sunset Bar/Lawn area for a nice place to chat lawn side and have a cigar. The occasional live music out there was also a very nice touch - Glass blowing class was an amazing experience. Josh and Justin were both excellent. - The retreat lounge was excellent but we did not partake very often due to so many options. Alexandra and Ute (sp?) were both delightful. The only real downer was the Suite Sun Deck. It really is a shame the refurb was cut short because that area NEEDS water. We went up there a couple of times and walked right back out. I guess if you just want a quiet place to bake it is fine but there is no bar (but there is service) and no pool or hot tub or shower or sprinkler.... When the cruise ended the debarkation process was also seamless. We did luggage valet and were at the airport by about 8AM without any struggle at all. All in all, this was a wonderful cruise vacation. Thanks to all the folks who answered all my questions and provided input leading up to this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Dates: September 13—September 23, 2019 Ports of Call: Grand Cayman, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Key West (Labadee) Cabin: 8269, Category 1A, Deluxe Ocean View with Veranda Cruising History: 42 total, 7 with Celebrity We ... Read More
Dates: September 13—September 23, 2019 Ports of Call: Grand Cayman, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Key West (Labadee) Cabin: 8269, Category 1A, Deluxe Ocean View with Veranda Cruising History: 42 total, 7 with Celebrity We began our day early on the 13th leaving out of Charlotte around 7:30 in the morning. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 9:30, grabbed our luggage and a taxi and were on our way to the terminal. My review is in sections so you can read what you want and skip over what you don’t want to read. Some pictures that I took vertically won’t post vertically for some reason, so if I post any of those, they will be sideways. Hopefully you can still get the idea of the situation. I apologize for this, but I don’t know why suddenly CC won’t post them correctly; for me it just started doing this. Cabin: We had cabin 8269 with a balcony. The cabin itself was a good size, but I felt the desk area needed more drawer space. On the Reflection it had several more drawers which I liked because there were plenty of drawers for our clothes and plenty of drawer space for my makeup, brushes, etc., so I could keep the desk neat when not in use. There were two US outlets and one European outlet at the desk. I brought an adapter with two outlets and two USB ports for charging our cell phones. My adapter has three outlets, but once you use one, there is really only a space for one more to plug in. It also has a night light on it that comes on by motion sensor. This came in handy at night when we were charging camera batteries and cell phones. Other than the bathroom, this is the only place with outlets. It also has a night light on it which helped when getting up during the night. There is a hairdryer but it is the kind you have to keep your thumb on the button to keep it going. We had plenty of hangers in the closet for our clothes and room for our carry-ons; however, I kept one out between the sofa and closet just to sit things on, like tote bags, etc. The big suitcase fit under the bed with no problem. The safe is in a small cabinet above the refrigerator. Someone else had mentioned in their review that their safe wasn’t bolted down. I had never thought about that before and I checked ours, and it wasn’t bolted down either! Nothing was ever missing and I guess if anyone were to take it, everyone would see them with it! There were two hooks on the wall which is where my husband likes to hang his pants, and I brought some magnetic hooks to hang things on like my purse, beach bag, etc. I also brought some magnetic clips to keep the important things safe like the “Today” paper, Cruise Critic and Loyalty invitations, itinerary, etc. This helps to ensure that we didn’t throw away anything important with all the “junk” papers you get every night. Note: the walls are not completely metal so you can’t hang anything heavy on the magnetic hooks. When stuck on the bathroom door, however, you can hang heavy items on the hooks. Our balcony was a good size and the two chairs were the kind you could adjust the back to different positions. We had a small table as well. We used the balcony quite a bit since our side was always on the docked side at each port. The Ship: As I said earlier, the ship is laid out exactly like the Reflection, but with a few differences. The tree is different; on the Reflection, it’s in a pot with “roots” growing all around stretching to the elevators. On the Equinox it’s in a beautiful mosaic pot. We saw it get a haircut one day and I would not want to be the guys who have to do that! The Lawn Club is a little different and the glass blowing demonstration and classes are up on The Lawn. We watched a little bit of that on the first day. The glass blower puts a creative spin on the items so they are not your typical, perfectly blown items. The Grand Foyer is pretty much the same and outside the Celebrity Central is an area where they do quick games each night before the 9:00 show in the theatre. Those are always fun to watch and participate in. The Solarium is the same as the Reflection, and so are the chair hogs. We saw a woman saving 6 chairs one day and a man saving one for his wife. The pool guy put a card on the ones that had been empty for more than 30 minutes with stuff on them. When he got to the six, I guess the woman told him they were on the way. When the man’s wife came down, he showed her the card and laughed. She left and the chair stayed empty for most of the day. The 6 chairs were empty for another hour. Someone said something to the pool attendant pointing at the chairs and at that point, she gathered up everything and left. I don’t care if it’s a port day and everyone is off the ship, but on a sea day with lots of people walking around trying to find chairs, it’s just common courtesy. Food: We had anytime dining, or whatever it’s called, and would go anywhere between 6:00-7:00. We had a good wait team, Eldho, waiter, and Woutlais, assistant waiter. One night when we sat down, I said, "Woutlais!" and Woutlais told me I said his name “just like my momma!” He is from Haiti and had a great sense of humor and could speak English quite well. He’s working his way up to waiter status and I hope he makes it soon. For the most part, the food in the Main Dining Room (MDR) was good. There were a few nights that we had a hard time finding something we wanted off the menu, but we didn’t go hungry… We did not try any of the specialty restaurants, but we did get some tarts, cake, and cookies from Café Bacio, and of course the buffet was always plentiful. One night, the buffet had filet mignon and beef wellington! Unfortunately, we had just eaten and were not hungry. Some of the appetizers I got were spring roll, crab cake, spinach and artichoke dip, creamy wild mushroom risotto, and of course shrimp cocktail. Soups were butternut squash, squash, yellow corn, chickpea-tomato, and wild mushroom and barley. My favorite was the butternut squash. It has a creamy smooth texture with a flavor that dances on your taste buds! My favorite appetizer was the shrimp cocktail…you can’t go wrong with that, but I have to say that many others came in a close second. The bleu cheese soufflé app was scrumptious, if you like bleu cheese. I can’t remember everything we had since my notebook disappeared out of my suitcase; it was in the outside zippered part, oh well…let’s hope my memory can hold out. Entrees we ordered were Beef Tornedo, Roasted Trout, Penne Primavera, Short Ribs, Beef Wellington, Lobster Tail, Prime Rib, Steak Dianne, Sea Bass, Beef Brochette, and my husband got the steak a couple of nights. I loved all of the fish and the Beef Wellington was very good, as well. The Steak Dianne was good and had a very flavorful gravy that would melt in your mouth! The beef brochette was the worst thing I had. Now that I think about it, I had that on the Reflection and it was terrible then, too! As always, the desserts looked better than they tasted. I stuck with ice cream or sherbet most nights. I really wanted a soufflé and finally on the last night, the Grand Mariner was on the menu! It was worth the wait with that smooth, hot, creamy vanilla sauce…mmmm! I can taste it now! We ate most lunches in the buffet and most of our breakfasts in the MDR. The first few mornings I ordered an egg white omelet and it was good, but the cheese made them too greasy and there was always too much omelet, so after the fourth day I ordered a Belgium waffle. Well that waffle was so tough, I couldn’t cut it with a knife much less chew it! The grits were okay, not made the way any proper Southerner would make them (with milk, not water), but they were edible. We had a card in our cabin asking for our feedback so I mentioned the waffle and that evening the Maitre d’ was waiting at our table with Woutlais and apologized profusely about the waffle and promised it would not be like that again. Later while we were eating, another Maitre d’ came to our table apologizing about the waffle. They DO read your comments! I can assure you that my waffle was perfect for the remainder of the cruise. We also got a few things from the Spa Café and our free gelato. We got a hamburger one day from the Mast Grille that was good. Sky Lounge: We had free drinks loaded onto our card as part of loyalty perks and we always went to the Sky Lounge for this because they hors d’oeuvres. We sat at the bar every night and Riz was our favorite bartender. After the third night, he would have my glass of wine and my husband’s whiskey sour waiting on us. We made some new friends and enjoyed this time before dinner. Entertainment: I have no complaints regarding entertainment, in fact, I think it was the best we’ve had on any ship. The first night was Fred Klett, a comedian. This guy is very clean, no cussing, not even a “damn”. He was absolutely hilarious! We went back the next night for his late night show and it was the same way. He is a really funny guy who should not be missed. The second night was a show called Topper by the Celebrity singers and dancers. It was pretty good and I felt the singers and dancers were all very good. Third night’s entertainment was an illusionist, Jason Bishop. He was very good and even sitting on the front row, we couldn’t figure out how he did some of his magic…maybe it truly was magic! The fourth night was Elysium by the Celebrity singers and dancers. We started not to go because we’d seen it two years in a row on the Reflection, but I’m glad we did; it was completely different. It was darker, but very well performed. If you are on the Equinox and have seen it on the Reflection or another ship, do go, you will be surprised at the difference. The fifth night was Stacey Kay. She was a contestant and maybe a runner up, on America’s Got Talent. We ran into her leaving the buffet that evening before the show. She had several plates of food and said she’d lost a bet with friends and she had to get food for everyone. I held one of the plates until she got to her floor. This girl can sing and has a great personality! You won’t want to miss her. The next night we had Domenick Allen. He had formerly played with Foreigner and many other bands. He plays many different instruments and gave us a mini rock concert! This guy is so talented and having been a rocker, really lit up the stage! If you love rock concerts, you should see his show. On the seventh night, we had comedian, Rich Aronovitch. Another comedian who has won awards, been on numerous TV shows, and Madison Square Garden, he also delivered! He was one of the best I’ve heard and even his late night adult’s only show was not that bad. He wasn’t raunchy, but did cuss. He made fun of every culture, every kind of people, and kept us laughing the whole time! He didn’t leave anyone out, EVERYONE was made fun of! Oh…don’t go into his show late or leave early…just sayin’. The next night was a group called Uptown. They were three men who sang and performed Motown songs. They were excellent and gave us another mini concert! By the time they performed the last song, everyone was on their feet dancing! If you love the Four Tops, The Temptations, and all those old Motown groups/songs, you will not want to miss them. Entertainment the next night was Darren Dowler, who is billed as an impressionist, but he has also sung with quite a few well known bands and is also an actor. He is very good and once again, gave us a mini concert. This night was also Rich Aronovitch’s late night adult comedy show. And that brings us to the last night. The Celebrity singers and dancers performed a show called Life, Light, and Love. It was very well performed and the aerialists are some of the best I’ve seen. We also listened to a band around the ship called On Shuffle that is really very good. We enjoyed listening to them and watching everyone dance. Another great band onboard was Dancing Town. In the Celebrity Central one evening was a show called “Lost Legends” with Michael Redden. He was really good, singing songs by artists such as John Denver and others who have left us too soon; I could have listened to him all night. They also showed movies in the Celebrity Central, but we didn’t watch any. Ports: Grand Cayman: We have been to Grand Cayman many times and decided to stay on the ship. This was a relaxing day for us spent at the Solarium. Aruba: Although this is another port we’ve been to many times, we decided to get off and head to the mall for some free WiFi. We found Starbucks, just as we had left it in November. After checking emails and Facebook, we headed out to get some shots of places we already had shots of – oh well, they were still just as beautiful as we’d left them! We were here from 11:00 am. until 11:59 p.m., but didn’t go back out after dinner. Curacao: Another place we’ve been to many times, but one of my favorites with its beautiful, colorful buildings and amazing bridge. We decided to get a day pass at the Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino. This was a wonderfully relaxing day for us. The hotel has two pools, one that is sandy with salt water and feels like you are in the ocean, and a fresh water pool, both of which are infinity pools. The ship was docked practically at the hotel and it was such a nice view. We had free WiFi here, which was nice. We met Susie, a very sweet girl from Jamaica who was working as a massage therapist at the hotel. She will take good care of you! She had a 90 minute massage for $119. I really enjoyed this wonderful, relaxing day in beautiful Curacao. After we left the hotel, we walked around Curacao for a bit before returning to the ship. I also shot my “postcard pic” here! Bonaire: Bonaire is the only port on this itinerary that we had not been to and were looking forward to it. We had rented a golf cart from Bonaire Cruisers and drove around the island. We had planned on going to the Donkey Sanctuary, but we started very early so we wouldn’t be in the heat too long, and got there too early. It would be another hour before it would open -- 10:00 -- and we didn’t want to wait that long. Everyone said we would see lots of donkeys along the roads, but we didn’t, not one. We saw lots of donkey do alongside the road, but never did we see a donkey. What we did see was a lot of desert with dying cacti (they haven’t had rain in months), and beautiful clear water. The water is a crystal clear turquoise blending into a darker beautiful navy blue which faded into the light blue sky. The water was so crystal clear that you could see the rocks at the bottom. Bonaire is known as a good place to snorkel and dive and we saw lots of people doing just that. We also saw the salt pans, which are huge and oddly enough, reminded me of the snow covered Alaskan mountains. We saw the flocks flamingos in the water! We saw the old slave huts, and a “rock garden” where people have made “sculptures” with rocks along the ocean side. Since we started early, we finished before it got too terribly hot and went back to the ship. We enjoyed our day driving around the island in a golf cart! We actually took both routes and had plenty of time to enjoy it all. If you want to do this, don’t wait too long to book as they do sell out. You can contact them via e-mail and read about them on TripAdvisor as well. Key West/Labadee: Key West was scheduled as our last port, but because of weather conditions we were unable to go there and stopped at Labadee the day before our Key West stop. I was okay with this since I don’t really like Key West and love Labadee. The weather was beautiful for Labadee and we spent the day at Columbus Cove. My husband stayed in the ocean most of the day while I worked on my tan. Since this stop was not planned, lunch was only served at one location. We opted to walk around a little before we went back to the ship for lunch. I noticed that they have replaced the chain link fence with a concrete wall since we had been there last. Everything else is the same and I got some beautiful shots of the waves crashing on the rocks! This night we had some rough seas as we had sailed into a storm. The lightning and thunder outside our balcony door was both beautiful and scary; I’ve never seen lightning that close to our ship before. I opened the curtains so I could watch the lightning light up the sky! We were out of it within an hour or so and on our way back to Fort Lauderdale on calmer waters. Embarkation: Embarkation was very quick and easy. We got there early and because I had entered our passport numbers and credit card info on-line into the pre-cruise check-in, all they did was scan our boarding pass and took our pictures. We never even made it to the counter with the agents like we used to have to do. Celebrity has begun using an app you can download on your cell phone with your headshot and passports scanned in, but we didn’t do that. There were no loyalty sections so we found a seat and when boarding began it was very organized. They boarded handicapped passengers first, then by loyalty groups. They did check to make sure you were boarding in the correct group; I saw them make a couple wait as we were boarding in our group because they were not Elite. We were able to go directly to our cabin and our cards were outside our door. We threw our carry-ons in the cabin, which was nice, and headed off to the buffet. We were on board having lunch by 11:00! After exploring, we were able to go the cabin at 1:00. We met our Steward, Anak. He was the best! Even when I told him he didn’t have to clean our cabin, he did anyway. I swear he was hiding somewhere in the cabin because every time we left it was cleaned up when we got back! The temperature in the cabin stayed at 68 during the day, but at night it was steady 70-72 all night. We were uncomfortable sleeping. Debarkation: We had an 8:15 debarkation time and we found our luggage very quickly. Because of facial recognition, we didn’t have to scan our card leaving the ship and since we had nothing to declare, we just walked right through Customs without stopping and out the door! What an improvement! Cruise Critic Meet & Greet: Our CC M&G was scheduled on the first sea day at ten o’clock. We made our way there and it was pretty crowded. They didn’t ask for our invitation so anyone could have walked in. We did have name badges, though, so I guess that was their way of keeping up with who was a Cruise Critic member and had registered for the M&G. Tips & Suggestions: Café Bacio has plenty of sweet things that are free, but you have to pay for the coffee there. We had 90 minutes of free Wifi and we used them the second to last night of the cruise. We actually didn’t even use all of them. On the Reflection, it took forever to get logged on and a lot of our free minutes were used up with that, but on the Equinox, it was quick and we had plenty of minutes to do what we needed to do. If you get free minutes as a perk, you should use them. Consider taking some magnetic clips and hooks. The clips helped me keep all of our “Today” papers in order along with other papers that needed to be kept for reference. The hooks were good to hang extra towels on the back of the bathroom door, to hang my purse, and pool bag. Terre’s Final Thought: I really liked the Equinox and hope to sail on her again. The ports were great, and if this is your first cruise, try different dishes, you never know what you will love. Check out the different venues and bands around the ship, and just enjoy yourself…you will never see these people again, so go ahead, make an idiot of yourself! Try everything, eat everything, do everything and rest when you get home! This ship is beautiful and there are many fun things all around the ship…do as much as you can, and enjoy your home for the next ever how many days it is! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our 10th cruise on Equinox.. It's are go to when we don't want to fly since we live in Florida...Was supposedly revolutionized in May... very little signs except for suite amenities... Michael's club is now The ... Read More
This is our 10th cruise on Equinox.. It's are go to when we don't want to fly since we live in Florida...Was supposedly revolutionized in May... very little signs except for suite amenities... Michael's club is now The Retreat and is totally redone plus they added a suite only deck area.... This trip we booked Veranda... Only change in cabin were the bed coverings which our now Grey.. Really looks odd because they didn't update the color scheme anywhere else... What we were looking for is new night stands with drawers... Nope old ones still there looking worn as ever.. We really enjoyed the main dinning room, definitely felt the food has gone up a few notches (it was always good)... Enjoyed our one night in Murano.. Still top notch Tuscan grill was the same but found their steaks just didn't match up... Silk Harvest is gone :( replaced by LePetite Chef... Please understand what you are getting into before you spend $55... There are 2 seatings... 5:30 and 8:30, there is a fixed menu with NO choices... Because they project a cartoon on your plate of a tiny chef preparing your meal... 3 courses, 3 cartoons... Some people loved it, most did not... We go to Disney all the time so their concept would make an interesting option there.... So this reviewer gives it a thumbs down... We always love the Sushi restaurant but we're disappointed in quality and service there... Staff and crew outstanding as usual.. And the ship is still excellent and looks great... It's back to blue hulls instead of white... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my 45th birthday. This was our first time on celebrity but we have cruised with carnival NCL and Holland before. We wanted to splurge a little so we did a 10 day in concierge class aft facing balcony. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my 45th birthday. This was our first time on celebrity but we have cruised with carnival NCL and Holland before. We wanted to splurge a little so we did a 10 day in concierge class aft facing balcony. We did have ups and downs unfortunately and I do feel like we got sold on service that we mostly did not experience. Also the food was no better than what we experienced on NCL. We were on deck 10 in room 1208. Aft was very cool...we liked the room and the way it was set up. Loved seeing the wake every day, nice chairs that reclined on the balcony. Embarkation and Debarkation Both were easy, no issues. We got on in 10-15 mins and off just as easily. Our room was ready at 1 pm when we arrived. We did wait till 930 am to get off as we were staying in ft. Lauderdale for a day afterward. So it was way less crazy at that late hour. Ship It's beautiful but is showing signs of wear. Still very gorgeous. Just things like chair arms, mouldings, furnishings etc need to be replaced or repaired. We really loved the sky lounge for it's fresh 70s look and the theater...perfect seating and comfy chairs. The ship does feel modern but also classic. She's a bit smaller than what we have sailed in the past but still plenty of different venues to hang out. Dining ( average majority) We went daily to the buffet for breakfast. The menu never changes it's always the same and the food is average to less than average. Service was hit and miss. Our first night we ate at Tuscan grille. My steak was awful and I didn't like any of the appetizers. Service was less than impressive. fortunately as time went on specialty restaurants got better. Le petit chef at Quisine, sushi on 5 and Murano were all very good food and service was super at them most of the time. We also did a progressive lunch at Tuscan grille on the last sea day. much better service however some of the food was lacking and they stopped playing guitar in the middle of our lunch. Very strange schedule. Also occasionally we order something and it would never come. It was usually a second app so we figured the waiter just forgot. This happened at least 3 times with different places / people. I have to say the best food was at sushi on five but Murano was a very close second. Bars Service was lacking in the bars most of the time. Craft social was really the worst. they were out of a ton of different beers one time they served warm beer and more often than not they were either under staffed or simply hadn't planned for enough people. Big disappointment for those who love beer. we also had several waiters there that were just plain rude. we also experienced some of this at the sunset bar and at sky lounge. Once you got a drink though it was usually good. I don't drink alot so ordered water or ice tea and almost never got a chance at refill afterward. Disappointing. we had the classic package and felt that it did cover enough alcohol beer and wine to satisfy us. Entertainment Pretty good, we enjoyed both production shows that we saw. Topper and Elysium. We felt one of the male singers was lacking but the female leads were really good. The aerialists were awesome. Our favorite was the comedians. We wish there had been more. Celebrity is not good at telling you when the night is the only night you will have to see that particular show. The seats were comfortable in the theater and we enjoyed all the stuff we saw. Get there at least 10 to 15 minutes early though if you want a decent seat. We also thought we could see adequately from any spot in the theater. We did not participate much in the other activities as most of it was not interesting to us. We don't like trivia scavenger hunts card playing and other activities like that. Excursions I had some big issues with the UTV excursion. It was awful but I don't hold celebrity responsible. Our other excursion was canceled due to lack of wind it was land sailing. I think the biggest disappointment was on my birthday I rented an alcove which is just like a cabana. When we arrived at 9:30 a.m. we found that we had a waiter however had not been told the amenities the Cabana came with. Therefore we had ordered some things to be delivered that we did not need. then we had to go down to guest relations and spend approximately 40 minutes canceling and then replacing some of the items. also one of the items that came with was a bottle of grey goose we asked that we put on ice and it was. When we asked for it at 1:00 p.m. our waiter was going on break, we saw his bus take the bottle from the ice put it in an empty Cabana and then wait a half an hour for him to come back. By then in 90 heat it was warm. Stupid and ridiculous. also no one cleared the plates in our cabana and therefore it got really full and we had to ask three times. we had asked for chocolate strawberries to be delivered at 1:00 p.m. and they never showed up. We left and came back at 3:30 pm and the waiter told us they had been waiting since 3:00 p.m. and were now melting. Really? overall we enjoyed our cruise however we had many disappointments related to service in the bars restaurants and Cabana. silent Disco was probably our favorite activity very fun and we highly recommend it. we would take this cruise again however we would not pay for the extra things that concierge class provides. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I believe to give a fair cruise review a little back ground about my cruising experience.My first cruise ship I was ever on was when I was in my early 20's and was the SS Norway by Norwegian cruise line. Since those many moons ago I ... Read More
I believe to give a fair cruise review a little back ground about my cruising experience.My first cruise ship I was ever on was when I was in my early 20's and was the SS Norway by Norwegian cruise line. Since those many moons ago I have been on Carnival, Royal Carribean, Princess Cruise, Norwegian(again) and now Celebirty. I can defieanlty say without a doubt there are major differences in service and food on everyone of these cruiselines and the review I am about to give of the Equinox is my personal opinion only. We mainly chose the Equinox based on the cruise critc awards and the reviews of others so I am not sure if this was just us having so many different experiences on so many different cruiselines that the reviews of others maybe don't have or it was just a bad week for equinox in some areas. For example... if you have never been on a cruise ship and you go on a carnival cruise ship for the first time most would say it was the best food and service and the ship was so great...ect...ect .ect but if you were to go on say a Princess cruise ship then a carnival cruise ship you have something to measure it too. It was be like comparing apples and oranges Food and service vs activites, partying.Its just hard to compare and to give a good review. Opinions are so subjective. Never the less this is my only humble opinion of celebrity and the the ship. What helps us to decide on a cruiseship are two things....Service and Food. We are both in our late 40's and waters slides and rock walls aren't on our top of the list. Ship: For those that don't know the ship went throgh a mild remodeling but the ship being about 10 years old was still in top notch shap and the design and colors and interior were execellent. Cabin: We were in an Aqua Cabin 1631...interior was still in good shape, Large flat screen Samsung TV with FREE movies(some were saying that Celebrity has remove the free movies thats not the case) Free movies for us was John WIck 2, Dumbo and US? and they had several others. The channels that are availble on the ship as of this day are ESPN(internaltional ...big difference in American ESPN) ESPN2, CNN, Fox news, FOOD network, Sea movie channel and more.Bath shampoo and body wash by CO Bigelow Dining: So this was average to us ...at best...We thought by getting the Aqua cabin and able to dine in Blu that we would get a little better quality of food but thats not the case. You will be just getting a smaller version of the main dining room.(in my opinion) The food was average at best to us. We were disspaointed cause we read so many reviews of how great the food was on the ship so that along with service we thought how could we lose. We think this happened for several reason...Celebrity probably carries more international passenger than alot of other cruise lines so the dining menu was not our cup of tea. Alot of entrees came with a sauces or a marinde on it and that wasn't the problem..but the timing of it was. You could tell the sauces had been sitting on alot of fish or steak that was being served for a time..now I understanding feeding the masses can be very challenging but it is possibable and still be excellent(Princess cruises).. We really got tired of having not so fantastic food every nightt (dont get me wroing ....it wasn't bad its just average)so we decide to go to Murano which was a specialty resturant...this was Excellent and we were not disappointed so the next night we decide to go to the La Petite chef restuarant...this was more about the 3d aniamation than about the food. So we decide to stop messing around and go for the chefs table we were disappointed except for the dessert and which was a warm moist cake out of the oven and was exellenct. One the main dishes for the Chef table was a Halibut cooked in banana leaf marinated in wine(sounds good ..right?) wrong....we got this dish and opened it up and started eating it and I started to look around the table to see if it was just me but it wasn't ...the fish was very dry and didn't taste like it had anything on it...so I leaned over to the gentlman next to me asked how it was and he said it wasn't only dry but had not flavor...and i proceed to watch couple of people begin to dip their fish in the olive and vinger that was meant for the bread then i knew right there it wasn't just me but it was the fish. Sigh...very disappoinnting. There is one trend I have been noticing on alot of cruiselines and that is if you want execllent culunary food (excluding viking, regent, krystal and other top cruiselines) you have go to specility dining.It used to be you didn't have to do this and that the main dining room was the top notch on all cruiseline for while now its not the same anynmore. The buffet was above average as far as buffet go and as many do we ate there during lunch seeing its so close to the pool. Entertainment: The shows leave alot to be desired having seen broadway shows on Royal and Norwegian cruiseilnes..you wont' find Grease or hairspray or blueman group..this too was a disappoitnement. They did have a comdian and an illustionist and there singers and but they get blown away by Royal and Norwegian in these areas. This makes it very interesting because Royal owns Celebrity you would figure the would be more of a collabartion of sorts. Service: This is were Celebrity shines.....every person that I was in contact with every day called me by my last name and took care of any and all concerns we had...and for the most part did it promptly. Now saying that....there is a reason why this ship has outstanding services....its simple math....2,800 passengers and about 1300to 1400 crew members that ratio is incrediable. Bigger isn't always better when it comes to cruise ships and you do pay above to get on a celebrity ship compared to other cruiselines but there not huge crowds whereever you go and you can get a drink pretty fast no matter where you The Spa...for those interested in the spa.we had an aqua class cabin...if we decide to go back to celebrity again will more than likly not be doing the aqua cabin...we could have saved probably over 500.00 and just got the regular balcony cabin. The persian gardens was one the benefits of our aqua cabin but it wasn't worth it...Its not that we didn't use the gardens its that they kept forgetting to put the essential oils in the aromatic steam room and when that basilcly all you have to offer compared to other ships the you really don't have anything,The whole canyon spa is way over rated...Comparing it to say the Epic ship by Norwegian where you get not only aromatic steam rooms but cold rooms and indoor thermal waters to lay in ...no comparison.... Passengers: Alot were our age late 40 early 50s but there was alot of people late 50's to 60;s too. Don't expect a young crowd. This was a 10 day cruise so there was about 2800 people on this ship. I found out later there was 10 children aboard and I think i saw 3 of them. This is more of an middle to upper income class of passagners on this ship and alot and I mean alot of people from Europe. For those of you that have been on more than one cruise line you will notice small things that add up for this being a premium cruiseline... 1. All public bathroom don't use paper towels but use cottan hand clothes. 2.When you get back on board the ship from long hot day of excursions you will be greeted on the outside of the ship with your choose of ice water infused fruit and a chilled hand towel that has herbal frangrance. 3.I know its not a wow factor but most cruise ships require you to check out a beach towel when laying by the poolthat means having to return it....here you just grab one and go. 4. We learned through our dining experience ...that if there is anything that is wrong about your service or food they do all they can to make it right...example...I am not one to complain at all.. everyone on that ship is on contract so I do all that i can to make sure each crew member(waiter, room sterward,ect)that i am in contact with will get there contract renewed and so I don't complain openly but when I got back to the Blu resturant the next night my waiter asked how we liked our chef table ...we looked one another and said ...it was "ok" within 10 min the head waiter came up to us and applogized for such bad experericed and offerd us a specialty resturant the next night.Now to me that was a wow factor. 5. Room Steward....ok dont' laugh but everytime i was coming down the hallway and my room steward saw me coming...he stopped what he was doing and walked met me at my cabin door and unlocked it and said the exact same words...."How was your day' callign me by my last name...now i cant say that will happen with everyone but I can say Jonthan was very special to us and no he wasnt a butler but he sure could be one if he wanted. 6. The bars: this ship has some of the most exotic drinks and cocktails around. At the World Class Bar on the boat they make everyday all there syrups and fresh juices by hand and its discarded every day...for all their specialty drinks.. 7.On just about every event that they had gave alot of free sparkling wine and i know most cruise lines do this but this happend when first stepped on board the ship throught most of the cruise. Side notes....the interenet connection is "ok " for basic surfing but not for streaming even if you pay for the streaming...I got a max speed of 1.1 megabits on my speed test for a stream.It will be a pixal stream. Enjoyed laying on the grass on the back ot the boat watching movies. We did the mixolgy class and its pretty good deal...you will make yourself 4 premium cocktails and its not only fun but worth the money. One final note...Though celebrity brands themself as "modern Luxury"..this is not a luxury cruiseline its a solid premium cruiseline...I have seen some trying to compare this to a Viking cruise...I just don't think that its possible or fair to celebrity...think more of the lines of Princess cruiseline.... Overall looking back at the past 10 day cruise to southern carribean....it was a very good cruise...just wish the food was more to our liking...Would we go on it again?...probably not anytime soon I think we will go back to Princess or Norwegian or maybe save some pennies up and try for a Viking cruise. Saying that don't let one couples review sway your excitement for upcoming trip with Celebrity...its just an opinion and everyone experience is different...Look forward to sailiing with a good premium cruiseline. HappyCruising Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
10 day southern itinerary....we had never been to the abcs before so we chose this. Embarking.....we had expedited arrival on our boarding passes....we arrived at port at 10, got in the doors to ship at 11, drink in hand at ... Read More
10 day southern itinerary....we had never been to the abcs before so we chose this. Embarking.....we had expedited arrival on our boarding passes....we arrived at port at 10, got in the doors to ship at 11, drink in hand at 11:15.....staff was so friendly and welcoming!! Love the welcome champagne touch. Cabin....8242 and 8244....on the hump.... Fabulous location right by the elevators....very quiet and wonderful room steward...dwi.....he did everything for us! so kind and friendly!!! super comfy beds and great toiletries!!! Nice big pump bottles!! Ship....i've been on equinox before....2 years ago....since then they have gotten lots of new furniture all over the ship. the public restrooms were always spotless. the entire ship was spotless!!! they were always seen cleaning, wiping, mopping!!! Food....mast grill delicious! buffet... Delicious with huge variety! main dining room....hit or miss with entrees and we had select dining with different wait staff nightly that varied.....not the greatest service. tuscan grille.....loved it! great service and outstanding food...ate there twice. le petit chef......wayyyy too long, food meh and service terrible...rude waiter...would not recommend! al baccio.....went daily for specialty coffees..... Outstanding service! Shows.....boring. Live music all around ......loved it! but needed more younger music.... Seas.....super smooth besides our last night. Ports.... Aruba ..... Disappointed....public crowded touristy beaches but friendly natives! Curacao.....did irie west beach tour....it was eight hours long and half was spent on a super hot bumpy open air bus....i do not recommend! Bonaire.....our favorite!!!!! SO GORGEOUS Grand cayman.....stingrays and royal palms beautiful! Key west....got diverted to labadee and so glad....it's gorgeous! Had a great time there!!! Debarkation.....had luggage valet....best thing ever!! was off the ship in 10 minutes! Overall......super friendly bar staff at the pool and other bars, incredible room steward, all the staff was so sweet and helpful!!! but....never once saw the captain and his daily announcements were useless. GREAT SHIP GREAT ITINERARY Great food and beverages!!!! Outstanding cruise!!!! LOVE YOU CELEBRITY!!!!⚓ Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is now my favorite route in the Caribbean. Equinox is just he right size ship not too big and not too small. Public spaces are many and Sky lounge was practically empty early morning and late evening The bar tenders in Sky area are ... Read More
This is now my favorite route in the Caribbean. Equinox is just he right size ship not too big and not too small. Public spaces are many and Sky lounge was practically empty early morning and late evening The bar tenders in Sky area are also great group. We were in balcony room 9139 and enjoyed having the deck and location close to elevators. Our room steward "Mat" saw to our every need. We were able to dine in Murano, our favorite restaurant. Wonderful food and great wine pairing. We also tried Sushi on Five this trip. Food was amazing and we sampled almost the whole menu with our group. Tuscan unfortunately was again disappointing. Their hand made pasta is the worst of any Italian we have ever eaten. My ribeye steak was good as well as the tiramisu. Wine server filled our glasses once and never returned until the end of our meal to splash a drop in the glass. Outside pool, the usual chair hogs but Celebrity was really good in removing towels from areas vacant for long periods. Plenty of chairs available on higher deck. I did glass blowing and was a real treat. We now have a beautiful vase as a souvenir of our trip. Due to hurricane winds headed for Key West we missed that port and were taken to Royal Caribbean private island in Labadee,Hiati. This was fun but really did not like all the begging for you to shop in their booths. Enjoyed the local music and costumes upon arrival and departure. Embarkation and debarkation using the facial recognition was so easy. Process didn't take more than 10 minutes and we were on board. Same with going thru customs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a birthday celebration for my wife, Suzy. Every step of the way, Celebrity made this cruise vacation very special. As usual, all of the staff and crew on Celebrity made our cruise very special. I reserved a Celebrity Suite ... Read More
This cruise was a birthday celebration for my wife, Suzy. Every step of the way, Celebrity made this cruise vacation very special. As usual, all of the staff and crew on Celebrity made our cruise very special. I reserved a Celebrity Suite which was simply amazing. Besides the usual items for the Solstice Class ship, these are some of the special things we enjoyed this cruise. -Check in - Expedited and personal check-in embarkation / disembarkation. Special area for sail away from Miami port -Michael's Club - Stored carry on luggage in Michael's Club while we explored the ship while awaiting for our cabin to be prepared. Michael's Club is the Suite only lounge which will soon be converted to the retreat. Great spot for pre-dinner drinks and different events. The staff arranged for silent disco. They mentioned it was the first time and it was an absolute blast. Really fun event. Also, there is a concierge that was absolutely amazing. She was able to get me a reservation for the glass blowing. The glass blowing demonstration is a must do. - Cabin - Celebrity Suite. I thought this cabin was a tremendous experience. A little pricey but with all of the amenities and services, I think it was worth it for a special celebration. Approximately 400 square feet and a larger balcony. - Luminae Restaurant - Suite class restaurant with meals prepared to order. We had dinner in the Tuscany Grill one evening but quite honestly, the Luminae makes the specialty restaurant unnecessary. We did the specialty restaurant after our Chef's table so everything would pale in comparison - Chef's table - I believe this was an additional $150 per guest but the meal was an incredible experience. The Executive chef, the Head Wine Steward, and an executive officer were present. - Reserved seating for the performances during formal nights - Butler service - All 4 upgrades for a suite. You do get two upgrades with the Concierge Class but the beverage package for the suite class is the Premium package which we upgrade. . - Premium coffee and teas - One of our favorites is Tea Over Ice in the afternoon. Refreshing I have cruised a variety of cruise lines and cabins (around 20 and counting). It has been a full evolution from it doesn't matter what cabin since we were rarely in the cabin to a Celebrity Suite which left us wondering how we would go back to Concierge class. Regardless of your cabin choice, this is a wonderful ship for a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was my 65 cruise cruising on 11 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, and Celebrity. This was my 16 cruise on Celebrity (I am an Elite member of ... Read More
This was my 65 cruise cruising on 11 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, and Celebrity. This was my 16 cruise on Celebrity (I am an Elite member of Celebrity captain’s club program). I am 47 years old. Hotel Info: We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Miami/Brickell-Downtown night before the cruise. We had lunch at Perricone's Marketplace and Cafe that was within walking distance from the hotel. I rate the hotel and restaurant a perfect score. You are within the financial district and it is very clean and I felt safe. Ship Info: Celebrity is one of our favorites when we are traveling with just adults. We sailed in November for 11 nights when school was in session, so the average age was probably around 60. Even if school was out, there usually is not as many children compared to other cruise lines that offer a lot of family activities (water slides, etc). The ship was extremely clean. We were fortunate to have Captain Kate on this sailing. She is very friendly and funny and I truly enjoyed having her as a captain. If you have the opportunity to have her as your captain, make sure you go to her question and answer session towards the end of the cruise. We love sitting in the solarium pool area because it is peaceful. The solarium also has a small healthy breakfast and lunch buffet in the corner I enjoyed. Activities: If you want to take some gym classes (yoga, spinning), you should make reservations on the first day for these classes. It costs around $15 per class. Service: Service was friendly in all areas. Towards the beginning of our cruise, we found a comment card that we could fill out inside of our cabin. I filled it out and put a positive comment for someone in the dining room and someone in the aqua spa in the solarium. I handed the comment card to guest relations. Within a couple of days, both of those employees came up to me and thanked me for the positive comments. I can tell it made their day and I’m going to make sure to do this going forward on every cruise. Shore Excursions: we had a lot of rain on this cruise so out of the six stops, we only had the opportunity to enjoy some good weather at two locations. At St. Croix, we got off the cruise and took a cab to Rainbow Beach. I plan to go there again because it was clean, friendly, had a restaurant, and you could rent umbrellas and chairs. Plus, nobody was trying to solicit you. If there was nice weather in Barbados, we were going to go to Carlisle Bay because it was next to the pier and the captain recommended it. If I go back to St Lucia again, I would book an excursion with the cruise line because I didn’t like the “pushy” feeling of their taxis and the service at the beach. We went to Rodney Beach and it was beautiful but every 10 minutes, someone tried to sell us something. One local dropped his glass bottle (after he finished drinking it) on the beach in front of me and left it there when I said no thank you to what he was selling. Stateroom: We stayed in a concierge balcony on this sailing; however, our favorite category is Aqua Class because we enjoy the Blu Restaurant and the Persian Gardens Spa area. We only book these categories when it is a great deal. Otherwise, we book an inside cabin. Dining: Before you order your meal, ask the waiter what they recommend. If you don’t like what they brought you, they will bring you something new immediately. Another tip, asked to have the cheese and cracker plate they offer during dessert brought to you before your appetizers so you can enjoy them before your meal. If you don’t like crowds, eat in the main dining room for breakfast and lunch instead of the buffet. The specialty restaurants are excellent too (especially Tuscan and Morano). If you want to eat in a specialty restaurant, I recommend booking it in advance and not on the same nights as their Evening Chic nights because I find those nights have great menus in the main dining room. To avoid the first day lunch buffet crowd, go to a specialty restaurant when you get on board. We normally would go to the sushi restaurant after embarkation because it isn’t busy; well worth the money. Because we were part of the concierge‘s class, we received a private luncheon in the main dining room on embarkation day. The pastries and desserts at Cafe al Bacio are free and very good! Plus, if you have the beverage package, the coffees and teas are included. If you have the beverage package, make sure you try some of their homemade juices and smoothies in the solarium. Dress Code: They offer two Evening Chic nights, less than 50% were dressed up in a suit/dress. Most people dressed business causal during the dinners. Entertainment: We saw a few of their shows and enjoyed them. If you want to see them, they are usually at 7 pm and 9 pm. Disembarkation: If you want to carry all your bags off the ship by yourself, they will let you off starting at around 7 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Had this cruise picked for me by fellow travellers. I was told it was the best of the best. In fact, I was not impressed. Started off with being charged £250 for 11 days wi-fi, then balcony partitioning panel between rooms was broken. ... Read More
Had this cruise picked for me by fellow travellers. I was told it was the best of the best. In fact, I was not impressed. Started off with being charged £250 for 11 days wi-fi, then balcony partitioning panel between rooms was broken. Followed by being charged $29 per day for tips we hadn’t sanctioned. Next up the service at the a la Carte restaurant was slow, as was the service at the bars, due to card system. The shows were ok, not brilliant, same for the bands. The islands were nothing flash either, a few decent houses but mainly shanty towns. The touts on Antigua were horrendous. On the top deck is a jogging track, so there is always about 6 idiots walking round, getting in peoples way, especially the stewards. Sunloungers were too tightly pushed together, not much room to manoeuvre. Our first cruise and probably our last, not value for money. I don’t suppose this review will get past the sensors, but that’s life Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Celebrity Equinox Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
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

Find a Celebrity Equinox Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click