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1,659 Celebrity Senior Cruise Reviews

With so few opportunities to cruise from Fremantle we took the opportunity to fly to Sydney for a 4 day cruise to Melbourne. Hence the title "Booze Cruise". I must admit to being disgusted by ANY shipping line that condones ... Read More
With so few opportunities to cruise from Fremantle we took the opportunity to fly to Sydney for a 4 day cruise to Melbourne. Hence the title "Booze Cruise". I must admit to being disgusted by ANY shipping line that condones drinking alcohol to excess. Passengers who purchased the alcohol package at $US80+ per day certainly decided to get their monies worth regardless of their loud and often offensive behaviour. Obviously not concerned about their health either. The food was very average. The ship had sailed from the west coast of USA via Hawaii to NZ and then Sydney. 35 days. The natural yoghurt in the buffet was from the US (New Jersey - east coast) had been frozen and split. The fresh fish on board for tea one night was a Mediterranean fish. Fresh??? How long had that been on board. Dining room "ran out" of steak and roast beef one meal. Curtains in the deluxe balcony were missing. Only had sun block curtain lining hanging. Bathroom was good with good sized shower. Celebrity is very class orientated. Have sailed several times with Cunard and even they were more relaxed and less class conscious than Celebrity. Sorry. Not my cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date October 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 mainly for its itinerary but also for the opportunity to sail on a new, innovative ship. What we found was a beautiful ship with excellent service. Having said that, there were some areas that need improvement. Please ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for its itinerary but also for the opportunity to sail on a new, innovative ship. What we found was a beautiful ship with excellent service. Having said that, there were some areas that need improvement. Please keep in mind that these are only our personal views and may not reflect everyone’s perspective. We are senior citizens and on our recent 11-day Greek Islands Cruise observed that the majority of passengers (approx. 65-70%) were seniors as well. There were very few children on this voyage. Regarding the entertainment, except for one or two shows, found that the entertainment was geared towards a significantly younger audience. The theater itself is beautiful with state of the art equipment. It’s a shame that the quality of the shows did not live up to what we have experienced on other Celebrity cruises. Regarding our infinite veranda cabin, it was quite spacious with plenty of drawer and storage space, a beautiful big screen TV and the best bathroom we have ever had. With all of that, I still prefer a cabin with a real balcony, not a sunroom, which is what this cabin really is. For this reason, I would not choose this type of cabin again. Now to the restaurants: I like the four smaller restaurants as opposed to two large dining rooms. We opted for Select dining and never had to wait for a table. The quality of the food was very good to excellent and service was outstanding. We ate at only one specialty restaurant- Le Petite Chef, which was entertaining and the food surprisingly good. Service was excellent. Now to the ports: The original itinerary was Catania, Malta, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Katakolon, Nauplion, and Naples. Unfortunately due to weather conditions (strong winds), the itinerary had to be shuffled around, causing a serious logistical problem for the crew. This is where Captain Kate and her amazing crew took over, shifting port order while not cancelling a call, but substituting alternate ports which were actually more attractive, IMO. They did a fabulous job, providing free shuttles on Crete and offering assistance to those with private shore arrangements. Bottom Line: would we sail on the Edge again? Maybe, but they need to provide more live music venues, both for listening and dancing and only if we can get a cabin with a real balcony. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise, when on another, for an itinerary to places we hadn’t been to and to see the fall. We then realised that we were too early for the fall colours but decided to stick with it and then do a drive round New England ... Read More
We chose this cruise, when on another, for an itinerary to places we hadn’t been to and to see the fall. We then realised that we were too early for the fall colours but decided to stick with it and then do a drive round New England after. Summit has been refurbished and although we had not sailed on her we had sailed all 3 of her sister ships and on tour last, on Connie! We thought she was looking very tired. So the refresh is looking good, much lighter in the public rooms and the staterooms. I do wonder how long it will last, in places it seems like just a coat of paint and some new furniture. But overall we liked it. Staff service is still good, at lunch times the main restaurant seemed a little slower than we’d like, but in Blu where we ate breakfast and dinner it’s still excellent. We liked the itinerary, although this it was unfortunate on our first day in Quebec there were 6 other ships in. Quebec can’t cope with that many! PEI was the least interesting port of call. We got the feeling the residents didn’t want ships whereas on all the other ports, people seemed very welcoming. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Celebrity remains our favourite line despite cruises on P & O, Cunard and Royal Caribbean. We were booked in a Celebrity Suite but as my wife has mobility problems and really needs a walk in shower( not present in Celebrity Suite) ... Read More
Celebrity remains our favourite line despite cruises on P & O, Cunard and Royal Caribbean. We were booked in a Celebrity Suite but as my wife has mobility problems and really needs a walk in shower( not present in Celebrity Suite) we were lucky to get a last minute cancellation for a Royal Suite at greatly reduced price.The Suite is very similar to a Celebrity Suite but with the walk in shower and a bigger balcony with a Jacuzzi - rather grubby and remained unused. There are Sky Suites with disability features but at the stern end of the ship and in any case were unavailable.Perks included unlimited specialty restaurants ( became useful - see below) and a premium drinks package - not much use as my wife doesn't drink but it did mean a much nicer glass of wine with my dinner. The butler Jackie and suite attendant Jose were superb.This is being a bit picky but the suite needs the refurbishment that is coming soon - the table in the room was badly worn and the carpets looking a bit drab. We were in Luminae restaurant where we have dined before. The staff - from maitre'd Claire downwards were excellent and it was not their fault that the food was so disappointing. The menu is very limited and most people were asking for the menu from the MDR. The portions were tiny, especially the vegetables which often arrived tepid. On our last night my steak was of motorway service cafe standard. In fact the best evening meals we had were when we chose to eat upstairs in the Ocean View Restaurant (twice) and made use of our speciality dining perk to eat in the Grill on the Lawn (twice)where the food, especially the steaks, were of the highest standard. We tried Cuisine once but whereas it was previously a great experience we found it gimmicky, again with a very limited menu. We preferred breakfast and lunch in the Ocean Cafe - a bit crowded but much greater choice than in Luminae. All stops pulled out on last day's lunch in the Ocean View - choice of beef,lamb.turkey carvery,barbecued chicken, Indian,Chinese,Mexican, incredible cakes and a white chocolate fountain with fruit kebabs.(to my surprise only gained 5lb over the two weeks. Entertainment not of the highest order. The days of flying out big names are over. A good 60's group on first night(The Overtones) and a Jersey Boys type group(East Coast Boys) on last night - not bad but Franky Valli needn't worry. There were several silent discos held in the main foyer. Silent in name only - any attempt at conversation in Baccios two floors up was almost impossible. Don't know why they don't have these in the Sky Lounge on 14. The place sounded like a rowdy party night on Independance. That probably sounds pompous but Celebrity has always been a bit more sophisticated than Royal Caribbean. Often there are problems with shuttle services at ports for those with mobility scooters but we had excellent service in this respect at La Spezia and Lisbon. We enjoy the quizzes for daytime entertainment and the two entertainment officers who did these - Chantelle and Ryan were great and well liked by the participants. All in all a very enjoyable cruise with just a few grumbles. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary given that the ship called in at Bilbao and Cadiz, the two ports on the itinerary which we had not previously visited. We also liked the idea of re-visiting Lisbon and Cartagena. What is a ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary given that the ship called in at Bilbao and Cadiz, the two ports on the itinerary which we had not previously visited. We also liked the idea of re-visiting Lisbon and Cartagena. What is a pity is that the cruise called at Gibraltar rather than either Malaga or Valencia which are far superior ports of call. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Spanish and Portuguese ports. Apart from the itinerary the other plus points of the cruise were the cuisine, which was top notch and the crew with whom we came into contact. Our stateroom attendant, Ashell, our waiters, Bernard and Mugi, and our sommelier, Richard were all excellent. The downsides were the entertainment in the theatre, which is the worst we have experienced on any cruise (we are nearing 20) and the choice of music in the public areas which failed totally to take account of the age distribution of the guests, which in the main was 60+. Celebrity is our cruise line of choice but there is definitely room for greater awareness of its customers likes and preferences. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple ... Read More
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple months prior. We had gone on Celebrity once before so we knew we had a good cruise line with a great itinerary. Little did we know just how great both would be. Traveling to the Port We flew two days earlier from the States so we would arrive a day early to get a night’s rest before embarkation. We used Celebrity for booking the flights, primarily American Airlines since we collect their miles, but the major flight over, from Philadelphia to Heathrow, was British Airways which was quite good. Upon our arrival at Heathrow, Passport Control was quite simple and we collected our luggage, albeit waiting a while for it, and met our driver just outside of baggage collection. We had arranged for a car from Smith’s for Airports and he was great. Hotel Since I’ve been collecting points at Best Western, we had decided to see if our points would pay off and booked the Best Western at Chillworth Manor. We thought that, in worst case, we’d have a bed and a shower and off we would go to embarkation. Were we pleasantly surprised! The hotel is, indeed, a former Manor. Not Downton Abbey, but quite nice and interesting. The grounds were lovely to walk about and we had a wonderful stay. The staff was excellent. We had dinner in the restaurant (highly recommend) and the breakfast, in the restaurant, was probably the best “free” breakfast we had ever had. Room was nice and comfy and we were very happy we selected the Manor. Embarkation We left the hotel via a hotel-arranged taxi at 10:00 AM and arrived less than thirty minutes later. We went through check-in quite quickly and easily and had a seat in the waiting lounge for no more than 5-6 minutes before our “number” was called to board. All-in-all, a great embarkation experience all around!! Stateroom Our stateroom was a balcony, 9109, quite far forward (about 5 rooms back from the front, but we found it to be great and quiet. There was a bit of a walk to the elevators, but that’s okay with us! Our cabin steward kept the room exceptionally neat and we had not a complaint. My wife has a CPAP machine and, having arranged it ahead of time, we had a gallon of distilled water and, much to our surprise, an extension cord awaiting us in the room. The room also had a water heater and we had tea out on our deck most days. As far as standard ship balcony rooms go, this was a good one. The Ship We had been on the Equinox and knew the general layout of the Silhouette. I have to admit that, when we found out after booking that she would be in drydock soon after our trip, I was a bit concerned that we were going on an “old” ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of us on board commented to each other that we didn’t really know why it was even being refurbished! It was a beautiful ship from stem to stern. Getting around the ship was easy. There were three decks of inside “evening” areas, including dining, shops, lounges, etc. Deck 5 had an outdoor walking area but did not entirely circumvent the ship, which is disappointing but appears to be the way with these ships nowadays. I long for the “Promenade deck” of old! The pool area got some use though this was a cooler itinerary. The indoor solarium pool was more the place to be if swimming is what you looked for. Given the itinerary, we didn’t even pack bathing suits! Dining We usually opt for freestyle dining as Norwegian calls it but, having booked so late, we were forced to have 6:00PM dining. It was okay but we would prefer not to eat that early again. Our wait staff was excellent and we had two other couples, one from the UK and one from Israel, at our table and we became fast friends. Food selection was very good as was the food itself. Specialty Dining We availed ourselves to one of the 3-night specialty packages and, though we probably wouldn’t do the package again, we were not disappointed with the experience. I think we’d stay in the MDR and just take one arbitrary night to do a specialty restaurant, if at all. Our first experience was the Lawn Club Grille, an “outside” venue – though it was fairly enclosed with the plastic walls. This is the place for steaks as they cook them right there on the grille and they were fantastic! Second experience was the Tuscan Grille. Here’s a tip – if you ever do the Norwegian Fjords itinerary, and you plan on eating here at all during the cruise, do so on the day you sail away from Flam. The restaurant is the aft-most one can be with large viewing windows and sailing away down the fjord is just magnificent. This is an Italian steakhouse and, once again, the food and staff were excellent. Our last experience, our last dinner on this cruise, was at Qsine. The “Les Petits Chefs’ experience is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that must be experienced. The table top animation is just tremendous, but that doesn’t take away from the great food and excellent service they provide. If you only do one specialty restaurant, make this one your choice. Activities There are activities every day and we admittedly did not participate much. The few we did – Question of the Day, Riddle of the Day, Movie/TV music themes – were fun and well-done and we probably did ourselves a disservice not participating more but there are only so many hours in a day. Suffice it to say that if Activities are your thing, there are plenty and seem to be well done. Entertainment We went to every one of the 7 theater shows and we were very impressed with all. The production team did three shows, all of them spectacular. The aerialists and acrobats were outstanding, as were the singers and dancers. One show was a local UK singer/pianist who did a very good job, especially on the piano. Another night was a comedian who was quite good and funny. The Flyboys were on board and they are a quartet of singers who transform “modern” songs into swing era style. The Overtures, the best 60’s band in the world according to Elton John, performed one night to rousing ovations and applause and did a quick set the last night in the Foyer area. The live music throughout the ship was top-notch. Two bands, once of which played a lot of 60s – 80s rock and roll, a solo guitarist/vocalist, a string duo (violin and cello) doing modern tunes with strings, were all great. We went to one of the “game shows”, Liars Club or some such thing, which was hilarious and I’m certain other shows were equally well done. On the final day, Captain George gave a talk about the ship and navigation and had a lengthy Q&A which was all very interesting. Ports The itinerary consisted of four fabulous ports. We used Celebrity for all tour excursions. We arrived in Bergen, Norway, at noon. Our tour was a little later and was simply a panorama tour of Bergen and the surrounding hills. Our guide was excellent and the tour was good. Also at Bergen is the ability to take a funicular up the hillside for views of the city. We did not do so but others on board did and report that it was great. Our second stop was at Alesund, Norway. Two things of note: If you go do Alesund and don’t do the Path of the Trolls tour, you have not been to Norway! And, though I know lots of cruise critics eschew ship tours, I heartily recommend you do the ship tour for this one or be prepared to fly yourself out to the next port. This is a LONG tour and is subject to so many possibilities of delays. Anyhow, the tour is excellent. You get to go well into the interior of Norway with its tremendous views. The third stop is the reason for taking a cruise to Norway, this cruise into and out of Flam. This town of only 400 is nestled at the end of an arm of Norway’s longest fjord. The cruise in and out is spectacular, with waterfalls almost within reach of the ship. We took the Flam railway up to the end, climbing up through the mountains with outstanding views of the Flam River valley and the various waterfalls. Flam is also a great town to walk about and get some souvenirs. The final stop was Stavanger which is a pretty good sized city at the southern end of Norway. From the ship, we took the cruise of the Lysefjord fjord. This was a great trip, despite the only real serious rain of the whole cruise. We had views of the great waterfalls and the famous Pulpit Rock. An interesting stop for waffles and coffee was also made and much appreciated. Disembarkation We elected to have our luggage taken off the ship and meeting it on shore, though a leisurely walk-off is also available. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We found our luggage quickly as that is well-organized. Customs was nothing since we had nothing to declare. We, again, had a ride organized with Smith’s for Airports and he collected us on time and had us to Heathrow with time to spare. Summary All in all, this was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. Admittedly, much of that credit goes to the itinerary, but the ship, staff, service, food and everything about the Silhouette was top-notch. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to ... Read More
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to that one. This was a 7-day round trip Alaska cruise out of Vancouver. EMBARKATION - For the first time ever we spent time in town prior to the cruise and boarded on the latter end of the time window - just after 2:00. The luggage drop off, check-in and other areas felt like a ghost town. It was truly eerie, making us wonder if we were in the right place even though we went through here two years ago. There were zero waits except at customs where we waited 2-3 minutes. Other than this it was walk up, take care of business, walk to the next place. The entire process took about 20 minutes, with most of that time spent walking from one place to another. We walked slowly with elderly parents with us. While we love to board early and begin our cruise experience early, we also love avoiding lines. We may start boarding late for a better embarkation experience. PUBLIC AREAS - We walked the ship and got a feel for the layout, confirming it was exactly like the Equinox except we had Cellar Masters wine bar where they had the Gastropub, which we preferred with the TV and beer theme. Other than that, everything was clean, well maintained, very classy. FOOD - We thoroughly enjoyed the food on board. We dined in the "traditional" areas, Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and lunch, Moonlight Sonata for dinner. Food was very good in all areas, with lunch being especially nice with many choices and great quality throughout. My only complaint was the length of dinner. Service was good but a bit slow in the evening. I'm not sure if they waiters thought we would enjoy taking our time in a 2 hour dinner, or they were just so busy during the busy times we ate that they simply could not keep up. We had some slow eaters with us but dinners should have taken 90 minutes not two hours. We had any time dining and ate at all different times, from 6:30 to 8:00. Desserts in Oceanview were never as good as they looked - although ice cream was very good. Desserts in the sit down restaurants were all very good. We also had a meal in Tuscan Grill and one in Murano. Service and food were very good, but had a few minor service issues in Murano - including my wife with an allergy to shellfish had a minor reaction to the flambeed lobster from another table. She had to leave in the middle of the meal to make sure the reaction didn't become a major one. Had they asked about her allergy or mentioned this as a possible allergic reaction, we may have done things differently. We ate family style in Tuscan Grill and it was very enjoyable - highly recommended. BARS - We had a drinks package and enjoyed many of the bars. Service and drink quality was very good throughout. We discovered a few new drinks we had not had before. ENTERTAINMENT - I saw three shows and one comedian. The comedian was OK, the shows were good. Especially enjoyed the last show - Euphoria - but all three had some real high points. The musicians on board were good but not great. None stood out to us. We really enjoyed DJ Leo, especially on the first night. Loved his work on the "turntable". CABIN - see below. DEBARKATION - We had an 11:00 AM flight so we worked hard to make sure we made our flight. Here's what we did for the perfect early debarkation: - We met around 7:05 at Cafe al Bacio. We got in line soon after, with about 30 people in front of us. We schlepped our own bags - not an easy task with three elderly people in our party - but we did it without incident. - The line to debark started moving around 7:30. - Ship exit and customs was very fast. We probably got in our two cabs by 7:40. - I expect we arrived at the airport around 8:05. Cabs were $32 each Canadian. - All lines at the airport were short including flight check-in, bag drop, customs, and security. We were on our way to the gate by 8:35. So a process we expected would get us to the gate by 10:30 instead got us there almost two hours early. Lesson - if you plan to get off the ship early, even a 10:00 AM flight is possible unless there are unexpected delays. Our plane ride home was uneventful and we landed in Raleigh before 9:00 PM. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this Cruise because having never visited Norway before we though it would be nice to go somewhere different . We have cruised several times to the Med and the Caribbean + Australia . Arrived at Southampton and boarded ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because having never visited Norway before we though it would be nice to go somewhere different . We have cruised several times to the Med and the Caribbean + Australia . Arrived at Southampton and boarded swiftly with friendly and efficient staff . Cabin was ready at 1pm Luggage arrived 10 minutes later . Our cabin steward Enrico introduced himself and was very pleasant . We were Aqua class so dined in Blu restaurant . Food was excellent as were the waiting staff . We had lunch a few times in the Ocean view self service restaurant ,the choice and quality was just fantastic . Silhouette is a beautiful ship and was spotlessly clean in all areas - with an amazing crew , from the Captain all the way down . Special thanks to Enrico our cabin steward you were a star . Cruise director Sue was brilliant -so much energy . We saw a couple of the shows and the comedian and thought they were very good . Ports of call were very good and the only organised one we did was in Flam ,although the scenery was beautiful I'm not sure it was worth the money -over £ 200 for the both of us for a 2 hour return train journey ! . All the other ports of call are walkable and very pretty I could go on and on about how great this Cruise was and if anyone wants to see Norway and the stunning Scenery they should give it a go and sail with Celebrity on the Silhouette . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this as we had never done a B.I. cruise. The weather was pretty good overall as we only used an umbrella once. The ship was good but the crew was great! We ate in Blu and wee very surprised at the quality of the food and the ... Read More
We chose this as we had never done a B.I. cruise. The weather was pretty good overall as we only used an umbrella once. The ship was good but the crew was great! We ate in Blu and wee very surprised at the quality of the food and the outstanding service. We have eaten in other Blu restaurants that were not nearly as good. The cabins are dreadfully small but they are functional. The overall entertainment was average. When the DJ gets more people to show than the live acts there is a problem. One nice touch was a sign in every elevator showing the disembarkation deck at every port. I have been waiting for this change for 20 years. Finally! However, some of the ports had ridiculous 2 and 3 deck slopes to get off. This was a definite weak spot for this cruise especially for handicap folks. A real challenge. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
CRITERIA: We wanted an Alaska cruise that stopped at a truly impressive glacier, that left and returned to the same port, and lasted no more than 7 days due to work/life restrictions. Many of the one-way or 10-day or 14-day cruises have ... Read More
CRITERIA: We wanted an Alaska cruise that stopped at a truly impressive glacier, that left and returned to the same port, and lasted no more than 7 days due to work/life restrictions. Many of the one-way or 10-day or 14-day cruises have stops at the good northern glaciers, but this Celebrity one was the only RT that was 7 days and stopped at the stunning Hubbard Glacier. We also had family spanning ages 8 - 72 in our group, so we wanted a ship that offered activities for all the ages in our group (8, 40s, 70s). Finally, we wanted a cruise line with good food, so we booked Royal Suite 1241 in order to have the option of dining in any and all of the restaurants onboard, and having Luminae as our primary dining room. This cruise was to celebrate our mom's 70th bday and we chose this stateroom for several reasons: (1) She a homebody and does NOT like going out to public spaces. We knew she would refuse to go to the library, Lawn Club, Sky Lounge, Michael's or any public areas to hang out, so having a living room and dining table in the suite was of upmost importance. She is the type to stay mainly in her stateroom, so we wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. (2) Since she is inclined to stay in her stateroom, we chose a large one with a dining table and butler so that she could have high tea served in the suite, as well as some lunches or even dinners catered in. (3) She wanted really good food, so Suite Class meant that she could eat at the best options on the ship without even having to think about upcharges. Suite Class pretty much means you can eat anywhere without extra fee. Pre-departure: Shoreside Concierge never reach out to us. We had to hunt down a number and call them to make our requests. We spent time on two lengthly phone calls with them covering our requests but mainly covering the food sensitivities of the three Suite Class passengers. Port of Departure: Vancouver. Amazing city. We visited for a total of 6 days before and after our cruise, and we liked it more than the cruise itself, LOL. Can't say enough great things about our experience in this city, and since it isn't technically part of the cruise experience, I won't delve into all the things we loved. Suffice it to say, if you're choosing a departure port, Vancouver would be my pick, hands down. Embarkation: We enjoyed how, as Suite Class, we were escorted right onto the ship. The girl checking us in at port did an awful job and we encountered problem after problem with our SeaPass cards throughout the cruise because of all the things she forgot to do at check-in. But we wouldn't find out until later; beyond that, the check-in process was smooth. The port of Vancouver is an enormous building, but signs and people made it clear which way Celebrity was to go vs HAL. There was no real curbside check-in; we had to take our luggage and roll it to where port workers were collecting them. It was no more than 100 yards from where the taxis dropped us off, but it is still a struggle for two seniors and two adults to handle a child and 8 rolling bags. Once onboard, they whisked us pass the champagne to Michael's Lounge, but there was no champagne offered to us there nor later. The staff in Michael's told us to head to Luminae for our embarkation day lunch without telling us how to get there. They unceremoniously kicked us out of the lounge, in effect, and we had to fend for ourselves, grabbing champagne as we passed through the busy entry hall, confused as to where Luminae was or how to go there. Shoreside Concierge requests: We discovered, once onboard, that several of our requests to Shoreside Concierge was never taken care of. Given that we had two rather long conversations with them, this was extremely disappointing to find out. The three biggest things they missed: (1) we were never put on the waitlist for the Hubbard Glacier Excursion; (2) two out of the three Suite guests had food sensitivities that were discussed extensively but not noted at all, including the guest of honor who cannot have dairy or beef; and (3) the room was not decorated for the 9 year old's bday celebration on the final night of our sailing. That last one was a huge let-down, because the room WAS decorated for grandma's bday celebration on our first night, so he was looking forward to the same treatment. Stateroom attendants: We had nothing but wonderful things to say about the stateroom attendants for both the Royal Suite and Aqua Class staterooms. They did an amazing job, so diligent and so unobstrusive and so thorough. One of the best things about the ship. My mom is meticulous and she was so happy with the job her stateroom attendant did, plus, it was tricky to catch the suite empty, given how much time she spent in the suite! Kudos to him. Food&Dining: LUMINAE *Hugo was a star, always welcoming and solicitous. We had several really extensive food restrictions in our group, and he always worked so hard to make modifications to address that. *Definitely a far superior menu to main dining room menu, but service was unacceptably slow. It should not take one hour between appetizers and entrees. It got so bad that we started to avoid eating here; no one wants to spend 3 hours eating two course at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seriously. *The Daniel Boulud specialty menu was a disaster and not even close to evoking our experiences dining in his various establishments. *The food substitutions were not the most interesting food. A fruit plate is not a clever substitute. We did a much better job of requesting modifications to the menu than going with what the chef came up with. One exception was a stunning platter of 16 prawns that the chef grilled up for my mom's dinner on the last night. That plate was delicious and on par with the rest of the menu. Other than that, our own modifications and requests were much more successful than the chef's. *At Luminae, the staff was completely unaware that guests of Suite Class guests invited to dine with them had no surcharge for kids 12 and under. We literally had to tell the staff multiple times and show them Celebrity's own printed materials to convince them of the correct policy. Honestly, guests should not know more than the ship's staff. We only had this problem at the first meal, however, as this problem did not come up again. *Overall, by the end of the cruise, the servers were finally getting to know us, even though we dines here maybe a dozen times. By contrast, on a Disney cruise, by your third encounter, they know you and your preferences very well. BLU *Excellent octopus dish, overall lighter and pleasant menu, but the service was really lacking. Almost every time, water glasses would sit empty until the meal was almost done, or refilled only after the meal was already done. Coffee refills would be hit or miss. Juice would never be refilled for us, though it was at other tables. *This felt very impersonal and unfriendly. Definitely uneven service. *One standout server was Unica, who took the trouble to remember guests. She was the ONLY person on the entire cruise whose service level was truly memorable. After just one breakfast with her, she remembered both our pastry and fruit preferences. The next time we saw her a breakfast, we didn't even have to say and word and she just showed up with what we liked. She would be a star on Disney Cruise Line, where this is often par for the course from their dining staff. On Celebrity, no one remembered us except Unica. And we certainly got the feeling that she was given some grief for caring about the guests. MURANO *Excellent menu, excellent service, excellent pacing. Best restaurant on the ship, we felt. *If the menu didn't feel so heavy, and if it wasn't always the same, we would have eaten here more often. We were able to modify our dishes with ease, though our mother's food restrictions were not communicated to the staff here and she was very annoyed when they put a beef amuse bouche in front of her. LOL *For all the places were we had to pay surcharges for members of our family sailing in Aqua Class (we could not all fit in the Suite), this one was worth the money. *They could be a little more friendly, take a page from Danny Meyer's book on hospitality. SUSHI on FIVE *Servers here extremely nice, some of the nicest onboard. *Udon broth and rolls involving fresh crab were good. Other than that... *This was the WORST nigiri sushi ever. Worse than what you'd get at a grocery store. Such a HUGE disappointment given how much fresh fish was available at all the ports we stopped at. *This place has so much potential and its a shame what they have NOT done with it. AND it is the one restaurant on the ship where everyone is supposed to pay, Not worth the time or money. AVOID until they make some drastic changes to their sushi/sashimi selection. OCEANVIEW CAFE *Convenient (almost always open), huge, and nice change from the heavier menus we were being service. Difficult to find a table during busy times but not at all impossible. *Horrible coffee, tho. Always go to Il Bacio. *Son gave jello thumbs up and had about three per day, after we discovered this place. *Only place on the ship I could find Passionfruit Orange Guava juice cocktail. Best stuff ever, but water it down with sparkling or still water because it is too sweet. CAFE AL BACIO *THE place to get coffee and tea on the ship. They serve Lavazza, which I love, and a decent selection of Tea Forte teas. The associated gelateria was never manned, but you could always ask someone at the coffee counter. They did a great job with every coffee I ordered, and all my soy milk cappuccinos ordered in Luminae, BLU or Murano came from here. *Staff here was never friendly or welcoming. Despite seeing our faces every day, no one welcomed you like one would be welcomed at your local coffee shop. Again, very impersonal and standoffish vibe. They were more interested in socializing and joking around with each other than interacting with guests. Entertainment: *The ship's staff of singers are extremely talented and the aerialists are also very good. The shows themselves are really blah, however, with unclear storylines/plots. Disney definitely does a better job telling stories, but these singers were better, I feel, as pure singers. *The comedian we saw was funny, though relied too much on racist stereotypes (equal opportunity racist, he called himself). Many of the jokes went over my 8 year old's head, but he still thought the guy was funny, especially given this was my son's first exposure to a comedian. *The three singers who did the soul show were also very talented and fun. Overall, it was fun to catch the shows, though the changing of showtimes each night made it tricky to book dining reservations times (and we had to bc not everyone in our group was Suite Class and we paid to have guests in Luminae with us; also, we ate at Murano 3x). And with how slow dinner service was in BLU (which was STILL faster than Luminae's ridiculous 1 hr between appetizer and entree), you were never sure if you were going to make it to the show anyway. Ports of Call: *Very fun since Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan are only accessible by air and sea. In order to get some good variety of experiences, we booked a private tour in Sitka, booked directly with the tour company in Juneau, and booked through the cruise line in Ketchikan. SITKA Our experience in Sitka was amazing. Our ship arrived late to port b/c of engine trouble. Our tour time could not be moved b/c the captain had a group right after ours. He told us to try and be among the first off the ship so that we could get onto one of the first buses and down to the harbor as quickly as possible. When we went down to disembark, our hearts sank because the queues snaked all around the atrium and across the ship. We just so happened to cross paths with the Michael's Club Concierge, who was escorting another group. She told us to follow her, and walked us right to the doors. We were the first people off the ship, the first people on the first bus, and the first people down at the harbor. NOW, if we had not run into the Concierge, there was no way we would have lucked out like this. Having made multiple visits to Michael's Club, NO ONE ever explained to us how to obtain priority disembarkation for the ports. That would have been something they should have covered in one of our conversations. Anyway, Sitka is a small town, and we ate at a local food truck, Captain JuJu's, featuring some great local catch, which was a lot of fun. We spent the afternoon doing a private land tour, visiting the bear rescue, raptor rescue and totem park. It was stunning to see humpback whales (one was REALLY close), sea otter, sea lions and SO MANY FLIPPING (into the air) SALMON! The bears at the rescue were really interesting, and the different injured raptors were cool to see up close. Sitka is really quite beautiful and a great first port stop. HUBBARD GLACIER Technically not a port because we didn't dock, but we lucked out with the most clear day imaginable. The onboard naturalist was PHENOMENAL and told us such interesting things about the glacier. The helipad was overcrowded, but I liked how they provided blankets, headsets and warm drinks. However, in the end, we just returned to our staterooms and took in the beauty from our two verandahs, which I had made sure were on opposite sides of the ship, so that there was always at least one good view. Though ALL the views were good that day. Once in a lifetime experience. Could not have asked for a more perfect day weatherwise. JUNEAU Well, for every good day, there is a bad one. Our dogsled camp excursion had been touch and go all summer b/c the heat and high temps were making dog camps shut down weeks, even months, earlier than usual. It turned out that Mendenhall stayed open until the end fo August, so we were so excited to go. Unfortunately, they could not get us on the earlier helicopters, and by the time it was our turn to fly out, the fog had gotten so bad that all choppers and seaplanes were grounded. This also meant that our back-up plan with the glacier walkabout could not happen. I was disappointed to find that the tour company we had booked with could not drive us to the glaciers instead, because that was an option and we had a long enough day at this port to go. I don't know if our experience would have been any better had we booked our excursion through the cruise line (if they could have booked us on a good alternative), but I took the opportunity to explore the port. Too many touristy shops, but we did get to have King Crab legs at Tracy's, as was the plan. There's a lovely museum in town, but most of the main strip are touristy shops, which is a shame. There were a few cute shops and restaurants further afield, north of the port area. The main area around the port is just not very charming nor interesting. KETCHIKAN Yet another drizzly day, but this time, our excursion site was reached via bus and ziplining can be done even in the rain. This excursion was booked thru the cruise line and I appreciated how organized they were in getting us to the right buses and providing timely buses to bring us back. We did not choose to explore the downtown area, but the zipline adventure itself was lovely. We were SO HIGH up in the trees that I was seeing vegetation that I was completely unfamiliar with. They did loan us rain jackets for ziplining, but I packed the wrong kind of pants and shoes, and was pretty drenched from the hips down. Still, a beautiful and exhilarating afternoon in the beautiful and majestic temperate rainforest. The excursion offered by Celebrity went smoothly and was perfect for what we wanted to do. Michael's Club Other than the bartender, there was never ANY staff in there during the day. We must have stopped by over two dozen times to find no one at the desk. We always had to leave phone messages for the Concierge if we had any questions. I feel like Michael's Club should have a permanent Guest Services staff to take care of all the issues we constantly had to go to Guest Services for, such as our Sea Pass cards not working to paying for drinks, meals, etc. Such as my father's misprinted Sea Pass card that showed no beverage package. Those issues should have been handled within the Club Lounge. If there was ever anyone in there...which there wasn't. Canyon Ranch Spa Having been to Canyon Ranch Lenox, I was looking forward to their menu of treatments. They didn't offer some of my favorites (parafango), but the Revitalizing Ritual and Seaweed Detox Wrap were both AMAZING, mostly due to my wonderful wonderful spa therapist. She did just a great job explaining and massaging. I loved the two treatments I booked. The counter was a bit hectic on embarkation day, but I didn't wait to long when I came by throughout the cruise. The family members sailing in the suite all purchased Persian Garden passes and EVERYONE LOVED THE HEATED TILE LOUNGERS. The family members booked in Aqua Class got access as part of their perks. There are never enough of those things, and some people stay longer than the recommended 20 minutes. For the most part, the majority of people were really good about getting up and giving others a chance. I would have appreciated a larger variety of hydrotherapy showers, especially a warm water one. I liked the temperate sauna, but found it on one day to be cold and smelling of urine. That was only one day out of five visits, so not bad. Visited the steam sauna once and the dry sauna once. The nice showers in both the Royal Suite and Aqua Class staterooms meant that I didn't have to Toiletries I actually preferred the milder scented shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion of the Aqua Class stateroom to the overly perfumed Bulgari products in the suite. Just my preference. Still, H2O (Disney Cruise Line), L'Occitane (Regent Seven Seas), Aveda (Crystal) or Molton Brown (Seabourn) would be my top picks. Kids programming Maybe it is because we're used to sailing Disney, but I found it so odd that the Kids Clubs would be closed at three points during the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You had to pay extra for your kids to participate in a "dining program" during those times. WHAT?!? So odd. BUT, what I loved is that, unlike Disney, with fewer kids, the counselors really rounded up the kids to have them participate in the different activities. You did not have to worry that your kid would go to the kids club and just sit on the XBox for two hours. It would have been nice to give them a little more unstructured play time, but overall, they kind of forced to kids to get to know each other and interact a bit. I loved that. They even hosted a family even one night where you got to see what their "camp" program was like. Very fun, very well run. Overall, I was impressed (though still puzzled by the closures throughout the day). Recreation It was nice that the allowed a family swim btwn 4-6p each day in the enclosed solarium pool, bc the unenclosed pools are REALLY COLD on an Alaskan cruise! LOL Though I am sure that the adults in the adult-only area did NOT like their solarium being overrun every day from 4-6p, it gave adults with kids a chance to swim each day. We did the glass blowing and it was an AMAZING experience. Glass blowing is interesting and fun, in and of itself, but doing it on the top deck of a large ship was unique. We also did a Reidel workshop. No one else showed up, so it became a private tasting lesson with the Murano sommelier. Super fun AND you get a code for four free wine glasses (to order) once you get home. There is an arcade, though we never went. Also saw some taller guys shooting basketball, so my 8 yr old did not want to join in. There was a nice lawn on the top deck, but the signs were always turned to "keep off" when I went up there. Library had lots of adult books, no kid books, and some nice reading chairs and nooks that I always found passengers to be napping in, LOL. Card room had a few different games but never enough for the number of tables in the room. Only 1 mah jong set (with a few replacement tiles for missing tiles), that one old lady would be guarding like a hawk while her cardmates were eating or whatnot. It was very hard to get hold of that set to play with. Concierge should have extra sets of cards, mah jong, other games in Michael's for suite class guests to borrow and play in their own stateroom. We asked our Butler, but he said nothing was available to play in our suite. Some members of our family popped into the casino, but it wasn't a huge draw for our family. THE LETDOWN: Butler and overall Service So, we booked the Royal suite instead of two smaller suites because we wanted the butler service and in-room dining. Unlike with previous reviewers of this cruise, who had good experiences, our biggest disappointment was, unfortunately, our Suite Butler. Upon meeting us, he immediately told us that he was in charge of a lot of staterooms, so that he would be quite busy during this sailing. Anything we asked for was begrudgingly taken care of at best. There wasn't a lot of common sense; when we asked for more herbal tea selections to add to our choices, he took away the original assortment, which we had also wanted! When we told him which one we liked, he never restocked it. We always had to restock it ourselves from Michael's or Cafe Al Bacio. As opposed to reports of being able to cater Hubbard Glacier day with food from the sushi restaurant, in addition to other foods, we were told that we were limited to the room service menu and the main dining room menu. He did cater us a lunch on Hubbard Glacier Day, but it was much less of a festive celebration; he made it feel like an imposition. We tried to order the food from room service directly, but was told we HAD to do it thru our butler, whose very attitude told us that he did not really want to help us. Out of four days of wanting high tea served in the suite, it was done once. Out of three days of wanting lunch served in the suite, we also only did it once because our butler made us feel like it was such an enormous and excessive undertaking that was an imposition on him. We never even bothered to ask about any dinners. We were highly underwhelmed and disappointed by our butler's attitude. He was nice, just not proactive nor welcoming nor dedicated to providing true service. For future bookings, I would not recommend booking this stateroom category for the butler, just for the space/roominess of stateroom. Overall, this did not impress the first time cruisers nor the repeat cruisers in our group. OVERALL I think the problem with this sailing was really the service. Other than a handful (count on one hand?) of people who took the time to recognize or familiarize themselves with us, this ship felt like a machine churning out soulessness. Staff really should be more friendly with guests they're seeing often on a 7-night sailing. Most of the Celebrity Eclipse staff just could not be bothered. For each stateroom's occupants, we only felt that our stateroom attendant, spa therapist, Hugo in Luminae, our server (I forget his name) in Sushi on 5, and Unica in BLU really cared about having us as their guests on this ship. That's 5 people out of dozens and dozens of staff members we came across regularly. And that's sad when you're choosing Suite Class on Celebrity for their reputation, service quality, and being treated like VIPs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We two along with two other couples, truly enjoyed everything about this cruise right from abundantly beautiful inside passage that this Great Ship cruises along. Our cabin with veranda was very comfortable inside out. We thoroughly ... Read More
We two along with two other couples, truly enjoyed everything about this cruise right from abundantly beautiful inside passage that this Great Ship cruises along. Our cabin with veranda was very comfortable inside out. We thoroughly enjoyed the nature and some of its creatures passing by, while spending lots of time at the veranda. Our cabin was serviced by an attendant named Gligor, who could easily serve as an ultimate template, of what hospitality ought to be, on any cruise ship. Food wasn't really to our taste, either in the assigned dining hall or other restaurants, since it was not cooked from fresh vegetables. Fortunately, there was wide variety of fruits available, which we helped ourselves with. The worst part of our cruise was their on-board guest relations, wherein almost everyone displayed a bit of an attitude and seemed lacking information and training inputs. Having settled all our bills, on the last day we decided to pick up couple of art works. I insisted at guest relations desk that my card should be charged the same evening, since we were to disembark early next morning. They said we cannot charge your card on-board now, since all this would happen during the night, at their headquarters. Next morning we had huge problems with their card charging equipment and even their on-board ATM ran out of cash. This massively delayed our disembarkation and we narrowly missed our flight, on the way to Yellowstone. Seems like their customer service on-board is inverted, with cabin attendant being the best at it and guest relations being the worst. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were three adults all over fifty years of age. We each had a stateroom to ourselves. There are no complaints about the ship and its amenities. It is beautiful and impressive. The food was enjoyable. Some of my gripes: 1. The ... Read More
We were three adults all over fifty years of age. We each had a stateroom to ourselves. There are no complaints about the ship and its amenities. It is beautiful and impressive. The food was enjoyable. Some of my gripes: 1. The cruise was sold to us as a mainly adults cruse. There appeared to be more children on the ship than adults. I have four children of my own, so I know what it is like to be around kids and infants. For reasons unknown to me, management placed three children in a room next to the one used by me. They screamed and shouted on a daily basis at all hours of the day. I complained to management on three occasions but this was to no avail. These kids clearly loved jumping and playing in their room. Coupled with the excessive noise I felt and heard constant dull metal thumps. 2. The advertising spin for the ship and the cruise was that it would be luxurious. If you are against standing in line to get your food or being in something akin to a soup kitchen, this ship and cruise are not for you. 3. The prices for additional food and drinks are excessive. The ship is geared to make as much profit as it can on its guests. The ship has a captive customer and whatever you have to pay, you must add an additional 20% service charge to the bill even if you take something out of the cabin bar fridge. As an example, soft drinks are US$3.90 a cappuccino is over US$4. 4. The excursions are unreasonably priced. The ship cancels booked excursions when it does not have enough guests. They apologize to those who they have inconvenienced but it appears that the profit on the excursion is more important than the guest's enjoyment. There are more gripes but I will not bother you with it. I will not recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Sailed Aug 10 on 9 day western Caribbean cruise from Rome. As a point of reference I’m 73 yrs old and my lady and I have been on several cruises over the years on different cruise lines. Last year we sailed on the Solstice on an Alaska ... Read More
Sailed Aug 10 on 9 day western Caribbean cruise from Rome. As a point of reference I’m 73 yrs old and my lady and I have been on several cruises over the years on different cruise lines. Last year we sailed on the Solstice on an Alaska cruise and it was our favorite ship to date. We thoroughly enjoyed the Edge, but also miss some of the niceties offered on other ships. Pluses: • Boarding and exiting the ship was the easiest we’ve ever experienced. From the time our car dropped us off at the curb & a porter took our luggage, with our pre-check in express passes we were in our cabin in less than 10 minutes. Same exiting the ship. Luggage tags were numbered with the bus number to board for the airport. Very quick process. • One advantage of their concierge class is that on “welcome aboard” day you have exclusive access to one of the main dining rooms open for lunch, thus avoiding the crowded buffet. A welcome touch, as long as you board early. It closes at 1:30pm. • We were in concierge class on deck 12 port side near the aft elevators. Great location. We liked our cabin layout, comfortable bed, and really loved the infinite veranda. It makes the room feel larger and provides a better sense of privacy. The window is the full width of the room and the top ½ lowers electrically. You can sit or stand at the open window with no one staring at you from above or below as on a traditional balcony, and it’s quieter. The cabin attendant lowers a shade in the evening which totally blocks morning light if you wish, but we raised the shade and opened the window at night to enjoy the cool ocean air and hear the sounds of the sea. The weather when we sailed was great for this, although I realize that in different weather it could make the room uncomfortable because the A/C doesn’t run with the window open. • Dining - We liked the concept of four main dining rooms. Each has different décor and offers a bit of variety, although most of the menu is the same in each, with a few choices unique to the theme of each restaurant. We prefer select dining and just go down to dinner when we’re ready, and request a table for two. We never encountered a long wait. There are several extra cost restaurants available. We had dinner at the Petite Chef venue at Le Grand Bistro. My lady thoroughly enjoyed it, and the food was good also, although they did have to re-do my steak which came out very rare when I ordered med rare. We also had lunch there one day. Very nice menu and the food was distinctly better than what was served in the main dining rooms. We also had lunch one day at Raw on Five. We felt the offerings were OK, but not as good as the sushi places we have at home. We purchase the Go Best package with the premium beverage plan. On the Solstice you must present your cruise card(s) each time to order each glass of wine at the restaurants. On the Edge you show it just once and the wine steward returns to keep your glasses filled, an appreciated courtesy. • The buffet was nicely laid out with adequate seating available and the food was pretty good. Waiters come by frequently and offer to bring you bottled water, more coffee or alcoholic beverages. There is nice pizza station at the back area and also a small bar there. One day I complained to the bartender there that he didn’t have the premium wine we preferred. As I went back to my table a supervisor appeared and offered to bring us the wine I wanted. Nice touch. • Before we sailed I was dubious about the Eden lounge and the Edenist thing, but I found the lounge to be excellent. Beautiful layout, quiet and comforting to visit through the day and into the night, with easy listening music or soloist playing as you look out to the ocean at the rear of the ship. The Edenists appear briefly at dinner time at the Eden specialty restaurant. We dined there one night and felt the experience was exceptional, and the best we had on the ship. It was quiet and intimate, with personalized service. A four course meal is presented with two choices for each course. As a couple we each selected different choices and shared. The presentation is unique and enjoyable. The Edenists are a mythical creation of performance art, a bit strange but fun. They do a show in the later evening which was not to my taste however. Cirque du Soleil meets Star Wars. Just too weird for an old guy. • The Magic Carpet is fun. We went there a couple of times to enjoy a drink at the bar and lounge. It’s cantilevered out from the side of the ship and having the open ocean around you on three sides is nice. When it is lowered down for tendering it becomes a more friendly way to get on and off the ship. • I liked the new smart phone app that is new on the Edge. You can use it even if you haven’t signed up for the WiFi package. You can make reservations with it, see the deck plans and cruise information, and even set the lights & air conditioning in your cabin and open you cabin door. Negatives: • We enjoyed the Sky Lounge on the Solstice, which looks out to the front of the ship. On the Edge the entire front of the ship is sequestered for Suite passengers. They have their own pool, retreat area, bar and restaurant. The rest of the “lower element” must be content in the “back of the bus” so to speak. • Not enough shade. Aft on the top deck there is a really nice Rooftop Garden area and an adjoining specialty restaurant Rooftop Garden Grill. This is a beautiful area but we couldn’t use it most of the day because there are no shaded areas. Not everyone is comfortable sitting in direct sun in the hot summer. The same is true at the Sunset Bar around the corner at the rear of the ship. We felt the Sunset Bar on the Solstice was a nicer design, more inviting. The design on the Edge feels like a sterile plastic afterthought stuck in the rear of the ship. • Too crowded. The Edge has about the same number of passengers as the Solstice but it feels much more crowded. It’s really not a ship designed for kids, but there were lots of noisy kids on board our cruise. On an “at sea” day we went up to the pool deck at about 10:30 in the morning and there wasn’t a single lounge chair open anywhere near the pool or even in the Solarium. • The Grand Plaza and martini bar on this ship is a large space open to surrounding decks above. It is very noisy with either bands or recorded music and the loudness migrates up to the specialty restaurants on the decks above. In the evenings it is crowded and challenging to be comfortable, with kids all around, even by the bar. Many people come in casual clothing. The atmosphere is just not very inviting, and lacks the quiet sophistication of the one found on the Solstice. • On the Solstice, the concierge’s desk is located right in the concierge area of the ship. He gives you his card with phone number and you can walk over to see him or just call him on the phone. He was very helpful and accessible. There isn’t a way to easily contact the concierge on the Edge. No direct phone nbr and you have to walk way down to deck 5 at the front of the ship before the theater entrance to his small office. It’s as though they want to keep his existence as secret. • We’re not into a lot of the activities available but did go to two of the shows in the theater. Found them creative and unique but not particularly to our taste. In summary, we spoke with many other passengers during the cruise and found a recurring theme. People on their first cruise, or who hadn’t cruised often, love the Edge. Passengers who are veteran cruisers almost all said they wouldn’t sail on this ship again. It has the feel of a large resort hotel rather than the nautical allure and intimacy of other more traditional ships this size. As beautiful and modern as it is it lacks a “comfy cozy” feel many sophisticated travelers expect in a cruise ship. This is a comparatively expensive ship to sail on, so it’s reasonable to expect very good service, food, etc. We felt the service was very good but the food could have been better, generally speaking. It’s nice, as older travelers, that the Edge holds only about 2800 passengers. We’ve been on bigger ships and didn’t like them at all. We’re not into water slides or rock climbing and huge crowds. It would seem the Edge is not suited for families with kids, but we were disappointed to see so many on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We flew into Seattle the day before departure. Seattle was beautiful. Took the shuttle to the cruise port. Boarding went well. Excellent stateroom location - 8269. Did dinner and show the first night. On the second day, my DW developed ... Read More
We flew into Seattle the day before departure. Seattle was beautiful. Took the shuttle to the cruise port. Boarding went well. Excellent stateroom location - 8269. Did dinner and show the first night. On the second day, my DW developed gout in her toe. She hopped around till she couldn't take it anymore. Our steward got us a wheelchair and pushed her to the medical center and came and got her after treatment. When her condition worsened, he pushed her down there again and back. He was very responsive and helpful throughout the cruise. When the Dining Head Waiter found out she was sick, he sent meals to our stateroom for her - with dessert! Celebrity assisted us all the way from the ship to the airport to help us make or flights home. On our return to the cruise port, they wheeled her to our transportation and made sure we were secure and safe from port to airport. Celebrity did all they could to make sure our dream cruise to Alaska was not totally ruined due to unfortunate circumstances. Our thanks to Mulio (our steward) and all those that assisted to save our cruise. By the way, they really do push those drink packages on the first day!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there ... Read More
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there was no shifting needed. All b2b passengers are required to leave the ship and go through USA customs as the first week ends. It took only a few minutes, and we were back on board. The Equinox had just been through a refit, so everything was new and shiny. The ship is kept in spotless condition for the entire cruise. Room service is outstanding. Your steward knows your name and addresses you that way - how they can remember all of their passengers amazes me. Rooms are tidied immediately after you leave for breakfast. and prepared for the night while you are at dinner. Towels and sheets are changed frequently. The cabins are large and nicely furnished. The shower is good sized, and solid - no floppy shower curtain to contend with. The television is large, and the remote is fairly easy to manage. Your steward will explain it to you if you need help finding programs or your account on line. Dining in the main restaurant offers early and late settings on deck 3, and "any time" dining on deck 4. The menu offers something for everyone, and notes things such as gluten free or sugar free. The "always available" portion of the dinner menu offers my favorite French onion soup, Escargot, and salmon. Enough said! Theater entertainment is shifting toward acrobatics and production numbers several times during a cruise. Other nights feature a comedian or musician or singer. Two shows allow you to enjoy your dinner hour and take in the show either preceding or following. My only bit of concern was the library. The room itself is beautiful and has great lounge chairs and a large number of shelves. The missing part was books! Very few new novels in English could be found. The majority of books were in foreign languages, and had apparently been donated by past passengers. There was no filing system, so you just had to pick up a book and look at a few pages to determine if it was in a language you could read. All lines seem to be letting the idea of a library fade away. And yet you see many passengers reading as they enjoy the pool area or one of the lounges. Bring your own paperbacks if you want to be sure of having something to read. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As usual, Celebrity delivered excellent food and service on our recent Baltic cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. Our balcony cabin was larger on the Reflection than on past Celebrity ships. The layout was ... Read More
As usual, Celebrity delivered excellent food and service on our recent Baltic cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. Our balcony cabin was larger on the Reflection than on past Celebrity ships. The layout was great and the extra space was appreciated. The entertainment was good, but not spectacular. We have become comfortable with the fact that if you want big productions, try Celebrity's sister line - Royal Caribbean. Rob Lewis, a Phil Collins tribute act, was great. The service in the Opus restaurant was exceptional - as was the food. I can't imagine what our waiters and sommelier could have done any better. We did have dinner in the Tuscan Grille one evening and it was a disappointment. Three of us ordered steaks. Two were too rare and one was overdone. By the time we got one steak redone, everything was cold. We paid $45 each and wished we had eaten in the Opus dining room. The ship is fabulous. Although we were with 3,300 other guests, the ship never felt crowded. There are enough small areas (library, Hideaway, etc.) that we could always find some quiet places when we desired. We toured Berlin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm with TJ Travel Tours. All were great experiences. Our guide in St. Petersburg was Natasha and she worked very hard for two 10-hour days. Her knowledge of Russian history was exceptional. She was old enough to have lived under Soviet rule, so she also had an interesting perspective on the czars, the Soviets and on life after the fall of the Soviet Union. We toured Copenhagen on a Celebrity tour, since TJ was not able to form a group there. The guide was knowledgeable and we got a good feel for the city. Overall, it was a great trip. We were extremely lucky with the weather. We traveled with a couple who had just gotten their first passports and this was their first cruise. We warned them that the Reflection experience will probably spoil them for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We don’t normally cruise during school holidays but did so after making a fairly late booking following the lifting of travel restrictions for my wife following a medical condition. I have to say, we won’t be booking in school ... Read More
We don’t normally cruise during school holidays but did so after making a fairly late booking following the lifting of travel restrictions for my wife following a medical condition. I have to say, we won’t be booking in school holidays again. The ship was very crowded with I believe record numbers on board and it did have a detrimental effect in some areas, especially if you wanted a sunbed, and you didn’t mind being packed like sardines. Contrary to some reviews, we didn’t experience any problems with the youngsters except for the odd shenanagins with the lifts, if fact the ones we spoke to were very polite. We found the food onboard perfectly fine, with a huge selection in the buffet. The main dining room was ok, the portions were not too big, but you could always ask for more. We found drinks very expensive, but luckily for us we had an inclusive drinks package with our booking which saved us money big time. Entertainment was hit & miss, they had some good comedians, Jon Courtney being the highlight, but they had a truly dreadful one, I think he had come straight from the Apollo Theatre, and one of a long line of unfunny comedians of that ilk. Excursions were truly expensive, our advice is to do your own thing, you will save pounds. As for the shuttle prices, they really are a rip off. Having said all that, we enjoyed our cruise, our cabin was fine and the staff are brilliant. Embarkation and disembarkation are the best we have encountered on any cruise line. We will sail with Celebrity again but out of school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have been on the Equinox 4 other times, and dearly love this ship! This was a wonderful cruise from the very start to the very end. Embarkation was easy and quick....you had to download the app and do the pre cruise check in, and ... Read More
We have been on the Equinox 4 other times, and dearly love this ship! This was a wonderful cruise from the very start to the very end. Embarkation was easy and quick....you had to download the app and do the pre cruise check in, and print out the boarding pass. After you go thru the initial security, you will be greeted by a person with a tablet, and she/he scans your bar code from your app, and you are set! When they do the actual boarding, they are going to ask to see your boarding pass that you have printed out and you are well on your way to enter the ship. We went to Key West for our first stop and that was fun. We were docked at the Naval Base and could not walk around the pier, so free shuttles were offered to us to the downtown area. They also commissioned the SSBillings, while we were there as well. We also visited Costa Mayo, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman, as well. We have been on so many cruises that we no longer take excursions. We just walk around the area. The weather couldn't have been better for the whole cruise. The only rain that we had was the night before we docked back into Ft Lauderdale, and by the time we actually docked, the rain had stopped. We noticed a lot of the improvements that they have done to the ship during it's refurbishment. The ship looks great!!!! The entertainment on the ship was superb. The production shows were wonderful. If you were bored, it was your own fault. My favorite place on the ship is the Solarium. People actually go in there and claim a chair at 7am and not return till later in the day. The deckhands are finally doing something about it. They were policing them and freeing up the chairs after a certain amount of time. I was very impressed to see this being done. The food was wonderful. They had a variety of selections and loved both in the MDR and the Oceanview Cafe. The service was impeccable!!!! I heard a few people complaining about the service, but honestly, I thought it was outstanding!!!! Chris Pickard, the Capt's Club Host was fantastic. He was always visible and was around if you had any questions. We would see him at least 2 or 3 times a day at different places. He made sure that his Elites and Elite Plus' were well taken care of. This was one of the few remaining sailings for Capt. Kate McCue, before she goes to the Celebrity Edge. I have to say, she is probably one of the friendliest Captain I have ever met. She was at the Meet and Greet and also on Deck 4 for the big sale at the end of the cruise. She was always free to have a picture made with you. She was on the gangway as the everyone left the ship and shook hands and hugged each and every person that came off the ship, thanking them for sailing Celebrity!!!!!!! I have to say, this cruise was probably one of the best cruises that we have taken and we have done over 40 cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise because of the ports visited-Sicily, Malta, Argostoli,Greece, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Koper, Slovenia. The ship is older, but still lovely. We were in an Aqua class cabin at the rear of the ship and loved it. We ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ports visited-Sicily, Malta, Argostoli,Greece, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Koper, Slovenia. The ship is older, but still lovely. We were in an Aqua class cabin at the rear of the ship and loved it. We enjoyed the Blu Dining Room where the food was excellent. We felt the staff was very accommodating throughout the ship. A lot of people on the forum complain the ship is “tired”, but we enjoyed its smaller size and next year it is due for an overhaul. If you are looking for a mega ship with all the new bells and whistles, this is not the ship. However, if you are concentrating on the ports of call and want a lovely means of transportation, this is a great ship and itinerary. We used the ships excursions exclusively and were happy with each and every excursion we attended. By watching the website for sales and using ship credit, the excursions were reasonable. We only had one sea day on this cruise, so we did not participate in many on board activities. However, I attended two dance classes and they were a blast. I also had a message at the Canyon Ranch Spa and it probably was the best message I’ve ever had. The ships entertainment was fine. We attended a couple of production shows and a comedian who was hilarious. All in all we had a fantastic cruise on the Infinity. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Disappointing Celebrity infinity Cruise of the Adriatic Sea Our recent cruise of the Adriatic Sea on Celebrity infinity was disappointing. We had just completed a seven day family cruise of the Western Mediterranean on Norwegian Epic ... Read More
Disappointing Celebrity infinity Cruise of the Adriatic Sea Our recent cruise of the Adriatic Sea on Celebrity infinity was disappointing. We had just completed a seven day family cruise of the Western Mediterranean on Norwegian Epic and the difference in the quality of our experience between the two cruises was quite marked. We have been loyal Celebrity customers for well over ten years having cruised with the cruise line on twelve previous occasions with a further three with the broader RCI Group. We have noted a quiet but steady decline in the quality of the Celebrity product over the past couple cruises. This decline in standards on virtually all measures is now quite stark and, overall, we were very disappointed in the cruise experience on a number of levels. The bad experience started with the very poor handling of a passport/visa issue (not of our making) at check-in. The passport control officials were in our view, officious and uncommunicative, and it took over one and a half hours to sort the problem out. We are still not aware precisely what the issue was but the whole process was frustrating and distressing and got the whole cruise experience off to a bad start. The bad vibes we were getting about the ship were compounded by a massive misunderstanding about a Captains Club loyalty on-board credit that Celebrity disputed had been offered despite us producing documentary evidence downloaded from the Celebrity website, that the loyalty credit had indeed been applied. In an almost two hour wrangle at the front office desk , where we were even virtually accused of fabricating the document and the Guest Relations official with whom we dealt made it perfectly clear that the onus was on us to prove the on-board credit was genuine. He kept on insinuating that the credit was something that our travel agent must have offered and could not grasp the simple fact that it was a Celebrity Captains Club loyalty credit that was in dispute. The whole process was distressing and embarrassing and necessitated us having to contact our travel agent back in South Africa who in turn had to contact Celebrity head office in Miami to confirm the loyalty credit was a Celebrity benefit that should have been automatically applied without question. Despite our agent being assured by Miami that the credit was indeed genuine and should have been automatically applied to our account, and that they would confirm this fact directly with the ship, it took a further two days for the matter to be satisfactorily put to bed and this, only after the intercession of the Concierge Class Concierge who personally undertook to see the matter to a satisfactory resolution. All in all an unnecessarily unpleasant experience for which we receive absolutely no apology from Guest Relations for the poor manner in which this matter had been dealt. We had cruised on the Infinity on two previous occasions. Signs of wear and tear are evident everywhere confirming the need for the vessel to undergo a major refurbishment which we understand is scheduled within a year or so. This cannot come too soon. Furnishings and fittings are in a bad state of repair in many areas, notably the buffet restaurant. Pool towels were threadbare and often torn while pool loungers were out of shape, smelly, stained and had clearly seen better days. Celebrity have probably decided not to spend any more on the Infinity until it undergoes its refurbishment. If this is the case it is a policy that should be reconsidered because frankly, the standard of the pool furnishings in particular, are disgusting and certainly not what one should or could expect from a five star cruise liner. On the positive side, the ship’s hard working cleaning and maintenance staff do an admirable job in trying to keep this ageing vessel in reasonable shape. Decline in standards in many other areas were also evident. As examples, the quality of amenities in Concierge Class staterooms is now notably inferior. Food quality in the buffet restaurant was probably the worst we have yet experienced on any cruise we have taken. Variety and standard of beverages included in the Classic package has clearly been reduced in an obvious attempt to persuade passengers to upgrade to the Premium package. Not all was negative though. We were privileged to sail the beautiful Adriatic Coast visiting some quaint, interesting ports along the way. We found the food quality and presentation in the main dining room to be generally of very good standard. Celebrity’s crème brulees still rank with the best! We actually had a meal at the speciality Tuscan Grille and frankly, thought the standard of fare in the main dining room was better. We also dined twice at the speciality Sushi on 5 dining venue and thoroughly enjoyed our meal on both occasions. Entertainment, as we usually find on cruise ships, was a bit iffy. The main production shows were some of the best we have yet experienced and these shows were supplemented by performances from a top class card magician and a classically trained operatic quartet who had reached the finals of Britain’s Got Talent. Really good. On the other hand, some of the other musical entertainers performing around the ship were of no more than basic cruise ship standard. We cannot conclude this somewhat negative review without a “shout out” to the hard working staff and crew who at all times provided friendly, efficient and attentive service and, even at trying times, almost invariably with a smile. Even when one is having a bad day, the friendly smiles and greeting we received form the Celebrity team, helped make the bad day or bad experience just that little bit less of an issue! We have been loyal Celebrity aficionados for many years having attained Elite Plus status a number of years back so our commitment to the Celebrity brand cannot be questioned. However, our less than happy experiences on this cruise, coupled with our perceptions of a steady decline in the standard of the Celebrity product offering, are making us seriously question whether we will ever cruise with Celebrity again. For the first time in many years we have not booked another Celebrity cruise while we were on board. However, we have already booked cruises on Costa (an Indian Ocean destination specific cruise of which our expectations are not too high save for the bucket list destinations we will be visiting), and a Viking cruise from Bergen to Barcelona. It will be informative to see how these two highly diverse product offerings compare to what has been our preferred brand for so many years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We enjoyed our 7 day Alaska cruise on the Eclipse. The Eclipse ship was comfortable, spacious , and clean. Everyone was so friendly and the service was wonderful. Our stateroom 8257 was very comfortable & clean, we had a great view ... Read More
We enjoyed our 7 day Alaska cruise on the Eclipse. The Eclipse ship was comfortable, spacious , and clean. Everyone was so friendly and the service was wonderful. Our stateroom 8257 was very comfortable & clean, we had a great view from our Balcony. Our housekeeper "Melvin" was so very cheerful and helpful. Melvin took care of all our needs every day, ie extra towels as many time that we needed them , he placed ice in the ice bucket every evening for me at 9 pm, brought personal items for our person care when needed, . Melvin always greeted us every day when he saw us with a warm & cheerful good morning (day) & have a wonderful time I hope Celebrity realizes they have a winner they have n Melvin I have some severe food allergies & was very concerned about the preparation of the food during my cruise. I am very allergic to MSG, raw Ginger, raw Garlic, spices like curry, turmeric, cumin so had to avoid them especially Indian & Asian dishes. Therefore, on the first day of the cruise I spoke to the Maitre d" in the the main dinning room and explained my concerns. He was really understanding and made special arrangements for me, he spoke personally with the chef about my dietary needs. Then he arranged for me to see the next days menu so I could select what I would like to eat and then checked with the chef to confirm that the meal was safe. By doing this I was able to relax and enjoy my dinner every evening without having to make it an issue. I would like to say thank you to our amazing and charming waiter, Vincent and the assistant Viviano. They took special attention to all our needs and made every evening very special. I extent my special thank you to the Maitre d, and the Chef for taking very good care of me. We ate at two of the Specialty Dinning Restaurants and enjoyed the meal, and attentive service. We selected the Tuscan Grille for a romantic Italian dinner & exceptional service (2 times) also the Qsine La Petite Chef because of the unique dinning experience show & gourmet dining (2 times) We enjoyed the 4 shore excursions that we took. Alaska is a beautiful place and make sure you go ashore or take am excursion to experience the place.The excursions are expensive but worth it, It was difficult so select which ones to take. My favorite was the Hubbard Glacier Inside Passage Cruise. Make sure you dress warmly for Alaska as it was very cold during the Alaska cruise. I, actually had to purchase a warm fleecy hoodie at one of the stores on the cruise to wear to keep warm . The entertainment shows in the Theater were amazing. The director of entertainment Lauren was very profession, funny and delightful to speak to when she was on board the cruise. I would recommend this cruise to my friends and family if they show any interest in going on an Alaska in the near future. In closing I wish to say thank you to all the staff/crew that made this cruise a wonderful memory. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Embarkation went very smoothly, as we had an assigned time to board the ship, and the process was very automated. Out luggage arrived before we sailed, and we were able to start unpacking. The layout of the public spaces on the ship ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly, as we had an assigned time to board the ship, and the process was very automated. Out luggage arrived before we sailed, and we were able to start unpacking. The layout of the public spaces on the ship was very good, and you never got the feeling of how large the ship actually is because the spaces are broken up with no long corridors in public areas. My wife and I have cruised over 30+ times, and with most of the cruise lines. We have been on several Celebrity cruises, and in the past found them to be good experiences. But the quality of Celebrity has gone down hill. My biggest complaint is that their Beverage Package is overpriced, and it's hard to find someone to take your order, so you end up going to the bar to get served. Consequently, you cant't get enough drinks during the day to even break even on the cost of the beverage package. There is inadequate serving staff in the bars, so Celebrity makes a great profit on the bars. We had a great cabin attendant, but he was overworked, taking care of 40 guests a day without any additional help. With the exception of two big performances, the theatre shows were mediocre at best. The food service in the dining room at night was good, and the service was very good. But breakfast and lunch menus and service was just mediocre. We had been to all the ports before, so we didn't do any shore excursions. Instead, we went to some fine restaurants in the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is a long - log-style review. If you just want the summary, scroll down to the bottom. Equinox western Caribbean 6-29-19 – Aqua class cabin# 1560 Travel and embarkation: We arranged to fly to FLL the day before the cruise. ... Read More
This is a long - log-style review. If you just want the summary, scroll down to the bottom. Equinox western Caribbean 6-29-19 – Aqua class cabin# 1560 Travel and embarkation: We arranged to fly to FLL the day before the cruise. We originally had booked a 5:30 AM departure the day of the cruise on Southwest using points. But later we decided a 5:30 flight meant a super early start and we would be exhausted once getting on board, so we booked American through the Celebrity website for a 3:00 PM flight arriving at 6:00 PM. Good plan, but American, the PHL airport, and weather combined to make our 6:00 arrival 11:30 PM. By the time we arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn it was after 12:30 in the morning. So much for being refreshed when we arrived to the ship! In any case, after breakfast the front desk at the Garden Inn told us that the BJ’s “Across the street” had a nice wine selection and you didn’t need to be a member to buy wine. Who knew? We walked over and obtained two bottles to bring for Verandah enjoyment. While at BJ’s, the Florida skies decided to bring some liquid sunshine in abundance, so we called an Uber for the ride back to the hotel. At about 10:15 another Uber picked us up for the quick trip to the pier. Check in was incredibly fast. Porters took our bags, we breezed through security, and were told our keys would be waiting for us at the stateroom. We have a friend who works at the port and he was able to visit with us for a few moments while we waited to be allowed to board. About the same time our traveling friends also met us at the terminal. “Elite” and “Aqua” are both in the third group to be allowed to board, and we were both. By about 11:15 we were onboard. We were told we could stop by our cabin to drop off our carry-on but please not to linger there as the cabins were not ready. No worries, we followed instructions! We visited BLU to speak with the host to go over my DW’s food allergies and they were most accommodating. Along with our friends we visited the Oceanview café (Lido) to peruse lunch. Despite our early boarding, the Oceanview was already quite crowded. Afterwards we wandered around exploring the ship until we were told the cabins were ready at about 1:00. We really like the cabin (1560) and especially the huge overhang over the balcony. I know some don’t like this but for a warm weather cruise in July we found this allowed us to use the balcony quite a bit; without the shade, we would not have been able to use it. The shower is also nice. Service from our stateroom steward Usman was top-notch. The muster drill was held in the main theater. Celebrity has done a nice job with a humorous video to keep our attention during the drill. Holland America and Princess could take a lesson from this. After the drill our luggage arrived so we spent a little time unpacking the suitcases. We met our friends and enjoyed our first dinner in BLU. We all commented that if this meal was an indication of the rest of the cruise this is like dining in a specialty restaurant. Our waiter Luciano was incredible. After dinner we debated trying to attend the show but were just too tired. Wondering the ship we were impressed with the number of venues with live music. Sunday June 30 – Key West We ordered breakfast to be delivered to the cabin as we had an early meet time for our Key West adventure of a Private dolphin & snorkeling charter on the “Squid” by Honest Eco. We met our traveling friends at Café El Bacio at 8:00 and the six of us departed together. We took the shuttle to town and then walked the eight or so blocks to the marina, arriving right “On time” at 8:45. It was HOT in Key West while on land. We used the restrooms at the marina and got on board the Squid. Squid is a unique, custom built ship that runs mostly on battery power. This makes it ideal for dolphin watching. We did see a number of pods of dolphins, and even caught one doing a jump clear out of the water. This was a lot of fun and afterwards we went snorkeling at a reef off one of the out-islands. The snorkeling was not as clear as I would have preferred and with the current it was a little challenging to stay in place. I likely would have preferred the alternate to snorkeling in the ‘sponge garden’ where they sometimes take guests. We enjoyed the journey back to Key West and almost forgot how hot it was there until we docked. Then we trekked back to the shuttle stop. Upon reaching the ship I will say that the security staff were the meanest and most unfriendly I’ve ever experienced on a ship. First they were directing people into one of two lines to board Equinox. One of the lines was a little shorter but to reach it was a much longer walk around a building, and they directed people who were obviously having a challenge walking in the heat into the longer distance queue. This just shows a total lack of care for the guests and to be honest, makes the TSA look pretty good. After reaching the actual security screening, someone chastised me for not putting my camera into a tray. Well, on 30 prior cruises I’ve never needed to put my camera in a tray, so why on this one? Once onboard I needed to stop at the front desk to get change for tips and future shore days. While there I mentioned the security treatment as the “Worse experience in 30 cruises” and they took down my cabin number but I never heard anything further from anyone. This episode cost the Equinox ½ star from the total review. We had a little bit of late lunch in the Oceanview. I don’t recall the rest of the afternoon but this was the least special dinner in BLU. We were the latest of the cruise (as we had a late lunch) and ended up with a different waiter. Perfectly okay, but that was all. His assistant was also less than the best. On the way out we spoke with the hostess who said she would try very hard to get us a table with Luciano. Before dinner the Captains club invited all members to the sky lounge for the welcome back party. This was very nice with many officers attending. Monday, July 1 – At Sea We had a very enjoyable sea day on Equinox. The only negative to report is that Celebrity really needs to do a better job policing “Chair hogs” on sea days. Early in the morning (before 8:00) nearly every lounger in the solarium or near the pool has towels with clips, t-shirts, paperbacks, or whatever placed on them. Yet walk through there at 10:00 and there is nearly no one actually sitting in these loungers. There were a few family groups on board that obviously had one person go early and “Reserve” a dozen or more loungers all in a row. We witnessed the obviously frustrated pool staff looking up and down the empty rows while folks searched for a couple of chairs. On the positive side, there was a very nice cruise critic meet and greet. Captain Kate and many officers stopped by to say hello. The Captain also asked if the original roll call starter was there, any they were. We enjoyed the thermal suite for a while. While the main dining room is open for lunch, the offerings in the Oceanview looked better. We’ve been on this class of ship before but the Oceanview had such variety like we don’t recall ever seeing. The fresh fish being fillet and then cooked right in front of you is incredible. They made up a special order of grilled (rather than breaded and fried) Calamari for my DW, and it was delicious. There was a “Canada day” party in the Sky lounge which we attended. Most of the officers were there and we played Canadian trivia. Great fun. We enjoyed our Elite happy hour for a while before dinner and were very pleased to have Luciano back as our BLU waiter (as he would be the rest of the cruise). Tuesday, July 2 – Costa Maya, MX We enjoyed breakfast in BLU and met our traveling friends at 9:00 to depart the ship. I had come down late Monday with a case of “Pink Eye” so we found a pharmacy in the port complex (there are at least two) and for $11 they sold me antibiotic eye drops. Those worked perfectly and a few hours later my eye already looked much better. Based on cruise critic recommendations, we had booked an all-inclusive day at “Jaime’s at the Blue Reef.” Getting there was easy after navigating through the port complex. They really do NOT want folks leaving the port! 10 minutes in a taxi and we were dropped with at the Blue Reef on the Malecon. We had a very nice a relaxing time, but we will not do this type of beach day again. For one thing, it’s hard for us to stay on the beach for four-five hours. For another, we really don’t drink. I will say the food was very good and service terrific. But $50/person is a lot if you are not consuming huge amounts of alcohol (as the family near us obviously was!). The beach is very fine powdery sand and everyone is doing the best they can to prevent the huge amounts of sea grasses from washing up on the beach. We tried to go out to the reef to snorkel but getting there was a huge challenge so we never made it. We would do the beach at Costa Maya again but not at an all-inclusive. Returning to the ship we had a relaxing late afternoon and another great dinner in BLU. Wednesday July 3 – Cozumel, MX We went to the pool at 7:00 to enjoy some quiet pool time. We then visited the thermal suite until about 8:15. We rushed back for quick showers to make it to BLU before their 9:00 closing (or so we thought). Arriving at 8:45 we were surprised to find the door closed. The hostess saw us and waved us in. They had adjusted their hours due to the early port call today to 7:00 – 8:30. However, they sat us and we quickly ordered. Even with our late arrival we were not the last to leave BLU. We had a nice relaxing morning on the ship and for some exercise we did walk the pier and the port area. On past visits we have always gone to Chankanaab National Park and enjoyed the beach, snorkeling, and services there. But we had planned something different for this port day. Today we had prebooked a 1:00 tour at the Kaokao Chocolate Factory. We followed instructions and took a cab, arriving 40 minutes early. Our tour began 10 minutes early as everyone had arrived. This was a very different “Tour” as we learned a lot about the history of Chocolate and actually got to make our own Chocolate from Cocoa beans. This is a LOT of work! We also sampled MANY different types of chocolate. We enjoyed the time spent there, bought some more chocolates and they nicely packaged up the chocolate we made (Patties to make Hot Chocolate) to take home. They called a taxi van to take us back to the Equinox and we arrived 30 minutes before the all-aboard. The ship actually left port a little late as one of the ship’s tours was 20 minutes late returning. Dinner was in BLU and we also made the show tonight. This show was a “Journey” tribute band and they were superb. I was surprised that I only recognized a few of the songs, yet all of us really enjoyed the show. Thursday, July 4 – Grand Cayman Island We enjoyed our BLU breakfast and were on the first tender to the island, arriving about 9:45. The meeting time for our pre-booked excursion with Acquarius Sea Tours was 10:45. There were many independent tour operators at the port, but no one with Acquarius. Well, we were early, so we walked a little around town. We visited one souvenir shop where I bought a very bright tropical shirt for $12.00 and headed back to the port before 10:30. Still no one there from Acquarius Sea Tours but now at least 15 or so folks waiting for them. One family said they took their tour last year and really enjoyed it. In the meantime we had thought about ditching them as in our experience, if an independent tour provider is not there early to meet you reliability is in doubt. But we waited, and that was a mistake. Finally at about 10:55 Captain Mario shows up with his sign. He checks folks off his list, and leads everyone to the parking lot and an older mini-bus. We were among the first to board to sit in the middle. It is a 15-20 minute ride to the marina and the driver tells us a little about what we are passing. We reached the marina and headed out to the “Big John.” Boarding was fine and we found there was not enough room for all to sit in the cabin. We had a very quick safety briefing. We asked for water. Someone grabbed a reusable plastic cup, took the lid off a cooler, and dipped the cup into ice, then poured water from the same cooler into the cup. The look on my DW’s and friends faces was “Really?” I asked did they want to bail on the tour. All agreed so we quickly left the Big John before the ship left the dock. Captain Mario asked what was wrong and I explained I had a cold and drinking from a communal cup everyone would get sick. He said they had bottled water… We still decided not to join the outing and wished them well. Acquarius Sea Tours has an excellent web site. Reviews here are overwhelmingly outstanding. The price is very reasonable. But this just wasn’t for us. We went to the marina office and bought a couple bottles of water. They called a cab for the four of us. We returned to the tender dock at about noon. Back on Equinox, they were having a fabulous “All American” lunch in the lido. Full fresh fish being grilled, all kinds of great food and just a wonderful time had relaxing there. We met the chef from BLU who has been taking care of DW’s food allergies. We spent the rest of the afternoon (while it stormed outside and over the bay where we would have been on the Big John) in the solarium pool and thermal suite. We enjoyed the captains club happy hour and a great “Chic night” dinner in BLU. The lobster tails were very good. We managed to stay up for the July 4 party at the main pool. This ended up being geared to a much younger and energetic crowd so we didn’t stay long. Still this was a really great day despite (or perhaps because of) the aborted excursion. Friday July 5 – At Sea We checked the BLU schedule and breakfast today was 8:00 – 9:30, so we visited the solarium pool at 7:10 AM. We found that nearly every lounger was already “Claimed” with no one siting in them. We did finally find two quite a distance from the pool and put our gear on them while we enjoyed the pool. There was one other gentleman using the pool and we talked a while. After the pool, I went to bring back tea and fruit plates from the Spa Café. We decided to forgo the BLU breakfast in favor of enjoying the solarium. I was dry enough by that point to walk to the Oceanview café and ordered omelets to bring back. We enjoyed them on our loungers. Our traveling friends found us and said they missed us in BLU. I went back in the pool for a while with them. After the pool we all visited the thermal suite (and gladly gave up our loungers to folks looking for a few) and I believe I ended up napping on the warm stones. Leaving there late morning we proceeded to get cleaned up before lunch in the Oceanview. We had a table aft outdoors which was just delightful. The duet was playing at the sea view bar (deck 15 aft) at 1:30 so we went up there and snagged enough seating for our foursome. We enjoyed the duet. After their set it was time to get most of our luggage packed. We had our last captain’s club happy hour and an incredible last meal in BLU. I’ve always felt that cruise companies should plan the last meal to be a special one, so folks leave with a very positive experience fresh in their minds. All too often, this is not the case, but in BLU on the Equinox, this last meal was likely the best of the entire cruise. I enjoyed a filet that had to be every bit as good as a high-end steakhouse back home. Everyone raved about this last meal, regardless of their choice of entrée. Desserts were also terrific. We were all sad to say farewell to Luciano and the BLU team. There was another performance of the Journey tribute band this evening in the main foyer. We went and snagged some of the few available seats 30 minutes before the show. We enjoyed this although I will say that many of their numbers were repeats from their stage show earlier in the week. They are really good however. After the show we arranged to meet our friends for breakfast at 7:30 the next morning and returned to our cabin. We finalized our luggage and put it out for movement to the pier and called it a great day! Saturday, July 6 – disembarkation and post-cruise We met our friends outside our cabin at 7:30 and brought our carry-off bag with us to BLU. We had a very enjoyable final breakfast, leaving BLU at 8:15. Our expected disembarkation time was 8:35. We had just enough time for a necessary stop and our number was called. Hugs all around and then off the ship. There was a brief line at a “Facial recognition” station, but no other passport check or anything. Certainly the quickest disembarkation we’ve ever had at a U.S. port. Our luggage was waiting and a few moments later we were on the curb getting into a taxi. The taxi took us to National Car Rental at the FLL airport where we chose our vehicle from the emerald isle. Taxi fare with tip was $22.00. Conclusion: This was the closest to a five star cruise experience we’ve had in quite a few years. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. The security process returning to the ship in Key West was simply the worst is all our 30+ cruises. I will say that at the other stops they were much more pleasant, but no one from the front desk ever got back to us. The other negative is the previously mentioned chair hog situation. Celebrity seems helpless in addressing this, but it is “Just not right.” We don’t often do warm weather cruises, so perhaps this is entirely common and expected – but why do some cruisers seem to believe they can monopolize entire sections of deck chairs for an entire day and use them hardly at all? It just isn’t right. Celebrity needs to enforce their policy and remove items after chairs are vacated for 30 minutes so others can use them. Okay, the positives – Dining in BLU was a really great experience. Is Aqua class worth double the price of a standard balcony? No. But if you can book it for $200/pp or less over the balcony rate, it’s worth it. For future Celebrity cruises we will look at the prices closely. The one thing is if you are traveling with friends or family, everyone needs to be Aqua or you won’t eat together. We found a seven night specialty dining package is less than $200/pp so that would be an option if one didn’t want to do the main dining room. Entertainment was far superior in both quantity and quality to our recent Holland America cruises. We don’t cruise for the entertainment but when it is really good it sure adds to the experience! Service nearly everywhere was terrific. The only place we sometimes waited a bit was at the bar/lounges. Being “Elite” with access to the Captains Club happy hour is a huge plus when you don’t have a beverage package, plus the service there is top-notch. So overall I am giving the Equinox 4.5 stars out of 5. This was a very nice holiday week getaway well-spent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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