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1,749 Celebrity Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

The good: -Half of the entertainment -The cruise director -Half of the staff we came in contact with went above and beyond The bad: -The other half of the staff we came in contact with were EXCEPTIONALLY rude. I cannot ... Read More
The good: -Half of the entertainment -The cruise director -Half of the staff we came in contact with went above and beyond The bad: -The other half of the staff we came in contact with were EXCEPTIONALLY rude. I cannot count the number of times someone rolled their eyes at myself or my husband on this cruise. I don't remember the last time I was disrespected this often and this bad. -The wait staff and especially the room attendant acted as if everything was an imposition The neutral: -Average/below average ship -Food quality and offerings -Entertainment quality In the end, the service was either above and beyond GREAT or incredibly irritatingly, rude. There was very little middle ground there. The ship, cabin, entertainment and activities were all okay. We may cruise with celebrity again on a new ship, but I now realize how spoiled we were on Norwegian! They are definitely superior in ship quality, food, staff and entertainment (so, all the important things...). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I almost exclusively sail on Celebrity as the experience is always very good or better, This last cruise was great in most areas. The food was great, non-bar service was excellent, room cleanliness was excellent, The boat is well ... Read More
I almost exclusively sail on Celebrity as the experience is always very good or better, This last cruise was great in most areas. The food was great, non-bar service was excellent, room cleanliness was excellent, The boat is well maintained on the cruise. The reason for this review is mainly the extremely poor WiFii and the staff reaction to complaints. I purchased the streaming package. The service on this voyage was intermittent at best. The signal in my area of the ship was extremely weak. I was told by ilounge staff that I could help the signal by keeping my room door open. The WiFi service in the room and around the ship was terrible and not worth purchasing. The other problem was bar service. Bar service was poor, at best, except for the Martini Bar and Sunset Bar. The bar staff were either untrained in customer service or were too busy with other concerns to serve customers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I took this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We are both in our mid-30s. We initially planned on taking another Princess cruise, where we are platinum, but Celebrity seemed like the better option this time given our ... Read More
My wife and I took this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We are both in our mid-30s. We initially planned on taking another Princess cruise, where we are platinum, but Celebrity seemed like the better option this time given our schedules and pricing. Our last cruise with Princess was 8 years ago, so in some ways, this review is a comparison between what we remember of Princess and the current Celebrity. Embarkation We booked Aquaclass, so we had expedited embarkation. This was by far the smoothest embarkation process I have ever had. We arrived at a little afternoon, and we were literally on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. They scanned our phone, went through a security line (no wait), and boarded. Our cards were outside of our room, so we dropped our luggage, grabbed our cards, and explored the ship. One annoying thing, probably 10 people asked us to buy a beverage package within the first 15 minutes on board. I felt like I needed a shirt that said: "I already have the premium beverage package" just so people would leave me alone! Ship Spotless. I know the Equinox just went through a dry dock, but the cleanliness exceeded my expectations. Throughout the cruise, the staff was constantly cleaning, everything from bathrooms to the bar stools. Everything was very beautiful. Very classy but modern ship. The solarium was very popular, but for good reason. Its the perfect place to lounge by the pool without getting fried in the Caribbean heat. The ship background music was definitely more modern than Princess. Celebrity certainly tries to portray a younger image, and I believe they do that well. Think more "Aria" than "Bellagio". Food Always subjective, but I found the food to be fantastic. We ate in Blu every night. Blu is what makes Aquaclass worth it. It is really like eating in a specialty restaurant every night. They make every effort to give you the same waiter. All the staff was amazing, lots of knowledge of the menu and the available choices. Bar staff was also excellent and efficient. Escargot every night was fantastic. Blu also services breakfast, which was just as good, the staff just as attentive. Blu is by far the best dining experience I have ever had on a cruise. We ate at the buffet for lunch a couple of days, along with Mast Grill. I would describe both as average. The buffet was normal fare, with a decent variety. The pizza was good but not as good as Princess (Princess pizza is by far the best cruise pizza I have had). Burgers at Mast Grill were just ok but hit the spot a couple of times while lounging by the pool. Staff and Service All the staff I encountered were polite, attentive, and efficient. I already addressed the staff at Blu, but beyond that, you can clearly tell there is a high standard of service on the ship. All staff members greet you when walking by, and will address you by name if they know it. There were never piles of dishes laying around the ship as we saw on our last Carnival cruise. Bar staff around the pools and in most bars were good but clearly overworked. They were always very busy. Part of me thinks since a lot of people already have beverage package, they staff fewer bar staff. Maybe I was imagining this, but it seemed like at some bars they needed double the staff. Entertainment I thought the theater shows were some of the best we have seen. Topper and Elysium were fantastic, much better than any cruise production shows we have seen on Princess. The theater was huge, so there was never any problem finding a seat. The Cruise Director Carlos was funny and not overbearing! There were no announcements in our cabin, which I appreciated. The hot glass shop was such a cool experience! My wife did it and we got to bring home a very cool souvenir. I will say there were fewer entertainment venues on the ship vs a Grand Class Princess ship. I missed a Vista Lounge! Final Thoughts I was glad we tried Celebrity. It was a great experience. Blu may have ruined me for normal dining rooms going forward. It really was amazing. Now that my wife and I have two younger kids, I think about cruises from that angle. I don't think I would take our kids on a Celebrity cruise. The best things about Celebrity (Service, ship, vibe) don't really work for kids. But I think you can say the same about Princess as well. Although I wouldn't say I am a Celebrity loyalist going forward, I look forward to taking our next Celebrity cruise, espcially is my wife and I can get away alone again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
in a nut shell: embarkation: no one was there to help us to find our room, no WOW factor when entering the ship. stateroom: big spot on the middle of carpet, layout disfunctional, you can almost poop and shower at the same time. dining ... Read More
in a nut shell: embarkation: no one was there to help us to find our room, no WOW factor when entering the ship. stateroom: big spot on the middle of carpet, layout disfunctional, you can almost poop and shower at the same time. dining room: basically the same boring food every night, seating arrangements were not what was requested. Our table for 2 was actually and table for two, 6 inches from another table for two, 6 inches from another table for two and we were spoken too by the server as a table for 6. The 2 sitting right next two us were millennials 21 and 25 years old so we couldn't even have conversation with them. Customer service was almost non-existent, non-friendly staff, lack of available seating in ocean view buffet, some of the rudest people you will ever run in to. Shows were not worth the time. There is really not enough space on here to completely cover everything. Summary: I wanted to go home before it got dark on the day we boarded. Worse cruise ever and I do NOT recommend Celebrity. If you have been on Royal Caribbean, you will be disappointed on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We cruised on the Celebrity Equinox on 8/24/19 thru 8/31/19 to the western Caribbean. General Our preference for cruising is Royal Caribbean but since Celebrity is owned by Royal Caribbean and if you are Diamond member or higher on ... Read More
We cruised on the Celebrity Equinox on 8/24/19 thru 8/31/19 to the western Caribbean. General Our preference for cruising is Royal Caribbean but since Celebrity is owned by Royal Caribbean and if you are Diamond member or higher on RC then you cruise on Celebrity at an Elite level. We were able to board the ship about 10:45 AM without any problem. The procedure at Celebrity now is that you can leave you carry on bags in your room and go to lunch even though you room will not be available until 1 PM. So we dropped our bags off and were going to put our valuables in the safe however when we went to use the safe it was not anchored to the cabinet so someone could walk off with the whole safe. I called guest services and they sent some one later in the day to anchor it down. The safe is quite big so you can get a lot in it. Upon coming back to the room I turned on the TV and saw that the channel I wanted to watch was providing the picture and sound in 10 second segments. I called guest services again and they fixed the problem. We had intended to attend the Captain’s Club Welcome Celebration but it was scheduled at 5:30 PM so since our supper was at 5:45 PM we were not able to go to that.Upon returning to the room we went to use the toilet and it would not flush so I called Guest Services and they did something with the system which got it to flush again. Only been on the ship 18 hours and had 3 calls to Guest Service to have problems fixed. Other than the problems we encountered the room was fine, a balcony room on deck 7. Having been on this ship several times before I can tell you that I would not recommend a balcony room on deck 6 as many of them are immediately above the life boats and it obstructs your view. Get a balcony room on deck 7 and above. If you want to be close to the food where you will probably go 3 times a day, I recommend a room near the rear elevators as the food is in the back of the ship. The other reason I recommend a room near the rear/midship elevators is that the gangway is located off that set of elevators so it you have a room in the front of the ship there is a lot more walking. The first couple of days on the ship they really push the Specialty Restaurants and the drink packages. Unless you are a big drinker we found that none of the drink packages are a good deal but each person needs to make their own decision. We paid for the internet but the first couple of days the signal was not good in our room so my wife went to the iLounge and talked to the representative and they sent a person to test the signal. He found that if you left the door to your room open the signal was better, obviously not a solution so he went back and talked to his supervisor as to how they were going to solve the problem. It appears that they put some sort of a booster in our room which improved the signal. Our room Stewart told us they had new mattresses on our bed and they were fairly comfortable. The pillows were great, just the way we like them. We ate most of our lunches in the Oceanview buffet and I must say that there variety is better than a lot of ships. One day they had calamari and another day they had mussels. One of the things that I do not like about this ship is they do not have any place where you can get a complimentary cup of coffee or tea after the 9 PM show. There is the Cafe Al Bacio but the coffee or tea is $5.00 per cup. As an Elite level you can go to the Captain Club events but they do not have a dedicated area or lounge for Captain Club members like Royal Caribbean has the Diamond Lounge. They do have Happy Hours in the Sky Lounge from 5 PM to 7 PM for Elite members and above where they serve free limited number of drinks. If you are an Elite level and prefer to have a drink at a bar between 5 PM and 7 PM they load 5 drinks on your sea pass card. As with everything there are trade offs and while I thought the food on Celebrity was slightly better than Royal Caribbean, the ship, while nice, I don’t think they can match the larger Royal Caribbean ships. When we got back to Ft. Lauderdale we got off at about 8:15 AM and had no problems, just walked off. Entertainment The first night we went to the show, a production show which was OK. There were 3 production shows on this cruise. The entertainment in the theater on the second night was a comedian, Daryl Joyce and he was funny. On the third night in the theater they had a Frankie Valli tribute singers, called December 63. They were excellent and got a standing ovation. Daryl Joyce, the comedian, returned that night, after December 63, for his adult comedy show and he was good. The next night in the theater they had an Illusionist, Josh Bishop who did most of his illusions on a table with a camera so you could see his hands. In the theater the next night they had a production show called Broadway Cabaret. The singers, 3 young men and 3 young women, all had nice voices and did a good job singing many hit Broadway songs.Then the next night in the theater was another comedian, Jeff Nease, who wasn’t bad. On the last night they had another production show called Life and was a good show and after the show Jeff Nease the comedian did his adult comedy show which we attended and it was OK. Ports Our first stop was Key West and we got off the ship around 10 AM. We were docked at the Naval Yards so we were bused to Mallory Square at no cost. There were two other ships docked in Key West that day so it was very busy and difficult to get a tour from that area so since we had been to Key West several times in the past 3 years we decided not to take a tour. They basically had two tours, the Hop on, Hop off tour, with 12 different stops and the cost I think was $41.95. The Couch open air tour was $27 I think. Instead we went to the Aquarium which is adjacent to Mallory Square. The senior rate admission price was $13.99 per person and we really enjoyed it, plus a good portion of it is air conditioned. They have sharks, sting rays, big turtles, and a host of all kinds of fish which we found interesting. Since we cruise all the time we did not do any excursions at any of the ports. In Costa Maya and Cozumel we got off the ship and just walked around the dock area. In Grand Cayman where you have to be tendered into the port so we did not get off the ship. Conclusion This was a nice cruise on a nice ship with reasonably good food and entertainment. While there were some things I thought could be better I would recommend this cruise if you want to do the western Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Was on the Millennium in Japan last September which left a bad impression of Celebrity. Ship was not in the best of shape and was due for refurbishment in early 2019. Things didn't go well on the cruise, seems like the Millennium ... Read More
Was on the Millennium in Japan last September which left a bad impression of Celebrity. Ship was not in the best of shape and was due for refurbishment in early 2019. Things didn't go well on the cruise, seems like the Millennium didn't have the A team. Due to missed ports of calls we were given almost $300 each credit on a future cruise. Price was right so we decided to try the Equinox out of Fort Lauderdale. Wow, talk about night and day difference. My whole perception of Celebrity has changed. My wife and I flew into Fort Lauderdale from Los Angeles the night before and stayed at Hampton Inn by the airport. Next morning we left hotel at 10 am by taxi which cost less than $15 for ride to the redesigned Celebrity cruise terminal 25. Hampton Inn wanted $10 per person for shuttle ride at 10:30 am. Since there was two of us, taxi was cheaper and we didn't have to deal with a crowded shuttle. 10 minutes later we arrived at the terminal. The driver took our bags out of the trunk and a porter was waiting curbside to take our luggage. The porter also had bag tags handy but we didn't need them as we already had our own tags. We walked into the terminal and was directed to a Celebrity agent whom checked us in and took our picture. We were told the keys would be at our cabin and to wait in the lounge until boarding. Since Celebrity is owned by Royal Caribbean, and we are diamond level on Royal Caribbean, our status transferred to Elite on Celebrity. Except for embarkation day, we went to Captains club happy hour at Sky Lounge every evening for free drinks and hors douvres than would go to dinner at our main dining time of 5:45. Shows were at 7 pm and 9 pm. Elysium show by ship dancers and acrobats is outstanding. Other nightly shows featured comedians Darreyl Joice and Jeff Nesse, both were excellent. We did not eat at specialty restaurants as we prefer main dining which offered something different every night but also had classic items such as shrimp cocktail, escargot, salmon, chicken and New York steak and you can get as much as you like. There is a hot glass studio on deck 15 where for a fee you can make something similar to available samples. We chose to make flowers. Cost $59 each. Best to register online before getting on ship to get best times. We could not get a slot on sail days because we did not preregister. We did not go on any shore excursions as we have been to these ports before. The Equinox does not have all the toys such as slides, wave rider, rock climbing wall, etc. We prefer this type of ship since we do not care for the toys and prefer more emphasis on service and elite benefits. Embarkation was painless. We left ship at 8:15 am and did not have to wait in a line. As we did not have anything to declare we exited through "nothing to declare" line, we didn't even have to show our identification to customs. Taxi fare to airport is $16 which is a fixed fare between cruise port and airport. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
hi we chose this cruise due to sail date and suite cabin option which included drink and tips. We have normally sailed with RCL so was good to hear membership was transferrable. We had a lovely spacious suite at back of boat very large ... Read More
hi we chose this cruise due to sail date and suite cabin option which included drink and tips. We have normally sailed with RCL so was good to hear membership was transferrable. We had a lovely spacious suite at back of boat very large balcony, bathroom good size also, not sure if room had been upgraded but all was good. Suite pool deck was fab very clean, quiet and comfy although service could be improved, appeared to be more their junior staff here. We did not utilise retreat lounge bar really last day as had drink package etc but again was lovely , nice bar free drinks, snacks etc again very quiet. A lot of areas had been refurbished so were very nice and stylish, loads of nice bars, live music, shows very good especially comedians, night life lot quieter than on RCL but enough for us. We went to murano which was very good staff excellent, as our anniversary we were given lovely cards, champagne and cake , butler i think organized.we also ate in blu more that our lumiere restaurant due to choice and atmosphere, although suite class restaurant food was excellent again just a little quiet at times, we also ate one night in main restaurant but preferred others but again no real issues. Food excellent, drinks eckennet, buffer even ok although a lot busier. Port stops good bar costa maya which was really just a nice walk around port with shops and bars, but enjoyed getting off ship and having a walk about. We didn't use gym or spa but did visit and looked good spec, pool area always busy but we didn't use this area, sun set bar at back of ship one of our favourites and world class bar, all staff very pleasant and quality very good would sail again on this ship and with celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I decided to try a summer Caribbean cruise after 40 cruise. We decided on the Equinox, as the Solstice class is our favorite class of Celebrity ships. We flew in the day of the cruise, which is also something we typically ... Read More
My husband and I decided to try a summer Caribbean cruise after 40 cruise. We decided on the Equinox, as the Solstice class is our favorite class of Celebrity ships. We flew in the day of the cruise, which is also something we typically never do, and IMO will not do again as it is too stressful. The ship is in great shape- she had a mini renovation recently. However it was very disappointing. We enjoy the "suite life" and were recently on the edge, which had great suite perks. The Equinox however didn't. The suite deck is very limited and really just a deck with many lounge chairs- all in full sun most of the day. Unlike the Edge, no pool, bar, hot tub or shaded areas. We were in a Royal suite, which also wasn't revolutionized, but a great cabin- albeit could use new carpet. Loved the bath and a half. Our butler was clearly overworked. We didn't get the level of service we have come to expect with celebrity. The food in luminae was exactly the same as it has been for many years- fair at best- time to change up the menu. The buffet was good- but crowded as expected. We also dined in the specialty restaurants which were all excellent- except we aren't sushi fans and didn't dine in that restaurant. The shows were very second rate- Many one act wonders, and acts we have previously seen. Even the one production show was exactly the same as we saw on the Silhouette a year before. On a positive note, the live music over the ship was very good. Most of the service was excellent, especially at the Martini bar. We were also lucky to sail with Captain Kate. She was great! Unfortunately left the cruise early to go on the Edge. Loved bug her cat! We spent some time in the Alcoves on the lawn. They should have a top feature to block the sun- so early in the AM it was too sunny for us. Liked the movie screen, enjoyed seeing the movies- but when the movies weren't playing too many infomercials about the Edge. They were looped and on for hours. Enjoyed spending time at the spa pool. The suite lounge was renovated- but very poorly. The suite concierge stands at a podium- and the guests talking to her/him, also standing- Not an inviting area to enjoy a conversation and plan events for your cruise- The decor albiet very modern was okay. Chairs were comfortable. The lounge wasn't planned out properly. Also, on previous cruises, the suite bartenders would go out of their way to be sure the alcohol you wanted was available in the lounge- this trip- we were told sorry go to the martini bar as we do not have the ingredients. The shops were fair- no great things to purchase- but that helped save us money! We really enjoyed Cozumel- spent a day at a beach resort- Costa Maya was a disappointment. Perhaps the time of year- but the beach was loaded with smelly seaweed. We could swim in the ocean. But the port is nice and we should have just stayed at the port. Grand Cayman is beautiful and 7 mile beach is wonderful. We didn't get off in Key West. Due to an itinerary change, we went to key west the last cruise day- we had to stop at a naval base- so it wasn't in the heart of town. Also, because it was a US port- we had to line up at 7AM to get a sticker on our seapass card. Crazy! couldn't sleep the day after chic night- even if you didn't want to go off the ship- you had to line up. Much prefer doing a US port at the beginning of the cruise. Disembarkation was easy as was embarkation. We didn't go to any art shows or use the casino- Overall, it was a restful vacation and we enjoyed the ship. Next cruise Celebrity cruise will be on the Edge (2nd) time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose aqua to celebrate our 20th anniversary and were very pleased! Blu food was universally excellent as were the servers, though they seemed a little in the weeds at peak times. The Persian gardens were immaculately clean. We ... Read More
We chose aqua to celebrate our 20th anniversary and were very pleased! Blu food was universally excellent as were the servers, though they seemed a little in the weeds at peak times. The Persian gardens were immaculately clean. We spent at least an hour a day here and it was nearly deserted each time. Do not understand why more don’t use this feature! Sushi on Five was amazing - we ate there twice and loved it each time. Le petit chef, however, was not worth the investment. Long meal, over cooked steak and a truly terrible dessert (Macha cake). First 2 courses were excellent however. Buffet - Indian was quite good as was the homemade guacamole. Otherwise was fine. We had just one production show for the week -Life. This show was amazing!! The aerialists were unbelievable and 2 of the singers were awe inspiring - and the others were excellent too. We enjoyed trivia daily and it was excellent. We also did a few of the game shows in the evening and each was well attended and a lot of laughs. Our only celebrity shorex was discover scuba on grand cayman. The excursion itself was excellent but the meetup was chaotic, hot and ran quite late. Embark and debate were quickest we’ve ever had - super easy and smooth. We’d recommend this cruise to anyone. We had a blast on this cruise and really reconnected. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I decided to cruise on the Celebrity Equinox because it had great reviews and was named one of the top cruise ships. We cruised 7 days out of Fort Lauderdale. The ship is huge and beautiful. The main dining room was ... Read More
My husband and I decided to cruise on the Celebrity Equinox because it had great reviews and was named one of the top cruise ships. We cruised 7 days out of Fort Lauderdale. The ship is huge and beautiful. The main dining room was elegent and perfect. The staff and crew on the ship was friendly and helpful. we had 1st class service through the duration of our trip. However, the activities offered on board is vey limited. Each day we would get an agenda with the days activities delivered to our cabin and was disappointed in what was offered. Most activities were not included and had an additional charge. Most of what was offered was just a ploy to get you to spend more money. There was a "Jewelry Making Class" that I attended. The agenda stated that guests would learn the craft of jewelry making and then take those skills to create their own unique piece of jewelry. We showed up for the class and was brought to a display case with pandora-type charms and bracelets. The "jewelry Making Class" was to pick out a charm and put it on a bracelet, this was their idea of making jewelry. Of course the price of the charm and bracelet were an additional charge. The ship had art and jewelry auctions that were absolutely ridiculous. All pieces had an outrageous reserve price. There is good information about Park West art auctions on the internet and I would highly advise anyone taking a cruise to read the stories and reviews. My husband and I felt like the entire cruise we were pressured into buying something "extra." We were also bombarded daily with crew members trying to sell us drink or dining packages. We were basically harrassed at dinner daily with by waiter trying to sell us bottles of wine. I overheard a group of kids complaining about the lack of activities and how unhappy they were. I totally agree with them, this cruise is not for kids. My overall opinion of Celebrity is not very positive. We were rather disappointed in our cruise and will try a different cruise line next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wife and I decided to book cruise since the Hard Rock vacation didn’t turnout very good last year at Punta Cana with her getting bad sick. As title says this was our 1st so nothing to compare to other than resorts we stayed at. ... Read More
Wife and I decided to book cruise since the Hard Rock vacation didn’t turnout very good last year at Punta Cana with her getting bad sick. As title says this was our 1st so nothing to compare to other than resorts we stayed at. Overall it was a very good vacation. Our room attendant was top notch along with our waiters in the dining room we ate dinner at. I’ll just give review step be step as I remember it. Flew from MSY to FLL where Celebrity people where waiting on us to bus us to ship. All went well except bus driver was annoying about getting tips for loading luggage. Luggage went straight from bus to rooms which was nice except again the guys moving them seem like something bad could happen to them if they didn’t get tipped. Once on the ship I thought the breakfast, lunch and dinner were pretty good to be serving that many people. We even loved the hamburgers and hotdogs served by the pool and ate lunch there several times. We bought the drink package which we didn’t drink as much as I figured we would. Think we got to drunk the first couple days and calmed way down after that. We never tried any of the restaurants that cost extra but I heard some people saying they were better than what the normal dining was but we were fine with it. The majority of the crew were very hard workers and were very professional compared to resorts we stayed in before. I thought the pools would be bigger but most people rather laying around them which the ship had lots of chairs in the sun and under shade roofs which was very nice. Only complaint was the bed/chairs around the pool are packed so tight it hard getting in and out of them. The crew in this area done a very good job but there were two taller blacks guys working the upper pool deck bar being aggressive for tips. We tipped around $150 to the staff but when people act this way they get nothing from us. Now that I think about it they were the only staff members we didn’t like so that’s pretty good for that many people. We went to several shows that were very good especially compared to some of the resort shows we been to but maybe not what you would see at a nice Casino we have on the Mississippi coast but these were free without being a big gambler. We upgraded to a room with balcony and it was nice to be able to sit outside. Room was bigger than I expected and in very good shape with a nice bathroom. We have a smaller cruise scheduled with friends in February that we will have an interior room so will know more then if it was worth it. I booked straight from Celebrity and the only thing I was misled about was the dress code. I understood her as there would be a couple dinners that people dressed up for and the rest were nice casual clothes so we were thinking nice shorts and golf shirt or something. After being there I find out they don’t want you sitting at the bars in shorts except if your outside by the pool. I guess everyone already new this but we didn’t so we packed completely wrong. I am fine if that is what is expected but the people booking these need to let us first timers know. We didn’t do any of the excursions because most are not worth the money we have done in the past so elected to just visit the areas on our own. First stop was Key West which is really nice and we rented a motor scooter and had a good time on it exploring the island. I rented it for the whole day and should have just done four hours because in the afternoon it’s packed and hot in the traffic. Next stop was Costa Maya which if you not going on excursions to see the ruins or something I would hang out at the pool. The people at the shops will aggravate you continually to buy something in their shop. They will give you something free and want to see your sea pass. They must be able to charge against it some how and it’s tied to your credit card. I would keep sea pass in your pocket when your not on the ship. Cruise lines should warn about this if they can charge you like that. I may be wrong but why do they insist at seeing it. Next stop was Cozumel which was nice you take a taxi to town for $8 for two people. Lots of shops selling the normal tourist stuff but we finally had enough of them trying to pull you in their shops so we went back to the ship pretty early. Some people said it depends on where you go but we had no idea and just got out where taxi stopped. One couple was saying it’s fun to rent car and drive around island but the way they drive I would be afraid of being in an accident in Mexico. Next stop was Costa Maya which was best place of all. People in the shops didn’t pressure you and they had public beach to hang out on with the best water you could imagine. The stops in Mexico you had to pay for the excursion to beach unless you knew how to get to public beach which it wasn’t advertised on the ship. Also Mexico had a lot of sea grass washing in but the water is beautiful. Next back to Fort Lauderdale and the only issue we had was they got us off ship early then we had to wait till our number came up to get luggage were there were no bathrooms. I suggest carrying your on luggage off so you get off first. We were not told we could do this but many people did. We paid for transportation from airport to ship and back at the end of cruise and the only thing we had trouble with is the bus was not marked on which one we were supposed to be on so had to walk around asking different drivers. But overall we had a very good vacation and would book with Celebrity again. This review is all over the place but I’m sitting in airport waiting on flight and figured I should try and help someone out that never cruised before. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 2nd Celebrity cruise out of 18+ past cruises on NCL, Carnival, Princess. Celeb.'s the BEST from beauty, cleanliness, very kind staff, & beautiful rooms. Not sure if Aqua class was worth the $$ as our tickets said to ... Read More
This was our 2nd Celebrity cruise out of 18+ past cruises on NCL, Carnival, Princess. Celeb.'s the BEST from beauty, cleanliness, very kind staff, & beautiful rooms. Not sure if Aqua class was worth the $$ as our tickets said to arrive at 11AM and it was very crowded, w/ only "Elite" members given priority boarding, thus it took 35 min. in long lines :( The "Canape's"each afternon included 4 small items incl. tiny shrimp (we dont' like fish), or we were out in the port thus we ate very little. BLU Rest., Relaxation Room & Persian Gardens WERE WONDERFUL tho...great to get away from the literally hundreds by the pools & restaurants. Hard to get drinks from pool/sunset bars as they need more staff. Our "Classic" Alcohol package was expensive, and each bar only had 1-3 drinks on their menu for the max $9.00 price we were allowed, most were $10-$12. We're on a tight budget & didn't want to spend more. Somelier Michel in BLU to the rescue as he saw what I liked to drink & offered to make a cocktail I've never had that was WONDERFUL! No one's ever done that before. Quick effecient service in Blu who allowed us to order off the Reg. Dining Room menu (French onion soup oozes w/ melted cheese over the rim, Beef Wellington AWESOME, & incredible appetizers & 4 diff. kinds of breads w/ candlelight & the ocean feet away...waht would be better?!) "Up-selling" occured the moment you step aboard w/ drink & meal packages, shore excursion/spa 'deals', which is not a great way to be greeted. OVER THE TOP staff included Room Steward Arvin, ALL staff in BLU rest., Patrick the Shore Excur. Director, & of course Capt. Kate, looks like Sandra Bullock, incredible w/ ALL psgrs.even shaking our hands when we got OFF the ship (who does THAT?!) Embarkation took 30 min :( w/ long lines, but our tickets said to arrive at 11am (we made it at 11:30 d/t TRAFFIC w/ an Uber driver who only spoke Spanish. Other "Aqua" psgrs. said they got on at 10 am and avoided it all..please make this clear on our tickets Celebrity :) Disembarking took 35 min. of LONG lines stopping/starting as the the "Facial Recognition" devices didn't work. Lack of COMMUNICATION is the issue. We know glitches occur, but announce it to us, SHARE why we are standing in the heat inside the terminal (no A/C?) dragging our suitcases along. When I say a pier employee let 6 people go ahead of 50 I asked why & she said they had "Global Entry passes." Well so did we, but it's iencripted in our Passports but she said we had to have a 'card', & that we need to let all staff know this. Shheezzz! Again, no signs (please elevate them, we can't see em in the crowds!) , we had no idea and she eventually let us in. Again, another Uber driver w/ NO English, $20 fee to the the airport on a Sat. at 10 am d/t 'prime time'. 2 Commedians & Ventriloquist were so-so, chatting w/ the audience (ho-hum). Beautiful music in lounges & 10th Anniv. Gala were wonderful. Food was plentiful, great variety, exquisite service/tasty and sooo appreciated. Ocean View Cafe is the ONLY place to eat when getting on ship w/ literally thousands there causing lines, hot & humid lunch. We tried to go to Sillouette Dining but it was 'closed for a Concerige event.' Very frustrating & other venue needs to be available! I made a 7" vase at the Hot Glass class on the 15th deck...UNIQUE, Jill was my 1 on 1 teacher and patiently helped me. DO this, it's $106 for the vase (other items are less), but it's great taking home a useful souvinere and the experience wa 1 of a kind. Celebrity is the only ship that has this option, but go UP to the deck and SIGN UP early as you can't do it on-line and they sold out (esp. on sea-days). The Cruicible and "Glory Hole" were very hot, and the science of glass-making challenging yet Jill helped all along the Way! Great job Celebrity, the negative comments are meant to help improve your 5* ship even more, but we'll definalty be back when we can afford it! 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
This was our 46th cruise and 5th on Celebrity. Cons: We booked this back to back cruise (two weeks) based on the ship and rooms being redone. Unfortunately the Suites were not. So we had and old room. The bedding was new and very ... Read More
This was our 46th cruise and 5th on Celebrity. Cons: We booked this back to back cruise (two weeks) based on the ship and rooms being redone. Unfortunately the Suites were not. So we had and old room. The bedding was new and very comfortable and the patio was huge. Pros: Most of the ship has been redone or upgraded. The Retreat and Lumina were Wonderful. The staff were very friendly, polite, help and make you feel welcome as if you are part of the family. The shows were very good and the food outstanding. My wife has special dietary needs and Celebrity was very accommodating. Some of the outstanding People that made our cruise so special. In Lumina - Yan our Solomona, Marlon or Waiter, Alfonso our assistant waiter, Tanya our Matrade and Victoriia our Hostess. In the Retreat Sandra our bar server. Our Butler Rikii and our Room Stewart Gede. Chris with the Capatins Club. Of course Captain Kate is the best. She is everywhere on the ship talking to passengers. On the day we disembarked Captain Kate was on the gangway saying goodbye to every passenger. We have never experience a Captain so involved and visible. Thank Celebrity for our best cruise. We had such a great time we booked the Equinox again August 2020. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were looking for a relaxing vacation and a cruise out of Florida seemed like a good choice. We live east of Orlando and could drive down the day before, stay in Ft Lauderdale and have a nice dinner that night. Our stay at the Hotel ... Read More
We were looking for a relaxing vacation and a cruise out of Florida seemed like a good choice. We live east of Orlando and could drive down the day before, stay in Ft Lauderdale and have a nice dinner that night. Our stay at the Hotel Morrison in Dania Beach was great; not too expensive, good location, and a well maintained and clean hotel (highly recommend if you need to stay in the area). Dinner at Kelly's Landing, a nice relaxing seafood restaurant in Ft Lauderdale was very good too; a great start to our cruise vacation. Embarkation went very well. We moved through the process with relative ease. Being Concierge class sped up the process. We were able to get our cabin right away, dropped off our carry-on luggage, and proceeded to the Concierge luncheon in the MDR. This allowed us to avoid the craziness that often occurs in the buffet when people scramble for tables and camp out until their cabins are available. As mentioned in other reviews, the menu for the Concierge luncheon is very limited; Celebrity could do a better job here. The nice thing was comfortable seating in a relaxing environment. My wife and I were travelling with my brother and his wife; we've been on over 20 cruises and they have cruised well over 30 times. This was my 2nd time on Celebrity Equinox; I'm not a big fan of the layout of Celebrity ships. I prefer the open areas on newer, larger ships and feel the Equinox is too compartmentalized; it's like walking through mazes. The ship was just reconditioned and was in beautiful shape. It's just not my style ship. It was difficult to find a quiet place on the ship to read. During the day, it was too hot on our balcony, so I went to the library. It was extremely noisy, so I went exploring. The best spot I found was the Sky Lounge on deck 14 at the front of the ship; large and at times not being used for other activities. The Dining on the Equinox had highs and lows. Breakfast on most mornings was in the MDR; the oatmeal was wonderful. French toast and a side of bacon was usually my preference and was always prepared just right. The service in the MDR each morning was great. We ate two mornings in the buffet and the egg and omelet station was very good. My wife didn't care for her scrambled eggs from the buffet, usually cold and not consistent between runny and well done. We ate lunch in the buffet each day. The selections for lunch seemed to be mostly the same from day to day. They had an international section that I don't think ever changed. There was a sandwich area that was always chicken salad, tuna salad, and egg salad. The variety in the American type food area was usually "chicken this and chicken that" with one or two pork or beef items thrown in. The greatest variety was in the dessert section where each day there appeared to be new choices, We weren't impressed with the buffet. The MDR menu was fairly limited, some nights good, some not so good. You could always order either salmon, broiled chicken, or steak from the standard side of the menu. Portions were the right size, not too much or too little, and we did get a second lobster tail on lobster night. We tried only one specialty restaurant, the Tuscan Grille, on our second night which was also our 51st anniversary. My wife order a filet and I a rib eye; both were ordered as medium cooked (pink in the middle); both arrived raw. They took them back for additional time on the grille; my wife's steak came back medium well and mine was well done (tough and tasteless). We expressed our dissatisfaction to our waiter, but even after the head waiter came over,nothing was done; needless to say, we weren't pleased with our $45 dinners. The Entertainment in the Theater for the most part was excellent. The comedians were funny; the guest singer gave a very good individual show, and the December 63 (4 Seasons songs) singing group was very good and entertaining. I wasn't impressed by the ship's singers and dancers, though their acrobats were good. They put on two shows; one a little bit better than the first. Activities on ship were limited unless your activity was drinking; there were plenty of lounges and plenty of guests enjoying their drink plans. The singing groups that performed in the atrium each evening were very good and played a nice range of music. Most ships offer a variety of Game Shows for passenger participation; Celebrity offered one on most days, sometimes two. Their big problem was the location for such game shows. They held them in what was little more than a hallway on deck 4, with seating for about a dozen people. Most ships hold them in the Theater and Atrium where seating is readily available and all interested passengers can attend. This was a big disappointment on Equinox. The Service on Equinox was first rate. Our cabin steward, I Made (pronounced "E Mah Day"), was fantastic. He was pleasant and accomodating at all times. Our cabin was always made up and every request was quickly taken care of. We couldn't have asked for a better cabin attendant. Out wait staff in the MDR was equally as good; Fabian, Edward, Denis, and Olivera were wonderful. They quickly learned what we liked and most times had items to us before we even requested them. I can't say enough about their service; definitely 5 star. We didn't take any excursions as all of us have been to these ports several times before. Most days we walked through the port shops and did some shopping. Overall, the cruise was relaxing and we enjoyed ourselves. I prefer the new, large ships and all they offer. We're scheduled for MSC Meraviglia in October from NYC to NE/Canada and Symphony of the Seas in February for Eastern Caribbean; those ships are more to my liking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose the cruise based on the price I was able to get as a single in a handicap room. As I use a mobility scooter, I was happy that I was able to get off in Grand Cayman as they tender at that port, The entertaiment was so so except for ... Read More
I chose the cruise based on the price I was able to get as a single in a handicap room. As I use a mobility scooter, I was happy that I was able to get off in Grand Cayman as they tender at that port, The entertaiment was so so except for Travis. The food at dinner was nothing special. The food at the Oceanview cafe buffet was good and they had loads of variety. The staff on board was very good. The ship's Captain Kate was a very personable lady.I wish ships would put in stairs in the pools to make it easier for people to get in the pool instead of ladders which are hard to use. Except being charged for using the mini bar which I did not use. They of course did refund it. The meet and mingle was a wash as far as I was concerned. Everyone was in groups when I came in. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 3rd time on the Equinox in the last 5 years, and we still love her (enough to book #4 for 7/3/20)....but......things were/are definitely different than before. We were on the 7/13-7/20 Western Caribbean jaunt with a total ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on the Equinox in the last 5 years, and we still love her (enough to book #4 for 7/3/20)....but......things were/are definitely different than before. We were on the 7/13-7/20 Western Caribbean jaunt with a total group of 9 people. Hopefully my review will focus on the opinions on my wife and myself. We both are in our early fifties, and overall, this was our 7th cruise. Port of Ft. Lauderdale: Pier 25 is spectacular!!! Easily accessible and well laid out. Being in the concierge level, we took an escalator upstairs, and were quickly checked in. We LOVE the new process of being able to immediately go to your cabin and drop off your carry-ons and pick up your room keys. We did that and headed straight to 1 of our favorite spots, the Oceanview bar...(sad that they took the couches out). Our party headed to the MDR for the concierge lunch which they enjoyed. (I attended a marketing Q&A in the iLounge). No issues with the muster drill, and sailaway was it's usual awesome time as we once again gathered at the OVB for the view!! Dinner in the MDR - Day 1: We had all agreed that we'd have dinner a couple of times together, and the 1st night was 1 selected. The service that night was.....meh. I think, the last time we sailed on the Equinox, our server Carlton spoiled us. What was even more disappointing was the fact that we returned to our cabin at around 9pm, to see our room turned down, and a certificate for 35% off at Murano.......for that night only!!! WHAT?!?! So our cabin steward didn't really get off on the right foot with us. Day 2- Key West: We've been to Key West a few times, so we decided nothing too exciting...just a walk down Duval, head towards the buoy and a photo, then head back to the ship. We stopped at Angelina's Pizzeria on a recommendation and it was definitely warranted!! Legit slices!! After that, we did stop at Kermit's Key Lime Pie and was completely surprised as to how amazing their selections were. The wife got a slice of pie, while I opted for the chocolate frozen slice on a stick......(I wish I would've gotten 2 - but THOSE darn calories!!). We grabbed an assortment of the key lime cookies to go!! That evening, the Mrs. attended the first of what wound up being her 2 Hot Glass Class.. She LOVED them, and would highly suggest!! Day 3 - Sea Day: Sea Days mean Evening Chic for dinner. We attended the 'Costa Maya, Cozumel and Cayman Port Shopping Presentation', which sadly, I gained nothing from. We both wish we had that time back. We did spend some time going through a decent number of shops and watched a couple of minutes of the Champagne Auction. I played in a Sit and Go Texas Hold'em Tournament ($60), and then we hung out in the Solarium for awhile before dinner. The wife and a couple of others from our group went and saw the comedian after dinner and they enjoyed him. Got our picture taken with Captain Kate before dinner!! Day 4 - Costa Maya: We literally walked through the port, and then back on the ship. I understand now why so many people told me they didn't even get off the ship in that port. IF you did get off, be prepared to be bombarded by slick salepeople hounding you to walk into their shop for 'unique' wares that you can't live without. Easily, the worst port I have ever been in. Fortunately, the Craft Social and OVB made me forget all about that experience. This was also Bingo night. VERY expensive, but a good way to kill an hour, and hey.......somebody has to win!! Day 5 - Cozumel: UGH!!! So.....the day before, we found out that our excursion had been cancelled which I was REALLY disappointed in, because it was the only excursion that I had planned that involved Mayan ruins.... We were able to jump onto a 'Best of Cozumel with Market Exploration' excursion. However, it was $20 more pp, because I booked our original trip when Celebrity was running one of it's sales. I mentioned this to the young lady at the desk, and she gave us 10% off, so that was sweet. The tour, and our guide were good. We got to stop and have a taste (or 5) of tequilas (we bought a bottle) and a fantastic chocolate show and more samples at Mayan Cacao Company, among our stops. The wife and a few others attended the other comedian's show and also found him to be funny....so funny, they went and saw him again on the 7th day. Day 6 - George Town, Grand Cayman: Well.......so, we got on an Island Adventure excursion. We drove by the Governor's Mansion, stopped at the Tortuga Rum shop for some samples and bought a few souvenirs, stopped in 'Hell' and bought our obligatory postcards and mailed them, and stopped at Dolphin Discovery Cove which was cute. I thought that I had read we were going to stop at '7 Mile Beach', but other than our guide mentioning that it is really on 4.8 miles long, and seeing a sign for it, that's as close as we got to it. I was correct, we were supposed to have a stop there, but I was already so disappointed with this stop, I opted to keep quiet about it. I think it was more of a poor guide than anything else. The best part of this day, was the invite for the Captain's Club Sailaway on the helipad. No snacks, no champagne, just plastic cups of water, but at least it was a new experience. Day 7 - Sea Day: Evening Chic!! Packing Day!! A little more time in the Solarium!! Captain's Club cocktail evening!!! More pictures with Captain Kate!! Some notes: At breakfast on the 1st sea day, i did find that our server from the last cruise, Carlton was indeed still here!!! We immediately had our section changed over to him, and had every dinner in the MDR!! He is still the best!! Cannot recommend him enough. We filled out a comment card about him, and mentioned him specifically at the CC cocktail party to the Director of HR!! We did have a breakfast on our balcony....the smaller table was really a problem. It does make the veranda seem bigger. The cabin is laid out well, for the 2 of us, plenty of storage. (Don't forget space under the bed). Our cabin steward, through no fault of his own, spoke very little English, and probably understood even less, so I kept things simple with him, and he seemed to be a bit stronger as the week went on. He wound up being okay, and we threw a few more dollars at the end of the week. Craft Social (formerly Gastro Bar) was more busy than last time we sailed on the Equinox. Great selection of craft beers, and quite a few covered under the Classic package. Solarium was well watched by staff, didn't seem to be any sense of 'chair hogs' or kids hanging around. The new cabanas do not seem to be a big hit. Lots of bocce on the lawns, that was fun to watch with some delicious Bloody Marys!! The ship and it's staff are still at the top of the spectrum. The itinerary seemed, to me, to be the setback from our previous experiences on her.......that and some people that we came across, that, in all honesty, could not have treated the staff anymore poorly. To hear the way that they talked to them, and their disrespect towards them AND the ship, was pretty disappointing. To watch people move the chairs from the deck onto the lawn, when there are numerous signs saying not to, was pretty much my breaking point. Enough so, that I said something to them.....politely, and they, politely moved them. Maybe I am just getting tired of people LOL!!! Overall, we love Celebrity and the Equinox, and we're looking forward to returning to the Eastern Caribbean next year (we feel is FAR more beautiful than the Western),but I am hopeful that the clientele will bring a little more joy to the small World that 3,000 of us will live in for a week!! :) Keep the seas calm and the Sun bright, Andy Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My parents wanted to take all of us on a cruise. It was my husband and I and our two children, ages 5 and 7, my sister, brother in-law, nieces and nephew, ages 17, 14 and 12, and my parents who are in their 70s. They heard Celebrity is an ... Read More
My parents wanted to take all of us on a cruise. It was my husband and I and our two children, ages 5 and 7, my sister, brother in-law, nieces and nephew, ages 17, 14 and 12, and my parents who are in their 70s. They heard Celebrity is an excellent cruise line (they have been on many cruises but had never cruised Celebrity), so they booked it. I am so glad they did. What an awesome ship!! Where do I begin? We had three rooms among 11 of us, all on deck 8, every other room (could not get three consecutive due to every other room sleeping the 4.) I’ve been on 4 other cruises and this was a roomier room than I expected. The bed was comfortable and big. Our kids slept on the bunk beds and loved them. The bathroom had plenty of room for a cruise cabin and the balcony was great. I loved sitting out there at night. Our room steward’s name was Andrew and his service was outstanding. He was friendly and playful with my kids and he kept our room neat and clean. We always had clean towels and neatly turned down beds. Awesome cabin experience! The ship was never crowded which I loved!!! The boat was at capacity but it was big enough that you did not feel crowded at all. The pool area had plenty of seating. We got up early on sea days to get the comfortable padded lounge chairs and so we could be close to our kids who basically stayed in the pool all day. There were many fun pool activities and great entertainment. It was not wild and crazy. Our kids had enough other kids to play with but you definitely weren’t tripping over kids on the ship. There were none running wild. It was very family friendly. The food on this ship was awesome. Do fresh and delicious and something for everyone. My 12 year old niece has a peanut/tree but allergy and they were outstanding in accommodating her! The staff made my sister, her mother, feel very comfortable when she asked them about what she could and could not eat. The experience in the Silhouette dining room especially was amazing! Our waiter, JJ (Jujur) and assistant waiter Komang were superb. They were so caring and sweet to the kids! They went above and beyond to make dinner near perfect every night! We were sad to say goodbye the last night!! The ports we visited - Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Cayman we’re so fun. We did excursions through the ship - Key West trolley tour, Costa Maya dolphin encounter, Playa Mia in Cozumel and the Land and Sea in Grand Cayman. All were great. We had a blast!! The entertainment on board was also awesome. We went to a show every night at 9:00 - music and dance review, a singer impressionist, comedians and a Frankie Valli cover band - great shows and family friendly! We only used the Camp at Sea for our kids one day because they enjoyed staying with us and the rest of our family but when we did use them one night for them to watch Hotel Transylvania 3 while we went to a show, we felt very safe leaving them. The staff was attentive and made you sign in and out and were very nice. I also have to add that Maarten our cruise director was a hoot! He is great at what he does and is very entertaining!! Other miscellaneous things - we had the drink package. Oh my goodness! So great! The drinks were great! All frozen drinks are made to order so they are icy and not watered down at all! The French Caribbean’s and Pina Coladas were my favorite. The overall vibe of the staff was fabulous. They were so nice to us and my kids. There are definitely so older people on the cruise who I could tell weren’t so thrilled with kids but the staff always made our kids feel like they were as impossibly any other guest on the ship. I’ve cruise Carnival, Norwegian and RC before but I will say fir sure that Celebrity is better than any cruise I’ve been on. I will absolutely cruise with them again! Oh and they have a woman captain!!!! Captain Kate!! How awesome is that?!? What an amazing vacation. The ship catered to my whole party of 11 - all ages. My parents were so happy to spend a wonderful vacation with all of us. It was certainly a trip to happily remember. :-) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Equinox was a beautiful ship. Our stateroom was clean and our Steward, Fatkur, kept it clean and well supplied with everything we needed. All we needed to do was ask for anything we did need. The food in the main dining room, where we ... Read More
The Equinox was a beautiful ship. Our stateroom was clean and our Steward, Fatkur, kept it clean and well supplied with everything we needed. All we needed to do was ask for anything we did need. The food in the main dining room, where we ate each night was some of the best we have had. The servers were professional and described what each choice contained or how it was prepared. They could not do enough for us. Our waiter, Michel and assistant, Miguel A. were funny, friendly and knowledgeable. The sommelier, Gesha and the drink waitress Shamora were right there with our wine and drinks. The entertainment was also very good. There were comedians and dancers and an orchestra. We enjoyed it all. We also spent time in the casino. We did a “on and off “bus tour in Key West. Our bus driver was very entertaining. We did a beach day in Cozumel which we thoroughly enjoyed despite the heat. Embarking and disembarking from the ship was so easy. Our entire trip was so relaxing and easily navigated. We would do it again in a minute! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the first cruise for just my wife and I without having our kids onboard. Previous cruises have all been family cruises on Royal Caribbean. We are both in our early 50's. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before our ... Read More
This was the first cruise for just my wife and I without having our kids onboard. Previous cruises have all been family cruises on Royal Caribbean. We are both in our early 50's. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and took the hotel shuttle to the Hyatt Place on 17th Street, near Port Everglades. We took an Uber to/from dinner on Los Olas Boulevard- about $8 each way. Many restaurants and bars in the area to choose from. On departure day, our hotel offered shuttle service to the port, I believe it was about $10 per person. We took an Uber for $8.50 total, plus tip. Our Uber driver dropped us off by the luggage porters, just after 10:30am. I gave one of the porters a tip and he took our bags right from the trunk of the Uber. We didn't have to touch our bags again until they were outside our cabin a few hours later. Check in was flawless. We did all the registration online months ago, so Celebrity already had our passports, photos, credit card info for onboard charging and all other necessary items. We showed our passports and express passes and headed for security. Surprisingly, my bag wasn't physically inspected. I had two bottles of champagne in there, a medium sized bottle of Listerine and my electronics bag- full of wires, plugs, battery packs, and a 6 outlet USB hub- which was perfect for charging all of our electronics. We then took a seat and waited to board the ship. I BELIEVE the suite guests boarded right after they went through security, but everyone else started boarding at 11:00am. Priority boarding, like the airlines, based on class and Captain's Club status, so we were towards the bottom. We were greeted on Deck 5 with a Kir Royale and headed to our cabin to drop off our backpacks, pick up our seapass and head to lunch. We were in the lunch buffet line by 11:30. It was crazy, but there was plenty of seating available. The lunch buffet was very good and has many options- pizza, deli sandwiches, fresh fish, Asian, Indian, Mexican.... For the sailaway on Day 1, we were on deck 15, in front of the basketball court. This was a great view. We also watched a sailaway from our balcony, Sunset Bar and we were invited to the helipad for a sailaway. My personal favorite view was from the Sunset Bar. We both agreed that the Helipad view was really nothing special compared to the other views, even though it is an invitation only event. Dining- We booked Tuscan, Sushi on 5 and Murano in advance a few months ago. We LOVED the dinner on our first night at Tuscan. Appetizer portions are small and are sized for one person, so sharing a few apps was great and not overfilling. Entrees and dessert are delicious and Tuscan had a nice selection of Italian wines to choose from. On the second night we went to the main dining room. While the service and food there is very nice, it wasn't for us. It's a BIG room, loud, bustling, but has good quality food. However, we had a small, quiet, intimate dinner the night before at Tuscan with high quality food and service. We decided to book more specialty dining for the rest of the cruise. So on day 3, we saw one the specialty restaurant people outside the buffet. They saw our other reservations and gave us a package for reduced rates to cover the remainder of the cruise. I know some people think it is a waste to spend money for specialty dining when the MDR is already included, but it was well worth it for us. The value and quality of food we received in the specialty dining was far greater than what we paid. We like the quiet, fine dining experience and service. The MDR is great when traveling with family or a large group, but the specialty dining made a trip for just the two of us much more enjoyable. Day 3 we had dinner at Le Petite Chef. Yes, it's a gimmick, but it's unique gimmick and the food was delicious. Check YouTube for Le Petite Chef to see what it is if you don't know. We saw the 4 chef competition- Spanish, Italian, French and Japanese. Day 4 we went to Sushi on 5. Great service again, super fresh tasting fish, great variety. I had the premium drink package, so I was able to enjoy PLENTY of Junmai Daiginjo sake at no additional charge. Day 5 we had a second dinner at Tuscan. We ordered different items than we had on Day 1 and were equally as impressed. That leaves Murano, which we did on Day 7. Wow! Impeccable service and food. We both started with a soup and then shared a Lobster Murano, prepared tableside, and Chateaubriand for two, also prepared tableside. Phenomenal! My ONLY complaint about Murano was the wines. While they have an extensive wine list, the by the glass selections was basically the same as the other restaurants. There was ONE high end French white- Joseph Drouhun Chablis, Premier Cru. It was $29 a glass. (we paid the $14 difference plus tip difference from our package to drink a wine that matched the food quality). When the wine arrived, we were told the Drouhin was out, but they would pour us the Faiveley Chablis Grand Cru for the same price. That's like ordering a Cadillac, but getting a Mercedes instead. GREAT wine. But then for reds to have with the Chateaubriand, the only two French wines by the glass was Mouton Cadet and Bertrand- a used Ford and a Chevy. We had Decoy Cabernet instead- a very good wine, but not at the same level as the Chablis or the entree. It would be nice to have some higher end French reds by the glass, or higher end red wines in general. Overall, specialty dining could use a wine list (BTG specifically) overhaul and be unique to the restaurant and separate from (or in addition to) the main dining wine list that the corporate office has contracted. Captain and Crew- They were all great. Capt Kate was very visible and interactive with guests. But most importantly, I always felt the ship was safe and in capable hands. She is definitely someone for young girls (and boys) to emulate. Maarten Breuls, the Cruise Director, was born to do that job. Entertaining, engaging, self deprecating, enthusiastic- all the while coming across as genuine and not cheesy at all. The rest of the crew, starting with our cabin steward, Ariel, restaurant servers, bartenders, etc. were extremely helpful and courteous. Regardless of what I asked for, I was never told "no". It may cost extra, but if you request something within reason, Celebrity staff will accommodate. My favorite places on the ship. The Martini Bar. The bartenders made it the best bar and most fun place on the ship for us. They are friendly, entertaining and helpful. It was also in a perfect location for us when headed to dinner (forward cabin, aft dining, martini bar in the middle) or to an after dinner show in the theater. The Sunset Bar was my second favorite bar and favorite sail away location. The Sunset Bar is also the only place to have a cigar while onboard- on the port side. Cafe al Bacio was great for a morning pick me up espresso, afternoon pick me up espresso and evening sweets. I also enjoyed the Sky Observation Lounge. It was a nice quiet place with a great view to read a book, catch a break from the heat of the pool deck, grab a quiet drink or play trivia. And I loved my cabin for an afternoon nap or sitting on the balcony watching the waves or having breakfast room service. Entertainment. The highlight shows for us were the two comedians who did two different shows each- Phil Tag and Rich Aronovitch. Both had a family friendly show that we attended. They were both hilarious while being clean, so we returned for their late night adults only show. Even funnier and really not that dirty of shows. We also saw two musical shows. One was what I would call a singing impersonator and a Frankie Valli tribute group. They were both entertaining, but neither was my music style. I think they had more appeal for an older crowd. Ship WiFi. I completely understand that on a steel ship with many decks and many walls, it is difficult to get a good signal, but for the price that Celebrity charges to have WiFi, they need to make it better. I don't know if WiFi repeaters are the answer, but something needs to be done. I paid $80 for the seven days to have an internet surfing package for one device- my iPad, which was left in my room. I had it to communicate with my kids, check sports scores, internet, social media, Cruise Critic, etc. I didn't put it on my phone because I wanted to be cut off from work and to relax. It was SLOW. Dial up slow, or never loading slow. Maybe the full internet package was better, but I wouldn't spend more money when even checking emails of Facebook in my cabin took 5 minutes to load. Celebrity phone app. It's really not much before or after the cruise, but while on the cruise it was fantastic and had so much more information loaded onto it than you can see when you're not sailing. You can use it at no extra charge with the ship's WiFi and your phone on airplane mode. My wife and I were mostly together, but we found the texting on the app to work well- although you need to check the app to see if you have a message. Your phone won't ding if the app is closed. And again, because the ship's WiFi is weak, messages were delayed sometimes if you weren't in a good location. I LOVED the daily calendar and being able to move the things you want to do to your own calendar. It was nice not to have to carry around the paper list of activities. I just wish there was a reminder notification- because I did forget about a few things that I wanted to do that I put on my calendar. Specialty dining and excursions booked through Celebrity are automatically added to your "My Calendar". Disembarking. Like embarkation, disembarkation was flawless and painless. My account was setup with a credit card to pay for onboard charges, so we didn't need to see guest services to check out. We had a 12:15pm flight out of FLL, so we weren't in any hurry to leave. We left our suitcases outside our door the night before and they were taken off the ship the next morning for us. We left our cabin about 8am and waited in the Equinox Theater for about 40 minutes. We scanned our sea pass cards, said good bye to Capt Kate and got our luggage and headed out the door. I looked at taking an Uber or Lyft to FLL, but by this time, a great number of passengers were already off the ship and both apps said there would be a wait for a car and the cost would be about $16. So we walked to the taxi line and took a taxi. It was $20 plus tip. We were at the airport before 9:30am. Would we cruise Celebrity again? Absolutely. I didn't mention excursions because I thought this was already lengthy and I think others cover that well. But we weren't too impressed with the Beach Day in Costa Maya. Not a very pretty beach. We loved the tour to Tulum from Cozumel/Playa del Carmen. We did the Tulum tour through a private tour company, set up by our travel agent. The tour was great, but we got back to the ship at 3:17. All aboard was 3:30. I didn't like cutting it so close. We had to take a ferry back from Playa del Carment to Cozumel. Then get off the ferry, wait in a taxi line, go through Cozumel traffic and get to the ship. Many opportunities for something to go wrong. So check the return time when using a private tour. It may be worth the extra money to use the ship's excursion. Lastly, although there was two us, we did spend some time apart on the ship. I can't speak for someone who traveled as a single, but I always found someone at the bar, buffet, Cafe al Bacio, pool deck...who was friendly to talk to. If I was to go on a ship as a single, I could see this ship as being very fun one for a single traveler. But that comes from my limited experience of a few hours here and there. 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
Per Celebrity website - "PICKING THE RIGHT CRUISE SHIP CABIN CAN HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR CRUISE" This is a synopsis of the review requested by Celebrity, I wonder if I will hear from anyone from Celebrity regarding my ... Read More
Per Celebrity website - "PICKING THE RIGHT CRUISE SHIP CABIN CAN HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR CRUISE" This is a synopsis of the review requested by Celebrity, I wonder if I will hear from anyone from Celebrity regarding my displeasure. I was never informed by anyone or pre-cruise advice or Port check in about the Priority Check in for Concierge Class, Pre-Departure Lounge or about the Exclusive Embarkation Lunch. I only heard from my 'Personal Concierge' with printed invites to special events that coincided with my other plans. I did not need him but he left a phone message on days 5, 6, and 7, that he is here for me and will assist. ​While the cruise ship is nice, clean and updated after going through 'Revolutionization', I personally had a cabin with new bedding and very fluffy pillows, but also where I was unable to sleep well at all, at almost any hour. This was due to my own fault. I had originally booked a great cabin with a wonderful balcony and when offered an upgrade, decided to give it a try. BIG MISTAKE. If there is a next time which I doubt, I will not ask for a Concierge upgrade, but would go up to Aqua Class.​ ​The cabin was upgraded to Concierge class, but should have been degraded to a cabin class below what I originally had booked. This cabin and a few on either side of me, as I was told by those passengers, were subjected to constant noise sounding like rolling thunder, but I quickly realized that it was the carts rolling in and out of the kitchen for the Oceanview Café above me, with replenishing foods, dishes, drinkware, silverware, etc. or coming back into the kitchen with dirty dishes etc. This went on at all hours, including during normal sleep hours. Even when I did manage to get to sleep, I was suddenly awakened by the rolling thunder noise at early morning hours, 2AM to be exact. On one early morning I heard what sounded like large bags of ice being thrown on the floor to break it apart and heard pots being banged around. If someone in a Celebrity top executive position would experience what I did, I would hope there would be some changes made. *Unless you can sleep through really loud noises, Cruisers should be aware of booking a cabins 2136, 2138 2139, 2140, 2141,2143 and 2145. (port or starboard side of the ship)* ​ ​My cabin was comfortable, my cabin steward Ali was wonderful and most of the food was good that was delivered to me daily. I grabbed extra silverware set ups with napkins to bring back to my cabin because silverware, toothpicks or napkins were not served with the Afternoon Savories.​ If you book any Concierge cabin, take advantage of ordering in room breakfast service. ​​I was surprised to have a pencil, not a pen in my cabin, the little pad provided had about 5 sheets of paper on it and I had to ask for an additional one when I used up the first for my notes. I wish I could have had a better experience this time. ​ ​I experienced Qsine twice because it was so good and entertaining. Everybody on staff in Qsine was impeccable, friendly, accommodating and always available. The food was delicious and spot on! The food was delivered immediately after the presentation, if not waiting for the end of the each part of the show. It was a unique experience and totally enjoyable!​ ​I really enjoyed taking a glass blowing class and making my own object. I was impressed at the level of expertise of the glass workers and their patience with students who tried their best and were hoping for the best outcome of their individual projects. The vase I chose with the colors I asked for came out almost perfect under the instruction of Jill. There are slight imperfections, but I love the fact that I have created a vase for my home that I can actually use and remember my glass blowing and creating.​ ​Captain Kate McCue is the most available and affable Captain I have ever had on any large ship cruise. She takes time to talk to passengers and allows us to get to know her. She has the best sense of humor and always makes her daily talks light and fun.​ On a whole, the cruise ship and cruise to Western Caribbean was good, but the Concierge Cabin I was in ruined my relaxing week away and left a very bad impression. ​ Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our third cruise on Equinox--our fifth with Celebrity. Embarkation was fast and painless and in a new change, our room keys were waiting in the slot outside our rooms. The just took our picture at check in. We were allowed to ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Equinox--our fifth with Celebrity. Embarkation was fast and painless and in a new change, our room keys were waiting in the slot outside our rooms. The just took our picture at check in. We were allowed to board at about 1045 and staterooms were available by 1 pm. The ship was freshly out of drydock sporting a dazzling new paint job, new carpets and many interior changes. We were in Aqua Class and our stateroom had been completely renovated with all new carpeting and soft products including some comfortable throw pillows on the sofa. Best of all was Equinox was under the command of Captain Kate McCue, the only American female to serve as Master on a large cruise ship. She is personable, approachable and could easily be confused as a model. The also travels with her pet cat on the bridge and in her stateroom. Food in the Blu Dining Room seems to have declined with rather odd good choices in the evening. I believe five nights they served gnocci in some form or other and one night there was nothing on the menu that appealed so I went to the "every night" backup of a New York Strip steak. It was overcooked and mostly gristle. One night we ate in the Tuscan Dining room and that menu was extensive and nicely prepared. Our cabin was 1587--this is the third time we have had the same cabin as it is the street address for my family. In the past our room attendants were highly visible, responsive and kept the cabin neat and clean. This time our room generally did not receive its initial cleaning until between 3 and 4 pm which effectively blocked an afternoon nap after a morning in the sun. There was no turn-down service--just the pillows plumped up and a chocolate placed on top while the bathroom received a facelift with clean towels. We were not very pleased but did not want to create an issue while aboard so we tried to ignore the short comings. We actually did not even meet our room attendant until day three! We like to spend quiet days at sea by the pool with a good book and there were two of those. Costa Maya as a port is a waste of time. Key West and Cozumel were very nice and in Key West, since we were docked at the Naval Base, had transportation to take us from the ship into town and back. Grand Cayman was a lot of fin as we signed up for the tour of Sting Ray City. It took about 30 minutes on a catamaran to get out to the spot which was a comfortable chest deep with soft white sand beneath. The rays were very curious and used to being handled so we had a god time feeding them and just holding them. A photographer aboard took many shots which were available for purchase at only slightly outrageous prices. Avoid the temptation to purchase food unless paying $29.00 for a hot dog does not bother you. There was a new excursion offered-a "backstairs" tour of the ship. It was a tad steep at $99.00 but we went and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were given special passes and lanyards and were shown the galleys, engine control room, recycling center, food storage areas, one of six crew bars and a peek into a crew dining room. We walked along "I-95" as the crew corridor that runs the entire length of the ship is called. I never realized there were six decks located below the water line. We ended our tour with the Navigation Bridge. A nice young officer explained the operation of the ship to us and we were allowed to photograph anything we wanted--just no videos. Disembarkation was a snap--we were off the ship promptly at 8 am and our bags awaited us and there was no customs clearance, just a quick facial recognition shot. 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
My wife and I, mid 30s, had a great time on our 7-night Western Caribbean voyage. This was our second time on the Equinox, the first being in May 2017, on a 10-night southern Caribbean sailing. We also have a few recent sailings on ... Read More
My wife and I, mid 30s, had a great time on our 7-night Western Caribbean voyage. This was our second time on the Equinox, the first being in May 2017, on a 10-night southern Caribbean sailing. We also have a few recent sailings on Norwegian, and growing up I sailed many times on Celebrity, Carnival, Cunard, Princess, and Royal. The one thing that I would stress is that while we had an amazing time, we don’t adhere to the traditional cruising structures; we don’t do assigned-time dining in the main dining room, we don’t really interact with the cruise director or entertainment staff, and evening shows tend to not be our thing. We cruise to unplug and relax, and not being on a schedule has seemed to be the best way to do that. Embarkation was easy and fast, although we arrived at 1230 to avoid the main rush, and because we were driving from Orlando. We pretty much went through security, got our tickets scanned, and hopped right on without much waiting at all. The terminal in Ft. Lauderdale seemed updated and quite nice, but we couldn’t have been in it for more than 10 or 15 minutes. Having been on this ship not too long ago, I would say that as non-suite guests, I don’t think either of us noticed the “Revolution” upgrades other than the new paint and RFID Seapass cards. I thought the ship seemed updated and clean when we sailed in 2017, and I didn’t really think much had changed in that regard. We absolutely love the solarium, the casino being non-smoking, and the smoking areas being confined and isolated. The prevalence of smoking on NCL is always one of the top negatives for us. We like the lawn club too, but it gets too hot up there. Cabin: We stayed in room 6299. Cabin steward was awesome. We eat late and often times feel pressured to get out of the room in the evening so they can clean, but that was not the case this trip. The room was clean and our steward, Robert, was courteous and always gave us a smile and asked about our day. This cabin has a partially obstructed Veranda view, as the dining room juts out below the balcony, so you can’t look directly down into the water. The balcony itself, however, was extended and we loved the extra balcony space. My wife would have probably preferred a clear view looking down, but I really enjoyed the extra space. Entertainment and Service: In general, I think the service was fantastic. There were a few incidents I can remember from our 2017 trip that stood out to me as exceptions to that rule , but on this sailing I really think the crew and staff get an A+. We didn’t interact the cruise director or entertainment staff, but I overheard others saying how impressed they were with him/them. From my perspective, we either had a particularly fun set of passengers or a particularly good entertainment staff, because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many people dancing at the evening parties and live music venues. The entertainment is really where I think celebrity could modernize a bit. The staff did a great job getting folks dancing and there was plenty of live music, but the main theater is really the epicenter of evening entertainment, and regardless of the quality, that really makes it an all or nothing proposition. If you’re not into the comedian or talented acrobats, you may find yourself questioning what to do with your evening. We really like the smaller and specialized entertainment venues some of the other lines have developed. We love the dueling piano show and comedy club on NCL's ships. For our part, we usually eat around 9, so the only option for us to grab a show is to go before dinner, or go to the adult late-night comedy shows. We’d rather swim and relax by the pool in the evening when no one is there, so we did not get to a main theater show. We did get to one of the late night comedy shows, but it was not really to our taste and we left after about 10 minutes. Food & Bev: I thought the food was quite good, with some caveats. We did a 4 night specialty dining package and did 3 nights at Murano and 1 night at Qsine/ Le Petit Chef. The food at Qsine is nothing special, not bad, but nothing to write home about either. The experience is one-of-a-kind and makes it worth every penny. It’s not something I would repeat on the same sailing, but we would definitely do it again on another cruise. It was so much fun! Murano, in our opinion is the best food on the ship. The service was good, although I think on our 10 day sailing fewer people were eating specialty dining per night, and as a result the service on this sailing was not as doting as it was in 2017. On one of the nights at Murano they did seem to get quite backed up, and service was slow. We didn’t eat at. Tuscan having had a bad experience there last sailing For our nights at the main dining room, we did Select Dining mostly eating around 845 or 9. These meals were fast and the waiters were all friendly. I think this one area where Celebrity has really improved greatly. I don’t remember select dining being as positive an experience for us previously. Main dining room food was good, not great, but we did try to eat in the main dining room on nights when we knew the menu would be better for us. My wife’s beef short rib was almost too fatty to eat one night, but she also had a delicious beef carpaccio. The deserts at the main dining room were underwhelming. One area where I think celebrity could do better is with more fresh vegetables. At the buffet it was hard to find green veggies outside of salads and green beans. In the other venues, non-potato vegetables were more for garnish than served as sides. We didn’t do too many meals at the buffet, but the variety and quality was good when you could avoid the crowds. I think we had one or two meals where it was crowded and everything suffered. Lots of fried food. The soft ice cream was surprisingly great, but maybe that’s because I had it during a less popular time? Variety would maybe get tired if you ate their more frequently that we did. Our favorite spot of the ship was the coffee bar, Café El Bacio. Awesome service, yummy pastries and fun coffee drinks here. Maria noticed we were over charged for our premium package by not having a promotion applied and helped save us some money. Special shout out to her as she also provided friendly and prompt service throughout the cruise. We will make sure she gets recognized through the proper channels. I do think their espresso lacks punch, as I found myself ordering double shots of espresso after noticing the lack of caffeine that seemed to be in the standard order. One thing that was great was being able to get bar service. I found there to be plenty of wait staff roaming the pool deck. We tipped, but never had trouble getting drinks. One thing we missed from our last voyage was the bar Slush. Slush is still there, but was only open the two sea days of our sailing. On our last sailing, it was the most popular bar, often with long lines. A few drinks had fun souvenir cups and coconuts. This trip, while the menu was unchanged, there was no drinks in coconuts or other fun novelties. The bartenders at other bars also didn’t seem to know the Slush menu, so we couldn’t get our favorite Golden Coconut drink when Slush was closed. I wish they would have put more staff into this tiny bar rather than turning it into an overflow space. One person in line noted she had 'waited 7 days for this drink'. Craft Social is a nice space that isn’t really utilized all that well and I think it would be a bigger draw if the food wasn’t an extra cost. Jeffery took good care of us there. The lobby bar beneath Craft (Passport Bar) could use some theming. The Martini Bar, World Class Bar, and Sunset Bar continue to be the stars of the libations show. The Sky Lounge is such a great spot, but we were only ever really there for Trivia. Passengers: Generally passengers were older, but because of the time do year, July during the week of the 4th, and this being a 7-night sailing, there were children. I didn’t find either group to be disruptive or too prevalent for our comfort and we try to be patient with both groups. This cruise also featured a solid amount of folks our age. I heard German, the Queen’s English and Spanish being spoken, so there was a good amount of diversity in that regard. Also, this was a friendly cruise for the LGBTQ community, and we are happy to continue to sail Celebrity for fostering and open and understanding environment. Having said that, I can’t think of a fun analogy to express just how full of white people this cruise was. Passengers were really big on reserving pool loungers with a well placed book or towel clips. On the last sea day I did see staff clear some loungers “reserved” in such a manner. Good for them. Evening Chic was not enforced, but I can’t decide if a I care. In the Caribbean in July, no one should feel like the need to wear a blazer, but there were plenty of blazers. There was also plenty of polo shirts, T-shirts, and less than Chic jeans. I kind of like the casual concept while on vacation and would probably rather not wear a blazer, but I’ll continue wearing one until the suggested attire is changed. Evening Chic at least provides an opportunity for those who chose to dress up to get their class on, while also letting the normies dress a little more comfortably. Part of me feels like they should ditch the concept if it’s not going to be enforced, and another part of me thinks it strikes a good balance to keep traditional and new cruisers happy. Ports: Ports were very generic for a Western Caribbean. Cozumel still has great off-the-beaten-path spots that shouldn’t be shared on the internet to preserve them. It also has tourist traps. in Key West, we planned our own food tour for the day and really enjoyed walking her Island. Grand Cayman was stormy, so we ended up walking about half of 7-mile beach looking for an uncrowded spot that rented loungers ( we found none), before a storm rolled in and we called it quits. We had a happier time watching the thunderstorms from the ship. Two carnival boats were in port before us, and the popular places to rent a chair and umbrella were pretty crowded before we arrived. On Costa Maya we stayed on the ship. Disembarkation: We did walk off disembarkation. It was a little disorganized, but not the worst I’ve been a part of either. The biggest knock is that customs didn’t seem ready, so after we got off the boat we stood in a long tunnel, many still standing in the gangway, until they were ready. The Celebrity app, Room Steward, and the daily planner all gave slightly varying accounts of how to participate in the walk-off program, which was a bit annoying also. I wasn’t clear as to whether to meet in one of the public lounges per the daily planner, or just come when called as proscribed by the app and steward. We did not seem to be the only people who weren’t entirely clear on how to participate, passengers did both. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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