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12 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

12 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

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Celebrity Equinox (Photo: Celebrity)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    St. Croix
  • Day 5
    Antigua
  • Day 6
    Barbados
  • Day 7
    St. Lucia
  • Day 8
    Grenada
  • Day 9
    St. Vincent
  • Day 10
    St. Kitts (Port Zante)
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox - Celebrity Cruises

Pros

Innovative features like a real grass lawn and glass-blowing show

Cons

Main dining could use a little improvement

Bottom Line

Sail for a strong mix of dining and activity options


Cruise Reviews

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
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there ... Read More
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there was no shifting needed. All b2b passengers are required to leave the ship and go through USA customs as the first week ends. It took only a few minutes, and we were back on board. The Equinox had just been through a refit, so everything was new and shiny. The ship is kept in spotless condition for the entire cruise. Room service is outstanding. Your steward knows your name and addresses you that way - how they can remember all of their passengers amazes me. Rooms are tidied immediately after you leave for breakfast. and prepared for the night while you are at dinner. Towels and sheets are changed frequently. The cabins are large and nicely furnished. The shower is good sized, and solid - no floppy shower curtain to contend with. The television is large, and the remote is fairly easy to manage. Your steward will explain it to you if you need help finding programs or your account on line. Dining in the main restaurant offers early and late settings on deck 3, and "any time" dining on deck 4. The menu offers something for everyone, and notes things such as gluten free or sugar free. The "always available" portion of the dinner menu offers my favorite French onion soup, Escargot, and salmon. Enough said! Theater entertainment is shifting toward acrobatics and production numbers several times during a cruise. Other nights feature a comedian or musician or singer. Two shows allow you to enjoy your dinner hour and take in the show either preceding or following. My only bit of concern was the library. The room itself is beautiful and has great lounge chairs and a large number of shelves. The missing part was books! Very few new novels in English could be found. The majority of books were in foreign languages, and had apparently been donated by past passengers. There was no filing system, so you just had to pick up a book and look at a few pages to determine if it was in a language you could read. All lines seem to be letting the idea of a library fade away. And yet you see many passengers reading as they enjoy the pool area or one of the lounges. Bring your own paperbacks if you want to be sure of having something to read. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple ... Read More
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple chic" atmosphere and the efforts to offer high quality service. We know there is not as much activities and features as other cruise lines and ships, but this is what we are looking for. A quiet high quality vacation. And this is what the Equinox has always delivered for us. This 3rd cruise on that ship was the best. The service, the food and the overall vibe were perfect for us. We were on the Equinox last December. To be totally honest, the "Revolution" is barely visible. The hull was painted blue (find it nice), a few public venues have been updated, the stateroom locks are now RFID based and the signage font has been modified. A small evolution is more representative of the changes, not a revolution. But it did not matter to us as the Equinox was still in good shape last December and they keep maintaining it very well. Stateroom Attendant : Iis was our room attendant. She was wonderful. So efficient, polite and genuinely caring. We would always see her smiling. She quickly understood our preferences, our little requests and our activity patterns. Such that the room was always in grate shape when we came back and stocked to our liking. We really appreciated the fact that Iis was so efficient, but not always roaming around our room. One of the best attendant we had. Food : We dined 6 nights at the MDR. We had gone for Anytime Dining. Never waited more than 3 min (but we had made reservations before hand in the Celebrity App prior to departure). We always appreciated the MDR and this cruise was no different. Actually we found that the food was a notch above what we had in December (and we thought that the December food was great). We were super lucky as we were assigned the same waiter we had in December: Duarte. He is THE best waiter we ever had. He is so attentive, efficient, polite, knowledgeable and always with a smile. He quickly understood our taste and proposed great combinations. His service makes the MDR experience even better. Even though the menu was essentially the same as our December cruise we had some of the same choices and also tried some new items. It did not feel like a repeat to us and we fully enjoyed the meals. Martinez was our assistant waiter. He made a great team with Duarte. He was also always smiling and he worked almost like a ninja. Fast in filling up glasses before we would ask and almost working in the shadows. The MDR hostess was Mariana. Such a lovely hostess. Some nights were very busy and you she would managed to still treat you like royalty as if there was no one else around. Always keeping her cool laughing and smiling. We also tried for the first time Murano. It was a very nice experience. We had a combination of Chateaubriand and Lobster. The lobster is table side prepared and was soooooo good. The Chateaubriand was also delicious, but I found my wife’s beef Wellington at the MDR to be even more perfect. It was nice to have a meal in a setting that seemed more like a restaurant (a bit quieter and more upscale). Would we do Murano again? Maybe, but not on our next cruise. We would likely try Tuscan Grill, just to get some variety. At Murano we had the honour of having Aurore as our sommelier, She is great. Her passion for wine is contagious. Her suggestions were very good and she convinced us to participate in the « around the world » wine tasting event that occurred the next day (at sea). What a fun activity. For 30$/person you get to taste 12 different wines and a few types of cheese. Very nice experience and Aurore definitely stood out as the best sommelier. Her explanations and suggestions made the experience even better. We also tried the 8 course japanese meal at « Sushi on 5 » with Sake pairing. This was lunch on the late arrival day (ship arrived in San Juan at 3h30 pm). The food was so good. Very plentiful and very varied (not just sushi). Tried very unusual (and tasty) types of Sake. A very unique experience. For breakfast and lunch we mostly did the Oceanview Café. Breakfast selection is mostly constant through the whole week, but good selection and quite good. Lunch selection varies a bit more during the week. My only complain is that the lunch buffet stops at 2h30 pm and they really do remove all of it super fast. So if you had a late breakfast or are coming back from an excursion you better get there before 2h30 pm. They do still put out some food between 2h30 - 6h00 pm, but selection is much more limited (pizza, pasta, cold cuts, salads and desert). On RCCL they had the full lunch buffet going until 4 pm or even later. But food was good and plentiful. We love having breakfast and lunch on the outside terrasse at the back of the ship. Entertainment : As we had cruised on the Equinox last December, we had already seen the big ticket shows. We had really enjoyed them at the time so this time elected not to see them again and enjoy more the rest of the ship in the evening. We did go to the 3 standup comedian shows. We found them quite funny. A lot of improv and interaction with the crowd. The house band and various singers were very good. Especially Sashi who was the solo singer. She would be seen at various locations throughout the week. Ports of call : We did appreciate that we had two sea days on this cruise (but this is very personal. some may disagree). San Juan : We were weary of the late arrival to San Juan (3h30 pm). But we actually enjoyed it. It allowed us to wakeup late, take our time and enjoy the 8 course sushi meal. And THEN go tour San Juan. We walked by ourselves old San Juan and did a thorough visit of the Castillo del Morro. Ship leaving at 11h00 pm gave us plenty of time to visit and be back on time. Hint: there is a Walgreen and a CSV right there by the dock. Perfect to buy last minute items, bottled water, etc. US Virgin Islands : We had booked an excursion to Turtle Bay / Buck Island with Celebrity (Caribbean Fast Cat Island Snorkelling and Beach). The tour was very well organized. All the staff was positive, energetic, very service oriented. Departed and arrived on time. The transit to Buck Island was a bit bumpy due to windy and choppy conditions. A few folks got sea sick (my wife included), but staff onboard were really caring about them. The snorkelling area had nice clear water. Not too deep. Unfortunately we saw no turtle, just a few small colourful fishes. The corals were ok. Nothing spectacular. We then went to Honeymoon Beach. Nice little beach actually very close to Charlotte Amalie (but you feel much farther). Very nice clear water. Restrooms available and two small restaurants. British Virgin Islands : This was the highlight of our cruise. We had booked the « Tour to Virgin Gorda Baths » excursion with Celebrity. This included a fast ferry ride to Virgin Gorda Island followed by a 5-10 min open-air bus ride to the Baths. Ferry was clean and both rides were nice and efficient. Likewise for the bus rides. Once arrived we walked 10-15 min to first beach. The walk was quite beautiful. The scenery is very desert like. Quite surprising. Cactus and desert vegetation. Very beautiful. And then the beach Wow! That was a nice beach. The sand and water really resemble Pacific islands (Tahiti). The beach was surrounded by beautiful rocks and boulders. Stead there 30-40 min. Then we slowly walked our way to a second beach. This walk was through the world famous rocks and grottos. Very unique experience! These rocks have been shaped by thousand of years of water current. So beautiful! You do not get water above your waist (hardly above your knees actually). You have to step some stairs and ladders. All very well laid out. The second beach was also splendid! Rocks and perfect water. Very well worth it! Other excursions were coming directly to the baths by catamaran. Then the folks had to swim from their anchor point all the way to the beach. And you do not get to do the nice walk from the parking to the beach. There are washrooms at the second beach and a small restaurant that also sells drinks (and bottled water). Nassau : We booked a beach break at Blue Lagoon with Celebrity. It started not so good. The ship arrived at 12h30 a few minutes after a large MSC ship and a smaller Royal Caribbean vessel. So a flood of passengers just got of those ships almost simultaneously. As we shared the same dock with the MSC ship, the area was very busy and chaotic. It took about 45 minutes before we boarded the ferry to Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon staff did their best but there was many people everywhere and little space. But once we got onboard the ferry things became fine. On the island we headed straight for the North Beach. This beach is on the Caribbean Ocean (not the internal Lagoon). Very pristine beautiful water (a good number of large rocks at the bottom though) and there were just 10-20 people there. Very quiet and calm. We had lunch at their buffet. Had a choice between burger, chicken burger, BBQ chicken and foot long hot-dog with a choice of sides (fries, rice & peas, fried plantain, salad, veggies). We had the hot dog that was quite good. Loved the plantain! The restaurant area was al-fresco, looked brand new and very clean (staff always cleaning up). Good lunch ! They also included iced tea or lemonade. A bit too sweet, but this is quite personal :-) All in all a nice beach break. There seemed to be a lot of activities offered for families and kids, but we just wanted quiet time by the water and that is what we got. The ferry back was also uneventful. Could catch nice views of fancy houses and Atlantis. Embarkation : we had done the online checkin using the Celebrity App. We had also taken our photos using the App. I was a bit apprehensive of privacy, but they take our photos over at the port anyway. But it turned great. By the time we were dropped off the taxi to the time we were at the Oceanview Cafe looking at the buffet, there was maybe only 10 minutes! Most of it spent walking up the stairs to the buffet. Our stateroom keys/cads were waiting for us at our room. The face recognition worked great and allowed us to bypass any lineup. BTW, Terminal 25 is brand new and very beautiful… but we only spent 2 min there. Disembarkation : similar experience for disembarkation. Once off the ship we went through facial recognition check with Customs (super fast) and the preceded to pick up our luggage that was waiting in a huge room, grouped by sections. Once we had our luggage we just walked off the terminal. No extra customs line up. Again an affair of just a few minutes. Celebrity as embarkation nd disembarkation really down to a science. Captain Kate : Much has been written about Captain Kate. I have to admit that my wife and I are now part of the fan club. Her daily announcement were fun and educational and you could see her all over the ship. She seemed to genuinely care about the guests and also her staff. She was also very keen in acknowledging her officers and their achievements. A nice touch! And the icing on the cake: she does really shake every passenger hands (if they want to) when you disembark! Not required, but very appreciated. It was a real pleasure sailing with her. By the way: YES ! they did remove the foot rests on the balconies. Is it that bad? Not really. The balcony table is also smaller! A real disaster? No, we managed with the smaller table and still had breakfast overlooking the ocean. I agree those are not the best decisions, but hey! nothing to really influence our cruise and experience. All in all a very good cruise on the Equinox. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise in the Future. Read Less
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