First time to Rome and Points East: Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by neoncandle

Celebrity Equinox 4
Member Since 2003
214 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

First time to Rome and Points East

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
We planned our trip many months ago, but found out were were pregnant with twins a few months after we booked it. We did not even consider not going as we had non-refundable plane tickets and we had been trying to get out of the country for years.

We took the Leonardo da Vinci train to Termini. We stayed at the Hotel Napoleon which is near Termini and took the 1st class train to Civitavecchia. We tried to pack light so that these transfers would not be total chaos. Also, we did not want to check luggage before the cruise - on the off-chance the airline would lose our luggage.

Embarkation was a snap as we carried our own luggage aboard. There were lines as we arrived around 2-3pm, but they moved quickly. Onboard, we found our room to our liking and our room attendants very nice.

We ate about half of our meals at the buffet and half of them in the main dining room. We often took our son to the Fun Factory if we ate our meals in the main dining room. More We had Celebrity Select Dining. We never made reservations, but we found the wait staff to all be helpful and knowledgeable. Some meals were better than others. They do need decent Thai food on the ship. Everything we found was really gross. Nothing like what you would expect from a Thai restaurant. The sushi, however, was good at each visit. We loved the ice cream in the buffet.

The cruise itself was fun. We found lots of activities to do and were rarely bored. Being pregnant precluded me from some of the fun we had hoped for when we booked our cruise; and the alcohol-free cocktails were disgusting - just sweet/sour mix and some ice. But we found places on board that could make something outstanding - but you had to ask and be persistent. We liked the dance classes and the glass blowing show. The nightly entertainment was not bad either, especially the Cirque-style show on the last night.

The Fun Factory is not perfectly well designed for those as young as 3. They are often lumped with the bigger kids and my child reported being knocked over repeatedly there by the larger kids. However, every time we spied on him, he was laughing and seemed to be having a good time. I was hoping that since the cruise was in summer and there were a ton of kids aboard he would have been kept with the 3-5 year olds, but this was usually not the case.

As far as port days go, the Fun Factory does not open early enough to drop the child off to have enough time to do anything substantial in port in my opinion. We did not want to do the over-priced ship excursions (which did not go where we wanted to anyway), so we took him with us. However, I did think it was cool that you could leave the child aboard and explore port. No options for kids less than 3 or those not potty trained.

The pools were too small and very busy. But we found that evenings were the best time for us to go.

Overall, I was impressed and we would definitely cruise Celebrity again - maybe in 5 years when our twins-to-be are 4. Less

Published 09/04/12

Cabin review: 2C6167 Deluxe Veranda (partially obstructed view)

Hardly obstructed at all, but you could feel the vibration from Quasar Lounge there which was annoying. Charged us twice as much for this family balcony as a regular one just so we could bring our three year old along, who slept on the couch as he would have done in any stateroom.

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Port and Shore Excursions


Full of people. Long waits. Hot. Windy. We should have hired a guide, but then maybe we would have been stuck there longer. Never plan to go back. Wished we had skipped it and headed for Plaka.

We heard good things about this city, mostly from Anthony Bourdain, and the city did not disappoint. We went to the Hagia Sophia, right at opening. We spent some time around the Blue Mosque. And then we went to the Topkapi Palace. We also took our son to the city's aquarium - perfect for 3 year olds - which is in a modern mall. It was just cool to see the city as it is; and to get out of the touristy parts.
Read 403 Istanbul Reviews


We got together with another family from cruise critic and went with Ekol Tours. We took the Ephesus Tour with the Terrace Houses. Because Ephesus did not open until 1pm that day, our guide tacked on a visit to Sirince Village for free. We loved our guide and strongly suggest that you get your own. She really made the trip for us. The place was hot and crowded in August, though. If you decide not to do an excursion, there appears to be a nice beach in town.
Read 231 Ephesus Reviews

Sirince Village

We had this added on to our tour for free. I do not think it is a place that I would pay a lot extra to go to, but it was nice to relax there before heading to Ephesus.

Platis Gialos Beach

We took the city bus to the beach. If you can get off the ship early and find the bus station, I highly recommend doing this. There are not too many taxis on the island, though you can get restaurants to call them for you. Once again, no lines - just a rush of people trying to get aboard. Once at the beach, it is lovely.

Blue Grotto

I think the Blue Grotto could be skipped, but the four hour boat ride around the island should not be missed. Getting a ferry during peak times can be tricky, but we got off the boat quickly and got on a ferry without too much difficulty. Getting back seemed even crazier... Took Capri Relax Boats with Marcello and he was wonderful. It was the highlight of our trip.

Beach Break

Our cruise ship arrived at 2pm and we decided to take an excursion just to not have to line up to get tender tickets and to make sure we really got to see the island. We went to Perissa beach which is a black sand beach, very family friendly. There are watersports and restaurants there. We could have enjoyed more time there than the ship's excursion allowed.

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Member Since 2003
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