Equinox Rox!!!: Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by klitz

Celebrity Equinox 5
Member Since 2011
4 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Equinox Rox!!!

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
A near perfect cruise. We have been on 6 cruises previously and this was the best!

SHIP: The Equinox is magnificently designed with spacious public areas. The color scheme and decor is so tasteful, eye-catching while avoiding the usual glitz and neon. Especially being on the ship for 11 nights, you don't want sensory overload. While the ship was virtually full (350 extra attendees of a Wayne Dyer "lifeskills" conference), it was never crowded. Never waited in a buffet line and could find excellent seats in the theaters. The only crowd was in a small theater for a lecture on Ephesus by Dr. John Nichols; he was terrible giving outright incorrect answers and mis-information galor. I asked him about Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsinoe, who she had Marc Anthony's allies murder while she was in the sanctuary of the Temple of Artemis. A marvelous Smithsonian and BBC show described how a well-known Ephesus tomb of a young female is now thought to possibly be that of Arsinoe. More Dr. Nichols, a supposed Ephesus scholar, said he knew nothing of this and started answering my Arsinoe inquiry with something about burial practices well before the time of Cleopatra. Not much of an "expert".

FOOD: The food was just as expected, excellent! It was very well prepared. I was especially impressed with the meats and fish. They were NOT overcooked, as is usually the case with mass-prepared food. Although the beef and lobster were expectedly excellent, the braised lamb shank and the lamb chops were my favorites. The burgers in the Mast Grill were superb "Bubba burgers" with fluted edges and all. I won the free Blackjack tournament and got a dinner for two in the Tuscan Grille specialty restaurant. The food was good, but no better than in the Silhouette Dining room; and the service was not as good.

EMBARKATION: Very smooth and no lines at 12:30pm.

PORTS: The Eastern Med ports were outstanding, combing exotic locale, breathtaking archaeological sites and superb weather. Fall is the perfect time to go with pleasantly warm days and cool evenings. The Greek isles were as expected; enjoyable with wonderful views. Turkey was tops; Istanbul is beautiful and exotic. Kusadasi (Ephesus) is spectacular and massive. It is hard to believe that only 10-20% has so far been excavated. The Terrace Houses are not to be missed with a wonderful sense of how the upper class lived. In Naples, we arranged for a private van & driver for 8 of us to go to Pompeii, Amalfi coast, and Herculaneum. I contacted many "limo" agencies and travel agents and they all said, "You don't have enough time to go to all 3 of those; only two." Only Eurolimo said, "Sure, you can do all 3 if it is OK to have about 2 hours in each place." That worked out fine with one diversion; there was a general strike that blocked the road to Sorrento and Positano (I confirmed this), so the driver took us to Ravello instead of Positano (avoiding the blocked part of the road). Ravello is gorgeous; even Justin Timberlake and Jessia Biel thought it was nice enough to get married there two weeks after we visited.

DISEMBARKATION: No problem with time slots pre-assigned.

After disembarking, we spent one day in Rome and went to the Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini. This was truly a highlight because of the way they have a small group tour the basement excavations. The lighting fills in the missing parts of mosaics and frescoes and the narrative gives a superb sense of what life was like in 1st century AD Rome. Less

Published 11/02/12
Helpful? Thank klitz

Cabin review: 1C8187 Deluxe Veranda

Great balcony because we opened the space to our friends next door. If you are traveling with friends/family, be sure to ask the steward to open up the balcony. It makes SUCH a difference.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Acropolis is impressive. Not much else n Athens. We took the hop-on-hop-off bus that took us everywhere we wanted to go.

Blue Mosque

Big hollow building built >1,000 years after the Hagia Sophia.

City Tour

Istanbul is a magnificent stop. Lots of exotic mix of eastern and western cultures. The Hagia Sophia is breathtaking. The Blue Mosque is OK, but was built 1,000 years after the Hagia Sophia and does not have nearly the history and engineering feats of the 6th century Hagia. We booked an all day tour with Ekol Travel (based in Kusadasi) and Aylin was superb. We did eat a very nice lunch at a courtyard cafe; the food was excellent but VERY expensive for lunch. For an added adventure, take the ferry over to Kadikoy; the evenings are bustling with cafes (try Ciya Sofrasi) and hordes of locals (always a good sign). Be sure to check the return ferry schedule before you depart.

Grand Bazaar

Enormous array of shops. There are many intriguing specialty shops, although many of the shops sell the same junk. Bargain hard.

Hagia Sofia


Topkapi Walking Tour

Very impressive. We found the Harem section worth the extra money.

Ephesus is amazing. So extensive, even though the great majority remains under buried soil. Ekol Travel is a great agency based in Kusadasi.
Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

Celsus Library

Very nice Austrian re-construction of the original.


Read 231 Ephesus Reviews

House of the Virgin Mary

Whether it is or is not the actual House of Virgin Maqry, it is where the faithful (of which I am one) celebrate the exemplary and inspiring life of Mary. Many religious shrines may not be the actual spot of the claimed event, they are always where the events are celebrated.

Temple of Artemis

Not much to see, but historically important.

Terrace Houses

Extraordinary and very impressive

Beautiful resort island. We took the city bus to Paradise Beach for 1 euro.
Read 842 Mykonos Reviews

Amalfi Coast

Ravello is so very picturesque. Glad we saw it and can now skip a future trip to spend a week there. Once you see the breathtaking views, there isn't much else. I would much rather go to Cinque Terra to the north.


We skipped Naples city and went directly to Pempeii, then Ravello (Amalfi Coast), and Herculaneum (Ercolano). Busy day, but well worth it. Not many tourists go to Herculaneum, but the houses and other buildings are much better preserved than Pompeii.

Pompeii Walking Tour

The audio self-tour was very good. We could go at our own pace (probably faster than most). Don't miss the directional marker on the main street pointing down the alley to the Lupanare (brothel). Loved the ancient fast-food stalls serving take-out. NOTE: By booking our own transportation from ship, we arrived 15 min before opening and could experience Pompeii for an hour or more before the massive hordes of buses arrived. Quite a different experience before the tourists ruin the atmosphere.

Santorini is a must see once in your lifetime. The walk up through the donkey dung path is not too bad. We had a blast renting ATVs and driving to Oia.

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Member Since 2011
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