Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by laks6105
- Sail Date: November 2014
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda (obstructed view)
The public areas were beautiful and immaculately maintained. We enjoyed the artwork throughout the ship, though some pieces were rather bizarre. The Equinox didn't show it's age being over 5 years old.
Food and service are central in importance to our cruising experience. Celebrity is still the best cruise line in these 2 areas that we have experienced. Having said that, we have noticed some things declining partially due to the larger ships and mass marketing. We loved the 1,2,3 Go program and thoroughly enjoyed the drink packages selected (I stayed with the Classic and my husband upgraded to Premium). The food selection and quality in the Ocean View restaurant was outstanding! On the other hand, the staff and service was below expectations. Many times the tables weren't cleared in a timely manner and we always had to go up to the bar ourselves to get a drink. It appears staff are overworked and lack motivation with gratuities being shared regardless of performance.
Though Celebrity is pushing the alternative dining venues, we feel the MDR (included in our cruise price) should be ample and it was. Though the selections did seem to repeat veal and duck 3 times, there was always other options available to satisfy anyone's tastes. We found the food to be good to excellent regularly or replaced immediately if not cooked to order. Once again, our waiter and his assistant were overtired and overworked, but tried their best to provide excellence in service. The sommelier on the other hand started off well but declined substantially as the cruise went on. A few nights we weren't offered a 2nd glass of wine and when your glass is empty right before the entree arrives, this is unacceptable. Again, he was probably overworked with people with beverage packages, so Celebrity needs to increase bar staff in the MDR in particular to accomodate this new inclusive feature of beverage packages. Overall we were satisfied with the food and service received despite my suggestions for improvement.
Cafe al Baccio was great! Good coffees, teas and pastries in a relaxing atmosphere (most days). When the weather was rainy, it became very congested and was very understaffed during these times with no seating for service, so lines became long to get a coffee to go.
Didn't like the Gastro Bar at all. Smelled of mold and mildew in the middle area of the bar seating and bartenders had bad attitudes! Acted as if they didn't see you or want to serve you even when the place was empty. My husband enjoys beer, so wanted to try some new selections, but they were out of them.
For fee food (like a $12 cheeseburger) seems a bad idea to me when food is always available on a cruise ship.
The entertainment we saw was well done and other passengers who attended all the shows enjoyed them all. Didn't care for the guitarist playing throughout all ship areas, but especially at the pool and outside bar. Need a more upbeat "caribbean sound" like a steel band.
Finally, after a fairly decent cruise with a few disappointments, the disembarkation process was horendous! We were sent paperwork early on in the cruise asking when we would like to get off the ship. I thought 3/12 hours prior to our flight was plenty of time to allow for a stress free disembarkation. How wrong I was! Celebrity didn't give any communications to help us anticipate this awful procedure. Never before have we experienced such chaos and waiting in lines for 2 1/2 hours. Needless to say, we were very concerned about missing our flight, so attempted twice to talk to a representative who said nothing could be done to assist us. Finally, I approached a man (who I thought was a supervisor--Kenneth Robinson) for help, and was reprimanded for getting out of the line. He was the furthest thing from customer service I have ever seen, being disrespectful and blatantly refusing to help in any way. What a horrible ending to an otherwise pleasant cruise. Celebrity needs to address this issue of Customer Service and organized plans for disembarkation. Now that everyone has to pass through customs, TSA screening etc. there should be separate lines based on flight times, nationalities etc. just like they do for physically challenged people.
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