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My wife and I, after a three (3) year break, returned to sail with Celebrity this past month. We will detail our experience hoping it offers details useful for those who are considering a cruise with Celebrity. Overall, we enjoyed our return aboard the Equinox. We found the ship to be very clean and well maintained. There are wear spots around the ship as one might expect with age. However, cleanliness was never an issue and general is not with Celebrity. The crew was also very friendly and attentive with only a few exceptions. We noticed the officers more engaged and making rounds throughout the ship each day as well. Our room was as expected and comfortable during the cruise. We had a balcony room with a slightly larger deck than most based on location. Our cabin steward Henry was friendly and attentive as was his assistant Kadek. We tipped on the automatic program but also slipped both Henry and Kadek a $5 bill 4-5 times over the 10 day cruise. They appreciated it and we enjoyed their attentiveness. Food was very good on this trip as well. I was particularly excited that escargot was back on the Classic menu. Three years ago - no escargot. Our waiter Juan and assistant waiter Andrei Stefan were both wonderful and made each night at dinner wonderful for us and our tablemates. William, our sommelier, was the best wine steward we have ever had on all our sailings. We trusted his palate completely and took his recommendations as offered. If you love wine, you will love to have William as you sommelier! He never missed on a recommendation. We ate at all three (3) specialty restaurants. We found one clear winner and two disappointments for different reasons. The Tuscan Grille shines as the best value and food in the specialty restaurant offerings. The settings in stunning (back of the ship), the food was terrific and well-prepared, and the service made our dining experience. Our waiter, Mushi, was happy, friendly and clearly loves what he does. His enthusiasm was infectious and he is exactly what a waiter should be in a pay-for-dining experience. Murano was the restaurant we thought would be the best experience. It was not. Our experience was fair at best for many reasons. Our first hiccup was where we were placed for our dining experience. We were just inside the restaurant to the right. This location was problematic for many reasons. Now, you need to know we are not snobs and put off by not getting a table of choice. It is just poorly placed. This location is a defacto spot where waiter staff seems to meet for conversations. It was also became clear this staff is not all that happy and friendly. Accents also were very thick making it difficult for us to understand some of what was told to us. We had the premium alcohol package (more about that in a minute). For some reason, our wine person kept taking us back to the classic alcohol package wines by the glass list. Unfortunately, some of them didn't appeal to us, so we bought other wine resulting in $35 of unnecessary charges. The food was also disappointing given we paid an additional $45 per person to dine at Murano. Didn't go back and probably would pass on Murano if we sail again with Celebrity. Silk Harvest was disappointing for other reasons. We enjoyed our meal at Silk Harvest. The service was adequate, but nothing special. The food was tasty but simply not better than the regular dining room. So, we found Silk Harvest to not be a good value. We are willing to pay the extra fee for some special. Silk Harvest wasn't. One bartender gave service so good that he has to be mentioned. His name is Alfredo and he was often at the pool bar. Although, we did see his other places on occasion. He was always friendly and smiling. He made us feel like he enjoyed serving us - just what you want while on vacation. We hit him with a few $5 bills occasionally in gratitude for his wonderful service. We "spread the love" quite often actually. We tipped bathroom attendances, people cleaning the ship occasionally and the entire staff at Care Al Bacio. Those people are all very good in their service and friendliness. We had one waiter who was a turn off. His name is Andrei, third line cook, who manned the sandwich station at the Oceanview Café. My wife got a sandwich daily and he was there almost everyday. He didn't smile and would only do what he had to do to serve people. He made it clear it was a bother to wait on you and get you what was requested. Not a good representative for Celebrity in any way. Let's talk about the alcohol packages. We took the Classic package as our "freebie" upon booking. We bought up to the premium package. It was the best thing we have done in sailing with Celebrity. We sailed on a premium cruise line where everything was included. We really enjoyed not having to sign for drinks on that passage. Same was true for this past cruise. it is worth the money to avoid having to sign for 20 purchases each day (coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, drinks, etc.). Oh, and we discovered the martini bar. Great drinks made in a very entertaining manner. Warning. The martini's go down smooth. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise with celebrity. It was our 18th sailing with them. Our Captain's Club status (Elite) no longer rewards repeat customers. The new point system rewards people who spend the most money. So, we found it not nearly as special as it was before. The events were OK but didn't make a loyal customer feel special any longer. Also, Celebrity used to be a cut above other cruise lines in making the trip feel elegant. Not so any more either. We noticed people at dinner in shorts and tee shirts. No enforcement of the dress code is bothersome to us. Go cruise Carnival if you don't want to dress up for dinner. Shorts and tees should never be acceptable as proper dinner attire. We cruise because we like getting dressed up for dinner! Embarkation was a bit troubling too. We were routed to Elite Captain's Club lines for our decks (three lines). A Celebrity employee came over and began rotating people to open windows on a first-come, first-served basis. We were fine with that. While we were waiting, a couple was aggressively cutting through the process. they appeared to our left and when a window opened for us, this couple rushed to the open window. We did quietly protest and the gentleman apologized for not "feeding" people in order. Celebrity should eliminate this issue with an alternative for processing. It would be an easy fix. In the end, we will probably be back on Celebrity someday. However, since loyalty brings less reward to repeat customers, we will explore sailing with Holland America, Princess (again), Disney, Norwegian (again), and even Carnival possibly. Celebrity is not a bad cruise line. They are just not what they used to be when their stated goal was to "Exceed Expectations!"

Return to Celebrity after a break!

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by DuckDude

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
My wife and I, after a three (3) year break, returned to sail with Celebrity this past month. We will detail our experience hoping it offers details useful for those who are considering a cruise with Celebrity.

Overall, we enjoyed our return aboard the Equinox. We found the ship to be very clean and well maintained. There are wear spots around the ship as one might expect with age. However, cleanliness was never an issue and general is not with Celebrity. The crew was also very friendly and attentive with only a few exceptions. We noticed the officers more engaged and making rounds throughout the ship each day as well.

Our room was as expected and comfortable during the cruise. We had a balcony room with a slightly larger deck than most based on location. Our cabin steward Henry was friendly and attentive as was his assistant Kadek. We tipped on the automatic program but also slipped both Henry and Kadek a $5 bill 4-5 times over the 10 day cruise. They appreciated it and we enjoyed their attentiveness.

Food was very good on this trip as well. I was particularly excited that escargot was back on the Classic menu. Three years ago - no escargot. Our waiter Juan and assistant waiter Andrei Stefan were both wonderful and made each night at dinner wonderful for us and our tablemates. William, our sommelier, was the best wine steward we have ever had on all our sailings. We trusted his palate completely and took his recommendations as offered. If you love wine, you will love to have William as you sommelier! He never missed on a recommendation.

We ate at all three (3) specialty restaurants. We found one clear winner and two disappointments for different reasons. The Tuscan Grille shines as the best value and food in the specialty restaurant offerings. The settings in stunning (back of the ship), the food was terrific and well-prepared, and the service made our dining experience. Our waiter, Mushi, was happy, friendly and clearly loves what he does. His enthusiasm was infectious and he is exactly what a waiter should be in a pay-for-dining experience.

Murano was the restaurant we thought would be the best experience. It was not. Our experience was fair at best for many reasons. Our first hiccup was where we were placed for our dining experience. We were just inside the restaurant to the right. This location was problematic for many reasons. Now, you need to know we are not snobs and put off by not getting a table of choice. It is just poorly placed. This location is a defacto spot where waiter staff seems to meet for conversations. It was also became clear this staff is not all that happy and friendly. Accents also were very thick making it difficult for us to understand some of what was told to us. We had the premium alcohol package (more about that in a minute). For some reason, our wine person kept taking us back to the classic alcohol package wines by the glass list. Unfortunately, some of them didn't appeal to us, so we bought other wine resulting in $35 of unnecessary charges. The food was also disappointing given we paid an additional $45 per person to dine at Murano. Didn't go back and probably would pass on Murano if we sail again with Celebrity.

Silk Harvest was disappointing for other reasons. We enjoyed our meal at Silk Harvest. The service was adequate, but nothing special. The food was tasty but simply not better than the regular dining room. So, we found Silk Harvest to not be a good value. We are willing to pay the extra fee for some special. Silk Harvest wasn't.

One bartender gave service so good that he has to be mentioned. His name is Alfredo and he was often at the pool bar. Although, we did see his other places on occasion. He was always friendly and smiling. He made us feel like he enjoyed serving us - just what you want while on vacation. We hit him with a few $5 bills occasionally in gratitude for his wonderful service. We "spread the love" quite often actually. We tipped bathroom attendances, people cleaning the ship occasionally and the entire staff at Care Al Bacio. Those people are all very good in their service and friendliness.

We had one waiter who was a turn off. His name is Andrei, third line cook, who manned the sandwich station at the Oceanview Café. My wife got a sandwich daily and he was there almost everyday. He didn't smile and would only do what he had to do to serve people. He made it clear it was a bother to wait on you and get you what was requested. Not a good representative for Celebrity in any way.

Let's talk about the alcohol packages. We took the Classic package as our "freebie" upon booking. We bought up to the premium package. It was the best thing we have done in sailing with Celebrity. We sailed on a premium cruise line where everything was included. We really enjoyed not having to sign for drinks on that passage. Same was true for this past cruise. it is worth the money to avoid having to sign for 20 purchases each day (coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, drinks, etc.). Oh, and we discovered the martini bar. Great drinks made in a very entertaining manner. Warning. The martini's go down smooth.

Overall, we enjoyed our cruise with celebrity. It was our 18th sailing with them. Our Captain's Club status (Elite) no longer rewards repeat customers. The new point system rewards people who spend the most money. So, we found it not nearly as special as it was before. The events were OK but didn't make a loyal customer feel special any longer. Also, Celebrity used to be a cut above other cruise lines in making the trip feel elegant. Not so any more either. We noticed people at dinner in shorts and tee shirts. No enforcement of the dress code is bothersome to us. Go cruise Carnival if you don't want to dress up for dinner. Shorts and tees should never be acceptable as proper dinner attire. We cruise because we like getting dressed up for dinner!

Embarkation was a bit troubling too. We were routed to Elite Captain's Club lines for our decks (three lines). A Celebrity employee came over and began rotating people to open windows on a first-come, first-served basis. We were fine with that. While we were waiting, a couple was aggressively cutting through the process. they appeared to our left and when a window opened for us, this couple rushed to the open window. We did quietly protest and the gentleman apologized for not "feeding" people in order. Celebrity should eliminate this issue with an alternative for processing. It would be an easy fix.

In the end, we will probably be back on Celebrity someday. However, since loyalty brings less reward to repeat customers, we will explore sailing with Holland America, Princess (again), Disney, Norwegian (again), and even Carnival possibly. Celebrity is not a bad cruise line. They are just not what they used to be when their stated goal was to "Exceed Expectations!"
DuckDude’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda
Cabin 2B 8228
cabin was very clean and well kept. Thanks Henry and Kadek!
Sunrise Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins