Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by MarkWiltonM
- Sail Date: January 2016
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
- Cabin Type: Concierge Class
We were in Concierge Class Statement 1659, near the stern, and it was very quiet. (We booked Concierge Class because it wasn't much more expensive at the time than regular class and we got more Captain's Club points. However, the benefits of Concierge Class while on the ship are minimal, and the staterooms and amenities are the same.) Our stateroom attendant, Ana, was very friendly and kept the room spotless, and she seemed to have our schedule down pat because our room was always made up when we returned from the ship. She did forget twice to leave the next day's listing of activities and port information, but we managed. On the other hand, she was quick to provide two additional bed pillows, for a total of six, upon request, and the bed was comfortable. We were happy with Ana!
The stateroom's televisions are pretty dated and should be replaced ASAP. Also, the small LED screen on the telephone by the bed is so bright that you'll need to cover it with a washcloth or something else unless you enjoy sleeping with a light on. Another inconvenience were voicemail messages sent by the concierge which produced a large yellow flashing light on the telephone in the middle of the night. Had to put a pillow over the phone to eliminate that annoyance (or get up and listen to the message and delete it, which I didn't feel inclined to do in the middle of the night).
The food didn't seem as good to us as the previous two years. It was style over substance, flash over flavor. You can always find something decent to eat in the buffet (Oceanview Cafe), but the main dining room was hit or miss (and mostly miss). Of the specialty dining venues, Murano was a big disappointment this year. The lobster, sauteed tableside with brandy, mustard, bacon, and cream, tasted like a loaded baked potato (the sauce completely overwhelmed the lobster, and the waiter overcooked the lobster to boot). But the Dover sole was very good. The Asian restaurant, Silk Harvest, was terrible. Everything tasted the same, which is to say, bland. We all wished we had just eaten at the buffet that night and saved our money. On the other hand, we had a very good meal at Tuscan Grille this year (which was our least favorite last year, FWIW).
That said, the food isn't much better or worse than we've had on other cruise lines, including Carnival, Princess, and Holland-America. That said, the Oceanview Cafe is so well-designed for traffic flow that it never feels too crowded and it's a pleasure to eat there. And the scones served in the afternoon are excellent, as are the cookies served all the time. The standout for coffee and pastries is Cafe al Bacio on Deck 5. They have really good cappuccinos and pastries.
The management, including the caption ("Captian Leo," the youngest captain in the fleet), the cruise director, Alejandro, and the activities manager, Jane, were omnipresent and fantastic. There was also a very good and sweet salesperson in the Exquisites shop, named Melissa, who knows her jewelry and watches cold.
We went to shows sporadically but two guest performers, Jayne Curry, a formidable singer and very funny as well, and a magician whose name I don't remember, were first rate. On the other hand, the production cast and their silly shows were mediocre at best and cringe-inducing at worst.
The ports of call were great, especially Cartagena, Colombia, where we had an overnight stay and two full days in port. The Panama Canal was also nice as were Costa Rica and Grand Cayman. (We were rained out in Cozumel.) Overall, we had an excellent time and would sail on Celebrity again.
250,000+ people have entered their email