Just back from the 11 Nights Ultimate Caribbean Cruise on Celebrity Equinox.
Itinerary: Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia (over night stay); George Town, Grand Cayman; and back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
This review is for the ship only:
Celebrity Equinox is a beautiful ship. Next after RCCL Quantum Class comes the Celebrity Solstice class - both classes of ships are build at the same ship yard, Meyer Werft in Germany and quite similar in construction.
Equinox was build in 2009 and is still well maintained. Inside it looks more like a resort than a ship. Nice design in neutrals interior with of colored artworks and chairs in the lounges. I didn't feel that the ship was crowded - at peak time for Lunch in Ocean View and early evening in the restaurant. In bars and at the pool deck I always found sufficient space.
We arrived at the terminal by taxi short after 10 am. It went quickly to deliver the suitcases at the pier, get checked in and through security. We waited about 30 minutes, before we were ready for boarding at 11 am. The boarding process and security went very smooth. We got a class of champagne (or like) when boarding, and went for lunch in the Oceanview Cafe - still not crowded. Just before 1pm we got our cabin - 1162 at deck 10 - Category C1 - Concierge Class Stateroom.
We quickly got our suitcases, got un-packed and found room for all the clothes in the closets before the muster drill.
Our cabin was the Deluxe Ocean View Veranda Stateroom - Category C1 at deck 10 - #1162. Sitting area at the balcony and bed close to toilet. The Cabin has a good size and equipped with two twin beds that can be converted to a queen-sized bed, Acceptable closet space with one big closet. Drawers as well as a storage cabinet above the bed. We did find space for our clothing, and suitcases went easily under the bed. Bathroom is well designed with shower and of a good size. There is a comfortable sitting area with desk, drawer space, and sofa.
The cabin is equipped with thermostat controlled air-conditioning, 32 inch interactive LCD television, telephone, hair dryer, mini bar, and safe.
There is good access to the wireless internet from the cabin, however the internet is slow and not suitable for voice or FaceTime/Skype.
The cabin has floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to a quite large balcony with two lounge chairs and table. We used the balcony a lot, but some times with direct sun it got too hot and we had to escape to the shady space on the sún deck..
The food in the main dining room was good - we did not use speciality restaurants but did eat for dinner in Oceanview cafe for two nights. We found that there was not as many options in the dining room menu as at Royal Caribbean. We did have Select Dining and found the atmosphere in the dining room quite stressed early in the evening while more relaxed after 7:30 pm.
The food in the Oceanview Cafe, was also good. Most days we ate breakfast and lunch there and for two evenings we really enjoyed the fresh-made sushi followed by a steak for dinner. They do have an outside sitting are with bar - We really enjoyed sitting outside for all meals in Oceanview Cafe.
The pool deck is filled with lounge chairs with a navy blue cushions. The solarium had even more lounging options, with nice teak wood lounge chairs
And there was plenty of seating in the sun, in the shade, in the quiet area, and in the lively area around the pool. No need to be early in order to get a chair. We were on the sun deck either early in the morning or late afternoon when sun was not too strong or we found a space in the shade.
A highlight on the Solstice Class ships is the Lawn where you can relax on a live grass lawn between the ship's funnels on the upper deck. The lawn also include glass-blowing classes/demonstrations.
Arrived into Port Everglades and experienced with self-disembarkation for a 10 am flight out of FLL the same day.
Expected arrival time into port Everglades at 7 am, but ship was docked already at 6 am. We were up at 6 am to pack the last things in the suitcases and at 7 pm, we went down to deck 5, in line to be among the first to go ashore - already a huge queue for self-disembarkation!
But already at 7:15 the queue did start to move and 8:45 we were off the ship in line for immigration. Pretty fast and just before 8 am we entered a taxi (no waiting line) for the airport - With United premier access and 'TSA Pre' check-in and security took less that 20 minutes.
Well in time for our 10 am departure - ready for the 20 hours journey to Denmark.
This was my cruise no. 26. Majority of cruises with Royal Caribbean and 4 with Celebrity.