This was our 2nd cruise on Equinox, 4th Celebrity cruise and 28th cruise between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We are definitely loyal. Loved the 4 Go Best perks that made this cruise really like an all-inclusive cruise (Unlimited Internet that was really fast and reliable, Premium Drink Pkg., Pre-paid gratuities and Onboard Credit).
Ship: Before our cruise I found the ship was last in dry dock in 2014 and was scheduled for a routine dry dock in 2019. The ship is well maintained and looks great! The only neglected maintenance were the drapes in our stateroom that had rips and looked in need of replacement. Otherwise, Equinox, like all S-Class ships, are beauties!
Cabin: Our cabin was very roomy and accommodated me well in my wheelchair, both in the cabin, bathroom and balcony. I am a fulltime wheelchair user and cannot walk or stand so the roll-in shower, ramped exit and entrance to the balcony and automatic door opener were terrific! The room has a bench-style seat/chair combination my husband found comfortable. In addition, the chair folds out to make a twin bed.
Dining: A big part of our cruise experience is dining. We enjoyed sitting with 2 other couples during early dining. Our table for 2 was positioned between two other tables for 2 that were placed 2 inches apart. So in essence this really means a table for 6. We were fine with this arrangement since our table, adjacent within 2 inches of tables on either side of us, were occupied with such nice people. The food was very good. We had noticed last year on Eclipse and this year on Equinox that many of the more upgraded/special dishes and even vegetables are no longer served. One example is Celebrity no longer serves stuffed quail. Also, asparagus that was often served at dinner was no longer. However, one of the last nights of the cruise we asked our Head Waiter about this and a nice bowl of asparagus was served us unasked the following evening. I had a couple appetizers with a salad or soup a couple nights without an entrée which was gladly served after our waiter asked if I was sure that was all I wanted. Our waiter served my dishes so they coincided with everyone's dinner entrees...very nice. I would also recommend the "everyday, always on the evening menu" entrees.....all good (grilled salmon, grilled steak perfectly prepared med. rare as I'd asked and the grilled chicken breast). Lobster tails were 4-5 inch tails and very good. Prime rib, served 2 different evenings was also very good. Desserts were pretty good, but sometimes went to Café al Bacio after dinner for a sweet instead. Café al Bacio is one of our favorites for specialty coffees and teas along with fabulous desserts, large and small, served all throughout the day and evening. Great venue!
We love sushi and we ate at specialty restaurant, Sushi on 5, once and liked it but found the sushi selections over the top, although well prepared. One visit was enough. We also ate at specialty restaurant, Tuscan Grill, and it was great, as usual. Our waiter was very good, but forgot to tell us besides the wonderful bread basket served with dipping oil there is a complimentary Charcuterie board served before dinner that was really great. But, we ordered too many dishes since we didn't know about the Charcuterie board. We passed on dessert. Other meals we enjoyed were main dining room breakfast and lunch as well as breakfast and lunch at Oceanview Café. We think the evening main dining room menu has declined somewhat while Oceanview has maintained great quality and a huge array of food selections. I do miss the daily bread pudding offered in Oceanview (used to have a different "flavor" each day). Staff in Oceanview assisted me unasked on several occasions with my selections which gave my husband a break from fixing my plate and then going back to fix his plate. Several days we went to the Mast Grill, got a burger and then took it down to Oceanview to eat it. We usually picked a salad or soup while there to go along with our burger. Mast Grill has veggie burgers and turkey burgers but there is a sign posted that states having those means a 20-min. wait. By the way, we still think Celebrity food is a cut above Royal Caribbean's food which we also enjoy. As a side note, if you are invited to the Elegant Tea, this has really changed. Loyalty levels are treated to this invitation one afternoon for 45 min. during the cruise. We were shocked to find 4 small canapés (no finger sandwiches) on the table of 4 where we sat, followed by waiter-served choices of: raisin scone, Napoleon, small chocolate cake slice and small cream puff. Our former experience with the Elegant Tea looked like what used to be the dessert selection from midnight buffets. While we were satisfied at the tea, we are always uncomfortable with a small plate in the middle of the table as to whether or not to have anything before the others at our table, so we declined. One other thing we really miss is the one-time brunch that used to be held in the main dining room they no longer serve. These are noticeable dining changes that didn't spoil our cruise but we certainly missed them. Several of we past Celebrity loyals see adding a special dining room just for suites guests plus the special dining room for Aquaclass guests has changed what's being offered in the main dining room at night.
Entertainment: The production shows we attended were very good. We missed the strings groups at venues playing round the ship before and after dinner.
Service: Love the crew and staff! We got lots of personalized attention from a happy, professional and very visible crew who are always interacting with passengers. Neil, our steward, was the best steward we've ever had. He kept our room sparkling and our balcony spotless. Sam, our charming head waiter, was the best and most interactive we've ever had. Restaurant and bar servers were very good. Lots of bar servers circulated in pool areas for drink orders, but were not pushy.
Ports: We didn't take any excursions. We don't get off in Grand Cayman because I can't use the tenders. Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and Key West make for our favorite itinerary. I can easily get around these ports in my wheelchair. We love this ship and itinerary so much we booked for same time and ship next year.
We did not travel with children and saw very few onboard.
Highly recommend Celebrity and plan to go again and again. Fingers crossed they remember those of us that aren't suites guests!