Equinox - the one to beat!: Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Pastures

Celebrity Equinox 5
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Equinox - the one to beat!

Sail Date: September 2009
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
My wife and I are in our mid 60s and have been on 13 cruises including P&O, Cunard and Princess. We chose this particular cruise primarily for the opportunity to visit Israel and Egypt and the chance to sail on a new ship. This was our 3rd cruise with Celebrity and Equinox is easily the best ship we have sailed on. It is superb. The grass on the top deck is something different from the norm and a very pleasant area in which to sit and relax.

We travelled from Gatwick to Rome and apart from a lengthy delay in the arrivals hall in the port when someone had fallen on the gangway and embarkation was halted, everything went like clockwork. We were greeted with a glass of bubbly on board and proceeded to our cabin quite quickly. Our cases arrived a couple of hours later.

We had booked an inside cabin as we only use it for sleeping and dressing and we weren't disappointed. The cabin was spacious and the bed really comfortable. The bathrooms are well designed with a More glass enclosed shower instead of the normal curtain. There is sufficient storage space in the cabin although drawer space is a little limited, however the cupboards over the bed are very useful. Our cabin steward looked after us very well and kept the cabin spotless.

The lifeboat drill (which took place at 5pm when we were trying to unpack our suitcases) was chaotic and a waste of time, but is mandatory.

Service was excellent throughout the ship including the main dining room and self service buffet. The food was so good in the main dining room that we were not tempted to try the specialty dining rooms. We generally ate breakfast in the Ocean View and also finished the night off there with a cup of tea and a "light bite".

The evening entertainment in the theatre was excellent - the best shows we have seen on any cruise. However daytime activities on sea days did not appeal to us. We were disappointed that there were no organised bridge sessions.

We did not use the ship's excursions preferring to 'do our own thing' and in Israel and Egypt organised our own minibus tours with other travellers met through Cruise Critic. There were no problems and we always made it back to the ship in good time!

Collection of luggage on the night before departure was extremely well organised - cases not required to be put out until 23.00hrs. Disembarkation on the following morning was equally slick and transfers to Rome airport were very efficient. However, the BA check-in was extremely inefficient with queues for the fast bag drop taking well over an hour. Less

Published 10/23/09

Cabin review: 113160 Inside Stateroom

Drawer space in cabin slightly lacking however there was plenty of cupboard space over the bed. Location on Plaza deck was brilliant, essential services were all nearby. Cabin was very quiet and there was no noise or engine vibration. Nice to have a comfortable settee in cabin.

Read All Inside Stateroom (11) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Overnight, 2 days. Day 1 took horse and carriage around the sights. Expected to pay for 1 hour, ended up paying for 3! Interesting place but absolutely filthy! Never been to a place like it. Not recommended to walk around on your own. Very busy with traffic and people. Day 2 took own organised excursion to Cairo, visited Pyramids, Sphinx, Museum, Felluca ride on Nile with lunch. Very long day, 12 hours+. There were 20 of us Cruise Critic members, arranged in advance via internet. Travel Company "Timeless Egypt" A unique and unforgettable experience. Journey to Cairo long but roads were OK and absolutely no problems with security. Very highly recommended.

Walked to Metro then train into Athens from Piraeus Port. Cruise terminal some 40 mins walk to metro but cost of train only 1 euro. Our second visit to Athens and had already visited Acropolis etc. Caught No 400 Tourist Bus outside main Museum, half hourly service which takes 1hr 30mins. Well worthwhile and you can use your ticket on the metro back to the port! Wanted to see Museum but unfortunately only opened from 13.00hrs on Mondays.

We did our own thing with an organised minibus trip to Nazareth & Sea of Galilee accompanied by 8 Cruise Critic members, tour operator "Guys". The whole experience was great. No security worries.

Read 141 Haifa Reviews

Port right in heart of town so can walk round bazaars etc without difficulty. 2 main sights, Ephasus and local Kusadasi Bazaars. This was our second visit and we decided to visit Ephasus the site of early Greek/Roman civilisation in Asia. It contains the second largest city ruins in the World. In hindsight, I should have joined a trip organised by fellow CC members on the net but hadn't done so and therefore had to arrange something on the day. Luckily there was an operator in the port complex arranging minibus tours at competitive rates and we enjoyed a very interesting 3 hour excursion.

FURTHER PORTS VISITED - Mykanos - OK but not much there other than walk round town of narrow streets. Very busy with 4 other ships in port.Our 2nd visit.

NAPLES - Visited Pompeii on our own by bus and train, very easy and massively less expensive than ship's excursion. An incredible experience. Also easy to do similar trip to Mt Vesuvius and Herculaneum which we did last trip and ferry to Capri which we did the time before. All on our own without any problems.

Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

Took cable car to Fira, queues could be quite lengthy but only other option "Donkey" which is not to be recommended. Caught local bus to Oia. Extremely picturesque and less commercialised than Fira. Well worth a visit.

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Member Since 2008
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