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As a point of reference, this was our 50th cruise and our 6th with Celebrity. We normally cruise Royal Carribean for their innovative ships and port convenience, but as we get older and take more cruises as a couple without family, we are coming to appreciate Celebrity more and more for their upscale dining, outstanding service, and less crowded ships with far less out of control children. From the moment we were dropped off at the terminal at 10:25 am, everything went smoothly. It was a stressful week leading up to the cruise with “Jose” impacting Florida and not knowing if our flight would be cancelled, the port would be open, or if we would have hotel accommodations for the night before. Finally 2 days before the cruise it looked like a “go”! We breezed through security, checked in, and immediately walked onto the ship at 10:40am. We were told the Ocean View Cafe was open and by 10:50 had a plate full of food in front of us! Let the vacation and calories begin! So much for the pre cruise diet. What makes us state this was our best cruise ever ( I exclude cruises taken with family because anytime we cruise with our children is special for obvious reasons and can’t compare) was the “perfect storm” of all key factors that make a cruise great coming together. In no particular order this cruise featured: Beautiful ship, great layout, clean, no noticeable wear and tear, modern Great weather (only rained twice both times at night) Very calm seas GREAT food both in Blu and at Ocean View Cafe OUTSTANDING service everywhere, Blu,Oceanview Cafe, Lounges, Cafe Al Boccio Friendly staff, crew, and officers Great entertainment, activities THE best Cruise Director (Richard Spacey) more on him later Fantastic cabin attendant Very nice Aqua Class stateroom with great bathroom, shower and a comfortable bed Great itinerary (Grand Cayman,Aruba,Caracao,Bonaire) Fun excursions No crowds. Ship’s full capacity is 2850 but only 2500 onboard due to cancellations Lively, active, participating, polite crowd and didn’t hear much complaining for a change! Non smoking casino When we cruise Celebrity we now only book Aqua Class because of access to BLU restaurant for breakfast and dinner. We always enjoy the food and service and the rapport you build with everyone there, including fellow cruisers. I must say though that the BLU on the Equinox had even better food and service than the BLU on the Celebrity Summit that we were on last month, and we thought that was great! Just as a tip, if you do not like the evening’s menu, you CAN order off the main dining rooms menu for that evening and they will gladly mix and match courses. Can’t say enough about the entire wait staff there. All the entertainment was great, with the exception of the first evening show, a guest comedian who was disorganized, amateurish, and just not funny. Heard many cruisers say “ what was that”, and “was he on drugs?”. There were 4 production shows, and although there was not elaborate stage props, the singers and dancers were very talented and most of their shows received standing ovations, which is unusual for production shows. The remaining guest performers were outstanding. “December 63”, a Four Seasons tribute band were fantastic. Also had a comic magician, a singer who featured Aretha Franklin, and a gentleman who was a comic, impressionist and singer who brought down the house! The Cruise Director, Richard Spacey, is our absolute favorite and we use to book Royal Carribean cruises just to be on his ships. When he left Royal a few years back to take a land job with Celebrity, we were bummed. He then decided to go back to being a Cruise Director and like the captain said, “Rich is happiest when he is on stage”. I know there are cruisers who prefer the Cruise Director to be just an MC, but for those of us that like an interactive, funny, energetic CD, he is the BEST. Not only does he inject humor into everything he does, when he is the CD the ship comes alive in the evening with guest participating in his shows and dance parties. He brings a certain vibe to the ship. He is quick witted, can improvise on the spot, and does not stick to a script, as some others do. The Equinox is a perfect sized cruise ship. It is a large ship but Celebrity doesn’t seem to try to cram every square foot with extra cabins and passengers, as Royal and others appears to be doing. We cruised on The Harmony of the Seas with 12 of our family and friends last May, and although the ship is something to behold, with all the bells and whistles, OH MY GOD was it crowded! Lines everywhere and good luck finding seats ANYWHERE. The Equinox is an elegant ship and has a great layout with attractive public areas. There are plenty of themed bars and lounges, that never seemed overly crowded. The casino is unique in that one side of it opens to the on board shops which makes it readily accessible and with no smoking, comfortable. Cafe Al Boccio is one of our favorite destinations both mid morning and late night. It is a coffee house that serves yummy specialty coffees (for a fee), both alcoholic and non alcoholic, along with impressive pastries (free). They also serve multiple flavors of delicious gelato (for a fee) with home made waffle cones. In the evening Cafe Al Boccio is also a great place to listen to music and watch dance parties as it overlooks the atrium. The Martini Bar is always lively and a must stop to watch the talented bar servers work their magic, making perfect martinis in an entertaining way. Their martini menu is extensive and you will need the premium beverage package to cover their drinks. I highly recommend the “Sunset Martini” yum! (has Grey Goose,coconut rum,and pineapple juice)The bar top is covered with ice to keep your drink icy cold and there is usually some kind of live music to listen to as it overlooks the atrium. Over the years there has been a steady decline in both the selection and overall quality of food on ship’s buffets. It was a pleasant surprise to find The Oceanview Cafe on the Equinox an exception. We only lunched there, as we had breakfast and dinner at BLU. There was quite a variety of daily offferings and most of what we tried was very good. They replenished food quickly and table and bar service was quicker than average. We don’t usually like cruise ship pizza, but they were rolling dough and making it fresh and it was going fast as they put it out. I must say it was pretty good, along with the calzones. There was also a pasta station. They even served mussels a couple of days that were a big hit. The desert offerings was huge with plenty of pies, cakes, etc., but of course on Celebrity the big hit is their made on board ice cream. Every day there was a selection of about 8 different flavors, with toppings, and an option to get 2 flavors of soft serve. Nice to have this available in the Oceanview Cafe and not have to go to a pool area for desert. A few days we felt like just having a burger, so we went to the Mast Grill, where you can get a good burger with toppings and fries or a hot dog. Yes they were free, as they discontinued their short lived experiment for charging for burgers and hot dogs at the Mast Grill. Never made sense to me to pay for a burger when just a few steps away they were carving roast beef, ham, turkey, lamb, etc. for free. There was no where to eat in the shade, and it was hot, so we would walk across deck and eat them in the Oceanview Cafe. Their were plenty of daytime activities to keep you busy on the 5 sea days and we were certainly never bored. Everything from hot glass shows, guest lecturers, pool games, trivia, etc. We attended some art auctions, lectures, made donations to the casino, and being Elite status, attended wine tasting, elegant tea, and the backstage tour. We skipped the Galley tour this time. Also, being a 10 day cruise there were 2 Sundays to watch football games that are featured in the Gastro loungeas well as your cabin. Celebrity definitely has more activities during the day than Royal Carribean offers. We initially booked this cruise not only for an opportunity to cruise on this class of Celebrity ship again (we had previously cruised 12 nights on the Silhouette) but because of the itinerary. We enjoy going to Grand Cayman and Key West, but had never been to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. Unfortunately we could not go to Key West and instead went to Falmouth Jamaica, not one of our favorites. We booked various tours in Grand Cayman, Bonaire, and Curaçao. We toured Aruba on our own. We throughly enjoyed all the islands but it was extremely warm (88-90 degrees and humid with little breeze).We were told by the locals that this was unusually warm for them due to hurricane Maria churning further up north and east, affecting their normal trade winds. I will say that we found Spa and drink prices on Celebrity about 30% higher than Royal. I upgraded to the premium package, as many of the whiskeys and bourbons that were on the classic package last year, now require the premium package. Also, not all brands they feature in their premium package are available and their selection of whiskeys and bourbons are limited. About 5 cocktails a day will break even with the price of the package. Celebrity internet is a lot more expensive than on Royal Carribean. Disembarkation was a breeze. Walk your own luggage off the ship started at 7:00 am. We had the 7:40 luggage tag #5 and were called at 7:20. We walked off the ship with no waiting, got our luggage, went right through customs and were sitting in our Celebrity transfer bus to Ft. Lauderdale Airport at 7:35. However, the bus did not leave until over an hour later while we waited for it to fill. Never again will we take a transfer bus as we usually hire private shuttles. We used SAS transportation on the way to the port. They picked us up at our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on time for $30 total plus tip. The transfers were $60 plus tip. I highly recommend the Celebrity Equinox to anybody that is over the age of 45 and/or is looking for an intimate, romantic, sophisticated, mature, or luxurious cruise. Their ships do not have the “wow” factor that Royal and others have, but that keeps families with young children to a minimum and makes the cruise line what it is.......an upscale, modern luxury, mature, cruise experience.

Thank you Celebrity Equinox for the Best Cruise Ever!!!

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by CruisinBanka

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
As a point of reference, this was our 50th cruise and our 6th with Celebrity. We normally cruise Royal Carribean for their innovative ships and port convenience, but as we get older and take more cruises as a couple without family, we are coming to appreciate Celebrity more and more for their upscale dining, outstanding service, and less crowded ships with far less out of control children.

From the moment we were dropped off at the terminal at 10:25 am, everything went smoothly. It was a stressful week leading up to the cruise with “Jose” impacting Florida and not knowing if our flight would be cancelled, the port would be open, or if we would have hotel accommodations for the night before. Finally 2 days before the cruise it looked like a “go”! We breezed through security, checked in, and immediately walked onto the ship at 10:40am. We were told the Ocean View Cafe was open and by 10:50 had a plate full of food in front of us! Let the vacation and calories begin! So much for the pre cruise diet.

What makes us state this was our best cruise ever ( I exclude cruises taken with family because anytime we cruise with our children is special for obvious reasons and can’t compare) was the “perfect storm” of all key factors that make a cruise great coming together. In no particular order this cruise featured:

Beautiful ship, great layout, clean, no noticeable wear and tear, modern

Great weather (only rained twice both times at night)

Very calm seas

GREAT food both in Blu and at Ocean View Cafe

OUTSTANDING service everywhere, Blu,Oceanview Cafe, Lounges, Cafe Al Boccio

Friendly staff, crew, and officers

Great entertainment, activities

THE best Cruise Director (Richard Spacey) more on him later

Fantastic cabin attendant

Very nice Aqua Class stateroom with great bathroom, shower and a comfortable bed

Great itinerary (Grand Cayman,Aruba,Caracao,Bonaire)

Fun excursions

No crowds. Ship’s full capacity is 2850 but only 2500 onboard due to cancellations

Lively, active, participating, polite crowd and didn’t hear much complaining for a change!

Non smoking casino

When we cruise Celebrity we now only book Aqua Class because of access to BLU restaurant for breakfast and dinner. We always enjoy the food and service and the rapport you build with everyone there, including fellow cruisers. I must say though that the BLU on the Equinox had even better food and service than the BLU on the Celebrity Summit that we were on last month, and we thought that was great! Just as a tip, if you do not like the evening’s menu, you CAN order off the main dining rooms menu for that evening and they will gladly mix and match courses. Can’t say enough about the entire wait staff there.

All the entertainment was great, with the exception of the first evening show, a guest comedian who was disorganized, amateurish, and just not funny. Heard many cruisers say “ what was that”, and “was he on drugs?”. There were 4 production shows, and although there was not elaborate stage props, the singers and dancers were very talented and most of their shows received standing ovations, which is unusual for production shows. The remaining guest performers were outstanding. “December 63”, a Four Seasons tribute band were fantastic. Also had a comic magician, a singer who featured Aretha Franklin, and a gentleman who was a comic, impressionist and singer who brought down the house!

The Cruise Director, Richard Spacey, is our absolute favorite and we use to book Royal Carribean cruises just to be on his ships. When he left Royal a few years back to take a land job with Celebrity, we were bummed. He then decided to go back to being a Cruise Director and like the captain said, “Rich is happiest when he is on stage”. I know there are cruisers who prefer the Cruise Director to be just an MC, but for those of us that like an interactive, funny, energetic CD, he is the BEST. Not only does he inject humor into everything he does, when he is the CD the ship comes alive in the evening with guest participating in his shows and dance parties. He brings a certain vibe to the ship. He is quick witted, can improvise on the spot, and does not stick to a script, as some others do.

The Equinox is a perfect sized cruise ship. It is a large ship but Celebrity doesn’t seem to try to cram every square foot with extra cabins and passengers, as Royal and others appears to be doing. We cruised on The Harmony of the Seas with 12 of our family and friends last May, and although the ship is something to behold, with all the bells and whistles, OH MY GOD was it crowded! Lines everywhere and good luck finding seats ANYWHERE. The Equinox is an elegant ship and has a great layout with attractive public areas. There are plenty of themed bars and lounges, that never seemed overly crowded. The casino is unique in that one side of it opens to the on board shops which makes it readily accessible and with no smoking, comfortable. Cafe Al Boccio is one of our favorite destinations both mid morning and late night. It is a coffee house that serves yummy specialty coffees (for a fee), both alcoholic and non alcoholic, along with impressive pastries (free). They also serve multiple flavors of delicious gelato (for a fee) with home made waffle cones. In the evening Cafe Al Boccio is also a great place to listen to music and watch dance parties as it overlooks the atrium. The Martini Bar is always lively and a must stop to watch the talented bar servers work their magic, making perfect martinis in an entertaining way. Their martini menu is extensive and you will need the premium beverage package to cover their drinks. I highly recommend the “Sunset Martini” yum! (has Grey Goose,coconut rum,and pineapple juice)The bar top is covered with ice to keep your drink icy cold and there is usually some kind of live music to listen to as it overlooks the atrium.

Over the years there has been a steady decline in both the selection and overall quality of food on ship’s buffets. It was a pleasant surprise to find The Oceanview Cafe on the Equinox an exception. We only lunched there, as we had breakfast and dinner at BLU. There was quite a variety of daily offferings and most of what we tried was very good. They replenished food quickly and table and bar service was quicker than average. We don’t usually like cruise ship pizza, but they were rolling dough and making it fresh and it was going fast as they put it out. I must say it was pretty good, along with the calzones. There was also a pasta station. They even served mussels a couple of days that were a big hit. The desert offerings was huge with plenty of pies, cakes, etc., but of course on Celebrity the big hit is their made on board ice cream. Every day there was a selection of about 8 different flavors, with toppings, and an option to get 2 flavors of soft serve. Nice to have this available in the Oceanview Cafe and not have to go to a pool area for desert. A few days we felt like just having a burger, so we went to the Mast Grill, where you can get a good burger with toppings and fries or a hot dog. Yes they were free, as they discontinued their short lived experiment for charging for burgers and hot dogs at the Mast Grill. Never made sense to me to pay for a burger when just a few steps away they were carving roast beef, ham, turkey, lamb, etc. for free. There was no where to eat in the shade, and it was hot, so we would walk across deck and eat them in the Oceanview Cafe.

Their were plenty of daytime activities to keep you busy on the 5 sea days and we were certainly never bored. Everything from hot glass shows, guest lecturers, pool games, trivia, etc. We attended some art auctions, lectures, made donations to the casino, and being Elite status, attended wine tasting, elegant tea, and the backstage tour. We skipped the Galley tour this time. Also, being a 10 day cruise there were 2 Sundays to watch football games that are featured in the Gastro loungeas well as your cabin. Celebrity definitely has more activities during the day than Royal Carribean offers.

We initially booked this cruise not only for an opportunity to cruise on this class of Celebrity ship again (we had previously cruised 12 nights on the Silhouette) but because of the itinerary. We enjoy going to Grand Cayman and Key West, but had never been to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. Unfortunately we could not go to Key West and instead went to Falmouth Jamaica, not one of our favorites. We booked various tours in Grand Cayman, Bonaire, and Curaçao. We toured Aruba on our own. We throughly enjoyed all the islands but it was extremely warm (88-90 degrees and humid with little breeze).We were told by the locals that this was unusually warm for them due to hurricane Maria churning further up north and east, affecting their normal trade winds.

I will say that we found Spa and drink prices on Celebrity about 30% higher than Royal. I upgraded to the premium package, as many of the whiskeys and bourbons that were on the classic package last year, now require the premium package. Also, not all brands they feature in their premium package are available and their selection of whiskeys and bourbons are limited. About 5 cocktails a day will break even with the price of the package. Celebrity internet is a lot more expensive than on Royal Carribean.

Disembarkation was a breeze. Walk your own luggage off the ship started at 7:00 am. We had the 7:40 luggage tag #5 and were called at 7:20. We walked off the ship with no waiting, got our luggage, went right through customs and were sitting in our Celebrity transfer bus to Ft. Lauderdale Airport at 7:35. However, the bus did not leave until over an hour later while we waited for it to fill. Never again will we take a transfer bus as we usually hire private shuttles. We used SAS transportation on the way to the port. They picked us up at our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on time for $30 total plus tip. The transfers were $60 plus tip.

I highly recommend the Celebrity Equinox to anybody that is over the age of 45 and/or is looking for an intimate, romantic, sophisticated, mature, or luxurious cruise. Their ships do not have the “wow” factor that Royal and others have, but that keeps families with young children to a minimum and makes the cruise line what it is.......an upscale, modern luxury, mature, cruise experience.
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Cabin Review

AquaClass
Cabin A1 1586
The Aqua Class balcony cabin was roomy enough, nicely appointed, and very well maintained. Drapes, furniture and bedding were clean, with no noticeable wear. Their was plenty of storage, although I have seen bigger closets. The bathroom was larger than most and 2 people could be in it at a time. It had a nice shower with rain shower head and messaging panel board. We did not experience any foul odors that we have experienced on other ships. The balcony was serviceable and had 2 chairs that lounged and a matching foot stool. It also had a table. TV stations were very limited.
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