Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by JeremyK1956
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Concierge Class
Relatively quick and easy process to get on board, usual welcome glass of sparkling wine.
We got access to our stateroom around 1:00 pm and found it as expected, that being clean and adequately supplied, we had cruised before in a "Concierge Class" so knew what to expect, slightly larger balcony this time due to the position on the ship. These staterooms are very well furnished/equipped and I believe they are well worth the extra cost, they also come with a few additional onboard perks.
The usual pre departure procedures were efficient and we were ready to set sail.
We had taken the trouble to upgrade our drinks package to the "Premium" package, one reason beings I only drink Cider and didn't travel 4500 miles to be served Strongbow, (standard package). It was somewhat concerning when I went for a pre dinner drink at around 6:00 pm to be told they had no Cider at all, it seems they sold out on the previous cruise and, even though the new stock was on board, it had yet to reach the bars. I do not find this acceptable, they are a premium standard cruise company who have been doing this for many years and I do not think a failure in logistics should impact on paying guests. I was told that they should have stock on the following day.
When the Cider finally turned up I then struggled to get the premium brands, (that they advertise on the Premium package). This was only available, (and even then restricted choice), to the Gastro Bar, and whichever bar I went to, I was told to go to the Gastro Bar if I wanted the premium Cider, not acceptable, you can be at any of the bars on this large ship and if they say you have to go to a specific bar which was often some distance away, something is wrong.
I raised the issue with customer relations on the Monday, and was told a member of the beverage management team would could and speak to me, I was told it would be about 5 minutes, it turned out to be 29 minutes. The gentleman I spoke to was most apologetic, (I forget his name, but he was the partner of the lady who oversaw the Concierge class clients (?)). He proposed several options to try and solve the issue, from asking which bars I mostly used to get them stocked to having some in my stateroom mini bar, (if I had done that it would still mean going to my stateroom each time I wanted a drink from wherever I was on the ship). As I didn't use that many bars I named them, one of which was the Buffet restaurant bar as I usually had a drink with my lunch, and I only have one so they didn't need to have a huge stock. It worked Tuesday and Wednesday, on Thursday they had none. As it turned out, the manager I had spoken to was at the bar and noticed I didn't have the drink I wanted, he asked me what the situation was, apologised and immediately went to the Gastro bar himself, coming back with six bottles to put in the bar cooler, very good of him but it shouldn't have got to that, again down to very poor logistics. I fully appreciate the fact that this may not be a big deal to a lot of people, but we paid the extra cost to receive a service that basically failed, I could not get the drinks I had paid for at the majority of the bars on the ship.
The food at breakfast was similar to my last Celebrity cruise, with a good choice and quality, for the food in the restaurant for dinner, this was not always the case. Most nights the choice and quality were really good, the starters were very good and they always seem to serve excellent beef, but a couple of the dishes were way below the standard I expected, one of which was the pork loin and this was so dry that our waiter, without being asked, went off and came back with a sauce/gravy to put over the meat. The lobster was also poorly cooked, (or at least mine was).The portions were pretty small, especially for a cruise out of America, and whereas I appreciate that rich food can fill you up, they were limited, especially on the vegetable/sides portions.
We went to the theatre most nights and thought the standard of entertainment was very good, the resident bands were also very good playing a good selection music and styles to suit most everyone's taste.
The casino offered a good selection of slot machines, and, whereas I do not play the tables, there seemed to be a good choice of options.
The shops were not quite as good as we had experienced on the "Eclipse", I think I remember more choice for general items on the Eclipse. I didn't shop upstairs, (out of my price range), and the occasional "sale" downstairs was usually pretty manic with little control.
We didn't do any of the planned excursions, just hoped to go ashore and wander around at our own pace. Grand Cayman was okay, (ish), but the two stops in Mexico were basically the same, great if you want a diamond, watch or jewellery, (maybe?). I wondered if the likes of "Diamonds International" was owned by the cruise companies, who actively promote them constantly on their shore excursion/shopping seminars, talk about overkill.
The service onboard was of the usual high standard, all the staff we encountered were polite and helpful.
All in all it was a bit disappointing really, we cruise quite regularly and expected more from Celebrity than this, I certainly wouldn't avoid them in the future, although I wouldn't choose this ship again.
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