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We are a group of four middle-aged Canadian couples who like to take a winter break. My DH and I are elite members and we have cruised mostly with Celebrity and once with RC. The two of us drove to Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale La Quinta Inn ( Hollywood area)thanks to CC advise. It was a wonderful place ! For a $65 room, we got free parking for two weeks and a drive to the ship in the morning, the hotel was nice and located by a lake as a bonus. We got to the ship early but we had to wait 4 hours to embark because the previous cruise had norovirus on board so it had to be de-sanitized, the good news was that no case were detected on our cruise. We proceeded to the visit of the Equinox, it is a beautiful sparkling ship, the pool area has enough chairs, the buffet area with stations is interestingly different, the theater is beautiful and our inside stateroom was the nicest one we had ever seen: the bathroom is fairly large and the design of the stateroom makes it look larger and beautiful. Yes, there is not a lot of closet space but it is perfect for 2 people. Our stateroom attendant, Baka, was the nicest we had ever sen, always smiling and eager to grant all our wishes. It was the same in the dining room, Gusti and Albert seemed to love their jobs and they were always doing more than required. The service on Celebrity is just as good as always. The food is very good but to much on the verge of Nouvelle Cuisine, it looks beautiful but not always as tasty as it looks. In the MDR. which looks too modern for my taste, the food was very good but not excellent as it once was. The lobster dinner was a total failure, it did not have any taste at all. However we went to Silk Harvest one evening and it was exceptional, the only complaint is they offer you evian water or pellegrino ( regular water does not seem an option) to only add it to the bill, as we are already paying $25 each, Iwe all thought it was a cheap way of making a few bucks ! The buffet upstairs is okay, it does the job but not much more. We had a Brunch at sea in the MDR which was very nice and well attended. The activities on board were nice, spanish lessons, cultural talks, dancing lessons etc. The dancing music was exceptionaly good ( Treasures of the Caribbean) and the whole ship seemed to be dancing! The Celebrity orchestra and the singers and dancers were excellent, we were tired of always seeing the same old shows, these were really different and exciting. On the other hand the headliners were nothing to write home about except for one or two, no variety! They are usually much better ! We did enjoy Mario D'Andrea, he was the exception. Being elite members was a nice perk, free happy hour, a rose in the room, priority tender ( which was extended to our friends, that is class!), the only bad part were the free internet minutes, we got them but it was not worth the trouble we had with the attitude of the officer in charge. This cruise had a nice mix of ports, beach days and cultural days and we really would recommend this itinerary : at the beginning I was not sure sonce I enjoy the Southern Caribbeans so much but we had no regrets, it was just as good and different !

Still the best !

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Lolotte

Trip Details
We are a group of four middle-aged Canadian couples who like to take a winter break. My DH and I are elite members and we have cruised mostly with Celebrity and once with RC. The two of us drove to Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale La Quinta Inn ( Hollywood area)thanks to CC advise. It was a wonderful place ! For a $65 room, we got free parking for two weeks and a drive to the ship in the morning, the hotel was nice and located by a lake as a bonus. We got to the ship early but we had to wait 4 hours to embark because the previous cruise had norovirus on board so it had to be de-sanitized, the good news was that no case were detected on our cruise. We proceeded to the visit of the Equinox, it is a beautiful sparkling ship, the pool area has enough chairs, the buffet area with stations is interestingly different, the theater is beautiful and our inside stateroom was the nicest one we had ever seen: the bathroom is fairly large and the design of the stateroom makes it look larger and beautiful. Yes, there is not a lot of closet space but it is perfect for 2 people. Our stateroom attendant, Baka, was the nicest we had ever sen, always smiling and eager to grant all our wishes. It was the same in the dining room, Gusti and Albert seemed to love their jobs and they were always doing more than required. The service on Celebrity is just as good as always. The food is very good but to much on the verge of Nouvelle Cuisine, it looks beautiful but not always as tasty as it looks. In the MDR. which looks too modern for my taste, the food was very good but not excellent as it once was. The lobster dinner was a total failure, it did not have any taste at all. However we went to Silk Harvest one evening and it was exceptional, the only complaint is they offer you evian water or pellegrino ( regular water does not seem an option) to only add it to the bill, as we are already paying $25 each, Iwe all thought it was a cheap way of making a few bucks ! The buffet upstairs is okay, it does the job but not much more. We had a Brunch at sea in the MDR which was very nice and well attended. The activities on board were nice, spanish lessons, cultural talks, dancing lessons etc. The dancing music was exceptionaly good ( Treasures of the Caribbean) and the whole ship seemed to be dancing! The Celebrity orchestra and the singers and dancers were excellent, we were tired of always seeing the same old shows, these were really different and exciting. On the other hand the headliners were nothing to write home about except for one or two, no variety! They are usually much better ! We did enjoy Mario D'Andrea, he was the exception. Being elite members was a nice perk, free happy hour, a rose in the room, priority tender ( which was extended to our friends, that is class!), the only bad part were the free internet minutes, we got them but it was not worth the trouble we had with the attitude of the officer in charge.
This cruise had a nice mix of ports, beach days and cultural days and we really would recommend this itinerary : at the beginning I was not sure sonce I enjoy the Southern Caribbeans so much but we had no regrets, it was just as good and different !
Lolotte’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    We had no expectation for this visit but it was one of the nicest cities we had ever seen in the Caribbeans. It looks a bit like New Orleans with flowers hanging from the iron balconies. We took a taxi to town and we had a driver all day for $15 each ( 8 people). He took us to Fort San Felipe (nice), the Emerald Factory (ok), the bodegas ( boutiques in former dungeons with a lot to offer) and finally walked with us through the city center. He also took us to the gold museum which was very interesting, we had a tour $1 each.
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  • Colon (Cristobal)
    We took a tour with the ship which we rarely do and were glad because Colon is really a run down place where a tourist would not last long ! The tour took us to the American zone and also to the Miraflores locks where there is a nice museum and where we could observed ships in the locks. It was very interesting, well done and we learned a lot.
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  • Cozumel
    We went to Chankanaab Park in Cozumel by taxi after a bit of shopping at the port ( excellent) ! It cost $17 to enter the park, you get a one hour guided tour trough replicas of ruins, huts and gardens( very interesting). They also have a beautiful lagoon. You can then rest at the beach the snorkeling is fabulous and the non-snorkelers can swim between the corals. The installations are spotless and safe.
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  • Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    Grand Cayman is a nice place to go to the beach, it has absolutely no charm and the shopping is just okay. We took the bus $2.50 to Cemetary Beach just at the far tip of Seven mile beach. It is a beautiful place to sit by the shade of the trees and to swim and snorkel. It is safe and secluded. We walked back to the ship ( six miles) for fun, it was long but we saw iguanas and enjoyed the sun.
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  • Puerto Limon
    We had a fabulous tour of the area with Oscar Brown, it is not a port where I would walk on my own, very poor and dirty. We went farther for a walk in the rain forest, to a Del Monte banana plantation, to a boat canal tour ( Tortugero canal)along with several stops to sample local fruits or vistas. We also stopped at the beach ( Playa Bonita) but it was really crowded with the locals ( probably because it was a Sunday).
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  • Roatan
    It is a beautiful island and I strongly recommend the beach and the snorkeling at West Bay ! We took a Victor Bodden tour, went to the beach, to the Iguana farm (interesting) and to a simili zoo where we got into cages with parrots and monkeys ( fabulous pics). We also toured the entired island ans stopped for vistas and stores.
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