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Although we've been Loyal to Royal, a good friend suggested we join him on this cruise (he and his partner had been on Equinox before and loved it); so, we did! Primarily because: 1. It was an eleven night cruise out of a Florida port (we live in FL) 2. The itinerary was great; going to many places we've not been to and 3. The price (Go Better) was pretty darn good (plus we received an additional $500 off per person about a year after we booked it!) We drove to Miami for pre cruise eve and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Doral. We had a one night stay plus parking for 12 nights for about $175. The hotel offered a shuttle to/from the port at $12 per person per way; we opted to use Uber so we could go at our own convenience (it ended up being $55 (including tip) each way split between three of us so it came close to the $12 shuttle price). We did wine tasting and ate at Cooper's Hawk, which was a less than five minute walk from our hotel. Great place. Embarkation We arrived at the port around 10:30. Easy process to drop off our luggage with a porter, go through security, and get in line (Concierge or Elite line, can't recall) to check-in. There was a delay in checking in; the person was training someone else, and somehow managed to key in the wrong stateroom number, which threw the system off. By the time they got it figured out, they were boarding the ship. On we went around 11 (I think). Very nicely greeted on board with a glass of sparkling rose. After a stop at the Passport Bar, we went to the dining room for the Concierge class lunch; this was nice, especially as we were hauling carry on bags around with us and the Ocean View Cafe (buffet) was probably a zoo. Went to our staterooms around 1:00; most of our luggage was there (the rest showed up an hour or so later). Ship Just beautiful! Super classy. Size wise a bit smaller than, say, Freedom Class on Royal Caribbean. Laid out nicely and easy to get around. I didn't notice anything that looked worn down, dirty, or in need of repair/replacement. Our favorite places to hang out were The Solarium, The Martini Bar, and The Ensemble Lounge. Stateroom 1245 Deck 10 Port Hump. Very conveniently located near the aft elevators. Although smaller than what we typically book on Royal Caribbean (Junior Suite), it was nicely appointed with plenty of storage. The bathroom was much nicer than those in a regular balcony cabin on Royal Caribbean and its shower was a huge improvement. Concierge Class 2 meant robes, umbrellas, and binoculars (all to borrow), upgraded toiletries, a bunch of complimentary things (shoe shines, laundry, press, dry clean (which we didn't use)), daily fruit and snacks (which we didn't eat but it sure was pretty!) and a bottle of sparkling wine on embarkation day. The bed was close to the veranda, which I usually prefer however it probably would have felt a bit more spacious had the desk where I did m hair been closer to the veranda rather than right next to the bathroom/walkway into the room. The veranda as larger than usual due to being on the hump/bump out; large enough for a table, two chairs, two footstools, and one lounger (which we had removed to give us more space to stand and walk about). Our stateroom attendant was Paulino, and he was fantastic. He really liked my door decorations (I didn't see hardly any other doors decorated) AND the candy I brought for him. He was very good about responding to the Post It Notes I left for him on the mirror :-) Although the stateroom was located close to a supply closet (right outside the door in fact), we didn't hear any noise from employees opening/shutting the door. We could hear some chair scrapping from the stateroom above us, and the folks next to us in 1243 had their TV on quite a bit but it was faint. I put a video of the stateroom on You Tube for those who care to see it. Dining We ate primarily in the MDR for dinners, second seating at 8:30. Although seated at a table for 8, there were always only four of us (me, DH, our friend, and a very nice lady from Turkey!) Our dining team were great at Table 213: Mohanty, Chandra, and Fatma. I really liked, too, that both a bar person and a sommelier (Fatma) were on hand nightly for drinks/wine. Generally speaking, the food in the MDR was pretty good. We're not overly picky, though. I heard others saying they thought it wasn't a good as on Royal Caribbean, and yet others saying the felt it was a notch up. We had dinner one evening in The Tuscan Grill and this was superb. Excellent. Ditto with our lunch in Murano on the last sea day (who can beat surf and turf for $30? (although, honestly, the surf and turn in the MDR was very nice as well)). We had breakfast and lunch and afternoon snacks a few times in Ocean View Cafe. Despite the fact that no buffet is ever my favorite place to be (due primarily to it seeming people check their brains at the door when they enter), the selection and variety of the food available was very good. Each day there was a different country-based theme, and there was a lot of options in general. We also had a few plates of burgers and fries at The Mast Grill and ordered room service breakfast several times (this is a nice way of "setting an alarm" as they always call the room when they are on their way with your order). Most of the time the food was just fine. Entertainment We are epic fail folks when it comes to going to shows. At this point, we're just not overly interested in this sort of thing. The few musical groups, duos, solos, we heard while sitting in various lounges were pleasant. I did think, however, that the DJ/music they had outside The Martini Bar every evening was WAY TOO LOUD; could barely hear ourselves talk. Speaking of The Martini Bar, the nightly "shows" they put on with pouring the stacks of martinis was cool to see. Service Definitely excellent service and care, from Captain Kate on down. Most everyone was friendly, smiling, and helpful. We only ran into a few that were not; namely, a bartender in The World Bar who snubbed us when we asked for a Maker's Mark one evening ("This is The WORLD Bar!") so I guess asking for a simple bourbon was considered heathen! Ha ha. From our stateroom attendant to dining room team to waiters in the specialty restaurants to the bartenders (for the most part, see above) to the guest services staff, to the folks working the pool area, and to my pal Kumar at Slush, we really enjoyed the crew on Equinox. Ports Well, what can I say? It rained a lot this cruise, so, we opted out of excursions in St. Thomas, Antigua, and Barbados. We did do the a rum tour in St. Croix and a Cosol tour in St. Lucia; both were fine. Fellow PAX We met a lot of folks via our Cruise Critic thread and enjoyed hanging out with them doing a roulette pool and cabin crawl. This was the first time we've been on a cruise where I'd say 1/2 of the PAX were NOT from the U.S. A nice change! I think I saw 10 kids the entire time (not that I have anything against kids). A different mix. Most people were friendly and polite with only the few either rude or totally obtuse ones thrown in for good measure. Frankly, the worst experience I had was in the luggage area on disembarkation morning (a few men pushing me out of the way so they could get closer to the baggage conveyor). Disembarkation We had #12 tags. There was hardly anyone in The Tuscan Grill where we waited. Our number was called quickly and we were off the ship before 8:00. Aside from it taking a while to get our luggage, the process was smooth. We called for an Uber at the curb and off we went back to the hotel to get our car. All in all this was a fantastic cruise! We'll definitely book Celebrity, and likely the Equinox, again. In fact, we have an open booking that must be selected by the end of the year :-)

First Time On Celebrity = We'll Be Back!!!!!

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by MrsB05

Trip Details
Although we've been Loyal to Royal, a good friend suggested we join him on this cruise (he and his partner had been on Equinox before and loved it); so, we did! Primarily because: 1. It was an eleven night cruise out of a Florida port (we live in FL) 2. The itinerary was great; going to many places we've not been to and 3. The price (Go Better) was pretty darn good (plus we received an additional $500 off per person about a year after we booked it!)

We drove to Miami for pre cruise eve and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Doral. We had a one night stay plus parking for 12 nights for about $175. The hotel offered a shuttle to/from the port at $12 per person per way; we opted to use Uber so we could go at our own convenience (it ended up being $55 (including tip) each way split between three of us so it came close to the $12 shuttle price).

We did wine tasting and ate at Cooper's Hawk, which was a less than five minute walk from our hotel. Great place.

Embarkation

We arrived at the port around 10:30. Easy process to drop off our luggage with a porter, go through security, and get in line (Concierge or Elite line, can't recall) to check-in. There was a delay in checking in; the person was training someone else, and somehow managed to key in the wrong stateroom number, which threw the system off. By the time they got it figured out, they were boarding the ship. On we went around 11 (I think). Very nicely greeted on board with a glass of sparkling rose. After a stop at the Passport Bar, we went to the dining room for the Concierge class lunch; this was nice, especially as we were hauling carry on bags around with us and the Ocean View Cafe (buffet) was probably a zoo. Went to our staterooms around 1:00; most of our luggage was there (the rest showed up an hour or so later).

Ship

Just beautiful! Super classy. Size wise a bit smaller than, say, Freedom Class on Royal Caribbean. Laid out nicely and easy to get around. I didn't notice anything that looked worn down, dirty, or in need of repair/replacement. Our favorite places to hang out were The Solarium, The Martini Bar, and The Ensemble Lounge.

Stateroom

1245 Deck 10 Port Hump. Very conveniently located near the aft elevators. Although smaller than what we typically book on Royal Caribbean (Junior Suite), it was nicely appointed with plenty of storage. The bathroom was much nicer than those in a regular balcony cabin on Royal Caribbean and its shower was a huge improvement. Concierge Class 2 meant robes, umbrellas, and binoculars (all to borrow), upgraded toiletries, a bunch of complimentary things (shoe shines, laundry, press, dry clean (which we didn't use)), daily fruit and snacks (which we didn't eat but it sure was pretty!) and a bottle of sparkling wine on embarkation day. The bed was close to the veranda, which I usually prefer however it probably would have felt a bit more spacious had the desk where I did m hair been closer to the veranda rather than right next to the bathroom/walkway into the room. The veranda as larger than usual due to being on the hump/bump out; large enough for a table, two chairs, two footstools, and one lounger (which we had removed to give us more space to stand and walk about). Our stateroom attendant was Paulino, and he was fantastic. He really liked my door decorations (I didn't see hardly any other doors decorated) AND the candy I brought for him. He was very good about responding to the Post It Notes I left for him on the mirror :-) Although the stateroom was located close to a supply closet (right outside the door in fact), we didn't hear any noise from employees opening/shutting the door. We could hear some chair scrapping from the stateroom above us, and the folks next to us in 1243 had their TV on quite a bit but it was faint.

I put a video of the stateroom on You Tube for those who care to see it.

Dining

We ate primarily in the MDR for dinners, second seating at 8:30. Although seated at a table for 8, there were always only four of us (me, DH, our friend, and a very nice lady from Turkey!) Our dining team were great at Table 213: Mohanty, Chandra, and Fatma. I really liked, too, that both a bar person and a sommelier (Fatma) were on hand nightly for drinks/wine. Generally speaking, the food in the MDR was pretty good. We're not overly picky, though. I heard others saying they thought it wasn't a good as on Royal Caribbean, and yet others saying the felt it was a notch up.

We had dinner one evening in The Tuscan Grill and this was superb. Excellent. Ditto with our lunch in Murano on the last sea day (who can beat surf and turf for $30? (although, honestly, the surf and turn in the MDR was very nice as well)).

We had breakfast and lunch and afternoon snacks a few times in Ocean View Cafe.

Despite the fact that no buffet is ever my favorite place to be (due primarily to it seeming people check their brains at the door when they enter), the selection and variety of the food available was very good. Each day there was a different country-based theme, and there was a lot of options in general.

We also had a few plates of burgers and fries at The Mast Grill and ordered room service breakfast several times (this is a nice way of "setting an alarm" as they always call the room when they are on their way with your order). Most of the time the food was just fine.

Entertainment

We are epic fail folks when it comes to going to shows. At this point, we're just not overly interested in this sort of thing. The few musical groups, duos, solos, we heard while sitting in various lounges were pleasant. I did think, however, that the DJ/music they had outside The Martini Bar every evening was WAY TOO LOUD; could barely hear ourselves talk.

Speaking of The Martini Bar, the nightly "shows" they put on with pouring the stacks of martinis was cool to see.

Service

Definitely excellent service and care, from Captain Kate on down. Most everyone was friendly, smiling, and helpful. We only ran into a few that were not; namely, a bartender in The World Bar who snubbed us when we asked for a Maker's Mark one evening ("This is The WORLD Bar!") so I guess asking for a simple bourbon was considered heathen! Ha ha.

From our stateroom attendant to dining room team to waiters in the specialty restaurants to the bartenders (for the most part, see above) to the guest services staff, to the folks working the pool area, and to my pal Kumar at Slush, we really enjoyed the crew on Equinox.

Ports

Well, what can I say? It rained a lot this cruise, so, we opted out of excursions in St. Thomas, Antigua, and Barbados. We did do the a rum tour in St. Croix and a Cosol tour in St. Lucia; both were fine.

Fellow PAX

We met a lot of folks via our Cruise Critic thread and enjoyed hanging out with them doing a roulette pool and cabin crawl. This was the first time we've been on a cruise where I'd say 1/2 of the PAX were NOT from the U.S. A nice change! I think I saw 10 kids the entire time (not that I have anything against kids). A different mix. Most people were friendly and polite with only the few either rude or totally obtuse ones thrown in for good measure. Frankly, the worst experience I had was in the luggage area on disembarkation morning (a few men pushing me out of the way so they could get closer to the baggage conveyor).

Disembarkation

We had #12 tags. There was hardly anyone in The Tuscan Grill where we waited. Our number was called quickly and we were off the ship before 8:00. Aside from it taking a while to get our luggage, the process was smooth. We called for an Uber at the curb and off we went back to the hotel to get our car.

All in all this was a fantastic cruise! We'll definitely book Celebrity, and likely the Equinox, again. In fact, we have an open booking that must be selected by the end of the year :-)
MrsB05’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Concierge Class
Cabin C2 1245
Stateroom
1245 Deck 10 Port Hump. Very conveniently located near the aft elevators. Although smaller than what we typically book on Royal Caribbean (Junior Suite), it was nicely appointed with plenty of storage. The bathroom was much nicer than those in a regular balcony cabin on Royal Caribbean and its shower was a huge improvement. Concierge Class 2 meant robes, umbrellas, and binoculars (all to borrow), upgraded toiletries, a bunch of complimentary things (shoe shines, laundry, press, dry clean (which we didn't use)), daily fruit and snacks (which we didn't eat but it sure was pretty!) and a bottle of sparkling wine on embarkation day. The bed was close to the veranda, which I usually prefer however it probably would have felt a bit more spacious had the desk where I did m hair been closer to the veranda rather than right next to the bathroom/walkway into the room. The veranda as larger than usual due to being on the hump/bump out; large enough for a table, two chairs, two footstools, and one lounger (which we had removed to give us more space to stand and walk about). Our stateroom attendant was Paulino, and he was fantastic. He really liked my door decorations (I didn't see hardly any other doors decorated) AND the candy I brought for him. He was very good about responding to the Post It Notes I left for him on the mirror :-) Although the stateroom was located close to a supply closet (right outside the door in fact), we didn't hear any noise from employees opening/shutting the door. We could hear some chair scrapping from the stateroom above us, and the folks next to us in 1243 had their TV on quite a bit but it was faint.

I put a video of the stateroom on You Tube for those who care to see it.
Resort Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews