This was our 3rd time on the Equinox in the last 5 years, and we still love her (enough to book #4 for 7/3/20)....but......things were/are definitely different than before.
We were on the 7/13-7/20 Western Caribbean jaunt with a total group of 9 people. Hopefully my review will focus on the opinions on my wife and myself. We both are in our early fifties, and overall, this was our 7th cruise.
Port of Ft. Lauderdale: Pier 25 is spectacular!!! Easily accessible and well laid out. Being in the concierge level, we took an escalator upstairs, and were quickly checked in.
We LOVE the new process of being able to immediately go to your cabin and drop off your carry-ons and pick up your room keys. We did that and headed straight to 1 of our favorite spots, the Oceanview bar...(sad that they took the couches out).
Our party headed to the MDR for the concierge lunch which they enjoyed. (I attended a marketing Q&A in the iLounge).
No issues with the muster drill, and sailaway was it's usual awesome time as we once again gathered at the OVB for the view!!
Dinner in the MDR - Day 1: We had all agreed that we'd have dinner a couple of times together, and the 1st night was 1 selected. The service that night was.....meh. I think, the last time we sailed on the Equinox, our server Carlton spoiled us. What was even more disappointing was the fact that we returned to our cabin at around 9pm, to see our room turned down, and a certificate for 35% off at Murano.......for that night only!!! WHAT?!?! So our cabin steward didn't really get off on the right foot with us.
Day 2- Key West: We've been to Key West a few times, so we decided nothing too exciting...just a walk down Duval, head towards the buoy and a photo, then head back to the ship. We stopped at Angelina's Pizzeria on a recommendation and it was definitely warranted!! Legit slices!! After that, we did stop at Kermit's Key Lime Pie and was completely surprised as to how amazing their selections were. The wife got a slice of pie, while I opted for the chocolate frozen slice on a stick......(I wish I would've gotten 2 - but THOSE darn calories!!). We grabbed an assortment of the key lime cookies to go!!
That evening, the Mrs. attended the first of what wound up being her 2 Hot Glass Class.. She LOVED them, and would highly suggest!!
Day 3 - Sea Day: Sea Days mean Evening Chic for dinner. We attended the 'Costa Maya, Cozumel and Cayman Port Shopping Presentation', which sadly, I gained nothing from. We both wish we had that time back. We did spend some time going through a decent number of shops and watched a couple of minutes of the Champagne Auction. I played in a Sit and Go Texas Hold'em Tournament ($60), and then we hung out in the Solarium for awhile before dinner. The wife and a couple of others from our group went and saw the comedian after dinner and they enjoyed him. Got our picture taken with Captain Kate before dinner!!
Day 4 - Costa Maya: We literally walked through the port, and then back on the ship. I understand now why so many people told me they didn't even get off the ship in that port. IF you did get off, be prepared to be bombarded by slick salepeople hounding you to walk into their shop for 'unique' wares that you can't live without. Easily, the worst port I have ever been in. Fortunately, the Craft Social and OVB made me forget all about that experience. This was also Bingo night. VERY expensive, but a good way to kill an hour, and hey.......somebody has to win!!
Day 5 - Cozumel: UGH!!! So.....the day before, we found out that our excursion had been cancelled which I was REALLY disappointed in, because it was the only excursion that I had planned that involved Mayan ruins....
We were able to jump onto a 'Best of Cozumel with Market Exploration' excursion. However, it was $20 more pp, because I booked our original trip when Celebrity was running one of it's sales. I mentioned this to the young lady at the desk, and she gave us 10% off, so that was sweet. The tour, and our guide were good. We got to stop and have a taste (or 5) of tequilas (we bought a bottle) and a fantastic chocolate show and more samples at Mayan Cacao Company, among our stops. The wife and a few others attended the other comedian's show and also found him to be funny....so funny, they went and saw him again on the 7th day.
Day 6 - George Town, Grand Cayman: Well.......so, we got on an Island Adventure excursion. We drove by the Governor's Mansion, stopped at the Tortuga Rum shop for some samples and bought a few souvenirs, stopped in 'Hell' and bought our obligatory postcards and mailed them, and stopped at Dolphin Discovery Cove which was cute. I thought that I had read we were going to stop at '7 Mile Beach', but other than our guide mentioning that it is really on 4.8 miles long, and seeing a sign for it, that's as close as we got to it. I was correct, we were supposed to have a stop there, but I was already so disappointed with this stop, I opted to keep quiet about it. I think it was more of a poor guide than anything else. The best part of this day, was the invite for the Captain's Club Sailaway on the helipad. No snacks, no champagne, just plastic cups of water, but at least it was a new experience.
Day 7 - Sea Day: Evening Chic!! Packing Day!! A little more time in the Solarium!! Captain's Club cocktail evening!!! More pictures with Captain Kate!!
Some notes: At breakfast on the 1st sea day, i did find that our server from the last cruise, Carlton was indeed still here!!! We immediately had our section changed over to him, and had every dinner in the MDR!! He is still the best!! Cannot recommend him enough. We filled out a comment card about him, and mentioned him specifically at the CC cocktail party to the Director of HR!!
We did have a breakfast on our balcony....the smaller table was really a problem. It does make the veranda seem bigger. The cabin is laid out well, for the 2 of us, plenty of storage. (Don't forget space under the bed).
Our cabin steward, through no fault of his own, spoke very little English, and probably understood even less, so I kept things simple with him, and he seemed to be a bit stronger as the week went on. He wound up being okay, and we threw a few more dollars at the end of the week.
Craft Social (formerly Gastro Bar) was more busy than last time we sailed on the Equinox. Great selection of craft beers, and quite a few covered under the Classic package.
Solarium was well watched by staff, didn't seem to be any sense of 'chair hogs' or kids hanging around.
The new cabanas do not seem to be a big hit. Lots of bocce on the lawns, that was fun to watch with some delicious Bloody Marys!!
The ship and it's staff are still at the top of the spectrum. The itinerary seemed, to me, to be the setback from our previous experiences on her.......that and some people that we came across, that, in all honesty, could not have treated the staff anymore poorly. To hear the way that they talked to them, and their disrespect towards them AND the ship, was pretty disappointing. To watch people move the chairs from the deck onto the lawn, when there are numerous signs saying not to, was pretty much my breaking point. Enough so, that I said something to them.....politely, and they, politely moved them.
Maybe I am just getting tired of people LOL!!! Overall, we love Celebrity and the Equinox, and we're looking forward to returning to the Eastern Caribbean next year (we feel is FAR more beautiful than the Western),but I am hopeful that the clientele will bring a little more joy to the small World that 3,000 of us will live in for a week!! :)
Keep the seas calm and the Sun bright,
Accessible Concierge Room! VERY spacious!!! Nice veranda!! Large bathroom!!
Duval Street and Kermit's Key Lime Pie are not to be missed!!
Least favorite port, of any cruise I have been on. Many people told us they were just staying on the ship, and I found out why. Port is full of shaky salespeople who will not hesitate to become bothersome.
Good stops. Tequila and chocolate and a great tour guide!!!
Tortuga Rum, Dolphin Discovery and a stop in 'Hell'. Tour guide nowhere as good as our guide in Cozumel. It was okay, won't need to do any of those again.View All 209 Island Tour Reviews