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This was technically our second cruise, though Hurricane Matthew a few years ago wrecked the first one, so I don't really count it. Cabin We had room 6165, which was a standard Verandah Room with a partially obstructed view. The cabin was absolutely fine. The only obstruction to the view was the lifeboats below us, but that didn't make any difference to us. The balcony was big enough for the two of us to sit out and watch the sunrise with a glass of juice and a croissant, which was all we really needed. The beds were comfortable, there was plenty of storage space (not that I need much), and the bathroom was perfectly adequate. The shower was quite powerful and ran hot almost immediately. There were two sockets in easily accessible positions - there may have been more if we'd looked for them, but 2 was plenty. We didn't spend much time in the room as there were plenty of public spaces and the weather was good, All in all, a good cabin. It's worth noting that we only took the cabin as it included a free drinks package - without this, we probably wouldn't have spent the extra... Dining Originally, we had planned to eat in the speciality restaurants a couple of times, but after eating in the Silhouette Dining Room, we quickly decided that the food and service were very good, and we really didn't need or want to pay $40+ for a meal somewhere else. We had dinner in The Silhouette most evenings, as well as breakfast 3 or 4 times. We couldn't fault it any time, though as we had different tables a few times, the quality of the service inevitably varied. Most of the time, we ate breakfast in the buffet, as well as most of our lunches, and 2 or 3 dinners. This was probably where I was most surprised - I had expected the food to be adequate, but no more. However, it was fresh, and generally quite good quality, and we were more than happy to eat here when we were pressed for time and couldn't risk the main dining room. A couple of times, we ate at the Mast Grill, and again I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food served. They only do burgers and hot dogs, but they were good burgers and hot dogs. But best of all was Cafe Al Bacio. We had a drinks package, so we probably averaged around 3-4 coffees per day in here. The coffee was high street quality and the cakes were better than anything you get on the high streets (around us, at least!). The service was painfully slow, but you could get a takeaway coffee from the counter (and many people did). The gelataria next to the cafe was also good. The only real disappointment was the slush bar, which was closed for the whole cruise as far as we could tell. Moving on to the bars, they were without exception excellent. Each has its own theme and a distinctly different feel, from the Craft Bar (which feels like an English Sports Bar), to the ultra-modern Martini Bar or the Sky Observation Lounge (where quizzes and other events are hosted - a great place to watch the ship pull into or out of port). They all serve cocktails and a good selection of drinks, and to be honest we didn't spend as much time as we'd like in any of them! Embarkation was very smooth - we turned up a few minutes early, and were in our room within about 30 minutes. Our first cruise embarkation was wrecked by a hurricane (it took 5 hours of queuing to get on the ship), so this was a major concern for us prior to the cruise. Happily, it couldn't have been any smoother. The entertainment was plentiful - there was always live music playing somewhere on the ship, with a fairly wide variety. There were also many activities on board, from dancing workouts to colouring, to talks about Faberge Eggs. There was a different show every evening, and the standard of these was very mixed. A couple of the musical acts were exceptional, the musical shows were good, but the illusionist was genuinely appalling and we weren't keen on a couple of the other shows. The lawn is a nice idea, but we were quite disappointed on both occasions that we tried to watch a film there. There were only 3 working loungers (the others were broken), and it really wasn't practical to watch the film without them. Even if they'd all been working, ten? Really? One small criticism is that there is a library and a card game room on the ship. These are pretty much unusable when there is a band playing below them - the sound is channeled upwards and it's actually louder than when you are next to them. But the sets are only 45 minutes, so a trip to Cafe Al Bacio and back, and the problem's solved! In terms of Fitness and Recreation, we only really used the gym. We went between 7 and 8 every morning, and it was largely empty - there was never a problem getting a treadmill, and the rest of the equipment was also available. No idea if it got busier later in the day, though. One concern that we had was whether it would be difficult to get a lounger, but whilst the 'best spots' were inevitably unavailable most of the time (unless you happened to get lucky just as somebody was leaving), it was never difficult to find two loungers together out of the sun (or in it, if we preferred). The staff on the pool decks were always friendly and helpful, and offered us drinks etc. regularly. Whilst we didn't actually use the pools ourselves, they didn't look packed, and there were frequently jacuzzis available as well. One irritation that we did have was that the Arcade Room was open with the machines turned on for the entire cruise, but all of the machines to pay to play them were out of order, so we couldn't play, and they were wasting a lot of electricity. The shops were about what you'd expect - out of the price range of 90% of the passengers - but there was a sale most (all?) days that offered some good bargains. With no previous experience of cruises, it's hard to rate the service. Everybody was polite, service was generally quick and our room steward always had time to say hello. We weren't really into scuba diving and lying on beaches, so the decision to cruise the Caribbean was with hindsight a little odd (then again, the weather was nice). We did go on two Shore Excursions, of which the first was excellent (Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua), and one was abysmal (a waterfall in St Lucia). To be clear, the waterfall was nice, but the guide decided that rather than talking about the island, he'd tell us why each month should be 28 days, each day should start at dawn, and that there should only be ten months in the year. Seriously, you don't want to know! It was the most painful excursion of my life. Would we go again? Yes and no. The ship was everything that we'd want it to be, but to be honest, it was the Caribbean that was a bit of a let-down. It was difficult to get past the 'touristy places' to see the real islands, and to be honest, given that their economies are so reliant on tourism, perhaps that's for the best. We'd certainly cruise on one of Equinox's sister ships, and will probably do so. Again, judging value for money is difficult with no experience of other cruises to compare against, but comparing the cruise to holidays of other types that we've had, it seemed very reasonable.

First cruise

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by CustardMite

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was technically our second cruise, though Hurricane Matthew a few years ago wrecked the first one, so I don't really count it.

Cabin

We had room 6165, which was a standard Verandah Room with a partially obstructed view.

The cabin was absolutely fine. The only obstruction to the view was the lifeboats below us, but that didn't make any difference to us. The balcony was big enough for the two of us to sit out and watch the sunrise with a glass of juice and a croissant, which was all we really needed.

The beds were comfortable, there was plenty of storage space (not that I need much), and the bathroom was perfectly adequate. The shower was quite powerful and ran hot almost immediately.

There were two sockets in easily accessible positions - there may have been more if we'd looked for them, but 2 was plenty.

We didn't spend much time in the room as there were plenty of public spaces and the weather was good,

All in all, a good cabin. It's worth noting that we only took the cabin as it included a free drinks package - without this, we probably wouldn't have spent the extra...

Dining

Originally, we had planned to eat in the speciality restaurants a couple of times, but after eating in the Silhouette Dining Room, we quickly decided that the food and service were very good, and we really didn't need or want to pay $40+ for a meal somewhere else.

We had dinner in The Silhouette most evenings, as well as breakfast 3 or 4 times. We couldn't fault it any time, though as we had different tables a few times, the quality of the service inevitably varied.

Most of the time, we ate breakfast in the buffet, as well as most of our lunches, and 2 or 3 dinners. This was probably where I was most surprised - I had expected the food to be adequate, but no more. However, it was fresh, and generally quite good quality, and we were more than happy to eat here when we were pressed for time and couldn't risk the main dining room.

A couple of times, we ate at the Mast Grill, and again I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food served. They only do burgers and hot dogs, but they were good burgers and hot dogs.

But best of all was Cafe Al Bacio. We had a drinks package, so we probably averaged around 3-4 coffees per day in here. The coffee was high street quality and the cakes were better than anything you get on the high streets (around us, at least!). The service was painfully slow, but you could get a takeaway coffee from the counter (and many people did). The gelataria next to the cafe was also good.

The only real disappointment was the slush bar, which was closed for the whole cruise as far as we could tell.

Moving on to the bars, they were without exception excellent. Each has its own theme and a distinctly different feel, from the Craft Bar (which feels like an English Sports Bar), to the ultra-modern Martini Bar or the Sky Observation Lounge (where quizzes and other events are hosted - a great place to watch the ship pull into or out of port). They all serve cocktails and a good selection of drinks, and to be honest we didn't spend as much time as we'd like in any of them!

Embarkation was very smooth - we turned up a few minutes early, and were in our room within about 30 minutes. Our first cruise embarkation was wrecked by a hurricane (it took 5 hours of queuing to get on the ship), so this was a major concern for us prior to the cruise. Happily, it couldn't have been any smoother.

The entertainment was plentiful - there was always live music playing somewhere on the ship, with a fairly wide variety. There were also many activities on board, from dancing workouts to colouring, to talks about Faberge Eggs. There was a different show every evening, and the standard of these was very mixed. A couple of the musical acts were exceptional, the musical shows were good, but the illusionist was genuinely appalling and we weren't keen on a couple of the other shows.

The lawn is a nice idea, but we were quite disappointed on both occasions that we tried to watch a film there. There were only 3 working loungers (the others were broken), and it really wasn't practical to watch the film without them. Even if they'd all been working, ten? Really?

One small criticism is that there is a library and a card game room on the ship. These are pretty much unusable when there is a band playing below them - the sound is channeled upwards and it's actually louder than when you are next to them. But the sets are only 45 minutes, so a trip to Cafe Al Bacio and back, and the problem's solved!

In terms of Fitness and Recreation, we only really used the gym. We went between 7 and 8 every morning, and it was largely empty - there was never a problem getting a treadmill, and the rest of the equipment was also available. No idea if it got busier later in the day, though.

One concern that we had was whether it would be difficult to get a lounger, but whilst the 'best spots' were inevitably unavailable most of the time (unless you happened to get lucky just as somebody was leaving), it was never difficult to find two loungers together out of the sun (or in it, if we preferred). The staff on the pool decks were always friendly and helpful, and offered us drinks etc. regularly.

Whilst we didn't actually use the pools ourselves, they didn't look packed, and there were frequently jacuzzis available as well.

One irritation that we did have was that the Arcade Room was open with the machines turned on for the entire cruise, but all of the machines to pay to play them were out of order, so we couldn't play, and they were wasting a lot of electricity.

The shops were about what you'd expect - out of the price range of 90% of the passengers - but there was a sale most (all?) days that offered some good bargains.

With no previous experience of cruises, it's hard to rate the service. Everybody was polite, service was generally quick and our room steward always had time to say hello.

We weren't really into scuba diving and lying on beaches, so the decision to cruise the Caribbean was with hindsight a little odd (then again, the weather was nice). We did go on two Shore Excursions, of which the first was excellent (Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua), and one was abysmal (a waterfall in St Lucia). To be clear, the waterfall was nice, but the guide decided that rather than talking about the island, he'd tell us why each month should be 28 days, each day should start at dawn, and that there should only be ten months in the year. Seriously, you don't want to know! It was the most painful excursion of my life.

Would we go again? Yes and no. The ship was everything that we'd want it to be, but to be honest, it was the Caribbean that was a bit of a let-down. It was difficult to get past the 'touristy places' to see the real islands, and to be honest, given that their economies are so reliant on tourism, perhaps that's for the best. We'd certainly cruise on one of Equinox's sister ships, and will probably do so.

Again, judging value for money is difficult with no experience of other cruises to compare against, but comparing the cruise to holidays of other types that we've had, it seemed very reasonable.
CustardMite’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda
Cabin 1B 6165
The cabin was absolutely fine. The only obstruction to the view was the lifeboats below us, but that didn't make any difference to us. The balcony was big enough for the two of us to sit out and watch the sunrise with a glass of juice and a croissant, which was all we really needed.

The beds were comfortable, there was plenty of storage space (not that I need much), and the bathroom was perfectly adequate. The shower was quite powerful and ran hot almost immediately.

There were two sockets in easily accessible positions - there may have been more if we'd looked for them, but 2 was plenty.

We didn't spend much time in the room as there were plenty of public spaces and the weather was good,

All in all, a good cabin. It's worth noting that we only took the cabin as it included a free drinks package - without this, we probably wouldn't have spent the extra...
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    The best of the six islands we visited. The tour would have been good, but our guide pushed it up to brilliant. The town had plenty of interesting shops to explore, though the impending rain forced us to head back early. The one place I'd quite like to go back to.
    View All 162 Island Tour Reviews
  • Barbados
    The ship docked some distance from the town, and walking wasn't practical. We could have taken a bus, but as this would have taken some time (everyone else got off the ship at the same time), we decided to stay close to the ship. There were some tourist shops near the ship that were worth a look around, and the rum punch was excellent. But I can't speak for the rest of the island as we didn't see it.
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  • Everglades Tour
    Booked the Everglades Tour to get us from the Cruise Ship to Miami Airport and kill some time, but it was brilliant, and we both loved it.
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  • St. Croix
    To be honest, it was too hot to explore very far, but Fort Fredericksted was quite interesting. The town itself was very small with little of interest aside from a small market. Probably worth taking a trip to Christiansted if you go...
    View All 421 St. Croix Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Island Tour
    We didn't really explore Castries, as the tour was so bad we just wanted to head back to the ship. To be clear, the waterfall that we went to see was nice enough, and the view of the Pitons was quite nice, but I could have quite cheerfully strangled the guide before we got back. We were actually considering getting off and getting a taxi back to the ship! Rather than talk about the island, he just gave a non-stop diatribe about how you should eat fruit rather than undergo chemotherapy for cancer, we should change the calendar to have 28 days per month to follow the phases of the moon, and every day should start when the sun comes up (long day if you're in the arctic circle!).

    Seriously, I went on a tour to know about the island, not listen to a loony whitter on about whatever nonsense had come into his head the previous night.
    View All 254 Island Tour Reviews
  • St. Maarten
    I quite liked Philipsberg, and for movie fans, Yoda Guy is a must visit! OK, so most of the shops sell jewellery (like everywhere else in the Caribbean, it appears), but they were a bit less pushy than in some places, and it was a pleasant town to explore for a few hours.
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  • St. Thomas
    I'd assumed that we'd dock at the main cruise dock, but we were actually some distance away. It was $4 to get from the ship to the town (through a building site), and after looking around some shops, we headed to the Pirates Treasure Museum and the Skyride. The former was excellent, and the latter was closed as there were no ships in port!
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