Equinox was Definitely Home Sweet Home!: Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Podie

Celebrity Equinox 5
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Equinox was Definitely Home Sweet Home!

Sail Date: August 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
I'm 54 and my husband is 64. This was our second cruise, our first on Celebrity. We cruised with two friends, our daughter and her new husband (they renewed their vows on the ship), and his parents and uncle (who we were meeting for the first time).

We spent one night in Venice and four nights in Rome pre-cruise. Since we had been to Italy several times before, we rented an apartment in Rome rather than stay at a hotel. We took a water taxi from Venice Airport to our hotel, and included a tour of the Grand Canal, and it was worth every penny of the 130 euro cost. I arranged this through Venice Link and highly recommend it.

The nine of us traveled to Civitavecchia in a Bob's Limousine bus which dropped us right at the ship. There were 35 people just waiting to help us when we arrived at noon, and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes, which was SO NICE!

Equinox was every bit as gorgeous as I'd expected. We had planned to eat lunch at Bistro on Five, More but since the buffet was almost empty and looked great, we stayed there instead. We took tables near the large windows and chowed down. Everything was excellent. We were still there when they announced cabins were ready at 1:30 PM.

We had an adjoining cabin with our two friends and our wonderful steward, Antonio, soon removed the balcony divider for us. Our sofa was near the balcony rather than the bed near the balcony and I preferred this to the bed being near the balcony.

The TV was amazing. You could order room service, check account balance, watch about 20 movies for free or pay for many more, or watch about 20 channels of TV. My husband was in heaven.

That night was 2 for 1 in the specialty restaurants and we didn't want to miss sailaway with our 6:15 PM dinner time, so we went to Silk Harvest at 7:30 and watched the sunset as we ate. The service was over the top and they kept bringing us food to try. It was all very good.

The icy cloths and cold drinks were so welcome throughout the cruise. It was very hot and dry for the ten days - which we're used to, being from Florida - but that welcome back to the ship was always exquisite!

Our waiter in the MDR, Orville, was another fantastic addition to our experiences. The food was very good. We also tried Aqua Spa Cafe, Bistro on Five, Cafe al Bacio, and Tuscan Grill during the 10 days and enjoyed all of them. But honestly, I see no need to spend the money for specialty dining when the food is as good as ours was in the MDR.

The adult pool was an oasis. I also used the fitness center often. Out of 17 treadmills, 3 were broken for the cruise, but I never had trouble getting on one.

Of course the cruise was full of kids, and unfortunately it seemed many of them had the run of the ship with no adults in evidence. When a Jazz, Port, and Chocolate event was held at 10:15 one night, those of us expecting an adult function were horrified to see children running all over the place, monopolizing the chocolate fountain and ruining everyone's evening. I will never cruise again during school vacations!

I was also amazed to see how frantic people were at the buffet some mornings. People who would practically tacke you to get to a counter before you. However, the buffet was always very well done and the food was very good.

The casino slots seemed to pay off pretty well but as usual the trick was to walk away when you made some money. The shops didn't have much to offer but they did have lots of sales. I can't comment on the entertainment because I didn't go to any shows, but there was plenty of live music around the ship.

One very annoying thing was that people were smoking on balconies and ashes landed on our balcony frequently. Also, as hard as it is to believe, we also had someone's toenail clippings rain down onto our balcony.

Since we were going to my daughter's after the cruise (she lives an hour outside Venice), we had asked for the latest departure and were given 9:45 AM. Well, it was jammed and a long walk from the ship to the luggage. Since a Costa cruise was disembarking at the same time, it was very crowded. We finally made it out of the building and walked away from the chaos as quickly as possible. We walked to the new people mover, took it for 1 euro, and dragged our suitcases over the new bridge to get to the train station.

And before we knew it, our wonderful 10 days were over. Less

Published 08/27/10
Helpful? Thank Podie

Cabin review: 1C8246 Deluxe Veranda

8246 was quiet, clean, and being on the hump, you could look forward and aft from the balcony. Bed was next to bathroom, sofa next to balcony.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Andreas Kumbas picked us up in his taxi in Piraeus at 7:30 AM and we were the first people into the Acropolis. For 60 gorgeous minutes we practically had it to ourselves, then the tour groups arrived and it was bedlam. Our friends who took the ship's excursion were miserable and wished they'd gone with us. We ate, drank, and walked around Athens and had a great day.

In Corfu we rented a car and headed for one of the coves of Paleokastritsa, where the water was too cold for swimming (remember, I'm from Florida) but the beach was great. Our daughter went on a ship's excursion to Glyfada Beach and liked that alot, too.

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We left the ship as early as possible in Dubrovnik (using the ship's shuttle bus) and walked the wall by ourselves. When we were done, the crowds had arrived, so we escaped to Banje Beach by Ploce Gate, where the water was even warm enough for me! I would love to return to this city when there are fewer crowds.`

In Kusadasi we used Samyeli's Travel, which gave us a wonderful tour of Ephesus and the small town of Sirince, where we had a delicious lunch up in the hills. Kusadasi, however, was so full of aggressive salesmen that we got back on the ship earlier than planned.

Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

In Naples we used a private company to tour the Amalfi Coast. We got out to walk and shop in Positano, ate lunch in Pontone, walked more in Ravello, had pizza at Trianon (Da Michele was closed for vacation), and finally returned to the ship. We had been to Pompeii several times already so skipped that. Naples was, as usual, busy and somewhat dirty, but I always enjoy it.

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

We rented a car in Santorini and spent our time dodging tourists on scooters and four wheelers. We visited Perissa Beach and the water was nice but the black sand was HOT! Oia was beautiful but packed with people. Luckily we found a good restaurant with a terrace on the cliff, La Scala, which had good prices and good food - something hard to find in Oia. Since I'm not a shopper, I took lots of pictures and we returned to the ship early.

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