Celebrity Equinox Ultimate Caribbean: Aquaclass Experience: Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by clarka

Celebrity Equinox 5
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Celebrity Equinox Ultimate Caribbean: Aquaclass Experience

Sail Date: February 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Here is a summary of our cruise experience:

SHIP: Wonderful use of light and color throughout the ship. We loved the live tree in the bedazzled flower pot 'floating' in the atrium. There are multiple levels of pool decks with an abundance of loungers. It was never difficult to find a chair. Two outdoor pools with 4 hot tubs and one pool in the solarium with 2 hot tubs; lots of room for everyone. We loved the quiet atmosphere of the solarium pool with the beautiful chromotherapy water wall. We loved the fact that this area was for adults only; although this wasn't enforced. The Persian garden in the Aquaspa was a highlight for us; we ended each night in the steam room followed by a rest on the heated loungers.

RESTAURANTS: Restaurants & bars were very classy yet modern in decor. We were a bit surprised that of all the specialty restaurants, Murano has no windows so it was very dark with no view.

Blu has beautiful, modern decor and huge windows with a More great view. The food is high quality and presented creatively. We ate in Blu every morning for breakfast; (delicious and extensive breakfast menu although I found a piece of note paper in my pancakes the second last day!) We only ate dinner there the first half of our cruise due to the very limited menu. There were many nights that neither of us could find things that we liked. I wish that Blu would expand their dinner menu! We also found the service there very disorganized; there were always 3 or more staff looking after our table each night and they didn't seem to work together. They should use a team of two; waiter and assistant like they do in Silhouette. We also didn't seem to get the same level of service as other guests; maybe because we are young? However, this changed dramatically after we started going to the main dining room for dinner. Silhouette main dining room is nicely decorated but noisy because of the number of people eating there. We had no trouble getting a table for two. We found the menu to be extensive and had no trouble finding things that we enjoyed every night. The portions were huge and very tasty! Our waitress; Mellini and her assistant Aris were fantastic! They made us feel special and gave us fantastic service every night; the Blu staff should take lessons from these two!

Cafe Al Bacio: tasty little desserts that you don't have to pay extra for!

Aquaspa Cafe: healthy breakfast and lunch but we always left hungry!

Mast Grill: great spot for lunch; hotdogs, burgers, wings and the best cookies!

Oceanview Cafe: huge selection of food from every ethnicity. We loved the homemade ice cream and candy toppings!

ENTERTAINMENT: There were always lots of activity going on around the ship. We loved 'The Equinox' show which was a Cirque de Soleil style show. The glass blowing show was okay; we went once and saw enough after the first hour. We went to a couple of other shows but didn't enjoy them as much; they are definitely geared towards people 65 and older!

Overall, we had a great time on our first cruise and would definitely choose Celebrity again. The food was great and there were very few children on board; very important things for us! Next time however, we will book a regular balcony stateroom; the extra amenities provided with Aquaclass/Concierge Class were not worth the extra money for us. Less

Published 02/21/11

Cabin review: AQ1518

Very spacious with lots of storage and nicely decorated. Large bathroom with upgraded shower. Noise from treadmills above beginning at around 6:30 am and ending at around 11 pm. We wear earplugs to bed but were still awaken by the sound in the morning and had trouble getting to sleep if we went to bed early. We spent little time in the cabin, so it was not a huge issue for us. Great unobstructed view all around except for the bridge which we enjoyed looking at. We didn't have the overhang above or the supporting posts like most of the 10th and 11th floor rooms have from the middle to the rear of the ship. However, we spent so little time on our balcony that I don't think this would've been a big issue for us. We felt LOTS of motion in this cabin since it is near the top and near the front; not a good choice if you have motion sickness! We enjoyed the handy stairwell just outside our room to the Aquaspa and Solarium. Newton was our great attendant.

Port and Shore Excursions

Beautiful, tourist friendly and safe city! A photographer's paradise. We took an independent tour with Claudia Vidal to La Popa and the old town. Although Claudia was great, we would recommend taking a taxi yourself to the old town to spend the day. We were more interested in photography so we found that we spent too much time listening to history and shopping and not enough time looking around and taking pictures. However, that is just our personal preference!

Colon itself is a hole. Outside of the port it is very dirty, ugly and unsafe! However, we booked a private excursion through jungleland panama or the Gatun Explorer; it is the same tour.

We were taken to Gatun Lake by Ocean 2 Ocean transfer service where we went on a boat tour with 'Captain Carl'to Monkey Island and saw Howler Monkeys and White-Faced monkeys that came onto our boat so we could feed them! We also fed another kind of really small monkey but I can't remember what they were called!

We then went to Carl's houseboat which is surrounded by rainforest and had a nice lunch. He has lots of interesting critters living on his boat. He took us kayaking around the island to a waterfall where we could 'cliff jump' and swim.

This was the highlight of our cruise and would highly recommend booking this on your own! It was great value too!

The port itself is a tourist trap but we booked an excursion to the Mayan ruins through 'The Native Choice'. Although we had trouble finding their shuttle initially, they provided a very professional tour to the Chacchoben ruins followed by lunch in a Mayan village. We would recommend this tour!

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We took a taxi to Playa Corona; a little beach bar right beside the national park with no entrance fee. They had lots of chairs with umbrellas. We had a nice pina colada and tasty chips with salsa and guacamole. There is great shallow snorkeling from the beach; great for novices like us! However beware; I got stung by fire coral! They offer equipment rental if you need it. We spent the whole day there and it only cost us $25 including food and transportation! A very cheap and relaxing way to spend the day!

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We booked a private waverunner and snorkel tour to stingray city through Ebanks Watersports. Unfortunately, all tours (both private and ship booked) to Stingray City were canceled due to rough water.

We took the public bus ($5 for two people each way) to Cemetery reef which is a beautiful little uncrowded beach with great snorkeling from the beach. This was great for novice snorkelers. There are trees for shade but no restuarants/washrooms/equipment rental places nearby. It was a great place to spend the day!

We booked a private tour to Cahuita National Park through Okeydokey tours. We would highly recommend going to the park; it is beautiful! You feel like a castaway on a private caribbean paradise. The beach is beautiful and clearly marked where it is safe for swimming. There is a great jungle path in the rainforest where we saw LOTS of Howler and White-Faced monkeys as well as a couple of sloths; much more wildlife to see compared to Tortuguero National Park.

We would NOT recommend OkeyDokey tours. Although Charlie was great to deal with, his guide ripped us off! The tour was supposed to include snorkeling from a boat at the National Park reef. When we got to the park he told us that we didn't need the boat because he would take us to a good snorkeling spot from the beach. (He pocketed the boat $) We should have insisted because the spot he took us to was awful for snorkeling; nothing to see! He didn't provide a guided tour at all because he spoke to the driver in Spanish the whole time we were there; essentially ignoring us! At the end of the tour, he said that he had no change; forcing us to give him a $10 tip that he didn't deserve!

Take a taxi to the park yourself and book the snorkeling boat there yourself. You will have a great day and see lots!

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