Embarkation was fairly simple and help was right at hand to direct us to Captain's Club window, which I was unaware existed. Vessel seemed to stretch forever, but entrance to our cabin was a really pleasant surprise. Much larger than I had anticipated, and well laid out, with the sofa area closest to the veranda rather than stumbling over the bed to reach the doors. The big surprise was the bathroom, which I still would like to pack up and smuggle out to bring home! So much roomier than our memories, and so compactly and aesthetically designed! Wish it had a line for hanging wet things somewhere, but basically almost perfect!
I was happy to be located close to the elevators ((which were beautiful) as the Equinox is a very long ship on the stateroom floors. My walking has been limited since a hip replacement, but I found if I used the central bank of elevators on activity decks....3, 10, 12, 14 etc,the walk was not as far fore or aft, and easier for me.
The Silhouette Dining Room was lovely and more than adequate, and the staff was very willing to fulfill any reasonable request. Oceanview Cafe on deck 14 had so much choice I actually found it confusing! Most was excellent, and it was difficult making the choice of where to have breakfast, since we like meeting new people on 14 and being served on 3! Suggest eating at Bistro on 5 at least once. We ate at Silk Harvest, a visual delight, though beef chow mein on the menu of an upscale Asian Restaurant surprised us! We also thought the choice of 3 entrees for 4 people was a trifle inadequate and puzzling. But the atmosphere was heavenly! By the way, the hamburger/frankfurter stand near the pools had the most delicious burgers. For those watching sodium, the french fries were loaded with salt, but yummy!
The evening shows were most enjoyable and the "Cirque in the manner of Europe" was striking; such talent and daring, with marvelous staging and effects!
If you are a reader, bring books, and plan to leave them behind, as the library was somewhat sparse.
The main pools were not as large as I recalled, but many people used and enjoyed them, and the outdoor entertainment was charming. There was not a moment on the events calendar without something planned, for those who wish to attend lectures or games and such. Sorry, but I can't comment on that aspect, since I was so thrilled to have time to read without telephones ringing or the Internet screaming for my attention!
I recall the daily count of money won on the slots, reaching at least a million dollars at the end; again, no comment as it's not something I dare try! And shopping...well despite the fact I'm all shopped out, and need very little more at the age of 84, my dear husband managed to find a lovely simple pair of earrings for me as a memento of a beautiful cruise.
I hope this is encouraging to those who worry about being "past their prime" for travel. I can no longer look forward to walking through cities I've enjoyed, but cruising is more inviting than I dreamed! I figure if I stick with this beautiful Celebrity line, eventually we'll work our way up on the Captain's Club status to enjoy the various bonuses others have achieved, so that's our plan from here on!
Disembarking went without problems, but I will be sure ALL my carry ons are on wheels, as the walks are very long until one is finally at the lowest floor, collecting luggage. Carrying my heavy tote wore me out!
Needs more drawer space, though extra storage above bed (may be hard to reach);Closet space more than enough for 2 over-packed people!
veranda excellent, and room layout really great! Bathroom awesome! Convenient to central elevator bank, but location very quiet! Had concerns having read about smoke drifting up from deck 5; never happened, nor did we hear noise from the Pub. I would take this cabin again anytime!
High winds (DH lost his Tilley Hat into the waters and yes, it floats) and rain were too unpleasant for us to continue much beyond the dock
Heavy rains and high winds, so once again, we turned back almost immediately
Rain, high winds,and since we have travelled through the Panama Canal, at which we both marvelled, we did not go ashore here. Friends found the view of ships coming through the locks very interesting, as did we, but from the perspective of looking down,...or up behind us at the next ship waiting to be lowered. However one sees the Panama Canal, just be sure to view it, as it is one of the world's great wonders!
We should have taken an excursion! Haggling with taxi drivers outside the dock area, we caught a cab for $7 instead of the $20 they asked initially. Crowded streets made driving a harrowing experience. Once inside the "old city", we were followed by purveyors of hats, hats, and more hats, until we ducked into an "emerald" jewelry store where the price of earrings was reduced from $4800 to $2400 and as I exited the store, the merchant called out, $500?
I am disturbed by "haggling", even in the Mideast, where it is part of the culture, and since my legs were giving out, we "haggled" again for a $7 taxi ride back to the dock. However, there, in the store near the shuttle stop, my DH replaced his lost Tilly Bush Hat with a more colorful version proclaiming that we had been to Cartagena, so all's well that ends well!
For UK and USA visitors, this port has more familiar feel. No one tugged at our elbows or hearts or filled us with guilt! Watching out for "left-side" traffic, we wended our way toward a touristy shopping center; I can't recall why. Maybe I wanted to see if it was at all like Bermuda! Brightly colored homes, a somewhat "genteel" atmosphere, and jewelry that was expertly well made, and very high priced, and I saw many visitors with bags containing much larger purchases, so I guess it was more satisfying to those who shop till they drop! Been there, done that years ago, so don't go by my returning empty-handed! But I was happy to have gone ashore here on the 10 minute tender ride. And the weather finally turned hot but beautiful!
I was sorry the final day at sea returned us to Ft. Lauderdale, ending the cruise, and I look forward to reading Cruise Critic's website for a future great deal! One couple on our cruise had nabbed the same 11 day cruise, but an inside cabin, for $800 in a one hour special online! What fun, and what a challenge! And next time, perhaps I'll work up the courage to actually get to meet the fellow passengers on the Roll Call group!