Celebrity Equinox Review
- Pros: Innovative features like a real grass lawn and glass-blowing show
- Cons: Signage still reflects the names of old spaces, which dates the ship
- Bottom Line: Sail Equinox for a strong mix of dining and activity options in the Caribbean
Celebrity Equinox Overview
With design features like autumn leaves painted on the theater ceiling and springtime florals patterned into carpets, Celebrity Equinox is a ship of seasons. But as Celebrity's dedicated Caribbean ship, it's summer outside year-round. Its Solstice Class amenities suit the itinerary as well, with a real grass lawn on the top of the ship and a Lawn Club Sunset Bar complete with deck furniture and faux fire pit.
Indoors the focus shifts from the feel of grass between your toes to the many tastes on offer, like craft beer and top-shelf mixed drinks at bars like Gastrobar and World Class Bar to the carefully managed experiences in each specialty restaurant -- Murano offers the stinkiest of French cheeses and Tuscan Grille pours your favorite Italian aperitif.
But the outside is never far away; there's a living tree suspended in the atrium and the words "Here Comes the Sun" glitter as you ascend in glass elevators from the Grand Foyer to a two-pool deck that leads into the calm adults-only Solarium with yet another pool.
At night, you might have the opportunity to stargaze at the night sky with an enrichment guide, or you can check out the constellation lights twinkling above the bar in the Sky Observation Lounge. On Equinox, there's a satisfying balance of indoor amusements and relaxing outdoor spaces.
That same balance can be felt in the line's mix of cruise traditions and modern touches. You can get a traditional assigned time for your meal in the main dining room, but art found in the stairwells is edgy and engaging. You can slow-dance with your loved one to a live band before dinner, but you can also get down to your own beat with giant headphones during the silent disco.
For passengers who want more, stunning penthouse suites and the spa cabin enclave known as AquaClass lend an air of exclusivity to those willing to pay a bit more for perks like private restaurants, a VIP lounge and special invite-only events.
One thing we didn't like about Equinox is its oddly arranged smoking areas. You won't notice any smoke in the casino, but it might unexpectedly waft across the pool deck from the Mast Bar nearby or Sunset Bar, one deck up.
But complaints are few and with its mix of day and night activities, robust theater program and consistently high level of service across all departments, Equinox is an elegant ship for all seasons.
Celebrity Equinox Fellow Passengers
Celebrity passengers are generally well-off couples and groups, with an average age in the mid-50s. The longer the sailing, the more mature the crowd, but weeklong voyages during the summer draw younger families. Expect large numbers of North Americans onboard with a few other nationalities thrown into the mix. Especially during summer and holiday seasons, the ratio of families with children to couples will increase, decreasing the average age.
Celebrity Equinox Dress Code
During the day, dress is resort casual, but Celebrity passengers tend to dress up for dinner -- typically button-down or dressy Tommy Bahama-type sport shirts and slacks for men and dresses or smart-casual pants for women. In the Silhouette main dining room, T-shirts, tanks and flip-flops are not permitted at any time, with no shorts added to the list at dinner, but we found these guidelines to be flexible. Formal night on Celebrity has been replaced by "evening chic" in the main dining room. This means that men can ditch the full suit and tie in favor of a sport coat and collared shirt, with designer jeans. Women can wear cocktail dresses, sundresses or designer jeans or nice pants. In the buffet, almost any form of dress is allowed except swimwear, spa robes and bare feet. Dinner in the fanciest restaurant onboard, Murano, is listed as "smart casual and above."
Celebrity Equinox Gratuity
Tips are not included in the cruise fare, instead they are automatically added to your onboard account daily. If you want to pay anything other than the "suggested gratuity," you'll need to make those arrangements at the guest relations desk while onboard.
The suggested gratuity is $13.50 per person, per day, if you're in a standard cabin or $14 per person, per day, if you're in a Concierge Class or AquaClass cabin. It's $17 per person, per day, for passengers in suites.
An 18 percent charge is also automatically added to all beverages, mini-bar purchases, the a la carte eatery Sushi on Five and the parfait bar at the AquaSpa Cafe, as well as to spa and salon services; those charges cannot be removed, but you can add an additional gratuity if you wish.