The Equinox Theater is located at the front of the ship on Decks 4 and 5. The space is a simple one with traditional red velvet theater seating, tan carpeting and autumn leaves in reds, browns and yellows on the ceiling. A show is held in the theater nightly, at 7 and 9 p.m. The Equinox cast performs three themed production shows -- Topper, Elysium and Life -- throughout the cruise, and the blend of vocal talent, choreography, costumes, aerialists and acrobatics produces thoroughly entertaining results. On nights a production show is not offered, guest comedians/magicians or Vegas-style revue singers and dancers take the stage. Evening shows in the theater are generally well-attended, but it was never hard to find front-row seats if you show up about 20 minutes beforehand. The theater is frequently not utilized during the day.
Equinox keeps passengers entertained with its Celebrity Life activities and programming. For some of the best entertainment on the ship, head to the Lawn Club for the almost-nightly Hot Glass Show, a demonstration of glass-blowing by a crew of young artisans from the Corning Museum of Glass. It's particularly nice to sit out on a mild evening, as the kilns' interior temperatures average around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pavilion can get hot on a sunny day. Hot Glass groupies weren't uncommon, with repeat show-goers coming back multiple times throughout the cruise. Happy hours are held with the artists and an auction is held on the last sea day of the cruise, with all proceeds going to charity.
During the morning hours, meditation with headphones is held near the Hot Glass Show stage, on the lawn.
Those who feel compelled to try their hand at winning door prizes can compete in game shows, table tennis tournaments and volleyball matches with the cast of the theater or the ship's officers.
Passengers who prefer something requiring a bit of brainpower can attend various rounds of trivia, or educational programming that ranges from computer lessons in the iLounge to lectures on a range of subjects. Celebrity Central is an intimate space for lectures during the morning and early afternoon hours, and for movies at night. We found the enrichment programming on Equinox to be particularly strong when compared with other mega-ships we've sailed in the Caribbean.
Equinox also offers cruise ship standbys like art auctions, bingo, dance lessons, wine appreciation and the like, as well as the casino and smaller groups of musicians playing sets on the pool deck during the day. Trendy activities like adult coloring sponsored by Lonely Planet also help to pass the time.
Make your own fun out of the sun with a puzzle, card game or round of chess in the card room or any of the other comfortable nooks and seating areas spread around the ship.
Bar culture is prevalent on Equinox, and many folks linger with a cocktail in a lounge before or after dinner, around a show or late into the night. Dancing to the live band in the atrium on Deck 3 (called the Grand Foyer on Equinox) is another popular nightly activity. Anyone having drinks a deck or two above can watch fellow passengers trip the light fantastic or get up and start grooving in place themselves (many did). Music is performed continually throughout the night at lounges and public spaces across the ship. An LGBTQ social hour is held nightly at the Martini Bar.
Once per cruise, the Lawn Club hosts an evening concert; turnout is usually high (and surprisingly energetic). Blankets and pillows are strewn about the grass for loungers but there is plenty of space to dance, and we saw many taking advantage of the jamming band. Glow sticks, beads and a pop-up bar add to the festive atmosphere.
Also held once per cruise is Celebrity Rox, a dance party out on the pool deck featuring live performances from the cast of the Equinox Theater. Fortune's Casino, located on Deck 4, doesn't break the mold with its flashing slot machines and standard set of table games, including craps, blackjack, roulette and three-card poker.
Sales at the shops, chair massage previews from the spa and pop-up game shows like Battle of the Sexes are held on Deck 4 in the Entertainment Court along the walkway to the theater and the open area in front of Celebrity Central (some shows, like The Newlywed Game, were held inside Celebrity Central).
Karaoke competitions and dance parties with themes like ABBAlicious take place after the theater lets out, in Quasar or Sky Lounge. Families can attend first-run, family-friendly movies at night, typically held in Celebrity Central.
Outside, the artisans at the Hot Glass Show also hold performances during the evening, which is neat to watch with a setting sun amid the glow of the furnaces. For some after-hours enrichment, you can join a guest lecturer for stargazing on the lawn.
Celebrity Equinox Bars and Lounges
Equinox offers a nice mix of drinking destinations that offer spectacular views or a place to bury your head in a book; a comfortable, quiet moment or a boisterous show to accompany your martini. Whatever the mood, the ship has passengers covered when it comes to places to grab a drink.
Passport Bar (Deck 3): Surprisingly chic for a lobby bar, Passport blends into the atmosphere of the Grand Foyer, but stands alone with sophisticated design elements (there's a Lichtenstein on the wall). Grab a drink to take with you around the ship, or sit awhile with a paper by the windows or people-watch with a coffee and a crossword.
Martini Bar & Crush (Deck 4): You'll find all the fun-loving people crowded around the iced counter at the Martini Bar in the evening, chatting with the bartenders between a card trick or juggling act. It earns its reputation as one of the most popular bars onboard for its elegant atmosphere and high energy -- plus, it's just outside the main dining room. Order a martini flight; it's a perfect way to find your favorite, while sharing with a friend (it's also worth it for the show alone).
Casino Bar (Deck 4): The Casino Bar is not a bad place to hang out, even if you're not the gambling type. Four large flat-screen TVs play various sports matches in a smoke-free environment. Tucked between the bustling promenade of the casino and the shops, this bar even has its own daily drink specials, with names like the Wild Card or Roulette Wheel.
Quasar (Deck 4): The nightclub on Equinox has a 60s-meets-space vibe. Walls of rainbow bulbs glow and pulsate, while revelers swing in suspended, clear plastic "bubble" chairs and the DJ spins late into the night from a booth that looks like it might very well take off into orbit. Leather-backed bench seating lines the room for wallflowers and a small round bar, with room for about 20, is in the far right corner. Karaoke competitions, late-night dancing and the popular silent disco are all held in Quasar.
World Class Bar (Deck 5): Formerly Molecular Bar, World Class Bar is where you go to test the ship's mixologists. Available on all Solstice-class ships, World Class conveys an air of refinement with a golden glow and top-shelf creations available at this bar and this bar only. Likewise, if it's a rum and coke you're looking for, you've come to the wrong place. Instead try a Ciroc Tropically Yours, made with vodka, rum, Coco Lopez, lemon juice and grilled pineapple juice. Occasionally, the bow-tied bartenders host a themed night, offering curious palates the chance to sip on a traditional absinthe or other liqueur.
Michael's Club (Deck 5): Celebrity's private lounge for suite passengers is neatly tucked away behind two doors in the Ensemble Lounge on Equinox. Michael's Club gives VIP cruisers access to a quiet sitting area and bar, used for special events like tea service and a meet-and-greet with ship officers. Within the lounge, specialty coffees, beer, wine and a selection of mixed drinks are complimentary. Light appetizers are served in the evening and a small spread is available each morning at breakfast.
Ensemble Lounge (Deck 5): A foyer, glowing in geometric ambers and oranges, welcomes you into the low-lit Ensemble Lounge, popular all day long for crowded rounds of trivia or evening drinks accompanied by a little live music. There's plenty of cushioned seating in burgundy and creams along the dark-wood walls with an oblong bar set in the middle, but seats fill up fast; specialty restaurants Murano, Tuscan Grille and Silk Harvest are all located just nearby.
GastroBar (Deck 5): Formerly Cellar Masters, GastroBar has switched gears to a menu of craft beer and comfort food. The wine menu is still there, along with a small menu of specialty cocktails. A la carte small and large plates dish up elevated pub food like truffle fries or pork buns, plus flatbreads. Gastro opens at 4 p.m. on most days, but is open for lunch at noon on sea days. On those days, it's a casual place to grab a burger and a beer and watch the afternoon game. (We're told these gourmet burgers can take up to 20 minutes to prepare, but ours took less than 10).
Pool Bar (Deck 12): The go-to place to grab a cool drink while you're lounging midship by the pool, Pool Bar even has a few stools to escape to shade with a view of the sun.
Slush (Deck 12): Located just behind the staircase between the pool deck and the Solarium, Slush is a drink stand, glowing pink and blue. For $12 a pop, Slush blends a variety of frozen cocktails from a Sweet Tart to a Mint Cookie (and all the daiquiris and mojitos in between). Any drink can be made nonalcoholic for $8. Young Thai coconuts are also on offer for something tropical for teetotalers (and they're included with the premium drink package).
Sky Observation Lounge (Deck 14): Sky applies its heavenly motif from ceiling to cocktail glass. Lights twinkle like the constellations at night above a large dance floor and there are plenty of nooks to unwind in. Order a concoction based on your zodiac sign -- a Taurus is a lethal mixture of gin, St. Germain, ginger syrup and mango puree. Killer views and the stylish ballroom aura make Sky a nice location for morning trivia, art auctions and meetups.
Mast Bar (Deck 14): Mast Bar tends to the sun deck crowd above the pool, and sits on the other side of the deck from the Mast Grill. It is a smoking area.
Destinations Bar (Deck 14): Destinations is the bar that greets you as you enter the Oceanview Cafe. It's the place to grab a Bloody Mary with breakfast, a soda with lunch or the drink of the day with dinner.
Oceanview Bar (Deck 14): If you walk to the back of the ship through the buffet, you'll come out to an alfresco seating area; the Oceanview Bar serves these thirsty cruisers lunching in the sun or taking in the view from under cover.
Sunset Bar (Deck 15): Drink in views of the wake from atop the ship, with the Lawn Club nearby at Sunset Bar. Semicircle seating areas with cheery red-orange cushions surround tables that resemble fire pits at night. It is, unsurprisingly, a nice place to take in a sunset with a beverage in hand. The port (left) side of the bar is a smoking area.
The Whisky House at the Lawn Club (Deck 15): Right outside the aft elevators on Deck 15, before you head outside to the Lawn Club, is a small tasting room that looks like part store, part private club. During limited hours you can visit to sample different whiskies, sip your favorite on the spot or bring it home.
Celebrity Equinox Outside Recreation
There are three pools and six whirlpools on Deck 12. Two pools (one shallow and one plunge) make up the outside pool deck, along with an interactive water feature consisting of numerous dancing fountains. The two-pool layout, with four raised hot tubs and showers on deck in tucked-away spots make for a cozy but adequate setup. The walkways of the deck above provide shaded spots underneath to relax. Near the aft end, starboard (right) side, is a grouping of couches that serves as a popular smoking and hangout spot.
Forward from the main pool area is the adults-only (16 and up) Solarium that houses within its blissfully quiet enclosure two hot tubs and a lovely pool bookended by a wall of ferns and flowers, as well as a soothing water and light display. There is a lift for wheelchair users to get in the pool. If you have a late seating in the main dining room, the early evening hours are a fantastic time for a swim. You'll likely have the place to yourself.
Deck 15 is home to the ship's sports court and the Lawn Club. From picnicking and lawn games (golf, bocce or croquet) to simply sitting and people-watching, the public park at sea is an ideal venue for relaxing at any time of day. The lawn chairs sometimes fill up during the day, but it never feels crowded.
The basketball court is located at the forward end of Deck 15, for shooting a few hoops.
Inside on Deck 15, on either side of the elevator banks, there is table tennis and tournaments are held throughout the cruise.
At the forward end of the ship is the Solstice Deck on Deck 16. An open-air space, the Solstice Deck is favored by smokers and sun-seekers that want to be away from the busy pool, two decks below. Otherwise, you will find padded navy lounge chairs spread around Decks 14 and 12, and even to the side of the grass lawn on Deck 15.
Celebrity Equinox Services
The Grand Foyer spans Decks 3, 4 and 5. At the bottom, on Deck 3, you'll find the guest relations and shore excursions desks (one on each side of the lobby). The boarding area and medical facilities are one deck below on Deck 2. Deck 4 is for entertainment and shopping, with the Shops on the Boulevard bordering the casino and offering an array of jewelry and watches, perfume and cologne, clothing and a melange of other odds and ends, from the tacky to the luxurious, all tax- and duty-free. The Future Cruise Sales office is on Deck 4, just outside the theater, for passengers already itching to get on another Celebrity sailing.
Deck 5 is the hub of Equinox. In addition to the many bars and restaurants located here, you'll find the Boutiques, including designer brand Michael Kors. The photo and art galleries, with a variety of memories painted on canvas or captured on film, can also be found on Deck 5 midship. For private tours in the ports of call you'll visit, visit the Destination Concierge office.
Celebrity's iLounge is the single public room on Deck 6. The line partners with Apple to provide about 20 computer stations, and a variety of Apple products and accessories for sale. Classes, like learning to take better photos on your iPhone or iPad, are offered throughout the cruise, for a fee.
Deck 7's Team Earth is an attractive space that serves as an advertisement for Celebrity's nonprofit partner, Conservation International. There are lounge chairs and interactive screens with quite a bit of information on offer (if you can get them to work) and a gorgeous wooden table, often used for puzzles, made by a Forest Stewardship Council-certified furniture maker. Sharing this space is the Captain's Club concierge desk and another concierge desk for suite passengers.
The card room on Deck 9 sees quite a bit of action, although it's not much more than a vestibule between elevator bays. Still, passengers borrow cards and board games or bring their own for lively rounds of chess or canasta. There are about seven tables here with room for four at each table.
Deck 10 has a stunning open library that grabs your attention from the glass elevators with its large work of art featuring a mysterious woman with a giant bouquet of flowers atop her head and about 16 warm wooden bookshelves that rise the height of the deck. Travel guides, romance novels, classic literature and nonfiction memoirs line the shelves. There are no workstations or outlets here, just giant red and white armchairs. Don't forget to look up on Deck 11, where you'll find six more shelves of books and some additional seating.
There's a fine photography portrait studio located on Deck 15.
There are no self-serve laundry rooms onboard Equinox. A full bag of laundry, just for washing, costs about $50. Pressing and dry cleaning can also be done for an additional charge.