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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our fifth cruise, four with Royal Caribbean and this one with Celebrity. We stayed at the Hampton Inn before and after the cruise. Nice hotel not luxury but it was clean and comfortable and the staff was amazing. The Equinox is ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise, four with Royal Caribbean and this one with Celebrity. We stayed at the Hampton Inn before and after the cruise. Nice hotel not luxury but it was clean and comfortable and the staff was amazing. The Equinox is a beautiful Ship and the staff and crew are some of the best we have seen. We had an aft balcony cabin on deck 8, the Sunset Veranda, which was a good size. Loved the bathroom with all the storage and the larger shower. I was very disappointed at how small our balcony was since we were at the very back of the ship....we expected it to be larger. We were also disappointed there were no lounge chairs provided, only 2 upright chairs. We usually spend a great deal of time on our balcony because we usually have lounges. This cruise catered to an older crowd which is fine because my husband is in his 60's and I am in my 50's. There were a few families with children and some teenagers as well. The entertainment was very poor. We usually attend a show every evening but after 2 shows we skipped the rest...many of the people we met felt the same. The food was the biggest disappointment since Celebrity has a reputation for having wonderful food. We ate in the dining room for dinner all but one night and the food was just not good, poorly seasoned and not much variety. The food in the Oceanview Cafe reminded me of cafeteria food and was exactly the same every day. We tried the dining room for breakfast and lunch once but felt it was no better than the Cafe food. Disembarktation was very organized. To sum it up, I really wanted to love Celebrity because we enjoyed the fact that the other guests were mostly our age but because of the poor food and entertainment I would be very hesitant to book with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
First time sailing with Celebrity. We are seasoned cruisers with HaL and Princess. The check in was a nightmare. When we arrived at 11:00, we were told to unload luggage and then drive our car about two miles to a parking building to ... Read More
First time sailing with Celebrity. We are seasoned cruisers with HaL and Princess. The check in was a nightmare. When we arrived at 11:00, we were told to unload luggage and then drive our car about two miles to a parking building to return on a shuttle. We waited 45 minutes for a bus in the sun and upon arrival to long lines at check in. The ship is beautiful, balcony room very nice and staff was excellent. However food and entertainment not so much. I have never walked out of a show however I did on two nights. The guest entertainers were good but the production shows were terrible. Not my style of entertainment. Food in the main dining was average to good, not anything I raved about to friends on my return but the buffet was the worst I have ever seen. The layout of the buffet is great, no crowds or long lines. The breads, salads and breakfast food was great, but I could not believe that I looked at the same food everyday for 9 days. Ex: Italian bar had partially cooked noodles, 3 types, and 3 sauces. They took pasta and plunged in hot water to heat and moisten and put on the sauce. The vegetable side dishes and desserts were terrible. My husband ended up eating a strip steak every day. I alway look forward to a variety of seafood but they served mostly red meats and a salad bar. So glad to get off the ship for something different. Will go back to Princess and HAL. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This review is a review of life on board one of Celebrity’s Solstice class ships and, as such, only describes our experiences on board ship. It does not contain any port information. This was our third time on Equinox and we are well ... Read More
This review is a review of life on board one of Celebrity’s Solstice class ships and, as such, only describes our experiences on board ship. It does not contain any port information. This was our third time on Equinox and we are well into double figures with Celebrity overall and we know and like the product or, should I say, we knew and liked the product. This cruise was significantly different to all the others we have been on and, sad to say, standards were lower than we expected in almost all areas to the point of disappointment. It started with embarkation which was dreadful but, in fairness to Celebrity, they sent letters to everyone apologising. There were several large Royal Caribbean ships in Port of the Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) and we were relegated to one of the older more cramped docks which was absolutely gridlocked. We had driven to the port which meant we had to queue for ages just to drop luggage and then queue to get out and go to the original terminal to park and then get a shuttle bus and queue to get back in again. It was carnage! Once in the embarkation area, they had segregated passengers into Elite Plus Captains Club, Elite CC, Concierge, Acqua Class, et al. Unfortunately, non of the ushers knew which section we should queue in. We opted for CC Elite and, when we got to the desk, they said we should have gone to Concierge. Our friends in Elite Plus waited longer than pretty much everyone else, only to find out they were in the wrong area too. It was a fiasco. Once on board we went with friends to coordinate our speciality restaurant bookings and ended up opting to take “ultimate Dining”. This means you can eat in any of the speciality restaurants on any night and also eat lunch in Bistro on Five. It costs $30 per person per day and is only offered to very few passengers and only once you are on board and request it. we were going to have 5 nights anyway so it did not work out too much more and we had OBC to offset it. On our 9 night cruise it was interesting to try it out but, due to the fairly limited menus it would not be suitable for longer cruises. (by the time we had eaten in Tuscan 4 times, it was enough). This means that there is no review of the main dining room. However, we did notice that one side of the MDR was blocked off for suite guests and their new exclusive dining room. Given that the top floor dining area is now dedicated to select dining, this leaves very little left for mainstream dining. Food in the Ocean View cafeteria was good for what it is and the selection was, as ever, very varied and interesting and there should be something there to suit everyone. Our only complaint was struggling at times to find a table as there seemed to be way too few staff clearing up (more on that later). Also, food was often not as hot as we would have liked. Our biggest complaint which applied to the whole ship was the lack of bar staff and we had constant problems trying to get a drink. Previously on Celebrity there were hoards of staff constantly asking if you want a drink and, if you declined, they would put a paper napkin down to show that you had been asked (or put the menu on its side). Those people were sadly lacking. In the bar on the open part of the Ocean View, the bar tender was waiting tables and going back and making drinks. Unheard of on past cruises. In every bar there were just way too few staff. We queued at the Martini bar on a couple of evenings and, in the end we got frustrated and left and went to the ensemble. There were only two bartenders working this busy bar and no waiters working the tables. This was the first time in years that we have not had martins at this iconic bar. Our conclusion is that, having sold us the drinks package (sorry, having given us a free drinks package then put the price up by the actual cost) and then encouraged us to upgrade to premium to be able to have the drinks we would normally choose when we did pay as you go, they now have your money up front and want to dissuade you from drinking. Sitting on deck on sea days we hardly saw a waiter and we had to go to the nearest bar and stand in line. When we did get served we were often told that certain things were not available. At least twice they did not have the ingredients for drink of the day or were having to modify drinks to suit what they did have. My wife ordered a particular cocktail which had sparkling wine in it. when she tasted it she complained it was not the right drink. When I took it back, the bartender apologised and said he did not have sparkling wine so used Sprite. This pattern was repeated throughout the ship. Wines and bottled beers on the menus were often not available and we were offered substitutes. We even struggled to get drink refills in the speciality restaurants as the sommeliers were few and far between. I actually brought it to the attention of guest relations and suggested that I be accompanied around the ship to count how many waiters we could see and how many were in each bar area or even to check how long we could sit in a bar before we were served. They declined. Each time we went to the theatre, we failed to get served before the show started. This just seemed a blatant attempt by Celebrity to maximise profits by minimising consumption. I would much prefer to go back to the old price structure and pay for my drinks as I go and get good service. We had a concierge cabin because of an offer linked to on board credit when we booked. However, this was the last time we would bother. The only reasons to book Concierge were the larger towels and the footstools on the balcony. Sadly, the larger towels are no more (they have been withdrawn) and one of our footstools was broken and took several days to be fixed. Everything else is not worth the extra cost. The sparkling wine is redundant due to the drinks package (if you can get a drink!), we didn’t order the canapés as we were never in when they were served and the binoculars are pretty poor quality. My advice would be to give Concierge a miss unless there is a very good offer. One thing which could have caught us out is that we did not get beach towels delivered to our room in the first port (but fortunately we didnt need them). When I asked the steward why we did not receive them, he said that they are now on request only. How were we supposed to know?? On the subject of towels, on one day we got very threadbare almost worn out towels and one was badly stained. We asked the steward to look out some better ones, which he did for the rest of the cruise but, once upon a time, that would not have been necessary. That trend was continued around the ship. Soft furnishings were visibly worn and stained (even in Murano) and carpets were worn and stained in some areas. It was very disappointing to see such a change in the standards which we have come to expect and enjoy. There also seemed to be a reduced entertainment program. We always go to the Sunset Bar for sail away where there would normally be entertainment (often the solo singer/guitar player). This time round we rarely had outdoor entertainment except at the main pool area. Perhaps the most surprising thing was the complete lack of contact from the Captains Club Host(ess). We never saw her or heard from her during the entire cruise. We have always had the premium non-alcoholic package before the onset of the “free package” as we like San Pelegrino water and particularly like the Tee Forte in Al Bacio. Unfortunately, due to the number of people who now have the drinks package, Al Bacio was constantly full and we often struggled both to get a seat and to get served. Worse still (for us as tea drinking Brits), the constant strain on the equipment meant that the water was often not hot enough to brew the tea. Also, the “house” milk was from the firm Hershey and tasted like liquid milkshake. We got round this by going up to the cafe and getting a small carton of milk. This was not just our complaint though as the barista said it was awful stuff as it didn’t foam for coffee (which we do not drink) and we heard a fair number of people complaining about lukewarm coffee. Of course, as ever, there were good moments and some of the staff were lovely to meet and to interact with. The overall standard of food was excellent (as you would expect in the speciality restaurants) and our cabin staff were excellent. We saw and heard much more of the captain and enjoyed his banter. However, at the end of the cruise we just felt let down and that, from Celebrity’s perspective, it had all been about maximising profit money by cuts to bar staff and availability of drinks and ingredients. Sadly overall, we came away feeling disappointed with life on board. Hopefully this trend of cutting back staff choices will not go unnoticed by others and, given the competitive market, Celebrity will reinstate some of their previous standards. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
What a great idea is to break the winter in half by going to the Caribbean! And what a better place to do it than in a full immersion into a Retirement Home experience! It was our second cruise with Celebrity. It wasn’t a repeat of a ... Read More
What a great idea is to break the winter in half by going to the Caribbean! And what a better place to do it than in a full immersion into a Retirement Home experience! It was our second cruise with Celebrity. It wasn’t a repeat of a great experience we had on Celebrity Constellation last year, now I’m free to explore other cruise lines. My reasons for choosing Celebrity again were: professionally done classical music, tasteful comedy, tranquil solarium, and outdoor cafe dining. That didn’t turn out to be so. There were no classical music, the comedy if any was flat, solarium was a chlorinated box, the outdoor dining was still there and was great. New for us were: live grass, which smelled so good and was very well taken care of; Glass making shows, which we both liked and my husband didn’t miss one; largest library we’ve seen on any ship with very good selection. The first two days most of staff were very unfriendly, it’s like they were just told that would be no raises and bonuses this year. By day three most started greeting us and smiling. That of course doesn’t include bartenders, spirit shop staff (they are there to guard, not to sell or give samples), and to my surprise head staff of the seaside café. Oh, let me tell you about our Muster drill! It was disorganized, incompetent, useless, and even dangerous. This was out seventh cruise (5 with Royal Caribbean and 2 with Celebrity). All previous Muster drills made us feel safer, but after this one we were not sure if we should stay on the ship at all. It made us feel that in the case of a true emergency there would be every man for himself. It was the longest drill we ever had. Some of the people started to collapse from standing for so long. At appointed time, we were asked to go to our stations. We were directed to a large open area and asked to stand close to each other. We stood there for over 15 min without anything happening. Then we were told that we need to direct our attention to a TV monitor that none of us could see and listen to instruction that none of us could hear. There were staff nearby that just told us to stand still. They knew that we could not hear or see anything. When the volume was finally turned up, the background music was so overpowering, that we could not hear the words. And this was not the end of it. We were told that now the leader of our muster station would speak to us. Again, we could not see the person, we could tell that a woman is speaking, but could not make out any words because she spoke without a microphone. Shame to Celebrity Equinox! Overall, I had a very good vacation because a cruise ship for me is just a way of transportation to the beautiful Caribbean beaches, snorkeling, warmth and sunshine. Our cabin was comfortable, food was good, as for other things, they were just a bonus that I didn’t get. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
What a great idea is to break the winter in half by going to the Caribbean! And what better place to do it than in a full immersion into a Retirement Home experience! It was our second cruise with Celebrity. It wasn’t a repeat of the ... Read More
What a great idea is to break the winter in half by going to the Caribbean! And what better place to do it than in a full immersion into a Retirement Home experience! It was our second cruise with Celebrity. It wasn’t a repeat of the great experience we had on Celebrity Constellation last year, so now I feel like exploring other cruise lines. My reasons for choosing Celebrity again were: professionally done classical music, tasteful comedy, tranquil solarium, and outdoor café dining. That didn’t turn out to be so on this cruise. There was no classical music, the comedy was dull, the solarium was a chlorinated box, but the outdoor dining was still there and was great. New for us were: live grass, which smelled so good and was very well taken care of; Glass making shows, which we both liked and my husband didn’t miss one; largest library we’ve seen on any ship with very good selection. The first two days most of staff were very unfriendly, it’s like they were just told that would be no raises and bonuses this year. By day three most started greeting us and smiling. That of course didn’t include bartenders, spirit shop staff (they are there to guard, not to sell or engage in informative conversation), and to my surprise, the head staff of the seaside café. Oh, let me tell you about our Muster drill! It was disorganized, incompetent, useless, and even dangerous. This was out seventh cruise (5 with Royal Caribbean and 2 with Celebrity). All previous Muster drills made us feel safer, but after this one we were not sure if we should stay on the ship at all. It made us feel that in the case of a true emergency it would be every man for himself. It was the longest drill we ever had (~45 minutes) . Some of the people started to collapse from standing for so long. At the appointed time, we were asked to go to our stations. We were directed to a large open area and asked to stand close to each other. We stood there for over 15 min without anything happening. Then we were told that we need to direct our attention to a TV monitor that none of us could see and listen to instruction that none of us could hear. There were staff nearby that just told us to stand still. They knew that we could not hear or see anything. When the volume was finally turned up, the background music was so overpowering, that we could not hear the words. And this was not the end of it. We were told that now the leader of our muster station would speak to us. Again, we could not see the person, we could tell that a woman is speaking, but could not make out any words because she spoke without a microphone. To top it all off, when they sounded the signal as an example, after explaining its pattern, they sounded the wrong pattern. Shame on Celebrity Equinox! Overall, I had a very good vacation because a cruise ship for me is just a way of transportation to the beautiful Caribbean beaches, snorkeling, warmth and sunshine. Our cabin was comfortable, food was good, as for other things, they were just a bonus that I didn’t get. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation Nov 28-Dec 7, 2015. This was our third cruise on the Constellation and she has a fantastic Captain and crew, as well as very friendly and efficient dining staff, cabin stewards, and entertainment. ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation Nov 28-Dec 7, 2015. This was our third cruise on the Constellation and she has a fantastic Captain and crew, as well as very friendly and efficient dining staff, cabin stewards, and entertainment. I won't go into all of the details of the entire cruise, but I will give the highlights: We drove from Tampa on Nov 27 and stayed at the Rodeway Inn on Hwy 84 the night before the cruise. We have stayed here many times before, and really liked it.. Izzy, the hotel manager, does a great job getting you to the ship and getting you back to the hotel when you return. We took the early shuttle from the hotel to the port ($2 pp charge) to get you to the port early, and we think it was worth it. We were elite class, and got to board the ship after the suite class people. We were onboard about 11:15 am, and were given a glass of champagne when we boarded, as is normal for Celebrity cruises. Lunch at the Ocean grill cafe was good as normal. This was the first time on the Connie that we just had a Veranda cabin, and it was OK, but it was about 25 square feet smaller than a Concierge or Aqua cabin, and we did not realize this when we booked the cruise. Our primary reason for booking this cruise was that it went to St. Croix, St. Barts, and Labadee, Haiti, and we had not been to these ports before. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin about 3 PM, which was better than we had experienced before. The life boat drill was a joke, as usual, because we met in the main theater, and they explained where we should meet in case of a real emergency. If the ship is going down, I am not going to the theater, I am going to the life boat. We had dinner at Ocean Liners specialty restaurant the first night and had Dover Sole, which was excellent. You get a 20% break on the price the first night of the cruise, so you paid $80 instead of $100 for two, and that includes the 18% gratuity charge. The first two days at sea were fairly rough with 10-15 foot waves. The Captain said that the stabilizers were working full time. After that it was a smooth cruise. On Sunday from 1-2 pm the Captain's party was well done, with an opportunity to talk to the Captain and his officers. I asked the Captain if he was the Captain of the Silhouette in April 2015; he said, "no, that was my brother". They looked so much alike you would have thought they were twins. We had a very friendly and efficient Captain, as were his officers. This was our first cruise after attaining Elite status, so we went to the Elite plus cocktail party. Only a few officers there, but nicely done. Since we had the free drink package anyway, it was not big deal, but would have been if you did not have the drink package since you get free drinks from 5-7 pm. There was an art auction during the days at sea, and we attended one of them, but they never seem to change. You do get free champagne, but the prices are extremely high compared to what you can get online. I have been stung before, but never again. The entertainers for the most part were excellent, including David Gudice, Kathleen and the Saints, Jayne Curry, Jason Bishop, and Flying Colors Duo. If they are on your cruise in the future, be sure to see them, especially Jayne Curry. We went to the Select and Elite class wine tasting, and it was very well done, with a real entertaining and funny wine steward. The High Tea for Elite and up classes was just OK in our opinion; guess we were spoiled with the ones on Holland America. We will probably skip this on our next cruise, although we did meet some very nice people. To Celebrity's credit, they told you what the dress code was, and they did not let anyone in wearing shorts and flip flops. I saw the lady turn several people away. Too bad they did not do that at dinner, because we saw several people at dinner in the main dining room with shorts on. For the ports of call, our favorite island by far was St. Maarten; the people are so friendly, and the prices are as good, or maybe better, than St. Thomas. Where else can you play nickel slots in a casino and they bring you free drinks!! We have been to St Maarten many times and recommend the Explorer cruise as probably the best of the tours unless you are a beach person. Since we live in Florida and can go to the beach anytime, we opt out of cruise beach tours. St. Barts--our least favorite place on this cruise. You had to go in by tender, which was no big deal, but the wait was pretty long. We just walked around downtown, and went in a few of the shops. We found the prices high and the people not that friendly. We had never been there before, and have no desire to go back. You had to be really careful crossing the street because the drivers would not stop and let you cross unless traffic was backed up and they couldn't go forward anyway. In San Juan we took the Bacardi Distillery tour, and it was interesting, but pricey. Once you have seen one distillery, you have seen them all. The best part was the ride from the ship to the facility; we had a great tour guide and saw parts of San Juan we had not seen before. When we were here last year we took the rain forest tour, and it was excellent. In St. Croix we took the Panoramic Drive tour; it was pricey, but informative, but it took 4.5 hours instead of the advertised 3.5 hours. Although we had a good tour guide, it was way too long a tour for us. I think if we go back again we will just take a taxi downtown and do some shopping. Our final stop was Labadee, Haiti, and we had never been there before. It is a private island which Royal Caribbean bought and turned into a really nice facility. We failed to go to the presentation onboard about this island, and that was a big mistake. They have 3 places for the BBQ lunch, several bars, and several beaches. We did not sit out by the beaches, but there were plenty of lounge chairs, both in the sun, and under some of the trees. The beaches were very pretty, with blue waters. We think the Gulf coast of Florida has better beaches and whiter sand, but we cannot match the crystal clear blue waters of some of the islands. There is a trolley that takes you to the far end of the beaches, or you can walk; we chose the trolley. At the far end there is an artisan market place where local vendors have little cubicles to sell you stuff; some of the vendors are pretty aggressive, but they will negotiate on the prices. We were interested in a 12 inch metal sun face that the vendor wanted $25 for, and when we started to walk away, he finally lowered the price to $5. There is also a covered vendor market place, and no one bugs you, but the prices are not negotiable; this place benefits a lot of the local economies, and we bought some things there. To summarize the trip, I will do it in the Clint Eastwood way, of the good, the bad, and the ugly: The Good: Excellent Captain, Officers, and crew, entertainment, food, fantastic ship-very clean. The Bad: There was a huge group of people ( we later learned they comprised about 35-40% of the passengers), who were booked by one particular travel agency. For the most part they were well behaved, but with any large group of people who seemed to be well acquainted, some were totally loud and obnoxious (probably too much booze), but I guess there are always some of those no matter where you go. Unfortunately they totally took over the Martini bar in the afternoon (which was a designated meeting place for them), and the lounge where Kathleen and the Saints were playing before dinner. We learned to live with it, but we would not go on another cruise if we knew that particular group were booked. It must be a really popular agency because almost all of the suites, Aqua cabins and Concierge cabins were booked when we made our reservations about 10 months in advance. The Ugly: Nothing Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Two shows were quite well performed, while one was a head-scratcher while we wondered if anyone was paying attention to the monotonous-sounding music and singing. The best performers were a trapeze couple from Eastern Europe who ... Read More
Two shows were quite well performed, while one was a head-scratcher while we wondered if anyone was paying attention to the monotonous-sounding music and singing. The best performers were a trapeze couple from Eastern Europe who choreographed and executed completely original moves. Some food was delicious and some was disastrous. Mushroom risotto contained old, rotten mushrooms; some meat was not hot and was very tough to cut; grouper fish tasted like it has not been refrigerated. Our waiter served us robotically without enthusiasm. We paid for a premium wine package and then our favorite wine was no longer available half-way into the cruise, and our sommelier made no effort to find us a comparable wine. A couple of items were broken in the gym and one day we had no towels, so I got a pool towel. When I gambled in the casino, the dealer kept pushing me to place bets according to her preferences, so I never returned after that odd interaction. Otherwise the cruise proceeded normally without incident, which made for a pleasant enough vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We have cruised with Celebrity for years, the last few cruises were on the Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse and were excellent. Somehow we thought the Summit would be up to that standard, especially since it was refurbished. Unfortunately ... Read More
We have cruised with Celebrity for years, the last few cruises were on the Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse and were excellent. Somehow we thought the Summit would be up to that standard, especially since it was refurbished. Unfortunately it is not half as nice. The entertainment shows put on by Celebrity were not the first class shows you are used to, the dance and singing troups are actually from a different company and it shows. The ship is truly getting worn out - from bent railings to rust stains that have not been painted over, wood that is peeling from lack of varathane and floors looking worn, the public bathrooms had stalls blocked off and peeling surfaces on the dividers, the main curtain in the theatre was broken and had not worked for months according to the staff. Very disappointing. However, we loved the changes made with the small food portions, you know no one has been digging in your food and it feels much more sanitary. Also, keep in mind that the Solstice class has bigger verandas. Concierge class did not give us a chocolate each night, no fresh ice each day and no fresh flowers. Read Less
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