1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Equinox Review
  5. Celebrity Equinox Cruise Reviews
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
THe ship was very well appointed. It was immaculate. Everywhere you go they were cleaning. I don't think that I ever saw a speck on any common areas. If you can opt for Aqua Class which allows you to eat at Blu do it. . It is ... Read More
THe ship was very well appointed. It was immaculate. Everywhere you go they were cleaning. I don't think that I ever saw a speck on any common areas. If you can opt for Aqua Class which allows you to eat at Blu do it. . It is civilized and the food quite good. We ate at Tuscan Grill twice, Murano twice and Silk Harvest once. I was not impressed with the latter and would save the money to eat there. Murano was excellent, and the service there top notch.Tuscan grill was also quite good. Every one of the staff was superb , they cater to your every need. I thought the shows were just average save for Tea Bake who was terrific. She paid tribute to to both Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston . Her rendition of I will Always Love You was as good as I have every heard. Lou Gazzara was also quite good especially when he sang Puccini's Nessum Dor . Be wary of the drink packages, they are not exactly what they advertise. I am not a drinker so I took a soda package and then found out it did not include bottle water so I had to upgrade to a higher package. Charging for water , come on Celebrity how cheap can you be. At dinner one night a photographer came into the room to take a picture . Intrusive, don't you think !!! The large buffet in the oceanview cafe was quite inclusive for breakfast and lunch . However, it was not that easy to find a seat . There are few places to eat lunch outside . There are a few tables outside the grill where they cook hot dogs and hamburgers with french fries. I tried it once and would not go back. The hot dogs were poor as was the cheese burgers . A prepared hamburger with a slab of American Cheese on top. WE went to Cartagena, where we lunched on grilled lobsters on an island, to Panama where we went through 3 locks on a ferry boat and Costa Rico where we went on an aerial tram over the rain forest, swam with the dolphins in Cozumel. All these excursions were highly rated. They get you off the boat for your excursions in a very professional manner. Overall an excellent ship and cruise and I would return. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We arrived in Florida the previous day to sailing, stayed at a hotel for the night and went to the port the next day. We had our luggage tags already via mail so they took our luggage and we went into the building to get through security ... Read More
We arrived in Florida the previous day to sailing, stayed at a hotel for the night and went to the port the next day. We had our luggage tags already via mail so they took our luggage and we went into the building to get through security and get our boarding passes. We were next in line when a man named Pedro was asking " Is anyone using a birth certificate or passport card to board?" We were so I raised my hand. He told us we needed to go to Miami to get a passport card and explained they were not accepting those forms to board the ship. He wrote down the passport offices address in Miami and told us that when we get there not to take a number, but to go to the counter and tell them you need a 1 hour passport and its for a ship that leaves at 4:00pm today. This was at 11:00am. 47 minutes and $72 later the cab dropped us off at the passport office. It was PACKED. We went right up the window like Pedro said and told them we needed a 1 hour passport for a ship leaving at 4 and the woman said they she'll see what they can do. Long story short for the passport office, we were the last ones to leave the office at 5:30pm.. ship leaving us for sure. We had friends onboard that told the crew members to keep our luggage in our room that we would be coming. We met 12 other people that were also rejected out of line for using a passport card/birth certificate as well. All 12 of us missed sailing time. We flew into Grand Caymans that night with the clothes we had out our back, a purse and his wallet and stayed in the cheapest hotel we could find which was a Holiday Inn for $196 a night. The ship was due to port 2 days later. On the 10th out of 6 scheduled ships that were supposed to port, only 1 did because of the winds. This made us worried. We rented a car and went to the port authority who sent us to Bodden shipping company, the local company that would be tendering the ship if it did port. They contacted the ship via email and explained that there was now 8 of us that were on the island and more to be coming the next day waiting to board. They replied with saying if the weather allows they would be coming to port as expected. The weather for the next day was supposed to be 5mph faster wind then it was the day the ships didn't port so we were losing faith. We were asked to be at the port at 6:30am when it opens so if they did hear anything they could let us know so we can make future plans. Our cell phones did not have service in the Caymans to communicate easily plus we had no phone chargers because they were in our luggage so when they died wifi did not help. We bought all our meals for those days with out spending money for excursions and trinkets. LUCKILY, the ship did come in on the 11th. We met with the Guest relations manager, who did not apologize for any inconveniences or anything along those lines. He just asked for our names and cabin numbers and wrote them down on his roster and moved on. We were checked into customs at 9:30 and tendered to the ship. They made us both a seapass and key card for out room and told us to pick up our passports when they notify us. We picked them up a few hours later with a letter saying on the last day we needed to be ready to leave the ship at 6:30am to be the first ones through customs. Once aboard the food was amazing. We were an Aqua Class suite which gave us complimentary dining at a restaurant named Blu. The food there was amazing. The wait staff was very friendly and remembered our names after a few days. The entertainment was lacking. If you aren't into the casino, shop sales, or fitness you might be lost with nothing to do. There was a main show nightly at 7 and 9pm, 2 of which we enjoyed. The crowd was 100% OLDER. Like over 60 older. We're probably as old as some of their great grandchildren. The buffet food was also great. Most of the foods did not change day to day and it was fully closed to switch over from 11am to 12 noon, 3-3:30, and then again from 5pm-6pm. We always seemed to hit it when it was closed or at full capacity. It was a game trying to find a seat. You had to send someone to find and hold your seats while the other person went for food. Good luck if you're a party of 3 or more. We did go on one excursion through the ship which turned out to be a huge mistake. This was in Cartagena Columbia. It was the Hop on Hop off with the choice of getting off at 14 points on the tour and catching another bud every half an hour. We recommend that you DO NOT GO ON THIS TOUR.. unless you want to be constantly hassled to buy sunglasses, purses, paintings, maracas, hats, anything and everything. We couldn't hear anything our tour guide said because these vendors were swarming and would not let us go. Afterwards we heard many of the older people say they bought something just so they would stop asking. We had enough about 10 minutes into that tour and decided to just walk back to the ship ourselves because it wasn't worth the harassment. If we hadn't done that we wouldn't have seen an outdoor animal exhibit they have at the port! It was amazing with peacocks and parrots out in the open iguanas and monkeys in the trees and just other animals running around. I recommend you check this out if you port in Cartagena Columbia. We did our own tour in Colon Panama. We got the price per person down to $20 from $35 to drive us to the Panama Canal. Do not let them overcharge you. Join with another couple if you have to just for the cab ride. We were a group of 4 on this tour. If you do not speak Spanish, I recommend you ask for a cab driver that at least speaks some English. We got to the canal took the tour, snapped pictures, and watched the video about the making and history of it. When we were finished, out driver brought us back to the ship. We tipped him $20 making our bill $100 for the 4 of us and he was more than thankful. We also did our own tour in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. We once again haggled our cab ride down to $20 a person with a $20 tip at the end. We chose to go to the Veragua Rainforest. The ticket for the tour we chose were $75 a person for the 'gondola' ride (pretty much an enclosed ski lift for 8 people) and the walk through exhibits with the frogs, butterflies, and spiders. We thought it was strange that on the tour they will show you which frogs are poisonous and in the next room you can walk through and actually see them out on a leaf about 3 feet away. That would never happen in America. There area also huge spiders in the dark transition rooms if you look and are lucky. I love bugs so I was looking but if you do not you might not be so happy. At our 2 day stop in Cozumel, Mexico we decided to do our shopping for t-shirts and such for family and friends. At a few of the shops they sell t-shirts for 7/$20. You should grab them! But make sure you are getting US sizes. There are 3 different sizes on the tag. If you are getting a pricier item, offer them something less and see if they accept. I wanted a dress that he was asking $40 by the time we left he said $20 take it or leave it, which we did because we noticed a hole and he was telling us a fake story about a poor woman making the dress in a village and its soft so her baby's face can touch it.. No. That evening, 4 us got a cab to Senor Frogs club. It was about 3 miles away and the cab ride was $8 (which was the minimum). It was a ghost town so one drink later we got a cab back. The second day in Mexico, we got a cab ($15) to Paradise Beach. It's a $3 fee to enter and sit on a chair, $18 to do everything which included snorkeling, paddle boarding, and inflatable obstacles. There was also a $10 minimum food purchase which you may as well get the food because you're going to get charged for it anyways. They do not supply towels so bring your own. $31 a person for all day plus whatever the cabs charge you. Totally worth it for us. Cab ride back was also $15. Our plumbing was down in our room for a 12+ hour period starting at 4am. It was automatically flushing once every hour somehow, but was terrible to go to midship to find a restroom in the middle of the night and also during the day. Our room's toilet had a constant urine odor when you used it as well. During the sea days, we exchanged mannyy calls with guest relations and they requested us to come to their office to discuss what has happened and to total our costs during the days we missed. We explained what happened, that we were very unhappy with the process and that we would not be cruising with Celebrity in the future. Our total came to ~$2200 including the flights, hotels, cabs, rental car, food etc. all of which we kept our receipts. Eventually we were given a $500 on board credit against our already $3000 bill and 2 $350 nontransferable future cruise credits that we will not be using and can't sell. On the last day we got an automatic wake up call at 5:15 am because we had to be in the group that did not get on board at the original port. We had to go through customs and walk our bags off at 6:30am. We didn't have time for breakfast or to relax or enjoy the pool for the last day. We did enjoy the food on the cruise, but we went to on vacation to get away from stress and involuntarily had to deal with it on the ship and trying to meet with the ship. The entertainment was ok.. but we would not recommend this to people from 18-40 who like having fun and need something to do. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that included ports we had not yet visited, and having been a previous cruiser on RCL, Princess and Norwegian, we were interested to see how Celebrity stacked up. Well, I would say. The ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that included ports we had not yet visited, and having been a previous cruiser on RCL, Princess and Norwegian, we were interested to see how Celebrity stacked up. Well, I would say. The ship was clean and well organized. The staff were friendly and efficient. The food was good, although there were a few logistical issues: I felt that some of the dining room dishes perhaps had been waiting in the galley a little too long as the Caesar salad was not chilled, and the ice-cream came out one night almost soupy...perhaps they had scooped it into a hot bowl. Otherwise the meals were tasty and attractively prepared with adequate choices of quality offerings like Prime Rib, lobster, escargots, salmon, etc. The Buffet was well stocked including Indian and Thai dishes. The entertainment was good on the evenings we chose to go to the shows, and the smaller bands poolside and in the lobby were also good. The speakers were informative, educational and friendly. On the decks there were adequate pool chairs and ample towels and you were not constantly bothered by waiters trying to sell drinks. The shore excursion desk was trying hard but seemed to have problems that came from other sources..ie all the tours to swim with Stingrays in Caymans were cancelled, assumedly due to weather, so a lot of people were looking to be rebooked. A couple of the actual ports on this cruise were not good for walking around ie. Costa Rico, as it seemed very poor with no amenities for cruise ship passengers in the immediate area. The clients seemed to be mostly retired 50, 60 and 70 something age group, perhaps because it was longer than a week. We were most satisfied and would certainly cruise again with Celebrity. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My first time cruising and I had no idea what to expect. Firstly the size of the ship amazed me. My cabin was far larger than I thought possible. I was on the 6th deck with balcony and it was more than adequate. Robert kept my room ... Read More
My first time cruising and I had no idea what to expect. Firstly the size of the ship amazed me. My cabin was far larger than I thought possible. I was on the 6th deck with balcony and it was more than adequate. Robert kept my room spotless and got me out of trouble on more than one occasion when my cabin key would not work. Although the ship was full I never felt crowded in and there was plenty of space to lounge, no shortage of sun beds, chairs etc. We went to the main theatre each night and enjoyed the shows, and, last of the big spenders, spent $5 on some evenings in the casino. Plenty of different Bars, Library, swimming pools, whirlpools, jacuzzis etc, etc. We ate in either the Ocean View restaurant, buffet with plenty of choice or the Silhouette restaurant where we were looked after by Sampson, Ni, Desi and Jennifer and others all of whom were more than able and gave us every attention All had a good sense of humour so mealtimes were very enjoyable. The meals were excellent, very well cooked and presented. Could not fault the service wherever we went. One of our party had to use the medical facilities with no problems. Getting on and off the ship at the various ports was quick, no queuing, straight on and off with no hassle. Bags had to be scanned when we came back on board but this did not delay boarding. My only gripe would be the cost of wifi and though it was nice to go wifi-free for a while I was not able to Skype my family abroad on Christmas Day as even data roaming on our mobile phones was blocked. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was my husband's first ocean cruise, and by the afternoon of embarkation day he said, "we HAVE to do another cruise soon!". I think he's hooked! A little background info: My husband is 55 and I am 46. Our ... Read More
This was my husband's first ocean cruise, and by the afternoon of embarkation day he said, "we HAVE to do another cruise soon!". I think he's hooked! A little background info: My husband is 55 and I am 46. Our children are grown and out of the house, but we both work full-time outside of the home. About once/year we take a long vacation like this one, usually alternating every other year between an active vacation (bicycle ride across a state), and a more relaxing vacation (lying on a beach somewhere). I have only taken one other ocean cruise, and last year we took a river cruise (bike to barge tour) on the Danube together. For this cruise, embarkation was a breeze...of course we couldn't sleep the night before so got up and arrived super-early to Port Everglades, pier 18. That place is a well-oiled machine. We were on board with the complimentary champagne in hand by 11:45am. After a quick trip around the ship to orient ourselves we found a spot in the Oceanview Bar for drink #2 and some lunch. There was a lot of pressure from the wait/bar staff to upgrade drink packages (always a big push for that day 1 & 2), but once they learned we had the premium package (yes, it's worth every penny!), they didn't ask again. The service was flawless that day and remained so the entire cruise. Cabins were opened for use by around 2pm, so we went for a look. Our cabin was spacious, had plenty of room for storage, & was spotlessly clean. Muhammed, our cabin attendant, learned our schedule by the second day. He kept our room refreshed and provided fresh ice each afternoon, per our request. Pre-cruise we had purchased a dining package to be able to try 3 of the specialty restaurants on board, and our first reservations were for embarkation evening. Because I have taken other cruises in which the food quality was not particularly great, I was very much looking forward to the dining aboard the Equinox. We dined at Silk Harvest that first evening, Tuscan Grill 4 days later, and Murano two days after that. All provided unique dining experiences that we will never forget! Service was exceptional, the food was creative and delicious. The Main Dining Room certainly wasn't a shabby affair, with the two-story wine vault and gourmet fare! Each evening the menu offered remarkable options, and our waitstaff/sommelier were exemplary. We also had the pleasure of trying the new Sushi on 5, which was delightfully surprising! We both love sushi, which did not disappoint, but what we most enjoyed was the ability to try different kinds of sake that we hadn't before because many available were included in the premium drink package. If you dine there, you should also try the table-side wasabi prep--fascinating! As for the entertainment, we went to several of the evening shows, which were all quite good. We also attended a couple of the Beyond the Podium speaker seminars, which we enjoyed. Although we did participate in the daily lotto, we are not big gamblers so did not use the casino at all, so we can't speak to that. Of special note were the cruise director, Damian, and activities director, Justin. They were both wonderfully entertaining--we actually looked forward to their informational show on TV each morning which would describe the activity lineup for the day! This was the 10-night Ultimate Caribbean, so our ports of call were: St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, and St. Maarten. In St. Thomas we opted for a ship-sponsored excursion, and honestly this is the one that was most disappointing. The excursion was billed as a combo sight-seeing/beach time trip, but after we were dropped off at the beach we were expected to find our own way back to the ship! So in addition to paying more for the excursion (as you usually do when you book through the ship), we were forced to pay additional money to hire a taxi. Unacceptable. On the other islands we either did our own thing (as in Barbados), or we booked an independent tour, and those experiences were all good. On St. Kitts we took the Grand Tour of St. Kitts with Thenford Grey Tours--there aren't enough good things to say about this--he was a knowledgeable, personable guide. That experience was worth more than we paid. In St. Maarten (we had an overnight in that port), we took a Local Food and Rum Tour, which was also very good. All of the ports felt safe and were clean. Overall, our experiences on this cruise were extraordinary! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
We just came back from Equinox cruise to the Caribbean. Here are our impressions. Overall it was a great cruise. The ship is nice (not remarkable, but nice). The service overall was good, but it felt like most of the people just came to ... Read More
We just came back from Equinox cruise to the Caribbean. Here are our impressions. Overall it was a great cruise. The ship is nice (not remarkable, but nice). The service overall was good, but it felt like most of the people just came to work. I did not feel that any of them went the extra mile beyond what was required from them. We also were missing the "WOW" factor of RCI. Cabin was nice. We were upgraded to veranda room which was nice, but e spent very little time in the room, so it didn't really matter. The cabin had good closet room, the shower was decent size and was very clean. No complains here. Entertainment was great. Most evening shows were very high quality. Also a lot of activities during the day. Food in the buffet was slightly above average. Same selection every day and not very inspiring. Dinners in the MDR were not consistent. Some dishes were really great, some below average. I realize that it's almost 3,000 dishes, but I expected more from Celebrity in this department. We had dinner in specialty restaurants twice (Murano and Tuscan) and both were fantastic. We were offered nice discounts on both, I think that their full pricing of $45-50 is grossly overpriced. Excursions were nice, but severely overpriced. They take advantage of the fact that some of the countries visited are not very safe, so people hesitate to take excursions independently. Just one example: they asked $59 pps for ride to a beach on Caymans, which did not even include the chairs. Taxi to the same beach costs $10-15 each direction. Internet connection was terrible. I paid almost $300 to get speed of 0.20 MBs. I felt this is false advertising. Details here - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2430025 Overall great ship, but some improvements are required, especially in food. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our 25th anniversary cruise and our second on Equinox. We are both in 50's and have also cruised most other lines over the past 20 years. We arrived two days early and stayed at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina. This ... Read More
This was our 25th anniversary cruise and our second on Equinox. We are both in 50's and have also cruised most other lines over the past 20 years. We arrived two days early and stayed at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina. This hotel is so close to the port that you can see the boats while in your room. Also walking distance to Grocery, Liquor and plenty of Restaurants. The hotel itself is small and manageable, with great tiki bar and views of the intercoastal. We grabbed a cab around 11 and went to the port. Check in was very easy and we waited a bit in the lounge area before being called to board. Think airport gate area for the lounge area, with less crowds. We were in a Celebrity Suite, room 1110. Upon boarding we went to Michaels Lounge for a bit and had a drink and met the staff that would be there all week. They were all incredible, especially Jole (Yo-La) who was the Concierge. While we had already booked our excursions and dining, etc.. we did not use her much, but she was always happy to see you and greet you as you came and went and very conversational. I asked for Vanilla Vodka and Cranberry which they did not have so, without thinking twice, simply took regular Vodka. That evening when I returned ordered the Vodka and Cran, but she said they had gone and gotten me Vanilla Vodka and it was there the rest of the week. We left our things and headed to Lunch in Luminae. Michaels club is a great perk for suites, with free liquor and light snacks, cookies etc... and great place to meet others. We used in almost everyday. Luminae - This is another incredible perk for suite guests. The service was incredible and food was best we have had on cruise. Gaga, was one of our wait staff and we got to know her well and she is unbelievable. One of the things about Luminae, is that the menu is limited, but do not worry, you can choose from the main dining if there is nothing that wows you on the menu. They will pretty much do anything for you here. One night I had a Martini from the Martini Bar and they asked if I wanted another. I said, is that possible, since it comes from bar all the way up and over. He laughs and says, what, is there a camera on right now and my Martini was there in 5 minutes. Any other night if I had one, it would be refreshed when empty. Same thing for unique beers I would get from Gastro Pub. Our experience here was so good that we cancelled our night in Murano, even though that meant not using one of 3 Free Specialty dinings we had been given. Other Food: We at at Tucan twice and I really like the selection and the quality is very good. The service, while good, was a bit slower than we would have liked. Gastro Pub we often got beers here, but also ate dinner one night. The cheese soup is very good, the burger just okay and the fish and chips good. If you want a casual night or to catch a game, this is a good option. Buffett - We ate most lunches on-board here. I have to say the layout is crazy as you spin your way around and there is not start line and end line in the stations, people coming from all angles. The food itself I found very bland. It seemed like everything taste the same, whether salad, burger, taco, etc... Not a fan. I missed the pizza on Carnival and Princess that were open all the time. Gelato - we had this one night and it was very good. Cafe El Bacio - We had a couple deserts from here and they were better than the dining room options, but not as good as they looked. Spa Cafe - Loved the smoothies and muffins and fruit here in the morning as well as it is a great place to get coffee without the crowds of the Buffett. Room I like the room as it has a huge balcony and separate bedroom. That said the bathroom is tiny and little to no storage or counter space. We visited a Sky Suite and the bathroom was much larger. Also, this enormous "hump" balcony only has a small table with two chairs and one lounger. Now they know there will be two in the room, why not two loungers. there was plenty of room. The room comes with a butler and we did utilize him for breakfast almost every morning. Simply put the sign out by 2 am and tell him what time. It was very good with exception of one day, when the order was quite messed up, but no big deal. Ports Panama, we took private tour to the canal locks and got lucky and saw a boat come through and then went to the old city for lunch, but unfortunately it rained quite heavy so we were not able to see much of the city. We did do the "hill" and it had incredible views and was worth the drive over. Costa Rica - We took a tour to a rainforest and then to a beach. While our guide Ricky Ricardo Tours was excellent we did not care for the port. Columbia - We had an overnight in Cartegena and it was incredible. We just went into city on our own, about 10 minutes in cab and walked around, got lost, had drinks and snacks and shopped. Watched a great sunset from bar on top of the Wall and then took a buggy tour. We liked it so much we stayed and had dinner and did not get back to boat until about midnight. Great 1st day. The second day we did Celebrity Private Beach day and this was not as good. Long boat ride of over an hour and the beach place left a lot to be desired. It was a small Cay and private, but they only had a couple options for bar and the beach was maybe 50 yards long. Not worth the price. Cozumel - We did a private beach and it was nice and then shopped for a few hours before going back on board.\ Cayman - Just grabbed a cab to beach and hung out. Great day, but they make you board at 2:00 pm which is a big pet peeve on this trip, as we could have stayed all day. Tip, do not get in a cab within the Port Area. They will sit you there for as long as it takes to fill it up and it is a waste. Simply exit the port and either grab a cab or take the small public bus (minivans) for a couple of bucks. Port Days - We are sun people and it is tough to get a spot due to all the chair saving hogs. All cruise lines need to get an answer for this, as you see chairs with things on them for hours and no one there as people who want to sit walk around looking. Shows - We did three and they were okay. Nothing to write home about and kinda cheesy. They had one really good singer, but he spent way too much time goofing around with crowd instead of just singing. Disembarkation - Celebrity does this right for Suite guests as there is separate area and you walk over, get bags and go to front of any line. We were off and out in less than 10 minutes. Misc. We did a Anniversary package with Champagne, flowers and cake which was quite nice and we had them bring the cake to our room in morning, but then we did not eat so Butler brought it down to dining room that night. Ship is clean and we had good service. We had Premium Drink and Free wifi and not sure how I will cruise without it. Never had issue getting drinks at any of the bars, even Martini, but there are definitely less servers around the pool, now, but a minute walk was no issue. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Another fantastic cruise on Celebrity Equinox: Nov 7-18, 2016 This was our 4th sailing on the Equinox, and we have enjoyed them all. Since our last cruise on her in March 2016, we noticed several changes, which I will discuss later. ... Read More
Another fantastic cruise on Celebrity Equinox: Nov 7-18, 2016 This was our 4th sailing on the Equinox, and we have enjoyed them all. Since our last cruise on her in March 2016, we noticed several changes, which I will discuss later. We had the same Captain (Costas) and Hotel Director (Jamie) as we had in March. Both were very friendly and assessable, as were other officers and crew. We went to the same ports as we did in March 2016, but in a slightly different order. We were spoiled because we had suites on two of our cruises on Celebrity this year, but we had Aqua class this time, and it was fine, but we missed being able to go to Michael's Club and dining at Lumanie. Twice we ran into Robert, who was our butler before, and he remembered us, and he was as gracious as ever. We hope we get him as our butler on our next cruise when we have a suite in 2017. Since we live in Tampa, we drove down the day before and stayed at the Rodeway Inn on Hwy. 84, as we have done many times before. You can leave your car there, and they take you to the port, and get you when you return. There are several hotels that do this. We had receive an email from Celebrity that since this was a repositioning cruise from Europe, we should not arrive until noon. The clerk at the hotel said that we should disregard this, and we did, and got to the port about 11 am. We checked our luggage and immediately went to the terminal check-in. Since we were Aqua class, we had priority check in and we went to level 2 where we waited with other Aqua passengers. We boarded at 11:45 am, and had a glass of champagne in our hands a couple of minutes later. Celebrity does a first class job on this, and it is one of the things that sets them apart from other cruise lines. We went to deck 14 for the buffet lunch, which was good. About 3 pm, they had the lifeboat drill, which, in our opinion, is a joke because they do not even take you to the life boats. Instead, you go to a designated area, which in our case was the main theater, and you listed to a video about what you should do. We still cannot believe that the coast guard allows this. If the ship is going down, I am going to the life boat, not the theater. Dinner at Blu was just OK--somewhat overcooked salmon, but still a good dining experience. The main show was Pete Matthews, a juggler, and he was great; do not miss him if he is on your cruise. Tue, Nov 8, 2016: an at sea day. We had breakfast at Blu, which was excellent. We went to the destination talk, and I won a bottle of wine because I had one of the winning tickets; never had had that luck before!! We bought the 3 dinner specialty restaurant package with some of our onboard credit, and had dinner at Murano this evening. We have done this on our last 3 or 4 cruises, and the Dover Sole was outstanding. You get one dinner at Murano, one at Tuscan Grill, and one at Silk Harvest for this package; you can also get a 5 dinner package if you choose. Wed, Nov 9; another sea day Since we have Elite status, we had the breakfast at Tuscan Grill, and it was excellent. A fairly limited menu, but it is delivered very fast. You get 5 or 6 choices, plus a free glass of champagne, or mimosa. We ate here several mornings, but also ate at Blu and the main dining room (once) for breakfast. We went to the "destination" talk, which was good, but they never tell you about local shopping places. Celebrity, as well as other ships we have been on, only tell you about their "approved list" shops. We had lunch at the main dining room and dinner at Blu. The show at the theater featured a great singer, Jesse Hamilton, and he was excellent. We had seen him before, and if he is on your cruise, do not miss him. Thur, Nov 10: Costa Rica We have been here several times before, so decided not to take a tour. There is a local craft market about 1/2 mile from the ship, but Celebrity did not tell you about it; you can buy some local goods, or some stuff that it is made in China, but we did not get anything on this trip. We had breakfast at the main dining room, and we have had better service; I had to ask 2x for cream cheese for my smoked salmon, and asked for champagne, but never received it. Had lunch at the buffet and it was good, as well as dinner at Blu. The main show was "Broadway Cabaret", and it was very good. Fri, Nov 11: Panama We have been here 2x before and decided not to take a tour. We walked a short distance to a nice shopping mall (that the ship does not tell you about); there are several junk shops, plus a nice electronic store, a grocery store, and a casino. Some of the shops would let you haggle for the price, and some would not. We were rather lucky because we went about 10 am, and shortly after we returned to the ship, it started raining, and rained off and on all afternoon. Sat, Nov 12, and Sunday, Nov 13: Cartagena, Columbia We arrived about 9 am at the entrance to the port. We had been here in March, and one of the waiters told us to be sure you are on deck to observe the old fort on the port side as you enter the bay. Celebrity did not tell us that. It takes about an hour to go from the entrance of the port to the dock. Two ships, Celebrity Infinity and Coral Princess were already docked. We went to the Sky lounge (forward) to watch the ship come in. Cartagena is a very large city with a lot of high rise buildings (on the port side). The skyline looked much larger than either Miami or Tampa. At the end of the pier there is a high-priced shop and adjacent to that is an aviary with a lot of birds. You can take a free shuttle from the ship to there, but it is only about 350 yards. We took the shuttle there, and walked back. If you want a taxi, this is where you can get at taxi to town. Otherwise, there is nothing to do at the pier. We had taken a tour when we were here in March, and had signed up for one this time, but it got cancelled. We had dinner in Tuscan Grill and it was the best filet we have ever had; our waiter, Jose, was from Columbia and he was very informative. The show in the theater featured a great singer, Savannah Smith, so do not miss her. Monday, Nov 14 Another sea day, and it rained a lot, with a lot of thunderstorms. We did get to see some spectacular lightning in the early am. We went to the Select/Elite wine tasting, and it was informative and very good. Tuesday, Nov 15: Grand Cayman We were the only ship in port, which was good since this can be a very busy place if several ships are in port. We took the water taxi to downtown, and just did a little shopping for a couple of hours and then went back to the ship. This was "lobster" night and we were very disappointed with the lobster in Blu. The lobster was so tough that it was difficult to cut, so we sent them back. The second one was a little better, but certainly not what were used to on Celebrity. We have had much better lobsters in the main dining room, and on our next cruise, that is where we are going for lobster. The main show featured David Guidice, and he was excellent; he did a tribute to Billy Joel. Wednesday, Nov 16: Cozumel We arrived about 10 am, and took the "Mayan living history and Island Tour". It was supposed to take 3 hours (per the tour brochure), but took about 4.5 hours. We would not have taken it if we had known that it took that long. When I asked the tour guide about this, he said that Celebrity had the time wrong, and I complained about this when I returned to the ship. Who knows if Celebrity will correct this. We have found in our previous cruises on Celebrity, and other ships, that the tours almost always take longer than the stated time. We can understand this because of traffic congestion, but not if it is just wrong. On this tour, we went to a little shopping center that was not even on the places we were supposed to visit. The tour guide steered you to a couple of shops that featured coral, and I bet you that he got a kickback from that, although there is no way you could prove it. Thursday, Nov 17 A sea day on our way back home. They had a great show in the main theater that featured some of the previous entertainers, and they were great. Friday, Nov 18. We arrived at Fort Lauderdale early, and we always take our own luggage off because we can get off earlier and head home. This time Celebrity did not tell you what deck you disembarked from, but because we had been on here in March, we knew it was Deck 5, so we lined up early, and were about 7th in line. We could not tell what the delay was, but we got to disembark later than what time we were told. We would like to add some additional comments that we think future cruisers would be interested in: 1. The hi speed internet connection was much improved since March. Since we are Elite, we get 90 minutes pp internet for free, but you can buy unlimited wifi for $250, and we met a few people who did this, but it was not worth it to us. 2. We were Aqua class and also had Elite status. Aqua got called to board before Elite, but Concierge seemed to go through check in faster than Aqua. I had called Celebrity before we left, and the lady I talked with said that there was no set standard for boarding except that Suite guests got to board first. In our opinion, the higher class should board first. 3. Celebrity has eliminated the sheets of coupons that they give you for Select, Elite, etc.(like laundry, casino match play, bingo, gelato). I am sure that saves Celebrity a lot of money for printing costs. Now it is done with your cabin key. Instead of getting 2 gelatos , now you only get one. 4. I Lounge: Celebrity is geared to Apple technology, whereas Holland America is geared to Microsoft. For most of the Apple classes, there is a charge to attend, whereas on HAL, the Microsoft classes are free. Many of us had a hard time connecting to their wifi, and the lines were long to talk to an expert. Jose was terrific and very efficient, but there should have been at least 2 experts, considering how many older people (like us) were onboard and are not nearly as efficient as our kids or grandkids when it comes to computer related things. 5. Baggage check-in at the pier seemed more efficient than on other Celebrity cruises we have been on. The porter put the Deck 11 baggage on one dolly, Deck 10 on another, etc. This may have been the reason we got our luggage earlier than before. 6. We always enjoy going to the Cruise Critic gathering on these cruises, and normally they are the morning after the day you board. However on this cruise, the party was at 5 pm on the day of departure, and many people, including us, did not attend because we were busy unpacking. Surely Celebrity can do a better job on scheduling this. 7. On several days, there was an article in the Celebrity daily news that you could go through immigration faster if you had an app called "Mobile Passport" for your smart phone. We downloaded it to our phones, and tried to use it but it would not allow you to input the ship, ports visited, or items you bought. I went to the I Lounge and neither of the reps knew anything about it, which is surprising since Celebrity made such a big deal about it in the daily paper. So we filled out the old immigration form by hand. When we got to the terminal in Ft. Lauderdale, there was a special line for people who had the app on their phone. The sign said that it was available for I Phones, and that it would soon work for Android phones (like ours). Hopefully it will be available before our next cruise in 2017. 8. Celebrity really needs to change the way they award Elite and higher members. If you are concierge or above, you get the same little gifts in your stateroom regardless of your status, so basically you get no little gift for being Elite. You get a zippered canvas bag, and a little credit card holder; we now have about 10 of these! If you reach VIP status on Carnival (like Elite on Celebrity) you get a really nice gift, like a Tervis Tumbler, or fancy beach bag. It has been several years since we traveled on Carnival, so I really do not know what they do now. Overall it was a great cruise, friendly staff, good food and lots to do. We used to cruise on Carnival and Holland America, but once we discovered Celebrity, it is our line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
Getting on the ship was the best ever, no lines, got right on. There was suppose to be special lunch for Concierge class people in the main dining at 11:30, when we when there, we were turned away and said to come back in a hour. Not a ... Read More
Getting on the ship was the best ever, no lines, got right on. There was suppose to be special lunch for Concierge class people in the main dining at 11:30, when we when there, we were turned away and said to come back in a hour. Not a good start. The small number of children was refreshing, maybe 10 to 20 of the 2800 people on the ship. Five stars. Our room was okay, smaller then I would have thought for the price.Had a larger room on RCCL (Freedom) at half the cost. Our room stewards were very good and dealt with any request we had. At dinner our waiters were great, the food on the other hand was okay, sometime very strange. The entertainment was excellent, one of the high lights of the cruise. The casino was suppose to be smoke free, but on a number of days you could smell a strong smell of smoke. The ship ask me when I'd like to disembark, which I ask to be early since I had a 10 hour drive to get home. They misplaced our luggage so instead of being in the first 10%, we ended up being in the last 20% Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Background: We are a retired couple that live in the San Francisco bay area and have been on nearly 50 cruises across many of the mainstream cruiselines, but with most of our cruises being on Princess and Celebrity. We love cruising on ... Read More
Background: We are a retired couple that live in the San Francisco bay area and have been on nearly 50 cruises across many of the mainstream cruiselines, but with most of our cruises being on Princess and Celebrity. We love cruising on Celebrity and do love getting a balcony cabin but have been known to travel in an oceanview and inside cabin if that is what is within our budget. We booked this cruise well over a year ago using a future cruise credit that we purchased on a previous cruise and we were able to also take advantage of a group booking through our travel agent that featured an Oregon winemaker with associated events. We've sailed on the Equinox a little over 3 years ago and were excited about returning to this fabulous ship. She did not disappoint!! Embarkation: We arrived at the pier around 12:30 PM. Security and elite check in were a breeze and we were on the ship with absolutely no waiting required in the terminal. The cabins were not ready for approximately one hour after we boarded so we simply went to the martini bar to get a cocktail while waiting for the 'cabins are ready' announcement. While at the martini bar, there was a bit of a push to upgrade to the premium package but the waiter was respectful when we told him we would have to judge the wines we would receive for our wine events before making the decision as whether or not we wanted to purchase the upgrade. Of note, there were no martinis offered at the martini bar under the classic package, even if you asked for one of the smaller sized ones. This was a change from our previous cruise on the Equinox. There were call drinks available here so all turned out ok. Also of note, we found the classic package was sufficient so we never did upgrade to the premium package. Cabin: We were in a 2B category on deck 6 on the hump - directly across from the Internet Café. We noticed the glass doors that separated the cabin hallways from the elevator vestibule areas were no longer functioning, at least on deck 6. It appears that this was intentional. We were concerned with the probability of noise but had very little issue with this once in our cabin. A few times, we could hear some loud passengers when trying to sleep but they were few and far between. We usually went to sleep after all the shows in the centrum were done so we were never bothered by that. We had incredible room stewards. We requested ice for every day and always had ice. We asked for 2 soft pillows and they brought exactly what we wanted. Everything was kept so clean and tidy and it was as though Anthony and Victorino had anticipated our every need. We so appreciated such great service! If they saw us walk up with coffee in our hands, they dropped what they were doing to open the door for us. Nice job!! The bed was very comfortable with crisp white sheets surrounding a comforter. Our refrigerator was not actually functioning but filled with mini bar items so didn't bother to report it. There was a desk near our balcony door which I used as a vanity. The TV seemed like it was new and on brackets so you could turn it towards the bed or the couch. It did make an awful little noise every time you turned it on or off. Available on the TV was the ability to watch TV, on demand movies, check your onboard account, order room service, listen to music or check out your pictures. This was very functional. The bathroom is so nice with tons of shelves for all your toiletries. The shower has rounded doors that slide close instead of those icky shower curtains that stick to you when the ship is moving. The toiletries were of decent quality. The closet has ample room for all your clothes and there is extra shelving above the bed if needed. The balcony had a medium sized table and two pretty comfy lounge chairs. I like the flooring they use for their balconies on Celebrity -- kind of a soft wooden feel. It was kind of too hot to sit out on the balcony throughout much of the cruise, though. Their was a full sized couch and a small cocktail table in the cabin which got a lot more use than the balcony did. Ship: The ship looked as wonderful as it had 3 years ago. Nothing seemed in disrepair and everything appeared to be sparkling clean and nicely decorated. Of note, the public bathrooms are absolutely beautiful, especially when compared to other ships on which we've sailed. We noticed nothing that needed replacement in any of the public areas. Gone are the couches and cushy furniture out by the Oceanview bar, which we've enjoyed so much in the past, but understandable. It must have been a nightmare to keep those looking clean and fresh through all the usage they got. The Sky Lounge and the indoor pool area were a couple of our favorite hangouts while onboard for reading or relaxing. Dining Venues: The set up in the Oceanview Café was perfect with separate stations offering different types of food set up which kept the lines short. The tables were cleared quickly so not too much trouble finding a place to sit and eat your meal, the exception being on the last morning. There were a couple of missteps in the buffet, albeit minor ones. One day, the majority of the romaine lettuce had seen better days and once when ordering an omelet, they gave mine to someone else and then forgot to make one for me. After waiting 20 minutes, I gave up and grabbed a hard boiled egg instead. Other than these couple of minor incidents, everything was just great. There were many friendly staff members that made sure we were well taken care of. One evening we ate dinner at the buffet and we just loved the coconuts with a straw ... very unique and very yummy! Bar service in the Oceanview Café and bar was never lacking. We were always served promptly and always with a smile. Main Dining Room: We had anytime dining and Dorica, the maître' D, set us up at table #510, us and our friends. Since this was a table for 8, after the first night we let Dorica know we would be willing to share and explained that we loved that table so much that we would like to dine around 7:15 every night. We ended up with 2 more couples that felt the same way so we made it a table for 8 every night with fill ins for the nights when we or others had alternate dining plans. Our waiters, Roger and Sandoval, were most incredible!! William was our sommelier and even though we only had the classic beverage package, he would find a wine that went well with the meal we ordered. He also found the perfect accompaniment for our friend that purchased the premium package. William was the best sommelier we've ever encountered on a ship. Osvin also came by to check on our table nightly to make sure every was fine, although we assured him, it was not only fine, it was always exemplary service! What a team -- we were very spoiled!! The food ranged from very good to absolutely excellent. There was always something inviting on each night's menu. We also enjoyed one breakfast in the Main Dining room, which was very good. Waiters strolled by every few minutes to make sure you had everything needed (coffee, water, juice, muffins, etc.) Specialty Dining Venues: We tried each of the specialty dining restaurants with the exception of the Bistro on 5. First up was Silk Harvest. We were given a 30% discount that was offered pretty much throughout the entire cruise. Our food was phenomenal and we were even asked if we wanted anything else. Alas, we were stuffed!! The food did not outshine the service, which was also spot on! Since we were celebrating a birthday, they sent a nice chocolate cake to our room via room service as we were too full to eat it while in the restaurant. Next, we were treated to a meal for us and our friends in Murano. This may have been the best food we have ever had on any of our many cruises. Again, the service was phenomenal, with the exception of the sommelier. Again, a minor misstep but after being spoiled by William in the main dining room, our expectations may have been set too high. Our third specialty restaurant was in the Tuscan Grille, as we were invited to dine with the Hotel Director, Jaime, along with our friends and 2 other couples. We had an amazingly fun table and Jaime couldn't have been nicer or more welcoming. Maria, who was in training as the next Captains Club Hostess, took very good care of us. The ladies all got a rose and everyone had a beautiful picture of the table provided to us as a remembrance of our special evening. Again, the food was exemplary as was the service and the wine. We had a special wine pairing luncheon the following day at the Tuscan Grille, which featured the same menu as the previous evening. The difference here were the wines, which were this time provided by the Oregon winery owners that were onboard. Another great meal, which happened to be on the last day of the cruise. We took a little breather before we attended the elegant tea in Blu. It was also excellent but I was really full by this time so my description could probably never do it justice. It is funny to think that I have never attended this event before and now cannot figure out why I haven't. We also ate in the Tuscan Grille a few times for the elite breakfast. It was always a most pleasant experience with a beautiful view and atmosphere. I love being able to get a cappuccino, a mimosa and a light breakfast of lox and bagels. Just perfect!! Café Al Bacio: The service here was just as good as some of the other venues I have described. Whether we stopped for a sweet treat, a glass of milk, a great coffee drink or a cocktail, it was always just fabulous. Evalina, Reddy and Mint took very good care of us ... always with a smile and an offering to consume more calories ...but never pushy! Gastro Bar: I miss Cellar Masters but can see that the Gastro Bar also has a bit of a following. We also had great service here but decided not to upgrade to the premium package due to the absence of Cellar Masters. It is a wonderful place to sit and listen to the low key entertainment they offered. We never did order off the menu but it looked rather tasty. The Gastro Bar is known for their craft beer selections, none of which were available on the classic package. Mast Grill: This is the other venue where I feel there could be some improvement. There are no cooked turkey burgers available (or garden burgers for that matter). It takes 15 minutes from the time you order a turkey burger to getting one on your plate. One time, I waited about 20 minutes and it was so crowded that we could not find a table so took our lunch back to our cabin. It was disappointing to see that they gave us garden burgers instead of turkey burgers. Another time, there were turkey burgers that were already made so we got one right away and yet another time, there was almost a fight amongst the passengers over who ordered their turkey burger first. I just wish they had them available like the regular hamburgers without such a long wait; from what I can see, there is a need for it. Not a make or break deal as it certainly didn't look as though we were going to starve to death. Aqua Spa Café: This is a nice place within the indoor pool area to just grab a quick snack, whether it be a small dish of tuna or chicken salad with a couple of those amazing breadsticks or a salad bar. I love this option and it was never too crowded. Room Service: We had two morning tours so only ordered room service twice for breakfast. It was quick and accurate; they even give you a quick call to make sure you are awake or in your room. The food arrived hot and with appropriate utensils and additions for the coffee. The delivery team does not wait around with their hand out so had to make them wait a few seconds the first time to find some cash for a tip. This is definitely an improvement from what we've experienced on our previous Celebrity cruises. Nicely done!! Entertainment: Sadly, we missed a lot of the entertainment but heard from fellow passengers that the new production shows that they are rolling out fleet wide were spectacular. We did attend one show which featured a comedian. We did not think he was very good but the woman behind us what laughing heartily throughout the entire performance, so could have just been our tastes. We've seen the hot glass show before and really wanted to attend the evening show but were busy with other events that we never did make it. From past experience, I can tell you it is well worth your while. We enjoyed the duo that performed, a female singer with a male guitar player. They played in different venues but we saw them in the Explorers Lounge and the Gastro Bar. She had a very unique voice and a great comradery with the audience. The band 'Take Five' were simply excellent and played music for all age groups to enjoy! The performance of the singers / dancers in the Centrum was fabulous. They had everyone on their feet. They also had a disc jockey that played some really good music by the martini bar that drew a big crowd. I would have thought that a DJ was rather cheesy but the music chosen was surprisingly good so no complaints from me there. I felt as though the volume was appropriate in each of the venues where the entertainment was offered. Casino: We spent quite bit of time in the casino and had a fair amount of fun. We didn't find any luck but were treated well by the casino host, Andrew and his sidekick, Kevin. We had a bit of onboard credit, which could be used in the casino but as slot play that was loaded onto our player's club cards instead of getting cash. We are mlife gold members so the 5% fee was waived. (Maybe now waived for everyone?) When our onboard credit was exhausted, cash was given in lieu of slot play in the casino. This new system worked out well for us as we never cashed in our onboard credit just for the cash anyway. Captains Club Hostess / Events: What can I say but 'Hello my darlings'? Claudia, who sadly is on her last sailing as I write this, was incredible. She made every one of the captain's club members feel as though they were oh so special to Celebrity. She remembered names, birthdays, anniversaries, likes and dislikes. Whether we went to the elite cocktail hour in the sky lounge or breakfast in the coffee house, she always had time for a hug and chat. She invited us to sail away on the helipad while leaving Cartagena ... this is a memory that we will remember for a long time to come. Best of luck to such a sweet and beautiful woman!! We made a point of attending the elite events, especially the cocktail hour in the Sky Lounge every evening. We would really miss that gathering if we ended up on a cruise with vouchers instead of using the lounge. Oleksiy was our bar server and I just have to say Wow! He just knew everyone by day 2 of the cruise, what they liked to drink, where they liked to sit and whom they liked to sit with. Asri and Val were also phenomenal and always made sure they served us some great appetizers .. all with fabulous smiles and stories of their day. The elegant tea and wine tasting events were also well worth our while and we enjoyed both of these events immensely. Photo Services: We entered a contest at the photo area otherwise may not have known where it is. It is kind of tucked in way back on deck 5. One of the photographers had stopped us for some photos. Because we do tend to cruise often, we don't pose for these sessions during the cruise, but we threw caution to the wind. The photographer must have known what he was doing as he asked us to pose like this and then like that. We were actually asked to look into each other's eyes and we just laughed (sorry to say, at the photographer) as we'd just about had enough. Well, that was the photo we purchased as we have nothing like it in our repertoire of cruise photos. I mean, really, how many photos of yourself can you have? Well, obviously the answer to that is 'one more'! It might be the best one we have taken. The photos are getting to be way overpriced, though. @ $25 for an embarkation photo and $30 for that photo we bought, that is a bit too high. They do have some digital packages, though, for just over $200 so might work for some. Classic Package: Someone on my roll call asked me to list the wines available within the classic package so here goes: Mezzacoron,a Dolomiti Pinot Grigio Clifford Bay, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc St Francis, Sonoma & Seeker Chardonnay Beringer White Zinfandel, California Clos De Chance Merlot Castle Rock, St Helena Pinot Noir Excelsior, South Africa & Wente, California Cabernet Sauvignon There were probably a few others available in some of the venues onboard but these are the ones that were listed on the menu. Future cruise sales: Alina, at the future cruise sales desk is so very knowledgeable and quite personable. She was able to book a couple of future cruises for us while onboard. She knew every trick to save us more money or get us more perks. I have not always had the best luck with the future cruise sales people finding us the right deals but this girl knows her stuff!! Currently, they were offering 2 perks plus the onboard credit associated with the future cruise booking....and a one category upgrade where available. There was also a drawing for anyone booking a future cruise that day. i-lounge: The day of our embarkation, the ship was upgraded with a newer, faster internet service. While I still heard fellow passengers complain, I thought the new service was an improvement of a hundred fold. I only checked my emails, confirmed a reservation for a private tour in Cartagena and checked in for my flight so maybe the complaints of others were valid. For the basics, it was in and out very well and it never dropped its connection on me. I never said a bad word while in the i-lounge in the numerous times I was in there. I cannot say this was the case on previous visits to the i-lounge when checking emails. Also, the apple computers in the café were really nice. There are sanitizer wipes available on every table. Everything was kept tidy and clean in this room. Wine Group: We signed up for the Abacela wine group package that was set up by our TA. I have sailed on these group cruises a couple of times previously, always with Celebrity and always been very pleased with the events and the special additions. This time, it seemed very disorganized throughout the entire cruise. I am not sure where the problem stemmed from but we were not notified in a timely manner of the included events for this package. While still in port, I contacted our TA and they knew nothing of it as the group is small ... usually about 100 passengers only. Our TA forwarded us to the guest relations desk and they didn't know about it either. We showed up at the Sky Lounge the first evening right after sail away as that is where the first event was held on our previous cruises for these groups. Our assumption was correct. This wasn't well attended as I think a lot of people had not received any notification of this. There was also a misstep with the onboard credit, which was handled appropriately in the end and a change of venue for one of the wine events that maybe some didn't find out about in a timely manner. We were able to attend each of the events except for the galley tour, sometimes finding it by guessing. There was a tour of the wine tower in the Silhouette dining room which was very interesting. The wine pairing luncheon, which was also available through the ship for a cost, was well worth it. The winery's better wines were served towards the end of the cruise and they were paired perfectly with the meals that were served. Disembarkation: We signed up for luggage valet. This service is available for $20 per person with up to 2 bags. Since we only had one bag to check, we only signed up for this service for one of us and checked in online for the other one. BEST $20 ever spent and I would recommend it to anyone that has the ability to use this. There are specifications that need to be met, such as airport, airline and flight time. We were then provided with a special luggage tag and put our bag out in the hallway in the evening. The next time we were to see it was at SFO -- our final destination. We signed up for the time we wanted to disembark and their schedule was spot on and since customs was a breeze, especially without any large bag, were at the airport for our 12:45 flight with plenty of time to spare. Ports of Call: The itinerary was of particular interest to us as it was a bit different with stops in Cozumel, Costa Rica, Panama, an overnight visit in Cartagena and Grand Cayman. The original itinerary had not included the overnight stop in Cartagena and did include a stop in Belize, which was ultimately canceled. In hind sight, this was very preferable as, even though it was hotter than hot in Columbia, this proved to be a very interesting and enjoyable port of call. The entire trip was worth it due to our favorite stop, which was in Panama. We stayed on the ship in both Cozumel and Grand Cayman as we've been there many times before and wanted to enjoy the amenities on the ship. Excursions: One recommendation would be the tour we took in Panama to Fort San Lorenzo and the Gatun locks that was offered through Celebrity. This is one of the best tours we've taken and not only did we get to see the new locks, we also saw two different ships passing through the old / current locks. In Costa Rica, we took the ship's tour to the Dole Banana Plantation. We enjoyed this tour but were left with a feeling of 'that's all?'. What we saw was interesting and well worth the trip out there but would have been improved with about 30 minutes more of touring at the plantation itself. In Cartagena, since we had two days there, we visited the little zoo area right near where the ship docks. This was very worth our while and they had numerous native birds and animals. The second day we were there, we signed up for a free walking tour of the old walled city. We attended one of the lectures onboard prior to this tour which gave us some background into the history of Cartagena. It was an excellent talk held in the Equinox theater by one of the excursion staff members and enhanced our walking tour with a bit of knowledge going in. This walking tour was incredible although so very hot. I do highly recommend it but it is good to know there is a stronger breeze in the afternoon than in the morning so maybe not quite as sweltering. This tour meets at the naval museum towards the oceanfront side of the walled city. We were almost duped by someone at the entrance trying to convince us he was our guide. Since you have to sign up for this tour in advance, I asked him what names he had on his list. He didn't have our names, so we ventured on until we found the correct tour that we signed up for and very glad we did. We found this tour to be very interesting and you cannot beat the cost ... just a tip at the end for our hard working guide. We were told conflicting information about the price of a cab to Santa Teresa Plaza, which is near where the naval museum is located. We walked past those that were charging $20 and found a cab to take us for $10. The cab back was $8 and it does help if you speak a little Spanish, as it is helpful to get around while in this port. Summary: This cruise got 5+ stars in our book! As mentioned, just a few very minor missteps but such awesome experiences and service that any complaints we may have had were overshadowed by all the good times. The Equinox is a beautiful ship with such a fun, friendly and helpful staff. The spoiled us and made us feel quite special. Just of note, as it is in the news, there were areas where we encountered some mosquitoes. We were warned that Zika was of concern so we made sure we didn't go out without our insect repellent. No bug bites even though we were in some areas of the jungle. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Our second cruise on a Solstice class ship. The dining room menu was a lot less than previous cruise on this class ship (talking about the everyday choices that do not change). We paid for the unlimited internet choice and the connection ... Read More
Our second cruise on a Solstice class ship. The dining room menu was a lot less than previous cruise on this class ship (talking about the everyday choices that do not change). We paid for the unlimited internet choice and the connection varied during the day. I even snapped pictures of the screens when not available or having issues. Also, they decided to have a down period from 12 - 5 pm one day, why not early morning, 1-6 when not as many would be affected. We did not have the new internet on the Soltice, but connections and access was much better. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a 4. I would not recommend this internet. The shore excursions were excellent, but on some, too rushed. Time in Cozumel to go to Chichen Itza was insufficient, 2 1/2 to 3 hour bus ride to it, and return left about 1 hour for entire tour, also had to allow for ride on boat to and from Cozumel to mainland. Would definitely recommend the Costa Rica Rain Forest, the Panama Empera Indian Village. Also, the Cayman Islands Helicopters was fantastic, was my wife's first ride on helicopter, got to sit in front and loved it. The shows were average. on our other Solstice cruise, there were 3-4 class act shows by the celebrity singers and dancers. I only enjoyed 1 of the shows (celebrity singers, etc) "Broadway in Love". the other shows they did had no theme to them so we left shortly after they began - Life, Destiny, Elysian. If you like comics, there were 4 comic shows. I enjoyed the James Stephens comic/piano show especially. They had several shows with singing and/or piano, I enjoyed the piano shows, but opera singing offered at 2 other shows was not my thing. A highlight of our trip on sea days was Jim Kennedy with Beyond the Podium Presentation. He gave 4 excellent presentations about the space program - past, present, future - and also life tips from lessons learned from astronauts and the space program. He is a MUST to hear! We were very impressed! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We like it on celebrity and this was the 5cruise whit them. We are a couple in the 30 and we like that it is more peace and quiet then on other lines. We are young but are more 75 then 30 in party-age;) The embarkation went easy, we ... Read More
We like it on celebrity and this was the 5cruise whit them. We are a couple in the 30 and we like that it is more peace and quiet then on other lines. We are young but are more 75 then 30 in party-age;) The embarkation went easy, we arrived at 1.45.pm and we were onboard at 2.pm. The stateroom was ready, so we delivered the carry-on and said hello to the stateroom attendant. The stateroom was the same as on all the solstice class.Good space for clothing and hangers. We had a conciersclass cabin, so champagne and fruit was delivered to the stateroom after departure. The bathroom is spacus and has a lot of room to store the belongings. But celebrity could do some more cleaning. The rest of the cabin was spotless, but the bathroom cleaning has seen better days. In the shower it was dark spottes in the floor between the tiles. It was mols-dots on the walls in the shower. This is not so fun.... And it was not "seen" by the room attendants during the cruise. This is lack of cleaning and is easily fix and not a good way to welcome passengers. The entertainment onboard is ok. It has a wide verity from production shows to stand-up. The production shows was very good and they have really improved since the last cruise we had. The entertainment they had hired in for shows was hit or miss. The illusionist was super, we have seen him before, but he is really good every show. The almost Elton John show is good, it is feel-good to the toes for everyone, everytime he his onboard. Some of the stands-up could have been better. Some felt very old and might be outdated? The music ombord is what you prefer. The housebound can take a weekend of, they play the same setlist the same sour vocals everyday. It is boring and it is really irritating when you need to take on bose qc to keep them out around the pool when they play live. The other music that is played live onboard is good. Tea for two was great:) It is a lot of celebrity Live activity you can participate inn, we didn't do much of these. But it is bocce, putting, dance class etc. Food The food is great, it is not possible to go to bed hungry. We ate all dinner inn the main restaurant. Mario R and his assistent tok good care of us. They have change the lay-out of the meny for dinner. So all appetiser and salad, soups have been put together. This is not so good for reading and to find the food easy. Since you must read the hole meny to find everything. Some of the menys are very good and have a lot of choices and other have very limited good choices for dinner. It wouldn't be a bad thing to rotate a bit more on the meny. They have indian chefs onboard and all the indian dishes that are on the dinner meny is vegetarian. Why can't they have a really good spiced dish whit fish og chicken? All the vegetable that was on the main course plate every night was covered whit garlic. No harm in garlic, but there is a limit in how much my vegetable like. The buffet has a great selection for breakfast, lunsj and dinner. We only eat breakfast and lunsj. We are not a huge fans of buffet. The sandwich station for lunsj is super. We had roomservice for breakfast 3times, it is a achilles for celebrity. It is always missing something.... And this has been the same error on all 5 cruises. Why is it so hard to get this right? The cafe al bacio is super. The coffee is great an it is a good selection of pastry and cake. The only thing that we really missed is the iced tea. Earlier they had one whit pear-ginger and it is really good. It was delivered in a big teapot whit ice. But they dont have that any more.... They only have regular tea in a glas whit ice.... It is still ok, but it is not the same. Slush bar is nice but the line is long, it is a super place for good non-alc drinks. The bar service was very depending on who you were taken care of. We tried to order a mojito from 3different servers by the pool area and they all came back whit ice and booz. Service in the teatre is slow and understaffed. The bar in ensemble lounge and sunset bar was good and worked well. The quality of the drinks was excellent. Excursion We had booked some excursions from home on celebrity. It is easy to book and you have a confirmed trip. We had a super cave-tour in Mexico. The cave was really a hidden gem. The buffet provided on this excursion could have been better. But the cave was really worth the trip. The Panamakanal and fort San Lorenzo was a half-day tour. The stop at Gaton Locks was super. The fort itself was nice ruins. In Cartagena we did the deluxe cartagena, the tour has potensial but the guide was not 100%. All things from celebrity shore-excursions team worked 100%. So you are taken good care of. Disembarkation went well, we had the express walk-off. we were out in a taxi in 20min from we went in line onboard to get of. This was the 5cruise on celebrity and will not be the last. The service is good and we do have a great time onboard. Just fix the small achilles and it will be totally excellent. Read Less
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was the 11th cruise on a Celebrity ship for my wife and I. We had high expectations, especially since our last 2 cruises were in Aqua class. We were in a Veranda on this cruise. The staff was as usual exceptional. The food was ... Read More
This was the 11th cruise on a Celebrity ship for my wife and I. We had high expectations, especially since our last 2 cruises were in Aqua class. We were in a Veranda on this cruise. The staff was as usual exceptional. The food was better that I remembered (and this was in the main dining room). Deserts and pastries were fantastic! Since we had visited many of the ports, we didn't take tours in all of the ports, but with the overnight in Cartegna, we were able to take the carriage ride in the old city at night. It was wonderful. We didn't realize that Equinox has a team from the Corning Glass Museum and they were creating pieces on board. A truly wonderful experience. The only negative was the entertainment in the theater. My expectations were very high from previous Celebrity cruises, but I was disappointed. As hard as the singers and dancers tried, they just didn't have the materiel. So we went to the glass blowing on 2 nights (GREAT) and found other things to do on others. All in all, we had a great time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We had sailed the Equinox in Europe in 2010 and it was lovely to anticipate being back on the lawn! Embarkation and disembarkation were very good - Celebrity has finally got it right. It used to be a nightmare. Captain Nikolas was ... Read More
We had sailed the Equinox in Europe in 2010 and it was lovely to anticipate being back on the lawn! Embarkation and disembarkation were very good - Celebrity has finally got it right. It used to be a nightmare. Captain Nikolas was wonderful - excellent English, excellent sense of humour and I enjoyed his "Hello its me again" at 10 a.m. The crew was fantastic. Cheerful and perfectly dressed to serve us. CD Alejandro was one of a kind - such enthusiasm and energy. Our cruise was mostly older people and also mostly European - Germans, Brits and French Canadians. He (and his side kick Andreas from Spain) had us all up and dancing. Our cabin was perfect as was our cabin attendant. This ship is immaculate and beautifully decorated. The entertainment was good. The dancers are trying to get out of the cruise mould, and presented shows that were very different. Jayne Curry was sublime - she did three shows, including a matinee at 2 pm on a warm sunny sea day. The theatre was packed. I hope that Celebrity hangs on to her, although this was her last cruise for a while, as she was heading home. The Captains Club hostess was a warm, welcoming beautiful person who made us feel so very special. Thank you Claudia. Now on to the food. We feel that the food in the dining room has definitely deteriorated. We took my time dining for the first time and will not do it again. Roxanne at the desk was so very nice and tried hard to place us. The waiter we had, Val, was very kind and efficient. The atmosphere is not good, because there is constant movement and the staff always trying to clear away and reset tables quickly. They are very efficient but it is not conducive to a relaxing dinner. We went to all three specialty restaurants and had wonderful food. We also ate at the Oceanview Café and found the food for all meals to be very good. It was a wonderful cruise and we would do it again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My husband and I sailed on the Equinox from Feb. 7 to Feb. 21. We are fairly experienced cruisers, having been on probably 11 cruises since 2006. We drove to the Red Roof Inn near the airport, and left the car there since it was the most ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Equinox from Feb. 7 to Feb. 21. We are fairly experienced cruisers, having been on probably 11 cruises since 2006. We drove to the Red Roof Inn near the airport, and left the car there since it was the most price-effective place to leave the car. The hotel transported us to the cruise port. We were in cabin 6121 with a balcony, but not in the Blu level. The good - Embarking was efficient and our room was waiting for us at 2:00. The ship is immaculate and pretty, with everything clean and sparkling. The cabin is well appointed - plenty of storage space including under and over the bed. Employees are outstanding. Cabin steward was efficient and available, without being intrusive. Some of the food was good. I especial like the escargot. The lobster was good. We took no excursions, preferring to disembark at the various ports and walk around. Disembarkation on Feb.21 was efficient; we self-carried luggage and took a taxi back to our car for $25.00. My husband loved the fitness facility; it, too, was sparkling, with many machines. The not-so-good Food - Since 2006, we have seen food in the Main dining Room consistently decline in quality on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships. The company has added "specialty restaurants" at an extra charge. If they want guests to patronize the "for charge" restaurants, why make the MDR great? Thus, on 2 of the last days, the menu offered Pot Pie (only pastry with no filling), meatloaf and pork and beans. Really? On an up-scale cruise line? The beef was not-so-great. It tended to be dry. One day we had brisket; the next day a return of the brisket in a different form. The daily steak was a cut I am not familiar with. There were long waits between courses, so dinner took about 2 hours. The Ocean View Cafe food was OK, but not spectacular. Breakfast was the same. Order fresh-made scrambled eggs at the omelette bar. The prepared eggs are soupy and not good. If you don't eat bread, carbs and pasta, there is not much for you to eat in the Ocean View Cafe. I ate fruits for breakfast and a Caesar salad for lunch. Shows - we left the first three. The comedian was not funny and used a lot of profanity. Next 2 shows (Rock) had music that was loud but did not interest us. After that, we left early dinner and stopped by shows to see if they looked good. We did not attend further shows. Shopping - I was interested in pair of "Dancing Diamond" earrings that I had seen in 2015. I compared prices at all the ports and on the ship. The ship prices were 30% higher. On the last sea day, the shops advertised a sale. The sales lady quoted me the same price the ship shop had given me on the 3rd day. When I mentioned that, she dropped the price 10%. You will NOT find the "best prices" on the ship. All the above said, it was certainly better to spend 2 weeks on the Equinox than in the Northeast. I would return to Celebrity in a heartbeat! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We stayed the night before at the Renaissance which is directly across the street from the port and we could actually see the ship from our room. Very nice hotel full of mostly cruisers. We drove right into the port the next morning and ... Read More
We stayed the night before at the Renaissance which is directly across the street from the port and we could actually see the ship from our room. Very nice hotel full of mostly cruisers. We drove right into the port the next morning and parked in a lot adjacent to the terminal. Just FYI, there is another lot which is closer, but is reserved exclusively for Allure and Oasis and the lot was not even half full but we still were not allowed to park there. It is $15 USD to park in the lot per day. Pier service was excellent. We arrived at 10:30 and were checked in in less than 5 minutes. Boarded the ship at 11:30 and because we were staying in a Suite we were able to go to the Luminae restaurant where we were able to have snacks and lunch until our cabin was ready. We stayed in a Sky Suite (S1) room 9374 in the back of the ship on the straboard (right ) side. The sky suites are very nice. Plenty of room, butler service, upgraded bath amenities (Bulgari), etc. It is extremely quiet as very few guests are walking by and we like that. The balcony is large, and probably the only drawback to it is some soot from the smokestack will get on there each day but they do clean it (albeit not perfectly). The attendants did a nice job of keeping everything clean and tidy although they seem to not want to give out additional soaps, shampoos, etc. We had to ask twice but it may be because the Bulgari items are expensive. This was our second time on this itinerary and let me start by saying that this was probably the best overall staff we have ever experienced on ANY cruise ship. The Captain, Leo (who is leaving halfway through the next cruise) was by far and away the most interactive Captain we have ever experienced. You would see him everywhere around the ship and he was as approachable as any member of the crew. Just an all around fantastic guy. Alejandro the Cruise Director (and Linde the Activities manager) and his entire staff were also excellent. As a suite guest we were able to dine in the Luminae restaurant which was exquisite - we would say that the food was as good if not better than the specialty restaurants. Plus, if you like something on the menu from the main dining room they will prepare it for you. They have breakfast and dinner every day and lunch on at sea days. You can eat on the Bistro at five on port days (they waive the fee) as well as a suite guest. We attended the entertainment shows each night and some of the late night entertainment shows and overall they were excellent. We think Celebrity has definitely improved in this area. We ate breakfast and lunch mostly in the buffet and it has improved greatly over last year, but we think it could still use some improvement. For example, if you go in towards the end, many times the carving station will have been shut down and they seem more focused on getting ready for the next meal service than finishing the existing meal service. The quality of the food is good, but not excellent - keeping in mind it is very difficult to prepare excellent quality food in a buffet setting. The service was excellent and attentive though and they are eager to please. The ship is very clean - we love the fact that they have hand towels in the restrooms as opposed to air dryers and paper towels. The public areas were always attended to and they even had bathroom attendants in the public restrooms during busy times (shows, dinners, etc.) which we thought was a nice touch. The ports of call were a nice change from your typical Caribbean cruise. We overnighted in Cartegena, Columbia which was very nice (and warm!). We did not participate in any shore excursions as we did them last year, but we would strongly recommend seeing the rainforest in Costa Rica and the Panama Canal up close in action. I will say that we tried to use the "destination concierge" to book a private tour and had a misunderstanding so our advice would be to be sure you are VERY SPECIFIC about what you want. You will pay a hefty premium for this type of excursion, but it can be tailored to just about whatever you want. Again, a nice touch as Celebrity really tries to cater to the needs of their guests. We spent a great deal of time in the Casino and like most ships, it has the usual games. Table minimums are fair, and they do have a European Roulette wheel which is somewhat rare. Overall nice dealers, host, and managers. Shopping onboard is nice - they do have a Michael Kors boutique and some upscale shops on deck 5. Deck 4 has the usual suspects.. Our favorite venue was the World Class Bar on deck 5. The bartenders were truly masters of their craft and all of the drinks were unique and delicious. The hot glass show on deck 15 is not to be missed as well. The future cruise office is now a pretty impressive operation. They have anywhere from 4-6 agents working at any one time and it is BUSY! They had some great promos going so we actually booked four more cruises through Sept 2018. Book early as a ton of stuff was already sold out. Debarkation was as good as could be, but as most cruisers know, it is never fun. Celebrity does it as well as anybody. A few last random thoughts.. -This is really not an ideal ship for kids -Sky suite guests can now use Michael's Club - this is a change -Suite guests no longer get complimentary nights in specialty restaurants - this is a change - If you enjoy drinking, upgrade to the premium beverage package - you will not be disappointed. We would strongly recommend this cruise - great ship, great staff, good length (11 days is about perfect), and good ports of call. Celebrity constantly gets ranked highest in luxury cruising and we would definitely agree. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Celebrity Equinox Review My husband and I sailed on the February 1, 2016, cruise aboard the Equinox which made port at Cozumel, Limon, Colon, Cartagena, and Grand Cayman. We took the same cruise aboard the Equinox in 2009 and have ... Read More
Celebrity Equinox Review My husband and I sailed on the February 1, 2016, cruise aboard the Equinox which made port at Cozumel, Limon, Colon, Cartagena, and Grand Cayman. We took the same cruise aboard the Equinox in 2009 and have taken another 30 on NCL, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and two aboard (insert a shudder) Carnival. So we are experienced cruisers. Much has been written about this ship, and I don’t see much reason to repeat it all. We had balcony cabin 6115 only because we booked at the last minute. I would not choose it unless I had to. Believe me, it is a long way to Tipperary from that cabin. Over 500 steps to breakfast...and 500 back. We heard music during the shows at night– without benefit of being in the theater– as this cabin is just above the theater. It was not a problem and I rather enjoyed the reprise of Tenors or Rock. The cabin was fine except I hated the lack of drawer space. I don’t like leaning over at a 45 degree angle to get to my underwear from over the bed. Nor do I want to have to rappel back to the floor after having climbed up on the bed to get it. I also didn’t like the very hard pillows on the bed. I had a neck ache very morning. The bathroom, however, I did like. I think it is the best laid out of any we’ve had other than the main bathroom of the Owner’s Suite on the NCL Jade, but that’s another story involving an upsell fairy. Plenty of storage in the bathroom. I hated the narrow slabs that served as night tables. They couldn't hold anything much more than the phone. Our room steward, Sury, was great. He managed to get inside our cabin and clean when we were at breakfast and dinner which was very nice indeed. I always appreciate that. We found the crew to be unfailingly attentive and friendly. Food was fine though I mourn the wonderful cakes they used to have on Celebrity years ago. We had no difficulty in getting into the restaurant as we made a 6:15 reservation for every night. We had the same waiters every night as well, so that went well. Entertainment was a mixed bag. Jane Curry (vocalist), Stephen Kane (pianist), Tenors of Rock, were all great. My eyes did roll back in my head every time performers let it leak that they had a CD for sale after the show and they all did. The production shows “Set” and “Elysium” were just plain dreadful. It was not the fault of the talented performers. They did their best. But the concepts were so far out there as to be incomprehensible. And as this was an old folks cruise with the average age of the sailors about 73, these “modern” shows played especially poorly. I am trying hard to think of an audience to whom they would appeal. If I think of any, I will add an addendum to this review. Very rough crossing to Playa Del Carmen for our shore excursion to Xcaret from Cozumel. We were literally lifted out of our chairs and plopped back down into them every few seconds. You know it is going to be rough when people are stationed in the front of the boat with rolls of barf bags. Plenty bags were pealed off those rolls and the sounds revolving around their use were everywhere. We did not participate. Xcaret was a beautiful place and we enjoyed it despite the Disney-like food prices. We hired Roger, one of Oscar Brown’s cousins, to be our guide in Limon. We had already done the beaches/banana plantation thing and this round just went to places like the local market and cathedral, beautiful overlooks and a grocery store and such but enjoyed ourselves very much. I especially liked it when a lady selling red peppers at the market almost died laughing when I told her a single red pepper cost nearly $3 at Wal-mart. I tried a water apple which proved to taste very much like a pear. Also was introduced to a spice “bomb” by Roger and bought some to season our chicken at home. Also picked up cinnamon bark for next to nothing. At a small fruit market out in the boonies we had some of those marvelous tiny sugar bananas and watched a girl take corn on the cob out of a big pan of water, roll it in butter, and serve it up in clean husks. Looked tasty, but I doubt it could have matched Indiana sweet corn. Plenty of local shopping right at the port and best prices on the trip. Molas, puzzle boxes, wooden items, tee shirts, and the usual. Across the street is a cheap internet place and not far off is the grocery store. Everyone was friendly, and we did not feel unsafe at all. We took an excursion in Colon to Old Panama City and Reproso as we had already done the Embera Indian-canal-Gatun Lake route on our last visit and were looking to do something different. Nothing earthshaking but quite pleasant. We took our lunch break at a local grocery store with an inexpensive cafeteria attached. Lunch for the two of us (salad, fruit bowl, empanada, and drinks ran us $8. Most people spent a half hour running around the grocery store gathering up cheap coke and chips and coffee. I was surprised at how nice Panama City is. This tour is labeled inaccessible. Believe them. You can’t take a wheelchair down paths full of large gravel or across grass. At Reproso there is no elevator so you have to climb about 25 steps in all and walk a narrow way over the work area. Cartagena was lovely as last time. The terminal has to be the nicest anywhere and has been improved and enlarged since 2009. Nice store, nice garden restaurant, Juan Valdez, beautiful birds. What a pleasant spot! We took a tour of Popa Hill, Las Bovedas, the city, the naval museum, and saw a brief folk dancing show at the latter. Although this tour is listed as accessible, this tour was totally unsuitable for wheelchairs. First of all, we had to walk up a hill at a 45 degree angle for about 1/4 of a mile, then climb about 15 stairs, then climb more hill. You could not take a wheelchair down the narrow congested walk at Las Bovedas nor the crowded, narrow sidewalks along the way the guide took us in Cartagena. Be aware of these things. We had a whole 15 minutes at Las Bovedas which was ridiculous. The guide told us to go into #2 which either is owned by her friends or gives her kickbacks. On our second day in Cartagena we just wandered on our own and that was great. I don’t care for Grand Cayman and it is a mystery to me why so many ships stop there. The stores are full of junk and the island is not attractive. A beach? Big deal. Snorkeling? Big deal. There are better places for both. On this day the it was too windy to go to the main port and we were diverted to the South Side. That change was handled quite efficiently but lines were fairly long, waits were fairly short. Best part was the free wi-fi in the pass through near Margaritasville. Easy embark and disembark. Efficient bus transportation to the airport. We were at the airport at 9 for our 12:45 flight. Pleasant cruise! Nice ship, though I don’t get why Celebrity thinks it is such a big deal to have grass at sea. Seems like a total waste of deck to me. I wonder where that person is who has always had a yearning to play bocce afloat! 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
Celebrity Equinox Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 4.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.5 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

Find a Celebrity Equinox Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise