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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our third cruise on Equinox--our fifth with Celebrity. Embarkation was fast and painless and in a new change, our room keys were waiting in the slot outside our rooms. The just took our picture at check in. We were allowed to ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Equinox--our fifth with Celebrity. Embarkation was fast and painless and in a new change, our room keys were waiting in the slot outside our rooms. The just took our picture at check in. We were allowed to board at about 1045 and staterooms were available by 1 pm. The ship was freshly out of drydock sporting a dazzling new paint job, new carpets and many interior changes. We were in Aqua Class and our stateroom had been completely renovated with all new carpeting and soft products including some comfortable throw pillows on the sofa. Best of all was Equinox was under the command of Captain Kate McCue, the only American female to serve as Master on a large cruise ship. She is personable, approachable and could easily be confused as a model. The also travels with her pet cat on the bridge and in her stateroom. Food in the Blu Dining Room seems to have declined with rather odd good choices in the evening. I believe five nights they served gnocci in some form or other and one night there was nothing on the menu that appealed so I went to the "every night" backup of a New York Strip steak. It was overcooked and mostly gristle. One night we ate in the Tuscan Dining room and that menu was extensive and nicely prepared. Our cabin was 1587--this is the third time we have had the same cabin as it is the street address for my family. In the past our room attendants were highly visible, responsive and kept the cabin neat and clean. This time our room generally did not receive its initial cleaning until between 3 and 4 pm which effectively blocked an afternoon nap after a morning in the sun. There was no turn-down service--just the pillows plumped up and a chocolate placed on top while the bathroom received a facelift with clean towels. We were not very pleased but did not want to create an issue while aboard so we tried to ignore the short comings. We actually did not even meet our room attendant until day three! We like to spend quiet days at sea by the pool with a good book and there were two of those. Costa Maya as a port is a waste of time. Key West and Cozumel were very nice and in Key West, since we were docked at the Naval Base, had transportation to take us from the ship into town and back. Grand Cayman was a lot of fin as we signed up for the tour of Sting Ray City. It took about 30 minutes on a catamaran to get out to the spot which was a comfortable chest deep with soft white sand beneath. The rays were very curious and used to being handled so we had a god time feeding them and just holding them. A photographer aboard took many shots which were available for purchase at only slightly outrageous prices. Avoid the temptation to purchase food unless paying $29.00 for a hot dog does not bother you. There was a new excursion offered-a "backstairs" tour of the ship. It was a tad steep at $99.00 but we went and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were given special passes and lanyards and were shown the galleys, engine control room, recycling center, food storage areas, one of six crew bars and a peek into a crew dining room. We walked along "I-95" as the crew corridor that runs the entire length of the ship is called. I never realized there were six decks located below the water line. We ended our tour with the Navigation Bridge. A nice young officer explained the operation of the ship to us and we were allowed to photograph anything we wanted--just no videos. Disembarkation was a snap--we were off the ship promptly at 8 am and our bags awaited us and there was no customs clearance, just a quick facial recognition shot. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Found the ship really nice. Was my first cruise so nothing to compare against. Several people told me that the bar was now set pretty high now. We were in cabin 6129. Remember the water bottles on the bar and items in the mini fridge are ... Read More
Found the ship really nice. Was my first cruise so nothing to compare against. Several people told me that the bar was now set pretty high now. We were in cabin 6129. Remember the water bottles on the bar and items in the mini fridge are not free. I took them out right away and put stuff we brought in there. Replaced the original stuff before we left. I am a coffee drinker. Frankly that was the worse thing about the ship. The coffee is not very good. In the Oceanside cafe it’s horrid. The only good coffe there is the one station as you head to the aft deck. In the main dining room it’s ok. For room service ( morning coffee ) don’t bother. Everything else was great. Bartenders really are not impressive. I get it they are not tipped by the drink etc but they could stand a bit more personality. Over all wonderful first cruise. Like everything, don’t believe all the flash in the ads but it felt classy. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My 8 days on the Celebrity Equinox was the best cruise I have yet experienced. The quality of service, the beauty of the ship, the entertainment, and the food were top notch. We chose this cruise first for the itinerary and timing, and ... Read More
My 8 days on the Celebrity Equinox was the best cruise I have yet experienced. The quality of service, the beauty of the ship, the entertainment, and the food were top notch. We chose this cruise first for the itinerary and timing, and secondly because we enjoyed the last cruise on Celebrity Summit in January, 2018. The three ABC island ports were sandwiched between two sea days, which turned out to be very relaxing. With 2850 passengers, it is not small, yet there is a contemporary grandeur to the Equinox. I was awestruck by how stunning the ship was! It is filled with contemporary art in all of the public areas, including interesting little touches like quotes in the men’s restrooms throughout the ship. The shopping areas are like an upscale mall; the lounges are clean and luxurious, and there are plenty of little nooks to find a private space to read or gaze at the views. Service was fantastic—a five star service experience almost everywhere. There were very few lines, generally a few people waiting for coffee at Cafe al Bacio in the morning, and only once did we wait for 10 minutes for a table in Blu. However, when we were called with the pager, we were seated at prime location at the window. The only nit about service would have to be focused around the staffing at the pool bars on pool days or coming back from port. There could be a bit of a wait to order a drink then, but it was never more than 5 minutes. There were just a few strolling waiters around the main pool. We never saw a waiter in the solarium. I noted that the Slush Bar for custom blended cocktails open generally from noon until 5 was minimally staffed. However, the attitude of the staff was universally professional, accommodating, and just great to be around. Dining in Blu was exceptional. Maitre d' Anitsa and her colleague Linda were amazing and friendly. Our waiter Suliana with his assistant Dwight was right on the spot for service and remembering our names, food, and water preferences. Even the sommelier Alexander never made us wait for his recommendations for our choices. The food variety and quality were great in Blu from breakfast and dinner. Nothing was ever bland and meats were cooked perfectly to temperature. We ventured on night one to Murano and were once again blown away by the service and ambiance, especially by our waiter Ljubchek. In Murano, they offer tableside preparation for the lobster, chateaubriand, Dover sole, and strawberry crepe balloons. We liked it so much, we went back again to try different items. We also tried Sushi on 5 for lunch twice. Service again was amazing. While the nigiri and maki selections were not exotic, the taste across everything we had was delicious. I also liked the special beer and sake options available there. For the first time ever, we tried freshly made wasabi as a little splurge and did not find it much different from the standard stuff taste-wise. We ate in Asian fusion restaurant Silk Harvest on the last day. The ambiance in Silk Harvest is modern and urban, a different vibe from the rest of the ship. The food was completely memorable. The menu descriptions seemed like traditional Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, or Japanese items, but they were prepared to fuse the flavors across regions. For example, the miso soup looked ordinary, but had the taste of Vietnamese pho. It was like no other Asian restaurant I have ever eaten in. We tried the Horizon Cafe a couple of times for lunch and once for breakfast. The layout was easy to negotiate; the food quality was surprising and very fresh. There were little surprises among the choices like freshly made guacamole and mini red velvet churros for the Mexican theme, omelets and pasta dishes made to order with minimal wait, and even a delicious full English breakfast station due to roughly 30% of the cruisers among us hailing from the UK. We would often order room service for an early breakfast of coffee, tea or toast. It was always on time. We tried a ‘la carte breakfast once on a port day to avoid rushing and were very pleased with the steak and eggs as well as the smoked salmon omelet with caviar. I have a couple of notes about the bars. The World Class Bar had interesting craft cocktails, but exclusively makes cocktails from the menu at the bar plus an occasional Sazerac since they hold absinthe tastings there in the in late afternoons. This confused and frustrated many cruisers who would wait for the one or two bartenders to take their order only to be told they do not serve beer, wine, or regular drinks. The Gastropub has the best beer selection of any bar I have ever seen at sea. It is no joke if you if you are a beer connoisseur. The place was a lively sports bar in the afternoons for football games, and it was also the place we had the Cruise Critic officer’s party on the morning of day two where we got to meet all of the senior officers including Captain Kate. The bartenders at the Sunset bar on the back of the ship were excellent, and definitely superior to those who worked the Pool and Mast bars. We noted that the clientele on the ship were a bit older than previous cruises we have been on. While I am in my mid-fifties, I would say that the average age of person on the ship was probably 65. That is not a big difference, but younger couples aged 20-40 were few and far between. Also, there were practically no children on this cruise. I counted less than 10 the whole week. Perhaps it was the season or the length of the cruise, but this manifest included many Brits, which was surprising. We spotted quite a few kilts on the men for Evening Chic nights. Entertainment was much better than on the Summit from January. We had excellent singers, including one finalist from the Voice and the weird, psychedelic show Topper. They had to cancel the final show on the last night Elysium due to technical difficulties. We enjoyed the late-night Marriage Show and the Frisky Feud. The Marriage Show, however, had no contestants participating younger than 70. We participated in multiple trivia contests and won few. You collect tickets to be redeemed on the final day of the cruise which we traded in for 2 t-shirts and a Celebrity branded towel. We had a blast at the first silent disco in the Sky Lounge. It was really fun! Cruise Director Dan France was on point, but we truly enjoyed getting to know Rachel who ran most trivia contests. She was genuinely nice. With so many sea days, it is important to note that finding a lounger around the outdoor pool or in the solarium could be a challenge. There was A LOT of chair saving, plenty of clips holding towels on the loungers, and certainly no one there for hours in the mornings. There were no roving pool butlers which I could see to help someone find a place, either. Both times I found loungers, we had to get to the solarium by 9AM and the outdoor pool by 7:30AM to snag a prime spot. We would leave for up to thirty minutes to get a bite to eat or get a drink, but this is something to keep in mind if you want to spend your day in a prime lounger around those pools. Nevertheless, everything just worked. It was the most relaxing cruise I have ever been on. The crew is amazing. The ship is utterly gorgeous. I want to go again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Miami is a great cruise port: efficient airport security; short taxi distance to the port; vibrant city life with lots of restaurants. Our embarkation went smoothly and we were grateful Celebrity allowed us to board slightly ahead of ... Read More
Miami is a great cruise port: efficient airport security; short taxi distance to the port; vibrant city life with lots of restaurants. Our embarkation went smoothly and we were grateful Celebrity allowed us to board slightly ahead of schedule! Overall the food was good. We didn't notice that the food in the specialty restaurants was any better than in the dining room (lunch or dinner), though the atmosphere was more intimate and the servers were more attentive (probably because they had fewer patrons to serve). The steaks were delicious while the seafood was unremarkable. Indeed, the one night Silhouette (the dining room) served lobster, it was inedible as was the one-scallop appetizer drowning in overcooked spinach. If you want vegetables with your meals, be sure to order a salad as your appetizer. Deserts were middling and occasionally good (lime key pie and lava cake). Cafe Baccio was the only place that served real coffee. The ocean view cafe and dining room said they served Lavazzo coffee, but everyone knew the difference. Shout-out to Satoko. The world class bar served great cocktails: shout-outs to Igor and Santos. The martini bar was loads of fun, but watch out the drinks are seven ounces each! The gastro bar was intimate, a nice place to talk and watch tele. The pool bar traffic was steady, as was the food bars. Classic offerings for average American eaters. We wish Celebrity would realise most cruisers today have a more sophisticated understanding of ethnic cuisines. We did appreciate the East Indian offerings at breakfast, but we would've like to seen more spicy, diverse offerings. It's definitely worth your while to upgrade from the classic to the premium package, if only to enjoy yourself. It really doesn't take long for it to pay off and you are on vacation. As for the evening entertainment, well someone other than Martin should do the hiring. I don't blame the professional singers, dancers and acrobats. We do blame the producers who directed them to scream and execute tired, boring choreography. The three comics were poor. Only the drunks in the audience were laughing when the last one (Al Ducharme) "performed" his toilet humour that keeps "getting him fired". Speaking of Martin, he should develop a different shtick. He's too old for I'm-a-6'5"-Dane-and-Mom-likes-me-best routine. Someone else should also fire Christine who shouts bingo instructions and thinks rude comments are funny. (e.g. Your son was my favourite child on this cruise when other parents with children nearby are listening.) We didn't care for the daily upselling of specialty restaurants and photos. The casino is the pitts, though they have a good selection of slot machines. Sorry, but a two dollar compensation prize for those who lost out in the woman's watch drawing after an hour wait was insulting. As for port stops, San Juan was quaint and fun. Lots of police around so we felt safe. Shop at Majesty Jewelers in Philipsburg, St. Maarten for quality jewelry at the best prices. Charlotte-Amelie had a beach and casinos nearby, but the main street was a disappointment. The shore excursions were nothing to write home about. If you want to see an aquarium, visit Atlanta because Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas will disappoint you. Our guide spent the entire time up-selling us on the Atlantis aqua-adventure park; poor her, it was her job. Also, June 1st is Labor Day every year in the Bahamas. Why were we misinformed about the parade time (noon to 4:30) and the stores being closed? Sapphire Beach in St. Thomas was a disappointment. Not only were two of the three ladies rooms plugged up, the water had too much sea grass to swim in. Worse, most of the coral was dead. There were very few fish. No one saw any sea turtles. (Hurricane Irma?) We had to skip Punta Cana in the D.R. Note to newbies: in ports where the ship is only tethered, only reserve excursions from Celebrity and independent companies who offer full refunds in case the Captain deems the waters unsafe. For those who are environmentally-conscious, you might wish to bring a coffee thermos and refillable water thermos. We didn't really spend too much time on the upper decks because we're bothered by cigar smoke. (Thank goodness Celebrity doesn't allow smoking in their casinos.) I wish Celebrity did a better job at stopping guests from smoking on their verandas as there are security cameras everywhere. We also wish Celebrity reminded guests to be quiet after eleven o'clock at night, but given the extremely-loud sound level of the entertainment, I guess that would be hypocritical. Finally, we didn't realise until the second-last day of the cruise how low employee morale was on board. I've never had so many employees urge and even beg us to mention their names in the guest survey. Some did so repeatedly and handed us slips of paper with their names on them. But, upon reflection, we realised this must've been the case because employees complained of their long-working hours, split shifts, poor accommodations and arduous working conditions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Loved our first time cruising on Celebrity... Great ship, fabulous food (in Blu) with superb service. Live music around the ship was also very good but the production shows were dreadful. Awful, nasal voices murdering current sounds ... Read More
Loved our first time cruising on Celebrity... Great ship, fabulous food (in Blu) with superb service. Live music around the ship was also very good but the production shows were dreadful. Awful, nasal voices murdering current sounds with their dreadfully affected musical theatre tones. Other cruise lines really do better in this area, but for all other aspects Celebrity was fantastic. The two comedians that we saw were funny, but felt they'd do better if they were given the opportunity for an adult only show. A couple of times, you could feel them modifying their next move to ensure it was PG-13 all round. Getting on and off the ship was hassle free, with the exception of debarkation in Miami. Very long lines for immigration really slowed the entire process. Lots of stressed families and children melting down, which is a disappointing way to end your vacation. All in all though, loved our time on the Equinox! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
#1. The servers, staff, and all employees were extremely nice to us. This was a plus. #2. The food in the main dining room was simply outstanding. This was a plus. #3. The food in the main buffet, Oceanview Café, was average at ... Read More
#1. The servers, staff, and all employees were extremely nice to us. This was a plus. #2. The food in the main dining room was simply outstanding. This was a plus. #3. The food in the main buffet, Oceanview Café, was average at best. #4. There were limited television stations. After a few days of HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel repeated shows, we were going to lose our minds. This was the same with our last Celebrity Cruise. Worse than that fact: The number of channels devoted to non-stop hawking of expensive jewelry, watches, and cruise ship services. MAKE IT STOP. This has gotten ridiculous. We get it. You need to make more money. But this has gotten out of hand, which includes the handouts for the ports of call that only list expensive jewelry stores. But to see this on television night and day, when there are so few channels, got to be too much. #5. The on-demand movie selection was horrible. I mean seriously. There are passengers who stay in their cabins. You need more than a selection of eight movies for adults to choose from for a seven day cruise. The free movies were the worst. And then we were supposed to pay $14.98 for movies which are now long past prime? #6. Café al Bacio is the ONLY coffee shop on the ship. Why? Do you not understand how America is hooked on Starbucks coffee and coffee drinks? The coffee drinks were okay but there needs to be more of a selection. #7. Throughout the cruise there were raffle tickets given for every $100 spent at the gift shops and expensive jewelry stores. There was no indication given what the prize or prizes might be, just the fact you had to be present on the last night of the cruise. So people were whipped into a frenzy thinking there would be great prizes, spending a lot of money to get entries. Then on the last night of the cruise the drawing was held in the most expensive jewelry store. The prize: One winner takes all prize valued at $500, worth of Celebrity logo junk. What a complete joke. #8. We saw a couple of good shows, such as Topper and Life, which were like Broadway productions. But for the most part, the on-board entertainment left a lot to be desired. #9. We had a cabin with a Veranda, which was fairly decent – except for the quality of the mattress and bedding. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This cruiseship is one of the best we had in our 8 different cruises. We travelled already with Princess, HAL and Norwegian. But with Princess this is the best company. If you like more fun and color on the ship than Norwegian is much ... Read More
This cruiseship is one of the best we had in our 8 different cruises. We travelled already with Princess, HAL and Norwegian. But with Princess this is the best company. If you like more fun and color on the ship than Norwegian is much better. But the quality of this ship is excellent. The only negative thing was our Congierge-package. And most of the beginning of the trip. When we arrived in Miami to check in it was overcrowded. We had a priority check in, but waitingtime of almost 1 hour is not priority. Even worser, people of other categories were faster with check in than we. And we missed due the long waiting our special lunch. Very disappointing when your cruise has still to start! The room was good, but not really big. Even the bed is not really big. With our 1.83 and 1.90 meters it was just too small. Room was very clean (thanks Bernadette!), bathroom is very nice with enough space. But strange thing in the room. There are cupboards hanging above the bed. But if you are old it is difficult to handle. Like the room the balcony is also small. We had bigger rooms and balconies on other ships. But every day we were happy with our cleanest room ever in our cruise-life! And with the congiergeroom (1188) every day it was a joy to have the little pasteries etc around 4pm. And also one time a bottle of good champagne! The food in restaurant and buffetrestaurant was excellent. A lot of variety and very good tastes. Buffetrestaurant was good organized with the different islands. It was never too crowdy to find the food. One thing, the sommelier of our table was not good in English. He didnt understand us well and we didnt think that he understands the wine-differences. And yes, drinks are very expensive. We were lucky to have a free classic beverage package, but without this trip would be the most expensive one ever. 9 dollar for a glass wine or 13 dollar for a cocktail is much to high! The shows were also perfect. Of course not all, but depends of your taste. The best one was the show Elysium. The lady with the blond hair was too good! She has to be a popstar!!! And Rich....I know you are love yourself, but please do it less...you are too over-energized.... We organized most of our tours by Celebrity. But the Go Native Jamaica was the worst ever! The bus was too small, dirty, very hot. And the trip was unsafe and nothing with Go Native. Even we received 15% back, we still had a very bad feeling about this trip. Celebrity, stop with this organisation Johns Hall!!! The other trips were good and the trip to the stingrays in CaymanIslands was the best! The ship was very clean. I never saw dirty floors or dirty toilets. Always someone was cleaning. So in overall, the cruise was very positive! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our second sailing on the Equinox, the first was our honeymoon in 2010 and this was also my 61st cruise.. Celebrity certainly is a notch above most other lines, from the welcome aboard champagne to the décor and the smiles of ... Read More
This was our second sailing on the Equinox, the first was our honeymoon in 2010 and this was also my 61st cruise.. Celebrity certainly is a notch above most other lines, from the welcome aboard champagne to the décor and the smiles of MOST staff. Entertainment overall is very good with something for everyone but not necessarily will everyone like everything. The dining room My Time Dining was very efficient if you were strategic about the times you wanted to dine. The hostess always tried to put us in the same vicinity of the same servers, when possible. The food was mediocre, simply put. A fair selection but just mediocre. DO NOT ORDER A STAEK AND EXPECT A RESTAURANT QUALITY STEAK!!! Overall the ship furnishings are starting to show signs of wear and need some to be changed out. NOW the disappointments! Michaels Club has been closed to all except Suite Guests. Even Elite guests cannot use this lounge area. BE PREPARED TO GO PREMIUM!!! While Celebrity is offering classic drink packages almost everything is an upsell. An additional $11.80 per person per day for a decent drink OR you can upgrade by the drink So if you want to sit at the Martini bar and order ANY Martini or wine it's an additional $4.78 per drink. If you want a Chanson Champaign it's an upsell of $2.00. plus 18% grat for a 4 oz pour. NOW if you want to order a non alcoholic ZERO Vitamin water you cannot get it on the classic package and will have to pay $4.50 each. As a comparison I purchase these every week at the local supermarket for $.99 each. RIPOFF!!! The bottom line is that the economical way to do this is to upgrade to premium for $10 plus 18% a day per person or be hit with charges that ultimately will be higher than that doing it individually. It only take 3 to 4 drinks a day to break even with the premium package. Just plan on a couple of hundred more for your cruise. As an Elite I received a "FREE" Gelato. However if you ordered the Gelato as an ice cream sandwich with 2 cookies it wasn't free and the upcharge was $4.95. REALLY!!! The staff overall was very good. Some better than others. There is a more severe language barrier than I have experienced on Celebrity in the past and other lines. Some of the staff has issues making eye contact with guests and you are simply met with a nod of the head and they wait for you to tell them what you would like to order. They hand you the item and walk away. Not good interaction and certainly not what I have experienced on Celebrity in the past. Something is broken here. There is no question that cruise lines that have gone to the "all inclusive" drink package programs have lost touch with the guests because they have pre sold the liquor and other items, so now it's the upsell. They no longer are interested in what is ordered or the level of service because it's already been sold and includes the gratuity. Sea days were very crowded on the open decks. Deck chairs were placed side by side and it was a sea of humanity. Too crowded for an enjoyable day. The solarium pool was nice and quiet but the AC temps were so cold people were laying under blankets and towels. The ports on this sailing were good. Grand Cayman was very quite as were all the ports. GC was quiet because it was a Sunday and most businesses were closed. beaches were uncrowded. We were the only ship in each port we visited. Aruba and Curacaos were great and Bonaire didn't entice us enough to get off the ship. Many guests came back to the ship early and were disappointed with Bonaire. NO FLAMINGOS!. Yes indeed I would sail Celebrity again. Yes I am happy I went and really did enjoy myself, however I didn't come home with the WOW factor that is typical of almost every other cruise I have take, I just booked a 15 day Princess Panama Canal cruise for November. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise was a charter cruise, chartered by Atlantis Events and was an all gay cruise. Cabin service I did 13 "normal" cruises and 12 gay cruises, but this was the first time that I was very disappointed of the service ... Read More
This cruise was a charter cruise, chartered by Atlantis Events and was an all gay cruise. Cabin service I did 13 "normal" cruises and 12 gay cruises, but this was the first time that I was very disappointed of the service of the cabin steward (female)! We had cabin nr, 8102 and this cruise was supposed to be our honeymoon cruise. During our acquaintance I told the steward that I only need ice in the evening. The first evening I had ice, but not at the second evening. After asking for use at het assistant, I got my ice. Next day, again no ice and I decided from that moment to take ice from the ice machine upstairs. The 8th day when I entered my cabin at approx. 6pm, I notice that the cabin was not cleaned. During the call the cabin steward said that when she wants to clean the room there was still someone in the cabin and then she had her break. The 9th day I entered the room at 3 pm and again the room was not cleaned!! In both cases there was no one in the cabin for hours, so I think she was very lazy or had problems with gays or had problem with my dark colour! Food: The breakfast and lunch buffet were fantastic! The menu of the restaurant was the first week excellent, but the last 3 days very poor! The first week it was difficult to choose because all looked delicious. The last 3 days the choice was difficult again, but this time to find something we liked!! We don't know if this was the result of the charter?! Pool service Was sometimes below the service you can expect from a Celebrity ship! The reason was simple: we had a non alcoholic package and the waiter "earned" nothing extra! So for other guests they were very friendly, but for us NO! Coffee bar Il Bacio The service was perfect!! LAST REMARK: DON'T BOOK A CABIN IN FRONT OF THE SHIP, YOU WILL BE CRAZY OF THE NOISE OF THE ANCHOR AND PARKING AT THE QUAI!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Guest Relations >> The first 3 days of the trip were miserable. The assigned room smelled like an ashtray. We spoke to Guest Relations, who confirmed that all rooms were non-smoking. We asked for another room, but were informed that ... Read More
Guest Relations >> The first 3 days of the trip were miserable. The assigned room smelled like an ashtray. We spoke to Guest Relations, who confirmed that all rooms were non-smoking. We asked for another room, but were informed that the cruise was sold out & that no other options were available - which we later found out not to be the case. She supposedly notified housekeeping to do a super clean on the assigned room. After 4 hours & a wasted afternoon, we went back to the room & found that nothing had been done. We also noticed that the room refrigerator was warm & sweating - suggesting that the room steward had left it open when servicing the room between cruises. So we went back, who then had the head of housekeeping come to the room. Even he agreed that the room smelled like smoke. So we went back to Guest Relations and were only able to get another room after talking to the company that had booked the entire cruise ship. was argumentative and rude. Later in the cruise, we had a 3rd interaction with her that was more of the same. I think that she needs to find another line of work. Bar service >> Our first 2 experiences with the bar service on the 1st day of the cruise were unacceptable. In both cases, the bartender had trouble processing a simple drink order. The machine did not work or the machine was out of paper - on the first day of a cruise. Both instances necessitated a manager to help out. Later that week, at the Martini Bar, the bartender prepared and served drinks after handling the trash can without washing his hands, instead only wiping his hands with a napkin. GastroPub >> on Thursday, Aug 19th @ 9:15pm the serves at the GastroPub seemed surprised when we ordered food - a bar that serves drink & food. We waited for 20+ minutes for service of any kind. They were not busy, as only 2 other patrons were sitting at the bar having drinks. A 2nd visit to the same restaurant was even worse. They were surprised that we wanted to even order food. The server on the visit had to check to see if she could even take a food order. So we left after 20+ minutes due to lack of service. Would not recommend. Room key >> Room key kept not working. On one day, we had to have new room keys made within a 30 minute period. Guest relations blamed it on the fact that the cruise organizers (Atlantis) had "special keys". During the 10 day cruise, we had a total of 4 key sets made. Tuscan Grille >> great service, larger than 8 oz serving of filet mignon. Would recommend, even at $45 per person. Silhouette Dining Room >> The first time we tried the Silhouette Dining Room was horrible! The 2nd time was delightful. On the first occasion, we ordered a bottle of champagne. Over the course of a 40 minute meal, no one offered to refill the glasses. We would have done it ourselves, the the bucket was 2 tables over and we were unable to get the waiter's attention to help us out. Toward the latter 1/3 of the meal, I asked to speak to the wine steward or Sommelier (Milovan).. Both came to our table & apologized for the level of service. Both admitted that they were not accustomed to dealing with such an affluent group (our group had booked the entire ship). Both insinuated that our group was not the normal cruise population that they were use to dealing with & that the servers were being challenged above what they were accustomed to. The 1st meal was mediocre at best -- escargot was cold, lamb portion was small & tough. The server failed to bring additional bread and butter as requested. Our 2nd experience at the same restaurant was mostly great. The only flaw here was that we were served Evian rather than the Pellegrino that we had ordered. Marina was the best server we have ever had on one of the 8 cruises that I have done. Would highly recommend her, but not the restaurant under any other circumstances. Would only recommend this ship if you have low expectations & can tolerate poor service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
I did this cruise last year and I wanted to do it again, it was so good. Equinox is an amazing ship and you feel like you are in the best 5 star hotel but better. The itinery was excellent however due to bad weather we didnt stay in ... Read More
I did this cruise last year and I wanted to do it again, it was so good. Equinox is an amazing ship and you feel like you are in the best 5 star hotel but better. The itinery was excellent however due to bad weather we didnt stay in Mykonos which everyody was looking forward to. Speciality restaurants Murano and Tuskan were excellent. I woudnt rate Iliniaire though. In comparison to last year, this year's cruise had the following: - the food in the Ocean View Cafe was not as good and it was not hot enough on many occassions. - the staff were instructed to sell Speciality Restaurants constantly and that was a mistake...very aggressive altough the staff were doing their best to be relaxed and polite. - the enertertainment did not feel as good as last year, - djs werent as good either. We still enjoyed the cruise and we would go again but I hope the slipping standard of service is going to be sorted as soon as possible. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity, this time we were with two good friends and they had cruised twice before wth P&O from Southampton. We had travelled on Millennium, Reflection and Equinox, so it was our second time on ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity, this time we were with two good friends and they had cruised twice before wth P&O from Southampton. We had travelled on Millennium, Reflection and Equinox, so it was our second time on Equinox. As always we had booked the premium drinks package pre boarding as we like the branded cocktails and wine that comes included. We had advised our friends do that too. I have to add at this point that we have been loyal to Celebrity as every cruise has proved wonderful. So onto some of the details that have driven me to write this review. On the first evening as we sat down to dinner (we had booked flexi dining as we like to have the freedom to eat whenever at night.) I wanted to have a glass of Pouilly Fume wine with dinner and one of my friends asked for a glass of Atalon with his. We were told by the waiter that both of those wines were out of stock so we would need to choose an alternative. Whilst we thought this strange, we did and he managed it OK. So, night two was an evening chic night (formal) and we had booked a table around the same time, we had been saying just before dinner we wondered wether the wines would appear. They did not, and this time it was a different waiter and sommelier and he said we wouldn't be having those choice of wines on this cruise - they had run out of stock? Firstly, there was a real edge with the waiter, in my mind verging on slight rudeness, it felt like a weak reason for no wine as we had just started the cruise. In his defence we again had the alternative wines, it didn't cause us too much hassle, he did at this stage say that tomorrow night they may have the said wines available and he would make sure that if so we would have them. However, it was the manner in which he dealt with us that I feel so strongly about to mention in our review. We continued our cruise and can I say the majority of everything else was up to usual expectations and we were loving the route the staff and the experience, in fact our friends were so impressed with the overall cruise experience. Can I mention at this point that the quality of food served to us was still up to standard, it was completely about the service experience. On the Wednesday night, our 4th night we had booked for dinner and we happened to be seated back with the same waiter from night one. I have to say he was was generally great and we had left the original wine conversation, we had stuck to the alternatives offered. So, towards the end of the meal he came over to the table and said "At the end of the cruise you will all receive a digital customer review by email, as I have been your main waiter for the cruise (strange we were just 4 days in!)can you please give me 10 for the waiter experience. I have been great and I know you have had an issue with wine however that is not me...." He continued to go on about the review, which in my mind was completely inappropriate, he was now digging a large hole. Just think about it: We had paid £3.8K for our seven nights upgraded to the premium package for £130 for the two of us. P&O would have been significantly cheaper and as far as our friends mention the dinner experience was more slick and professional. Celebrity offer the Silhouette restaurant on the Solstice ships as a normal dining experience, they also have 3 speciality restaurants that you can upgrade to. Murano, Tuscan Grille, Silk Harvest. We had booked two of these throughout the 7 days so 5 of our days would be in the Silhouette restaurant. In my mind there were a couple of things that went wrong here. 1. Wine not there at the start of the cruise - waiters should be up to speed with the reason why for guests. 2. Training for waiters dealing with these situations needs to be stronger - he was appalling. 3. Celebrity may well be focusing on the the speciality restaurants as an experience and there fore taking their foot of the gas. Dangerous on my mind. The speciality restaurant experience by the way was second to none. In summary, Celebrity please do not take your foot of the gas with your dining service offer, people have paid considerably more for your cruise experience and will expect it to continue. We love your brand and your offer however if the happens again we will definitely look to change choice. Yours in hope, as we cruise with you on Eclipse next April. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
This was our second cruise with Celebrity (we sailed on the Silhouette last year). We knew Celebrity Equinox would be very similar and it did not disappoint. We chose Statement 9239, which is just off the aft staircase and elevators and ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity (we sailed on the Silhouette last year). We knew Celebrity Equinox would be very similar and it did not disappoint. We chose Statement 9239, which is just off the aft staircase and elevators and the Card Room. Although the proximity to the stairs was great (we rarely take the elevator), it turned out that this is a "staging area" for the stateroom attendants and there was nearly always one or two large carts outside our room in the hall. It didn't really bother us that much but next time we'd move a few staterooms further down the hall. It appears to be one of the very few design flaws that there's not some sort of alcove or cranny where these carts can be easily stowed when not in use. Otherwise, our statement was pleasant except for some issues with the television system. At first we thought the remote wasn't working but even when it was replaced the TV was sluggish and often didn't respond (especially the "Off" button requiring me four times out of five to get out of bed to turn off the TV). As with our last cruise, we were impressed at the beauty of the ship's common areas, especially the Celebrity art collection, which is comprised of incredible works of art throughout the ships by noted contemporary artists (not to be confused with the mostly schlocky art sold in the Park West gallery). The food in the fabulous Oceanview Cafe was excellent and of great variety, though I wish the coffee was a bit stronger/richer. The food in the main dining room was always decent and on a few occasions excellent. (We don't expect too much when 3,000 dinners are being prepared over the course of just a few hours.) The food in the specialty restaurant Murano was top-notch, but for the second time I was not thrilled with Tuscan Grille and probably won't bother dining there next year (we are booked on the Equinox for Jan. 11, 2016). The specialty restaurant steak house on Holland-America's Eurodam is far superior, as is the steak house on the Crown Princess. We also enjoyed the popular Cafe Bacio for free pastries and not-free cappuccinos, and we tried out the new GastroBar. The menu was enticing but the a la carte food not worth the $33 we spent to have lunch there. I never saw more than a few people in this bar and none were eating food. In general, I think the charges are creeping up. $5.00 is too much for a cappuccino when you can have coffee for free. We also spent $150 each for an "inside access" tour of the ship, and although we thought it was expensive prior to the tour it turned out to be the highlight of our cruise. The tour, which takes you to the bridge, engine room, galleys, mooring station, crew dining room/gym/bar, theater (back-stage), etc. lasted more than five hours and included, as our last stop, a wonderful three-course luncheon in the Murano, which was a delightful surprise. We have previously sailed on Carnival, Princess, and Holland-America but now plan to sail exclusively on Celebrity as long as there are ships leaving from our home town of Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
Our first cruise. Equinox is amazing--ship is spotless, staff polite and always working to please. Embarkation was easy with no lines, and the glass of champagne was a wonderful touch upon boarding. Stateroom was bigger than expected; ... Read More
Our first cruise. Equinox is amazing--ship is spotless, staff polite and always working to please. Embarkation was easy with no lines, and the glass of champagne was a wonderful touch upon boarding. Stateroom was bigger than expected; large bed was comfy. More than ample storage in the stateroom with bags nested under the bed. Lots of hangers in closet, and toiletries in bathroom were just right. Only one day did housekeeping forget to give us facecloths. Concierge class added nice touches we appreciated. The daily fruit was nice to have although we didn't eat it all. Afternoon canapes were a nice touch, but not particularly special. Nice large robes. Our TV gave us problems from the start; it was eventually replaced and worked well afterwords (TV is how you access our account billing, so it is important). Calls to guest relations resulted in immediate attention. Wonderful activities on board. We enjoyed the Corning hot glass show, but probably wouldn't attend on a next cruise (the show is 2 hours). Excellent gym and wonderful public spaces. Staff in the internet cafe could have been a bit more patient, but they also seemed overwhelmed by the number of guests needing their services. Public spaces were always clean and tidy. Entertainment: Ship's evening entertainment varied in quality from very good (music and dance) to mediocre (juggling/magician). Entertainment seems geared mostly for the 65+ crowd. There was a very good piano player one evening whose repertoire stopped at the Beatles with a finale of Auld Lang Syne. Meals on board were delicious. Beware, the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) is quite a zoo with other passengers in a feeding frenzy. We avoided it or went in off hours. We preferred breakfast in the main dining room. We also dined at Tuscan Grill and Murano, and enjoyed both--well worth the extra cost. We were amazed that the servers in one bar or restaurant remembered our drink preferences when we saw them in a different bar or restaurant. Downsides: Toward the end of our 11-night cruise small number of food items were in short supply and we were told that some wines were no longer available. Disembarkation was controlled chaos, but this was not Celebrity's fault. We easily found our checked luggage once off the ship. You'd think that Port Everglades would figure out how to handle incoming passengers, but apparently not yet. Bottom line: We liked it enough to book another cruise next year, but mainly because we met some really nice people who also were booking the same cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
I will try to keep this concise. The ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean, Hand sanitizer everywhere !. The ports of call on the ultimate Caribbean were great !! here comes the bad stuff !! The food overall was a let down with the ... Read More
I will try to keep this concise. The ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean, Hand sanitizer everywhere !. The ports of call on the ultimate Caribbean were great !! here comes the bad stuff !! The food overall was a let down with the main dining room being the worst offender. It was very hit and miss. Either steaks not cooked well enough or tough. Cold vegetables and warm Entrees. Soup was either great or bland.Salad courses were minuscule and desserts nothing special. The 'Famous' baked Alaska was like a frozen dessert from a supermarket !! Our waiter was dull and mumbled a lot but the assistant waiter was very nice and friendly.Service and food was just not what we have had on previous ships. The ocean view buffet was very dull not great presentation and was just cafeteria quality.Nothing special offered. we had to point out mixed leaf salad with black/brown ends and stale cucumber.Pizza was good if you were lucky to get it fresh out of the oven. The oatmeal was like water. Could not get them to cook eggs fully.just small things but really impacted the trip.They don't do a midnight buffet as People were all tucked up by eleven usually but did a brunch which we missed and was supposed to be good,but only doing it once an eleven night trip is bad !! Cafe Baccia did great pastries but the cookies were like bricks you could break your teeth on them.The coffee was so so and again only warm not hot which was also an extra cost. Room serviceagain a bit up and down.One day cold then the next it was hot. The best place to eat was the 'bistro on five' as you got hot food and a decent portion for only $5 extra well worth it. Also the staff were great .. We did not try other speciality restaurants as we did not want to pay extra to just receive more average food for $40 or so extra. The service on the ship was again hit and miss, I felt a lot of staff were just going thought the motions. There were a few exceptions. The casino staff ,'Andrea' in particular the hostess who was great fun to talk to and made us very welcome. also the cabin stewards overall were very nice and had a warm hello. The ship entertainment especially poolside was virtually non existent.The various quizes we came across were roughly 20 question over and done !! However the shows were mostly good with one exception the 'Beatles' type show was dire but the others were good.A good comic and a great female singer who was funny too. On the next to last night they finally pulled a 'red and black salsa night' which was on deck at 10.30. This was great but everyone we spoke to said it was too little too late as we were nearly at the end of the cruise. It was the only time we saw anyone on deck after eleven P.M except an odd few !! The pool side band while not bad could not keep any tempo going and went from happy, to sad songs making the atmosphere go up and down !!The steel band were a bit of a joke too . !! Two guys with a background tape. A little cheap again !! The D.J in the club did not know thow to play to the crowd(had there been a crowd) as most nights the 'Quasar' was empty !! The Martini bar was very popular and seemed the busiest place before and after dinner as it was lively and the staff seemed more upbeat.But we are not big drinkres so that wasn'r for us really but when we did have a drink there it was nice . Overall not our best cruise experience. We are in our 40's and we on the young side on this cruise so I think they were catering for an older clientele.But even older people we spoke to said they were finding this trip dull, and they had been with celebrity many times so had more to compare to than we did. we did complain to the hotel manager and to be fair they gave us a very good compensation deal. I have not listed other things as I don't want to go on too much .Overall a beautiful ship but a lacklustre performance on many counts. I am sure others had a wonderful time but it was not for us. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Overall, this was a great cruise... 10 night Southern Caribbean. Embarkation: Almost effortless! We had rented a minivan to drive to Port Everglades from Tampa Intertnational Airport. We dropped of half the group at the ship, while ... Read More
Overall, this was a great cruise... 10 night Southern Caribbean. Embarkation: Almost effortless! We had rented a minivan to drive to Port Everglades from Tampa Intertnational Airport. We dropped of half the group at the ship, while 2 of us returned the car to FLL airport. We were on the ship within 15 minutes. Wonderful to have a champagne reception! Our last cruise was on Carvnival (only because it was a special charter; would NEVER sail on Carnival again unless I had to!). We headed to the buffet area ... what a mess! Everyone was there and no one was willing to give up their space to let anyone eat. Within 30 minutes, we were able to access our cabin. We head read online how great the Solstice cabins were. Yes ... very pretty, but not that efficient. We packed more efficiently for this cruise than ever before ...thank God! We found the storage much less than on all other cruises. The bathroom was great .. no concerns. We didn't care for the closet with sliding doors. Very difficult to get access to the closet at the same time! The few drawers were quickly filled. We were fortunate that everything else fit in the 2 bins above the bed. While we don't watch much TV in the cabin, the choice of channels was pretty limited. Great if you were into politics; if you wanted entertainment, you better like E! We were surprised at the photo galary on the TV monitor! Within hours of boarding, we had a photo of the 2 couples from our boarding. How did they know where we "live" just by taking a photo?? The couple we traveled with even received copies of our photos that had nothing to do with them. Not impressed with this "technology" Loved the behind the scene tour associated with Captains Club. The tour was great! Also enjoyed the Aqua Spa for relaxation and quiet and for their great lunches. Wish they played different music ... the trance music got to be annoying. I forgot all my books at home ... had great choices from the library! We weren't impressed with the entertainment. 4 vocalists; the others were dancers and fluff. The key singers weren't great, but it was entertaining. What we really hated was the fact that people showed up in the theater 2 days early to save seats! We tried Select Dining and had a 630pm reserved table every night. We felt like we had to rush thru dinner to get to the theater on time to make sure we got a seat. What time did the others get there??? We never had an opportunity to sit with all 6 of us together. Dining... Good food, Pretty good service. Definately better food and service than our last cruise (Carnival ... only because it was a special charter). Sometimes the servers disappeard for 15-20 minutes ... not sure what they were doing. One night we had dinner in the buffet area .. great pasta and we then enjoyed the peace and quiet of the Aqua Spa and hot tub to ourselves. Overall food was good. Loved the AM omelets and fresh fruit. (Last cruise: canned fruit on Carvinal). Only complaint was HORRIBLE coffee in the buffet area. When we added hot water and lots of milk, it was tolerable. Ice cream buffet was pretty good; some servers had major attitude.... not sure why they were so nasty. Gay/Lesbian get togethers were published but never attended. Attended the speaker program related to making coffee books of photos. The speaker had great ideas, but didn't know how to present. As a professional presentor, I don't let any "helpers" leave the room until I know the AV equipment works. She excused the techs and then complained day after day that she didn't have full access to technology. There was a daily happy hour offering 2-4-1 in the Passport Bar. You can't imagine how many people showed up! Seems to me that they could make a fortune if they frequently offered 2-4-1 drinks! The music was so loud during these 2-4-1 events ... you could not talk to your neighbors. Debarkation: Fabulous! We were off the ship within 10 minutes of calling our number (2). Housekeeping: good. No complaints. Nothing special. Did not do any tours sponsored by the ship. Thought the stop at Roseau, Dominica was a waste. The city is poor and we were uncomfortable walking abound town. We were constantaly hassled by locals. Great day at Orient Beach in St. Martin. St. Kitts: Aggressive locals trying to get you to take tours and taxis. Won't get off the boat next time! Love cruising, love Celebrity. Wish they wouldn't nickle and dime you like the other cruise companies ... Couldn't believe the number of people who didn't pay attention to the emergency briefling. So many folks talked through the briefing. Considering that a Costa cruise was drifting in the water due to a fire, people should have had the deccency to shut up and pay attention (or at least pretend). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
The December 27 sailing of Celebrity Equinox was our sixth cruise overall and second New Year's cruise. We're an energetic gay couple in our early thirties who tend to be relaxation-oriented while cruising. That is to say ... Read More
The December 27 sailing of Celebrity Equinox was our sixth cruise overall and second New Year's cruise. We're an energetic gay couple in our early thirties who tend to be relaxation-oriented while cruising. That is to say we're happiest on the beach or by the pool, cocktail-in-hand, and don't always take advantage of the myriad organized activity and entertainment options usually on offer (so you won't read much about them here). We also have little use for anything formal, but do notice and appreciate fine food and quality service. Pre-cruise After a harrowingly narrow escape from the northeast's Great Snowpocalypse of 2010 on the morning of December 26th, we stayed one night at Ft. Lauderdale's Hyatt Pier 66. We had a lanai room that opened out to the pool area. We enjoyed the Hyatt for its sleek aesthetic (lovely sliding louvered doors rather than curtains in the room, minimalist lobby, etc.), but found the hotel's location a bit bothersome. Yes, it's closer to the beach than hotels on the port side of the bridge, but we were only there for a few hours and just needed to get some shopping done and go out to dinner. This led us to the conclusion that we might be better off at the Embassy Suites, which seems to be situated in a more walkable area with more restaurants and stores nearby... We'll try that next time. Embarkation We headed to the ship at about 11:30 a.m. The new terminal is very well laid out and convenient. Clear signage and helpful staff abound. We easily located the line for Concierge Class and didn't wait a moment to check in. There didn't seem to be lines for any category, in fact. We walked right onto the ship without slowing down. Bravo. On Board For us, cruising has so much to do with the ship. For this reason, embarkation day is always one of the highlights of our trip... Exploring the public rooms and touring the facilities for the first time (with that signature glass of X welcome champagne, of course!) is always so exciting. And Equinox did not disappoint. Celebrity Equinox is truly spectacular. Easily the most beautiful ship we've had the good fortune to board. With stunning, modern, grand spaces (like the atrium bordered by eight glass elevators that travel 15 decks toward the sky) as well as intimate spaces (like Cafe al Bacio with its windows that look out onto the promenade, evoking that marvelous ocean liner feel) Equinox has it all. And somehow the ship feels even less crowded than other ships we've sailed on despite accommodating 1,000 more guests. After seeing photos, we'd imagined that the pool area might feel a bit closed in by the towering sun shades, but it doesn't at all. It's a truly awesome, open space. And nestled at the foot of each of those sun shade structures is a sort of mini-cabana - a wonderful place to spend a sea day. We were impressed with the Sky Observation Lounge and noted several times what a great space it was, but how underutilized it seemed to be. One of our favorite places on board was the Sunset Bar, aft on Deck 15. We spent many evenings up there with new friends. A truly fabulous venue for a sailaway cocktail... I hesitate to even mention it because I don't want anyone else to discover it! We also really enjoyed the Martini Bar on Deck 4. Barman Edy (pronounced "Eddie") is a genius. I won't say anything else because I don't want to spoil it for you. Just go spend some time with Edy and his colleagues. You'll be impressed! Overall - and in seemingly every design detail - Equinox is magnificent. One example is the feeling one gets when walking on Deck 4 between the Entertainment Court and the Grand Foyer... What could have been a simple corridor, or part of the casino, is a soaring airy space overlooked by the art gallery and Tastings/Molecular Bar area one deck above. This shopping arcade has a very upscale feel, as does nearly every inch of the ship. Design-wise, Equinox is so very chic. Not at all resort-y or kitschy. Just gorgeous. Stateroom We enjoyed our stateroom, Concierge Class (C3) 1277 on Deck 10 (bed near the verandah). The location aft of the atrium was ideal as we always wanted to ride on those amazing glass elevators rather than the less impressive forward set. Choosing a stateroom aft of the atrium also means the overhang from the public decks above is one deck higher (further removed) than it is from midship staterooms. This was our fourth cruise with a verandah stateroom and we were thrilled. The layout is truly awesome. I simply can't explain how they've made 200 square feet feel so spacious. A very comfortable space with tons of storage throughout. And the bathroom is almost shockingly large. We loved the furniture on the verandah and the fact that the sliding door can be fixed in any position on its track by rotating the handle to lock it in place. There's nothing like listening to the sea as you fall asleep. Absolutely the best stateroom we've had. Dining We ate everywhere on the ship we could! Tuscan Grille was our favorite. We enjoyed two evenings there and thought both the food and the service were unmatched. The filet couldn't have been more perfect. We thought the food at Murano was truly outstanding (the duck was extraordinary!), but the atmosphere was a bit too formal for our taste. Silk Harvest we thought was a lot of fun, with delicious food, but we are surrounded by excellent Asian food at home, so while Silk Harvest was a fun diversion, it was no culinary adventure for us. Still, I would recommend it without reservation. As I've mentioned, we like to keep things pretty casual on vacation, so the Bistro on Five proved to be a great fit for us. We never wanted to go to the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) for dinner, but there were two nights when we didn't feel like dressing up and having the whole Silhouette (MDR) experience either. On both of those nights we went to the Bistro on Five and enjoyed great food and excellent service in a much more casual, delightful atmosphere, for just a nominal fee. Surely the cover must be for crowd control. It's a wonderful place! The only restaurant we didn't get to try was BLU. Interestingly, one of the reasons we'd chosen Concierge Class rather than trying Aqua Class is that we thought we'd prefer Silhouette over BLU's "clean cuisine". If I were booking again today though, I'd choose Aqua Class. I found myself disappointed when friends who were in Aqua Class asked if we could be their guests at BLU one night and the maitre d' apologetically informed them that it was impossible. We would have really liked to try BLU. And of course, Aqua Class guest aren't obliged to eat in BLU, it's simply their option. And the setting is so much more intimate than the MDR that I think we would have enjoyed it, given our preferences. That said, however, the Silhouette Dining Room was very cool - glitzy and glamourous. And Celebrity Select Dining works very well. We made and changed reservations a few times without any trouble and never once waited to get in. The only downside is that you may not always get your preferred table... Another reason to try Aqua and BLU. If you value intimacy over glitz and glamour, that is. To each his own. Service The service aboard Celebrity Equinox was outstanding. Our cabin attendants Ozy and Alex were really wonderful. Never intrusive, but always eager to offer a cheerful greeting, run ahead of us to open the cabin door, or help with anything else. All the bar and restaurant staff were wonderful too. We had the premium beverage package and didn't notice even a hint of negativity about the arrangement from anyone. It's amazing that on a ship this large (the largest we've been on by a great deal), the service still feels so remarkably personal. The one negative issue that arose during what would otherwise have been a near-perfect vacation was Cruise Director Que's unwillingness to put an LGBT gathering in the Celebrity Today daily program. On previous cruises, this has never been a problem. Que explained to us that this is corporate policy and that "special interest" group meetings are only posted on a board near guest relations, never put in the cruise daily. Since we hadn't realized this was the case, we'd already missed two of these meetings and imagined there must have been others who were unaware as well. Putting an LGBT gathering (just a time and place) in Celebrity Today just once at the beginning of each cruise would make such a difference to LGBT guests and would require so little effort on the staff's part that I can't understand why Celebrity won't allow it. Still, we eventually did make a bunch of wonderful new friends and despite this issue, felt that overall the service aboard Equinox was first rate. Disembarkation Disembarkation was a breeze. We were assigned the 8:10 a.m. departure group (based on our flight out) and were told to meet in the Equinox Theatre at that time, and that there was no need to come early. We arrived at the theatre door at exactly 8:10, just as the activities staff was announcing that our group was welcome to proceed to the gangway on Deck 5. Just like on embarkation day, we didn't even stop moving. Just turned around and walked to Cafe al Bacio and off the ship. We found our luggage, made it through customs and were in a taxi before 8:25. Couldn't have been easier. Bravo once again. In Short Despite the one small issue with the LGBT gathering (will X change the policy?), Celebrity Equinox was precisely what we were looking for. The ship's fabulous public spaces, excellent facilities, multiple delicious dining venues, extremely comfortable quarters and friendly, professional service all made for a near-perfect combination. We look forward to being back onboard Celebrity's Solstice-class ships. Spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Flight to Athens was uneventful. Arrived on time, and took a cab to the Intercontinental Athens for one night. Hotel was beautiful, but, is in the middle of nowhere. They had a shuttle bus that takes you to and from the square in Athens ... Read More
Flight to Athens was uneventful. Arrived on time, and took a cab to the Intercontinental Athens for one night. Hotel was beautiful, but, is in the middle of nowhere. They had a shuttle bus that takes you to and from the square in Athens every half hour or so, but, we did not feel comfortable waiting for the shuttle at the square for the return because of all the beggars and vagrants. Next time, will stay somewhere closer to the Plaka district, even if the rooms are smaller. Embarkation was a breeze. For some reason, they said do not arrive at the pier until 3:00 pm. We got there around noon and were one of the first few people to board. We heard the line was very long later in the day as the Israeli immigration officials were checking everyones passport before boarding the ship in Athens. This cruise included a stop in Ashdod Israel. Upon boarding, we bought the soda card for 5.00 a day which turned out to be well worth it. Headed up to the buffet, had lunch and then headed to the cabin. The ship is quite nice. All the public rooms seemed very comfortable, and adequately sized. Everything looked new and clean. The one thing we found odd was the Lawn Club. It went unused most of the time and in my opinion, that space could have been put to better use. Maybe miniature golf or something would have been better. We were in a balcony cabin, deck 6 in the rear of the ship. The room was nice, and had plenty of storage, with a huge flat panel tv on the wall. The offered pay per view, and free for view movies, but the free for view movies did not work during our trip. There were plenty of other channels to pick from anyway. The balcony was large, but went unused because when we looked down the only thing we could see was the roof of the lifeboats. We usually like to watch the docking procedure, but that was impossible on this ship. When we sat down in the furniture on the balcony, you could hardly even see the water because of the life boats. I don't know why they did not recess the life boats like many of the other ships I have been on. I think most of the cabins are this way unless you book a hump cabin. The entertainment was very good. We did get to see the Equinox singers and dancers a few times which was enjoyable. The only entertainment we did not like were the musicians at the sunset bar at the back of the ship. Not only were they not entertaining, they gave us headaches. They played some Greek instrument for hours on end really loud, and was quite annoying. It sounded like some high school kid practicing in his garage. This was one of two areas which allowed smoking. Both areas were crowded, windy, (especially while at sea) and noisy. Some times we could not even find an ashtray that was not being used. When we asked the bartender for one, he just shrugged and said he did not have any more. Apparently you used to be able to smoke on deck 5, port side which would have been quiet, but they no longer allow that. The casino was nice. The machines seemed to pay better than any other ship I have been on, and there was quite a variety of them. The casino was empty whenever we went there, during the day or even after the shows, and you had your pick of the machines, and no waiting at the tables. The food was quite disappointing. We are not picky eaters but the food on this ship has to be the worst food of any cruise I have been on when comparing to NCL, RCCL, Carnival or Costa in the main dining room or buffet. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. They did serve ice cream in the buffet which was very good. The ports were great. The highlight was the Dead Sea and Massada tour in Israel. There was a historical tour to Massada, and then on to a resort in the Dead sea for lunch and a swim. I would not recommend this tour for anyone who may have trouble walking far or may have trouble being in the heat. I could see how the heat could be overwhelming for some folks. The worst tour we did was the Mt Etna tour. This tour consisted of a two hour hot cramped bus ride to the base of Mt Etna, where they drop you off at a small crater (large black rock filled hole)on the side of the mountain where there is a snack bar for an hour and a half. On the way back, the bus stopped at a small village which is just one souvenir shop after another. We would have been better off staying on the ship. Disembarkation in Barcelona was very easy. We put our luggage out the night before and waited until our number was called then picked up the bags on the carousel in the terminal. We took a short cab ride to the Eurostar Grand Marina hotel where our room was waiting for us. I highly recommend this hotel. It is within easy walking distance of everything and the hop on hop off bus stops right at the door. The front desk has discount tickets for the tour bus which we enjoyed for the rest of the day. In summary, we had a nice time, but I would not book this ship again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2010
Background information We travelled on Celebrity Solstice on 26/12/2009 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We enjoyed it so much that when I saw a good deal on this 25th June Eastern Mediterranean itinerary on the Equinox, sister ship ... Read More
Background information We travelled on Celebrity Solstice on 26/12/2009 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We enjoyed it so much that when I saw a good deal on this 25th June Eastern Mediterranean itinerary on the Equinox, sister ship to the Solstice with maiden voyage on the we jumped at the chance. This was a happy coincidence of a ship I knew I would enjoy visiting several destinations on my "must see" list; before I discovered cruising it would have been very hard to see this combination of breathtaking historical sites (including wonders of the ancient world) and idyllic islands. The sunrise approach into the volcanic caldera of Santorini must be seen to be believed. Travel to Port We booked a taxi for 110 euros to share with two fellow cruise critic users. We arrived at Fiumicino from London and they arrived from Dulles. Unfortunately, there was a general strike in Rome on our day of arrival and both our plans went awry! Many people were affected by the chaos and departure was delayed by 45 minutes to allow for this. Our taxi company sent separate cars for us as our flights arrived over seven hours apart. Our car made it to Civitavecchia with about 20 minutes to spare. The port is about 45 minutes drive from Fiumicino airport - we enjoyed the view of the ships in port as we descended into Italy after a stunning flight over the Alps. Stateroom Initially, we booked a category Z inside room. About a month before sailing we upgraded ourselves to a category X guarantee veranda. This was a great deal - we were allocated a 2C, room 6299. This is one of 7 rooms on the 6th floor with a double depth balcony. Half of it is uncovered and protrudes beyond all the balconies above you, allowing a glorious view up to the top of the ship. The view down is obstructed by two metres of the roof of the restaurant below protruding beyond the end of the balcony but the view out and to aft is completely unobstructed. The bed is close to the veranda and was in superb condition. This is a quiet part of the ship. We only heard noise from our neighbours on the day of disembarkation. I would recommend a room here again, choosing carefully between port and starboard dependent on ports of call in order to get the best view. Our bags were delivered within 30 minutes, we had a shower and headed to the sunset bar to meet our fellow cruise critics! Our ship was on the port side. This meant we faced the Straits of Messina in Sicily, the city of Athens at Piraeus (keep an eye out for the Acropolis in the distance - you can see the ship from the Parthenon!), the south side of the town in Kusadasi, the sea in Mykonos, the port at Rhodes and the city at Naples. The views were good from both sides of the ship. Dining What a treat! We dined in Tuscan Grille (twice), Murano, Silk Harvest and the Silhouette Dining room on all other nights including both formal nights. The formal nights were on the two sea days, having been moved from the day we called at Sicily. Main Dining Room: We ate at the late sitting. We changed tables after the first night as our original tablemates were pleasant but very quiet. We were reallocated by the Maitre d' without fuss and a card was given to us with our new table number. We were seated very close to the captain's table at a six seater round table with a British and an Australian couple. The food was filling and tasty! Highlights for me were the Caprese salad (beautifully presented with quarters of tomato and mozzarella arranged to make a round in the middle of the plate), the rack of lamb and the crème brulee (very large but perfectly crunchy on the top!). Service from our waiter, Pedro, was prompt, attentive and entertaining; he dealt very well with the number of different faces that ate at our table - whenever one couple went to a speciality restaurant, the other two couples found "substitutes" to fill in! We saw very little of the assistant Maitre d', who seemed rather quiet and as if on autopilot when she came around. Murano What can I say? The venue is delightful, the service personal and the food exquisite. If you enjoy fine dining and will only visit one specialty restaurant whilst on board, make it this one. There is a formal, French ambience to the restaurant. We were lucky enough to have a large table for two with a great view across the room, next to one of the windows. Try and get a table here if you can; they are intimate but well lit. Some tables are tucked away in less spacious corners. There is a tasting menu with paired wine (for a premium) and an a la carte menu. This time we ordered a la carte and were not disappointed. Our waiter, David, recommended three appetisers which would suit my salad and entree as I could not decide between the six on offer; I settled for the escargot fettucini with a parsley and garlic emulsion which was quite unlike anything I have tried before. He told me that this was one of the most popular choices with men whilst women prefer the goats cheese soufflE. I was glad to take the recommendation and enjoyed every mouthful! A pear and roqueforte dish followed and then the signature dish; Dover sole, filleted at the table side. It was meltingly good! I had the "six etoiles" dessert which consists of six small, inventive desserts presented in an overgrown test tube rack. Artistic and delicious! Tuscan Grille The Grille is at the back of the ship with large picture windows looking into the wake - breathtaking sunset views are offered as standard. I enjoyed the steak tartare particularly. The calamari on our second visit were a little tough but still delicious. The fillet mignon was just sublime; cooked rare (as requested), juicy and sweet. If you like tableside preparation, order the Caesar Salad. It was first prepared on the 4th July 1924, our waiter informed us as he made the salad. I won't give you any more details of the story as he tells it so well... pausing only when he realised it was 86 years to the day since it was first invented! Silk Harvest The food was delicious and the service probably the warmest on the ship. We did not think the food was unique or remarkable but we have eaten in a lot of superb Oriental restaurants. That said, the scallop and shrimp entree in particular was perfectly cooked and the sushi was fun. The same sushi is served at the Captain's Club event so you can get a taste of it there! We organised all our Excursions independent using tour guides recommended on CC or independent routes on public transport. All went without a hitch! Messina, Sicily 26 Cruise Critics got together via the Roll Call and I arranged, via Mario and Ignazio Astone (brothers) for a bus to take us all on a route up to Castelmola, then Taormina, a couple of scenic views including Isola Bella and then into Messina. On the bus with us were Laura (a marine biologist) and Ignazio, who shared the guiding. They were very informative and organised a great day. Castelmola is a beautiful old village perched high above Taormina at approximately 1800ft with views to Etna, down over the town and amphitheatre in Taormina and far over the bay of Giardini Naxos. It has a population of approximately 1000 people and is home to a surprisingly large and imposing Duomo as well as many interesting little streets and shops. Next we descending the windy, narrow road back to sea level in order to take a cable car ride up to Taormina, straight into the centre of town. Ignazio had kept this surprise to himself and we were delighted by the view... and by the fact that our 35 euro per person included the tickets for the cable car, cold drinks on the bus and some authentic Sicilian bakery snacks! I had some delicious antipasti in Taormina followed by Gelateria. We stopped to take pictures of Isola Bella before continuing to the Astronomical Clock in Messina. We were back on the boat by 5:45pm in time for a 7pm sailing. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
We have traveled on many cruise ships with many cruise lines and have been on several Celebrity ships but we have both agreed that our recent trip from March 29,2010 to April 9, 2010 on the Equinox was fabulous. We feel in love with the ... Read More
We have traveled on many cruise ships with many cruise lines and have been on several Celebrity ships but we have both agreed that our recent trip from March 29,2010 to April 9, 2010 on the Equinox was fabulous. We feel in love with the ship and all that it had to offer. Our cabin was lovely and we enjoyed our mornings sitting on the veranda and having our coffee while we sailed on the very blue Caribbean. Our cabin steward(Miguel) was wonderful and did not miss a thing including making sure we had everything we needed especially my ice water. Our dinner companions at our table came from England, Canada and Florida. We had a lot of interesting conversations spending longer than each night having our dinner at the 6:00 seating. Our table was 344 and our waiter Gary never rushed us. The food was very good most nights and though we did eat at the Tuscan grill and thoroughly enjoyed every morsel. Our ship stopped at Grand Cayman, Cartagena, Panama,Costa Rica, Roatan, & Mexico. The few trips we took from the ship were okay but the one we took in Roatan was not described correctly. They did not say that the trip to the ship wreck was going to entail jumping off the boat and swimming back to shore this was a problem for some. Most of the shows on board were very good, we especial like the performance by the ships cast, the dancers were fantastic. The only really bad night was when they had a singer named Travis, who thought he could impersonated other singer. Totally wrong, really bad and so was the ventriloquist the last time he preformed. Though we traveled on a full ship that had 355 children and over 45 countries represented you would only know that when we had to disembark the ship. That is something that Celebrity needs to improve upon. It is the time it takes getting to your luggage that was unorganized. We loved the ship so much we book another cruise for June, 2010 on the Eclipse to the Baltic. Great work Celebrity we look forward many more cruises with you 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

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