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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
The good: -Half of the entertainment -The cruise director -Half of the staff we came in contact with went above and beyond The bad: -The other half of the staff we came in contact with were EXCEPTIONALLY rude. I cannot ... Read More
The good: -Half of the entertainment -The cruise director -Half of the staff we came in contact with went above and beyond The bad: -The other half of the staff we came in contact with were EXCEPTIONALLY rude. I cannot count the number of times someone rolled their eyes at myself or my husband on this cruise. I don't remember the last time I was disrespected this often and this bad. -The wait staff and especially the room attendant acted as if everything was an imposition The neutral: -Average/below average ship -Food quality and offerings -Entertainment quality In the end, the service was either above and beyond GREAT or incredibly irritatingly, rude. There was very little middle ground there. The ship, cabin, entertainment and activities were all okay. We may cruise with celebrity again on a new ship, but I now realize how spoiled we were on Norwegian! They are definitely superior in ship quality, food, staff and entertainment (so, all the important things...). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
My wife and I took this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We are both in our mid-30s. We initially planned on taking another Princess cruise, where we are platinum, but Celebrity seemed like the better option this time given our ... Read More
My wife and I took this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We are both in our mid-30s. We initially planned on taking another Princess cruise, where we are platinum, but Celebrity seemed like the better option this time given our schedules and pricing. Our last cruise with Princess was 8 years ago, so in some ways, this review is a comparison between what we remember of Princess and the current Celebrity. Embarkation We booked Aquaclass, so we had expedited embarkation. This was by far the smoothest embarkation process I have ever had. We arrived at a little afternoon, and we were literally on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. They scanned our phone, went through a security line (no wait), and boarded. Our cards were outside of our room, so we dropped our luggage, grabbed our cards, and explored the ship. One annoying thing, probably 10 people asked us to buy a beverage package within the first 15 minutes on board. I felt like I needed a shirt that said: "I already have the premium beverage package" just so people would leave me alone! Ship Spotless. I know the Equinox just went through a dry dock, but the cleanliness exceeded my expectations. Throughout the cruise, the staff was constantly cleaning, everything from bathrooms to the bar stools. Everything was very beautiful. Very classy but modern ship. The solarium was very popular, but for good reason. Its the perfect place to lounge by the pool without getting fried in the Caribbean heat. The ship background music was definitely more modern than Princess. Celebrity certainly tries to portray a younger image, and I believe they do that well. Think more "Aria" than "Bellagio". Food Always subjective, but I found the food to be fantastic. We ate in Blu every night. Blu is what makes Aquaclass worth it. It is really like eating in a specialty restaurant every night. They make every effort to give you the same waiter. All the staff was amazing, lots of knowledge of the menu and the available choices. Bar staff was also excellent and efficient. Escargot every night was fantastic. Blu also services breakfast, which was just as good, the staff just as attentive. Blu is by far the best dining experience I have ever had on a cruise. We ate at the buffet for lunch a couple of days, along with Mast Grill. I would describe both as average. The buffet was normal fare, with a decent variety. The pizza was good but not as good as Princess (Princess pizza is by far the best cruise pizza I have had). Burgers at Mast Grill were just ok but hit the spot a couple of times while lounging by the pool. Staff and Service All the staff I encountered were polite, attentive, and efficient. I already addressed the staff at Blu, but beyond that, you can clearly tell there is a high standard of service on the ship. All staff members greet you when walking by, and will address you by name if they know it. There were never piles of dishes laying around the ship as we saw on our last Carnival cruise. Bar staff around the pools and in most bars were good but clearly overworked. They were always very busy. Part of me thinks since a lot of people already have beverage package, they staff fewer bar staff. Maybe I was imagining this, but it seemed like at some bars they needed double the staff. Entertainment I thought the theater shows were some of the best we have seen. Topper and Elysium were fantastic, much better than any cruise production shows we have seen on Princess. The theater was huge, so there was never any problem finding a seat. The Cruise Director Carlos was funny and not overbearing! There were no announcements in our cabin, which I appreciated. The hot glass shop was such a cool experience! My wife did it and we got to bring home a very cool souvenir. I will say there were fewer entertainment venues on the ship vs a Grand Class Princess ship. I missed a Vista Lounge! Final Thoughts I was glad we tried Celebrity. It was a great experience. Blu may have ruined me for normal dining rooms going forward. It really was amazing. Now that my wife and I have two younger kids, I think about cruises from that angle. I don't think I would take our kids on a Celebrity cruise. The best things about Celebrity (Service, ship, vibe) don't really work for kids. But I think you can say the same about Princess as well. Although I wouldn't say I am a Celebrity loyalist going forward, I look forward to taking our next Celebrity cruise, espcially is my wife and I can get away alone again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
hi we chose this cruise due to sail date and suite cabin option which included drink and tips. We have normally sailed with RCL so was good to hear membership was transferrable. We had a lovely spacious suite at back of boat very large ... Read More
hi we chose this cruise due to sail date and suite cabin option which included drink and tips. We have normally sailed with RCL so was good to hear membership was transferrable. We had a lovely spacious suite at back of boat very large balcony, bathroom good size also, not sure if room had been upgraded but all was good. Suite pool deck was fab very clean, quiet and comfy although service could be improved, appeared to be more their junior staff here. We did not utilise retreat lounge bar really last day as had drink package etc but again was lovely , nice bar free drinks, snacks etc again very quiet. A lot of areas had been refurbished so were very nice and stylish, loads of nice bars, live music, shows very good especially comedians, night life lot quieter than on RCL but enough for us. We went to murano which was very good staff excellent, as our anniversary we were given lovely cards, champagne and cake , butler i think organized.we also ate in blu more that our lumiere restaurant due to choice and atmosphere, although suite class restaurant food was excellent again just a little quiet at times, we also ate one night in main restaurant but preferred others but again no real issues. Food excellent, drinks eckennet, buffer even ok although a lot busier. Port stops good bar costa maya which was really just a nice walk around port with shops and bars, but enjoyed getting off ship and having a walk about. We didn't use gym or spa but did visit and looked good spec, pool area always busy but we didn't use this area, sun set bar at back of ship one of our favourites and world class bar, all staff very pleasant and quality very good would sail again on this ship and with celebrity. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We are an engaged couple (male 31; female 28; both military veterans) and took our first cruise on Celebrity Equinox. We chose Aquaclass for the spa access and after reading great reviews about the exclusive restaurant, Blu. We typically ... Read More
We are an engaged couple (male 31; female 28; both military veterans) and took our first cruise on Celebrity Equinox. We chose Aquaclass for the spa access and after reading great reviews about the exclusive restaurant, Blu. We typically travel "well," and this was truly one of our best experiences to date. We generally like low-key relaxing atmospheres with friendly people, but definitely still enjoy having drinks and such. This cruise matched our lifestyle to a T. EMBARKATION: We showed up towards the end (had a late brunch with a family member in Ft Lauderdale) so almost no one was there. Super easy and got on the ship without issue and in less than 5 minutes. CABIN: We were in Cabin 1630 and had a balcony. We thought it was perfect. Bigger than expected and very comfortable bed/sheets. SHIP: Overall (and we have nothing to compare it to), we thought the ship was great. It's not so big that it's overwhelming, but small enough where you can get anywhere quickly. Elevators usually worked fine. Great decor and seemed fairly updated. The only minor critique would be that the pools are very small (and the hot tubs even smaller), but again not sure if this is typical because we have nothing to compare to. *DINING*: This is really where our praise lies. Blu restaurant was absolutely amazing. Between the quality of food and the STELLAR service from Putu and his team, our expectations were shattered. It was so good that it has made me realize most of the US-based service industry is full of whiny grouchy servers and restaurants that charge astronomical prices simply because they can. We stayed in Miami for a few days after the cruise and every restaurant was terrible following our experience in Blu. Note that you need to stay in Aquaclass to have access, but it's really not that much more expensive and definitely worth the extra cost. I would recommend googling the Blu menus, as they have some really interesting choices. Also, the sky is the limit (meaning you can order as much as you want). We were especially happy with their allergy-friendliness (fiancee has celiac). The chef prepared anything she wanted and checked with her as to what she would like for the following evening. I cannot say enough great things about Blu, both for the quality of food and outstanding friendly service. We tipped extra at the end. SERVICE: In addition to the great service in Blu, I should also mention our awesome stateroom attendant, Gede. If he is the standard for the rest of the ship, then no reasonable person could ever lodge a serious complaint about anything. We wanted for nothing and felt like it was personalized service even though he had several other rooms each day. We also tipped extra for his great service. As for the rest of the ship, everyone is so friendly and welcoming (even if this is a show, they do a great job; fake it til you make it!). From the bartenders to greeters, 5-star all around. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: (all excursions booked online for a discount through the ship ahead of the cruise) - Puerto Rico: we did a self-guided tour of the old fort. Cool place to see, but not much else to do around there - St Thomas: did the catamaran excursion to St John and snorkeling. Great time and highly recommended. They also include a LOT of free drinks on the way back. - Tortola: we did the Escape to Jost Van Dyke and HIGHLY recommend it. White Bay Beach is the nicest beach I have ever seen in the world (and I have been to over 30 countries). Also basic lunch included and a drink. We ended up walking to another beach bar for more privacy and drinks. - Bahamas (Nassau): unfortunately, this was the only port it rained (early formation of Dorian) and our excursion to Pearl Island was cancelled. Ended up taking a cab to Atlantis with another couple and having quite a few drinks at a beach bar. Still a great time. SPA: Spa access is a great included feature of Aquaclass. The steam room, heated tile beds overlooking the water, and aromatherapy rooms were an awesome daily experience. OVERALL: The food in Blu and the stellar service from Putu's team and our stateroom attendant, as well as the general relaxing atmosphere of the ship, are what made our first cruise such a great experience. We met several experienced cruisers who told us that Celebrity is by far the best non-luxury line (we plan to test out those lines in a few years). We are excited to book our next cruise with Celebrity, perhaps on the Edge after seeing an ad for it on board. We also felt that the trip was a great value for our money, especially for what was included in Aquaclass. We overheard a few other couples saying that their MDR experiences were not that great. We signed up for the Captain's Club and plan to be back asap. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We have just returned from a great week on the Equinox. This was our 12th Celebrity Cruise and 20+ overall. This ship is in excellent condition and very beautiful in all the public areas. This was our first time in a suite and we ... Read More
We have just returned from a great week on the Equinox. This was our 12th Celebrity Cruise and 20+ overall. This ship is in excellent condition and very beautiful in all the public areas. This was our first time in a suite and we both agree the experience was amazing. The retreat sundeck and the lounge were both great experiences as well as eating in Luminae. We never really figured out what the Butler was there for and ended up utilizing him very little. As an Elite Celebrity guest we both agree that the suite experience was great but that overall, Celebrity is just better at customer service then other lines. We enjoyed Michele Redding the guitarist and would typically end up heading to where he was to enjoy the music and views of the ocean. We both agree, that the ship never seemed to be crazy busy even in the Oceanview Cafe? Ports: San Juan- Just ok, been there before and getting in at 3;30 leave very little time to do very mush except walk around the town and shop. St. Thomas- Rented a Jeep and went to Hull Bay and then to Brewers Bay. Both were very nice and much less crowded! Tortola- Book an excursion to Virgin Gorda- This really is a must while in the area. It is a beautiful island. All of them are in various stages of recovery but still beautiful places to visit. Upon leaving Tortola make sure to be up top as you sail through the Drake Channel - very picturesque. Nassau- stayed on board. It rained but this place is really a poor choice for Celebrity. Wish they would head elsewhere like Key West?? We will for sure be back on the Equinox and Celebrity Cruises Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I decided to try a summer Caribbean cruise after 40 cruise. We decided on the Equinox, as the Solstice class is our favorite class of Celebrity ships. We flew in the day of the cruise, which is also something we typically ... Read More
My husband and I decided to try a summer Caribbean cruise after 40 cruise. We decided on the Equinox, as the Solstice class is our favorite class of Celebrity ships. We flew in the day of the cruise, which is also something we typically never do, and IMO will not do again as it is too stressful. The ship is in great shape- she had a mini renovation recently. However it was very disappointing. We enjoy the "suite life" and were recently on the edge, which had great suite perks. The Equinox however didn't. The suite deck is very limited and really just a deck with many lounge chairs- all in full sun most of the day. Unlike the Edge, no pool, bar, hot tub or shaded areas. We were in a Royal suite, which also wasn't revolutionized, but a great cabin- albeit could use new carpet. Loved the bath and a half. Our butler was clearly overworked. We didn't get the level of service we have come to expect with celebrity. The food in luminae was exactly the same as it has been for many years- fair at best- time to change up the menu. The buffet was good- but crowded as expected. We also dined in the specialty restaurants which were all excellent- except we aren't sushi fans and didn't dine in that restaurant. The shows were very second rate- Many one act wonders, and acts we have previously seen. Even the one production show was exactly the same as we saw on the Silhouette a year before. On a positive note, the live music over the ship was very good. Most of the service was excellent, especially at the Martini bar. We were also lucky to sail with Captain Kate. She was great! Unfortunately left the cruise early to go on the Edge. Loved bug her cat! We spent some time in the Alcoves on the lawn. They should have a top feature to block the sun- so early in the AM it was too sunny for us. Liked the movie screen, enjoyed seeing the movies- but when the movies weren't playing too many infomercials about the Edge. They were looped and on for hours. Enjoyed spending time at the spa pool. The suite lounge was renovated- but very poorly. The suite concierge stands at a podium- and the guests talking to her/him, also standing- Not an inviting area to enjoy a conversation and plan events for your cruise- The decor albiet very modern was okay. Chairs were comfortable. The lounge wasn't planned out properly. Also, on previous cruises, the suite bartenders would go out of their way to be sure the alcohol you wanted was available in the lounge- this trip- we were told sorry go to the martini bar as we do not have the ingredients. The shops were fair- no great things to purchase- but that helped save us money! We really enjoyed Cozumel- spent a day at a beach resort- Costa Maya was a disappointment. Perhaps the time of year- but the beach was loaded with smelly seaweed. We could swim in the ocean. But the port is nice and we should have just stayed at the port. Grand Cayman is beautiful and 7 mile beach is wonderful. We didn't get off in Key West. Due to an itinerary change, we went to key west the last cruise day- we had to stop at a naval base- so it wasn't in the heart of town. Also, because it was a US port- we had to line up at 7AM to get a sticker on our seapass card. Crazy! couldn't sleep the day after chic night- even if you didn't want to go off the ship- you had to line up. Much prefer doing a US port at the beginning of the cruise. Disembarkation was easy as was embarkation. We didn't go to any art shows or use the casino- Overall, it was a restful vacation and we enjoyed the ship. Next cruise Celebrity cruise will be on the Edge (2nd) time! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose aqua to celebrate our 20th anniversary and were very pleased! Blu food was universally excellent as were the servers, though they seemed a little in the weeds at peak times. The Persian gardens were immaculately clean. We ... Read More
We chose aqua to celebrate our 20th anniversary and were very pleased! Blu food was universally excellent as were the servers, though they seemed a little in the weeds at peak times. The Persian gardens were immaculately clean. We spent at least an hour a day here and it was nearly deserted each time. Do not understand why more don’t use this feature! Sushi on Five was amazing - we ate there twice and loved it each time. Le petit chef, however, was not worth the investment. Long meal, over cooked steak and a truly terrible dessert (Macha cake). First 2 courses were excellent however. Buffet - Indian was quite good as was the homemade guacamole. Otherwise was fine. We had just one production show for the week -Life. This show was amazing!! The aerialists were unbelievable and 2 of the singers were awe inspiring - and the others were excellent too. We enjoyed trivia daily and it was excellent. We also did a few of the game shows in the evening and each was well attended and a lot of laughs. Our only celebrity shorex was discover scuba on grand cayman. The excursion itself was excellent but the meetup was chaotic, hot and ran quite late. Embark and debate were quickest we’ve ever had - super easy and smooth. We’d recommend this cruise to anyone. We had a blast on this cruise and really reconnected. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple ... Read More
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple chic" atmosphere and the efforts to offer high quality service. We know there is not as much activities and features as other cruise lines and ships, but this is what we are looking for. A quiet high quality vacation. And this is what the Equinox has always delivered for us. This 3rd cruise on that ship was the best. The service, the food and the overall vibe were perfect for us. We were on the Equinox last December. To be totally honest, the "Revolution" is barely visible. The hull was painted blue (find it nice), a few public venues have been updated, the stateroom locks are now RFID based and the signage font has been modified. A small evolution is more representative of the changes, not a revolution. But it did not matter to us as the Equinox was still in good shape last December and they keep maintaining it very well. Stateroom Attendant : Iis was our room attendant. She was wonderful. So efficient, polite and genuinely caring. We would always see her smiling. She quickly understood our preferences, our little requests and our activity patterns. Such that the room was always in grate shape when we came back and stocked to our liking. We really appreciated the fact that Iis was so efficient, but not always roaming around our room. One of the best attendant we had. Food : We dined 6 nights at the MDR. We had gone for Anytime Dining. Never waited more than 3 min (but we had made reservations before hand in the Celebrity App prior to departure). We always appreciated the MDR and this cruise was no different. Actually we found that the food was a notch above what we had in December (and we thought that the December food was great). We were super lucky as we were assigned the same waiter we had in December: Duarte. He is THE best waiter we ever had. He is so attentive, efficient, polite, knowledgeable and always with a smile. He quickly understood our taste and proposed great combinations. His service makes the MDR experience even better. Even though the menu was essentially the same as our December cruise we had some of the same choices and also tried some new items. It did not feel like a repeat to us and we fully enjoyed the meals. Martinez was our assistant waiter. He made a great team with Duarte. He was also always smiling and he worked almost like a ninja. Fast in filling up glasses before we would ask and almost working in the shadows. The MDR hostess was Mariana. Such a lovely hostess. Some nights were very busy and you she would managed to still treat you like royalty as if there was no one else around. Always keeping her cool laughing and smiling. We also tried for the first time Murano. It was a very nice experience. We had a combination of Chateaubriand and Lobster. The lobster is table side prepared and was soooooo good. The Chateaubriand was also delicious, but I found my wife’s beef Wellington at the MDR to be even more perfect. It was nice to have a meal in a setting that seemed more like a restaurant (a bit quieter and more upscale). Would we do Murano again? Maybe, but not on our next cruise. We would likely try Tuscan Grill, just to get some variety. At Murano we had the honour of having Aurore as our sommelier, She is great. Her passion for wine is contagious. Her suggestions were very good and she convinced us to participate in the « around the world » wine tasting event that occurred the next day (at sea). What a fun activity. For 30$/person you get to taste 12 different wines and a few types of cheese. Very nice experience and Aurore definitely stood out as the best sommelier. Her explanations and suggestions made the experience even better. We also tried the 8 course japanese meal at « Sushi on 5 » with Sake pairing. This was lunch on the late arrival day (ship arrived in San Juan at 3h30 pm). The food was so good. Very plentiful and very varied (not just sushi). Tried very unusual (and tasty) types of Sake. A very unique experience. For breakfast and lunch we mostly did the Oceanview Café. Breakfast selection is mostly constant through the whole week, but good selection and quite good. Lunch selection varies a bit more during the week. My only complain is that the lunch buffet stops at 2h30 pm and they really do remove all of it super fast. So if you had a late breakfast or are coming back from an excursion you better get there before 2h30 pm. They do still put out some food between 2h30 - 6h00 pm, but selection is much more limited (pizza, pasta, cold cuts, salads and desert). On RCCL they had the full lunch buffet going until 4 pm or even later. But food was good and plentiful. We love having breakfast and lunch on the outside terrasse at the back of the ship. Entertainment : As we had cruised on the Equinox last December, we had already seen the big ticket shows. We had really enjoyed them at the time so this time elected not to see them again and enjoy more the rest of the ship in the evening. We did go to the 3 standup comedian shows. We found them quite funny. A lot of improv and interaction with the crowd. The house band and various singers were very good. Especially Sashi who was the solo singer. She would be seen at various locations throughout the week. Ports of call : We did appreciate that we had two sea days on this cruise (but this is very personal. some may disagree). San Juan : We were weary of the late arrival to San Juan (3h30 pm). But we actually enjoyed it. It allowed us to wakeup late, take our time and enjoy the 8 course sushi meal. And THEN go tour San Juan. We walked by ourselves old San Juan and did a thorough visit of the Castillo del Morro. Ship leaving at 11h00 pm gave us plenty of time to visit and be back on time. Hint: there is a Walgreen and a CSV right there by the dock. Perfect to buy last minute items, bottled water, etc. US Virgin Islands : We had booked an excursion to Turtle Bay / Buck Island with Celebrity (Caribbean Fast Cat Island Snorkelling and Beach). The tour was very well organized. All the staff was positive, energetic, very service oriented. Departed and arrived on time. The transit to Buck Island was a bit bumpy due to windy and choppy conditions. A few folks got sea sick (my wife included), but staff onboard were really caring about them. The snorkelling area had nice clear water. Not too deep. Unfortunately we saw no turtle, just a few small colourful fishes. The corals were ok. Nothing spectacular. We then went to Honeymoon Beach. Nice little beach actually very close to Charlotte Amalie (but you feel much farther). Very nice clear water. Restrooms available and two small restaurants. British Virgin Islands : This was the highlight of our cruise. We had booked the « Tour to Virgin Gorda Baths » excursion with Celebrity. This included a fast ferry ride to Virgin Gorda Island followed by a 5-10 min open-air bus ride to the Baths. Ferry was clean and both rides were nice and efficient. Likewise for the bus rides. Once arrived we walked 10-15 min to first beach. The walk was quite beautiful. The scenery is very desert like. Quite surprising. Cactus and desert vegetation. Very beautiful. And then the beach Wow! That was a nice beach. The sand and water really resemble Pacific islands (Tahiti). The beach was surrounded by beautiful rocks and boulders. Stead there 30-40 min. Then we slowly walked our way to a second beach. This walk was through the world famous rocks and grottos. Very unique experience! These rocks have been shaped by thousand of years of water current. So beautiful! You do not get water above your waist (hardly above your knees actually). You have to step some stairs and ladders. All very well laid out. The second beach was also splendid! Rocks and perfect water. Very well worth it! Other excursions were coming directly to the baths by catamaran. Then the folks had to swim from their anchor point all the way to the beach. And you do not get to do the nice walk from the parking to the beach. There are washrooms at the second beach and a small restaurant that also sells drinks (and bottled water). Nassau : We booked a beach break at Blue Lagoon with Celebrity. It started not so good. The ship arrived at 12h30 a few minutes after a large MSC ship and a smaller Royal Caribbean vessel. So a flood of passengers just got of those ships almost simultaneously. As we shared the same dock with the MSC ship, the area was very busy and chaotic. It took about 45 minutes before we boarded the ferry to Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon staff did their best but there was many people everywhere and little space. But once we got onboard the ferry things became fine. On the island we headed straight for the North Beach. This beach is on the Caribbean Ocean (not the internal Lagoon). Very pristine beautiful water (a good number of large rocks at the bottom though) and there were just 10-20 people there. Very quiet and calm. We had lunch at their buffet. Had a choice between burger, chicken burger, BBQ chicken and foot long hot-dog with a choice of sides (fries, rice & peas, fried plantain, salad, veggies). We had the hot dog that was quite good. Loved the plantain! The restaurant area was al-fresco, looked brand new and very clean (staff always cleaning up). Good lunch ! They also included iced tea or lemonade. A bit too sweet, but this is quite personal :-) All in all a nice beach break. There seemed to be a lot of activities offered for families and kids, but we just wanted quiet time by the water and that is what we got. The ferry back was also uneventful. Could catch nice views of fancy houses and Atlantis. Embarkation : we had done the online checkin using the Celebrity App. We had also taken our photos using the App. I was a bit apprehensive of privacy, but they take our photos over at the port anyway. But it turned great. By the time we were dropped off the taxi to the time we were at the Oceanview Cafe looking at the buffet, there was maybe only 10 minutes! Most of it spent walking up the stairs to the buffet. Our stateroom keys/cads were waiting for us at our room. The face recognition worked great and allowed us to bypass any lineup. BTW, Terminal 25 is brand new and very beautiful… but we only spent 2 min there. Disembarkation : similar experience for disembarkation. Once off the ship we went through facial recognition check with Customs (super fast) and the preceded to pick up our luggage that was waiting in a huge room, grouped by sections. Once we had our luggage we just walked off the terminal. No extra customs line up. Again an affair of just a few minutes. Celebrity as embarkation nd disembarkation really down to a science. Captain Kate : Much has been written about Captain Kate. I have to admit that my wife and I are now part of the fan club. Her daily announcement were fun and educational and you could see her all over the ship. She seemed to genuinely care about the guests and also her staff. She was also very keen in acknowledging her officers and their achievements. A nice touch! And the icing on the cake: she does really shake every passenger hands (if they want to) when you disembark! Not required, but very appreciated. It was a real pleasure sailing with her. By the way: YES ! they did remove the foot rests on the balconies. Is it that bad? Not really. The balcony table is also smaller! A real disaster? No, we managed with the smaller table and still had breakfast overlooking the ocean. I agree those are not the best decisions, but hey! nothing to really influence our cruise and experience. All in all a very good cruise on the Equinox. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise in the Future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 2nd Celebrity cruise out of 18+ past cruises on NCL, Carnival, Princess. Celeb.'s the BEST from beauty, cleanliness, very kind staff, & beautiful rooms. Not sure if Aqua class was worth the $$ as our tickets said to ... Read More
This was our 2nd Celebrity cruise out of 18+ past cruises on NCL, Carnival, Princess. Celeb.'s the BEST from beauty, cleanliness, very kind staff, & beautiful rooms. Not sure if Aqua class was worth the $$ as our tickets said to arrive at 11AM and it was very crowded, w/ only "Elite" members given priority boarding, thus it took 35 min. in long lines :( The "Canape's"each afternon included 4 small items incl. tiny shrimp (we dont' like fish), or we were out in the port thus we ate very little. BLU Rest., Relaxation Room & Persian Gardens WERE WONDERFUL tho...great to get away from the literally hundreds by the pools & restaurants. Hard to get drinks from pool/sunset bars as they need more staff. Our "Classic" Alcohol package was expensive, and each bar only had 1-3 drinks on their menu for the max $9.00 price we were allowed, most were $10-$12. We're on a tight budget & didn't want to spend more. Somelier Michel in BLU to the rescue as he saw what I liked to drink & offered to make a cocktail I've never had that was WONDERFUL! No one's ever done that before. Quick effecient service in Blu who allowed us to order off the Reg. Dining Room menu (French onion soup oozes w/ melted cheese over the rim, Beef Wellington AWESOME, & incredible appetizers & 4 diff. kinds of breads w/ candlelight & the ocean feet away...waht would be better?!) "Up-selling" occured the moment you step aboard w/ drink & meal packages, shore excursion/spa 'deals', which is not a great way to be greeted. OVER THE TOP staff included Room Steward Arvin, ALL staff in BLU rest., Patrick the Shore Excur. Director, & of course Capt. Kate, looks like Sandra Bullock, incredible w/ ALL psgrs.even shaking our hands when we got OFF the ship (who does THAT?!) Embarkation took 30 min :( w/ long lines, but our tickets said to arrive at 11am (we made it at 11:30 d/t TRAFFIC w/ an Uber driver who only spoke Spanish. Other "Aqua" psgrs. said they got on at 10 am and avoided it all..please make this clear on our tickets Celebrity :) Disembarking took 35 min. of LONG lines stopping/starting as the the "Facial Recognition" devices didn't work. Lack of COMMUNICATION is the issue. We know glitches occur, but announce it to us, SHARE why we are standing in the heat inside the terminal (no A/C?) dragging our suitcases along. When I say a pier employee let 6 people go ahead of 50 I asked why & she said they had "Global Entry passes." Well so did we, but it's iencripted in our Passports but she said we had to have a 'card', & that we need to let all staff know this. Shheezzz! Again, no signs (please elevate them, we can't see em in the crowds!) , we had no idea and she eventually let us in. Again, another Uber driver w/ NO English, $20 fee to the the airport on a Sat. at 10 am d/t 'prime time'. 2 Commedians & Ventriloquist were so-so, chatting w/ the audience (ho-hum). Beautiful music in lounges & 10th Anniv. Gala were wonderful. Food was plentiful, great variety, exquisite service/tasty and sooo appreciated. Ocean View Cafe is the ONLY place to eat when getting on ship w/ literally thousands there causing lines, hot & humid lunch. We tried to go to Sillouette Dining but it was 'closed for a Concerige event.' Very frustrating & other venue needs to be available! I made a 7" vase at the Hot Glass class on the 15th deck...UNIQUE, Jill was my 1 on 1 teacher and patiently helped me. DO this, it's $106 for the vase (other items are less), but it's great taking home a useful souvinere and the experience wa 1 of a kind. Celebrity is the only ship that has this option, but go UP to the deck and SIGN UP early as you can't do it on-line and they sold out (esp. on sea-days). The Cruicible and "Glory Hole" were very hot, and the science of glass-making challenging yet Jill helped all along the Way! Great job Celebrity, the negative comments are meant to help improve your 5* ship even more, but we'll definalty be back when we can afford it! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first cruise for just my wife and I without having our kids onboard. Previous cruises have all been family cruises on Royal Caribbean. We are both in our early 50's. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before our ... Read More
This was the first cruise for just my wife and I without having our kids onboard. Previous cruises have all been family cruises on Royal Caribbean. We are both in our early 50's. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and took the hotel shuttle to the Hyatt Place on 17th Street, near Port Everglades. We took an Uber to/from dinner on Los Olas Boulevard- about $8 each way. Many restaurants and bars in the area to choose from. On departure day, our hotel offered shuttle service to the port, I believe it was about $10 per person. We took an Uber for $8.50 total, plus tip. Our Uber driver dropped us off by the luggage porters, just after 10:30am. I gave one of the porters a tip and he took our bags right from the trunk of the Uber. We didn't have to touch our bags again until they were outside our cabin a few hours later. Check in was flawless. We did all the registration online months ago, so Celebrity already had our passports, photos, credit card info for onboard charging and all other necessary items. We showed our passports and express passes and headed for security. Surprisingly, my bag wasn't physically inspected. I had two bottles of champagne in there, a medium sized bottle of Listerine and my electronics bag- full of wires, plugs, battery packs, and a 6 outlet USB hub- which was perfect for charging all of our electronics. We then took a seat and waited to board the ship. I BELIEVE the suite guests boarded right after they went through security, but everyone else started boarding at 11:00am. Priority boarding, like the airlines, based on class and Captain's Club status, so we were towards the bottom. We were greeted on Deck 5 with a Kir Royale and headed to our cabin to drop off our backpacks, pick up our seapass and head to lunch. We were in the lunch buffet line by 11:30. It was crazy, but there was plenty of seating available. The lunch buffet was very good and has many options- pizza, deli sandwiches, fresh fish, Asian, Indian, Mexican.... For the sailaway on Day 1, we were on deck 15, in front of the basketball court. This was a great view. We also watched a sailaway from our balcony, Sunset Bar and we were invited to the helipad for a sailaway. My personal favorite view was from the Sunset Bar. We both agreed that the Helipad view was really nothing special compared to the other views, even though it is an invitation only event. Dining- We booked Tuscan, Sushi on 5 and Murano in advance a few months ago. We LOVED the dinner on our first night at Tuscan. Appetizer portions are small and are sized for one person, so sharing a few apps was great and not overfilling. Entrees and dessert are delicious and Tuscan had a nice selection of Italian wines to choose from. On the second night we went to the main dining room. While the service and food there is very nice, it wasn't for us. It's a BIG room, loud, bustling, but has good quality food. However, we had a small, quiet, intimate dinner the night before at Tuscan with high quality food and service. We decided to book more specialty dining for the rest of the cruise. So on day 3, we saw one the specialty restaurant people outside the buffet. They saw our other reservations and gave us a package for reduced rates to cover the remainder of the cruise. I know some people think it is a waste to spend money for specialty dining when the MDR is already included, but it was well worth it for us. The value and quality of food we received in the specialty dining was far greater than what we paid. We like the quiet, fine dining experience and service. The MDR is great when traveling with family or a large group, but the specialty dining made a trip for just the two of us much more enjoyable. Day 3 we had dinner at Le Petite Chef. Yes, it's a gimmick, but it's unique gimmick and the food was delicious. Check YouTube for Le Petite Chef to see what it is if you don't know. We saw the 4 chef competition- Spanish, Italian, French and Japanese. Day 4 we went to Sushi on 5. Great service again, super fresh tasting fish, great variety. I had the premium drink package, so I was able to enjoy PLENTY of Junmai Daiginjo sake at no additional charge. Day 5 we had a second dinner at Tuscan. We ordered different items than we had on Day 1 and were equally as impressed. That leaves Murano, which we did on Day 7. Wow! Impeccable service and food. We both started with a soup and then shared a Lobster Murano, prepared tableside, and Chateaubriand for two, also prepared tableside. Phenomenal! My ONLY complaint about Murano was the wines. While they have an extensive wine list, the by the glass selections was basically the same as the other restaurants. There was ONE high end French white- Joseph Drouhun Chablis, Premier Cru. It was $29 a glass. (we paid the $14 difference plus tip difference from our package to drink a wine that matched the food quality). When the wine arrived, we were told the Drouhin was out, but they would pour us the Faiveley Chablis Grand Cru for the same price. That's like ordering a Cadillac, but getting a Mercedes instead. GREAT wine. But then for reds to have with the Chateaubriand, the only two French wines by the glass was Mouton Cadet and Bertrand- a used Ford and a Chevy. We had Decoy Cabernet instead- a very good wine, but not at the same level as the Chablis or the entree. It would be nice to have some higher end French reds by the glass, or higher end red wines in general. Overall, specialty dining could use a wine list (BTG specifically) overhaul and be unique to the restaurant and separate from (or in addition to) the main dining wine list that the corporate office has contracted. Captain and Crew- They were all great. Capt Kate was very visible and interactive with guests. But most importantly, I always felt the ship was safe and in capable hands. She is definitely someone for young girls (and boys) to emulate. Maarten Breuls, the Cruise Director, was born to do that job. Entertaining, engaging, self deprecating, enthusiastic- all the while coming across as genuine and not cheesy at all. The rest of the crew, starting with our cabin steward, Ariel, restaurant servers, bartenders, etc. were extremely helpful and courteous. Regardless of what I asked for, I was never told "no". It may cost extra, but if you request something within reason, Celebrity staff will accommodate. My favorite places on the ship. The Martini Bar. The bartenders made it the best bar and most fun place on the ship for us. They are friendly, entertaining and helpful. It was also in a perfect location for us when headed to dinner (forward cabin, aft dining, martini bar in the middle) or to an after dinner show in the theater. The Sunset Bar was my second favorite bar and favorite sail away location. The Sunset Bar is also the only place to have a cigar while onboard- on the port side. Cafe al Bacio was great for a morning pick me up espresso, afternoon pick me up espresso and evening sweets. I also enjoyed the Sky Observation Lounge. It was a nice quiet place with a great view to read a book, catch a break from the heat of the pool deck, grab a quiet drink or play trivia. And I loved my cabin for an afternoon nap or sitting on the balcony watching the waves or having breakfast room service. Entertainment. The highlight shows for us were the two comedians who did two different shows each- Phil Tag and Rich Aronovitch. Both had a family friendly show that we attended. They were both hilarious while being clean, so we returned for their late night adults only show. Even funnier and really not that dirty of shows. We also saw two musical shows. One was what I would call a singing impersonator and a Frankie Valli tribute group. They were both entertaining, but neither was my music style. I think they had more appeal for an older crowd. Ship WiFi. I completely understand that on a steel ship with many decks and many walls, it is difficult to get a good signal, but for the price that Celebrity charges to have WiFi, they need to make it better. I don't know if WiFi repeaters are the answer, but something needs to be done. I paid $80 for the seven days to have an internet surfing package for one device- my iPad, which was left in my room. I had it to communicate with my kids, check sports scores, internet, social media, Cruise Critic, etc. I didn't put it on my phone because I wanted to be cut off from work and to relax. It was SLOW. Dial up slow, or never loading slow. Maybe the full internet package was better, but I wouldn't spend more money when even checking emails of Facebook in my cabin took 5 minutes to load. Celebrity phone app. It's really not much before or after the cruise, but while on the cruise it was fantastic and had so much more information loaded onto it than you can see when you're not sailing. You can use it at no extra charge with the ship's WiFi and your phone on airplane mode. My wife and I were mostly together, but we found the texting on the app to work well- although you need to check the app to see if you have a message. Your phone won't ding if the app is closed. And again, because the ship's WiFi is weak, messages were delayed sometimes if you weren't in a good location. I LOVED the daily calendar and being able to move the things you want to do to your own calendar. It was nice not to have to carry around the paper list of activities. I just wish there was a reminder notification- because I did forget about a few things that I wanted to do that I put on my calendar. Specialty dining and excursions booked through Celebrity are automatically added to your "My Calendar". Disembarking. Like embarkation, disembarkation was flawless and painless. My account was setup with a credit card to pay for onboard charges, so we didn't need to see guest services to check out. We had a 12:15pm flight out of FLL, so we weren't in any hurry to leave. We left our suitcases outside our door the night before and they were taken off the ship the next morning for us. We left our cabin about 8am and waited in the Equinox Theater for about 40 minutes. We scanned our sea pass cards, said good bye to Capt Kate and got our luggage and headed out the door. I looked at taking an Uber or Lyft to FLL, but by this time, a great number of passengers were already off the ship and both apps said there would be a wait for a car and the cost would be about $16. So we walked to the taxi line and took a taxi. It was $20 plus tip. We were at the airport before 9:30am. Would we cruise Celebrity again? Absolutely. I didn't mention excursions because I thought this was already lengthy and I think others cover that well. But we weren't too impressed with the Beach Day in Costa Maya. Not a very pretty beach. We loved the tour to Tulum from Cozumel/Playa del Carmen. We did the Tulum tour through a private tour company, set up by our travel agent. The tour was great, but we got back to the ship at 3:17. All aboard was 3:30. I didn't like cutting it so close. We had to take a ferry back from Playa del Carment to Cozumel. Then get off the ferry, wait in a taxi line, go through Cozumel traffic and get to the ship. Many opportunities for something to go wrong. So check the return time when using a private tour. It may be worth the extra money to use the ship's excursion. Lastly, although there was two us, we did spend some time apart on the ship. I can't speak for someone who traveled as a single, but I always found someone at the bar, buffet, Cafe al Bacio, pool deck...who was friendly to talk to. If I was to go on a ship as a single, I could see this ship as being very fun one for a single traveler. But that comes from my limited experience of a few hours here and there. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just finished up a week on the Celebrity Equinox- Eastern Caribbean Itinerary and it was, overall, a great experience. However, I would be less than honest if I didn't also state that the cruise fell a bit short of expectations. ... Read More
Just finished up a week on the Celebrity Equinox- Eastern Caribbean Itinerary and it was, overall, a great experience. However, I would be less than honest if I didn't also state that the cruise fell a bit short of expectations. Following is my effort to provide an honest and fair assessment of the Equinox and our experience on her. For reference- my wife and I are 50's/60's and have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and one previous Celebrity Cruise (Mediterranean). Wife is from Scotland, I'm American, but have lived in UK and traveled a fair bit, mostly in Europe. THE SHIP The Equinox Itself is a beautiful ship that is generally well laid out and easy to navigate. Cabins are very nice- Ours was an aft balcony which we really enjoyed. It was a pretty long walk to the elevators & stairs, but we didn't mind. For those who may have health or mobility issues, a more mid-ship location would probably be advisable. Although we generally try to use the stairs to help burn off calories, there were ample elevators and although the ship was full, the wait times were never long. The ship was well maintained and clean, and there were plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship which we appreciated. THE CREW/STAFF & ENTERTAINMENT We found the crew to be very friendly and helpful. Bartenders were often busy, but worked hard to accommodate everyone. The Celebrity Song & Dance crew were quite good and we enjoyed their presentations, particularly 'Topper'. The House Band was excellent and the other entertainers did a good job, as well. We also felt Maartin (Cruise Director) did an outstanding job. Overall, I'd rate the entertainment at an 8 out of 10. FOOD This is one of the areas where we felt Celebrity has 'fallen off' a bit. While the Silhouette Main Dining was Good, it wasn't Great. The service was excellent, but Celebrity has clearly elected to decrease it's food costs somewhat as compared to our last cruise with them. In fairness to the company and as a restaurant owner, I can understand the huge challenges they must face when attempting to feed so many people with varying tastes and still maintain profitability. However, I really hate the fact that Celebrity, as well as most of the other cruise lines have elected to push the extra-cost specialty restaurants so heavily. It's quite obvious they are using a lower grade of beef and seafood in the main dining room and only serving 'Prime' or upper-level 'Choice' in the specialty venues. That would be easier to accept if the cost of dining in the specialty venues didn't run $50+ per person per meal. I just believe that is a bit excessive for most cruisers. The Oceanview Buffet food was very good and equalled or exceeded that of buffets on our past cruises with a myriad of choices MOST of the time. Unfortunately, this venue was more or less shut down during the afternoons and after around 9 to 9:30 in the evening; offering only pasta and pizza at those times. Late-night dining options were very limited, although free room service was available until midnight. Apparently, the 'Midnight Buffets' are a thing of the past? Burgers, fries, hot dogs, etc were available at the Mast Grill, but I'm not sure on the hours of operation. We chose not to eat at any of the specialty restaurants, but heard generally positive things about them. PORTS of CALL This was really our biggest disappointment with the Equinox's Eastern Caribbean itinerary- Not so much the Ports-of-Call themselves, but more the timing. The stops (in order) are San Juan, St Thomas (USVI), Tortola (BVI) & Nassau. We elected to take this cruise primarily because we wanted to see San Juan and Tortola. Unfortunately, these were the two ports in which we had the least time (basically, only a half-day). I've been to St Thomas a few times and am not a big fan (although it does offer one of the best beaches in the Caribbean). Given its close proximity to San Juan & Tortola, I would much prefer to have concentrated more on those ports. MISC As is the case with every cruise I've been on, Celebrity 'pushes' those activities which provide them with extra profit- Art auctions, shore excursions, shopping in certain stores, etc. To their credit, their promotion of these things is not in the least obtrusive (as it sometimes is on Norwegian and Princess). My only complaint here is with their "Shopping Programs". The 'Shopping Guide (Michael) and probably the cruise line itself obviously has some sort of 'arrangement' with certain stores in each of the ports. It's fine that they offer recommendations for shops that sell 'genuine' & legitimate merchandise; however, these 'shows' are a bit misleading in that the great deals they go on & on about are not really that great. I priced some rather expensive watches that were supposedly 'Duty and Tax Free' making them a great bargain, only to discover I can buy them just as cheaply back home. But, my real complaint here is that maps they give you of each port, show ONLY the shops they are promoting. FINALLY I will definitely sail with Celebrity again. In spite of the areas above where I have outlined a few issues, I still believe they are one of the best, if not 'the best' of the mid/upper-level cruise lines. I've read some pretty negative stuff another reviews and have a hard time believing these people were being objective. For example, one reviewer of a March, 2019 cruise made the comment that the smoking areas around all of the bars bothered he and his wife. Hogwash! There ARE NOT smoking areas around all of the bars. Equinox has 4 designated smoking areas, 2 of which are locate on the starboard-side of bars- One completely aft and the other on the top deck forward. All one has to do at either of these, is sit on the port side where it's smoke free. None of the other bars allow smoking. Another cruiser complained about embarkation, I honestly do not see how it could have gone any smoother. I thought Celebrity did an outstanding job of getting everyone on and off the ship smoothly. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is a long - log-style review. If you just want the summary, scroll down to the bottom. Equinox western Caribbean 6-29-19 – Aqua class cabin# 1560 Travel and embarkation: We arranged to fly to FLL the day before the cruise. ... Read More
This is a long - log-style review. If you just want the summary, scroll down to the bottom. Equinox western Caribbean 6-29-19 – Aqua class cabin# 1560 Travel and embarkation: We arranged to fly to FLL the day before the cruise. We originally had booked a 5:30 AM departure the day of the cruise on Southwest using points. But later we decided a 5:30 flight meant a super early start and we would be exhausted once getting on board, so we booked American through the Celebrity website for a 3:00 PM flight arriving at 6:00 PM. Good plan, but American, the PHL airport, and weather combined to make our 6:00 arrival 11:30 PM. By the time we arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn it was after 12:30 in the morning. So much for being refreshed when we arrived to the ship! In any case, after breakfast the front desk at the Garden Inn told us that the BJ’s “Across the street” had a nice wine selection and you didn’t need to be a member to buy wine. Who knew? We walked over and obtained two bottles to bring for Verandah enjoyment. While at BJ’s, the Florida skies decided to bring some liquid sunshine in abundance, so we called an Uber for the ride back to the hotel. At about 10:15 another Uber picked us up for the quick trip to the pier. Check in was incredibly fast. Porters took our bags, we breezed through security, and were told our keys would be waiting for us at the stateroom. We have a friend who works at the port and he was able to visit with us for a few moments while we waited to be allowed to board. About the same time our traveling friends also met us at the terminal. “Elite” and “Aqua” are both in the third group to be allowed to board, and we were both. By about 11:15 we were onboard. We were told we could stop by our cabin to drop off our carry-on but please not to linger there as the cabins were not ready. No worries, we followed instructions! We visited BLU to speak with the host to go over my DW’s food allergies and they were most accommodating. Along with our friends we visited the Oceanview café (Lido) to peruse lunch. Despite our early boarding, the Oceanview was already quite crowded. Afterwards we wandered around exploring the ship until we were told the cabins were ready at about 1:00. We really like the cabin (1560) and especially the huge overhang over the balcony. I know some don’t like this but for a warm weather cruise in July we found this allowed us to use the balcony quite a bit; without the shade, we would not have been able to use it. The shower is also nice. Service from our stateroom steward Usman was top-notch. The muster drill was held in the main theater. Celebrity has done a nice job with a humorous video to keep our attention during the drill. Holland America and Princess could take a lesson from this. After the drill our luggage arrived so we spent a little time unpacking the suitcases. We met our friends and enjoyed our first dinner in BLU. We all commented that if this meal was an indication of the rest of the cruise this is like dining in a specialty restaurant. Our waiter Luciano was incredible. After dinner we debated trying to attend the show but were just too tired. Wondering the ship we were impressed with the number of venues with live music. Sunday June 30 – Key West We ordered breakfast to be delivered to the cabin as we had an early meet time for our Key West adventure of a Private dolphin & snorkeling charter on the “Squid” by Honest Eco. We met our traveling friends at Café El Bacio at 8:00 and the six of us departed together. We took the shuttle to town and then walked the eight or so blocks to the marina, arriving right “On time” at 8:45. It was HOT in Key West while on land. We used the restrooms at the marina and got on board the Squid. Squid is a unique, custom built ship that runs mostly on battery power. This makes it ideal for dolphin watching. We did see a number of pods of dolphins, and even caught one doing a jump clear out of the water. This was a lot of fun and afterwards we went snorkeling at a reef off one of the out-islands. The snorkeling was not as clear as I would have preferred and with the current it was a little challenging to stay in place. I likely would have preferred the alternate to snorkeling in the ‘sponge garden’ where they sometimes take guests. We enjoyed the journey back to Key West and almost forgot how hot it was there until we docked. Then we trekked back to the shuttle stop. Upon reaching the ship I will say that the security staff were the meanest and most unfriendly I’ve ever experienced on a ship. First they were directing people into one of two lines to board Equinox. One of the lines was a little shorter but to reach it was a much longer walk around a building, and they directed people who were obviously having a challenge walking in the heat into the longer distance queue. This just shows a total lack of care for the guests and to be honest, makes the TSA look pretty good. After reaching the actual security screening, someone chastised me for not putting my camera into a tray. Well, on 30 prior cruises I’ve never needed to put my camera in a tray, so why on this one? Once onboard I needed to stop at the front desk to get change for tips and future shore days. While there I mentioned the security treatment as the “Worse experience in 30 cruises” and they took down my cabin number but I never heard anything further from anyone. This episode cost the Equinox ½ star from the total review. We had a little bit of late lunch in the Oceanview. I don’t recall the rest of the afternoon but this was the least special dinner in BLU. We were the latest of the cruise (as we had a late lunch) and ended up with a different waiter. Perfectly okay, but that was all. His assistant was also less than the best. On the way out we spoke with the hostess who said she would try very hard to get us a table with Luciano. Before dinner the Captains club invited all members to the sky lounge for the welcome back party. This was very nice with many officers attending. Monday, July 1 – At Sea We had a very enjoyable sea day on Equinox. The only negative to report is that Celebrity really needs to do a better job policing “Chair hogs” on sea days. Early in the morning (before 8:00) nearly every lounger in the solarium or near the pool has towels with clips, t-shirts, paperbacks, or whatever placed on them. Yet walk through there at 10:00 and there is nearly no one actually sitting in these loungers. There were a few family groups on board that obviously had one person go early and “Reserve” a dozen or more loungers all in a row. We witnessed the obviously frustrated pool staff looking up and down the empty rows while folks searched for a couple of chairs. On the positive side, there was a very nice cruise critic meet and greet. Captain Kate and many officers stopped by to say hello. The Captain also asked if the original roll call starter was there, any they were. We enjoyed the thermal suite for a while. While the main dining room is open for lunch, the offerings in the Oceanview looked better. We’ve been on this class of ship before but the Oceanview had such variety like we don’t recall ever seeing. The fresh fish being fillet and then cooked right in front of you is incredible. They made up a special order of grilled (rather than breaded and fried) Calamari for my DW, and it was delicious. There was a “Canada day” party in the Sky lounge which we attended. Most of the officers were there and we played Canadian trivia. Great fun. We enjoyed our Elite happy hour for a while before dinner and were very pleased to have Luciano back as our BLU waiter (as he would be the rest of the cruise). Tuesday, July 2 – Costa Maya, MX We enjoyed breakfast in BLU and met our traveling friends at 9:00 to depart the ship. I had come down late Monday with a case of “Pink Eye” so we found a pharmacy in the port complex (there are at least two) and for $11 they sold me antibiotic eye drops. Those worked perfectly and a few hours later my eye already looked much better. Based on cruise critic recommendations, we had booked an all-inclusive day at “Jaime’s at the Blue Reef.” Getting there was easy after navigating through the port complex. They really do NOT want folks leaving the port! 10 minutes in a taxi and we were dropped with at the Blue Reef on the Malecon. We had a very nice a relaxing time, but we will not do this type of beach day again. For one thing, it’s hard for us to stay on the beach for four-five hours. For another, we really don’t drink. I will say the food was very good and service terrific. But $50/person is a lot if you are not consuming huge amounts of alcohol (as the family near us obviously was!). The beach is very fine powdery sand and everyone is doing the best they can to prevent the huge amounts of sea grasses from washing up on the beach. We tried to go out to the reef to snorkel but getting there was a huge challenge so we never made it. We would do the beach at Costa Maya again but not at an all-inclusive. Returning to the ship we had a relaxing late afternoon and another great dinner in BLU. Wednesday July 3 – Cozumel, MX We went to the pool at 7:00 to enjoy some quiet pool time. We then visited the thermal suite until about 8:15. We rushed back for quick showers to make it to BLU before their 9:00 closing (or so we thought). Arriving at 8:45 we were surprised to find the door closed. The hostess saw us and waved us in. They had adjusted their hours due to the early port call today to 7:00 – 8:30. However, they sat us and we quickly ordered. Even with our late arrival we were not the last to leave BLU. We had a nice relaxing morning on the ship and for some exercise we did walk the pier and the port area. On past visits we have always gone to Chankanaab National Park and enjoyed the beach, snorkeling, and services there. But we had planned something different for this port day. Today we had prebooked a 1:00 tour at the Kaokao Chocolate Factory. We followed instructions and took a cab, arriving 40 minutes early. Our tour began 10 minutes early as everyone had arrived. This was a very different “Tour” as we learned a lot about the history of Chocolate and actually got to make our own Chocolate from Cocoa beans. This is a LOT of work! We also sampled MANY different types of chocolate. We enjoyed the time spent there, bought some more chocolates and they nicely packaged up the chocolate we made (Patties to make Hot Chocolate) to take home. They called a taxi van to take us back to the Equinox and we arrived 30 minutes before the all-aboard. The ship actually left port a little late as one of the ship’s tours was 20 minutes late returning. Dinner was in BLU and we also made the show tonight. This show was a “Journey” tribute band and they were superb. I was surprised that I only recognized a few of the songs, yet all of us really enjoyed the show. Thursday, July 4 – Grand Cayman Island We enjoyed our BLU breakfast and were on the first tender to the island, arriving about 9:45. The meeting time for our pre-booked excursion with Acquarius Sea Tours was 10:45. There were many independent tour operators at the port, but no one with Acquarius. Well, we were early, so we walked a little around town. We visited one souvenir shop where I bought a very bright tropical shirt for $12.00 and headed back to the port before 10:30. Still no one there from Acquarius Sea Tours but now at least 15 or so folks waiting for them. One family said they took their tour last year and really enjoyed it. In the meantime we had thought about ditching them as in our experience, if an independent tour provider is not there early to meet you reliability is in doubt. But we waited, and that was a mistake. Finally at about 10:55 Captain Mario shows up with his sign. He checks folks off his list, and leads everyone to the parking lot and an older mini-bus. We were among the first to board to sit in the middle. It is a 15-20 minute ride to the marina and the driver tells us a little about what we are passing. We reached the marina and headed out to the “Big John.” Boarding was fine and we found there was not enough room for all to sit in the cabin. We had a very quick safety briefing. We asked for water. Someone grabbed a reusable plastic cup, took the lid off a cooler, and dipped the cup into ice, then poured water from the same cooler into the cup. The look on my DW’s and friends faces was “Really?” I asked did they want to bail on the tour. All agreed so we quickly left the Big John before the ship left the dock. Captain Mario asked what was wrong and I explained I had a cold and drinking from a communal cup everyone would get sick. He said they had bottled water… We still decided not to join the outing and wished them well. Acquarius Sea Tours has an excellent web site. Reviews here are overwhelmingly outstanding. The price is very reasonable. But this just wasn’t for us. We went to the marina office and bought a couple bottles of water. They called a cab for the four of us. We returned to the tender dock at about noon. Back on Equinox, they were having a fabulous “All American” lunch in the lido. Full fresh fish being grilled, all kinds of great food and just a wonderful time had relaxing there. We met the chef from BLU who has been taking care of DW’s food allergies. We spent the rest of the afternoon (while it stormed outside and over the bay where we would have been on the Big John) in the solarium pool and thermal suite. We enjoyed the captains club happy hour and a great “Chic night” dinner in BLU. The lobster tails were very good. We managed to stay up for the July 4 party at the main pool. This ended up being geared to a much younger and energetic crowd so we didn’t stay long. Still this was a really great day despite (or perhaps because of) the aborted excursion. Friday July 5 – At Sea We checked the BLU schedule and breakfast today was 8:00 – 9:30, so we visited the solarium pool at 7:10 AM. We found that nearly every lounger was already “Claimed” with no one siting in them. We did finally find two quite a distance from the pool and put our gear on them while we enjoyed the pool. There was one other gentleman using the pool and we talked a while. After the pool, I went to bring back tea and fruit plates from the Spa Café. We decided to forgo the BLU breakfast in favor of enjoying the solarium. I was dry enough by that point to walk to the Oceanview café and ordered omelets to bring back. We enjoyed them on our loungers. Our traveling friends found us and said they missed us in BLU. I went back in the pool for a while with them. After the pool we all visited the thermal suite (and gladly gave up our loungers to folks looking for a few) and I believe I ended up napping on the warm stones. Leaving there late morning we proceeded to get cleaned up before lunch in the Oceanview. We had a table aft outdoors which was just delightful. The duet was playing at the sea view bar (deck 15 aft) at 1:30 so we went up there and snagged enough seating for our foursome. We enjoyed the duet. After their set it was time to get most of our luggage packed. We had our last captain’s club happy hour and an incredible last meal in BLU. I’ve always felt that cruise companies should plan the last meal to be a special one, so folks leave with a very positive experience fresh in their minds. All too often, this is not the case, but in BLU on the Equinox, this last meal was likely the best of the entire cruise. I enjoyed a filet that had to be every bit as good as a high-end steakhouse back home. Everyone raved about this last meal, regardless of their choice of entrée. Desserts were also terrific. We were all sad to say farewell to Luciano and the BLU team. There was another performance of the Journey tribute band this evening in the main foyer. We went and snagged some of the few available seats 30 minutes before the show. We enjoyed this although I will say that many of their numbers were repeats from their stage show earlier in the week. They are really good however. After the show we arranged to meet our friends for breakfast at 7:30 the next morning and returned to our cabin. We finalized our luggage and put it out for movement to the pier and called it a great day! Saturday, July 6 – disembarkation and post-cruise We met our friends outside our cabin at 7:30 and brought our carry-off bag with us to BLU. We had a very enjoyable final breakfast, leaving BLU at 8:15. Our expected disembarkation time was 8:35. We had just enough time for a necessary stop and our number was called. Hugs all around and then off the ship. There was a brief line at a “Facial recognition” station, but no other passport check or anything. Certainly the quickest disembarkation we’ve ever had at a U.S. port. Our luggage was waiting and a few moments later we were on the curb getting into a taxi. The taxi took us to National Car Rental at the FLL airport where we chose our vehicle from the emerald isle. Taxi fare with tip was $22.00. Conclusion: This was the closest to a five star cruise experience we’ve had in quite a few years. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. The security process returning to the ship in Key West was simply the worst is all our 30+ cruises. I will say that at the other stops they were much more pleasant, but no one from the front desk ever got back to us. The other negative is the previously mentioned chair hog situation. Celebrity seems helpless in addressing this, but it is “Just not right.” We don’t often do warm weather cruises, so perhaps this is entirely common and expected – but why do some cruisers seem to believe they can monopolize entire sections of deck chairs for an entire day and use them hardly at all? It just isn’t right. Celebrity needs to enforce their policy and remove items after chairs are vacated for 30 minutes so others can use them. Okay, the positives – Dining in BLU was a really great experience. Is Aqua class worth double the price of a standard balcony? No. But if you can book it for $200/pp or less over the balcony rate, it’s worth it. For future Celebrity cruises we will look at the prices closely. The one thing is if you are traveling with friends or family, everyone needs to be Aqua or you won’t eat together. We found a seven night specialty dining package is less than $200/pp so that would be an option if one didn’t want to do the main dining room. Entertainment was far superior in both quantity and quality to our recent Holland America cruises. We don’t cruise for the entertainment but when it is really good it sure adds to the experience! Service nearly everywhere was terrific. The only place we sometimes waited a bit was at the bar/lounges. Being “Elite” with access to the Captains Club happy hour is a huge plus when you don’t have a beverage package, plus the service there is top-notch. So overall I am giving the Equinox 4.5 stars out of 5. This was a very nice holiday week getaway well-spent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned after 7 nights on the refurbished Equinox. We are experienced cruisers and this was our 4th cruise on Equinox but 1st in several years. The staff may have been the most friendly and helpful that we have ever experienced. ... Read More
Just returned after 7 nights on the refurbished Equinox. We are experienced cruisers and this was our 4th cruise on Equinox but 1st in several years. The staff may have been the most friendly and helpful that we have ever experienced. This was our first time using Select Dining and it worked out well for us. We had no trouble making reservations on line in advance of our cruise and the seating was always on time. Hostess was great. Food quality has improved greatly—-we believe it was the best of any past cruises on any line. On two occasions we decided to eat our dinner at the Oceanview Cafe because of the variety of foods available. Excellant! For years I have vowed to never eat a steak again on a cruise ship but Oceanview Cafe changed me—-the ribeye was cooked perfectly and the meat quality was very good. Stateroom was clean and well designed as always. We had a balcony on the 9th floor. Our stateroom attendant was great. Entertainment was very good. The production shows have improved with very talented performers and finally some songs the passengers can relate to. New terminal in Ft Lauderdale was very nice and easy to embark. We actually were in our stateroom by 12:00 noon—a first for us. On departure day the trip through Customs was much different with all electronic recognition. The long lines have gone away!!! If you are looking for a great ship with friendly staff and great food you will enjoy Equinox. We certainly did. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose celebrity because it had more of an adult theme than some of the others. It was perfect! From the moment my husband and I embarked, which went smoothly, we were blown away by the excellent service. The food was the best I have ... Read More
I chose celebrity because it had more of an adult theme than some of the others. It was perfect! From the moment my husband and I embarked, which went smoothly, we were blown away by the excellent service. The food was the best I have ever had, the ship was spotless, the shows were very good, and our aft room(1674)was very comfortable. I noticed our balcony was a little longer than most others. We had concierge class which was kind of nice. We didn’t eat in any specialty restaurants but dined in MDR for dinner and ate in buffet for lunch. The MDR was definitely like eating in a 5 star restaurant every night. Excellent service and food. We used the celebrity app to view menu ahead of time. The food in the buffet was also delicious! Try their pizza! We purchased premium non-alcoholics package and enjoyed the most delicious virgin pina coladas all week in addition to Perrier, Pellegrino, and coke. We also loved going to Bacios after dinner for lattes and espressos, which was included in our drink package. The pastries and desserts were great there, too. The ship wasn’t as crowded as the carnival cruises I have been on. I always found comfortable seating when I wanted it. Sea days were busy by the pool but not unbearable. The solarium was much quieter and cooler. No kids allowed in solarium which was nice. There were some whiny old people who complained about silly things, like wanting guacamole on the bottom of a poached egg instead of the top, or getting served 2 pieces of toast instead of one. But overall, everyone was very nice. Lots of countries represented amongst staff and guests. There were not as many onboard activities on this cruise as on the carnivals I have been on. The silent disco was really fun and the live music was great. Evening shows were really good. No ice sculptures by the pool, and exercise classes, like Zumba, required a fee, but this cruise was very relaxing, fun, and I felt pampered the whole week. Captain Kate and cruise director Maartin were very visible and made the trip even more fun. Because of the excellent and friendly staff, from the bussers to the captain, this cruise was amazing, Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed on the Celebrity Equinox for the first time and after sailing on other cruise lines (i.e. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCl and Disney) Celebrity was at the top of our list. I have been on 18 cruises and the only cruise line I ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Equinox for the first time and after sailing on other cruise lines (i.e. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCl and Disney) Celebrity was at the top of our list. I have been on 18 cruises and the only cruise line I would sail on besides Celebrity would be Disney. We loved the first class touches and treatment we received from Celebrity, no flashy gimmicks (slides and attractions), just a nice relaxing cruise atmosphere and nice people. We met Captain Kate who was very nice and psed with pictures throughout the cruise. We sat around and talked to her for awhile as she is from Las Vegas and so we are we. It was kind of neat. She also said good bye to us as we leaving the ship. Very personable. My husband is a school teacher and we wanted to find a cruise without the comotion of having a lot of kids running around and being shuttled like a herd of cattle (Carnival). Don;t get me wrong, we have 2 kids and 3 grandkids and love them to death, but it is nice to have a relaxing vacation without the "craziness". There were kids on board and honestly, they were so well behaved, even in the pools with the adults. There was not problem. Embarkation was a breeze, the beast ever. Only waited 15 minutes to board and once on board, we proceeded to our cain, dropped off our carry on's and left to explore the beautiful ship. The only disappointment was that the whole ship was not renovated as expected due to time constraints (carpets did not match in the hallways and stairs), but it was still very nice. Our room steward Pima was great, got us some pillows off of the pillow menu and they were so nice to sleep on. Our cabin and balcony were spacious, did not hear our neighbors at all. Food on the ship was great, we ate at all 3 speciality restaurants. My husband's favorite was Murano and mine was La Petit. Tuscany had the views, but the food was not as good as I would have expected. The main dining room, however was a little disappointing. We had Anytime dining and the 3 nights we ate in there we were crammed together and no privacy. Service was not so great, perhaps because they were so busy upstairs versus set time dining. One night they sat us next to a window, in the corner next to the bussers station and the office, so all we saw and heard was the clanking of dishes and the inside of the office each time they opened the doors. They need to do away with this table. Drinks were great. A BIG shout out to Miguel in the World Class Bar. He helped us when we got on board with our drink package (our travel agent screwed up at booking) and then we enrolled in the Mixology Class with him and Santos. We had the best excursion ever and it wasn't on any port. Miguel really took care of us throughout the cruise. He is the reason we will be back, whether it is on the Equinox or another ship. As for the Excursions, they were awful, not fault of Celebrity, it was just big mis-representations of the tour operators in what they say and what they actually do or have. In San Juan we took the Nights at Bacardi which was nice, but not what we expected. However the snorkel excursion in St. Thomas at Buck Island (Turtle Bay Sail & Snorkel Adventure) was absolutely horrible. They put you on a pirate ship that is worn and broken down (my husband got rust stains on his t-shirt from sitting against the side), the crew was gross and dirty looking and the boat was not conducive for snorkeling. The snorkel gear was not sanitized for those who needed it, there was not enough snorkeling gear for everyone and you either had to jump off a "plank" (as in a pirate movie) to get in or climb down stairs on the side of the boat which the ladder did not hook on very good. One lady who had knee surgery used the stairs to get in the water and did o.k., but coming up back into the boat, it took her 20 minutes to climb the stairs. This excursion should have used a catamaran (like others in the area) with walk up stairs. Entertainment was a hit or miss, just like other cruise lines. The comedian was great both nights, the production shows were just o.k. Casino was nice, clean and fun. We only gambled 1 night, as we are from Las Vegas and it was no big deal. Shopping was good, the "pop up" stores were fun and we found some great deals. Wish there was a more selection of souvenirs from the ship though. Debarking was a breeze, never had any issues we were off within 5 minutes. We loved this cruise so much, we booked a 10 day Mediterranean cruise on the Edge for next July for our 25th Anniversary with the Future Cruise desk while on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Wife and I try to do two cruises a year. This cruise was our 2nd of the year, and our 2nd on the Equinox. We have been on this ship 3 times in the last 18 months, so we feel like we know every nook & cranny at this point. We ... Read More
Wife and I try to do two cruises a year. This cruise was our 2nd of the year, and our 2nd on the Equinox. We have been on this ship 3 times in the last 18 months, so we feel like we know every nook & cranny at this point. We usually sail with family, but this time it was just us celebrating our anniversary. WHY CELEBRITY? If you are reading this review, I am going to assume that you are curious about booking a Celebrity cruise. I can tell you that most of the positive things you hear from one person you will hear from many, and any complaints tend to be one-time issues that are rarely repeated. Celebrity is a sister-line of Royal Caribbean. With that being said, its nearly a complete opposite experience from Royal. The clientele is older, there are less children, smaller ships, higher staff to guest ratio, and better food/service by far. The "nightlife" and entertainment fall short of Royal Caribbean, but we knew that coming in to it. The average person on a celebrity cruise is an older couple aged 45-65 years old. With that being said, my wife and I are 26 & 30 respectively. We sail in March & June, so we do tend to see many younger couples like us who are looking for the same kind of cruise. My wife and I are not party-goers, we enjoy relaxing by the pool or sunset bar, eating wonderful food, and impeccable service. Celebrity gives us everything that a super-luxury line gives us for the same price as Carnival/Norwegian/Royal Caribbean. Our favorite part is that we can sail basically "all-inclusive". We get drinks, gratuities, OBC, & wifi all included in our booking package. I cant stand being nickel'd & dime'd on a cruise. My wife and I got off the boat owing $18 to the cruise line and we did absolutely everything we wanted to do. In fact, we at in specialty dining every night of the cruise. Its something that we will probably do from now on. THE SHIP The Equinox has become our home away from home. Its large enough to feel spacious and offer many different activities, but small enough that you dont really need a map after the 2nd day on board. The ship was recently refurbished and it felt fresh and stunning. THE DINING Let me get this out of the way... We had an issue with service in the MDR on our previous cruise in March. I am 100% convinced that it was an issue that was fixed and handled. But, we did have a lot of OBC and we love specialty dining, so we booked 7 nights at the stunning Murano. I cannot put into words how much we enjoyed this, so I wont try. But it is worth every penny and we will be doing this from now on. BARS AND LOUNGES We spent a ton of time in our two favorite places on the ship. The Sunset Bar and Ensemble Lounge. The Sunset bar is amazing at any time of the day. Its on the sundeck and at the very back of the ship. (Its also a smoking area, though we dont smoke). The Ensemble lounge is a wonderful place to hangout before dinner. We would get ready for dinner, and go sit down and have a drink & listen to live music while we waited for dinner. You have to walk through it to get to any of the specialty restaurants, so it was a no brainer for us. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION It literally could not have been any easier and well organized. Its a non-issue with Celebrity. ENTERTAINMENT We have seen the major performances on past cruises, so we didnt choose to see them again. We did go see the two comedians and the live music. One of the comedians was fantastic, one was a train-wreck. It wasnt his fault, his material just wasnt current and it seemed better fitted for a 1960s supper club. CONCLUSION We love Celebrity, the Equinox, Captain Kate, and the Eastern Caribbean. We could not have asked for a better cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Celebrity imho is way way overrated . It’s just ok people. Evening activities are non existent! The pool area and lawn club area are completely and utterly deserted after 8pm!!!! The lawn club area really is a waste of space. No ... Read More
Celebrity imho is way way overrated . It’s just ok people. Evening activities are non existent! The pool area and lawn club area are completely and utterly deserted after 8pm!!!! The lawn club area really is a waste of space. No activities, they still have hot glass making!! They have had this for a decade!!!!! No serenity deck, just a special location for suite guests which was barely used, another waste of space. No mini golf which is funny considering you have all that grass. Cruise director was from Belgium and had delusions of grandeur! He wore trousers that got shorter and tighter throughout the cruise . So tight he couldn’t sit down in the theater!! Quite ridiculous. The ship flew the gay pride flag all cruise. Why? And before people get upset and call me names , I just want to know why? Food was better than carnival, Norwegian. More choice too! Buffet food especially good! Aqua spa cafe is a shell of its former self. The digital menu board is not even switched on now. Food choices were few and no more complimentary smoothies. Disappointing to see its decline! Balcony was nice, service good. If you want a quiet cruise with nothing to do after 8pm go celebrity! Embarkation was quick and easy. Facial recognition now at terminal 25. We give up our privacy now for a speedy exit. Welcome to 1984. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My DH and myself decided in March to take a cruise for our anniversary. We have sailed on the Celebrity Summit twice in the last three years and really love the Celebrity experience. We were looking for a cruise that had Key West and ... Read More
My DH and myself decided in March to take a cruise for our anniversary. We have sailed on the Celebrity Summit twice in the last three years and really love the Celebrity experience. We were looking for a cruise that had Key West and Grand Cayman in the itinerary and this sailing worked for our summer schedule. Since we have not been on this particular ship before, we didn't notice any changes since the partial refurbishment, but we knew which areas had been changed and found the overall look of the ship to be well decorated. We had a Concierge level stateroom with a slanted balcony (9241) and really liked the larger balcony. Our room had been refurbished and we really liked the colors and wall decor. A few things we noticed in this cruise that were different than our Summit sailings. These could be differences in the crew or in training or just fewer crew per passenger since the Equinox is a larger ship. 1)We did not meet our stateroom attendant until at least day 4. We don't hang around our cabin a great deal, but on the Summit we usually met the attendant the first or second day. 2)We typically order room service a few days during our cruise. We had food items forgotten (which they brought immediately when we told them upon arrival), they delivered one morning without calling first, and they only called once to check on our room service experience. 3) MDR - on the Summit, the assistant waiter would always let us know what the types of butters were on the table. This seems like a silly thing to notice, but we found we missed that little part of the introduction to the meal! Towards the end of the cruse, we just went ahead and asked what they were. The cruise director, Martin, was fabulous. Very friendly, entertaining, and approachable. Captain Kate McCue is a delight to have on the ship. We cruised with her on our first Summit cruise and were glad to see her again. This was our first time to try Select Dining. I made our reservations weeks ahead of the sailing and for the most part the times worked out. There were a few times we decided to eat later and I was able to change our reservation (on the Celebrity App) to a later time. We found that we missed the set dining time mainly because we liked getting to know the wait staff. We did manage to request a particular waiter's station for our last 3 dinners and so if we do Select Dining again we would talk to the maitre d to request a particular section for the entire cruise. We enjoyed all of the evening shows that we saw. We missed Vox Audio's performance and the last night's performance - Life. The live music was very good as always, we enjoyed watching the dancing every night in the Grand Foyer. Nice large space for those who enjoy dancing. We joined in on the last night's Silent Disco in the Grand Foyer. Very fun! We did not do any of the Celebrity Shore excursions. Key West, we rented bicycles and toured the island that way. We visited Fort Zachary Taylor and were lucky enough to get there for the 11:00 guided tour. We highly recommend this if you like history. Our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Wish he had been my history teacher! Costa Maya - took a taxi to Mahahual and went to the restaurant/beach the cab dropped us off at. It was called Capitan Barba Negra. We had a few beers and shared a serving of guacamole and chips which was delicious. The section of ocean in front of us was the nicest on that part of the beach (we took a walk to see what the other beach restaurants looked like. It was easy to catch a cab back to the port. Overall, we did not enjoy this stop. At the port, we were overwhelmed with shop owners wanting us to come in to their stores. We live in Texas and have been across to border town quite often (not recently though) and so are used to this, but it is still annoying. They have a very nice pool at the port that you can grab a chair and use the pool if you buy food and drink from the restaurant there. It is very nice, but we felt like if we were going to do that we might as well go back on the ship and eat/drink for free. Cozumel - we took a cab to the Money Bar. We really enjoyed this restaurant/beach stop. There was really good snorkeling in our section of the beach. You didn't even have to go far out to see fish. There was an undertow further out. If you go, you just need to be aware. The service was excellent here. We ordered chicken nachos and they were good. Grand Cayman - I had booked a 2 stop snorkeling trip with Captain Marvin's. We had it scheduled for 1:45, but we were able to. We went to Stingray City first then a coral reef. There were about 30 people on board. We had a great time. We had the shuttle driver drop us off on 7 mile beach at Calico Jack's bar and restaurant. They had a great grouper dish that we split. It was one of our favorite meals of the whole trip! The owner sat us at a table and checked on us several times. Great place! We then took a shuttle back to the port. This cruise had 2 sea days. We loved relaxing, playing bingo, watching the Officer vs guest volleyball game, shopping and gambling. Debarkation went very smoothly. We enjoyed eating breakfast in the MDR that morning before getting off the ship around 9. We were at the airport by 9:45 for our noon flight. The longest part of debarkation was waiting for an uber. We are sailing on the Equinox again in 2020. We really enjoyed our cruise, but did miss some of the personal experiences we had on the Summit. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary. We wanted to go to Key West, and then say how the highly rated the Celebrity ships were, especially Equinox. We were not disappointed! Everyone from Captain Kate on down just made the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary. We wanted to go to Key West, and then say how the highly rated the Celebrity ships were, especially Equinox. We were not disappointed! Everyone from Captain Kate on down just made the whole experience one to remember! Our Cabin, the MDR, the entertainment, activities, the buffet, the bar service were all top notch. We had anytime dining, so we did not sit at the same table each night. We enjoyed meeting new people. We only ate dinner in the MDR, and were pleased with everything except one entree each. The OVC Buffet was good, but could get crowded. The burgers at Mast Grill were very good, and fries were always crisp. We tried to eat at the Spa Cafe, but could never find it open when we wanted to eat there. Would have liked a quick snack when coming back from an excursion. Sunset bar was our favorite. We got our 1st drink there for sail away. We also liked Craft Social for a pre-dinner glass of wine, and could always get a drink there or at the casino bar (even though we only walked through the casino) on our way to the theatre for a show. We also liked the frozen drinks at the pool bar. There were 3 production shows, 2 comedians, a magician and an a-Capella singing group. All were very good and an hour or less. The Full Moon white party was moved from the pool deck due to some showers but it was loads of fun. Silent Disco was a hoot, and really a good time. I did karaoke one night, but Quasar is about the only part of the ship that feels data and not a really well thought out room. We did glass blowing one sea day. It was very fun, and we each have a wonderful one of a kind souvenir to remember our cruise. Service everywhere was great and with a smile, from Captain Kate, to Maartin the Cruise Director, to the waiters and stewards, bartenders...everyone was great. We did the hop-on-hop-off bus in Key West. Enjoyed the town and the lobster rolls we got were delicious! We used Puerta Maya as "ship day" and did not leave the port area. We did hop off for about an hour of shopping. We went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel, The beach was OK, but the pool was outstanding. the food was good and Manuel was a great waiter too! We went to Calico Jack's/Public Beach area in Grand Cayman. Without a doubt the best beach in the world! Powdery sand and gorgeous blue water. We will be back there for sure! We could not have had a better time for our 30th anniversary cruise...Equinox, till we see you again! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a great trip - better than we could imagine! We did not do aqua class and were perfectly happy in Main Dining Room. Clean ship, great staff, lots of activities on board ! One complaint - people hold chairs with towels so on ... Read More
This was a great trip - better than we could imagine! We did not do aqua class and were perfectly happy in Main Dining Room. Clean ship, great staff, lots of activities on board ! One complaint - people hold chairs with towels so on sea days all poole chairs saved by 730 am EVEN though that is not supposed be allowed. People put a towel/stuff and don’t come back for hours . This is really infuriating and I wish Celebrity would at least try to help/prevent. Excursion 1 - San Juan - walking food and culture tour - it was amazing- small group and actually joined by Michelle Bernstein. Perfect excursion! Excursion 2 - bus tour St Thomas with 2 hours at beach, 2 hours shopping, and ride to top. NEVER AGAIN Unfriendly, rude, not safe, too long -ugh Excursion 3 - escape to Tortola PERFECT. This was early 730 am but that meant crowd low we got there before crowds. We sat at Hendo hideout because as long as you eat/drink there chairs and umbrellas free. We liked this less crowded area more than Celebrity area provided. No excursions at Nassau - barely off ship for an hour - not clean or friendly - maybe good excursions available that we missed ?? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had such a relaxing, wonderful cruise. Everyone was so great from check in to departure. The food, and staff in Blu, and at specialty dining(Murano and Tuscan Grille) were amazing. We loved our bartenders! Thank you Jede Astawa, Jose ... Read More
We had such a relaxing, wonderful cruise. Everyone was so great from check in to departure. The food, and staff in Blu, and at specialty dining(Murano and Tuscan Grille) were amazing. We loved our bartenders! Thank you Jede Astawa, Jose and Pedro. Hope to see you next time! We loved the gym, Persian gardens and sauna. The solarium is beautiful as well. We spent quite a few days at the pool. The sunset bar was great too. The staff at celebrity did everything to make the cruise so special. We celebrated our 34th anniversary. There was champagne waiting in our room. Every afternoon there was a delicious surprise waiting for us from cheeses and fruit to shrimp or different meats. The guest entertainers were wonderful. Ashlie Amber was sensational. The comics were very funny. We love to dance and there were so many opportunities to do just that.(especially “silent disco”) the pool party was fun and the dancers from the show did a little something to entertain. The band was wonderful! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We’ve been on three cruises with Celebrity. Specifically on the Equinox. We were looking forward to relaxation, few kids and good company. The MDR was fabulous, food was good and service outstanding. Food used to be a little better in ... Read More
We’ve been on three cruises with Celebrity. Specifically on the Equinox. We were looking forward to relaxation, few kids and good company. The MDR was fabulous, food was good and service outstanding. Food used to be a little better in the past but still good. Couldn’t have asked for better evenings. The pool was very relaxing on port days on sea days we steered clear of the pool and took advantage of other activities in the ship. It’s an easy vibe on the ship with lots of little hideaways for relaxing and romance. No climbing walls and slides just pure relaxation. The staff are incredible and take pride in what they do and are always professional and helpful. They don’t see there families for months but still smile and provide outstanding service. It humbles you. The ports were good, loved Puerto Rico it was our favourite. The people are friendly and the food was amazing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was a birthday celebration for my wife, Suzy. Every step of the way, Celebrity made this cruise vacation very special. As usual, all of the staff and crew on Celebrity made our cruise very special. I reserved a Celebrity Suite ... Read More
This cruise was a birthday celebration for my wife, Suzy. Every step of the way, Celebrity made this cruise vacation very special. As usual, all of the staff and crew on Celebrity made our cruise very special. I reserved a Celebrity Suite which was simply amazing. Besides the usual items for the Solstice Class ship, these are some of the special things we enjoyed this cruise. -Check in - Expedited and personal check-in embarkation / disembarkation. Special area for sail away from Miami port -Michael's Club - Stored carry on luggage in Michael's Club while we explored the ship while awaiting for our cabin to be prepared. Michael's Club is the Suite only lounge which will soon be converted to the retreat. Great spot for pre-dinner drinks and different events. The staff arranged for silent disco. They mentioned it was the first time and it was an absolute blast. Really fun event. Also, there is a concierge that was absolutely amazing. She was able to get me a reservation for the glass blowing. The glass blowing demonstration is a must do. - Cabin - Celebrity Suite. I thought this cabin was a tremendous experience. A little pricey but with all of the amenities and services, I think it was worth it for a special celebration. Approximately 400 square feet and a larger balcony. - Luminae Restaurant - Suite class restaurant with meals prepared to order. We had dinner in the Tuscany Grill one evening but quite honestly, the Luminae makes the specialty restaurant unnecessary. We did the specialty restaurant after our Chef's table so everything would pale in comparison - Chef's table - I believe this was an additional $150 per guest but the meal was an incredible experience. The Executive chef, the Head Wine Steward, and an executive officer were present. - Reserved seating for the performances during formal nights - Butler service - All 4 upgrades for a suite. You do get two upgrades with the Concierge Class but the beverage package for the suite class is the Premium package which we upgrade. . - Premium coffee and teas - One of our favorites is Tea Over Ice in the afternoon. Refreshing I have cruised a variety of cruise lines and cabins (around 20 and counting). It has been a full evolution from it doesn't matter what cabin since we were rarely in the cabin to a Celebrity Suite which left us wondering how we would go back to Concierge class. Regardless of your cabin choice, this is a wonderful ship for a cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We loved our cruise and will write this as a comparison with our recent cruise experiences on Holland America which we have sailed with 3 times in the last 20 months. Wife and I travelled without kids. We are around 50 yrs old and have ... Read More
We loved our cruise and will write this as a comparison with our recent cruise experiences on Holland America which we have sailed with 3 times in the last 20 months. Wife and I travelled without kids. We are around 50 yrs old and have cruised together about 8 times. EMBARKATION - We arrived very early at 10:00 and had to wait about 90 minutes before we could board. Once we did it was easy on. No issues here. Embarkation was also smooth and easy on all our HAL cruises. WINNER - draw CABIN - Cabin was comfortable and well laid out. I liked the curved edges at the end of the bed, making walking around it somewhat easier. The bathroom was also larger than our HAL ships. HAL was better in closet space - including shelves for clothes that needed shelves versus hangers. Service was outstanding in both - zero complaints here. WINNER - slight edge to Equinox DINING - It was a tale of three meals here. Breakfast was similar in the buffet parts. HAL had a larger variety but Equinox had corned beef hash and grits one day - both my favorites. We did the Equinox breakfast in the dining room on debarkation day and had amazing service - the best we have ever had at breakfast anywhere. No less than 6 people were nearby providing service in every way possible. HAL did not have near the service level and a much slower meal - an hour or more. However, HAL had a much better breakfast menu with more exotic choices. Equinox was standard fare. BREAKFAST WINNER - draw Lunch was much better on the Equinox with many more choices including Indian every day which I love. Desserts were also MUCH better on the Equinox with more and better choices. HAL had the better carving station with lamb served on a number of days. LUNCH WINNER - Equinox Dinner on the Equinox was good but a half-step below our HAL experience. Service was outstanding on both with a slight nod to Equinox. Menu of choices and quality were both better on HAL. Equinox wasn't bad, but I had more choices of starters and entrees that I liked on HAL where there were too many times I reverted to the "available every meal" choices on Equinox. DINNER WINNER - HAL PUBLIC AREAS - Here were preferred Equinox for a few reasons. 1 - We enjoyed the Solarium where we could have climate control, comfy chairs, and no music. If we wanted a more lively, fun experience we would move to the outdoor pool where there was always music, sometimes a DJ and even a band. The HAL pool deck was smaller, often more crowded, and always quiet. 2 - The bars were more plentiful on the Equinox but always busier because it seemed everyone had a drinks package. On HAL virtually no one had this so bars were often quieter. 3 - We didn't do shops, spa, gym and casinos so we can't speak on those. 4 - HAL did have three banks of elevators, preferred over the two banks on Equinox. Our room was near the back of the ship so it was always a long walk to the nearest mid-ship elevators. WINNER - Equinox ENTERTAINMENT - We are both fans of live music. Nothing can compare to the BB Kings club on HAL - the clear winner in best entertainment. However, they begin at 9:00 most nights. Outside of this, Equinox was the clear winner. They had live music day and night. Quality was ranged from OK to very good. Singer / guitarist Chelsea was outstanding as was the house band Nu Image. We also enjoyed the shows much better on Equinox. Singers were better and the shows added a third dimension with aerialists and acrobats. We did not see any comedians but really enjoyed Not Really Three Tenors and saw both their shows. Activities - there were more and better activities on the Equinox including our favorite the Silent Disco. Such fun - don't miss it! There were more daytime activities on Equinox as well including the Hot Glass Class where we both made drinking glasses as souvenirs. WINNER - Equinox PORTS - Our cruise went to Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. I prefer the ports on HAL better. In Alaska they go to Glacier Bay and in the Caribbean they go to the private island - both favorites of ours. Winner - HAL DEBARKATION - Slight nod to HAL but likely not the fault of Equinox as we heard that debarkation was delayed because there were not enough immigration agents meet the published debarkation schedule. PRICE - We are deal hunters and value is very important to us. This and outstanding service and food is what drew us to HAL. We paid about $500 more for this cruise versus a simlar cruise on HAL. However, we got great value in an included drinks package and on-board credit. You are almost certain to pay more on Celebrity but I still feel like we got great value. WINNER - HAL OVERALL - We thoroughly enjoyed all our HAL cruises but this was a half-step up in overall experience. The key difference for us is activities and entertainment. The pool was more fun, there was more to do, and the evening shows were all well done. The ship (and overall line I expect) is aiming towards the 40-60 year old crowd with no kids. HAL seems to be positioned in the 55-75 age groups. If you can afford it, our recommendation is Equinox (and I expect other similar solstice class ships) over HAL. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have had such incredibly positive experiences on the Celebrity Equinox cabin 8204, that, not only do we have no intention of venturing away from Celebrity's fleet, we cannot justify abandoning the Equinox. We have had the stars in ... Read More
We have had such incredibly positive experiences on the Celebrity Equinox cabin 8204, that, not only do we have no intention of venturing away from Celebrity's fleet, we cannot justify abandoning the Equinox. We have had the stars in our eyes snuffed out by more than one cruise, but each time we return to the Equinox, they are burning bright again. Every member of the staff is not only a pleasure to deal with, but they all seem to sincerely like one another, which makes the experience that much more pleasant. the meals offered in the regular dining area are exceptional. Though we did give the Tuscan Grille a try one night (outstanding!), we did not feel that they specialty restaurants were the only place to get quality food, like it felt on other ships. I was a little disappointed in the changes they made with regard to the glass blowing. Whereas before it was simply displays of professionals performing magic with the glass and pigments, it has turned into a kindergarten project where people can make their own ashtrays or whatever for a fee. I am sure that was due to customer requests, but I was mesmerized by the group from Corning's talent last trip. 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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