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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We enjoyed this cruise with the exception of the food. The main dining room as well as the surcharge restaurants were a grave disappointment. Breakfast was the only redeeming meal offering an excellent variety, however serving green ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise with the exception of the food. The main dining room as well as the surcharge restaurants were a grave disappointment. Breakfast was the only redeeming meal offering an excellent variety, however serving green bananas, cooking eggs benedict with either no yoke or a hard boiled one on 2 of the 10 occasions was hardly acceptable. Dinner consisted of repetitive offerings, subgrade quality sushi, and boring everyday meats ie. chicken, pork, grilled minute steak and poorly prepared desserts, not to mention the driest and worst tasting (giant) apricots we have ever experienced. A message to the head chef responsible for the main dining room: a normal caesar salad requires GARLIC. Also be more choosy in the quality and freshness of the shrimp you are serving. The selection and quality of the food in the surcharge restaurants also requires much attention and improvement. On the other hand, the cabin was comfortable and spacious and the attentiveness to cleanliness and detail was more than acceptable. The voyage itself was smooth and relaxing. A good time was had on the upper deck on the basketball court as well as the bocci game on the lawn. The excursions were definitely a highlight of the trip. A word to the wise: There are no bargains in the Duty Free Shop! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Just came home from the Equinox, Barcelona to Istanbul, 2 weeks. This was our fourth Celebrity Cruise and our second on this ship. The following is quite long but hopefully valuable. Embarkation Ship was in “Code Red” due to ... Read More
Just came home from the Equinox, Barcelona to Istanbul, 2 weeks. This was our fourth Celebrity Cruise and our second on this ship. The following is quite long but hopefully valuable. Embarkation Ship was in “Code Red” due to previous voyage’s novovirus occurrence which caused delayed boarding. There were not enough staff to manage the rush, and as such our “Select” line did not move for over 20 minutes while the man managing the lines alternated between the “Super Elites” and the regular line. The person checking us in was not an employee of Celebrity and did not know any answers to our questions, repeatedly telling us we could go to Customer Service on the ship (which we know is overwhelmed typically on departure day). A new policy to collect and hold our passports was not conveyed ahead of time and the front staff was telling us it was “because of Turkey” when the letter we were given at that time said it was a new rule of “Greece”. The cruise line sent out emails about the novovirus situation but not the surrender of passports, which caused and overall bad boarding experience. General Service We were in Concierge Class on Floor 10. The common areas were all very clean and well maintained. Our room attendant Philipe was great, always cheerful and the towel animals were always entertaining. While the ship was in “Code Red” the food and bartending service was definitely lacking, it appeared that there was not enough staff at bars, and strangely a lot of inexperienced bartenders who made different versions of the same cocktails. The food in the main dining room was lackluster and average was about the best you could say (5/10). Our main room dining staff (Katrenya, Jasminka and Robert) were wonderful and very efficient. Four days into the cruise the food in the main dining room dramatically improved. (I would give them an 8/10 from that point on). We had a couple cocktails in the Emsemble Lounge that were so bad we put them down and went elsewhere. Other cruisers we talked too told us they did the same thing. The service in the Molecular bar was great and it became our hangout for great drinks. They are supposedly changing over to the World Class Bar in October but the bartenders felt it would be a good thing as it would allow them to make some of their own creations. The bartenders at that bar were consistently great, social and very efficient. Kudos to Jelena, Barbera and Ivan (who later was moved to the Gastropub). Specialty Restaurants Spectacular service and food in Murano (2), Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grille. Never disappoints. I would eat in these restaurants more often except I like the socialness of the mixed table as we were only a single couple travelling together. Great lunch in the Gastropub. The Steak and Guinness pie was incredible. If you can, try all the specialty restaurants. Excursions We took three private excursions with people we met via Cruise Critic – kudos to “Hawaiiyes” for arranging these. They were all through Papillon and our drivers were all very nice and informative. This was the first time we did private tours. Due to problems in Turkey our cruise did not do our overnight in Istanbul but luckily we didn’t have any tours planned but some people we were talking to were quite upset because they have planned private tours and even though the previous voyage also cancelled the overnights, pre-cruise checking with Celebrity did not identify we would be also missing the overnight, so this is a word of warning to people who plan private excursions or early departures – your plans can get messed up even if you do your due diligence to verify before boarding. We also did a few Celebrity Excursions, all of which had a wine tasting element. They were all run well – no complaints about the service. The “CV62 Bracciano Lake & Wine Tasting” could have had more time at the actual winery, the lake portion was too long and personality, did not add any real value to this tour. Entertainment We usually do dinner at 8:30 so we avoid the entertainment. We didn't therefore go to any productions but you can't avoid the silly hype games which in my opinion are too loud and disruptive around the pool and common areas. Because this was Sept there were few children on board (earlier reviews commented on all the kids, so I thought I would touch on that too). I did attend the Top Chef Quickfire - fun and amusing to watch, and the Discovery - Navigation lecture which was very interesting and informative. Previous cruises we have participated in the wine tastings but this time didn't bother as it is the same each cruise. I spent a lot of time in the casino and did participate in all the blackjack tournaments. Overall the Cruise was an enjoyable experience and we would cruise with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We have been on many cruises in the Caribbean and Western Mexico, but this was our first European cruise. I had been to three of the destination cities more than 40 years earlier, as a teenager, and my husband had never been to Europe. ... Read More
We have been on many cruises in the Caribbean and Western Mexico, but this was our first European cruise. I had been to three of the destination cities more than 40 years earlier, as a teenager, and my husband had never been to Europe. It needs to be said that you are at best "sampling" the cities, as virtually every port deserved more time than the 8-12 hours we had in port. If your primary interest is Italy, don't do it by cruise ship. Both Florence and Rome are 1 1/2 hour train rides, each way, from the port. Within those limitations, this was an incredible cruise. The ship was excellent. They had had a novo virus outbreak the trip before ours, so they did an extra thorough cleaning of the ship, and the hand sanitizer brigade was waiting for us every time we re-boarded or walked into a dining room. Food was excellent, and attempted to mirror some of the local cuisine. The ability to do "anytime" dining was a great plus (only available if you pre-pay gratuities). We used a local travel agent and Cruise Critic's roll call boards to organize shore excursions. Joining some fellow cruisers on the roll call message boards to share costs on private tours was great. The "Hop on, Hob Off" bus tours were also excellent, and available at most of our ports. The biggest disappointment is that Celebrity pulled the full-day Istanbul in-port, and spent an extra day at sea, due to some security concerns. Since we had 1 1/2 extra days in Istanbul, this was not a problem for us, but many on the ship had little chance to see Istanbul. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
EMBARKATION - This was very straightforward, mainly because we arrived at 2:30, after the majority of other passengers. As a result, the self service restaurant was closed. We had not eaten since breakfast and therefore headed for the ... Read More
EMBARKATION - This was very straightforward, mainly because we arrived at 2:30, after the majority of other passengers. As a result, the self service restaurant was closed. We had not eaten since breakfast and therefore headed for the Grill on deck 14. With a temperature of over 30 C and no shade, this was not an option. The only other alternative was to pay $10 each and eat at the Bistro on Five. We arrived and were told by the Maitre D’, who was less than welcoming, that we could eat there, but we would have to be quick, because it would close for the Safety Drill at 4:20. It was now 3:10. They promised to serve us as quickly as possible – there were only three other couples in the bistro. We were given menus and waited and waited until someone eventually took our order. The Maitre D’ walked up and down but it was obviously beneath him to speed things up by taking our order – more about him later. For speed we ordered beef burgers. Bad choice. Probably the worst quality of minced beef we have ever tasted. This was followed by crepes which were much better. We were told to leave at 4:10. Not a pleasant experience or introduction to Celebrity Reflection. TIP – If staying in Rome the night before your cruise and transport is being arranged on your behalf, make sure the collection time from the hotel is as early as possible. We had a pick up time of 11:45 from the centre of Rome. After delays in leaving - this was Italy! - the traffic and considerable distance to Civitavecchia, we eventually arrived at 2:30pm. Our original collection time was an hour earlier but this had been changed when we arrived in Rome. (Shame on you Imagine Cruises. With your experience, earlier collection times should be arranged.) CABIN - This was clean and well maintained, with more than adequate hanging and drawer space. Nice touches in the bathrooms on these Celebrity ships are things many of us have at home. Lots of storage, heated mirrors which do not steam up and night lights so that you do not disturb your partner by turning on a light if you need to use the bathroom at night. CABIN STEWARD – Having just travelled twice on QM2, where the cabin stewards never introduced themselves, we were pleased that the steward came to see us and discussed our requirements, promising to help in any way he could. He continued to offer assistance on a daily basis, but then got into the habit of putting his head around the door early in the evening when we were getting ready for dinner. My wife was usually in various states of undress and he seemed not to understand that we expect some privacy. We then made sure the “Do not disturb” sign was placed on the door whenever we were in the cabin. This obviously upset him, because the sign was taken away towards the end of the cruise. We noticed that the glass balcony screen remained dirty, even after being cleaned several times while we were in port. Towards the end of the cruise we realised the external surface was very clean, but the build up of dirt was on the inside. Presumably this is the cabin steward’s responsibility. As we only realised this two days from the end of the cruise, we did not ask for it to be cleaned. BLU RESTAURANT – Being in an Aqua Class Cabin, we ate here for breakfast and dinner. We had booked this cruise, based on the very good experience we had on Celebrity Solstice last December, where the food in Blu Restaurant was very good. Not so on Reflection. It lacked the care and quality we had enjoyed on Solstice. Food was invariably warm, rather than hot and chilled soups were warm, rather than chilled. There was also an inability to balance flavours, or use the right amount of seasoning. Despite the lower standards in the kitchen, the staff certainly excelled, being very friendly and attentive, making every meal a pleasant experience, in spite of shortcomings with many of the dishes. OCEANVIEW CAFE – We ate several lunches here, where the quality of the food was not consistent. It was almost always lukewarm and often had a dried out appearance. At busy times, it was just not big enough to cope with the large number of people. BISTRO ON FIVE – On one sea day when there was no seating left in the cafe and it was raining on deck, we decided to go to Bistro on Five. Just six other couples were seated in the bistro and the Maitre D’ was very offhand, telling us the kitchen could not cope and we would have to return later. We then went down to the main restaurant, but it was 1:15 and we realised it was only open from 12 until 1pm. We returned to our cabin and ordered room service, only to be told it takes 45 – 50 minutes at lunchtime. Nevertheless, with little other option we waited and it was served within 45 minutes and was both hot and very good. (At other times room service arrived within 20 minutes.) TIP – On a ship of this size we should have learnt from past experience. Make sure you plan ahead at lunch time. Do not just turn up at peak times. DRINKS – I suppose I should not have been surprised at the continued high cost of drinks on board. A bottle of wine which would sell for around $8 ashore is priced at around $30 on board, plus an 18% gratuity – up from 15%. I would not mind if the wine was of reasonable quality, but most is just very cheap plonk, unless you spend considerably more. I see from other reviews that many bring their own drink on board, but officially this is limited to two bottles of wine per cabin at the beginning of the cruise. I doubt you will get further bottles past security when returning from trips ashore. DRESS CODE – On the Celebrity website the dress code for men on formal nights is a tuxedo, suit, or jacket and trousers with a tie. On board the written requirement for wearing a tie has been removed. On our cruise, the number of men who wore a tuxedo or suit with tie, was about 50/50 with those who wore a jacket and trousers, with or without a tie. A few of the Americans decided that shorts and a tee shirt were the correct attire in the evenings, even on formal nights. We saw no one turned away from the Blu Restaurant, because they were not correctly dressed. TIP - My advice is that if you are not comfortable in a tuxedo or suit, or luggage restrictions make packing the extra clothes impractical, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, but please, no shorts in the dining room at night. PORTS OF CALL – Like most who booked this cruise, the prime reason was the two day visit to Istanbul. This was cancelled at the last minute following an incident in the city, although Cunard and other cruise lines had not removed Istanbul from their itinerary. Let’s be honest, it is more likely there will be shooting incidents in New York or London, but this does not deter the tourists, who see it as a fact of life in the world today. Two extra islands were added, Crete and Rhodes, plus an overnight in Athens. Having not been to Crete or Rhodes it was some compensation for us, but for many others who had, the change was a great disappointment. The time taken to get ashore whether by tender or direct onto the dock side, was much improved from the arrangements on Solstice, where it could take up to three hours by tender. On Reflection they have the sense to use two tender docks and two gangways, unlike Solstice who used just one. CONCLUSIONS – Those who rate this ship with five stars obviously have lower expectations than us. We have travelled on most of the other lines and the overall experience on Reflection is certainly very good, due mainly to the crew, who are very friendly and attentive – sometimes too attentive in the case of our cabin steward! Nevertheless, the quality of the food has dropped, possibly a result of the dramatic drop in the cost of the cruises in the eastern Med, due to an over-supply of ships this year. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Had a great cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse for our Ruby wedding anniversary. The ship was immaculate, with great customer care. We had a balcony cabin with restricted view. This did not bother us, but it could cause a concern for some ... Read More
Had a great cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse for our Ruby wedding anniversary. The ship was immaculate, with great customer care. We had a balcony cabin with restricted view. This did not bother us, but it could cause a concern for some guests as the lifeboats were just below the balcony. The cabin butlers were fantastic, kept the room immaculate, and not at all intrusive. The food was good, and we chose the anytime dining and ate in the cafeteria, which had a great choice of food in particlar over lunch time. The only downside was that breakfast was hectic, and it was hard to get a table, and the tables were very close together. Entertainment very good, with a great choice of acts. The only downside to the holiday was that we always felt someone was trying to sell us something, and anytime you went near Canyon Ranch or the shops, someone would be pressing you to buy something, which was annoying. You also had to pay to dine in a number of the restaurants, and most of the classes. The gym was fantastic, and had a great choice of equipment. All in all a great holiday. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Our cruise left from Rome and took us back there, after cruising the Greek Islands, Athens, and Ephesus. Embarkation was easy and efficient. The ports of call were all very good; our first time for all of them. It was annoying the ... Read More
Our cruise left from Rome and took us back there, after cruising the Greek Islands, Athens, and Ephesus. Embarkation was easy and efficient. The ports of call were all very good; our first time for all of them. It was annoying the ship left each port so early in the evening, always between 6-7 pm, so that you did not have the chance to have dinner in a port. We all chalked it up to Celebrity's desire to get us all back on the boat and out of the port to open the casino, shops, and bars. The ship traveled between ports very slowly. Our suite came with the premium beverage package. It thought that got you any cocktail or glass of wine, but we were told there were dollar limits to both and we needed to pay the difference. We never ordered anything over the limit. Also, if you have the premium package, you must order your drink with the particular brand of liquor, otherwise they will make your drink with the cheapest. Any bar might do that, but you just have to keep that in mind. We never ate in the main dining room, so I can't speak to that. The specialty restaurants were many and generally very good. Our suite came with unlimited free specialty dining so we took them up on it. Our favorite was Tuscan Grille; we ate their about four times. So good and the setting was very nice. We generally got window tables and the moon was off the back of the ship. A great setting. Qzine was very good, but only worth going once. Murano was great. A smaller place. Don't sit in the table toward the window on the left. You will get a view of the sights and sounds of the kitchen/staging area. The dinner was free for us but I would have been pissed if I paid $45 each for it. The Martini Bar was great, along with the dancing/DJ. We danced a lot. Didn't do too many other formal entertainment things. The adult pool was air conditioned and very nice, and got us away from the good number of kids in the main pool. Two incidents was particularly troubling to us. We sat at a bar and down the at the other end of the bar were two gentlemen. The bartender, a woman from Russia, asked the other couple where their wives were. We shot them a glance and they smiled at us, and they said they were not married (as it turns out, they were, to each other, but not to women). The bartender then come over to us and asked where our wives were. My husband, a little miffed at this point, said that we were married, but to each other. She looked at us like we had three heads and muttered something, How do you mean? He said we call it marriage equality in the United States. Did they have that where she came from? She avoided answering. We knew Russian didn't. My husband told her she needs to be careful with the line about where are your wives because she is going to be running into a number of married LGBT couples. She was just clueless. The other incident involved two friends of ours who were at a specialty restaurant. Halfway through the meal, a clearly drunk passenger started talking loudly enough so those in the tables around him could hear, that all these gay people were ruining his cruise. He went on and on, and eventually my friend (who was there with his husband) went to the maitre'd to ask that the passenger be asked to calm down. The maitre'd went to the gentleman and that seemed to work for awhile. On the way out, the gentleman stopped at my friend's table and loudly berated him for ratting him out. Unreal. We've been on about 10 cruises and never have had anything like this happen to us. The ship is very new, clean, crisp, easy, nice. No disappointment there. Sunset Bar in the back of the ship was very popular. The little rentable cabanas are cute, but it's very hot up there even on the open sea, and you could easily overheat. All in all, a good cruise. I don't know if Celebrity is a good fit for us and I don't think we are going to jump back on that cruise line, but it's not a bad deal at all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
What i saw of the entertainment , pretty good . Saw some decent comedy , the juggler and the earlier musical / comedy guy were funny . Don't know what some people expect , but i found the shows i saw to be worth going . Singers ... Read More
What i saw of the entertainment , pretty good . Saw some decent comedy , the juggler and the earlier musical / comedy guy were funny . Don't know what some people expect , but i found the shows i saw to be worth going . Singers (first or second night a lady put in an opera piece that was both surprising and excellent ) , dancers ( a ballet routine i thought to be quite stunning ) , were certainly entertaining .the cirque type thing was quite good .theatre seating was two levels and large enough that i could always get a good seat . Shoving the modern , boogie , techno beat , dj, down our throats at the pool in the afternoons was not my cuppa for sure . Loud, obtrusive ,and just crap to me . Didn't look like he was drawing much of a crowd in the disco area the nights i went by .the bands in the public areas were good . The girl singer / guitarist in the foyer had some chops . I don't expect much, i'm pretty sick of cover bands , but people like hearing songs they know . There was a variety of music .i think they want to attract a future crop of cruisers . Don't know why i needed piped in sound all over the buffet , but they have geniuses that figure these things out .get some straight up rock and roll guys . The main pools , in general , were useless every afternoon . Lots of kids and way too crowded .something was done about the kids jumping after the first two days . and of coarse , every lounge chair had some stupid , absent for the most part , towel hogging moron , trying to occupy it .the attendants did pull some towels from time to time . Glad they had the solarium pool . It was better , a bit cooler water , and mostly free of pre 16 year olds , as posted . If you don't like kids , don't go during summer would be obvious advice .we had a lot of stomping in the halls above our room . an outside cabin ,9262 was a great location . A minute or less to the elevator took us to the pool , or the all important buffet ,very quick . Nice that it was glass and you could hear the band . Layout of the ship worked very well . Mid ship elevators only , both port and starboard food was as good or better than expected . All nights in the silhouette dr , except for one in tuscan ( crazy amounts of food ) , and one in the buffet , were really good. .the soups , desserts , appetizers , and entrees never failed .the beef was always good .the short ribs on polenta on the first or second night was" da bomb " . Breakfast in the buffet was fine but crowded sometimes .difficult to get poached eggs at times .lots of fruit , baked goods , smoked salmon , waffles , pan cakes , sliced to order canadian bacon , potatoes ( you know what i'm talking about ) . The entrees at dinner were often slow to arrive . But service was , for the most part excellent . Our select (anytime) dinning tables were pretty fast seatings . A couple nights we shared , and had nice conversations with enjoyable people . Internet worked , but imo flipping robbery for the unlimited package .they did give a 10% discount for a former customer . Our room guys were tireless , cleaning up after us . As the bar drinks are never cheap , they were decent pours and made by real bartenders . We got lucky going off the boat for our winging it , excursion in livorno , we were going to take the "free" shuttle into town . And antoinette , latched on and told us , don't do it . She , on the spot , negotiated ( in fluid italiano ) , a van for about 30 e pp, all the way to florence and pisa and back . Wasn't so great once we got there , crowded , miserably hot , and the lines for the attractions were way too long to get in . And..... How do you get thousands of people into an areas like those with almost no public toilets ? I have to pee right now just thinking about it . boat rides in malta and corfu , were especially great values . Thanks very much to the queen shirleen from houston and her very gracious man shanam for their assistance on corfu and malta .we got our moneys worth with transportation .would liked to have seen pompeii , but didn't want to put up the money and time , as it turned out ( from a guy who went) , the brutal heat would have near killed me . The constant hand sanitizers were annoying , but what can you do ? We had a good time . And i was able to help a lady who had paid for a tour on corfu , only to have a stranger back out of two seats and cancel without paying , thanks to cc we found replacements . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
Our cruise in the Mediterranean was interesting, fun, and relaxing. We were impressed with the sparkling cleanliness of the ship and our cabin. The departure was handled satisfactorily even though there are apparently inevitable waits in ... Read More
Our cruise in the Mediterranean was interesting, fun, and relaxing. We were impressed with the sparkling cleanliness of the ship and our cabin. The departure was handled satisfactorily even though there are apparently inevitable waits in line. (Couldn't check in be done by assigned times to limit the waits?) The meals were quite nice, lots of healthy options. The staff was always friendly and ready to help. We didn't care for the entertainment too much. The music was not to our taste, but lots of people did seem to enjoy it. Cruise music always seems to be trapped in the past. There was a nice jazz combo that played outside. An especially interesting aspect was the glass blowing studio sponsored by Corning glass. Beautiful glass objects were made in demonstration and later sold. The art auctions REALLY should go....the art is not a good buy and the promotions are not believable, in my opinion. The guest services desk staff was very friendly, but there was almost always a frustratingly long wait in line for service. The fitness center was well equipped and the classes were a real workout. Overall, we had a great time, nice port stops, and most all of the activities were well organized. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Overall a very good cruise The service level was excellent on the ship Food was very good The gym was very good Cabins were spacious and comfortable. Wished they had clotheslines to dry gear My reservations were the ... Read More
Overall a very good cruise The service level was excellent on the ship Food was very good The gym was very good Cabins were spacious and comfortable. Wished they had clotheslines to dry gear My reservations were the following: As a Mediterranean cruise, it felt like every port was a competition to see all the sights of Rome in one day as an example. That is more a comment about where we were cruising rather than the ship. That said, their markup on port excursions was very high and we found that a local taxi driver could give you an equivalent trip at a fraction of the price. There was no scuba outings scheduled and the concierge and activity concierge were of no use to us to find a dive site on Crete. We used trip advisor and were happy with who we found Google was more helpful than concierge. Smh The dinner dress code was casual pants which was inconsistently applied. I was allowed in wearing nice shorts one evening and turned away another night while people in jeans were allowed in. I was NOT happy being turned away especially in a hot season Overall a very clean modern and friendly ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We are veteran cruisers in our late 40's who have 13 cruises under our belts (1 Norwegian, 1 Princess, 7 Royal Caribbean, 4 Celebrity). This was our 3rd cruise on a Solstice Class Ship and 1st time cruising the Mediterranean. As I ... Read More
We are veteran cruisers in our late 40's who have 13 cruises under our belts (1 Norwegian, 1 Princess, 7 Royal Caribbean, 4 Celebrity). This was our 3rd cruise on a Solstice Class Ship and 1st time cruising the Mediterranean. As I write this review, I will try to focus on the Equinox but the sites were so spectacular and our private tours were so top notch, I have to mention them. Our trip started out with a flight on Lufthansa out of O'Hare. We left at 9:20pm and had the best service ever on an airplane. Within an hour we had a snack and cocktails/wine were being passed out. By 11:30pm dinner was served. We thought this was strange but our lack of jet lag when we arrived in Rome was proof enough for me. There was also a tray with water and juice for us by the restroom stairs...yes..I said stairs...all the restrooms were below. This prevented a backlog of people waiting in the isles. By midnight, the lights were turned off for around 4 hours when we were served breakfast. We landed in Munich (what a fantastic airport) and had a 2.5 hour layover before heading to Rome. There have been many reviews about the taxi's in Rome so we opted to hire a private car. ROME CABS was fantastic! We were concerned they wouldn't find us because we had pulled into a different terminal due to the fire that happened in Terminal 3 a few months ago. Our concern was unfounded as we walked out of baggage claim to find our driver waiting for us. He maneuvered through Rome traffic like a pro while at the same time giving us the History. Our Hotel was the Intercontinental Hotel de la Ville right above the Spanish Steps. This was a great location with a spectacular view of Rome from their rooftop Bar. There have been some mixed reviews about this hotel and its rooms but I can tell you we had no issues whatsoever. The room and bathroom were normal size IMHO and did not seem worn out. Upon arrival we received 30% off dinner at the rooftop Bar and a 50% discount on breakfast (a European/American) buffet. Our first meal was pasta....mama mia! fresh pasta and sauce with mediterranean seafood was to die for and the house red wine was better than many bottles bought stateside. While in Rome we visited the Colosseum, Forum and Vatican. That's quite a lot to do in one day while its 90 degrees plus. For the Vatican, we used the Viator Tours and this was very informative. David was a great guide and he was very personal. At night we met 12 of our Cruise Critic friends for a cocktail at the rooftop bar and then headed out to meet 6 more at Ristorante 34 for a nice pre-cruise meal. This restaurant was very good but one waiter working by himself had a tough time keeping up with a bunch of American, Canadian, Australian and British tourists!! All in all we had a great meal, great wine and great conversations. We ended the evening with Gelato at Venchi. This is the oldest Gelateria in Rome. It was also amazing. We used Rome Cab to take us to Civitavecchia which is an hour and a half from Rome. I highly recommend this option rather than a regular cab, the train or cruise line bus transfer. It was very comfortable and cost effective (we shared a ride with another couple and split the cost). When you arrive at the port, its nothing like Florida, and more like Bayonne. However, embarkation was quick and our cabin was ready for us before 1pm!! For the first time ever we were able to drop off our carry-ons and head to lunch. We are not fans of buffets on ships but Celebrity tends to get it right every time. The food was hot and fresh, lines always moved quickly and the room wasn't crowded. We ate all our breakfasts here and had eggs made to order whenever we wanted. The Equinox is set up like all the other Solstice Class ships with some subtle differences in decor, color and art. For example, Equinox has a full lawn club with the Corning Glass show instead of the Lawn Club Grill and Alcoves. We actually saw people using the grass for relaxation and activities such as bocce ball on a daily basis. Sailing on Equinox is like visiting a classy high end hotel and the service is top notch. Our Room Steward Tomas met us shortly after we entered our Concierge Class Cabin. He gave us his spiel and let us be. Throughout the cruise he called us by our first names and asked how are day or night was. Our cabin was cleaned each day and our daily hors d'oeuvres and fruit were in the cabin when requested. He even left a towel animal one evening!! I can't say enough about the food and dining room on Equinox and all Celebrity Ships. However, this cruise was one of the best in terms of service. Our waiter Yosanto and Jorge, his assistant were the best we have had since our cruise on Reflection. They were funny, remembered all our names and what we liked and were very attentive to our needs. In terms of food, the taste was on point, however, some of the food I had came out lukewarm and courses tended to be very spread out across the whole dining room. I do think that the port intensive nature of this cruise affected service (many tables were incomplete or straggled in late) so servers sometimes had to scramble to get food ordered and then all delivered at the same time. We also ate at Tuscan Grill. The food and service here can be equated to a high end Italian Steakhouse. You order an Appetizer, soup or salad, a main course and dessert. I can guarantee that you will end the meal fully satisfied so if you choose to eat there, bring an appetite. Because we had the premium drink package, we spent a lot of time at bars. With only one sea day, we didn't drink at the pool. We did however enjoy cappuccino at Cafe al Bacio which is one of our favorite places to relax during the day. Our favorite spot was the Martini Bar. The bartenders know how to perform and pour a great cocktail. We also met people at the Sunset Bar at the back of the ship. We enjoy this spot as well (who am I kidding...we enjoyed all the bars!!!). We did miss having an acoustic guitarist here though. The Ensemble Bar on deck 4 just before entering the Specialty Restaurants was a space we would go to listen to a great Jazz quartet and have a nice cocktail. Entertainment on board for this cruise was hit and miss. The house band (Airband) was not very good and the Equinox singers were just so so. However, the lounge acts were very good! I would recommend visiting the lounges over the production shows but would attend the headliner shows in the theatre. One of the headliners was Jayne Curry. We've seen her on the Constellation and feel she is one the best headliners we've seen on Celebrity. This cruise stopped at Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Villefranche (Nice, Monaco/Monte Carlo, Eze), Corsica, and overnight in Palma de Mallorca. If I were to describe each port in detail, you'd be reading all night so I'll hit the high points. Livorno: We chose to hire Romeinlimo for this port. Hiring a private car was the best thing we did at each port. This tour was the best of the bunch. Our driver, Gianmaria made a point of learning our names and using them all day as this was an 8 hour tour. He was very informative and it felt like he was a knowledgeable friend taking us on a tour of his homeland. We stopped in Pisa for 45 minutes to look at and take pictures of the 3 monuments i.e leaning tower of Pisa...from there we took the hour drive to Florence and spent the rest of the time exploring the sites including the Duomo (Santa Maria), Leather shops, Ponte Vecchio, Academia museum, etc. In the middle of the tour. Gianmaria dropped us off at a Firenze restaurant that was outside of the tourist area called La Cantinetta Di Bolgheri. This was so traditionally Firenze! The Chianti, pasta and bruschetta was sooo good! We ended this day with a stop at Venchi before heading back to the ship Villefranche: For this stop we used Riviera Premium Tours. Our driver was not as personable as Gianmaria but he was very informative. Here we visited NIce, Monaco/Monte Carlo and Eze. Eze is this quaint medieval village in the mountains. I recommend visiting and spending time looking/shopping at the nice stores, eating at the high end restaurants and just checking out the village. You will never see anything like this in France. Corsica: This was our relaxation stop. We took a bus tour of the area which has lots of history (birthplace of Napoleon) and fantastic beaches. We then walked around the city square and went back on the ship. Palma de Mallorca: Overnight. I love this concept! We were able to spend a lot of time on this historical Spanish Island. Day one we purchased tickets on the hop on hop off bus (which you could use for 24 hours) to visit Bellver Castle which sits on a hill overlooking Mallorca. At the end of the ride we stopped at the main area called Passeig des Born with shops and restaurants and had lunch at Restaurante Moby Dick. This place had the best lobster paella!! Day two was our last day before ending the cruise in Barcelona. Since it was the last day, 19 members of our Cruise Critic group took over Mood Beach Club. We had a great time relaxing at a private pool with access to the mediterranean and a nice restaurant. It was a great end to a fantastic cruise. Barcelona: Debarkation- We stayed in Barcelona overnight so we decided to take a 4 hour tour of Barcelona with Barcelona Day Tours. This was another great choice as the guide was personable as well as knowledgeable. We toured the city and stopped at Park Guell, a Gaudi House and Sagrada Familia before the bus dropped all of us and our luggage off at our respected hotels or apartments. We also toured Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, on our own ( a dream for a futbal fan such as myself!!). We ended the night visiting with friends for dinner at Sensi Bistro for modern tapas. Our hotel in Barcelona was the Barcelona Hilton which is about 15 minutes from La Rambla and 5 minutes from Camp Nou. Its in a what we would call a quiet suburban area. The hotel was modern and very comfortable. Well, I think that's it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our 1st time with celebrity and for the most part it was fantastic. The ship is beautiful, the staff are superb, the food divine but the entertainment was woeful. The singers were weak & the dancers poor. They did have 3 ... Read More
This was our 1st time with celebrity and for the most part it was fantastic. The ship is beautiful, the staff are superb, the food divine but the entertainment was woeful. The singers were weak & the dancers poor. They did have 3 outside professional performers (one I believe was fantastic). The only trouble was they were on at 8.15 but as we were on 2nd sitting for dinner at 8.45 we couldn't go. I did go to guest relations and was simply told they would "note for the future" Their only advice was to either ask the restaurant to hold our meal for an hour (which as we were sharing a table with 6 others we didn't feel we should have done) or pay to go into one of the speciality restaurants which we didn't want to do. (Why should we have to pay more for 3 out of 7 meals because celebrity hadn't thought to plan entertainment programme better!) The 4 shows we did go to see were barely a third full and people were constantly walking out. My husband fell asleep in 2 of them!! We set up a group to keep in touch after the cruise and everyone has commented on how the entertainment had let the cruise down . We had the 123 package free with cruise which was great & upgraded to the premium drinks package for $10 pp per day as we found most of the drinks we wanted weren't included in std package (cocktails, premium spirits, & beautiful speciality coffees.) Basically it was easier to just be able to hand the card over without having to look at price list all the time. We did get our money's worth so didn't waste the extra spent. We do our own thing in port so the only "excursion" we took was the shuttle bus into Palma. Our favourite part was sitting in the sky lounge and looking out over the front of the ship. Great view when leaving ports. We would go with celebrity again but only if price is right and extras included as these made it value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We paid a little extra to be upgraded to a suite and it was well worth it, with a larger veranda and separate bed and living rooms. The butler was friendly, efficient and attentive, as were the cabin attendant and his assistant, who ... Read More
We paid a little extra to be upgraded to a suite and it was well worth it, with a larger veranda and separate bed and living rooms. The butler was friendly, efficient and attentive, as were the cabin attendant and his assistant, who responded quickly to a plumbing problem that occurred twice along our part of the deck. (Hopefully, Celebrity will identify and permanently correct the cause.) Upgrading to a suite also bought us a number of perks, such as special events (a sailaway celebration with crew members), access to a concierge and to Michael's Club (apparently intended as a counterpart to an airline lounge), and expedited tendering and disembarkation. We were also supposed to have an expedited embarkation, but a 2-hour change in the hotel transfer (arranged through Celebrity) meant that we arrived at the busiest time and found the scene to be almost chaotic. The Equinox is a beautiful ship, with lots of light (glass elevators) and greenery (lawn and trees). The Oceanview cafe had been redone since our last Celebrity cruise and the reconfigured serving stations not only open the entire room up visually but seem to be much faster and easier to navigate. Also new is the Luminae restaurant for suite passengers, which offers its own smaller menu (plus the main dining room menu) but has fabulous food and service in a more intimate setting. The only drawback is the very limited schedule for breakfast and lunch: Luminae is open for only an hour in the morning and again at noon. (One day, there were a total of only four people during the entire lunch hour.) The entertainment was about on par with what we had experienced on previous cruises. The excursions to Florence and Monte Carlo/Nice were worth the money, though the heavy traffic in the center of Nice resulted in 30 minutes of stops and starts and not much of anything worth looking at. (The views from the corniche during the first hour of the excursion were the highlight.) Regarding the itinerary, the main questions are 1) why the overnight in Palma de Mallorca? and 2) given the location of the dock there, why not provide a free shuttle into town (and better information that there is a shuttle in the first place)? Overall, though, these are fairly minor complaints. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity in the last three years and we are looking forward to more in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and i really enjoyed cruising with celebrity our first time with them and our fourth cruise. Excellent food and choice throughout the ship. We choose select dining for our first time and it was brilliant. Service excellent ... Read More
My husband and i really enjoyed cruising with celebrity our first time with them and our fourth cruise. Excellent food and choice throughout the ship. We choose select dining for our first time and it was brilliant. Service excellent throughout the ship and nothing was any trouble to any staff. Embarkation very speedy and glass of champs was very welcome. Ship spotless also the stateroom and attendants the facilities within and sleep quality all excellent. Entertainment in theatre could be much improved on. Reflections lounge quite good. Places visited were beautiful with stunning scenery. Had pre-booked 4 trips. They were all excellent and good value for money. Had a Great time and will be cruising again with Celebrity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I were celebrating our 25th Anniversary, so this cruise was our gift to ourselves! It was wonderful overall. When cruising Celebrity, we always choose Aqua Class. We love Blu; it's wonderful having meals prepared ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 25th Anniversary, so this cruise was our gift to ourselves! It was wonderful overall. When cruising Celebrity, we always choose Aqua Class. We love Blu; it's wonderful having meals prepared just for yourselves and not a whole slew of people. We also love the fact that in Blu, one never has to dress for Formal Evenings. My husband hates dressing up! On the first evening, we took advantage of the half-price savings and dined at Murano. Sure it was excellent, but honestly, Blu was just as amazing each night, if not more-so. The itinerary was wonderful: Rome, Santorini, Istanbul (overnight!), Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens, and Naples. My personal favorite port had to be Kusadasi. Ancient Ephasus was just amazing... especially the Theater and Terrace Houses. Service was super... staff always friendly, and for such an enormous boat, the crew was so organized at dealing with crowds both in disembarking at ports, sending folks onto shore excursions, etc. Very impressive organization. We didn't win it, but were delighted that Celebrity gave a free cruise away during Bingo at the end of the trip. Since this was a longer cruise, I indulged in some art-lessons in the on-board studio. It was GREAT! I'm no artist, but the Artist in Residence was patient, helpful, and really SHOWED you techniques. Thoroughly enjoyed that and got to bring home two souvenir pieces of art that I painted on my own! Only two complaints were regarding two Shore Excursions: Our Mykonos tour of the "Monastery" really wasn't worth the money. The tour made a short stop at a beach for photos and then to the Monastery, which was just a small Greek Orthodox Church. The village gave us some mezes, but the experience was unremarkable and I regretted not going to Delos instead. The second disappointment was our "Pompeii On Your Own" Tour. I have been there numerous times, but wanted to show it to my husband. Turns out, we mainly paid for our transportation to/from Pompeii from the port in Naples. They didn't even get our tickets for us in advance! When we arrived, we were told we had only 2 hrs. to visit the site (which is laughable anyway, since it's a huge archaeological park), and then we had to stand in line for THIRTY MINUTES to get our tickets. The rest of the trip was a fabulous dream come true, however. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
First thing I want to say is the staff and crew were amazing I cannot fault them. We had an inside cabin which was much the same as other inside cabins on other ships. The ship is quite well laid out with lots of mirrors which make it feel ... Read More
First thing I want to say is the staff and crew were amazing I cannot fault them. We had an inside cabin which was much the same as other inside cabins on other ships. The ship is quite well laid out with lots of mirrors which make it feel light and airy. We were greeted onto the ship with a glass of champagne. After leaving our hand luggage in our room we tried out the ocean view cafe. The food is OK nice but nothing special. Throughout the cruise we had breakfast and lunch here everyday. It was mostly the same food at breakfast and lunch only varied a little from day to day. The cafe is clean there is a good selection of drinks available all day and night. At times it was really hard to find somewhere to sit. In the evening we dined at 6.15pm everyday in the restaurant. Our table was hard to get to as there were too many tables too close together. The staff were brilliant. The meat was good quality and well cooked. The menu was inventive and you may not get what you thought you would get! There are 3 pools 2 outside and one inside. They are not big and can get crowded on hot days. The hot tubs were excellent and usually we could find a vacant one. We were very disappointed with the outside activities which consisted of a basketball court no one used and one shuffleboard with a broken stick. There is a lot of unused space on Deck 12 which could be converted to a mini golf course.. There were two table tennis tables on Deck 10. At around 4.15/4.30pm each day there was a trivia quiz which was great fun. It was run by Andreas who bought his own touch of fun. The theatre is roomy and well laid out. We enjoyed all the shows. The shops are fun to look round but overpriced.. There are photographers everywhere and can get a bit annoying if you are not interested in their overpriced photos. The Captain was very visible and has a great sense of humour. We choose this cruise for the itinerary which was excellent. We did not do the ships. tours but did our own thing which usually involved hop on hop off busses at very reasonable prices. We both enjoyed our cruise and would cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was my second cruise on the Equinox in 5 years and felt that they have lowered their standards of service and quality of the food. On this trip we cruised the Mediterranean and took 2 of the ships tours. It was quite a let down. I ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Equinox in 5 years and felt that they have lowered their standards of service and quality of the food. On this trip we cruised the Mediterranean and took 2 of the ships tours. It was quite a let down. I would consider the guides a bit mediocre and disorganized. I cannot imagine what kind of kitchen staff they have in the main dining room but they had no idea how to cook and serve noquis. The pool area is very comfortable and one always found lounge chairs available. The shows were quite good and I did like the idea that the first show is at 7pm so that I could watch it and not fall asleep. The service in general was quite good . I did not like the idea of the staff pedaling the beverage packages throughout the ship the first 2 days of the journey. If a passenger has the complete beverage package why should they be charged extra for whatever is consumed in the room refrigerator? Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
DW and I took our second cruise with Celebrity in May 2015. 10 nights departing from Barcelona. Overall we had a fabulous time. Were there some issues? Absolutely. We spent two nights in Barcelona prior to sailing. First time in Europe ... Read More
DW and I took our second cruise with Celebrity in May 2015. 10 nights departing from Barcelona. Overall we had a fabulous time. Were there some issues? Absolutely. We spent two nights in Barcelona prior to sailing. First time in Europe for both of us and we found that to be a wonderful city that we hope to get back to someday. I would say the main bone of contention dealt with shore excursions. When we arrived in Salerno, Italy we were docked in a very industrial port. According to the tour guide on our bus in the afternoon the issue was not the fault of Celebrity or the land shore excursion operators, but rather with the port authorities. Basically there was a gate very close to the ship which the port would not allow to be opened. As a result the tour buses had to wend their way on a very circuitous roadway to exit the port. The port was jam packed with tractor trailer units transporting new automobiles. The result was sitting on a tour bus that didn't move for nearly 30 minutes! Not a pleasant experience. Ultimately it is Celebrity's responsibility! We also heard other passengers say they too had shore excursion issues. We found the cabin to be great (1652 on Deck 11). Our cabin steward, Rhea and her assistant were great. She was very attentive and helpful with every request. The onboard entertainment was excellent. We went to the show in the Equinox Theater each evening and found the productions to be high quality. One thing that was disappointing was the lack of poolside entertainment. There was a "house band" on board and they were very good. Unfortunately they only performed poolside the first two days. A young man with a guitar would play for about 40 minutes at the pool at about 4:30pm each afternoon, (or almost each afternoon) and I think he played the same set every day. We had second sitting dinner and wound up sitting with a couple we met through the CC Roll Call Sail Away party. My wife and I both felt the food was good but the quality was down from our last Celebrity Cruise in 2010. Others on CC have confirmed this as well. One thing we did find peculiar was that our waiter often looked up at the ceiling when he was speaking with us! I also was a bit disappointed in the disembarkation in Rome. We completed a questionnaire that asked about time of car service appointments etc. We had an 8:30am reservation with a car service and we weren't called to disembark until after 9:00am! I got an e-mail from the car service saying the driver would not be able to wait much longer. That was a little disconcerting! Overall we both were quite pleased. We realize that in this day and age not everybody is going to be satisfied with everything. We did a lot of research before the cruise on the various ports of call, but now realize we need to do more before the next cruise, especially if we opt to use private shore excursions instead of Celebrity excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our 12th cruise and first on Celebrity. The itinerary was perfect for us and we got a nice deal with free tips, free drinks, and onboard credit. We got to see Mykonos and Santorini, the 2 Greek Islands we were most interested ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise and first on Celebrity. The itinerary was perfect for us and we got a nice deal with free tips, free drinks, and onboard credit. We got to see Mykonos and Santorini, the 2 Greek Islands we were most interested in, 2 great cities--Istanbul and Athen (Acropolis), and 2 interesting archealogical sites--Ephesus and Pompeii, with a perfect mix of sea days and pacing of the port stops. The ship was very nice but I can't quite give the cruise an overall 5 star rating. Our cabin was very nice and comfortable and service was excellent. The food in the MDR and buffet was very good. We did not see the need to try any of the specialty restaurants. We went to the show every night in the theatre and the shows were all good, nothing really outstanding, but nothing bad. There was a guest speaker onboard who gave very interesting historical and sightseeing presentations on each of the ports. Unfortunately they had him give his first few presentations in Celebrity Central which wasn't nearly big enough for the overflow crowds that attended, and when they finally moved him into the big theatre for his final presentation, they kicked him out before he was finished because they needed the theatre to rehearse. They needed to give him more space and more time. We took one ships excursion, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, and we were very happy with it. Most ports were very easy to DIY. We were disappointed in the lack of daytime activities and entertainment on sea days. There wasn't much to do that interested us, other than the guest speaker, although the casino was enjoyable. When they had activities they were almost always held on the deck 3 or deck 4 atrium, where there was very little seating and people would have to stand or crowd around the railings 4 or 5 deep on the deck or 2 above and it was very difficult to see anything. The ship needs a bigger lounge area with a stage and seating to put on some of these shows and activities. They had nightly music and dancing on the deck 3 atrium, often with the Reflection dancers participating that looked like fun, but we could never get close enough to see anything. They also need to have self service laundry facilities. $3 to launder a pair of sox is terrible. Overall, we were very happy with the cruise. The weather was also fantastic--high temps were high 60s to mid 70s with no rain. A very nice time to travel to this area. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Aqua Class was a big improvement over some recent sailings. We liked our cabin 1115- a little newer, fresher, no urine or sewer smells in the bathroom. Convenient elevator to Blu dining room. Also, enjoyed deck 11 in general. We had an ... Read More
Aqua Class was a big improvement over some recent sailings. We liked our cabin 1115- a little newer, fresher, no urine or sewer smells in the bathroom. Convenient elevator to Blu dining room. Also, enjoyed deck 11 in general. We had an excellent room attendant. Things we loved about Blu: serene, subdued lighting, quiet, plush, beautiful, attentive staff, food overall quite good. What I really disliked about Blu: very, very slow. Most evenings it took at least 1.5 hrs from the time we sat down until the main course arrived. With such a port intensive itinerary, we were very tired and didn't want a long, drawn out dining experience night after night. In contrast, the Main Dining Room is bright, loud and quick. Toward the end, we got tired of some of Blu's offerings which tried a little too hard to be gourmet with exotic sauces etc. But I would choose Blu any day over the specialty restaurants, which in our experience on other Celebrity ships have been quite mediocre. I caught a cold and bad cough in Turkey which affected my perception of the cruise I'm sure. We've always loved cruising but this cruise will be our last for a long time. Eleven nights at sea and an additional 7 nights on land was too much. We stayed in luxury hotels on land and I enjoyed them more than the cruise experience. We arranged our own private guides at every port- some of whom were awful, some mediocre and a few outstanding. Our four outstanding guides: two in Israel- Moki Schwartz and Shimon Mizrahi. In Malta, Christine Muscat and last but not least, a real star, Fiorella of Vesuvius Vs Pompeii Company in Naples. We had a fabulous day in Naples with private car and on foot- historic and art areas and foodie interests along with stunning cliffside views (Posillipo Hill). People who skip Naples and head to Pompeii or the Amalfi Coast are really missing out. I don't think we'll be cruising Celebrity again (unless we're paying for an extended family trip in the future and need a more economical option). I'm picturing land based travels only and down the road, possibly a 7 night Azamara cruise. I would be leery of a long cruise on any cruise line at this point. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
First time in Europe and with Celebrity. Sailed RCI, Carnival and Norwegian. The ship was in great shape, well designed never felt congested and any line was fairly short. I really liked the indoor solarium pool it was a good size and had ... Read More
First time in Europe and with Celebrity. Sailed RCI, Carnival and Norwegian. The ship was in great shape, well designed never felt congested and any line was fairly short. I really liked the indoor solarium pool it was a good size and had two 'warm tubs' in the adults only area, although there were almost no kids on this cruise, it was mostly a gray hair tour :) The staff were excellent, the main dinning room food was very good and the specialty dinning was excellent. I recommend the 3 restaurant package tour. If you only do one , make it Murano. The buffet was disappointing compared to other cruises, choices were limited and quality was average. Entertainment was disappointing for me, card tricks, violin and Beatles show not so great. The 'equinox' circ style show was very good however. Disappointingly there were no comedians on board but Paul the cruise director made up for it doing guest 'game shows' don't miss those in the smaller venue. Embark and debark were quick and smooth, wish they were all like this. No customs at debark, I didn't realize and got off the ship earlier than I needed to. I would cruise Celebrity again but RCI remains my top cruise line choice strange because celebrity is supposed to be the premium line but I didn't see it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
First I should say we were all invited to complete an online survey about the cruise after we disembarked. I wanted to do this, but by the time we got home (we stayed on a few extra days in Rome, and then it's a 36-hour marathon to ... Read More
First I should say we were all invited to complete an online survey about the cruise after we disembarked. I wanted to do this, but by the time we got home (we stayed on a few extra days in Rome, and then it's a 36-hour marathon to our part of the world), the survey was closed. Which is why I'm reviewing it here instead of direct to Celebrity as I would have preferred. So I guess that's the first point I would make to Celebrity: keep your surveys open a little longer, to cater for those who are not flying home immediately. (Please don't assume we can go online while we're still away; some of us take holidays to escape the tyranny of technology). It was a wonderful cruise. The ship is beautiful, the crew friendly, the food marvellous (though starting to lose its novelty and freshness by the end), the cabin stewards cheerful and charming, the whole atmosphere a lot of fun. The particular cruise we did (down the Adriatic, then Malta & Sicily, and up to Civitavecchia) included some wonderful destinations. Indeed it was these that attracted us to this particular cruise, and we weren't disappointed. That said, there are just a couple of things Celebrity need to do to turn an excellent experience into a truly outstanding one. First, the line needs to be redrawn between what is included and what we pay extra for. Alcoholic beverages we expect to pay for, but coffee at the end of your meal? OK, there is coffee in a self-help server that is free, but it's pre-mixed and very ordinary. A real coffee (or tea) is surely an integral part of dining - not an extra. Ditto regarding fruit juice for breakfast: freshly-squeezed is surely as much par for the course as the bulk supply stuff at the self-servery, and should not be charged extra for just because it happens to come from the bar. (Does it have to come from there)? More seriously, the disembarkation process let Celebrity down. The usual evening-before destination lecture wasn't given for Rome, and Guest Relations staff were remarkably ill-informed or reticent to talk about how to get from the port to Rome independently. Celebrity offered a bus transfer into Rome for US$90 per person - an outrageous price considering taxis (with less economies of scale than a bus) did it for less than a third of that price. It's a shame that such a wonderful cruise and a wonderful experience, ends on a "down" note with passengers made to feel that now it's over they no longer matter. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
I am going to start my review in reverse order because Disembarkation at the Port of Barcelona was such a fiasco and unfortunately was my last memory of the cruise. We were given green 62 luggage tags, which meant disembarkation at about ... Read More
I am going to start my review in reverse order because Disembarkation at the Port of Barcelona was such a fiasco and unfortunately was my last memory of the cruise. We were given green 62 luggage tags, which meant disembarkation at about 7:30. I personally filled out the luggage tags and placed them on all our bags. At the port we waited and waited for the bags at the conveyor belt, only one of the 3 bags came out, and time was ticking. We had a 10:25 am direct flight from BCN to JFK to make, we were supposed to get back at 1pm NY time. I was told to go to lost and found (L & F) and look and there were over 50 bags there with no tags. At the L & F as some people found their luggage they told me they were confident they put the tags on their luggage. I waited on a line at the L & F to fill out a missing luggage form, people were yelling and screaming at the girl behind the counter about their lost luggage and missing their flights. I had given up looking because we really needed to get to the airport after wasting all this time looking for our luggage. As we began to leave, I glanced over at a different conveyor belt and saw a suitcase going around that looked exactly like mine, but it had a blank tag no address or name and it was green 89 (a later disembarkation time). I got a closer look and it was my suitcase, I didn't put a luggage tag with an 89 label on, how did it get there?? Many people around me were having the same discovery after thinking their luggage was lost they found the numbered luggage tag had been switched/tampered with or obviously pulled off all together. We searched around and found the last suitcase, whose label had also been switched from 62 to 89 sitting somewhere in the room. Someone tampered with our luggage tags sometime between when we put the luggage in the hallway the night before and when it was finally delivered in the Port of Barcelona. After this huge delay at the port in getting our luggage, although we made our best effort to get to the airport, we missed our flight direct flight to JFK. We dealt with a Delta for over 2 hours trying to get another flight, they told us we might have to stay another day in Barcelona. Delta eventually got us on a flight to Atlanta, and then a connecting flight to LGA, We finally arrived in NY after 11pm on Tuesday 8/26. What I find most disconcerting is what I discovered when I unpacked, inside my suitcase I found my original luggage tags with the number 62 and my handwritten name and address on it ripped into little pieces and crumpled into a ball. In other words not only did someone tamper with my tags, they opened my suitcase and put the original tags inside. The reason why I am posting all of this is because I contacted Celebrity to complain about the luggage tag switch/tampering and the Celebrity representative didn't seem to care, she had a very lackadaisical attitude. I don’t believe she was actually entering anything I said down or did anything about it for that matter like referring it to a higher Authority within Celebrity. She seemed to blow it all off and said no one else had complained about the luggage tag switch, which I can't fathom because there were a lot of people in the Barcelona port terminal with the same issue of either ripped off tags and/or later numbered tags placed on their luggage. Celebrity referred me to Berkley insurance who has since referred me back to Celebrity (you can see where this is going). I live in NY and maybe some see our Security as overzealous, but if something like this had occurred in one of our Airports or ports for that matter the media and authorities would have been all over it as a security breach. The fact remains that somewhere along the line while the luggage was in Celebrity’s hands it was tampered with. No one checks their luggage at the port after collecting it. Once you grab your luggage, off you go to the Airport where you attest that you packed your luggage and it has been in your possession the entire time, which is not the case. If this incident was allowed to happen what is to stop someone from putting something illegal in your luggage after you put it out in the hallway for collection. Needless to say I will be walking my luggage off myself from now, since Celebrity has chosen to do nothing to rectify the situation. Embarkation The check in process was swift as we had our set sail pass plus we are Elite so the lines were minimal. However as we arrived at the port at about 10:30 am, there were still passengers disembarking from the previous cruise. We were delayed entry onboard because the previous cruise passengers took forever to get off, We were held like cattle in a huge auditorium on plastic chairs until almost 12 noon before they let us embark. We were told when we got onboard the rooms were not ready. After a long transatlantic flight that is not something you want to hear. Finally at about 2pm it was announced the cabins were ready, which was not the case our cabin steward was running around saying the cabins were not ready, and he was correct our cabin had not been cleaned. We also had a few broken fixtures such as shower doors etc., which we reported to the front Desk. The Asst. Chief of Housekeeping Carlton took care of those issues. The Chief Housekeeper, Niko Papanikolaou is in a word fabulous. His team keeps the ship clean from top to bottom. After our initial issues with the cabin, Niko took a personal care of our every need and issues that came up along the way. He was sincerely apologetic for the mishaps with the cabin on the first day. Niko emulated the very motto that Celebrity Cruises strives to achieve, he thought of things that we might need before we even asked for them. Entertainment One reviewer complained about the entertainment, there were some entertainers and shows that I didn’t particularly care for either, so I got up and left, no one says you have to stay in the Theatre if you’re bored. There is always something going on onboard. Paul Baya is a very talented cruise director, he keeps the entertainment on board well organized and flowing smoothly throughout the cruise. Not only is he funny but he is an extraordinary Singer. This is our Second cruise with Paul as the Cruise Director and he never disappoints. He is personable and has the patience of a Saint. He creates such a nice atmosphere on the ship that it is not only felt by the passengers but the crew members as well. I was so happy when I discovered we would have Paul again as our Cruise Director. Celebrity and the passengers are lucky to have him onboard. Food The Oceanview Café is buffet style dining. It is what it is. We stayed in an Aquaclass cabin so we were fortunate enough to be able to eat Breakfast and Dinner in Blu. The Dining in Blu is small and intimate and the food always had a nice presentation and was not as riddled with spices as I have had in the past in the MDR. The first few nights we waited a while to be seated but after that we always had a table waiting for us. Blu was a welcomed retreat from the hustle and Bustle of the MDR. We ate in the MDR a few times for lunch and it only made me appreciate Blu more. Café Bacio was excellent the coffee was always perfect. Alex and Ari are the Best baristas’ around. The only problem was trying to find a seat at times here. All The Europeans had drink packages. Because unlike in The US where Cruisers were offered the 1, 2, or 3 pick your perk offer (choose ONE item). The Europeans we discovered were offered a 1, 2, 3 perk offer but theirs meant they received ALL 3 offers together (onboard credit, drink package, plus prepaid gratuities.) and Europeans were also offered in addition that children sailed free. Ports of Call I agree with a previous reviewer who said that the itinerary was front end heavy, 5 ports in a row, were grueling and I will never do that again. We sailed roundtrip from Barcelona. I further concur with the other reviewer that many of the ports a call are actually very far away from the actual tourist attractions that one goes to visit and you are left with no alternative but to take transportation to your desired destination. Marseille We paid Celebrity $10 pp for transfers to Marseille about a 20 minute bus ride from the port. Honestly there was not much to see in Marseille, the attraction to this port is Provence, but at this time of year the flowers have already bloomed. Villefranche-sur-Mer This is a tender port. In this port the public train is about a 10 minute walk along the beach. We took a quick train ride to Monte Carlo. Livorno It was a Holiday on August 15th the day we were in Livorno, everything was closed. We decided to take the Celebrity transfers to Pisa because all the transfers to Florence were sold out and any transport on your own to Florence is almost 2 hours one way. Civitavecchia Celebrity offers a train or bus transfer to Rome which is about an hour by train and 1 ½ hours by bus, both of which were sold out. Left with no alternative as we have done in the past we decided to walk to the train which typically is a 10 minute walk, but this time it took over 40 minutes to walk because of where the boat was docked. We almost got stuck in Rome because of a train delay on our return and we had to take a taxi back to Civitavecchia, with some other cruise passengers that we bumped into in Rome who were also in the same predicament. We all tried to call the port emergency number Celebrity gave for Civitavecchia to tell them we would be delayed getting back, however there was a recording as it was a Saturday that stated they were closed until Monday. Even though Celebrity claimed it was open we had an Italian translate the message for us and he said it clearly said closed. Salerno We took Celebrity’s water transport to Amalfi. It was a nice leisurely boat ride along the coast. Kotor We had been to before on the Silhouette. It is a port you tender into, it is nice just to walk around the old city. Venice We purchased water taxi passes from Celebrity for a total of $30 pp for the time we were in Venice. Venice obviously is a very walkable city and beautiful just in and of itself. Dubrovnik The old city that everyone goes to Dubrovnik to see is about a ½ hour bus ride from where the ships docks, so we decided to take Celebrity transportation with a brief walking tour. Barcelona We had to purchase round trip transfers to the City Center at the port for 5 Euro pp, because where the ship was docked was too far to walk to the City Center. We just took a hop on/ hop off bus because we were just tired of tours. Conclusion I actually began writing my review while onboard, and it had completely different tone to it until the disaster with the luggage. It is a shame that my review had to be overshadowed by what happened on the last day because many of the crew members truly aimed to please while onboard. Because of the malicious actions of one person who decided to tamper with luggage tags for whatever reason my review took a turn 180 degree turn from positive to negative.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My wife and I just finished a somewhat disappointing cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox. Keep in mind that we are experienced cruisers, and have taken over 25 cruises, our last three including this one on Celebrity. This was their Classic ... Read More
My wife and I just finished a somewhat disappointing cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox. Keep in mind that we are experienced cruisers, and have taken over 25 cruises, our last three including this one on Celebrity. This was their Classic Mediterranean cruise, a very port intensive cruise with 9 stops in 12 nights. The ports of call were superb, and everything we could have hoped for. Our Concierge class cabin was wonderful as was the cabin service. What made this trip somewhat disappointing was the overall quality of the food served in the dining room and Oceanview Buffet. The food was at times served cold, for example the escargot in the dining room was served cold. The french onion soup had no flavor. The overall choice of entrees for dinner in the dining room was rather poor as well. They also seemed, to use anyway, to try and get us fed and out of there as quickly as possible. I can remember, before the days of flex dining, that dinner was an event that everyone looked forward to. Thus was not the case this time. The Oceanview buffet, unless you got eggs made to order were cold. The bacon at times was under cooked. Contrast this with the speciality restaurants, and it was definitely worth the extra money spent to dine in the Tuscan Grille or Murano. We ate in the Tuscan Grille 4 nights, and Murano once, both were spectacular. The last night they made a cake for my wife's birthday!! I would highly recommend the speciality restaurants over the dining room. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We have never sailed with Celebrity before but my parents raved about them. We had concierge room which was great except if wasn't clean on arrival. The thick dust on the couch and coffee and food splattered all over the mirror and ... Read More
We have never sailed with Celebrity before but my parents raved about them. We had concierge room which was great except if wasn't clean on arrival. The thick dust on the couch and coffee and food splattered all over the mirror and fridge was enough for us to call our room attendant for a re clean. He was happy enough to do it but not the best start. The food in the bistro was mediocre but the dining room was lovely but would have liked more variation. Our waiter and assistant were so kind and lovely. The inboard entertainment was pretty rubbish. More like a school rehearsal . Puppeteer was a waist of time. If you aren't into water sports, there isn't a heap to do. They tend to focus activities around a certain type of cruiser. We attended music trivia only to have the majority of Americans choose the topic they preferred, so for us Aussies, we had no clue of the TV show they watch. I heard throughout the cruise my parents and other past cruisers complaining about how things had been budget cut, like no choc on pillow, no towel art in your room, no self serve ice cream etc. no day at sea buffet like usual. Overall it wasn't a bad cruise, we did enjoy ourselves. Would I cruise with them again...... Yes Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Just returned from 14 night cruise around the Med. First time on Celebrity, and had wanted to try them for some time. First impressions - very good. Handed a glass of champagne on arrival, nice welcome. Cabin on deck 9, lovely - clean and ... Read More
Just returned from 14 night cruise around the Med. First time on Celebrity, and had wanted to try them for some time. First impressions - very good. Handed a glass of champagne on arrival, nice welcome. Cabin on deck 9, lovely - clean and airy, with a lovely shower (no more plastic curtains ...). Outside areas very nice, comfy sunbeds (people still hogging sun beds, despite no-one on them, and pool butlers, eg, keep sunbeds in the shade as well as in the sun - not friendly or considerate of others wanting beds. Entertainment - I thought this was quite poor. Main event each evening was a show in the theatre but once this was over nothing much happening - very mediocre music bands, and not enough seating areas in the other bars if an event was happening. Next the bar staff - we had a drinks package (as did most other passengers), BUT to get a drink at the bar was nigh on impossible. Not enough bar staff for the number of people ordering - is this a ploy by Celebrity who don't care whether you have a drink or not - after all you've paid for it already....! In general the staff were friendly, but some of the bar staff were surly, and no friendly word when ordering (could be due to the pressure they were under). Food in the Ocean View was smashing - lovely presentation, and could always get a seat. MDR - food not as good as I expected - although service was good. Limited choice of desserts. Excursions, altho still expensive, seemed well organised. Overall an enjoyable holiday - would I go with Celebrity again - not sure.... P&O entertainment definitely better - more to do around the ship. Read Less
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