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Cruise Ratings
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167
Sail Date: September 2019
This was one of the sails that was shorten due to hurricane Dorian. We were bummed but we completely understood it had to be done for everyone's safety. After much discussion my husband and I decided not to cancel our trip and let me ... Read More
This was one of the sails that was shorten due to hurricane Dorian. We were bummed but we completely understood it had to be done for everyone's safety. After much discussion my husband and I decided not to cancel our trip and let me tell you, I am very glad we saw it through. Though we couldn’t go to Haiti or Jamaica, Cozumel, Mexico was still an outstanding experience! We did two excursions: one was a semi-sub where we saw various fish including barracudas and rays and the another was the Jose’ Cuervo Experience where we learned proper tequila tasting techniques and how to make margaritas. We probably spent way too much money there but it was fun and worth it. As far as the ship, there was plenty to do and places to go, like the pools, hot tubs, indoor park, casino, etc. There were also amazing shows like Ocean Aria and Blue Planet! I loved eating at the Windjammer and we even took our food up to our ocean-view balcony one morning. The main dining places were great too with an array of choices and unlimited supply. The waiting staff couldn’t have been better. They all were so personable and remembered our names after only one day. We requested the same seating area the rest of the nights because of it. Same with room cleaning and the bartenders. Outstanding service! This brings me to my one complaint. During dinner for the first three nights they had taken several photos of me and my husband. The photographers worked very quickly so every time we had tried to ask how to get our photos they were already at another table. “Oh well,” we thought. Maybe some photo previews or at least a flyer on how to purchase them will be sent to our room, we had reasoned. On our last night we had planned to ask before they took our photos again, only there were no photographers there that time. Hindsight, we should have gone to guest services but foolishly we assumed at that point that we would get an email about the photos. We’ve now come to find out that there is no way to purchase photos post cruise which is extremely disappointing considering we were celebrating five years married. We accept some fault but it would have been nice and less confusing to have been notified how to purchase our photos by one of the photographers. This is only our second cruise and our first was with Carnival. We didn’t like Carnival nearly as much as RC but at least they had no problem informing us during dinner how to purchase our photos. Overall, this was a great cruise and due to the graciousness of the company, we now have extra money saved from our remaining three days that were canceled as well as some credit towards a future cruise. Allure of the Seas is definitely a ship I would consider again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second time on the Majesty of the Seas , so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was 2 FREE days added to the back end of our cruise, Because of hurricane Dorian 2 extra days were added to the back end of our ... Read More
This was our second time on the Majesty of the Seas , so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was 2 FREE days added to the back end of our cruise, Because of hurricane Dorian 2 extra days were added to the back end of our five day cruise, I have to say the the captain was on the P A system sometimes twice a day letting us know that because of the hurricane RCCL would stay out 2 days longer than planned and there would be NO added cost to passengers and Drink packages and internet packages would also be extended at NO extra charge. The only thing I wondered was the room attendants and waitstaff would be shafted on 2 days of gratuities because of our FREE days?? The ship is small and compact with easy access to everything, There are literally No steps so mobility issues are no problem, Food was good and drinks were a bit expensive if you don't have the drink package ($17 for a Mojito at the pool bar) Shows and entertainment were typical for a cruise ship and even the extra days there were production shows and performers. Overall Nice cruise , the only downside was downtime in the cabin the TV was TERRIBLE There were almost NO movies or TV shows , Everything was taped loops and cartoons or sports that most people don't follow. Royal you really need to improve your stateroom entertainment.. Read Less
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I have been on 85 cruises and I wanted to try a mega ship. What a mistake. From the moment I booked this cruise I felt like I was being hustled. I received emails informing me that I had to book my dinner reservations I had to book all ... Read More
I have been on 85 cruises and I wanted to try a mega ship. What a mistake. From the moment I booked this cruise I felt like I was being hustled. I received emails informing me that I had to book my dinner reservations I had to book all my shows and I was given very unpleasant times with no choice in the matter . I also received several emails asking me to upgrade buying dining packages eating at restaurants and buying beverage packages and they just kept coming. Even at this early stage if I wouldn’t of paid in full I would’ve canceled the ship as I did read reviews and they weren’t very good. First of all the food is cold and second rate food they do not have good quality meat, fish chicken or pork. Everything is overcooked dry and tough. Most of them hidden with batter. When eating your dinner they come along and try and sell you a package to eat in their 12 private restaurants with no regard whether you’re eating or not. They hustle drink packages all along the boardwalk and every entrance throughout the ship. This ship should be renamed hustler of the seas. We joined the spa to use the steam room and they even added an 18% tip on top of that just to use the steam room and only 4 lounge chairs for 6500 people ruin the spa. We have never witnessed so many unhappy and dissatisfied passengers on any ship as this one. This ship has zero security they all hide. This ship is geared for mainly miss behaved children. We were in room 10 612 and it was very small for a balcony room but we had a great room steward. The drinks on the ship cost more than any other ship we’ve been on. We purchased a martini and a Cosmo and that bill was $31 for those two drinks. We were not interested in the drink package as people were complaining there was no liquor in their drinks. The shows were OK. The wipeout café is the only restaurant where you can get a omelette made. The wind jammer has repetitive food every day and some of it’s left over from last nights dinner. The solarium restaurant was nice but repetitive food again also cold. There is hardly enough entertainment and when there is they have five things going on at the same time. We were told that between passengers and crew there over 9000 people on board. It did not feel like a cruise it felt like a floating mall full of used car salesman. The staff is friendly but they’re trying to sell on a nonstop basis. On formal night I was in my tuxedo and next to me was a man with his T-shirt shorts and flip-flops eating dinner and that was acceptable on that ship. If you like to cruise for the art of cruising stay away from this ship you will definitely regret it. 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
5 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
6 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
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise was a honeymoon gift from my in-laws. The first issue we had was with my husband's luggage. The airport temporarily lost his suitcase, but then notified us that it was still in the airport. We had already embarked early ... Read More
This cruise was a honeymoon gift from my in-laws. The first issue we had was with my husband's luggage. The airport temporarily lost his suitcase, but then notified us that it was still in the airport. We had already embarked early and had several more hours before departure. My husband went to the customer service desk and offered to just get a taxi and get the luggage himself. The lady at the counter, Ann, offered to send someone from the ship to retrieve his luggage for him. Later that evening, after about 3 hours out to sea, my husband had not received his luggage. He went to customer service and a different person was at the desk and informed us that they are not allowed to go to the airport to get luggage and that we were never offered that service. So there are those lies and horrible service. Fast forward to the day of disembarkment. I was covered in bug bites. All over my legs, arms, hands, shoulders, and even some on my face. I noticed a bite or two early on during the cruise and didn't think much of it. Each day more appeared. By the last day, I was covered in bites. Since I had WiFi on that day, I googled possible causes and realized these were bed bug bites!!!! I went to the doctor the very next morning and got verification that they were indeed from BED BUGS. My father-in-law immediately filled out a report with Royal Caribbean that was never addressed. They completely ignored the report. At this point in time, my in-laws have been completely ignored when informing the cruise line and travel agent Vacationstogo about this disgusting issue. My mother-in-law called to check on the report that was filed and she was met with a rude lady named Paulie who made up all sorts of crazy scenarios as to where the bites could have come from and harshly stated, "There will be no compensation for this, we are not responsible." This issue was recently emailed to Royal Caribbeans Crown and Anchor. There was a response that they were looking into it, but now two weeks later.....NOTHING. She emailed them again asking why they are ignoring such a serious issue. People pay THOUSANDS of dollars for a luxury cruise and this is NOT acceptable. Not to mention the inconvenience of not having your luggage all week when we were more than willing to just go and get it ourselves. Keep in mind the bed bugs can and will travel with people. Once home, we had to wash everything in hot water and place the luggage in the hot sun. Also, my husband still doesn't have his luggage. Apparently it was sent to different ports we were visiting during the cruise in an effort of the airport to get it to us. It is completely lost at this point. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We arrived at Port Everglades, and check-in was only delayed because some of the local agents seemed to be still learning the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of the Medallion system. Boarding had not quite started, but within 15 ... Read More
We arrived at Port Everglades, and check-in was only delayed because some of the local agents seemed to be still learning the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of the Medallion system. Boarding had not quite started, but within 15 minutes or so, we were on the ship. Our cabin wasn't ready yet, but I dropped off our case of wine and carry-on bags before heading to the dining room for lunch. Our waiter strolled in about 10 minutes later....he had just returned to the ship after spending several months at home, and he wasn't in his groove yet. We were in vacation mode, and apparently, so was he, so we chuckled about it. We ended up eating in the main dining room only a couple of times, opting for the buffet, and specialty dining more often than not. Once at both Sabatini's and Planks BBQ, twice @ Steamers, and four times in the Crown Grill. Sabatini's: It's been at least 7 years since we've tried Sabatini's. The meal was excellent. Everthing was fresh, and tasty. My only complaint....it's a loud room, Lots of hard surfaces. They also sat 5 tables in our waiter's section within minutes of our arrival, including a party of 10, swamping the poor guy, but everyone stepped up to get things served as timely as possible. He thanked us for being patient. Hey, I'm on a boat, with my wife, and a killer bottle of Chianti. What's not to like!? Planks: Service was great, but the food was only so-so. But when it comes to BBQ, I'm a tough cookie, because I live in Georgia, and I'm surrounded by great BBQ. Steamers: We really enjoyed the view from the window while chowing down on great seafood. Add the crab legs and lobster! Not everyone likes certain things, so it was real easy to say, no clams, or no mussels. They gladly offered substitutions. The service was outstanding. Crown Grill: Excellent service. I'd always drop off my wine a few hours before our reservation, and it would be decanted, waiting for us when we'd arrive. I had the lamb chops twice , and they were cooked perfectly. My wife had with the filet each time. Only once, did she have to send it back for being under-cooked. It happens every once in a while, and they took care of it. The entire CG staff were kept busy all night. Princess would go broke if they had to pay these folks by the mile. Vines: We enjoyed 2 flights of wine, and the pricing was very reasonable. Service was perfect. MDR: We had dinner there once, and were seated in a section that didn't have a waiter. After a few minutes, the Maitre D' asked us who seated us there, and quickly found a waiter to serve us. He did a great job, even without the help of an assistant waiter, but we found ourselves missing the friendly faces of the servers on the Lido Deck. The Ship: They are keeping her up nicely, always busy working on something. They are dealing with a/c issues in both public areas and cabins. We needed someone to fix our a/c the first night at around 11:45pm. They adjusted everything, and it was ok for the most part, but not 100%. Fans were offered, we declined. Our cabin was R745, the very last inside on the starboard side, which we absolutely love due to it's location. Three steps up, and you're at the terrace pool. We liked to call it our own private balcony. We ate breakfast and lunch up there most of the time, and there's always someone willing to bring you a drink or take your plates away. Every member of the food & beverage team we encountered on the Lido Deck, were delightful. Service was excellent. The Crew: Everyone seemed to be in great spirits as they had just finished doing months of 7 day Caribbean sailings, and this was a big change for them. New ports, cooler temps, and a week off from dealing with a turnaround day. We rarely encountered any lines or delays going here or there, because we learned a long time ago, that the early bird gets the worm. We were usually off of the ship while most were just showing up for breakfast.We walked between 5-6 miles each day in port. In a stop like Charleston, it was nice to walk and see everything and be back on the ship before it was too hot. How do you avoid an hour long line to buy ferry tickets in NYC? You download their app, and buy your tickets on your phone. I realize that some folks were miserable on this cruise, while others, like us, hated to leave. It's all up to you how you want to spend your time. Do you spend the night complaining, or do you choose your battles wisely and roll with things. I'll give you an example, there's a special drink I like on the platinum/elite lounge menu, I'd order it every day, and it was consistently made wrong. Instead of sending it back each evening while my wife drank her cocktail, we'd joke about if they were going to make it correctly or not each time. They got it right only once. A miserable record, but great folly for us. Some people seemingly take comfort in berating the help, I witnessed some doozies on this sailing. I would never let folks talk to my employees that way. So....if you don't like standing in lines, go before or after everyone else does. Don't get angry at the Maitre D because it's your anniversary and you can't get a window table. If it's so important to you, make arrangements ahead of time. Plan ahead, so you can enjoy later. You're on a floating hotel in the middle of the ocean, if you can't somehow enjoy yourself, you deserve to be miserable. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an adult only trip with me and my boyfriend We’ve always traveled on mega ships with kids and we wanted to try this ship out but knew that this was not something for the kids as they’re used to mega RCCL ships with lost of ... Read More
This was an adult only trip with me and my boyfriend We’ve always traveled on mega ships with kids and we wanted to try this ship out but knew that this was not something for the kids as they’re used to mega RCCL ships with lost of entertainment. The embarkation was super fast and smooth, our room was even ready when coming onboard! (That’s a nice surprise becaus RCCL makes you wait for the room for hours!) The ship has been refurbished and it’s shows in several places, but a lot of the lounges and walkways were dated. We had a balcony room. The rooms are nice but also a little dated. Mattresses/ pillows/comforters are super comfy, we slept like babies all week! The medallion makes it easy to enter rooms and worked great for us using it at bars where their tablets sensed us approaching and our names and pictures would pop up in their screen without us even having to scan the medallion for payment. Buffet was a disappointment. It looked like a good size buffet but there were not many choices, mostly side dishes and items for salads. Desserts were also disappointing. I have to say that RCCL truly our does it self in this department comparing to other cruise lines. I was hoping for some different, ethnic foods to try at the buffet but there was nothing. One night Indian style okra was served with rice, it’s was ok. The next day the left overs were served again. There was just nothing good at any day that we went. The good part is the way they run the buffet, there’s always one side open and you can walk in for water, tea and food if you’re hungry. There’s never a down time when the buffet is closed due to turnover from i.e. lunch to dinner, as we’ve experienced on other cruises. There are also many different options, Steamers had free lunch which alternates Raman noodle bar and Mongolian buffet (stir fry). There also a pizza place on deck 15 and Salty Dog where they serve burgers and hot dogs. The traditional dining was just OK. The wait staff is friendly and nice, but again, nothing as professional and efficient as other cruise lines. Waiters were not very personable and we never even knew their names. Entertainment on the ship was ok. I wish that there were more adult comedy shows as the cruise caters more to adults. We stopped at Grand Cayman where we did a stingray excursion that we booked with a third party because the cruise excursion was sold out and we were put on a wait list. I actually liked the third party one better because it was early in the morning before all the crowds arrive at the stingray spot and we also only made one more stop to snorkel, so we were done early. We ate at a local restaurant and went Bach to the ship. Next was Roatan where we rented a car and drove to west bay beach. Well, what a horrible experience that was. The beach was overfilled with tourist from ships and those staying at the resorts. People were literally rubbing shoulders in the water and the ocean was all murky from the sunscreen. Vendors harassing everywhere, if not to buy something then for a massage. We paid $20/pp to get into Paradise Beach resort and we’re told the price included a beach chair and umbrella. When we walked out on the beach, there were no chair or umbrellas available. The attendant offered to bring out two chairs and squeeze them in between the already packed tiny square of beach that belonged to the resort but said that they didn’t have the “free” umbrellas and we’d have to pay for one. So we already had spent $40 and now they wanted more. After saying there for 20 minutes, looking for a spot and arguing about the umbrella, we decided to just leave. We went back to the gate where we were charged the entrance fee and asked if they’d give us our money back since they didn’t have beach chairs or umbrellas. Nope. They refused. Didn’t even want to look at us. We got in our rental and drive off to find a free, remote beach where there aren’t 1000’s of people and we found just that! The locals weren’t cooperating in giving us directions to a less busy beach, they all get a kick back for the people they bring to the busy resorts, so we looked it up on the map and drive off and buy was it worth it. The west bay beach was truly horrific. Beautiful place but so over crowded. Next port was Belize, we didn’t do any excursions but wanted to walk around and take a picture at the Belize sign. Well, we could barely make it out of the port. The vendors formed a wall that we had to walk through, asking us to buy, take an excursion, braid our hair etc. small kids were also asking for $5. It was horrible. We ran over to the sign where we were asked for money and then ran right back to the port where they could get in. Next was Cozumel. We had planned on renting a car like we always do when we’re there but after getting really sick from the Mongolian buffet at the ship, we had no energy so we walked around the port, stopped at Fat Tuesday and went back to ship. Back to Fort Lauderdale next morning with a easy stress free disembarkation unlike other ships. Those are the worst days because I always feel like everyone’s rushing, they want you out of the room etc. We didn’t feel like that at all - and somehow they still manage to have rooms ready for people embarking way before other cruise lines do. Rooms have to be vacated by 8.30. Other things; the ship shakes and vibrates a lot! When sitting at the buffet, our glasses litter lot were sliding on the table from the vibration and it was maki g me sick to my stomach and hard to eat. The waitress told us that it’s something on that particular side of the boat, that it shakes so much. This ship is comparable with RCCL Enchantment of the Seas; it’s not that big, doesn’t have that many shops and the “happening place” is the piazza. Coffee on the ship is undrinkable. I don’t have coffee for almost a week. We bought coffee by the ice cream bar and it was a little better than the buffet. They do have good movies On Demand that you can watch in your cabin for free. Would I bring my kids on this ship? No. There’s not much to do, no zip lines, no flo riders, they wouldn’t like the buffet, not many pools like they’re used to, movie theater or ice skating, but that’s only because they’ve seen the best and we’ve been on more family friendly cruises. This definitely caters to an older clientele. The ship has lots of lounges and bars, I think 11 of them! People sit and play cards, games etc. Would I go again? Maybe another adult cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ship & cruise because of the great reviews & port locations. Originally we were scheduled to visit St. Kitts, St. Thomas, & Bahamas. Two months before our trip we were notified that one of the ships propulsion ... Read More
We chose this ship & cruise because of the great reviews & port locations. Originally we were scheduled to visit St. Kitts, St. Thomas, & Bahamas. Two months before our trip we were notified that one of the ships propulsion units was impaired and therefore the itinerary was changed. Instead of St Thomas, Puerto Rico. In addition, only 4 hours in Puerto Rico. And our day in the Bahamas was cut short to half a day as well. This was a huge hit, especially considering we paid over $11k ticket for the suite - to now find out we could make no changes and were stuck. Ugh!! SERVICE - not impressed. Aside from the suite lounge servers, this entire experience felt as though we were being shuttled like cattle. Most disappointing was the spa. On my birthday we scheduled couples massages - showed up and were shuttled into a “relaxation room” with 25 other people and no place to sit. We left immediately and cancelled our services, only to get a rude response from the desk attendant about why it was so crowded. In addition we were upsold constantly, phone calls about dinner packages, peddling in the shopping areas about drink packages. We received emails from our suite concierge ahead of our trip stating she could make reservations for us at restaurants or excursions. We asked ahead to schedule reservations on my birthday and never received a response from the concierge nor did our reservation get scheduled. ROOM- loved the room. Suite attendant was excellent. Plenty of space. Needs some updating though. SHIP- again, disappointment is the word. Although there’s a TON to do and my kids really enjoyed the activities, everything felt very enclosed and compartmentalized. We felt the ship rock through the entire trip even though the weather was perfect. Not sure if it’s because of the size? It was so crowded everywhere. The restaurants were insane. EXCURSIONS- good question. We didn’t book 6 months ahead and by 3 months out everything was sold out. We figured when we got on board more would open up... not the case. Again, major disappointment!! All in all, this is most likely our last RC cruise we will embark on. What a big ticket that was NOT worth the value. Celebrity hands down exceeds RC in every aspect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise line because it touted it's high tech Medallion and Medallion related apps (downloaded) from home, all of which malfunctioned. Ocean Compass and Ocean Now required us to sign in repetitively, and frequently told ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because it touted it's high tech Medallion and Medallion related apps (downloaded) from home, all of which malfunctioned. Ocean Compass and Ocean Now required us to sign in repetitively, and frequently told us we had disembarked, were not onboard... we were seated by the main pool on Deck 15. IT staff onboard could not resolve the issue..we were finally told it was the make of our phone....and that upper management knew. They knew and did not inform passengers pre-cruise. Very poor. Entertainment mediocre at best. Food fair unless you wanted to go to non-fare included restaraunts. Anytime dining means 7:30-9:30 PM . Oppressive smell of sewage emanating from the Spa on Deck 16. Do not recommend snorkeling excursion at St. John's...passengers poorly monitored for safety. We have been on several cruise lines, including Disney. This was the worse cruise we have ever taken. Never again. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We docked out of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. and we had two days there before our ship sailed. While in Ft. Lauderdale I’d recommend eating at the Funky Buddha! Fun atmosphere, great food, and flights which allow you to sample the beers. We ... Read More
We docked out of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. and we had two days there before our ship sailed. While in Ft. Lauderdale I’d recommend eating at the Funky Buddha! Fun atmosphere, great food, and flights which allow you to sample the beers. We also went to the Everglades. It was exhilarating! Our captain was lively and fun! He honestly made the experience what it was-enjoyable while simultaneously providing us with the history and information of the Everglades in a hang-on-to-every-word way! Now the important part -the cruise! Wow! Wow! Wow! This was my first cruise so I did a little research and I knew that bags wouldn’t be delivered to our rooms right away so I had everything I needed in my carry-on (This is important to ensure a comfortable first few hours). The room was a good size and we had a balcony that overlooked Central Park which was awesome! Central Park- what a beautifully crafty area to the ship. If ever you’re missing that outside world (not likely because of the port stops) go to Central Park. The view is captivating and you get your nature fix. There were tons of pools and although sometimes finding a chair (or two) by one was somewhat challenging (it’s the place to be!) the setup was convenient. The food was great! We went to our reservations at American Icon Grill the first two nights but favored the Windjammer, buffet style, and that it ultimately were we ended up eating the remaining 5 days. We visited St. Marteen, San Juan, and Labadee. My biggest disappointment was that we were only in San Juan for 6 hours. Not nearly enough time to explore. Labadee was my favorite stop! Relaxing and beautiful! Though, if you plan on shopping- BEWARE! The Haitians will bombard you. I initially wanted to support them and though I did buy some stuff from the small shops, I wanted to get out of there as quick as possible which is unfortunate because I would have shopped more. Unfortunately I did not do any excursions on the ports. Last but definitely not least. The entertainment! I cannot speak more highly of this part! Second to none! Incredible! Sensational! And, well, ENTERTAINING! The aqua show: so nice I saw it twice. No really. I had to go see it a second time. You don’t want to look away. The game shows: fun! You’ll get your laughs in! Contests: belly contest, wakeboard contest, dive contest,etc. GO! The ice show- A MUST SEE! Not only is it fun, entertaining, and well choreographed but it was touching and I found myself holding back tears at one point. Honestly, the entertainment on the ship was my favorite part of the cruise and the next cruise I go on (because there will certainly be a next and a next after that and so on) I will hit up every entertainment opportunity. Cannot speak for kids on the cruise because this was a trip just for my fiancé and I but I will say that I can’t wait to bring my kids w us the next time we go! I know they’d have an experience of a lifetime. Highly recommend this cruise line! Read Less
9 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I took this cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary. We had an outstanding time. Even though we were initially scheduled to go to Havana, Royal Caribbean rerouted us to Costa Maya and gave us 50% credit for the trip. We did The ... Read More
My wife and I took this cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary. We had an outstanding time. Even though we were initially scheduled to go to Havana, Royal Caribbean rerouted us to Costa Maya and gave us 50% credit for the trip. We did The Mayan Ruins excursion there and it was great. In Cozumel, we took the submarine ride. I highly recommenced it. Everyone on the ship was extremely friendly and helped us with any questions we had. The cabin was well taken care of. The food was outstanding. Our 2 Waiters, Kris and Mario did an amazing job. Super friendly and just kept bringing us anything we wanted. Also I think the cruise director, Tornado Tanya and her staff did an outstanding job with entertainment. The process of boarding the ship and also disembarking was extremely easy. I was amazed at how quickly the process went. We will be taking another cruise soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
There were many things we valued. 1) I was incredibly ill one evening and into the next morning. Patricia in the Medical Centre not only got me on my feet, but I was able to go on the shore excursion that we had been looking forward ... Read More
There were many things we valued. 1) I was incredibly ill one evening and into the next morning. Patricia in the Medical Centre not only got me on my feet, but I was able to go on the shore excursion that we had been looking forward to for months. 2) Ivan - Food and Beverage Supervisor in Planks was remarkable. We even celebrated our 16th anniversary there. He was thoughtful, attentive and funny. 3) When we discovered a false charge on our account, they investigated it and credited it within 24hrs. 4) We didn’t use the internet with the Medallion program. It could be as integrated or as minimally used. It’s up to you. 5) We totally enjoyed Movies Under The Stars. It was so relaxing. 6) The food was incredible both in the included restaurants and ones you paid for. We enjoyed both. We highly recommend Planks and Crown Grill. Both were superb. 7) We sat out on the balcony every night and just admired the stars. It was better than Yoga!! 8) EVERYONE MUST GO TO CORAL WORLD in St. Thomas. The staff and activities are incredible!! The staff is thoughtful, knowledgeable and sincere. Get a kiss from Rosy the sea lion. Be in awe of Fred. Go do Snuba. We can’t wait to go back. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We're experienced Cruisers (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) and we've done the "Caribbean" thing many times, so I wasn't expecting much more 'Pleasure' from this cruise other than ... Read More
We're experienced Cruisers (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) and we've done the "Caribbean" thing many times, so I wasn't expecting much more 'Pleasure' from this cruise other than "watching my Wife enjoy the Cruise" (She can make "waking up every morning" into an event ;) I was wrong, WE - HAD - A - BLAST!!!! We like to "Get off the Tourist Track" whenever Possible... When we travel, We take the Train System while in Europe, Visit Friends in Europe and in the Caribbean, etc. We didn't see any Princess Excursions that looked "Like Us", So we did our Shore Excursions online, not through Princess... We booked a Scuba Diving Trip on St. Thomas from my favorite little Dive Shop there (Been hitting it for 20 years or so?), and it was AWESOME! The Reefs are making a comeback pretty quickly! Christine and Chris did an EXCELLENT job of herding the divers through the tour.. Being experienced Divers, We had a little over 2K PSI of air left in our tanks when the other members of the Excursion (Beginners without Dive Licenses) were pushing their tanks down around 800-500 PSI, so Christine just told us, "You know your way around, Come back to the beach when you're ready" In St. Maarten we had pre-booked the "ATV Island Tour" through "Blue Bubbles Dive Shop"... AWESOME Folks to deal with!!! Dwight and Joshua are FANTASTIC Tour Guides!!! Up Front, you really need to have "Some" experience with an ATV to take this tour, or at least have "An Adventurous Spirit".. They run UPHILL, Up STEEP, Rocky, Dirt Trails, and then suddenly you're running "Wide Open, Throttle To The Stops" FAST, out on the main paved roads, on BOTH sides of the Island! We had several people that obviously didn't know what they were getting into with this tour, and had never ridden an ATV. They immediately began lagging WAY behind... Dwight asked them if they'd be more comfortable going back to the ATV Shop, and those folks took the Van ride back to the shop. After that, the rest of the group was WIDE OPEN again. Joshua played "Tail End Charlie" on the group, then he sped ahead and blocked roundabouts and intersections so the group wouldn't get separated by other traffic, then he'd pull in behind the group again... Lots of great stops for Pictures and "Rest Breaks", Including watching the Jets Land and Take-Off at Maho Beach and from the Sunset Bar. Hit "Confidence Nude Beach" on the French Side after Dwight CAREFULLY got the OK from the ENTIRE group... Just "Lots of Cool Stuff"! Blue Bubble Dive Shop is HIGHLY recommended for their ATV Island Tour, and for Dive Excursions! About the Ship... Our Children are "grown and gone and Producing Grandchildren", so we didn't have them with us. We booked a "Near Aft, Port-Side, Balcony Stateroom" (Back near the last Aft Elevators near the Adult's Pool and Bar). The Room was CLEAN and Pretty Quiet. We spent most of our "Room Time" out on the Balcony. We LOVED the "Movies Under The Stars" HUGE TV Theater out by the pools, Restaurants ("Sabatini's": AWESOME with STARS! 'Nuff Said ;). Pools, etc. Children on the Ship musta been having fun SOMEWHERE, because we didn't see or hear very many, except while trying to Snorkel on Princess Cay... Princess Cay is Highly Sculpted, like a Theme Park, and just wasn't to our tastes. I could go ON AND ON AND ON... Suffice it to say, I'm an Electrical Engineer and Retired U.S. Army.. My Wife is a Doctor Of Regenerative Medicine.. We own a secluded Mountain-Top Ranch.. We can (and DO) go "Anywhere we want to go". We "ALMOST" just stayed on the Ship to do a Western Caribbean Cruise! We had *THAT MUCH* FUN! The Staff was AWESOME (Without "staying up in our faces all the time"), the Ship was GREAT, The Medallion Services functioned Flawlessly, Internet was ACTUALLY Broadband, etc etc... We've decided that this was our Favorite Cruise EVER, and *THAT* is saying something! Few last things: Princess treats Military Veterans *RIGHT*! That was unexpected and GREATLY appreciated! We signed up for Early Debarkation (We carry our own Baggage), We had "Mobile Passport" on our Phones for Customs, etc,.. We left the Stateroom PROMPTLY at 7;30AM, and we were SITTING IN A TAXI by 7:52AM!!! That was an UNUSUAL Experience for us, so don't book Air-Flights around that information, but it happened! FANTASTIC, MUCH NEEDED, Vacation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Cruised more than 65 times, Princess is one our favorites. We’ve traveled to 85 plus countries. The cabins are good, the food is above average . I’m not a fan of anytime dining but they have options. We did the specialty Resturant and ... Read More
Cruised more than 65 times, Princess is one our favorites. We’ve traveled to 85 plus countries. The cabins are good, the food is above average . I’m not a fan of anytime dining but they have options. We did the specialty Resturant and it doesn’t get any better than what they did. The food was excellent and the service was equal to it. The shows were very good and the performers were on the upper scale. I actually didn’t get the shows but it’s probably because I’m a bit older. The comedian was great. The magician was one of the worst most amateurish I’ve seen, probably why he’s on a cruise ship! Not good! The staff and crew were better than most. They cared. It’s important to me to see a happy crew and workers, the Captain must be doing a good job. Everyone wanted to help! I’ll continue to cruise and use Princess. 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
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
We were so excited to take our cruise. I have cruised once previously with Princess when I was younger with my family and had great memories. As an adult, I cannot completely say the same. Boarding was very easy and fast. Upon boarding we ... Read More
We were so excited to take our cruise. I have cruised once previously with Princess when I was younger with my family and had great memories. As an adult, I cannot completely say the same. Boarding was very easy and fast. Upon boarding we were notified of a room change, which was great because it was an upgrade. I cannot complain about that! And the window provided a nice view. However, the boat's system was not able to follow through with the change. Our luggage was misplaced, our food credits were lost, the honeymoon celebration was removed as well as my nut allergy information. Additionally, our room was moved to be directly over the anchor which proved to be an early wake up call at a couple ports. All of that aside, we also were told we did not have the sip and sail promotion an hour after boarding. This promotion had been verified through Princess and my travel agent and we overheard the conversation months prior when we had debated about purchasing it. We went to guest services who did not offer assistance with this issue. We then tried calling our travel agent who proceeded to work with Princess offboard. The issue was not resolved until Thursday when we were told of a miscommunication between the travel agent and cruise line. We also had to return to guest services twice to locate our luggage as they did not arrive and we were told by the stateroom steward all were delivered. Guest services said they would eventually turn up and did not attempt to do any more. Luckily, our stateroom steward was great and he personally went and found them for us. The change in room also caused our dining credits to be lost. We were finally able to obtain them through another visit to guest services, however we were rushed and left with limited options for use as only one day was left on the cruise and most dining options were booked. Luckily, the Crown Grill squeezed us in, and they were amazing! Food and staff were great. The change in room also meant our honeymoon package was not carried through. We were able to watch others receive their decor, free dessert, wine, etc. It seemed great. Luckily, another honeymooning couple we shared a table with at dinner was kind enough to share with us. The staff we encountered on the boat otherwise was very kind. The waiters, bartenders, bus boys were amazing! The pools were very nice as were the shows and activities. We loved the movies under the stars as well as the shows, in particular the comedian. The excursions offered by Princess were amazing as the tour guides were very knowledgeable, fun, and kind. The medallions made things very easy however the apps were not reliable. Newer phones are not able to download the apps. I enjoyed the fitness room and offered classes. However, treadmills are only available at certain times which made it difficult to use them. The ice cream parlor and food options around the pools were great. The boat had very nice seating areas to relax in and at multiple places. Overall it was a very nice boat and experience when we decided to just be on a vacation and let the honeymoon stuff go for the sake of enjoyment. Disembarkation was a fast and easy process. Read Less

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