Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by cabive
- Sail Date: August 2014
- Destination: Mediterranean
I had given up looking because we really needed to get to the airport after wasting all this time looking for our luggage. As we began to leave, I glanced over at a different conveyor belt and saw a suitcase going around that looked exactly like mine, but it had a blank tag no address or name and it was green 89 (a later disembarkation time). I got a closer look and it was my suitcase, I didn't put a luggage tag with an 89 label on, how did it get there?? Many people around me were having the same discovery after thinking their luggage was lost they found the numbered luggage tag had been switched/tampered with or obviously pulled off all together. We searched around and found the last suitcase, whose label had also been switched from 62 to 89 sitting somewhere in the room.
Someone tampered with our luggage tags sometime between when we put the luggage in the hallway the night before and when it was finally delivered in the Port of Barcelona. After this huge delay at the port in getting our luggage, although we made our best effort to get to the airport, we missed our flight direct flight to JFK. We dealt with a Delta for over 2 hours trying to get another flight, they told us we might have to stay another day in Barcelona. Delta eventually got us on a flight to Atlanta, and then a connecting flight to LGA, We finally arrived in NY after 11pm on Tuesday 8/26. What I find most disconcerting is what I discovered when I unpacked, inside my suitcase I found my original luggage tags with the number 62 and my handwritten name and address on it ripped into little pieces and crumpled into a ball. In other words not only did someone tamper with my tags, they opened my suitcase and put the original tags inside. The reason why I am posting all of this is because I contacted Celebrity to complain about the luggage tag switch/tampering and the Celebrity representative didn't seem to care, she had a very lackadaisical attitude. I don’t believe she was actually entering anything I said down or did anything about it for that matter like referring it to a higher Authority within Celebrity. She seemed to blow it all off and said no one else had complained about the luggage tag switch, which I can't fathom because there were a lot of people in the Barcelona port terminal with the same issue of either ripped off tags and/or later numbered tags placed on their luggage. Celebrity referred me to Berkley insurance who has since referred me back to Celebrity (you can see where this is going).
I live in NY and maybe some see our Security as overzealous, but if something like this had occurred in one of our Airports or ports for that matter the media and authorities would have been all over it as a security breach. The fact remains that somewhere along the line while the luggage was in Celebrity’s hands it was tampered with. No one checks their luggage at the port after collecting it. Once you grab your luggage, off you go to the Airport where you attest that you packed your luggage and it has been in your possession the entire time, which is not the case. If this incident was allowed to happen what is to stop someone from putting something illegal in your luggage after you put it out in the hallway for collection.
Needless to say I will be walking my luggage off myself from now, since Celebrity has chosen to do nothing to rectify the situation.
The check in process was swift as we had our set sail pass plus we are Elite so the lines were minimal. However as we arrived at the port at about 10:30 am, there were still passengers disembarking from the previous cruise. We were delayed entry onboard because the previous cruise passengers took forever to get off, We were held like cattle in a huge auditorium on plastic chairs until almost 12 noon before they let us embark. We were told when we got onboard the rooms were not ready. After a long transatlantic flight that is not something you want to hear. Finally at about 2pm it was announced the cabins were ready, which was not the case our cabin steward was running around saying the cabins were not ready, and he was correct our cabin had not been cleaned. We also had a few broken fixtures such as shower doors etc., which we reported to the front Desk. The Asst. Chief of Housekeeping Carlton took care of those issues.
The Chief Housekeeper, Niko Papanikolaou is in a word fabulous. His team keeps the ship clean from top to bottom. After our initial issues with the cabin, Niko took a personal care of our every need and issues that came up along the way. He was sincerely apologetic for the mishaps with the cabin on the first day. Niko emulated the very motto that Celebrity Cruises strives to achieve, he thought of things that we might need before we even asked for them.
One reviewer complained about the entertainment, there were some entertainers and shows that I didn’t particularly care for either, so I got up and left, no one says you have to stay in the Theatre if you’re bored. There is always something going on onboard.
Paul Baya is a very talented cruise director, he keeps the entertainment on board well organized and flowing smoothly throughout the cruise. Not only is he funny but he is an extraordinary Singer. This is our Second cruise with Paul as the Cruise Director and he never disappoints. He is personable and has the patience of a Saint. He creates such a nice atmosphere on the ship that it is not only felt by the passengers but the crew members as well. I was so happy when I discovered we would have Paul again as our Cruise Director. Celebrity and the passengers are lucky to have him onboard.
The Oceanview Café is buffet style dining. It is what it is.
We stayed in an Aquaclass cabin so we were fortunate enough to be able to eat Breakfast and Dinner in Blu. The Dining in Blu is small and intimate and the food always had a nice presentation and was not as riddled with spices as I have had in the past in the MDR. The first few nights we waited a while to be seated but after that we always had a table waiting for us. Blu was a welcomed retreat from the hustle and Bustle of the MDR. We ate in the MDR a few times for lunch and it only made me appreciate Blu more.
Café Bacio was excellent the coffee was always perfect. Alex and Ari are the Best baristas’ around. The only problem was trying to find a seat at times here. All The Europeans had drink packages. Because unlike in The US where Cruisers were offered the 1, 2, or 3 pick your perk offer (choose ONE item). The Europeans we discovered were offered a 1, 2, 3 perk offer but theirs meant they received ALL 3 offers together (onboard credit, drink package, plus prepaid gratuities.) and Europeans were also offered in addition that children sailed free.
Ports of Call
I agree with a previous reviewer who said that the itinerary was front end heavy, 5 ports in a row, were grueling and I will never do that again. We sailed roundtrip from Barcelona. I further concur with the other reviewer that many of the ports a call are actually very far away from the actual tourist attractions that one goes to visit and you are left with no alternative but to take transportation to your desired destination.
We paid Celebrity $10 pp for transfers to Marseille about a 20 minute bus ride from the port. Honestly there was not much to see in Marseille, the attraction to this port is Provence, but at this time of year the flowers have already bloomed.
This is a tender port. In this port the public train is about a 10 minute walk along the beach. We took a quick train ride to Monte Carlo.
It was a Holiday on August 15th the day we were in Livorno, everything was closed. We decided to take the Celebrity transfers to Pisa because all the transfers to Florence were sold out and any transport on your own to Florence is almost 2 hours one way.
Celebrity offers a train or bus transfer to Rome which is about an hour by train and 1 ½ hours by bus, both of which were sold out. Left with no alternative as we have done in the past we decided to walk to the train which typically is a 10 minute walk, but this time it took over 40 minutes to walk because of where the boat was docked. We almost got stuck in Rome because of a train delay on our return and we had to take a taxi back to Civitavecchia, with some other cruise passengers that we bumped into in Rome who were also in the same predicament. We all tried to call the port emergency number Celebrity gave for Civitavecchia to tell them we would be delayed getting back, however there was a recording as it was a Saturday that stated they were closed until Monday. Even though Celebrity claimed it was open we had an Italian translate the message for us and he said it clearly said closed.
We took Celebrity’s water transport to Amalfi. It was a nice leisurely boat ride along the coast.
We had been to before on the Silhouette. It is a port you tender into, it is nice just to walk around the old city.
We purchased water taxi passes from Celebrity for a total of $30 pp for the time we were in Venice. Venice obviously is a very walkable city and beautiful just in and of itself.
The old city that everyone goes to Dubrovnik to see is about a ½ hour bus ride from where the ships docks, so we decided to take Celebrity transportation with a brief walking tour.
We had to purchase round trip transfers to the City Center at the port for 5 Euro pp, because where the ship was docked was too far to walk to the City Center. We just took a hop on/ hop off bus because we were just tired of tours.
I actually began writing my review while onboard, and it had completely different tone to it until the disaster with the luggage. It is a shame that my review had to be overshadowed by what happened on the last day because many of the crew members truly aimed to please while onboard. Because of the malicious actions of one person who decided to tamper with luggage tags for whatever reason my review took a turn 180 degree turn from positive to negative.
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