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Another fantastic cruise on Celebrity Equinox: Nov 7-18, 2016 This was our 4th sailing on the Equinox, and we have enjoyed them all. Since our last cruise on her in March 2016, we noticed several changes, which I will discuss later. We had the same Captain (Costas) and Hotel Director (Jamie) as we had in March. Both were very friendly and assessable, as were other officers and crew. We went to the same ports as we did in March 2016, but in a slightly different order. We were spoiled because we had suites on two of our cruises on Celebrity this year, but we had Aqua class this time, and it was fine, but we missed being able to go to Michael's Club and dining at Lumanie. Twice we ran into Robert, who was our butler before, and he remembered us, and he was as gracious as ever. We hope we get him as our butler on our next cruise when we have a suite in 2017. Since we live in Tampa, we drove down the day before and stayed at the Rodeway Inn on Hwy. 84, as we have done many times before. You can leave your car there, and they take you to the port, and get you when you return. There are several hotels that do this. We had receive an email from Celebrity that since this was a repositioning cruise from Europe, we should not arrive until noon. The clerk at the hotel said that we should disregard this, and we did, and got to the port about 11 am. We checked our luggage and immediately went to the terminal check-in. Since we were Aqua class, we had priority check in and we went to level 2 where we waited with other Aqua passengers. We boarded at 11:45 am, and had a glass of champagne in our hands a couple of minutes later. Celebrity does a first class job on this, and it is one of the things that sets them apart from other cruise lines. We went to deck 14 for the buffet lunch, which was good. About 3 pm, they had the lifeboat drill, which, in our opinion, is a joke because they do not even take you to the life boats. Instead, you go to a designated area, which in our case was the main theater, and you listed to a video about what you should do. We still cannot believe that the coast guard allows this. If the ship is going down, I am going to the life boat, not the theater. Dinner at Blu was just OK--somewhat overcooked salmon, but still a good dining experience. The main show was Pete Matthews, a juggler, and he was great; do not miss him if he is on your cruise. Tue, Nov 8, 2016: an at sea day. We had breakfast at Blu, which was excellent. We went to the destination talk, and I won a bottle of wine because I had one of the winning tickets; never had had that luck before!! We bought the 3 dinner specialty restaurant package with some of our onboard credit, and had dinner at Murano this evening. We have done this on our last 3 or 4 cruises, and the Dover Sole was outstanding. You get one dinner at Murano, one at Tuscan Grill, and one at Silk Harvest for this package; you can also get a 5 dinner package if you choose. Wed, Nov 9; another sea day Since we have Elite status, we had the breakfast at Tuscan Grill, and it was excellent. A fairly limited menu, but it is delivered very fast. You get 5 or 6 choices, plus a free glass of champagne, or mimosa. We ate here several mornings, but also ate at Blu and the main dining room (once) for breakfast. We went to the "destination" talk, which was good, but they never tell you about local shopping places. Celebrity, as well as other ships we have been on, only tell you about their "approved list" shops. We had lunch at the main dining room and dinner at Blu. The show at the theater featured a great singer, Jesse Hamilton, and he was excellent. We had seen him before, and if he is on your cruise, do not miss him. Thur, Nov 10: Costa Rica We have been here several times before, so decided not to take a tour. There is a local craft market about 1/2 mile from the ship, but Celebrity did not tell you about it; you can buy some local goods, or some stuff that it is made in China, but we did not get anything on this trip. We had breakfast at the main dining room, and we have had better service; I had to ask 2x for cream cheese for my smoked salmon, and asked for champagne, but never received it. Had lunch at the buffet and it was good, as well as dinner at Blu. The main show was "Broadway Cabaret", and it was very good. Fri, Nov 11: Panama We have been here 2x before and decided not to take a tour. We walked a short distance to a nice shopping mall (that the ship does not tell you about); there are several junk shops, plus a nice electronic store, a grocery store, and a casino. Some of the shops would let you haggle for the price, and some would not. We were rather lucky because we went about 10 am, and shortly after we returned to the ship, it started raining, and rained off and on all afternoon. Sat, Nov 12, and Sunday, Nov 13: Cartagena, Columbia We arrived about 9 am at the entrance to the port. We had been here in March, and one of the waiters told us to be sure you are on deck to observe the old fort on the port side as you enter the bay. Celebrity did not tell us that. It takes about an hour to go from the entrance of the port to the dock. Two ships, Celebrity Infinity and Coral Princess were already docked. We went to the Sky lounge (forward) to watch the ship come in. Cartagena is a very large city with a lot of high rise buildings (on the port side). The skyline looked much larger than either Miami or Tampa. At the end of the pier there is a high-priced shop and adjacent to that is an aviary with a lot of birds. You can take a free shuttle from the ship to there, but it is only about 350 yards. We took the shuttle there, and walked back. If you want a taxi, this is where you can get at taxi to town. Otherwise, there is nothing to do at the pier. We had taken a tour when we were here in March, and had signed up for one this time, but it got cancelled. We had dinner in Tuscan Grill and it was the best filet we have ever had; our waiter, Jose, was from Columbia and he was very informative. The show in the theater featured a great singer, Savannah Smith, so do not miss her. Monday, Nov 14 Another sea day, and it rained a lot, with a lot of thunderstorms. We did get to see some spectacular lightning in the early am. We went to the Select/Elite wine tasting, and it was informative and very good. Tuesday, Nov 15: Grand Cayman We were the only ship in port, which was good since this can be a very busy place if several ships are in port. We took the water taxi to downtown, and just did a little shopping for a couple of hours and then went back to the ship. This was "lobster" night and we were very disappointed with the lobster in Blu. The lobster was so tough that it was difficult to cut, so we sent them back. The second one was a little better, but certainly not what were used to on Celebrity. We have had much better lobsters in the main dining room, and on our next cruise, that is where we are going for lobster. The main show featured David Guidice, and he was excellent; he did a tribute to Billy Joel. Wednesday, Nov 16: Cozumel We arrived about 10 am, and took the "Mayan living history and Island Tour". It was supposed to take 3 hours (per the tour brochure), but took about 4.5 hours. We would not have taken it if we had known that it took that long. When I asked the tour guide about this, he said that Celebrity had the time wrong, and I complained about this when I returned to the ship. Who knows if Celebrity will correct this. We have found in our previous cruises on Celebrity, and other ships, that the tours almost always take longer than the stated time. We can understand this because of traffic congestion, but not if it is just wrong. On this tour, we went to a little shopping center that was not even on the places we were supposed to visit. The tour guide steered you to a couple of shops that featured coral, and I bet you that he got a kickback from that, although there is no way you could prove it. Thursday, Nov 17 A sea day on our way back home. They had a great show in the main theater that featured some of the previous entertainers, and they were great. Friday, Nov 18. We arrived at Fort Lauderdale early, and we always take our own luggage off because we can get off earlier and head home. This time Celebrity did not tell you what deck you disembarked from, but because we had been on here in March, we knew it was Deck 5, so we lined up early, and were about 7th in line. We could not tell what the delay was, but we got to disembark later than what time we were told. We would like to add some additional comments that we think future cruisers would be interested in: 1. The hi speed internet connection was much improved since March. Since we are Elite, we get 90 minutes pp internet for free, but you can buy unlimited wifi for $250, and we met a few people who did this, but it was not worth it to us. 2. We were Aqua class and also had Elite status. Aqua got called to board before Elite, but Concierge seemed to go through check in faster than Aqua. I had called Celebrity before we left, and the lady I talked with said that there was no set standard for boarding except that Suite guests got to board first. In our opinion, the higher class should board first. 3. Celebrity has eliminated the sheets of coupons that they give you for Select, Elite, etc.(like laundry, casino match play, bingo, gelato). I am sure that saves Celebrity a lot of money for printing costs. Now it is done with your cabin key. Instead of getting 2 gelatos , now you only get one. 4. I Lounge: Celebrity is geared to Apple technology, whereas Holland America is geared to Microsoft. For most of the Apple classes, there is a charge to attend, whereas on HAL, the Microsoft classes are free. Many of us had a hard time connecting to their wifi, and the lines were long to talk to an expert. Jose was terrific and very efficient, but there should have been at least 2 experts, considering how many older people (like us) were onboard and are not nearly as efficient as our kids or grandkids when it comes to computer related things. 5. Baggage check-in at the pier seemed more efficient than on other Celebrity cruises we have been on. The porter put the Deck 11 baggage on one dolly, Deck 10 on another, etc. This may have been the reason we got our luggage earlier than before. 6. We always enjoy going to the Cruise Critic gathering on these cruises, and normally they are the morning after the day you board. However on this cruise, the party was at 5 pm on the day of departure, and many people, including us, did not attend because we were busy unpacking. Surely Celebrity can do a better job on scheduling this. 7. On several days, there was an article in the Celebrity daily news that you could go through immigration faster if you had an app called "Mobile Passport" for your smart phone. We downloaded it to our phones, and tried to use it but it would not allow you to input the ship, ports visited, or items you bought. I went to the I Lounge and neither of the reps knew anything about it, which is surprising since Celebrity made such a big deal about it in the daily paper. So we filled out the old immigration form by hand. When we got to the terminal in Ft. Lauderdale, there was a special line for people who had the app on their phone. The sign said that it was available for I Phones, and that it would soon work for Android phones (like ours). Hopefully it will be available before our next cruise in 2017. 8. Celebrity really needs to change the way they award Elite and higher members. If you are concierge or above, you get the same little gifts in your stateroom regardless of your status, so basically you get no little gift for being Elite. You get a zippered canvas bag, and a little credit card holder; we now have about 10 of these! If you reach VIP status on Carnival (like Elite on Celebrity) you get a really nice gift, like a Tervis Tumbler, or fancy beach bag. It has been several years since we traveled on Carnival, so I really do not know what they do now. Overall it was a great cruise, friendly staff, good food and lots to do. We used to cruise on Carnival and Holland America, but once we discovered Celebrity, it is our line of choice.

Another Great Cruise on the Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Tampart1

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
Another fantastic cruise on Celebrity Equinox: Nov 7-18, 2016

This was our 4th sailing on the Equinox, and we have enjoyed them all. Since our last cruise on her in March 2016, we noticed several changes, which I will discuss later. We had the same Captain (Costas) and Hotel Director (Jamie) as we had in March. Both were very friendly and assessable, as were other officers and crew. We went to the same ports as we did in March 2016, but in a slightly different order.

We were spoiled because we had suites on two of our cruises on Celebrity this year, but we had Aqua class this time, and it was fine, but we missed being able to go to Michael's Club and dining at Lumanie. Twice we ran into Robert, who was our butler before, and he remembered us, and he was as gracious as ever. We hope we get him as our butler on our next cruise when we have a suite in 2017.

Since we live in Tampa, we drove down the day before and stayed at the Rodeway Inn on Hwy. 84, as we have done many times before. You can leave your car there, and they take you to the port, and get you when you return. There are several hotels that do this.

We had receive an email from Celebrity that since this was a repositioning cruise from Europe, we should not arrive until noon. The clerk at the hotel said that we should disregard this, and we did, and got to the port about 11 am. We checked our luggage and immediately went to the terminal check-in. Since we were Aqua class, we had priority check in and we went to level 2 where we waited with other Aqua passengers. We boarded at 11:45 am, and had a glass of champagne in our hands a couple of minutes later. Celebrity does a first class job on this, and it is one of the things that sets them apart from other cruise lines.

We went to deck 14 for the buffet lunch, which was good. About 3 pm, they had the lifeboat drill, which, in our opinion, is a joke because they do not even take you to the life boats. Instead, you go to a designated area, which in our case was the main theater, and you listed to a video about what you should do. We still cannot believe that the coast guard allows this. If the ship is going down, I am going to the life boat, not the theater.

Dinner at Blu was just OK--somewhat overcooked salmon, but still a good dining experience. The main show was Pete Matthews, a juggler, and he was great; do not miss him if he is on your cruise.

Tue, Nov 8, 2016: an at sea day. We had breakfast at Blu, which was excellent. We went to the destination talk, and I won a bottle of wine because I had one of the winning tickets; never had had that luck before!!

We bought the 3 dinner specialty restaurant package with some of our onboard credit, and had dinner at Murano this evening. We have done this on our last 3 or 4 cruises, and the Dover Sole was outstanding. You get one dinner at Murano, one at Tuscan Grill, and one at Silk Harvest for this package; you can also get a 5 dinner package if you choose.

Wed, Nov 9; another sea day

Since we have Elite status, we had the breakfast at Tuscan Grill, and it was excellent. A fairly limited menu, but it is delivered very fast. You get 5 or 6 choices, plus a free glass of champagne, or mimosa. We ate here several mornings, but also ate at Blu and the main dining room (once) for breakfast.

We went to the "destination" talk, which was good, but they never tell you about local shopping places. Celebrity, as well as other ships we have been on, only tell you about their "approved list" shops.

We had lunch at the main dining room and dinner at Blu. The show at the theater featured a great singer, Jesse Hamilton, and he was excellent. We had seen him before, and if he is on your cruise, do not miss him.

Thur, Nov 10: Costa Rica

We have been here several times before, so decided not to take a tour. There is a local craft market about 1/2 mile from the ship, but Celebrity did not tell you about it; you can buy some local goods, or some stuff that it is made in China, but we did not get anything on this trip. We had breakfast at the main dining room, and we have had better service; I had to ask 2x for cream cheese for my smoked salmon, and asked for champagne, but never received it. Had lunch at the buffet and it was good, as well as dinner at Blu. The main show was "Broadway Cabaret", and it was very good.

Fri, Nov 11: Panama

We have been here 2x before and decided not to take a tour. We walked a short distance to a nice shopping mall (that the ship does not tell you about); there are several junk shops, plus a nice electronic store, a grocery store, and a casino. Some of the shops would let you haggle for the price, and some would not. We were rather lucky because we went about 10 am, and shortly after we returned to the ship, it started raining, and rained off and on all afternoon.

Sat, Nov 12, and Sunday, Nov 13: Cartagena, Columbia

We arrived about 9 am at the entrance to the port. We had been here in March, and one of the waiters told us to be sure you are on deck to observe the old fort on the port side as you enter the bay. Celebrity did not tell us that. It takes about an hour to go from the entrance of the port to the dock. Two ships, Celebrity Infinity and Coral Princess were already docked. We went to the Sky lounge (forward) to watch the ship come in. Cartagena is a very large city with a lot of high rise buildings (on the port side). The skyline looked much larger than either Miami or Tampa. At the end of the pier there is a high-priced shop and adjacent to that is an aviary with a lot of birds. You can take a free shuttle from the ship to there, but it is only about 350 yards. We took the shuttle there, and walked back. If you want a taxi, this is where you can get at taxi to town. Otherwise, there is nothing to do at the pier. We had taken a tour when we were here in March, and had signed up for one this time, but it got cancelled.

We had dinner in Tuscan Grill and it was the best filet we have ever had; our waiter, Jose, was from Columbia and he was very informative. The show in the theater featured a great singer, Savannah Smith, so do not miss her.

Monday, Nov 14

Another sea day, and it rained a lot, with a lot of thunderstorms. We did get to see some spectacular lightning in the early am. We went to the Select/Elite wine tasting, and it was informative and very good.

Tuesday, Nov 15: Grand Cayman

We were the only ship in port, which was good since this can be a very busy place if several ships are in port. We took the water taxi to downtown, and just did a little shopping for a couple of hours and then went back to the ship.

This was "lobster" night and we were very disappointed with the lobster in Blu. The lobster was so tough that it was difficult to cut, so we sent them back. The second one was a little better, but certainly not what were used to on Celebrity. We have had much better lobsters in the main dining room, and on our next cruise, that is where we are going for lobster.

The main show featured David Guidice, and he was excellent; he did a tribute to Billy Joel.

Wednesday, Nov 16: Cozumel

We arrived about 10 am, and took the "Mayan living history and Island Tour". It was supposed to take 3 hours (per the tour brochure), but took about 4.5 hours. We would not have taken it if we had known that it took that long. When I asked the tour guide about this, he said that Celebrity had the time wrong, and I complained about this when I returned to the ship. Who knows if Celebrity will correct this. We have found in our previous cruises on Celebrity, and other ships, that the tours almost always take longer than the stated time. We can understand this because of traffic congestion, but not if it is just wrong. On this tour, we went to a little shopping center that was not even on the places we were supposed to visit. The tour guide steered you to a couple of shops that featured coral, and I bet you that he got a kickback from that, although there is no way you could prove it.

Thursday, Nov 17

A sea day on our way back home. They had a great show in the main theater that featured some of the previous entertainers, and they were great.

Friday, Nov 18.

We arrived at Fort Lauderdale early, and we always take our own luggage off because we can get off earlier and head home. This time Celebrity did not tell you what deck you disembarked from, but because we had been on here in March, we knew it was Deck 5, so we lined up early, and were about 7th in line. We could not tell what the delay was, but we got to disembark later than what time we were told.

We would like to add some additional comments that we think future cruisers would be interested in:

1. The hi speed internet connection was much improved since March. Since we are Elite, we get 90 minutes pp internet for free, but you can buy unlimited wifi for $250, and we met a few people who did this, but it was not worth it to us.

2. We were Aqua class and also had Elite status. Aqua got called to board before Elite, but Concierge seemed to go through check in faster than Aqua. I had called Celebrity before we left, and the lady I talked with said that there was no set standard for boarding except that Suite guests got to board first. In our opinion, the higher class should board first.

3. Celebrity has eliminated the sheets of coupons that they give you for Select, Elite, etc.(like laundry, casino match play, bingo, gelato). I am sure that saves Celebrity a lot of money for printing costs. Now it is done with your cabin key. Instead of getting 2 gelatos , now you only get one.

4. I Lounge: Celebrity is geared to Apple technology, whereas Holland America is geared to Microsoft. For most of the Apple classes, there is a charge to attend, whereas on HAL, the Microsoft classes are free. Many of us had a hard time connecting to their wifi, and the lines were long to talk to an expert. Jose was terrific and very efficient, but there should have been at least 2 experts, considering how many older people (like us) were onboard and are not nearly as efficient as our kids or grandkids when it comes to computer related things.

5. Baggage check-in at the pier seemed more efficient than on other Celebrity cruises we have been on. The porter put the Deck 11 baggage on one dolly, Deck 10 on another, etc. This may have been the reason we got our luggage earlier than before.

6. We always enjoy going to the Cruise Critic gathering on these cruises, and normally they are the morning after the day you board. However on this cruise, the party was at 5 pm on the day of departure, and many people, including us, did not attend because we were busy unpacking. Surely Celebrity can do a better job on scheduling this.

7. On several days, there was an article in the Celebrity daily news that you could go through immigration faster if you had an app called "Mobile Passport" for your smart phone. We downloaded it to our phones, and tried to use it but it would not allow you to input the ship, ports visited, or items you bought. I went to the I Lounge and neither of the reps knew anything about it, which is surprising since Celebrity made such a big deal about it in the daily paper. So we filled out the old immigration form by hand. When we got to the terminal in Ft. Lauderdale, there was a special line for people who had the app on their phone. The sign said that it was available for I Phones, and that it would soon work for Android phones (like ours). Hopefully it will be available before our next cruise in 2017.

8. Celebrity really needs to change the way they award Elite and higher members. If you are concierge or above, you get the same little gifts in your stateroom regardless of your status, so basically you get no little gift for being Elite. You get a zippered canvas bag, and a little credit card holder; we now have about 10 of these! If you reach VIP status on Carnival (like Elite on Celebrity) you get a really nice gift, like a Tervis Tumbler, or fancy beach bag. It has been several years since we traveled on Carnival, so I really do not know what they do now.

Overall it was a great cruise, friendly staff, good food and lots to do. We used to cruise on Carnival and Holland America, but once we discovered Celebrity, it is our line of choice.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
We had Aqua Class, which is great, but we were spoiled because we had S2 Suites on two cruises this year. We missed the 300 square foot cabin vs. Aqua which is about 1/3 less space, but the price was much more with a suite. We enjoyed Blu, but we missed the suite restaurant, Lumanie.
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