Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by rkreilly
- Sail Date: March 2018
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda
Despite some issues booking both cruise and air, using the Celebrity specialists, once on board the vacation was very nice and relaxing. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. There was plenty of public seating in all areas of the ship, including the pool and the buffet. The theater is nice, and was used for multiple purposes besides shows, such as Easter mass, Muster Drill and debarkation. We liked the use of the large space for these purposes. We liked the layout of the main area. The bars, the shops and services are all arranged around the center of the ship. The library on board is gorgeous, quiet, and well stocked. The buffet is laid out in a food court fashion, which eliminated one long line, but did lead to a little bit of chaos in finding your choice of entree. The gym is large, clean, good equipment and has a great view. Most classes have fees. The cushions on the pool and deck chairs was a treat! Overall we were very impressed with the layout, decoration, cleanliness, and maintenance of the ship.
The cabins were TINY with very limited storage compared to Royal or Princess. The balcony is larger than what we had on the Island Princess, and had two chairs that reclined, one ottoman (other balconies had two) and a wooden table. The beds were very hard, had rounded corners and very small uncomfortable pillows. The bathroom is larger, but minimal counter space and one tall shelf unit. The shower is larger, with glass doors and bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and a bar of soap. The desk in the room is small, includes 6 small drawers (2 shallow, 4 deeper) and a mini fridge that is full of mini-bar items. Two outlets and a European receptacle were on the lower edge of the two level desk. TV is on the wall. The nightstands are very narrow, 3 open shelves, the phone is on one shelf. The closet is small, and half blocked by an in room day bed, (which is useless). The top shelf is only about 5 inches high. 5 pairs of shoes did not fit on the floor of the closet without stacking them. A backpack and a briefcase were on the other side of the closet floor (there is a divider down the middle). My teenagers had an interior cabin which was very small and very dark. We realized this was attributed to no large mirror on the wall that we were used to. Same set up as balcony room, but no balcony- obviously.
The main dining room was beautiful, we had excellent service and delicious meals each night. We did not make use of specialty dining. We ate from the buffet or Mast Grill for lunches and buffet for breakfast. The food there is OK- there is a large amount of offerings, but nearly identical each day. The desserts in the buffet were tasteless, and always the wrong texture. The desserts in the main dining room were really good. The burgers and fries at the Mast Grill were excellent. My youngest ate all of our shares of ice cream. The ice cream bar is in the buffet, offers 10 flavors of hard scoop (including sorbet and yogurt) and 3 flavors of soft serve each day. There were also various toppings and cookies served from this area.
The first night the show was a comedian who was very funny, the second comedian of the cruise was not as good. We saw one show with the Equinox staff, and the ariel acrobatics and strength were impressive. We enjoyed the various musicians throughout the ship over the course of the week. For the most part, the noise level at the pool deck was fine, though a couple of the games and the afternoon performers were loud for about 45 minutes. My teen did attempt to go to two of the teen club activities, but when she arrived, the place was dark and vacant. After the second time, they stopped attempting to participate. Surprising since they told us this week there were 500 kids on board. I did see a large group of approx. 5 year olds walk through, so some kid club activities were happening. My husband attended a watch talk that he really enjoyed, and then had a chance at a hands on work shop that he loved. He is still talking about it! We thought prices for some of the other "talks" or gatherings was extravagant and did not participate. We very much enjoyed the martini bar and ordering a flight was entertainment in itself watching the bar tenders prepare!
The service overall was very good. Every staff member was exceedingly polite and always had a smile. We had requested waiters most nights, our room attendant was good. As stated before, the ship was very clean.
In both San Juan and St. Martin we did our own thing since we had been to these ports before. The San Juan stop was a little odd being there in the evening. We felt fairly limited in things we could do because hiking/kayaking/things in nature obviously can't be done in the dark. We were back on the ship for a late dinner, as it seemed like most passengers were. We were thrilled to see St. Martin back in good shape. There is still some evidence of destruction, but the locals were so happy and loving the spirit of the island is still alive and well. Most stores on Front Street were open, as well as many cafes and restaurants. Had our routine guavaberry coladas and ate another fabulous lunch at The Greenhouse, and stopped by the beautiful little church that was incredibly decorated for Easter. Our kids are now in love with St. Martin as well. Reports from other passengers were the beaches were in good shape and a few beach bars operating- they had wonderful days also. SO relieved to see this island thriving after what they'd been through. It was very clean, no worries about stopping or vacationing here.
On St. Kitts we took the Snorkel and Catamaran excursion through the cruise ship. It was well organized. The rum punch, ting, and Carib beer was delicious and flowing. Snorkeling was good, clear waters and lots of fish, but nothing unique. The staff of the catamaran did not get in the water, we had plenty of time to enjoy the calm waters of the bay. We were glad we had an excursion to do on the island- without the excursion it would have been a fast stop I believe.
Our teens have been on cruises before, and they enjoyed this as well. They travel very well and do a great job entertaining themselves. For another family or with high energy kids who need entertainment, this may not be the cruise for them. This was a very laid back and mellow cruise, which is what we were looking for. We were impressed with the vacation once we were on board. As stated in the beginning, the difficulties in booking multiple cabins and the airfare left us frustrated to begin with and will make us think twice booking Celebrity again, and the cabin set up is also a detractor. However, if my husband and I are booking alone and there is a good value, we may consider Celebrity again. What Celebrity does well, they do very well.
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