Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Opera nut
- Sail Date: February 2010
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Because we live little more than an hour from the port, we chose not to arrive until 2:00 p.m. Result -- no lines and the speediest embarkation ever to our Aqua Class Veranda room. My wife's reaction to the room: "where can I put my stuff?"
While the room is neat and organized with a great wooden decked verandah,it is (to be polite) very compact. I was hoping that the new Solstice class ships would provide greater space for veranda rooms. (Our favorites are the mini-suites on Princess or similar rooms on Holland America.) Alas, Celebrity settled for compactness. The main drawback is the lack of drawer space for storage. There are only five dresser-size drawers. On the plus size (while my wife prefers full tubs) the multi-jet shower was fantastic and made getting up in the morning a treat.
The ship itself is fantastic -- a thing of beauty. But as gorgeous as it is, its greatest asset I feel is its food. The food quality is only surpassed by the presentations. The buffet deck is designed into food islands that make service fast. The main dining room, Silhouette, is large, open and attractive -- but noisy. We dined there on two occasions and found the food good but the service somewhat slow. As Aqua Class passengers, our normal dining room was Blu. This made Aqua Class worthwhile. Blu is open, bright and more intimate with large picture windows to view the ocean going by. The food choices are slightly less than in Silhouette (especially at breakfast) but designed to be more healthy. Service is speedy and presentations were uniformly striking. As good as the filet mignon was, my favorite entree was a delicious Colorado lamb shank. Yummy. I must also applaud the Maitre'd staff who were quick to respond to any special requests. One of the diners at our table required a salt-free meal and the staff went out of its way to accomodate him.
We ate at two of the specialty restaurants -- Murano and Tuscan Grill. Each was well worth the extra cost. Again, the food was impressive both in quality and quantity, as well as presentation. Service was outstanding.
The main entertainment venue, Celebrity Theater, was a fine setting for individual performers (vocalists, comedians, magicians) as well as production shows -- where the lighting and staging was top-notch. It also made a great arena for passengers to gather to watch the Super Bowl on a giant screen, while partaking of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken wings and beer.
The ship's a cappella male quartet and female Classical string trio were ubiquitous popping up all around the ship. They were excellent as was the ship's orchestra, especially in a big band concert on Deck 3.
Celebrity offers the usual array of Cruise activities -- Bingo, Casino games, putting contets (but on real grass) as well as glass blowing exhibitions and enrichment programs. I enjoyed four presentations on movie musicals that brought back lots of memories.
The outdoor pool seemed small, but there there were sufficient lounges for all. I miss the thelassotherapy pool of Celebrity's Millenium class ships, though, as well as a sauna. The exercise room is large and well-eqipped.
One of the reasons we picked this cruise was the ports. My wife loves to shop. She doesn't necessarily buy everything she looks at, but lives for the thrill of the hunt. St. Thomas and St. Maarten are two of her favorite targets. (I prefer St. Maasrten because there is a convenient bar close to the water taxi pier from which you can relax and enjoy both people-watching and views of the beach, the bay and ships at anchor. Dominica is more for those more adventurous than us -- but I did get a great buy on a $5 tee-shirt at the market right off the ship. There are more shopping opportunities at the pier in Barbados than downtown. If you are only interested in shopping, save the $4 cab fare.
With nearly 3000 passengers on board, I anticipated a lengthy disembarkation. I was wrong. Celebrity's system worked. We were on our way off the ship within minutes of the anticipated time and our luggage was quickly located on the pier. (A great improvement over a recent horror show I experienced with Royal Caribbean.)
All in all, it was a very classy cruise and we've already booked our next cruise on Celebrity.
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