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We loved our cruise and will write this as a comparison with our recent cruise experiences on Holland America which we have sailed with 3 times in the last 20 months. Wife and I travelled without kids. We are around 50 yrs old and have cruised together about 8 times. EMBARKATION - We arrived very early at 10:00 and had to wait about 90 minutes before we could board. Once we did it was easy on. No issues here. Embarkation was also smooth and easy on all our HAL cruises. WINNER - draw CABIN - Cabin was comfortable and well laid out. I liked the curved edges at the end of the bed, making walking around it somewhat easier. The bathroom was also larger than our HAL ships. HAL was better in closet space - including shelves for clothes that needed shelves versus hangers. Service was outstanding in both - zero complaints here. WINNER - slight edge to Equinox DINING - It was a tale of three meals here. Breakfast was similar in the buffet parts. HAL had a larger variety but Equinox had corned beef hash and grits one day - both my favorites. We did the Equinox breakfast in the dining room on debarkation day and had amazing service - the best we have ever had at breakfast anywhere. No less than 6 people were nearby providing service in every way possible. HAL did not have near the service level and a much slower meal - an hour or more. However, HAL had a much better breakfast menu with more exotic choices. Equinox was standard fare. BREAKFAST WINNER - draw Lunch was much better on the Equinox with many more choices including Indian every day which I love. Desserts were also MUCH better on the Equinox with more and better choices. HAL had the better carving station with lamb served on a number of days. LUNCH WINNER - Equinox Dinner on the Equinox was good but a half-step below our HAL experience. Service was outstanding on both with a slight nod to Equinox. Menu of choices and quality were both better on HAL. Equinox wasn't bad, but I had more choices of starters and entrees that I liked on HAL where there were too many times I reverted to the "available every meal" choices on Equinox. DINNER WINNER - HAL PUBLIC AREAS - Here were preferred Equinox for a few reasons. 1 - We enjoyed the Solarium where we could have climate control, comfy chairs, and no music. If we wanted a more lively, fun experience we would move to the outdoor pool where there was always music, sometimes a DJ and even a band. The HAL pool deck was smaller, often more crowded, and always quiet. 2 - The bars were more plentiful on the Equinox but always busier because it seemed everyone had a drinks package. On HAL virtually no one had this so bars were often quieter. 3 - We didn't do shops, spa, gym and casinos so we can't speak on those. 4 - HAL did have three banks of elevators, preferred over the two banks on Equinox. Our room was near the back of the ship so it was always a long walk to the nearest mid-ship elevators. WINNER - Equinox ENTERTAINMENT - We are both fans of live music. Nothing can compare to the BB Kings club on HAL - the clear winner in best entertainment. However, they begin at 9:00 most nights. Outside of this, Equinox was the clear winner. They had live music day and night. Quality was ranged from OK to very good. Singer / guitarist Chelsea was outstanding as was the house band Nu Image. We also enjoyed the shows much better on Equinox. Singers were better and the shows added a third dimension with aerialists and acrobats. We did not see any comedians but really enjoyed Not Really Three Tenors and saw both their shows. Activities - there were more and better activities on the Equinox including our favorite the Silent Disco. Such fun - don't miss it! There were more daytime activities on Equinox as well including the Hot Glass Class where we both made drinking glasses as souvenirs. WINNER - Equinox PORTS - Our cruise went to Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. I prefer the ports on HAL better. In Alaska they go to Glacier Bay and in the Caribbean they go to the private island - both favorites of ours. Winner - HAL DEBARKATION - Slight nod to HAL but likely not the fault of Equinox as we heard that debarkation was delayed because there were not enough immigration agents meet the published debarkation schedule. PRICE - We are deal hunters and value is very important to us. This and outstanding service and food is what drew us to HAL. We paid about $500 more for this cruise versus a simlar cruise on HAL. However, we got great value in an included drinks package and on-board credit. You are almost certain to pay more on Celebrity but I still feel like we got great value. WINNER - HAL OVERALL - We thoroughly enjoyed all our HAL cruises but this was a half-step up in overall experience. The key difference for us is activities and entertainment. The pool was more fun, there was more to do, and the evening shows were all well done. The ship (and overall line I expect) is aiming towards the 40-60 year old crowd with no kids. HAL seems to be positioned in the 55-75 age groups. If you can afford it, our recommendation is Equinox (and I expect other similar solstice class ships) over HAL.

Loved the Ship - Comparison with Holland America

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by friendswithdave

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda (partially obstructed view)
We loved our cruise and will write this as a comparison with our recent cruise experiences on Holland America which we have sailed with 3 times in the last 20 months. Wife and I travelled without kids. We are around 50 yrs old and have cruised together about 8 times.

EMBARKATION - We arrived very early at 10:00 and had to wait about 90 minutes before we could board. Once we did it was easy on. No issues here. Embarkation was also smooth and easy on all our HAL cruises.

WINNER - draw

CABIN - Cabin was comfortable and well laid out. I liked the curved edges at the end of the bed, making walking around it somewhat easier. The bathroom was also larger than our HAL ships. HAL was better in closet space - including shelves for clothes that needed shelves versus hangers. Service was outstanding in both - zero complaints here.

WINNER - slight edge to Equinox

DINING - It was a tale of three meals here. Breakfast was similar in the buffet parts. HAL had a larger variety but Equinox had corned beef hash and grits one day - both my favorites. We did the Equinox breakfast in the dining room on debarkation day and had amazing service - the best we have ever had at breakfast anywhere. No less than 6 people were nearby providing service in every way possible. HAL did not have near the service level and a much slower meal - an hour or more. However, HAL had a much better breakfast menu with more exotic choices. Equinox was standard fare.

BREAKFAST WINNER - draw

Lunch was much better on the Equinox with many more choices including Indian every day which I love. Desserts were also MUCH better on the Equinox with more and better choices. HAL had the better carving station with lamb served on a number of days.

LUNCH WINNER - Equinox

Dinner on the Equinox was good but a half-step below our HAL experience. Service was outstanding on both with a slight nod to Equinox. Menu of choices and quality were both better on HAL. Equinox wasn't bad, but I had more choices of starters and entrees that I liked on HAL where there were too many times I reverted to the "available every meal" choices on Equinox.

DINNER WINNER - HAL

PUBLIC AREAS - Here were preferred Equinox for a few reasons.

1 - We enjoyed the Solarium where we could have climate control, comfy chairs, and no music. If we wanted a more lively, fun experience we would move to the outdoor pool where there was always music, sometimes a DJ and even a band. The HAL pool deck was smaller, often more crowded, and always quiet.

2 - The bars were more plentiful on the Equinox but always busier because it seemed everyone had a drinks package. On HAL virtually no one had this so bars were often quieter.

3 - We didn't do shops, spa, gym and casinos so we can't speak on those.

4 - HAL did have three banks of elevators, preferred over the two banks on Equinox. Our room was near the back of the ship so it was always a long walk to the nearest mid-ship elevators.

WINNER - Equinox

ENTERTAINMENT - We are both fans of live music. Nothing can compare to the BB Kings club on HAL - the clear winner in best entertainment. However, they begin at 9:00 most nights. Outside of this, Equinox was the clear winner. They had live music day and night. Quality was ranged from OK to very good. Singer / guitarist Chelsea was outstanding as was the house band Nu Image. We also enjoyed the shows much better on Equinox. Singers were better and the shows added a third dimension with aerialists and acrobats. We did not see any comedians but really enjoyed Not Really Three Tenors and saw both their shows.

Activities - there were more and better activities on the Equinox including our favorite the Silent Disco. Such fun - don't miss it! There were more daytime activities on Equinox as well including the Hot Glass Class where we both made drinking glasses as souvenirs.

WINNER - Equinox

PORTS - Our cruise went to Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. I prefer the ports on HAL better. In Alaska they go to Glacier Bay and in the Caribbean they go to the private island - both favorites of ours.

Winner - HAL

DEBARKATION - Slight nod to HAL but likely not the fault of Equinox as we heard that debarkation was delayed because there were not enough immigration agents meet the published debarkation schedule.

PRICE - We are deal hunters and value is very important to us. This and outstanding service and food is what drew us to HAL. We paid about $500 more for this cruise versus a simlar cruise on HAL. However, we got great value in an included drinks package and on-board credit. You are almost certain to pay more on Celebrity but I still feel like we got great value.

WINNER - HAL

OVERALL - We thoroughly enjoyed all our HAL cruises but this was a half-step up in overall experience. The key difference for us is activities and entertainment. The pool was more fun, there was more to do, and the evening shows were all well done. The ship (and overall line I expect) is aiming towards the 40-60 year old crowd with no kids. HAL seems to be positioned in the 55-75 age groups. If you can afford it, our recommendation is Equinox (and I expect other similar solstice class ships) over HAL.
friendswithdave’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
Cabin
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda (partially obstructed view)
Cabin 2C 6280
Cabin was great. Obstruction was minor and did not affect our view enough to make us regret our guarantee cabin choice.
Continental Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins