April 2015 - 10 Night Ultimate Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Equinox
BEAUTIFUL SHIP, FRIENDLY AND COMPETENT STAFF
The Equinox is a well-maintained, beautiful ship. The itinerary is good, especially if you haven't done much traveling in the Caribbean. Four days at sea and five islands is a great combination of touring and relaxation. The ship was able to pull right into port at each island, which made tenders unnecessary. That is much more convenient for getting off and on the ship.
We had splurged and upgraded to a Concierge level cabin. It was the average size that we're used to and had ample storage space. The bathroom was slightly larger than normal and had a fairly spacious shower, plus a modern vessel-style sink. There was a lot of bathroom storage.
However, we doubt we'd upgrade to Concierge level again. We were supposed to have fresh flowers and fruit in our room. We never had any flowers, and had three apples on our first day, which were never refilled. You can order afternoon canapes, which will be delivered to your stateroom at the time you specify. When we received ours on the first day, there were a half-dozen tiny things that we didn't care for, so we didn't eat them. We were traveling with another couple, and they didn't eat theirs, either. We're not really sure we received any extra value for the extra money we paid for Concierge Class. The early-boarding process was only slightly better than average boarding. Save your money and purchase a normal balcony cabin, or splurge a bit more and buy Aqua class, which has its own restaurant called Blu. We've heard several cruisers say that dining in Blu is a good experience. If you want to treat yourself to a suite, you will have yet another restaurant specifically for that class.
The regular dining room, Silhouette, had better than average food and service, but still has some room for improvement. The Ocean view café (buffet) had significantly better food than other ships we've been on. We ate there more than usual because of the great variety and good quality of choices. We also liked the fact that placards were placed on the café tables during prime meal-time hours, asking guests to please be considerate of others and don't play games or linger at tables when people need a place to eat. Most people followed that suggestion.
The nightly entertainment was average, cruise ship fare. There was a problem finding seats in the Equinox theatre unless you were at least 20 minutes early for the show. There was an exceptional speaker who did a series of lectures during the day. I can't remember his name, but he worked in a high level position with NASA and had many interesting stories to share.
If you are a pool person and sunbather, the outdoor pool can get quite crowded. There are many loungers on the deck overlooking the pool area, so you might be slightly crowded, but you will usually find a spot. The indoor atrium pool is a quiet and less crowded area for adults only.
The ship's fitness facility has an adequate number of machines, weights, balls, etc., so working out was never a problem. We did not have any spa treatments, but we did notice that they ran "specials" especially on port days, so you might want to indulge yourself on one of those days.
Overall, there are very few negative things to say about this ship and its staff. It is a beautiful ship that will provide you with a good experience!