November 2014 - Celebrity Equinox to Caribbean - Western
A year earlier I had book this cruise for my wife and self in the same manner as I had done over the past few. We both were looking forward to our time off and getting away. We always liked the way Celebrity pampered us, the superb meals, and not being bothered by the bar staff like so many other lines constantly have done. If you go on Celebrity thinking that getting that little chocolate on your pillow at turndown in the evening, forget it! The only night you get any "treat" is the first formal night and no other time. We also seemed to have photographers in our face all the time, and know other quality lines don't bother you at all in this way. This is not Carnival or NCL, and most cruisers were not first timers at traveling. I heard someone say that over 1/3 of the passengers were elite or above which means they had been on this line for at least 5 previous cruises.
I noticed at the main dining room, the waitstaff didn't pull out the chairs even for the ladies, or place the napkin in laps. I know this is picky, but these are some of the small things that used to elevate Celebrity above the others. Service was good and our waiter and assistant willing to assist. Food presentation was a little weak, and the quality was not up to the level as in the past. It was still very good, but I ordered a veal chop one evening and sent it back for being very tough. The new plate arrived and first bite was great, however the rest was not edible. I noticed several people who got the chop that evening either complained and asked for something else, or a replacement chop. They also asked to speak with the maitre d regarding their dinners. I did not as I really wasn't in the mood to scold the kitchen out. It wasn't their fault the meat was tough. Again, this is the first cruise with Celebrity we have had these types of problems.
Embarkation and disembarkation went excellently, and we like the new valet service where for $20 per person you could leave the luggage out on the final night and not see them until you arrive at your final airport destination. The only additional charge was that of the airline if applicable. So, thumbs up for that.
Shopping on the ship was as it has been each time in the past. If you catch a sale, you might get a deal. If you wait until the last day they pull out possibly old product from where the ship was over the summer, in our case we were on the first cruise after coming from the Mediterranean, and there was some nice rain gear available, and my wife took advantage of that. In regards to shopping off ship at recommended shops I have written about that towards the end of this review.
Entertainment seems to be improving quite a bit, and finally the comedians aren't telling "X" rated jokes to get a laugh. They actually knew how to keep an audience's attention and entertain them. The bands on the ship were at worst, Good, and at best, Excellent.
Even though the ship is around 5 years old and has not been refurbished since day one, it was is excellent condition for the amount of people traveling over the years. Crew members were always out polishing and cleaning glass, brass, mirrors, etc. Have to give 5 stars for that.
This is the first time we had to use the infirmary and they treated my wife well as she had fallen down some stairs, and sprained her ankle quite badly. They treated her well and we had to laugh a bit as after they took x-rays the nurse came in and wanted to know why there was a pin in her foot. He seemed more concerned about that than her ankle. They let us know she didn't break anything, and requested icing it often and a follow-up in a couple of days. However the day of the fall she didn't go to the dining room, (recommended by the dr.) so while at the dining room we asked if it was possible to bring back a dinner plate to her. At first we were told she could order of the menu and we would pay whatever the charge for the meal was as no food could be brought back. I told the waiter that it wasn't her choice not to come and stay in the room, and she was told to stay off it for 24 hours. He finally got the approval to have it sent at no cost to us.
Shopping on board is as usual for Celebrity, lost of sales at night or on sea days. The final day was "The Big Sale" and if you got there early, you would find some good bargains. In Cozumel, we went to Diamonds International recommended by the ships shopping guide. While there we purchased a TagHeuer watch. Everything seemed to go smoothly and the watch was packed and ready to go when we had finished the paperwork. Once we arrived back at the ship and were out to sea, I decided to set the time and date so my wife could wrap it for my Christmas present. This is when I realized, 1) The presentation box was not the one for the watch as the watch was a special edition and should be in a box with the name on it. 2) The owners manual looked to be used as there were actual dirty sections (worn) in it and pages had been tattered. The warranty card was missing and where it should have been ink marks were on the book as if a card may have been there previously and placed prior to the ink drying completely. 3) The watch and band were filthy, and I took it into the bathroom and cleaned it and it was amazing how dirty it was! I went down to the watch store on the 5th deck and asked if there was someone there who was familiar with this model of TH. After all they did represent Tag, so I figured it logical someone there would help me. No one there wanted to help. Before going off ship, I had gone down to see if they carried this style, and they said no because it was a limited edition. I have written DI regarding selling a "used" watch for a "new" price. Hopefully, they will respond soon and this matter will be resolved. If not I will go to Celebrity and see how their "guarantee" of recommended stores is. They are the ones who tell you to shop at their recommended shops in order to avoid any rip offs. I'll let you know if it gets to this, but now I am hoping DI will fix it and we can move on.
I would love to sing praises about the line, but don't feel it would be the truth. Will we ever cruise on Celebrity again? Absolutely. I still feel they are far above the other similar priced lines.I hope whoever reads this doesn't think that I am negative about Celebrity. I am just stating the truths and still love going on vacation with them feeling like a Celebrity while on board.