Loved the Celebrity Equinox 11-Night Exotic Caribbean Cruise!
Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: March 16, 2015
Ship: Celebrity Equinox
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 1 year ago
This was Cruise #20 for us and it did not dissapoint!
Embarkation was fast, efficient & very smooth. Took the 10:30am shuttle from the hotel to the cruise port. The ship was ready for passengers and we were first in line for Deck 8. Were told stateroom would be ready about 1:30. Got through embarkation process, pictures, etc and were onboard by 11:15. Were greeted with choice of mimosa or champagne. Enjoyed a coffee drink in Café El Bachio. Went down to guest services and had Xpress Pass punched and got a non-alcoholic drink from bar.
Lunch - Headed up for lunch at Oceanview Café. Already crowded with people, but found a seat near window. Good selection of foods.
Stateroom 8106 - About 1:15 it was announced that our staterooms were ready. Went to Deck 8 forward, but could not find our cabin. It was hidden behind an unmarked door and took us about 30 minutes to get assistance. Would have been nice to advise us of the hidden location.
Stateroom was at very front of the ship overlooking the heliport. It was a nice elongated room and had a full size sofa in sitting area. Closet was standard size with additional storage over the bed.
Main Dining Room - We had 6 o’clock seating in MDR at Table 149. It was a table for 4 near the window. Our Waiter, Rolando, and Assistant Waiter, Juan, were fantastic! Rolando made excellent dessert suggestions for me. The food was excellent. Some of the best MDR food I’ve ever had on a cruise. I especially enjoyed the SP (Spa) selections which were more healthy alternatives. The roast pork with red cabbage was wonderful. The roasted chicken on the last night was fabulous. The lobster on lobster night was some of the best I’ve ever had. It was prepared wonderfully and not the ordinary way with some butter to dip it it. The Beef Wellington which also was fabulous.
Murano - We ate at Murano one night and it was worth every penny. We had the chateaubriand and TWO lobster dinners. However, we did not realize that the lobster dinners in Murano were a double order of lobster. They were prepared tableside sautéed with cream and butter and spices. Just delicious. BEST lobster I ever ate. The Chataubriand was cooked perfect medium rare and sliced table side. We also had some nice but not over abundance of veggies with it. For the appetizer, I had the goat cheese suffle and it was fabulous. We were much too full for dessert, but they brought us some small just-right bites. We also had an amuse bouche before dinner. The service in Murano was also fabulous and dinner did not take overly long as it sometimes does in specialty restaurants.
What I would have like to have seen or done on the ship, but was not available:
Ports of Call:
Grand Cayman – Did the Food and History Walking Tour with Alison – our guide. Visited 6 food stops and saw some interesting historical places. The Pepper Jelly was the most unusual tasting. The fish at Guy Harvey’s was wonderful. The last stop was an Italian restaurant and was a pasta dish.
Cartagena, Columbia - Cartagena was fabulous! I was on deck at 5:30 am and experienced the pre-dawn sailing into the city. We were at the very front of the ship, and the markers looked like runway lights!
Loved the tour with Martin Rosales, Cartagena Tour Guide. There were only four of us on the tour. We traveled the busy streets in very nice van with great air conditioning. Our driver, Jan, did an excellent job of maneuvering the city streets. Martin showed us the Manga District, the small fortress Bocachica, we climbed Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, saw the city below from La Popa, visited La Bovedas, went to the Gold Museum and the Emerald Museum. We then went inside the walled city, saw the cathedral but did not go inside. We drove back to our ship along the shore and saw the beach. It was a very informative tour and we were able to see a lot of the sights in a very small amount of time. Martin was a very good guide and shared lots of information about Cartagena and Columbia. Highly recommend taking this tour if you want to see the inside of the fort as most tours did not go inside.
Colon, Panama - was one of my favorite ports. There were so many ships when we docked in Colon, Panama - all waiting to go through the canal. We did a Panama City Tour with Almiza Tours. Our tour guide was Alex. We drove from Colon through the rainforest and over the Bridge of Americas to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. The trip by bus took only about an hour. We went to the Miraflor Locks Visitor Center and saw ships go through from the Pacific side. We then drove to the Causeway, saw ships on the canal and Panama City in the distance. Did approximately a 40 minute walk through old Panama City which excellent views of the Centennial Bridge. Then we drove past some of the modern buildings of new Panama City before heading back to the ship. Alex also made time for a quick stop for lunch once we reached Panama City.
In Costa Rica, we did the Veragua Rainforest and Tortoguera Canals excursion through Celebrity. The bus trip was approximately 1.5 hours both ways. Our tour guide was Norman. The boat on the canals broke and we had to switch boats. When we got to the rainforest, they split us into two groups - those who wanted to hike the 300 plus steps to see the waterfall and those who didn't. It was worth the hike! Lunch was included and it was very good (rice, beans, chicken, veggies). The only disappointment was that the aerial tram ride was only about 10 minutes and canal boat ride was also very short. Not much wildlife to be seen either. This is where the zip lining is and it looked like a lot of fun! We picked up two small bags of coffee for $5 in one of the shops next to the ship.
Belize was a bust. Because of the tendering fiasco, we missed our Shark Ray Alley and Rays snorkeling excursion. We then decided to go on a cave tubing excursion and the van had a blowout halfway there! We asked the driver to take us back and we ended up doing a bit of shopping and having some drinks.
Cozumel was a relaxing beach day and massage at Nachi Cocum resort. A great way to end a great cruise!
Never upgraded to the Premium package. Found that most (not on the menus) drinks were included with the Classic. Even mudslides and Long Island Ice Teas!
Shout out to bartenders, Captain Jack Sparrow at the Cafe al Bachio and almost every bar on the ship and Rosemary from the Casino bar who made the most amazing mudslides! As well as to Cruise Director, Patty!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Splurge on Morano's but get only 1 lobster entree if also sharing the Chateaubriand. Also, try the goat cheese soufflé and save room for dessert.