Excellent ship but poor guest relations

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 18

Overall rating:

3.4 out of 5
Celebrity Equinox

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 24, 2018

Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9250

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Loved the food, the activities and many of the staff. However, Celebrity's lack of customer service and care/concern about guests enjoying vacation to the max has us doubting we would ever sail with this cruise line again.

Embarkation

2 out of 5
There were no lines and everything moved very quickly - and we were a large group (12 arrived together and 4 at a separate time). However, we were given inaccurate and inconsistent information on a number of fronts (what qualified for captain's club credit, what was the age to gamble at the casino, why did the 18 year olds receive different looking set sail passes) Also, despite taking different payment methods for one stateroom, when we got on board the accounts were mixed up.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The dinners in the main dining room were our absolute favorite part of vacation. Eladio, Miguel and Andrei were amazing. They catered to our groups needs and always made us feel at home. The food in the main dining room was excellent quality, selection and taste - as was the buffet! We had the drink packages and there was no shortage of drinks to chose from. The only thing we wished were different was that bottle water be available for kids under 18 with the soda package.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
This was by far the BEST activities staff at sea!! Rich Spacey was engaging, fun, energetic and made you want to join in on everything he hosted. The silent disco is a must!! How the officers on board also were involved in so many of the activities was great (pool volleyball against the crew was hilarious - and the guests even won)!

Entertainment

2 out of 5
Stage shows were ok, DJs were excellent, comedians were typical. The events were entertaining, but nothing special.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
The children enjoyed the amount of activities in the x club. However, many of the organized activities conflicted with our late dinner seating, or other planned activities so they could not participate in many. Our children enjoy spending time with the family, including dinner.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
As I mentioned above, the waiters were phenomenal and this rating in no way should affect them. The room steward was also very nice and did a good job keeping the room clean. But, the staff in guest relations and the event coordinator we were assigned (Wendy) left much to be desired. In fact, if it were not for the poor experiences in guest relations we would not hesitate to sail Celebrity again. However, this is our 5th cruise, 3rd cruise line (first time with Celebrity), and we have seen much better customer service in all other experiences. We wasted more time of our vacation on line in guest relations than we should have. Most of the time, the only answer guest relations could provide was "sorry there is nothing we can do." From rooms not being set-up correctly, to key cards CONTINUALLY not working, to being provided incorrect and inconsistent information upon embarkation, to stateroom accounts being mixed up, to not assisting our group with disembarkation plans that were changed out of our control, the issues kept building throughout the cruise. At one point the event coordinator assigned to our group (again we were a group of 16 with kids), expected us to find free wifi at one of the ports to research how to make plans for disembarkation because they messed up our plans. It was evident that the staff at guest relations were not given any leeway by upper management to ensure that guests have the most efficient service possible and not have their vacations interrupted. There were several times when I would have to go back to guest relations at another time just to have my issue heard...that is completely unacceptable to expect of a customer when they are vacationing. Despite loving the ship, most of the staff, the activities and the food, I do not know that we will ever sail Celebrity again because of the amount of time we wasted trying to fix the wrongs, get working set sail passes, or try to determine what set of information we were provided was correct. Beyond frustrating!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
We liked the simplistic design. Everything was super clean and comfortable. Despite not having some of the fancy bells and whistles of other cruise lines we've been on, the activities were awesome and we did not miss anything. There were even areas of the ship we did not discover until the last day! We liked that there were only 2400 passengers too. The kids kept commenting on how they liked running into people the met in the elevator or other areas throughout the cruise - it made the experience more enjoyable. And, all the other guests were super friendly!

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Cabin seemed smaller than other balconies we've been in on other cruise lines, but the layout worked, and the cabin was clean. The beds were not the most comfortable, as you could feel where it would "split apart" to make two beds. The storage was not as convenient as other ships we have been on. View was nice. Cabins were somewhat noisy as you could hear muffled voices from next door, and jumping from cabins above.

Ship tip

Be prepared to spend time replacing your set sail pass. Despite what they say, keeping the key card away from your phone and other magnetic devices does not improve the functionality. The key cards randomly deactivate and there is nothing you can do about it! At one point when I complained to a guest services attendant about it being my second key card he told my I was lucky at only 2 - some people are there 5 or 6 times! On a positive note - get involved with the activities and talk to people! The best part of the trip was getting to know other cruisers and having fun with the activities staff.

Ports of call

Key West, Florida

2 out of 5
This is a great town to walk around and shop...lots of neat places and the town was very active. We did the Fury catamaran and snorkel and it was the worst excursion EVER! There were at least 100 people on the boat - several got sea sick. When we got to the reef, the currents were strong and the swells were about 2 feet. The water was so murky you could not see a thing, and you constantly had to swim to fight against the strong current and swells. Most of the guests were back on the catamaran within 5 minutes. It felt more like ocean survival 101 than an enjoyable vacation excursion! We would NEVER do this again!!

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

3 out of 5
No excursion on this port...lots of neat shopping.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
The family amazing race challenge was incredible!!! It was a very active 4-mile race around the town, including a short snorkeling trip, a visit to a museum, and interaction we locals. We laughed so hard, and had such fun competing against other groups. It was a great way to work off many of the calories we consumed with the excellent ship food!!! Highly recommend this tour for anyone looking for a fun, educational, competitive excursion!

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
Great shops, good deal on jewlery, great food. BEST EXCURSION EVER!!! - Shipwreck Snuba! We had snuba'd on other time, and loved it, but this took the prize. The waters were super clear, the ocean area was pristine, we saw tons of marine life and coral. The guides were incredible. It was easy to learn and get acclimated since you did not have to take a boat out, you went right from the shore. I would recommend this excursion to anyone interested in learning to scuba dive, or trying snuba for the first time. Truly the highlight of our trip!

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
We had our own travel plans for the trip home so we were the last off the ship at 9:30 a.m. Luggage was waiting for us and we were through customs in less than 10 minutes.
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