Not Bad but Not Exceptional

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 60

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Celebrity Equinox

10 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 04, 2018

Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 2123

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Celebrity passes itself off as a premier experience, therefore, you pay a lot more for them. Granted this was our first and only cruise on Celebrity, but we found it comparable to sailing on ANY Royal Caribbean ship (of which we've been on many). The biggest thing that differentiated Celebrity for us was the type of passengers. Passenger age skews older on Celebrity. Most are retirement age, and we saw only one child (who was most likely the kid of a senior officer, since they are allowed to bring their families aboard). Interestingly, we encountered less snobbery here than on Royal Caribbean. Nice to have cruised with Celebrity, but not likely we'll spend what it takes to sail with them again.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
The check-in process was quick and painless. Barely any waiting, but understand that we were in the Elite Status line. Other lines were longer but seemed to move along well. As for outside the terminal in the general Port of Miami area, the traffic patterns are poorly conceived and can be very difficult to navigate if you've never been there before.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Cruise food is remarkably the same across the industry. Unless you're dining in a specialty restaurant, you need to keep in mind that the ship's kitchens' are preparing food for hundreds (or thousands, depending on the ship) of people. The food is comparable to a good to average restaurant. And there are always lots of choices and alternatives. The only passengers who are disappointed by cruise food are super picky eaters who probably are disappointed anytime they go out to eat.

Murano Restaurant

4 out of 5

We only visited for breakfast, so I cannot evaluate the suppertime experience. Breakfast is free at Murano. It was never super busy for breakfast, therefore, it was a nice quiet spot. My husband loved the mango smoothies. I really liked the lox and bagels. If something you really want isn't on the menu, ask and they can probably accommodate you.

AquaSpa Cafe

5 out of 5

I loved that everything here is a "small bite." Added benefit is that most of food is relatively healthy. However, I don't recommend you spend money on their smoothies. A bit pricey for what you get. Otherwise, just excellent!

Bistro on Five

5 out of 5

Be aware that this eatery is now "Sushi on Five." We didn't eat here, so I can't comment on food quality. Other passengers raved about it.

Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria

3 out of 5

The gelato is very, very good. Service at the coffee/tea bar is spotty. Be prepared for a long wait if there are more than a few customers present.

Michael's Club

4 out of 5

My husband was disappointed that no frozen drinks are available in this bar, but that's pretty typical of concierge lounges. My only complaint was a particular bartender who seemed inexperienced. Since I only saw him once, I suspect he was an emergency fill-in for the regular staff. The main bartender was very good at his job.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Lots of the usual activities typical on cruise ships: trivia games, movies, fitness center, spa treatments, nice pools, hot tubs, et al. But this ship also has saunas, scented steam baths, an area called Persian Garden for relaxing on heated tile-covered ergonomic beds, a grass lawn for sunbathing, and a really fascinating Glass Works area where you can watch artists both blow glass and do lamp work. For a fee, you can participate in creating your own blown glass item.

Fitness Center

5 out of 5

Lots of different kinds of machines. We typically visited on port days when we stayed on board. Had the place to ourselves. Machines in good working order. Many classes were offered, but we did not avail ourselves of any. No supervision, so use at your risk.

Guest Relations And Excursions

4 out of 5

Our cabin keys mysteriously got demagnetized every two days, requiring a trip to Guest Relations for a new card. No explanation was ever offered. If you do get a new card, MAKE SURE the new card shows all the same access that was printed on your old card! We did not use the Excursions desk this trip because we had booked prior to departure.

Entertainment

4 out of 5

Library

3 out of 5

A fair number of titles available. What drove us crazy was no ship's personnel ever makes an attempt to properly get the books in order. Even though every book has a letter taped to the spine and should then be on the shelves in alpha order, you'll quickly realize that a full 25% of the books are in the wrong place. This is further complicated by the fact the library extends to a second floor. My husband and I actually spent 30 minutes trying to get books back in their proper area, and we barely made a dent!

Ensemble Lounge

4 out of 5

Comfortable seating. Bartenders were good. Live music every evening, which tends to overpower any conversations you're trying to have with your shipmates.

Sky Observation Lounge

5 out of 5

This quickly became our favorite place to go for quiet time. Daytime gives you a panoramic view out of the front of the ship. Nighttime has nice lighting. The bartenders here are excellent. It's a great place to go if you want to read or just relax with your group. Music acts and DJs provide entertainment, generally after 9pm.

Persian Garden

3 out of 5

This is both good and bad, depending on when you're there. If it's a sea day, it tends to get crowded. Some passengers don't observe the 20 minute limit in the heated lounge beds and no employee is there to enforce the rule. The steam bath and the 2 saunas were good. It's nice that chilled water is available without having to leave the area. Best time to visit is on port days while most passengers are ashore.

Children's Programs

4 out of 5

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Other cruise lines have a room steward and an assistant who work together to clean and prep the room. Celebrity apparently assigns only one, therefore a single steward is doing all the cleaning and repairs. There were occasional omissions, but we felt he was truly working very hard considering he was given no one to share the workload. The cabins are also serviced by "butlers," whose function seems limited to bringing you different amenities (e.g., tea time items, champagne, fruit basket). The butler does no cleaning or repairs. My biggest disappointment was getting service in Cafe el Bacio. I went to the counter to order coffee and was instructed to take a seat and a server would take my order. After 10 minutes of waiting, I gave up. On the up side, we really enjoyed going to Sky Lounge for an evening cocktail prior to scheduled music activities.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Easy floor plan. Everything was spotless.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5

Ship tip

Take the time to visit the Sky Lounge at different times of the day. Beautiful views during the day, and nice lighting at night. Don't forget to try Murano's complimentary breakfast. It's never busy!

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

4 out of 5
Our activity in Miami was limited to driving in and driving out. Traffic is always chaotic and is especially bad near the Port of Miami.

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5
We have visited this port on many past cruises and decided to take on board this trip. Regarding past excursions, a visit to Stingray City is a "must do" and always enjoyable.

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
We've been here before and, therefore, chose to stay on board this time.

Willemstad, Curacao

4 out of 5
We've been to this port twice before, so we limited ourselves to walking around the downtown area. Very colorful. Friendly locals. I recommend a trip to Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. Beautiful! If your first time to the island, be sure to take a tour of the curacoa liqueur distillery and try a free sample. All the Dutch Antilles serve a light beer called Amstel Bright (NOT Amstel Light). It supposedly is the only beer made from desalinated water. Refreshing on a hot day.

Kralendijk, Bonaire

4 out of 5
We limited ourselves to walking along the drive that parallels the shoreline. Stopped for some shaved ice in a little market area. We were surprised by the number of Europeans and Americans who reside on the island. Dutch is the official language but English is easily accommodated.

Key West, Florida

4 out of 5
Always fun to walk around Key West. If your first time, stop at Sloppy Joe's for their signature sandwich. If that's not your thing, there are lots and lots of seafood joints and bars. Taking a ride on the Old Town Trolley Tour is a good way to get acquainted with the island. It's also a GREAT way to visit areas on their route without hailing a cab. You can get on and off all day without paying extra.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
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