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Celebrity Equinox Review

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And the next adventure begins! Visiting daughter and family friends then off on the #Celebrity Eclispe to Norway. #Britrail

 

Equinox

On March 24, 2017, we boarded the Celebrity Equinox for the first time.  We have sailed previously on three M class Celebrity ships….Summit, Millennium, and Infinity, and two S class Celebrity ships….Solstice and Eclipse.

We sailed the Eastern Caribbean for 10 nights on the Ultimate Caribbean cruise, visiting St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados and a wonderful overnight in St. Maarten.  We were granted permission to film onboard.  The following link will take you to our YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVI1hX3uLG4

The Equinox was launched on August 8, 2009 and is the second Solstice class ship.  She has a capacity of 2850 passengers and is 1041 feet long.  Currently, she is sailing the Caribbean year round.  Below is a link to the current sailings:

http://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-search/search-results?ship=EQ#&dest=ANY&isWidget=false&sortBy=7&selectedInput=&cruiseType=CO&cruisesOnly=Y&accessCabin=&includeAdjascentPorts=Y&state=&captain_id=&couponCodes=&isSenior=&isMilitary=&isFireandPolice=&sailStartDate=ANY&sailEndDate=ANY&port=ANY&duration=ANY&port=ANY&ship=EQ&startRow=0

BARS

“Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them and Champagne makes you do them” – Brilliant Savarin

There are many bars located throughout the ship.  I am going to highlight a few of them. Other bars available onboard are Slush, the Ensemble Lounge, the Passport Bar, the Sunset Bar, Quasar and the Pool and Mast Bar.  The Oceanview Cafe also offers two full service bars, one inside and one on the aft deck….but warning….during dining hours, it is very busy.  Bar service waiters are happy to take your order table side and deliver it to you, but it may take some time.

Sky Lounge is a quiet refuge by day for gazing over the sea.  At night, the space comes to life with music and dancing. The live band performs a wide variety of popular songs and current hits.  This is also a popular location for daily trivia and other activities.

Gastrobar is the newest, replacing Cellar Masters.  Comfort food and craft beer enthusiasts can try over 40 handcrafted boutique beer selections.  There are creative cocktails and a wide selection of a la carte, gourmet comfort food and bar bites.  If you prefer wine, there is an impressive selection by the glass or bottle. Gastrobar offers an atmosphere of casual sophistication.

Martini Bar and Crush features an ice-topped bar where talented bartenders put on a high-energy show preparing a mix of classic and contemporary martinis.  You can enjoy a collection of classic and rare vodkas and a portfolio of fine caviars.

martini bar

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

World Class Bar, my personal favorite,  brings the high standards of “fine dining” to the spirited world of cocktails in an upscale location .  The expert mixologists use the freshest ingredients and the finest spirits.  The cocktails served at here are unique to this location.

world class bar

DINING VENUES

“Without butter, without eggs, there is no reason to come to France.” Paul Bocuse

On Celebrity ships, there are restaurants that are included in your cruise fare, plus specialty restaurants which have an additional charge.  There are also two private dining venues for Aqua and Suite class guests.

The venues that are included in the cruise fare are Silhouette (the main dining restaurant), Oceanview Cafe (the buffet), Mast grill and Aqua Spa Cafe.

Silhouette is Equinox’s main dining room and is located aft on decks 3 & 4 with room for 1420 guests and features a dramatic two story high glass wine tower and dazzling chandeliers.  Breakfast and dinner are served here daily, with lunch available on sea days.  Traditional fixed dining times for dinner are 6:00pm and 8:30pm.  Also offered is select dining with seating available between 6pm to 9.30pm. The dinner menu, with up to 29 selections, comprises of appetizers, soups and salads, entrées and desserts with the left hand side of the menu remaining the same while the right hand side changes nightly.

mainrestaurant_tab1

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Oceanview Cafe and Bar is the ship’s international buffet style marketplace, with a  menu that is inspired by multiple cultures.  Options will vary depending on the location of the cruise.  The chef likes to highlight the cultures of the ports of call.  Don’t worry though….traditional food is always available.  There is also a grill with fresh chicken, steak and seafood ready to be cooked to order.  Seating 758 diners and located aft of deck 14, it features floor to ceiling glass walls looking out over the sea and offers both indoor and outdoor seating.

It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there are stations that include made-to-order omelets for breakfast.  For lunch and dinner, there are many choices including made-to-order pasta, stir-fry, pizza, a full salad bar, carvery and desserts. Breakfast is offered from 6:30am to 11:30.  Lunch is served from 12 noon to 2:30pm.  Snacks and late night selections will be available until 1:00am nightly.

Marketplace_Cafe_212x119

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

The Mast Grill is a casual poolside venue.  It is located midship on deck 14 with steps leading down to the outdoor pool on deck 12 and is ideally situated to grab a quick bite to eat such as burgers, hotdogs, fries and other specialities grilled to order while relaxing poolside.  Opening times are from 11am to 6pm.

The AquaSpa Cafe is open to all passengers from 7.30am to 10.00am for breakfast and 12 to 2.30pm for lunch.  It is a complimentary (except for breakfast and lunch parfaits which have an additional charge) 28 seat cafe located forward on deck 12 portside in the airy tranquillity of the Solarium.  They serve quick, light and healthy food  including parfaits, cereal, beverages, organic breads and omelettes for breakfast.  For lunch, soup, salad, antipasto, organic bread, salmon, tuna, pork loin and chicken breast served with grilled or steamed vegetables and blueberry tartlet or cinnamon and couscous tulipan for dessert are on offer. A range of smoothies are also offered.

Specialty restaurants onboard are Sushi on Five, Murano’s, Tuscan Grille and Silk Harvest.

Cafe al Bacio is the specialty coffee and tea venue, serving your favorite Lavazza espresso, cappuccino, latte, mocha or macchiato. If you favor tea, you can choose from over a dozen premium hot teas from the innovative Tea Forté.  Be sure to check out the case where you will find morning specialties including almond croissants, pain au chocolate, brioche and boule de Berlin. Desserts are offered in the afternoon and evening. Café al Bacio is a great place to relax any time of day. Many guests like to stop by in the evening for one of the specialty dessert cocktails and discuss the wonderful day they have just enjoyed or make plans for the next.

Sushi on Five is the place to go to satisfy your craving for fresh, locally sourced, authentically prepared fish and veggies. The menu has been crafted by expert sushi chef Yoshikazu “Yoshi” Okada, originally from Japan, who is now a restaurateur in Hollywood.  They are open daily for lunch and dinner.

sushion5-460x256-carousel-1

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Murano, on deck 5, is one of the ship’s four speciality reservation only restaurants with seating for 78 guests and serving classic French dishes with a contemporary twist.

Open from 6pm to 10pm, guests can either opt for the à la carte menu or the five senses tastings menu with wine pairing.

The restaurant features tableside cooking and flambé dishes, an à la carte menu consisting of four courses (appetisers, soups and salads, entrées and desserts) or the Five Senses tasting menu comprising of six courses paired with wine.

Champagne High Tea is also served in the Murano restaurant between 3pm and 4pm with white glove service and a range of savouries, pastries, scones, truffles and teas.   Dates and times will be noted in your daily newsletter.

murano_tab1

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Tuscan Grille is located aft on deck 5 with scenic views over the ship’s wake and tableside service and combines traditional Italian cuisine with American steakhouse dishes.

The four course meal of appetisers, soups and salad, mains and desserts includes plates of antipasto with freshly sliced prosciutto, steaks, bone-in veal chops, grilled salmon and sea bass, creamy parmesan polenta, pasta dishes and desserts such as chocolate fondue along with an expansive collection of Italian wines.

The Tuscan Grille can seat 128 diners and is open from 6pm to 10pm.

Additionally, once per cruise it is open for a three course lunch option.

tuscan grille

Photo courtesy of CruiseLine.com

Silk Harvest is a reservation only Pan Asian-fusion restaurant located on deck 5 and seats 88 guests.

Open from 6pm to 10pm, the restaurant offers authentic Asian hospitality with a menu blending Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.

The menu comprises of small plate selections, large plate selections, sushi freshly prepared to order and desserts.

silkharvest_hero

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Aqua class guests will enjoy Blu, an exclusive restaurant for breakfast and dinner. They have recently revamped the menu, keeping the most popular appetizers and entrees from the original menu, and adding an array of clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine along with an extensive list of sustainable and biodynamic wines. Personalized service, inviting surroundings, and natural light are all part of the fresh and bold aesthetic of Blu.

blu_tab1

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Suite Class guests are treated to a private dining experience in Luminae.  This restaurant offers complimentary breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Luminae is a culinary experience of modern, eclectic cuisine and extraordinary service that will remind you that there’s no better way to vacation than as a Celebrity Cruises Suite Class guest.  Luminae offers a deliciously exclusive dining experience like no other.

luminae-carousel-460x256

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Each evening you will receive a newsletter in your stateroom outlining the activities offered around the ship, plus information about port arrivals (if a port is scheduled for the following day).   Pay close attention to the port arrival times and the time you need to be back onboard….you don’t want to be left behind!  If you would like your stateroom attendant to deliver two newsletters, just ask.  They are happy to accommodate.

Activities onboard will range from active, such as basketball and golf tournaments, dance classes and fitness classes to trivia, scrapbooking, adult coloring and educational speakers.  I recommend bringing a highlighter along so that you can highlight the activities that interest you.

Every evening there are programs offered in the main theater.  You will see everything from Broadway style shows performed by the Celebrity singers and dancers, to guest entertainers featuring magicians, comedians and headliner artists.  Celebrity provides two shows each evening, so don’t worry about missing one.  Shows are scheduled to accommodate both early and late diners.

The Lawn Club, on deck 14, is a freshly manicured lawn on the highest deck of Celebrity Equinox. Here you can enjoy casual outdoor activities in a Country Club atmosphere.

lawn club

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

STATEROOMS

All staterooms receive:

  • Our signature friendly, personalized service with a guest to staff ratio of nearly 2:1
  • Twice daily service (makeup and turndown)
  • Ice service on request
  • 24 hour room service
  • Robe
  • Custom blended bath products (shampoo, conditioner and lotion), shower cap, cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Water/wine glasses
  • Celebrity eXhale™ bedding featuring custom premium mattresses, plush duvets and pillows, and 100% cotton linens
  • Hair dryer
  • Private mini-bar  (Additional charges apply.)
  • Dual voltage 110/220AC outlets
  • Private safe
  • Interactive Samsung flat-screen television system to view and select shore excursions, order room service, and watch movies*

*All cabin photos are courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line.

Inside cabins range in size from 183-200 sq ft.  and have ample living space, including a sitting area and a flat screen TV.

 

inside

Ocean view  cabins have windows  with a sitting area where you can kick back and relax after a day that has been as busy or easy as you want.  They are 177 sq. ft.

 

oceanview

 

Family veranda cabins are 575 sq. ft. with a veranda ranging in size from 53 – 105 sq. ft.  They are by far the largest veranda class staterooms with plenty of room for you and the family.

Family_Ocean_View_Stateroom_schematic_460x256

Sunset veranda cabins are 194 sq. ft. with a balcony of 54 sq. ft.  These cabins are in some of the most desirable locations and are found at the aft of the ship.

Verandah cabins are also 194 sq. ft with a balcony of 54 sq. ft.  Spacious staterooms are located throughout the ship, each with its own private veranda.

Concierge cabins are the same size as verandahs but have special amenities such as a complimentary tote bag,  dedicated Onboard Concierge desk, priority check-in, concierge availability during pier check-in, exclusive pre-departure lounge, exclusive Welcome Aboard Concierge Class Lunch in the Main Restaurant,  main and specialty restaurant seating time preferences, welcome Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine and other benefits which you can find on the Celebrity website.  Below is a photo of bottle we received and decided to bring home with us.  Your cabin steward will ask you when you would like to have it delivered to your cabin…this way they can guarantee it will be cold!

IMG_1618

Aqua cabins have the same layout and size as concierge and verandah, but will only accommodate two passengers.  These cabin offer a tranquil retreat and provide unlimited access to Persian Gardens and dine in Blu, a private dining room.

verandah

There are four types of suites onboard the Equinox….Sky Suite, Celebrity Suite, Royal Suite and Penthouse Suite.  All of the suites have exclusive access to Michael’s Club and Luminae, the private dining room for suite guests, and also receive reserved theater seating on formal nights.

When you stay in a Sky Suite, you’ll enjoy the luxury of European-style butler service. This includes assistance with unpacking and packing, in-suite lunch and dinner service, afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres and complimentary in-suite espresso and cappuccino from Café al Bacio.  These cabins are 300 sq. ft with a verandah of 79 sq. ft.

sky suite

In the Celebrity Suite, you will enjoy the luxury of European-style butler service. This includes assistance with unpacking and packing, in-suite lunch and dinner service, afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres and complimentary in-suite espresso and cappuccino from Café al Bacio.  The suite is 395 sq. ft with a verandah of 104 sq. ft.

Celebrity Suite

The Royal Suite guests enjoy all the benefits of the Celebrity Suite, but also receive the premium beverage package, complimentary, unlimited specialty dining, complimentary unlimited internet, and a complimentary mini-bar stocked daily with water, sodas and beer.  There is also a one time setup of one bottle of vodka and one bottle of scotch or gin with accompanying mixers.  If wine is your drink of preference, you can choose this instead of the spirits. The suite is 590 sq. ft. with a verandah of 158 sq. ft.

Royal suite

The largest suite onboard is the Penthouse Suite.  Here you will enjoy all the benefits of the Royal Suite plus a private dining room in your suite, a baby grand piano, a king sized bed, a welcome bottle of Perrier-Jouet and complimentary laundry service twice per cruise.  This suite is 1,291 sq. ft. with a verandah of 389 sq. ft.

penthouse suite

I highly recommend sailing on the Equinox….or ANY Celebrity ship for that matter! 🙂  The crew will do everything in their power to make and keep you happy!

Happy sailing….and may you have fair winds and following seas.

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And the next adventure begins! Visiting daughter and family friends then off on the #Celebrity Eclispe to Norway. #Britrail
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