Author: Fred Morton
Just returned from a 7 day Med cruise on Celebrity Equinox. This was our first cruise with Celebrity. We were booked in an Aqua Class stateroom on deck 11. The stateroom was relatively spacious with ample if not excessive storage space, kept very clean and well serviced. The bed was very comfortable, which was just as well as my wife had to take to it for a couple of days with a tummy bug. (more on this later) The check-in was quite disorganised as there had been a long delay in starting due to a power failure on the quayside, instead of an ordered check in, all passengers were done at once and all done by hand as no computers were working, however we eventually got on board. First impressions of the Equinox were very favourable, everything on board ran very efficiently and we ended up in our stateroom quickly. The size of the ship is awesome and it is really bright and airy in all areas ( I expected it to be more neon and garish) Everywhere is kept very clean. We were told that the voyage was fully booked with more than 3400 guests but it never felt overcrowded anywhere on board. The entertainment we saw in the theatre was of a reasonable standard and quite enjoyable. Other organised entertainment seemed to be attended by very few people. The ship band, duos and jazz group gave good casual performances in various places throughout the day and evening which were more background than mainstream, but never the less very welcome. Aqua class passengers dine in the Blu restaurant, but we only visited this twice. The food was well presented but honestly not that great. The second time we visited was on the first formal night. I wore my Tux and nearly expired from the heat in the room, my wife was very warm also with a lightweight evening dress. It should probably be noted that, with the American origins of this vessel, evening dress for men is more likely to be a lightweight lounge suit than a Tux. Even then, dress code is not very strenuously enforced. We took three shore excursions,, (Pisa, Monaco and Palma) which were quite good value for money but due to the above mentioned tummy bug were unable to get ashore on any other days. Tummy bugs unfortunately are common on cruises, although it was never published, I suspect this was more than "one or two people" as announced. I have to say however I was impressed by the actions taken very quickly by the crew. There was an obvious "deep clean" put in progress, all handleable items such as table menus in public places disappeared and cabin literature (bibles company magazines etc) disappeared from cabins, handrails everywhere glistened with disinfectant. Self service in the non formal eateries became a "served to your plate" service, by staff with no handling of serving utensils by guests allowed. Also it became impossible to make more than a few strides on the public decks before being requested to "washy washy" with the hand cleansers being dispensed by almost every member of staff. I at least found this all reassuring. If all the above seems like a long gripe, well it wasn't intended as such as, apart from the obvious, we really did enjoy our trip. All the staff on board were completely attentive and very happy to help. Most of the things were not directly the fault of Celebrity. Will we cruise with Celebrity cruises again? almost 100% we will.