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Jedi Jason

Celebrity Equinox Western Caribbean live blog Jan 4

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In no rush to get off the ship we had a casual breakfast in the Oceanview cafe and shared a table with a retired couple from Mexico City. We enjoyed a nice conversation and left about 8:30 to grab our remaining bags from our room. All the numbers had been called and there wasn’t any line in the terminal but a line on the ship which we cut in line because we couldn’t tell where the line started since our elevator dropped us off right next to the ship’s exit. We weren’t asked to present our passports probably because we had required immigration in Key West. They did stop us briefly to ask if we had anything to declare.
 

We were in the parking garage and in our car in minutes. Now the depressing drive home began with the knowledge that our cruise was officially over.  A short stop at home to empty the car and then out to get some lunch before heading to the airport to pickup the kids. For some reason my seapass card didn’t work at the restaurant nor did my drink package. There were actually prices on the menu and I couldn’t get as many things as I wanted without paying for them all. I passed on the dessert for the first time in a week. I will post some random observations/opinions and take any questions anyone has. 

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19 hours ago, Jedi Jason said:

Desert options included a tiramisu and a baked Alaska.

How was the tiramisu? I never pass up a chance to have that when it's offered, as I'm on a quest for the best. 😁

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@Jedi Jason, thanks for this great live blog! Even though you were on a larger class ship than I'll be taking in a bit over 6 months, it was still good to read about the experience. Long way to go, but you've helped to build up my excitement for what's to come!

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

How was the tiramisu? I never pass up a chance to have that when it's offered, as I'm on a quest for the best. 😁

I am not a huge tiramisu fan and my wife dislikes anything coffee flavored. I had a peach tart that was pretty good instead. 

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room 1269
I haven’t described the stateroom much. We had a concierge ocean view balcony room. Concierge rooms are the same as the balcony rooms with some minor differences. They have upgraded toiletries and use of plush bathrobes. I believe theee is an upgraded shower head and pillow menu. They are found in preferred areas of the ship which I believe means higher decks. We didn’t have any available on the hump when we booked 10 months in advance. We were on deck 10 port side about 10 rooms aft of the aft elevators. There were several concierge rooms along our hallway.  The bathroom had a good amount of storage and the mirror and vanity were along the length of the room. Closet space was pretty good with a small shelf along the top that we used for shoe storage. The chairs on the balcony reclined. The bathroom had a nightlight type of lighting that kept it from being completely dark inside. When the lights weren’t on. 

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Here are my overall impressions and random observations. Let’s start with the food since I haven’t had anything to eat in the last 2 hours so it must be time. Overall, when compared to Royal Caribbean, which hasn’t changed their MDR menus in a few years, it was a welcome change and upgrade from their food in the complimentary venues. The late afternoon options between 2:30 and dinner were limited to pasta, pizza, burgers, hot dogs and desserts primarily.
 

The buffet or lunch and dinner always had dessert options including soft and hard ice cream, salad bar, pizza, customized pasta, meat carving, other entrees and sides, Indian and Asian foods, Mexican food, grilled meats and more. It was generally the same each day for breakfast with egg and omelette stations, traditional American breakfast options as well as some English foods and Indian cuisine. There was usually a rotating featured item at each meal. 

The MDR had options that are different and frequently more upscale than what you would find on RC. In addition the quality of the food and presentation was superior. The dishes were a little on the small side so Zi just ordered an extra app and emptied the bread basket. The most disappointing thing was the lack of variety of the bread selection which was mostly French bread and breadsticks  but there was a plain and two flavored butter or dips offered each night. I rambled on a while about the food so I will have to put random observations in another post. 

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Equinox is one of the newer and larger ships in the fleet which has also been revitalized recently in the half billion dollar fleet upgrade program. It is a very popular ship in the fleet. I heard mixed opinions from people both onboard and online but I think it comes down to pre research and expectations and prior cruise experience to select the right cruise ship, itinerary and line. My opinion is Celebrity is a very nice and slightly premium cruise line that is a bit of an upgrade from mainstream cruise lines. It has a more elegant design and decor than the mainstream lines.  The level of service is also slightly better and more refined.  It does lack some of the signature activities that mainstream lines offer like rock walls. It is more of a relaxing cruise than the average ship, more adult oriented. There is also less of a hard sell to buy more stuff like specialty dining and drink packages except the first day. 
 

A few other random things. They only have paper straws and sometimes I wasn’t given a straw and had to ask for one if I desired it. The World Class bar had drinks that were mostly $12 covered by the premium drink package (up to $15) while the classic included drinks up to $9. This bar had higher quality ingredients including syrups made from scratch and several specialty drinks unique to this location. Specialty dining on a shorter cruise was almost entirely booked by the afternoon of the next to last day except for some parties larger than two. Curious that they didn’t want to seat us at a larger table to guarantee additional revenue as opposed to hoping a larger party might still make a reservation. They also didn’t charge us for our specialty dining we booked onboard until we showed up. I have heard some people book onboard at a significant discount same day but I would discourage this based on my experience on a shorter cruise unless you could make your reservation for later in the cruise. The casino was smoke free. It was not large but adequate. A little crowded at peak times and a $10 minimum for table games. I included a picture of the dining room chairs based on a request. 

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I forgot to mention the app which runs on the same platform as the RC app. It had the chat feature that we didn’t use since we ha had the internet package and have iPhones. It also had the unlock your room door feature which I don’t find to be convenient since I usually have pockets for my sea pass card. I am throwing in a picture of Symphony if the Seas departing Miami as we passes by the port on our way to Cozumel and some pictures of the pool deck, solarium and lawn club. Cabanas in the lawn club were $99 on port days and $249 on sea days. 
 

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I hope everyone enjoyed my blog and learned something about Celebrity and Equinox. I will continue to consider Celebrity cruises when cruising without my kids especially if they offer promotions that give free perks. I hope to see you onboard my next RC cruise which is the blog group cruise on Brilliance of the Seas in October. If you have any further questions please post them in this thread. 
 

Jason Peterson 

 

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10 hours ago, monorailmedic said:

Awesome job - tons of great info and pics!  Glad you enjoyed the sailing.

After hearing your three wishes podcast with @Matt I realized that I did not miss the dining room shenanigans in the MDR. There were no announcements over arguably the worst PA system ever encouraging you and/or your wait staff to stand up and dance or wave your napkins. It makes me cringe and I did not miss it at all on this cruise. I also was willing to give up the unique selections in the four different MDRs on Edge to have the same wait staff each night. 

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