Celebrity Equinox - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Celebrity Equinox

★★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 413 out of 500

Accommodation: 165 out of 200

Food: 297 out of 400

Service: 306 out of 400

Entertainment: 77 out of 100

Cruise: 298 out of 400

Overall Score: 1556 out of 2000

Celebrity Equinox Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 122,000

Lifestyle: Premium

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9372456

Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)

Original Cost: $641 million

Entered Service: Aug 2009

Registry: Malta

Length (ft/m): 1,033.4/315.0

Beam (ft/m): 120.7/36.8

Draft (ft/m): 27.2/8.3

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (67,200kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 14

Total Crew: 1,210

Passengers (lower beds): 2,852

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 42.7

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.3

Cabins (total): 1,426

Size Range (sq ft/m): 182.9-1,668.4/17.0-155.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 1,216

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 30

Wheelchair accessibility: Best

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 12

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 3

Hot Tubs (on deck): 6

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


This large ship has contemporary style, for the well traveled

Overview. This is a sister ship to Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Solstice. The steeply sloping stern, with its mega-yacht-style ducktail platform above the propulsion pods, is very attractive, and nicely balances the ship’s contemporary profile. The bows are rounded to accommodate a helipad.

The Ship. Two rather slim funnels, set one behind the other, distinguish Celebrity Equinox from previous single-funnel Celebrity ships. Between the two funnels is a grass outdoor area, the Lawn Club. This grass is real, and seems to like the salty air. The Lawn Club is open to all, so you can go putting, play croquet or bocce ball, or have a picnic on the grass.

There are several pool and water-play areas on Resort Deck: one in a solarium (with glass roof), a sports pool, a family pool, and a wet zone. However, the deck space around the two pools is not large enough for the number of passengers carried.

The interior decor is elegant, yet contemporary. Michael’s Club is an intimate, quiet lounge with classic English leather chairs, a dramatic black glass chandelier, a grand fireplace, and some contemporary artwork. Rich furnishings help create a warm atmosphere, amidst a backdrop of piano and jazz music, plus single malt Scotch and cognacs for tastings.

Other attractions include a Gastropub; a cocktail lounge with jazz; a bar with the look of an ocean-going yacht; Quasar, a bar with large screens that create a nightly light show synchronized to music; and an observation lounge with dance floor.

Celebrity’s signature Martini Bar, which has a frosted bar, includes a small alcove called Crush with an ice-filled table for caviar and vodka tastings.

Fortunes Casino has 16 gaming tables and 200 slot machines. There’s a delightful two-deck library, but books on the upper shelves are impossible to reach. An innovative Hot Glass Show, created in collaboration with Corning Museum of Glass, includes demonstrations and a narrated performance of glass-blowing, housed in an outdoor studio on the open deck as part of the Lawn Club.

Passenger niggles include poor drawer space in cabins; inadequate children’s facilities and staff; congestion when you exit the showlounge; and noise in all areas of the lobby when the Martini Bar is busy.

Good points include elevator call buttons located in a floor-stand ‘pod’ so that, when an elevator arrives, a glass panel above it turns from blue to pink. Also, the ship has a good collection of designer chairs and sunloungers in various locations.

Gratuities are charged to your onboard account. In 2014 the ship underwent a refurbishment which added more branded merchandise for shops, changed Cellar Masters into a Gastrobar featuring more than 40 craft beers and ‘comfort food,’ and online@Celebrity into the Celebrity iLounge.

Accommodation. From suite-grade Penthouse Suites to non-suite-grade interior cabins, the accommodation is practical and comfortable. There are many price grades, depending on size and location. In standard Interior and Ocean View cabins, there is little space between the bed and the wall, and usable drawer space is poor. So, if your budget allows, book a suite-category cabin for all the extra benefits - and much more drawer space.

About 90 percent of the cabins have an outside view, and many of these have a balcony; due to the ship’s pencil-slim width, there are few interior cabins. The suite-grade categories are: Royal Suite, Celebrity Suite, Sky Suite, and Penthouse Suite.

All accommodation grades include: twin beds convertible to a queen-size bed, sitting area, vanity desk with hairdryer, but there’s almost no drawer space. Also standard in all cabins: 32-inch flat-screen TVs (larger screens in suites), Wi-Fi Internet access (for a fee), premium bedding. However, although the closets have good hanging space, other storage space is limited. The bathroom has a shower enclosure, toilet, and tiny washbasin, and the faucet gets in the way when washing your face or brushing your teeth; there’s no retractable clothesline for washed small items; and the two hooks on the back of the bathroom door are tiny. In suite-grade accommodation there is more space, larger balconies with good-quality sunloungers, and more personal amenities.

Some 130 AquaSpa-class cabins incorporate select spa elements into the cabins, and allow for specialized access to the Thermal Relaxation Room and Persian Garden (with aromatherapy/steam rooms) on the same deck. Features include: a choice of four pillows (conformance, body, goose, Isotonic); express luggage delivery; shoeshine; Frette bathrobes; dining and seating preferences in other specialty dining venues; and early embarkation and disembarkation. Bathrooms have a decent amount of space, and a large shower enclosure. Occupants also get assigned seating at the exclusive 130-seat Restaurant Blu.

Other accommodation grades are Veranda Class, Sunset Veranda Class, Concierge Class, Family Ocean View with veranda, Deluxe Ocean View with veranda, Standard Ocean View, and Standard Interior cabins.

Cabins 1551-1597 on the port side and 1556-1602 on the starboard side on Penthouse Deck (Deck 11) suffer from ‘aircraft carrier’ syndrome because they are directly under the huge overhanging Resort Deck. They have little exposure to sun or light, so private balcony sunbathing is out of the question. Many thick supporting struts ruin the view from these cabins, which are otherwise pleasantly fitted out.

Dining. Silhouette, the ship’s balconied main dining room (included in the cruise price), has ocean views on the port and starboard sides. The design is stunning and contemporary. At the forward end, a two-deck-high wine tower provides an eye-catching focal point. As for the food, it’s a bit of a let-down - the decreased quality is all too obvious to repeat Celebrity passengers.

Other dining options. Murano is an extra-cost, reservations-required venue offering high-quality traditional dining with a French flair and exquisite table settings, including large Reidel wine glasses. Food and service are very good.

Blu is a 128-seat specialty restaurant designated just for the occupants of AquaClass cabins. The room has pleasing, but rather cold, blue decor.

The Tuscan Grille, an extra-cost venue, serves Kobe beef and premium quality steaks, and has beautifully curved archways - it’s like walking into a high-tech winery. There are great views from huge aft-view windows.

QSine is an extra-cost, reservations-required quirky fine-dining venue, with iPad menus.

Bistro on Five (Deck 5, that is) is for coffee, cakes, crêpes, pastries, and more. It can get busy at times and the serving counter is small.

The Café al Bacio & Gelateria coffee lounge serves Lavazza Italian coffee. It is on one side of the main lobby, but it’s small and lines form at peak times. The seating is mostly in large, very comfortable armchairs.

Oceanview Café and Grill is the expansive, tray-less, casual self-serve buffet venue. There are a number of food ‘islands’ rather than those awful straight buffet counters, and good signage. However, it’s impossible to get a warm plate for so-called hot food items, and condiments are hard to find.

The AquaSpa Café is for light, healthier options (solarium fare), but the selections are bland and boring.

The Mast Bar Grill and Bar is an outside venue offering fast food.

Entertainment. The 1,115-seat Equinox Theater, the ship’s showlounge, has a main level and two balconied sections positioned amphitheater-style around a stage with music lofts set on either side. Three circus-themed production shows highlight in-your-face, formulaic acrobatics.

Colorful theme nights are held in the Sky Observation Lounge, whose daytime decor comes alive at night thanks to mood lighting effects. The 200-seat Celebrity Central hosts comedy, cooking demonstrations, enrichment lectures, and feature films. An Entertainment Court showcases street performers, psychics, and caricaturists, and is in the center of the ship, linked to the Quasar nightclub. The Ensemble Lounge is a big-band-era cocktail lounge with live jazz, next to the Murano restaurant.

Spa/Fitness. A large, two-deck Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea. The fitness center includes kinesis (pulleys against gravity) workout equipment, plus cardio-vascular machinery. An extra-cost, unisex thermal suite features steam and shower mist rooms, and a glacial ice fountain, plus a calming relaxation area with heated tiled beds, and an acupuncture center.