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Celebrity Equinox vs Ruby Princess

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THE DIFFERENCE: Ruby Princess vs. Celebrity Equinox

 

Today is March 25th 2013 and having just left the Ruby Princess yesterday, we will be boarding the Celebrity Equinox in just a couple of hours. During the next week I will be trying to compare both ships and cruise lines. Please remember that the information is based on my observations and opinions and may not be the same as others.

 

Embarkation:

 

Terminal 18, signs were a bit confusing as to where to drop off luggage but once done it got really confusing as to where to park; sign said lot 19 but 19, which is right next to the drop off area was blocked off so we asked for directions and were directed in a circle back to the blocked off area; one more turn around the area and finally we were instructed to park in lot 18; a short walk from the terminal. Once inside we were besieged by security people; each one wanting to see the boarding passes and passports; once past security it was check in where we had to produce all the paperwork again before getting cruise cards; then pictures and onto the ship. Took a few minutes to get to the right deck and to our room only to be told the rooms were not ready. Room steward allowed us to drop off carry on and we proceeded to the buffet.

 

Buffet: I do believe that the buffet is larger with a bit more variety. Though there was more choices I believe at least for this meal Princess quality is better.

 

I will start with the cabins: On the Ruby we had a balcony cabin on Caribe deck, the room although small was roomy enough for the two of us, plenty of storage; the bathroom however took some getting use to, small, crowded, with an adequate but small shower. The plus for this room, C502, was the very large balcony; two chairs, two lounge chairs, small table and still plenty of room to move around.

 

Our cabin on the Equinox is a veranda cabin on deck 8; room is slightly larger with a sofa; desk and chair; nice size bed seems comfortable; balcony is room enough for two people, two chairs and small table; bathroom is good size with a larger shower than we had on the Ruby. Drawer space, very little but the closet is adequate.

 

I am going to say something here and please, if Celebrity is your cruise line, don't start flaming me: attended the muster drill and the only way to describe it is to use an old military term, it was a cluster F; we were sent to a stand up area, told to form single file lines, a--holes to belly buttons and shoulder to shoulder; after about 10 minutes we heard a lecture concerning hand washing broadcast in 7 languages followed by another 10 minutes of silence; then we were told to turn our heads 90 degrees to watch a video on safety from a little tv screen; no crew demonstrations, nothing. Following the video the "team leader" began calling out names and stateroom numbers of those passengers who had failed to check in! Really, calling out that Mr. Jones and Ms. Smith of stateroom 1234 hadn't checked in! What happened to security of personal information? Having sailed Princess 8 times now and Carnival 1, their crews are the BEST! This was an embarrassment to Celebrity.

And while I'm on my soapbox, case of Cokes arrived with three cans damaged and one of three checked pieces of luggage arrive with a plastic bottle of mouth wash having had the top of the bottle broken off, not the cap, the entire top!

At 6:15 the remaining two pieces of luggage arrived.

 

After unpacking we headed for dinner in the buffet. As with lunch the variety was very good the quality good and it was quiet. I have noticed that unlike Princess the crew members working the buffet area don't take drink orders, you want something you go get it.

 

Back to the room to find that that the room steward who we haven't seen since we first got on board, left us a champagne bucket of ice; see the ice buckets are so small that I ask him for a second ice bucket.

 

The tv channel selection is pretty bad as for choices, ESPN, several news channels and Celebrity channels. You can however order movies, check your billing and order a wide variety of room service items (much more than is offered on Princess). There is On Demand movies which appears to be free and have a good selection. More tomorrow.

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You'll find the food in the Celebrity buffet to be OK, some of it personalized, but there's no table service, not for drinks, silverware or anything. I found myself running all over the buffet to get everything I needed and by that time, my hot food was cold. :( Also, make a note of the buffet hours. It closes early after breakfast and lunch.

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Excellent thread, especially as you are coming fresh from the Ruby. I am looking forward to more.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

The muster drill sounds ridiculous and ill-conceived and would make me nervous that I had fallen into the hands of buffoons. I like the Princess routine

every step of the way.

 

I also like the buffet where the table is laid with the flatware and napkins, coffee cups and glasses and a waiter comes around to fill them. Must save a lot of aggravation and spills of hot coffee and juice on your clothes and floor.

Kudos to PCL.

 

Norris, happy with Princess but always curious.

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Can't wait to read the rest of your comparison as we did a Princess/Celebrity b2b last year. At least we didn't have to stand for the muster drill on the Infinity but the rest of it sounds familiar.

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In all fairness to Celebrity, on the Summit, we had Muster in a lounge, not outside. It's possible it depends on the ship layout, i.e., accessibility to lifeboats from lounges. I know this is one of the reasons why HAL Muster has to be held on deck.

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I look forward to your thoughts. I have been on both the Ruby Princess and the Celebrity Equinox, but not close in time. I had a nice time on both cruises, but I really was impressed with the Ruby Princess this year. I think the Equinox is a beautiful ship and the crew was very good, but I wasn't impressed with the food. The buffet is indeed larger and it appears like there's more selection, but you have to go from station to station to get items. The pizza isn't nearly as good as Princess and the pasta bar items were over-cooked. Selection in the evening was limited. They did have a nice salad bar, though. Desserts were completely disappointing. Still, I had a nice cruise on the Equinox.

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DAY1: AT SEA

 

Had a very good nights sleep, bed was as expected very comfortable and the room quiet.

Just to clarify the muster drill; our muster station was the photo store area, inside of course, no seating whatsoever, reminded me of my first day at Marine Corps boot camp where you were always standing in a single file line, up against the man in front of you and shoulder to shoulder to the man in the line next to you; some of you younger folks might equate it to elementary school when the entire class would be taken into the hallway, lined up outside the bathroom and a couple at a time allowed in.

 

The buffet times and operation is certainly different; no table service of any kind; sort of like going to your neighborhood Golden Coral or other type buffet restaurant. Again, so far the quality and quantity of the food has been very good.

 

We will take most of the sea day today to really explore the ship. So far the ships crew members we have come in contact with have been friendly but haven't seemed to go that extra mile.

 

Explored all the decks today; typical shops, theater, etc, we walked around the upper outside decks and found the putting green with real grass, bars, glass blowing and pools. Really nicely maintained and pretty but way to cool and windy to stay out long. The interior ship decor is a bit too dark for my liking and with no sun shine coming through the many windows it appeared even darker. Purposely spoke to many crew members to get a response and all were very pleasant and friendly.

 

Attended the ship arranged meet and greet; unlike Princess, where the roll call sets up the meet and greet and any activities, Celebrity sets everything up including having name tags (no screen name which hindered introduction). The meet and greet was attended by about half of those that signed up, ship had coffee, pastry and a bartender. Ship's Captain, hotel manager, passenger service director, food manager, cruise director and a couple other officers attended. Captain said that he monitors Cruise Critic for information as to the performance of the crew and any complaints, compliments or suggestions.

 

The Internet service is a little different: I was told you could sign up for Internet using the interactive tv in the cabin however, you have to go to the Internet cafe and sign up. The sign on and off procedure are different than Princess but once you get use to it not complicated. I tried using the wifi on the balcony of Ruby Princess and could not get signed on, on the Equinox the wifi is extended onto the balcony which is nice.

 

Another thing we have taken note of is the ships linen; bath towels, hand towels, wash clothes and napkins are older, frayed and not soft at all. I didn't ask for different linen yesterday so that I could compare two days and the bathroom linen as well as the napkins at the two meals today are in the same condition as yesterday. Also noted the procedure for cabin cleaning: one person comes in to remove used linen, replace ice and straighten up, leaves and a short time later another comes in to clean the bathroom and vacuum.

We spoke with one of the main dining room managers about ordering room service from the dinning room menu, which is not listed on the interactive tv. He advised that each day we would have to come to the dining room, view the menu for that day, then during the dining room hours call in the order. We asked if we could get a menu sent to our cabin each day (someone had suggested this) and were informed that we could not.

 

Going to take a break for the remainder of the afternoon and later tonight attend a show. Will send more tomorrow.

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Timely thread. I will be doing very similar in April. Getting off the Ruby after doing 7 day Caribbean and getting on Equinox for 15 day TA. So I will be reading this thread with interest.

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If you want dinner from the dining room, ask your room steward for a menu. He'll bring you one, then if you write down what you want, and tell him what time you want it, your dinner from the dining room will be delivered.

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If you want dinner from the dining room, ask your room steward for a menu. He'll bring you one, then if you write down what you want, and tell him what time you want it, your dinner from the dining room will be delivered.

 

We heard that before boarding however room steward had no clue what we were asking for.

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In all fairness to Celebrity, on the Summit, we had Muster in a lounge, not outside. It's possible it depends on the ship layout, i.e., accessibility to lifeboats from lounges. I know this is one of the reasons why HAL Muster has to be held on deck.

We were on the Silhouette in February. Our cabin's muster was in the Photo Gallery area. Fortunately, I found a chair to sit on, but most people had to stand. I cannot stand for long periods of time so if I hadn't found a chair DH was just going to leave.

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DAY 2: COZUMEL

 

We are just arriving in the Cozumel area and the weather is predicted high 77 with plenty of sun, which would be nice as yesterday was mid 60's and windy.

 

Last night attended the show in the theater. First, the theater is set up more straight up rather than the angle that Princess is; second, the seats are wider and more comfortable; third, the production quality was about equal to Princess with the exception (in my opinion and remember I think I sing good) of one male singer and one male dancer, the singer hit some "unbelievable notes" and the dancer was mostly out of sync and eventually fell. The theater was crowded with those dressed for formal night with the exception of my better half and I who, well I'll just say those people were well "over dressed".

The show was preceded by the Ship's Captain introducing himself and his officer staff, telling a few jokes and giving a toast.

 

Set clocks back another hour last night ( same as the night before). We are headed to Nachi Cocom Beach Club for a few hours.

Just back and for those who have not done this tour here is my assessment; after reading about this tour on CC we booked even though not big beach people; cab ride was 17.00 each way; beach was very clean as were the bar and restroom facilities; weather was sunny but very windy making it feel chilly; for the cost of $109.00 for two it included a palapa with lounge chairs and small table, personal waiter, a full meal and all drinks; they delivered to the table chips and salsa, then we each got an appetizer, salad or soup, entree and desert all of which was excellent! The staff was very friendly and laughed as I attempted my version of Spanish.

 

After we ate we headed back to the cruise terminal arriving as the dark clouds also arrived bringing with them some rain which has now passed leaving behind cloudy skies.

 

Sail a way was uneventful so off to dinner and an early show.

 

Show was Neil Austin, a comic/magician. The kids in the audience liked him.

 

Calling it a night. Tomorrow our first ship's excursion. We'll see how it is handled compared to Princess.

 

 

 

 

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DAY 3: COSTA MAYA

 

First let me apologize, after my post last night Butternut informed me that I left off my daily comparison, and its my favorite topic SHOPPING!

 

Ruby has the gift shop, what I would call a drug store with some gifts, booze and a few clothing items; also there is the fine jewelry, perfume, upscale clothing. Equinox has the same type of gift shop (less clothing items), fine jewelry, perfume, upscale women's clothing, upscale hand bags, upscale men's clothing, tables along the passage way with $129.00 items on sale for $29.00 etc. The prices of items that are comparable between the ships finds the prices higher on the Equinox and every one should read the sale signs carefully, for example: a bracelet similar to the Pandora, regular price $129.00 including several charms, on sale for $29.00 including all charms; sign reads: "compatible" to Pandora NOT "comparable" to Pandora. Maybe it's just me but I believe the words and the dramatic price tells you all you need to know!

 

Well we have just arrived at Costa Maya and we are going to get ready for our first Celebrity sponsored tour.

 

More later!

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DAY 3 COSTA MAYA (continued)

 

Well we are back from our first Celebrity sponsored tour and here is our impression: Very Well Done! As we arrived at the head of the pier (it's a long walk), we found that all the tours were labeled with overhead signs, clearly marked; designated lines for each tour were roped off and the tour guides were there to greet you; we left on time beginning the long bus ride to the Mayan Ruins; tour guide was very knowledgable and friendly; once at the ruins she guided us through the area providing great information about the Mayan culture.

After leaving the ruins we headed back through the area of Chacchoben to the Uvero Beach Club for 2 hours of beach, drinks and a Mexican buffet. The short ride back to the terminal was loaded with singing and fun ( remember 2hours of drinks). This was a very well organized tour, well worth the $125.00 per person.

Costa Maya Village, Ruins and Beach Buffet.

 

I would say that the ships involvement and the operation of the tour were very good and comparable to tours we have had on Princess.

 

We will be trying to check out the casino and a couple other venues tonight.

 

So far getting on and off the ship has been pretty easy though lots of security and most definitely looking for beer and wine coming back on against the clearly posted signs.

 

Have found out the casino is smoke free, all the time. Like that! Even stayed and dropped a few coins to help the cruise line keep operating.

 

Photos gee what a mess. Photo quality, my opinion, less than professional; cost way too high $24 each vs $20 each on Princess, photos don't have any boarder showing when or where photo was taken, ship name, dates or itinerary. Interactive tv is good for checking you account, nothing else. On Demand movies nice, with good selection. Internet, very good and can be used on the balcony, in fact, haven't found a place yet where you can't get connected.

More to follow.

 

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DAY 4: AT SEA

 

We are headed for Costa Rica and the weather has been good, seas started out a little choppy but have now calmed a bit.

Lets talk about laundry: on Princess Ruby Butternut and I did our laundry on day 6 of the 7 day voyage; cost for 1 load of whites, 1 load of darks, drying both loads and the detergent etc was a total of $12; Celebrity Equniox does not have a laundry and clothes would have to be turned in for cleaning; so I have taken what we know we washed and using the laundry bag and cost sheet figured out the cost to have the same laundry items done by the ships laundry: total came to $110.

We Los checked out the cafe that would be compared to Princess' International Cafe: where the items on Princess are free (included in your fare), Celebrity charges and the least expensive item I saw was $3.50 for a small pastry, everything else was 4.50 and above.

 

Went to a show tonight called "Remix". Very very good most likely the best cruise show we've ever seen. The cast did a great job!

 

When returned to the cabin we found a letter from the Captain indicating the the US Embassy has recently issued a "safety warning" due to an increase in crime against tourist in Costa Rica, which is our stop for tomorrow. We have a private tour scheduled however are now reconsidering.

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The lack of self service laundry on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean is a negative to us. DH is a runner and I am a walker, and we do laundry at least once during a cruise and more on longer cruises. Yes, people will say you can send it out and that is what they prefer to do, but we prefer to have the option to do our own. And we like the price better!

Edited by sunsetbeachgal

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DAY 4: AT SEA

 

We are headed for Costa Rica and the weather has been good, seas started out a little choppy but have now calmed a bit.

Lets talk about laundry: on Princess Ruby Butternut and I did our laundry on day 6 of the 7 day voyage; cost for 1 load of whites, 1 load of darks, drying both loads and the detergent etc was a total of $12; Celebrity Equniox does not have a laundry and clothes would have to be turned in for cleaning; so I have taken what we know we washed and using the laundry bag and cost sheet figured out the cost to have the same laundry items done by the ships laundry: total came to $110.

We Los checked out the cafe that would be compared to Princess' International Cafe: where the items on Princess are free (included in your fare), Celebrity charges and the least expensive item I saw was $3.50 for a small pastry, everything else was 4.50 and above.

 

Went to a show tonight called "Remix". Very very good most likely the best cruise show we've ever seen. The cast did a great job!

 

When returned to the cabin we found a letter from the Captain indicating the the US Embassy has recently issued a "safety warning" due to an increase in crime against tourist in Costa Rica, which is our stop for tomorrow. We have a private tour scheduled however are now reconsidering.

 

I have never seen a place on a Celebrity ship where you could pay for a pastry. What venue did I miss?

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I have never seen a place on a Celebrity ship where you could pay for a pastry. What venue did I miss?

 

Cafe al Bacio on deck 5 of the Equinox. Similar to Princess International Cafe but everything cost.

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Cafe al Bacio on deck 5 of the Equinox. Similar to Princess International Cafe but everything cost.

 

The only thing that costs there is the specialty coffees and teas. All pastries etc are at no extra charge.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Cafe al Bacio on deck 5 of the Equinox. Similar to Princess International Cafe but everything cost.

 

Food is free, I think you're confusing it with coffee pricing.

 

I wouldn't miss costa rica, loved it

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