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pumpkin 11

Equinox review long

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EQUINOX REVIEW LONG

Hi there everyone! My family and I just completed the June 22 Med. Cruise on the Equinox and I once again felt compelled to write a review of our first cruise in the med! I’m seventeen and was traveling with my parents, (yes the three of us were in one room). :o HAHA

WARNING: I’M NOT THE BEST WRITIER IN THE WORLD. ;) here goes…

 

Pre-Cruise. We flew delta to Barcelona via Atlanta from Charlotte. Delta certainly seems to really know what they’re doing when it comes to their product, and provided and enjoyable flight. (If only those remotes for the screens worked better.) We arrived at Barcelona at about 8:30 a.m. We stayed the Tryp Apollo hotel which was in good walking distance to the La Rambla Street (the large restaurant and shopping street which seemed to start at the statue of C. Colombus and passed through the Plaza De Catalyuna. The hotel itself was fine, nothing fancy, but for one night, it was more than adequate. They also provided space to easily store our luggage in the morning, because the rooms wouldn’t be made available until about three in the afternoon. So we set off to find the hop on hop off bus. We paid I think it was something like 25 Euros for a full day. We try to do the hop on hop bus in every stop where we have no idea what to do. They always seem to provide a nice overview of the city, and when you only have one day to see a city like Barcelona, it works out quite well. We went by Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, and the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. The ticket line to get in the cathedral was probably upwards of two hours long, so if you really want to see it order your tickets online! We eventually ended up eating some tapas on La Rambla and headed to bed before the sun set to catch up on some sleep.

 

We went to sleep early and woke up early (about 5:30 a.m.) to find a ton of people just hanging out on the sidewalks as our room had a view of the main street. It seems like Barcelona has quite a long night life, but when we went out to find a coffee a little past 6 it was pretty dead. We spent some more time walking (this city is very walk able) and found the wonderful Mercado De La Boqueria. The farmers market had all sorts of great candy, produce and spices! Really impressive and a must see in Barcelona. We also walked to the beach which came around after the Olympics and had a really nice feel even though the water was cold! Went back to our hotel and got ready to leave. Getting taxis around the city seems very easy and they aren’t overly expensive, so nice job Barcelona!

 

Embarkation. Possibly one of the fastest embarkations ever! The queue lines were really very short. Maybe it took 15 minutes to check in, go through security, and board. The priority lines for Elite and Concierge made really no difference as to shortening the time. Our bags didn’t show up until after we left Barcelona, strange.

 

The Cabin. We were allocated to room 1243 on deck 10, Concierge category C2. The room was always spotless and our room stewards were always visible and very friendly. They even remembered our names, (something I felt was kind of slipping from Celebrity). The room of course was a good size, and seemed solid as the air conditioning worked well and the room itself was very quiet. One thing to note is that the doors to the room slam shut very loudly, so you’d have to hold on the door handle until it would close. The bathroom of course is lovely, (not having the hand held shower head wasn’t really a big deal), there is lots of storage space to store stuff, and the back splash is very stylish along below the mirror.

 

The only Complaint really about the bathroom was the water pressure seemed often weak. There are two settings with the concierge shower head, the one that spits out less water had much better pressure than the one that put out more water. But a minor issue ;) Storage space for three people in one room was a bit of an issue. It worked, but we had to ask for more hangers. The closet hanging space is actually really enough, (there aren’t enough hangers) it’s just drawer space that is the problem. Luckily we’re tall people so we could use the above storage space. The drawers don’t slide very well anymore either. Also you can use the bathroom cupboard near the floor for storage of bathing suits (or anything), a little unorthodox but one less thing that didn’t have to go in the regular storage areas! The television worked great, (the map isn’t really precise), but it’s a really nicely developed system.

Edited by pumpkin 11

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As far as the concierge class amenities go, we did the canapés maybe three evenings. I’m not going to lie, they are not that good. It was a few olives, chips, and a watermelon or a cookie, nothing remotely special. In fact if it wasn’t for the extra captain’s credit, and the balcony footstools, concierge class would be nothing. One nice thing about our room was that our veranda was Huge! We obviously knew this booking the room, but it really made the veranda that much more inviting. We probably used it more on this cruise than any other cruise. Breakfast, before dinner, and at night just reading, and relaxing!

 

Food and Service. As a whole the food was probably the best food we have had on celebrity since Michael Roux left (Especially in the main dining room, in my opinion anyway J). For dinner we opted to do select dining just for flexibility. However oddly for a pretty port intensive cruise only one side of the upper level of the silhouette dining room was allocated for select. The service was really very good. It wasn’t quite as maybe relaxed as a fixed dining time, as the waiters constantly have to bring people food when people could be on any one of the four courses, so they were busy. But they were always willing to offer up their own suggestions as to the menu choices and were very professional. Most often brought extra dishes even if you didn’t ask for them specifically.

 

As for the food it was really good. Possibly salads and soups being a weak point, but then again there were some great salads and soups, just maybe not as consistent. Appetizers were particularly good. I had Escargots almost every night (now that they were back on celebrity, SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT). Another great appetizer was the raw tuna appetizer. The name escapes me but it was absolutely delicious!! It doesn’t sound great, but the tuna melted in your mouth it was that good. It was spicy however.

 

Entrées I thought were really very strong. Most meats was also extremely good, as was Osso Buco, steaks, and the vegetarian dishes. A tuna steak prepared toward the end of the cruise was very tasty. Even the lobster was better than it was in the past. For some reason there were a lot of duck entrees. Duck was on the menu in some form almost every night. As for the fish it was fine. Strangely a tilapia dish was flavored really nicely one night, as was the grilled black salmon. Sea bass and Hake were surprisingly on the menu as well. However while these fish can make great dishes, here they felt like they had been frozen for a while. Had the fish been fresher, the dish probably would have been excellent.

 

Desserts were good too. I love crème brulee and wasn’t disappointed, even though sometimes the top wasn’t fully caramelized, but it’s hard to make in a large production, so I forgive them ;). The chocolate lava cake was excellent as was the vanilla soufflé. However the night they served the cherries jubilee it wasn’t particularly warm at all. Too bad because it was really good but if it’s not warm, it kind of defeats the purpose of the dessert! :o

 

We only ate in one specialty restaurant, Silk Harvest. We dined here back on the solstice and enjoyed it enough to try it again. The food is good. Miso soup, Equinox roll, and orange duck were very good. And for the dessert the rainbow cheesecake was delicious. But the best thing we had was the Nigiri sushi (by the piece), tuna and salmon. It was so good we also tried the eel and that was also very fresh. The service was also very detailed and upbeat, something not always found in the dining room where conditions are a lot more pressured. It’s quite a neat space with wonderful windows that make the room very spacious, but as a whole it’s a pretty cliché Asian dining experience. Don’t get me wrong here though, it was of a very good quality and worth the $30, but I don’t know if I would pay more than that. It’s not Asian food that is really unique that you couldn’t find in a decent land based Asian restaurant. But maybe it’s just me? Compared to Qsine the food is just as good, but Qsine’s concept is a more unique, out of the ordinary whimsical experience, which silk harvest is not. But hey, at least Celebrity has variety with their specialty restaurants, and this was certainly a hit.

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Informal Food/ Service. We ate in the buffet for lunch and when we had an early tour for breakfast. The buffet was fine as whole, but the islands make it feel so rushed and busy at peak times it’s like a food court land where you constantly have people looking to see the choices offered and those people ordering. So it can be a mess at times! I also think it’s a bit too small for the number of passengers carried, once we got so fed up looking for a table we just took it to our balcony, however I think that if you avoid peak feeding times you’ll be okay ;) as for the food it was fine. For breakfast the waffles I thought were still great especially with the whipped cream and strawberry sauce! I also heard people rave about the eggs Benedict. They have these little quiches that look great but didn’t have a lot of flavor or vegetables.

 

For lunch the food selection was I thought a lot better than breakfast. The carving station always looked great, as well as the sandwich. The Indian food was good. Pizza was good; nothing out of this world, but it was fine. The best selection was probably the pasta. Not only was it tasty but it there were a lot of toppings, everything from mushrooms, to capers, to anchovies! Fruit for the most part was good. Sometimes you’d have to find the ripe pineapple, but the grapefruit was still great. Strangely they didn’t have grapefruit juice to drink, except from room service. Ice cream was still very good; Blueberry is still my favorite as it was quite tasty! And I just realized I forgot to try the soft serve, ohhh well HAHA. Dessert in the buffet I also thought was better. Tiramisu had a lot more flavor than it did in the past, and the passion fruit cheesecake (although small) was one of my favorites! The bread pudding was nice, nothing really special, but filling obviously! There also seemed to be an abundance of berries, specifically raspberries and blackberries. They were seen in desserts in the main dining room, buffet and were in bowls at the brunch buffet! It’s nice to see these make a bit of a comeback on Celebrity as I haven’t seen them this prevalent in a long time.

 

Speaking of the brunch they only had it once I think on the last sea day and it was delicious! The service was prompt seating and serving you drinks and the food was wonderful! Shrimp, Smoked salmon, Meats Cheeses, Crepes, (lots of berries J) breads, white and milk chocolate fountains, sushi, and lots of other foods. It’s really the same as it always was, but it wasn’t the feeding frenzy of the ocean view café, so it was particularly enjoyable!

 

For the first time in a long time I had a burger and a hot dog on a cruise ship! :o LOL I thought they were very good! Although the mast grill is always busy at lunch, and the serving counter is small the line moved quickly and there was a good amount of toppings. The strange part was the condiments were in packets. It would have been much easier if they were in the pump containers like in the buffet. The only really disappointing venue was the aqua spa café. This place has gone from decent meals, to small meals, to snacks, to practically crumbs! I’m not saying the quality is bad, but they offer so little it’s kind of a pointless venue. Now they make parfait sort of dishes that cost like five dollars. So, if you want a decent soup and a roll of bread, this place is fine, but for anything else it’s very limited.

 

One of my favorite venues on this ship is the Café al Bacio. The big green chairs, Marble tables, ceiling art and floor to ceiling windows make this place a cozy yet airy space cut off from most of the “walk-through” public rooms on the Solstice class ships. The service was extremely friendly and attentive. They would even serve you the food in the glass case if you wanted to sit down. The cakes, almond croissants, black and white cookies were all mouthwatering desserts served daily for free! We also tried one of the carrot cake Cup cakes (which I think was like 2.50) was really good. It had a marzipan carrot, and great cream cheese icing. Even the cake was fresh with little shreds of carrots. It was sometimes crowded (at totally different times of the day), but the service was always quick, and the cappuccinos were a great to drink when we had early tours. Especially because they were served in paper cups if you wanted it to go.

 

We finally ate at the Bistro on five. We had been on three ships that had it and never got to go until our fourth cruise on the last sea day!! LOL But it was well worth it. The Tuscan crepe had Delicious artichokes and the French dessert crepe was really good. The meal ended with a chocolate mousse dessert that was excellent. The service was very friendly and attentive. I’m sorry we didn’t find this place before as it was so worth the five dollar cover charge.

 

The service throughout the ship outside the dining rooms was extremely friendly. It is no wonder this ship gets really high service ratings because it really is that good. They do their jobs to the best of their ability, and always great you with a “good morning” or “good evening” whenever they can. I also have high marks for guest relations as they were very friendly when they had to replace my cabin card because it got demagnetized, twice. ;) The bar staff was also very friendly all around the pool, in Café al Bacio, and in and out of the public rooms. They were never pushy but pretty much available when you needed them with a friendly, but professional attitude. Nice job Celebrity.

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The Equinox. No one can deny how smart and stylish this ship is inside and out. Its interior décor of contemporary artwork (even some from the Galaxy J), marble floors, and floor to ceiling windows make the sun shine even brighter on this masterpiece. I think its décor even rivals that of the QM2. That beautiful elevator atrium was stunning even on day 12. The warm and inviting ambiance they created with that atrium evokes a connection with nature, light, and spaciousness. One of my favorite public rooms was the ensemble lounge. Although there was no dance floor like in rendezvous, the purple, gold, and bague colors make a great sophisticated venue for and pre-dinner drinks if you have specialty dinning reservations, or just if you want to listen to the string quartet or jazz ensemble like me.

 

My favorite room being the sky lounge. Celebrity does a great job with these rooms as they have really cool lighting at night, and excellent views during the day over the bow. As a multipurpose room it functions as the large nightly party room (which was surprisingly crowded for a celebrity ship). But I wish more trivia’s would be held in it. The grand foyer is still the primary dance floor, oddly enough. It was like the designers forgot that they would need one! It’s actually okay if it’s not that crowded, but it just doesn’t really function that well since it was really supposed to be a hallway leading to the elevators. In any case it works, kind of. The molecular bar, every time I went by, was pretty dead, however I know the space is admired and has a loyal following. The martini bar of course can be very crowded, but it’s still such a “cool” space. I can totally see why. ;) The passport bar was also crowded especially on formal nights, but the lovely cellar master was pretty empty. It’s a shame since is it quite a unique room, however it is very dark.

 

The entertainment court was used a lot on this cruise for games, tournaments, and trivia’s. But it is a small space, and they should not schedule activities in this space when they know people will be exiting the theater after a show, so a bottleneck occurred. Celebrity central is a nice room, and was used for informal entertainment, movies and bingo. This ship impresses pretty much everywhere. Even the hallways have cool artwork that is relaxing.

 

Now I do love the pools, BUT THEY WERE VERY CROWDED. I know this isn’t a surprise, but I think the whole cruising world now knows that the Solstice (and Millennium class pools to an extent) have pools that are just too small for the number of passengers carried. They’re very nice pools, with padded loungers, nice sun beds and plenty of shade, but functionality should be above looks when it comes to designing the pool deck. Even the Solstice deck was practically full with sun worshipers. It was also eerily quiet up there. I guess that was a good thing. The solarium, although strikingly peaceful with the dramatic water fountains, fake vines and lovely glass roof, was still very crowded. However those loungers are nicer than the ones on the M-Class, it’s just bad the pool was kind of cold. The T-pool is a great space on the M-Class, pity they didn’t repeat it on S-Class, but no use crying over that anymore. ;)

 

Moving to the other major outdoor space… the lawn club! As much as I love this space, I’m really not sure if it justifies not having sun loungers up there to make more deck space. There were a lot of people using it when it was sunny and they provided towels to lay out which was nice. They held of course held bocce, croquet, and golf putting tournaments. However the golf putting one is very crowded and kind of takes away the fun a little because there are just so many people participating.

 

I do love the HOT GLASS SHOW! I went many times and enjoyed it immensely. The girls who ran it really know what they were doing and provided a nice commentary that was informative, and funny. It was also neat how they were able to get off the ship in Venice and go to Murano. They talked about the different glass they saw and how there are still a lot of techniques to make glass and some they still don’t even know. And the only other outdoor deck space was on deck 5 by the life boats. Too bad this can’t really be utilized any more than it is because the view to the life boats is awful, unless you’re outside the café al bacio or the bistro, (which I think is the smoking area). BTW, I don’t think I remember running across one smoker who wasn’t in the outside designated area, so nice job Celebrity. One piece of advice I wish I knew if you want a great view coming into Venice, they open up the viewing area outside the gym on deck 12, it’s not all that crowded and offers probably the best panoramic views from up high.

 

One of probably the most annoying aspects of this cruise was the sales promotions, and they weren’t even pushing drinks that much. When you would walk through the shopping court on decks 4 and 5 you would be constantly asked if you want to guess a price of something, enter a raffle, or just buy something. They also had the gold jewelry stands set up by the buffet, and watch tables set up outside the shops on deck four. Those actually aren’t so bad because you can just walk around them. But people were buying stuff. The model ship I always get is up at least $13 from the last time. Even the port talks push the Ships shore excursions (which we almost never do). But what they really pushed not only at the port talks but throughout the cruise was the video put together by the photo staff.

 

The art auctions were of course also trying to get you to attend one of their auctions, that whole production is kind of embarrassing. But what really surprised us was the price of bingo. It starts at 40 and goes to 60. In my opinion that’s a too much. We still had good time, but 15+ cruises and we’ve never won (but for some reason we keep trying) OH WELL J

 

Entertainment. Even though I have kind of touched on it, it’s still worth noting. The main theater is a nice coliseum shaped room, with pretty impressive lighting and stage equipment. I am not sure if I like the bench style seating on the M-Class or the individual type on the S-Class. I guess it doesn’t really matter. ;) HAHA. But anyway I thought the production shows were good. We’ve seen better on Celebrity before, but the shows were sort of well thought out and were at least entertaining. The production shows were always pretty full (probably because they were on sea days). The night they had “EQUNIOX THE SHOW” the theater was so crowded we had to stand, until someone left halfway through. It’s a good thing they have the individual seating for this ship, as I think if it was the bench style; it would be too small, because the theaters on the M-Class and S-Class look about the same size. So get to the production shows a bit early. Anyway it was a good show. But those circque shows always have you on your edge of your seat, so it was entertaining, but maybe not the best kind of entertainment. ;) We caught the last five minutes of limelight; it looked like a fun show (it was supposed to be a highlight of general Broadway themes from the past and present). It too was also packed. The singing and dancing leads was really top notch.

 

The Celebrity Orchestra was OUTSIANDING! Especially that Trombone player! They played a ton of literature throughout the cruise, and it all came together with really great tone and balance. The other guest entertainers included Martin John the magician, who was good. His fiancée (whose name escapes me) just happen to I guess be on the same ship and she had an amazing voice. Fred Klett the comedian was very good. Philip Wojciechowski the pianist was truly gifted. One of my favorites was Davie Howes who was the high energy music instrumentalist. He put his trumpet mouth piece on several different hose like objects and created a really strange but entertaining sound! He was also a very gifted musician. We did the captains club backstage tour of the theater which was neat. We did it years ago on the infinity, so it was time to go back. I thought it was strange to note that they keep the production shows on for about five years. They change some things year to year they said, but the basic theme stays relatively the same. Anyway I love listening to the crew talk about their lives and why they work on these ships and their stories, so I found it interesting.

 

Captains club. The Captains club host on this cruise was Rossy Anguelova who did a really great job of introducing herself and getting around talking with everyone. I was surprised that the elite breakfast choices were really varied, specifically in the fruit department. There were lots of berries, mangos, and strawberries. I don’t know if the table in the Tuscan grill just made it look like a large assortment, but it was certainly felt more extensive than the one on the Summit. The cappuccinos and almond croissants are almost worth dying for. LOL On sea days, the room got pretty full, not at all crowded, but most of the window tables were occupied on those days. We tried to have breakfast here when we could; it was much more relaxing than going up to the buffet.

 

Happy hour (from 5 to 7) was held in a roped off section of the sky lounge! So I got my multiple diet cokes!! YAY! The canapés were better than the ones in Concierge, but still nothing special. They served Chicken wings, Samosas, and some other stuff. I just decided I would waste my calories on something else. The Priority Tender Tickets on the two Tender days were very helpful in arriving at our tours on time (Nice and Kotor). And the Laundry coupons were once again a saving grace! The free thirty items and the $20 coupons for the bag to stuff your laundry really are good perks.

 

Ports.

 

In Dubrovnik, Croatia. we took the ships shuttle bus ($12 each) to the town. We also had a private guide take us around the old town with that awesome defensive wall. “The Pearl of the Adriatic” (Dubrovnik) defiantly was rich in history all the way up to the Balkans conflict (which wasn’t all that long ago!)

 

In Venice we did private tours that took us around St. Mary’s church of good health (lovely). The water system the venetians use to ascertain fresh water was really incredible with their water wells, as well as how the tides actually help clean out the lagoon. Then once you learned that the symbol of Venice is the lion, they suddenly appear everywhere. We also so the Peggy Guggenheim house. The tour ended with a lovely gondola ride. Canals are called Rios and Squares are called capris? Something like that. If anyone remembers the name that would be great! The next day in Venice we traveled to the less traveled side of Venice seeing the Jewish ghettos, Jesuit Churches, and eventually to the very famous St. Marks Square Before heading back to the ship. The sail-in and sail-away was just amazing.

 

Kotor, Montenegro was quite a surprise. Those gigantic cliffs seem to rise out of the sea. What a sail-in. The town was taken over many times by various empires, because of its location it was ideal place that could be easily defended by the mountains above. We visited a local supermarket which had some cheap candy that was really good! Our tour guide showed us how the city is made up of different squares (like the square of arms) and we also saw the Cathedral of St. Tryphon as well as the maritime.We also climbed up to St. Johns Fortress all the way up! It’s a 1350 step hike but the view was worth it! It was also 3 Euros. :/

 

Salerno, Italy. This is where the ship docked. Our guide took us to Amalfi, a lovely town with the beautiful St. Andrews Cathedral. Next Posatano, with those delicious lemon desserts! We stopped in Sorrento to have some great pizza, and off to the stunning Pompeii. One cool fact they put white marble in the roads so they could see at night when the moon reflected off the marble.

 

Rome, Italy. Another Busy day! Probably one of the coolest buildings that really impressed me was the pantheon! A temple built for the roman gods that still survived almost two thousand years! The columns and overall structure just really impress the visual senses. Of course we saw the Coliseum, Forum, and somehow made our way to the Vatican to quickly see the Sistine chapel and the Basilica! The Baroque architecture in that room by Bernini resembled the renaissance times when the church was really looking to outshine the reformation. Interesting to note there are pretty much all statues in the Basilica not really paintings. You really can’t see Rome in one day. ;)

 

Florence. Our guide took us to Pisa, quickly really just to see it. Then we went on to Florence where we shopped and went to the Academia to see the David. The artwork there was truly world class. This city looked absolutely gorgeous and you definitely need many days to see this entire city. We then took a ride out to the Chanti Classico region of Tuscany, which was absolutely sunning. Stopped at a local vineyard where I had some of the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar on bread ever!!

 

Nice, France. What another great place, but totally different city from the others! We did a bike tour that took around the town. We passed some wonderful shops and squares, where then moved to the Promenade des Anglais, where stunning hotels just filled the façade. My favorite was hotel Negresco, which opened in 1912. One interesting fact about the older hotels is that they have their entrances in the back, so women could wear their fashionable hats without getting whisked away by the winds from the ocean front. In old Nice also look out for the fake windows, which are actually painted on windows! These were just for decoration done by the Italians to I guess liven up the city. The tour then led us up a hill to what had a stunning view of nice and beyond. And we quickly had to go back to the ship as it left at three. Defiantly would have liked a full day in Nice!

 

Overall the cruise was everything I thought the Mediterranean would be, considering we had never been there before. The ship met expectations, and Celebrity in my opinion represents a great value in the premium segment of cruising. We had really good weather (a bit cool in some places). However we certainly had the trip of a life time. I just can’t wait to go back and see everything I missed, on Celebrity of course.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by pumpkin 11

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Thanks for the detailed review. We will on the Equinox going to the mediterranean next year.

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EQUINOX REVIEW LONG

 

I’m seventeen and was traveling with my parents,

WARNING: I’M NOT THE BEST WRITIER IN THE WORLD.

 

For breakfast the waffles I thought were still great especially with the whipped cream and strawberry sauce!

 

 

I disagree with you. I think you are a very good writer. However, I do agree with you about the waffles. ;)

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I disagree with you. I think you are a very good writer. However, I do agree with you about the waffles. ;)

HAHA. Thank you! I always wait until they come right off the pan! I knew I would have to leave the Elite breakfast to go up and get some waffles! They really are that good. ;) I've had them for years and have never been disappointed!

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Pumpkin, you are mistaken, you are a very good writer. Your conversational style makes it really easy to enjoy your review. Thanks for posting!;)

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Pumpkin, thank you for your wonderful review! You're a fantastic writer. We are taking the same cruise in September, and enjoyed reading your impressions of Equinox and the ports you visited.

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The Equinox.

 

Overall the cruise was everything I thought the Mediterranean would be, considering we had never been there before. The ship met expectations, and Celebrity in my opinion represents a great value in the premium segment of cruising. We had really good weather (a bit cool in some places). However we certainly had the trip of a life time. I just can’t wait to go back and see everything I missed, on Celebrity of course.

Thanks for reading!

 

I can agree in everything you have perfectly mentioned. We too returned from the exact same cruise and have the same impressions. Once again Celebrity has raised the bar even after ten cruises with X. (Altough we found the weather hot every single day:)) It´s more than impressive to provide such a service on a mass market ship. Food was fantastic. Service not always but most of the time on a high level.

 

Just a side note. I found this to be the most crowded Celebrity Cruise. Pool area as mentioned was packed. Lawn Grass on sea days, wasn´t visible due to all the towels and people on. Even the Solstice Deck 16 and below on deck 15. People used their towels on the naked foor. Patience was often not very common. Other guests frequently refilled their bottles at the water and juice dispensers,especially on the last night of the cruise.

 

Select Dining seemed pretty crowded too. I highly recommend reservations. We did not wait a minute with our reservations and we were 6 people.

 

And to add some numbers we found out. Elites on this cruise around 150. Select Dining around 1350 passengers.

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I can agree in everything you have perfectly mentioned. We too returned from the exact same cruise and have the same impressions. Once again Celebrity has raised the bar even after ten cruises with X. (Altough we found the weather hot every single day:)) It´s more than impressive to provide such a service on a mass market ship. Food was fantastic. Service not always but most of the time on a high level.

 

Just a side note. I found this to be the most crowded Celebrity Cruise. Pool area as mentioned was packed. Lawn Grass on sea days, wasn´t visible due to all the towels and people on. Even the Solstice Deck 16 and below on deck 15. People used their towels on the naked foor. Patience was often not very common. Other guests frequently refilled their bottles at the water and juice dispensers,especially on the last night of the cruise.

 

Select Dining seemed pretty crowded too. I highly recommend reservations. We did not wait a minute with our reservations and we were 6 people.

 

And to add some numbers we found out. Elites on this cruise around 150. Select Dining around 1350 passengers.

The product Celebrity has really is quite impressive considering the scale. Living in South Carolina I guess the weather comparatively felt cooler in the Med. But yes reservations should be made just in order to know you will have a table. One night we didn't and we had to share a table, but that really wasn't a problem at all. The Select dinning I guess manager was very good at her job. YES! I saw people do the same thing with their towels too! It really is too bad that it had to come to that for those folks! Yes I too saw people with their water bottles in the buffet. No comment to those people. It can work if they have their bottle away from the dispenser, but I didn't see any of that. Celebrity should really have a sign or something telling people it's not sanitary. Glad you enjoyed your cruise as much as we did!! :)

Edited by pumpkin 11

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What a delightful trip report! It made me happy to read it, as we did nearly the same cruise last year on the Solstice. It was good to relive the experience through your writing. Thanks for the tip about the hop on bus in Barcelona. I think we may do just that next time we are there.

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One of my favorite venues on this ship is the Café al Bacio. The big green chairs, Marble tables, ceiling art and floor to ceiling windows make this place a cozy yet airy space cut off from most of the “walk-through” public rooms on the Solstice class ships. The service was extremely friendly and attentive. They would even serve you the food in the glass case if you wanted to sit down. The cakes, almond croissants, black and white cookies were all mouthwatering desserts served daily for free! We also tried one of the carrot cake Cup cakes (which I think was like 2.50) was really good. It had a marzipan carrot, and great cream cheese icing. Even the cake was fresh with little shreds of carrots.

 

Is this new? I do not remember paying for any food in Café al Bacio

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One of my favorite venues on this ship is the Café al Bacio. The big green chairs, Marble tables, ceiling art and floor to ceiling windows make this place a cozy yet airy space cut off from most of the “walk-through” public rooms on the Solstice class ships. The service was extremely friendly and attentive. They would even serve you the food in the glass case if you wanted to sit down. The cakes, almond croissants, black and white cookies were all mouthwatering desserts served daily for free! We also tried one of the carrot cake Cup cakes (which I think was like 2.50) was really good. It had a marzipan carrot, and great cream cheese icing. Even the cake was fresh with little shreds of carrots.

 

Is this new? I do not remember paying for any food in Café al Bacio

 

When we were on the Solstice the cupcakes were at the Gelato bar, not Al Bacio, but there was a charge for them. Perhaps they do it differently on other ships, and perhaps this has led to the confusion in the past where some feel like there is a charge for desserts at Al Bacio.

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Loved your review and it was very well written and so informative. We will be on this cruise in September so it was very helpful indeed. Thank you.

 

Only thing I never realised was that you get extra CC points doing Concierge!!

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One of my favorite venues on this ship is the Café al Bacio. The big green chairs, Marble tables, ceiling art and floor to ceiling windows make this place a cozy yet airy space cut off from most of the “walk-through” public rooms on the Solstice class ships. The service was extremely friendly and attentive. They would even serve you the food in the glass case if you wanted to sit down. The cakes, almond croissants, black and white cookies were all mouthwatering desserts served daily for free! We also tried one of the carrot cake Cup cakes (which I think was like 2.50) was really good. It had a marzipan carrot, and great cream cheese icing. Even the cake was fresh with little shreds of carrots.

 

Is this new? I do not remember paying for any food in Café al Bacio

 

You are correct. They are in the Gelato bar area. I just included it together as one area, but I guess they're not. But yes the regular desserts in Cafe al bacio are still free, as the black and white cookies are delicious! Let's hope it stays that way!:)

Edited by pumpkin 11

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What a delightful review! You can tell you are well traveled! I am looking forward to traveling to Med in fall 2014!

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