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poncho1973

Equinox - Fresh out of dry dock/refurb June 1-8, 2019 _First time Celebrity cruisers_

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We're fairly seasoned cruisers (about 120 nights or so on Royal, a half dozen Disney cruises, and 1 Norwegian cruise) who went on the freshly updated Equinox this past week.  We didn't really have a lot of expectations, but were excited to try something new.  We came in as Elite thanks to our Diamond status on Royal.

 

The good:

  • Our stateroom was very nice and seemed MOSTLY upgraded, but not fully.  The bathroom was NOT upgraded, but had a nice new toilet seat (sticker still attached for the entire trip), but the tile was very old and everything seemed a bit worn.  It was fine, but I know several people were asking if the bathrooms were upgraded.  We had a J2 verandah on deck 7 mid-ship.  The balcony was nice and we had zero problems with our room for our entire trip... although this morning (arrival back in port day) about 3-4am I think the a/c stopped working as my wife and I woke up in a sweat with the room very, very warm.  However, it started getting cold again by the time we got up to leave.
  • Captain Kate.  I'm going to put her in the good, but with a two caveats.  1st, she's American and this is for my wife.  My wife has this insane bias that all cruise ship captains should be Scandinavian.  My wife did enjoy her being a woman captain, though.  2nd, she's really, really, really, really scripted and corny.  I think this makes her a hit with the older folks, though.  She sounds like she's 100% reading every announcement word for word directly from a script and gives a corny saying of the day and a mostly lame pun/joke of the day.  She might just need a bit more practice, though?  I'm going to put her in the good because she was the most visible captain I've seen in all of my cruises.  She also was standing at the gangway this morning personally thanking everyone as they left.  I was majorly impressed by that move.  It's unlike anything I've seen.  We saw her at a couple of events and she went out of her way to be EXTREMELY kind and friendly to everyone.
  • The solarium.  We're big fans of solariums and this was a great one!  We spent a lot of time here and it was excellent.  We napped.  We read.  We swam.  We didn't eat... but that's for another category.
  • The lawn.  WOWZERS.  This was personally my favorite part of the ship.  We loved it.  We watched the sunset here.  We watched movies here.  We just relaxed here.  We watched glass blowing.  We loved, loved, loved, loved it.
  • The oceanview cafe.  We both thought this buffet was really nice and IF it had handwashing stations would be right up there with the best ones we've been to on cruise ships.  I loved the ice cream station. 
  • The smoke-free casino.  We don't gamble, but it was so nice to not have to avoid an entire floor of a cruise ship (the casino and anything near it) because of smoke.  We walked through and went to nearby events several times.  The place was packed, so I don't think it hurt business.
  • The ship in general.  For a 10-year old ship, even fresh out of dry dock, it was very nice.  It was a simple ship, but a nice one.
  • The staff.  We found a lot of very nice crew members on the ship.  It was a very friendly staff (ok, I think most of them were starting new contracts, but hey!) and we had a lot of fun.
  • The shaded areas near the pools and on the lawn.  The number of shaded areas was amazing.  They had awnings and structures and overhangs galore.  It was nice to not have to sit in the direct Caribbean sun, although there were plenty of sun areas, too!  The couches and alternative chairs were fun, too.  It wasn't just pool loungers, they had options.
  • Pepper grinders on the tables at dinner.  BOOM!  GOLD!
  • Sushi On Five.  This was an excellent place to eat.  It was very lightly populated, though.  It was definitely delicious.  They were running a dinner special of all-you-care-to-eat for $25 a person, which was great and we made the most of it.  My tiny wife is a sushi-eating machine.  She had 3 apps and 4 full (8 pieces) trays of sushi.  The last couple of pieces she just ate the guts and left the rice/seaweed, but she put it down like a champ!  I was both impressed and scared.

 

The less good:

  • Some of the service.  I don't want to sound entitled or bratty in any way, but my wife and I looked at each other last night as we were packing and said that we never felt special AT ALL on this entire trip to that point.  I'll add a caveat that Captain Kate's good-bye (12 hours after that conversation) falls into the makes you fell special category, but it was literally the very last 10 seconds we were on the ship.  Disney is pretty much the world leader in making you feel special, but Royal does a really great job of it, too.  When we are on a Royal ship, we feel like we're wanted and we're a priority.  We were just a cog in a bigger Celebrity machine here.  Everyone was polite and said pleasantries, but we never just felt special.  It was kind of a bummer.  I thought this was the fancy line of the Royal family?  It didn't feel like it.
  • Elite status.  After the goodies you get as a Diamond on Royal, being Elite on Celebrity was like being Gold on Royal.  You really don't get much at all.  The Captain's Club event on 5 of 7 nights was like the Diamond Lounge's ugly stepsister.  They had 3 canapes each night and the options on the drink list were really light.  It's no wonder the place was a ghost town!  Finding a seat wasn't a problem, you could have almost any seat!
  • The spa cafe in the solarium.  This was a the biggest joke on the ship.  It was open for approximately 8 minutes and 30 seconds each day.  The servings were legitimately light fare, but I didn't see many people eating it.  The servings were like a spoonful of egg salad or a kale salad that might fit into a ramekin.  I asked one of the guys for some silverware (they were closing and no more food was out, but there were forks, knives, and a flat napkins on a tray behind him) and he said they didn't have any.  I pointed to the tray behind him and he nodded.  "No more silverware" he said and shrugged.  So I tried a different approach "Could you hand me a fork, a knife, and a napkin?" He nodded and said "Sure thing!" and did so.  WHAT??????
  • The food desert.  There were hours on the ship when the only food offering was the hamburger place by the pool.  They offered hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and fries.  They also have a turkey burger (pulled out from under the cabinet in a warm box) and a veggie burger (I never saw one, but the guy would tell the "come back in 10 minutes please" and mostly they just said nevermind.  I didn't see anyone get one.
  • The oldens.  Holy crap was the age of this cruise INSANELY HIGHER than any cruise we've been on in the Caribbean.  So many hover-rounds!  So, so, so, so many smashed feet because the people driving them were crazy!  So many wheelchairs and canes!  So many Arthur Murray dance lesson graduates!  My wife said it was cute to watch them dance their routines and watch them mouth the step counts, but it was also very Stepford.  I'm no dancing judge, but it seems like dancing should be about feeling and not counting.  But if a song was playing, there was an A-M graduate couple out there counting!  So much perfume in the elevator!  AS A SIDEBAR, the i-Lounge was so funny and great for older folks.  There was always a line in there of older folks asking for help on their phones or tablets.  They had daily classes to teach people how to use them.
  • The food.  Generally speaking it was more bland than our other cruise line experiences.  There just wasn't a lot of flavor going on and the food did not impress.  A lot of people told me that Celebrity was a big step up in the food department, but it wasn't for us.
  • The specialty dining or our lack thereof.  We tried to get in and they simply don't return phone calls.  I called the day of once and managed to get a real person, he told me that I could ONLY get Le Petite Chef and ONLY at 9pm.  No thanks.  But then we spoke to several people who said their specialty dining was mostly empty.  I called twice more and was forced to leave a message... no returned calls.  They must not have wanted our money.  The second-to-last night we were walking the hallways after dinner and peeped in on 3.  Tuscan was 1/2 empty.  Morano looked like pretty empty.  Sushi on 5 was empty except for 3 tables.  A guy offered us lunch the next day for $30 or dinner for $25... we were on it!  Why did it take until the last day?
  • So so so so so so much less to do.  People may poo-poo the rock climbing walls, the ice skating, the bumper cars, the zipline, the slides, the water slides, the FlowRider, etc, but man this ship had virtually no excitement going on!  There just wasn't much to do and it was a good thing there were only 2 sea days because there wasn't much at all to do.
  • Everything cost more, or at least almost everything.  Then again, it's the upgraded line, so people with more money come on it?

 

The weird:

  • Embarkation was weird.  The new terminal is great in Port Everglades and a vast improvement over the first time we were there several years ago and our terminal was basically the spooky warehouse building from every 4th Scooby-Doo episode (the other 3 locations being a mansion, an amusement park, and somewhere near a graveyard) you watched as a kid.  A very nice older man asked us if we wanted to try the "cool, new" embarkation process.  The line was about 1/1,000th as long, so we said "YES WE DO!" and went to the line with the facial recognition boards and people with tablets.  After absolutely nothing happened with the facial scanners (or maybe it's just instantaneous?)  and about 3 questions from the tablet guy, who glanced at our papers & passports... we were in!  Super fast.  We were then directed to a man who insisted on seeing some documentation about us being in that line, some express pass or something.  I said "that nice man right there asked us to try the new system and we don't have those passes."  This caused the man to get very huffy and start mumbling something.  He then walked away.  We didn't know if we were supposed to stay there and wait or what?  After a few seconds of him being gone and now speaking to someone else & laughing, we just decided to board the ship and see.  Cool.  We were on.  I honestly don't know what happened or didn't happen.  However, the time from entering the hall at the terminal to walking up the ramp was about 3 minutes at most.

 

 

It was our first experience on X.  I think I'd like to try Edge or one of her sisters at some point in the future, but from this very limited experience, I'm not seeing how X is the future for us.  We'll try again, for sure, but after several people IRL told us we'd never go back to Royal after we "moved up to X" I think that it just isn't the case.  It's not going to be a regular thing for us.

 

That said, any day at sea is a good day!  And most importantly, we had a very nice time with what we did.  We're the type to roll with whatever, but for the sake of review I'm laying it all out there.  If you have any questions or comments, I'd welcome them.

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Thanks for sharing, this will be our first celebrity. Young couple with a 4 year old daughter, so it'd be interesting to see our perspective on the cruise. 

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1 minute ago, timf264 said:

What night was the all you can eat sushi??

 

Last night, literally yesterday.  But also the final night of the cruise.

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From your review it appears you have correctly  concluded that Celeb is not a good fit for you .

 

 Btw...Someday you will likely  be  one of the  "oldens" you ridiculed in your review. It may  just be your writing style but it did not come across as  respectful of older cruisers.

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haha I'm an "Olden" and though I very much enjoy Celebrity I DO find the MDR on X to be not much better or worse than the MDR on RCI.  Mostly I agree w/ most of what you said and got a chuckle out of a lot of it.  On some X cruises (I'm in my late 60's) I find myself in the older half but just as often I find myself feeling like a youngster.  So you could do another cruise the following week and find yourself with a different demographic. 

 

HOWEVER if you ever want to spring for a suite experience, then Celebrity blows RCI out of the water (and for a commensurately higher price on many of the ships) .  Butlers. A dedicated suite restaurant even w/ a Sky suite which is kind of similar to a Jr Suite on RCI (which gets almost NO perks). 

 

I'm still laughing about the "oldens" counting off the steps as they dance.  I enjoyed your review.  

Edited by bighairtexan

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10 minutes ago, hcat said:

From your review it appears you have correctly  concluded that Celeb is not a good fit for you .

 

 Btw...Someday you will likely  be  one of the  "oldens" you ridiculed in your review. It may  just be your writing style but it did not come across as  respectful of older cruisers.

 

It's probably just my writing style, but you seriously need to laugh more. 

 

I'm 100% serious about the hover-rounds though.  I saw so many bad drivers.  This morning getting off the ship I saw a lady (an olden herself!!) get pushed to a tabletop by a man who had no idea how to drive his.  He ran over her foot and knocked her into the table.  He yelled at HER for his doing it, too.  He was a jerk.  I saw one women cut in front of people 2x on the trip.  She said "oh, I have issues and need to go first" and then later we saw her laughing about it with another woman in the dining room.  This morning I saw a woman on one run over a man holding his daughter.  Slammed right into his knee.  I didn't go into it in detail, but frankly the way people operate those things is appalling.

 

Other than that, it's mostly in good humor.  The Arthur-Murray dance graduates comments are spot on, though.  Watch the dance floor for 10 seconds and you'll know it is true.  The perfume is just an age thing.  I think people's noses become less sensitive as they age and so older folks bathe in perfume because they can't smell themselves like we can.

 

In short, though, laugh more.  There are plenty of oldens who have wonderful senses of humor!

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20 minutes ago, bighairtexan said:

haha I'm an "Olden" and though I very much enjoy Celebrity I DO find the MDR on X to be not much better or worse than the MDR on RCI.  Mostly I agree w/ most of what you said and got a chuckle out of a lot of it.  On some X cruises (I'm in my late 60's) I find myself in the older half but just as often I find myself feeling like a youngster.  So you could do another cruise the following week and find yourself with a different demographic. 

 

HOWEVER if you ever want to spring for a suite experience, then Celebrity blows RCI out of the water (and for a commensurately higher price on many of the ships) .  Butlers. A dedicated suite restaurant even w/ a Sky suite which is kind of similar to a Jr Suite on RCI (which gets almost NO perks). 

 

I'm still laughing about the "oldens" counting off the steps as they dance.  I enjoyed your review.  

 

My folks are in their mid 60s and they still love to party, too!  I'm thinking most of the oldens were probably a good bit older than you on this cruise!

 

Thanks for the info about the suites.  I'm guessing the Sky Suite on Edge is probably a wonderful thing for us.  I'll do some research on it when we give her a try.

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Thank You for a very nice review.  It made me laugh!  I am an olden but young at heart.  I agree completely with your report on the AM dancing report.  

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Very interesting review, I enjoyed reading it and good to hear the good and the bad elements of your cruise.  We've cruised Celebrity 7 times, Cunard 4, HAL 3 and RCL 1.  For us Celebrity is our favourite, but for the last 5 cruises, we have sailed in Suites, so that does help!  It's good that we all have different views on what is important to us - personally we hated RCL, food and service poor, not enough seating areas after dinner and too many children.  We did enjoy the Ice Rink, but everything else we did not use or need.  I think it all depends on what you want out of a cruise - we want peace and quite, nice food and people and not a lot else!  So if you need to chill, I think Celebrity is good.  Any day at sea is a good day!

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Thanks for your review. We will be cruising on the Equinox for the first time in September 2020 for a 10 night Southern Caribbean itinerary.  This will be our 5 th "X" cruise with the others being the Millennium (2), Infinity and Eclipse once each. Just a couple of weeks ago we experienced the Eclipse in Alaska and had a Concierge Class cabin. Really had a wonderful time and did notice the more mature demographic and slower paced activities. The one perk that we liked with the CC cabin was the embarkation luncheon in the MDR - a nice relaxed way to start the cruise.

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Thanks for the review, I think you have a great writing style.   It's funny how people can have totally different views on things.

 

We were approached every day on our last cruise with specialty dining discounts, usually in the buffet,  but every cruise is different.  I think they do this more if they are not booked  for most nights.  

 

The buffet is open all day,  even though they rope off some of it for 15 minutes or so before lunch or dinner.   And I love the Aqua Spa cafe for lunch a few days.   Yes, the portions are small,  but you can take as many plates as you like and most of it is delicious.   Sometimes I think that there is a language issue with some of the crew,  which could explain why he didn't seem to know what silverware was.  

 

I personally feel that most employees go out of their way to be friendly and make you feel special,  but I that's just me.   I loved sailing with Captain Kate and think she is amazing!

 

I love Celebrity.   On our last two cruises the amount of children was in the single digits,   which I think is great,  and I love the fact that it is mostly a nonsmoking ship.

 

Lucky for everyone that there are so many choices these days!  Thanks again for your thoughts.

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Thanks for the review. I am a bit nervous now as I am taking my 2 daughters, ages 18 and 16 on the Equinox next week. We got a really good deal, that's why we booked Celebrity. We have 14 cruises under our belt, but mostly on NCL, Princess and Carnival. We cruised HAL a few years ago and really disliked it. BORING (although service and food were amazing).

Although my girls do not need all the "bells and whistles", we do like to have something to do in the evening.

You didn't mention anything about entertainment/shows. Did you attend any and if so, how were they?

Would love to hear from others as well.

Thanks.

 

Edited by cruisinRN

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Thanks for the review. I am a DCL girl myself most of the time (42 days until my Double Dip to Castaway on the Dream!!), but will be trying X  in February as I wanted a 7-night but did not want to deal with Star Wars insanity (not a fan and do NOT consider it true Disney).

 

As I am not one who needs to be entertained 24-7 and find ice rinks, rock climbing walls, etc. a bit excessive. But I know I am in the minority on that. Give me a comfy place to read and watch the ocean and I am a happy girl. 🙂

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13 hours ago, CPCruiser4Life said:

Thanks for sharing, this will be our first celebrity. Young couple with a 4 year old daughter, so it'd be interesting to see our perspective on the cruise. 

 There were 200 children on the ship for the June 1 sailing.  they kept them very busy and I found it refreshing that there were so many sailing.   I had my 22-year-old daughter and her friend with us and there were quite a few in the young adult category as well   

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Thank you so much...I love your review and I’m cracking up reading about the “Oldens.”  My sister and I (50’s) Cruise annually and purposely choose Celebrity (she is elite) because we LOVE cruising with the “Oldens.”  We avoid ships with water slides, rock climbing, etc... because that indicates too many kids!!!  We love socializing with the “Oldens” at our special 5-7 happy hour (our favorite time of day).   When in port we most often stay on the empty ship, reading and relaxing around the pool.  

We are in a deck 7 balcony cabin also (the hump),  I hope it was refurbished last month. Last year, on our Celebrity (Summit) cruise, I kept getting locked out on the balcony and when we called to have our sliding door fixed their answer was, “Just do not close it.”  We laughed so hard about this and we still tell the story and laugh.  Like you, we roll along and make our own fun.

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TY for the review. We may try RCCL sometime

We had heard so many things that it was a "step down" from Celebrity and perhaps that has been wrong

 

 

FWIW On our recent TA there were MANY MANY "oldens" -- scooters, walkers, chairs. I did worry about any emergency and lifeboat needs. WHO was gong to be climbing over whom...   WHO is responsible to get people on/off the ship at ports? Family members?   (Did see one couple-- he was in a chair and being pushed by a crew member--she--also very elderly was pushing two large wheeled suitcases on her own. She was struggling a bit. Self assist is supposed to be down without crew--so she was determined for certain. )

 

Have wondered if in general Celebrity's pax have really aged and if that is why with the revolution, new ships and new decor etc--that Celebrity is fishing in new waters?  We were often the youngest in the room by 20 yrs and we are AARP members! Ha!

 

Thanks again for your insight and the time you took to write a review

 

BTW since we like smaller ships--which class / ships in the RCCL are closer to that experience? 

We are trying YC in MSC to see how that fits/feels as well

 

Edited by Fogfog

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To whoever was asking about the shows:

 

They weren't really our thing for the most part.  We watched part of a few: Topper, Hard Day's Night, and Elysium.  Sat near the back and left respectfully & quietly.

 

We like the comedian Fred Klett and they had a brand new thing with the American Ballet Theater that was pretty impressive.  They combo'd the ABT with these two singers (who I had to review my daily planner to ID) Greta Salóme & Kristen Hertzenberg. 

 

Greta is an Icelandic woman who apparently was on Eurovision, a singing contest in Europe that most Americans probably either don't know about or just vaguely know about.  She was pretty good and did a Lindsey Sterling-esque stomping violin song, too.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xQxQRdZasQ

 

Kristen is a theater singer (she was the lead in the Las Vegas version of Phantom, I think she said) who did a few normal songs in the style of Broadway and it was pretty awkward like when your wacky aunt thinks she's awesome at karaoke and you pretty much cringe through it... THEN she busted out some classical opera & theater songs and you saw she could really sing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9bBeYzMFuw

 

Regardless of these womens' talent, whoever was on the soundboard was bound and determined to screw it up.  Too much echo.  Too much reverb.  Too much treble.  The mix sounded like a person who has never heard music was on the board.

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8 hours ago, Fogfog said:

TY for the review. We may try RCCL sometime

We had heard so many things that it was a "step down" from Celebrity and perhaps that has been wrong

 

 

FWIW On our recent TA there were MANY MANY "oldens" -- scooters, walkers, chairs. I did worry about any emergency and lifeboat needs. WHO was gong to be climbing over whom...   WHO is responsible to get people on/off the ship at ports? Family members?   (Did see one couple-- he was in a chair and being pushed by a crew member--she--also very elderly was pushing two large wheeled suitcases on her own. She was struggling a bit. Self assist is supposed to be down without crew--so she was determined for certain. )

 

Have wondered if in general Celebrity's pax have really aged and if that is why with the revolution, new ships and new decor etc--that Celebrity is fishing in new waters?  We were often the youngest in the room by 20 yrs and we are AARP members! Ha!

 

Thanks again for your insight and the time you took to write a review

 

BTW since we like smaller ships--which class / ships in the RCCL are closer to that experience? 

We are trying YC in MSC to see how that fits/feels as well

 

 

I wonder the same thing.  If the ship needs to be evacuated, who on board is going to get these people off????? 

 

I don't want anyone on this forum beating the crew member up so I'm being vague, but we had a chat with one officer who basically said what you are talking about.  They as a company looked around and realized a lot of their passengers likely aren't going to be sailing anymore in the next 10-20 years and need to up their game to make sure the ships still sail full.  They think this upgrade series and the Edge-class ships will eventually skew a little younger and they need it.  They made a comment that BASICALLY (paraphrasing) was saying they aren't looking to nail the 18-34 bracket, they are looking to rope in the 35-55 bracket.  I know some of the olden cruisers will be annoyed by that, but if they look honestly, they themselves were probably in that bracket somewhere when they first started sailing with X.  The officer told me to make my next X cruise on an Edge-class ship and see if I'm not much, much more impressed.

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My wife and I are both 67 and we call the "oldens" "geezers".  On our last cruise, which was our first HAL cruise, we took this pic of the scooter parking lot outside the MDR one night.  We had Fred Astaire dancers on this cruise, one couple waltzed to every form of music played.

 

image.thumb.png.3ce74093a6b4517464674409b2d8ccfb.png

 

Edited by NASCAR Bubba

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23 hours ago, poncho1973 said:

 

It's probably just my writing style, but you seriously need to laugh more. 

 

I'm 100% serious about the hover-rounds though.  I saw so many bad drivers.  This morning getting off the ship I saw a lady (an olden herself!!) get pushed to a tabletop by a man who had no idea how to drive his.  He ran over her foot and knocked her into the table.  He yelled at HER for his doing it, too.  He was a jerk.  I saw one women cut in front of people 2x on the trip.  She said "oh, I have issues and need to go first" and then later we saw her laughing about it with another woman in the dining room.  This morning I saw a woman on one run over a man holding his daughter.  Slammed right into his knee.  I didn't go into it in detail, but frankly the way people operate those things is appalling.

 

Other than that, it's mostly in good humor.  The Arthur-Murray dance graduates comments are spot on, though.  Watch the dance floor for 10 seconds and you'll know it is true.  The perfume is just an age thing.  I think people's noses become less sensitive as they age and so older folks bathe in perfume because they can't smell themselves like we can.

 

In short, though, laugh more.  There are plenty of oldens who have wonderful senses of humor!

 

  Aegism  is alive and well in this thread.  More so than I imagined.  Use of the term "oldens" is also a new one on me.... 

 

 I agree that the  reckless scooter driving does need to be addressed by X as it can be a safety hazard to others as you have noted True, esp  with respect to the huge oversized ones driven by  untrained operators.  But some  of the things you find hilarious..just aren't.   Unfortunately, rude,  selfish cruisers and those who smell  from various  items like perfume, cologne, alcohol, body odor and bad breath, etc. are not  confined to any particular age category,,,not as far as we noticed.

 

Not all X  ships and itins are filled with  out of control scooter drivers.  It really depends on  the sail date , port cruised from and pricing,..Hope you continue to find  more  compatible pax on Royal C, we will continue enjoying X.. esp S Class and  Edge which had a great energetic vibe throughout.

 

Edited by hcat

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My wife drives a very small scooter that we bring with us on flights and cruises. She uses it at various places we go and is pretty efficient with it since she is used to it. However, there are companies that rent scooters to people on cruise ships who have never even driven a scooter before. Driving a scooter for the first time on a crowded cruise ship is not a very good idea in my opinion.

 

I don't know if I would recommend special scooter licenses for people to be able to rent these scooters but as the population ages and the scooters get more popular and plentiful, I feel it is only a matter of time before an inexperienced or incapacitated driver, goes down a flight of steps on one of them. Some people who use them would be much safer and less risk to others in a wheelchair or transport chair.

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2 hours ago, poncho1973 said:

To whoever was asking about the shows:

 

They weren't really our thing for the most part.  We watched part of a few: Topper, Hard Day's Night, and Elysium.  Sat near the back and left respectfully & quietly.

 

We like the comedian Fred Klett and they had a brand new thing with the American Ballet Theater that was pretty impressive.  They combo'd the ABT with these two singers (who I had to review my daily planner to ID) Greta Salóme & Kristen Hertzenberg. 

 

Greta is an Icelandic woman who apparently was on Eurovision, a singing contest in Europe that most Americans probably either don't know about or just vaguely know about.  She was pretty good and did a Lindsey Sterling-esque stomping violin song, too.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xQxQRdZasQ

 

Kristen is a theater singer (she was the lead in the Las Vegas version of Phantom, I think she said) who did a few normal songs in the style of Broadway and it was pretty awkward like when your wacky aunt thinks she's awesome at karaoke and you pretty much cringe through it... THEN she busted out some classical opera & theater songs and you saw she could really sing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9bBeYzMFuw

 

Regardless of these womens' talent, whoever was on the soundboard was bound and determined to screw it up.  Too much echo.  Too much reverb.  Too much treble.  The mix sounded like a person who has never heard music was on the board.


We were also on this sailing, and it was our first cruise on X.  We've sailed on Carnival, HAL, RCI, Oceania and Azamara.

Your assessment of the theater performances was spot on, especially about Kristen.  In fact, without the wacky aunt comment, that was pretty much what I said to my husband after the show (he didn't attend).  The sound board person did need some work.  We enjoyed both of the comedians, but preferred Fred.  We also really like the solo guitarist, Sashi, that played in the bars a few times a day.  Very talented guitarist and singer.  We felt the other live performers (usually playing in the foyer) were a little too loud.

I didn't notice as many scooters as you did, and didn't think the cruise was overrun with seniors.  Based on your parents' ages I'm older than you, though, so that might skew my opinion.  We were more often on the elevator with people that had kids in strollers rather than scooters or wheelchairs.

I think because we've most recently sailed with Azamara, in comparison, X has way more activities than we were used to seeing.  We did a few of them--trivia, hot glass class, putting competition.  There were others I was interested in attending but never got around to it.

I did eat at the Spa Cafe a few times and liked it, especially the quinoa salad and soba noodles.  I discovered on Friday morning that it was also open for breakfast, and they had some snack/granola bars that I really liked.

We booked under a promo that included Go Best, so we were scrounging around trying to find something to spend our $300 OBC on.  We had dinner at Murano, but probably wouldn't do that again because it took so much longer than the MDR, and we were generally fine with its food.  My husband had wings at Craft Social (he liked them... said the sauce was good), and then we wandered the shops on Friday to spend the rest of it.  We also watched a PPV movie.  I wish they had more included movies, or that the PPV price was lower than $14.99, because we like watching a movie if we aren't interested in the show.

I agree with you on the service.  Our needs were met, and the service was fine, but nothing special.   Everyone worked hard, though!  We feel that way about the service on Azamara, though, too, and it supposedly has outstanding service.

Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and will keep X on our list.

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