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Starting to think booking on Equinox was a mistake


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I am currently booked on the Dec 21 sailing on the Equinox. This will be my 4th Celebrity cruise but I have not sailed with them in at least 4 years. We cruise often but recently have sailed on HAL, Oceania and Crystal. Reading all the reviews and changes that are taking place makes me think that Celebrity is underhanded and nickel and diming it's guests. We decided not to do Aqua Class this trip as we prefer to get a cabin with a larger balcony and dine in the specialty restaurants for the same price as Aqua class. The Celebrity website gives very little info on Specialty restaurants on Equinox including not mentioning the cost of them. I tried to find prices on the web and it seemed that there was a $35-$50 up charge for Tuscan Grill and Murano. In fact until I was booked I could not see the price and nearly flipped out to see that it would be 

$119/pp to dine on Christmas Eve and 

$70/pp to dine on any other night during this cruise. I am sorry but there is no way that Murano or Tuscan Grill is worth that up charge! That's $1080 extra for the week. For that price I could have stayed in a suite or sailed on Oceania where the food is far superior to anything I have ever had on a Celebrity ship! Then there is the Classic Beverage Package "perk" which only allows you to have $9 drinks of which there are very few choices. Now I am reading that you can't have a martini at the Martini Bar if you have that package even though my vodka of choice is Tito's which is included in that package. This is pure absurdity and total discrimination! I read about upcharging $1 for Bailey's in a drink- talk about nickel and diming!!! Then they advertise about the "Revolutionizing" of the Equinox and I read that this was in fact not completed. This is all very upsetting to learn about and quite frankly falls into the category of non- disclosure and false advertising. Also, I was very disappointed to see they turned Qsine into a restaurant that may appeal to an 8 year old child but hardly to someone who is looking for an upscale dining venue that Celebrity used to be known for. I am trying to be positive about my upcoming cruise but all of these things have certainly dampened my enthusiasm

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In your position I's jump ship to a line that you feel more happy with. I understand you're pain and agree with most of what you've said. If it's not too late to cancel I'd make other plans too. The $1 upcharge for drinks above the premium package does annoy me a lot too. It really does look very cheap! 

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It was way past the 100% refund window when I booked. The fact that they don't disclose the amount of up charge on Specialty dining on the website until after you have booked is in fact non- disclosure and totally taking advantage of people sailing on a holiday cruise. I find it appalling!

Edited by Travrat
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On my Dec 1 cruise the specialty dining costs are the same as in the past.  $50 for Murano and $45 for Tuscan.  Also, there are many discounts offered on board for the specialty restaurants.  

 

I rarely dine at specialty restaurants.  This past February for Valentines Day there was not an additional cost. I ate the day after and celebrated my birthday a day late in Murano - for a discount.  

 

Surprised it would be that much for christmas unless a special menu.

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I am glad to see you had a great cruise 

PTC DAWG. That's encouraging. 

Even if it is a special menu if it does not include wine pairings, that is an additional $75/pp, it is not worth it to do on a cruise ship-Especially since the reviews of the specialty restaurants are less than stellar!

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Fouremco I never saw that on the website. Can you please tell me how you navigated to that page. If that is on their website then they really are legally responsible to only charge that amount. My feeling is that since people may know they give onboard discounts they have raised the prices by 50% 

Edited by Travrat
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Book the specialty dining package.  It is about half price.

 

The Christmas dinner price in Murano is pricey and not included in the package.

 

How do you like Crystal and Oceania?

 

I am not a fan of the crowded Edge ships and I am looking for something better.

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5 minutes ago, Travrat said:

Fouremco I never saw that on the website. Can you please tell me how you navigated to that page. If that is on their website then they really are legally responsible to only charge that amount. My feeling is that since people may know they give onboard discounts they have raised the prices by 50% 

Did you go to the cruise planner and select dining?  There it gives the cost of specialty restaurants for your sailing.  

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20 minutes ago, Travrat said:

I am glad to see you had a great cruise 

PTC DAWG. That's encouraging. 

Even if it is a special menu if it does not include wine pairings, that is an additional $75/pp, it is not worth it to do on a cruise ship-Especially since the reviews of the specialty restaurants are less than stellar!

Tuscan was excellent...Sushi on 5 was good too...had sliders one night at one bar..also very good.  MDR was excellent too...we upgraded classic to premium for $12 PPPD, I do. It like to not have to sign for drinks, or worry about what is or not available...Norman at The Sunset Bar handled the upgrade onboard...he was also excellent the rest of the cruise..his Patron Margaritas are excellent...Raquel at the same bar is also excellent..

Edited by PTC DAWG
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15 minutes ago, Travrat said:

Fouremco I never saw that on the website. Can you please tell me how you navigated to that page. If that is on their website then they really are legally responsible to only charge that amount. My feeling is that since people may know they give onboard discounts they have raised the prices by 50% 

Sorry, @Travrat, I should have mentioned that I used Google to find it. I generally find that to be a far quicker and more successful means of finding information than fighting my way through the Celebrity website. I don't even know if it can be accessed via the website.

 

BTW, on the question of them being legally responsible for charging only the prices shown, don't forget the disclaimer at the bottom of the page that starts off "Prices subject to change..."

Edited by Fouremco
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37 minutes ago, gfkcruiser said:

On my Dec 1 cruise the specialty dining costs are the same as in the past.  $50 for Murano and $45 for Tuscan.  Also, there are many discounts offered on board for the specialty restaurants.  

 

I rarely dine at specialty restaurants.  This past February for Valentines Day there was not an additional cost. I ate the day after and celebrated my birthday a day late in Murano - for a discount.  

 

Surprised it would be that much for christmas unless a special menu.

Christmas is a special menu and it is packed. I would not expect to see discounts on this dinner.

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Crystal and Oceania are very different from each other. I like Oceania for their European itineraries and their excellent food. I have only sailed on Marina and Riviera which are their larger ships, a little over 1000 passengers. The service is very good for the most part and their specialty restaurants, of which there are 4, are indeed really special! The specialty restaurants are included for all guests once/restaurant during your cruise and then by availability if you wish to go again. The food in their MDR is very good. Even their casual poolside counter restaurant offers fresh grilled tuna, filet mignon and lobster medallion sandwiches as well as great burgers. They have a few open bar cocktail parties but drinks are not included. Quite frankly their entertainment stinks and there are not very many things to do on the ship itself. This is why I love to sail them in Europe when you are sightseeing all day and just want to come back and have a great meal. I would not want to do a Transatlantic on them and not sure I would like their smaller ships. On sea days I am content to hang out at the pool of just relax. If you are looking for lots of shipboard activity then Oceania is not for you. Crystal is all inclusive onboard. The service is top- notch, they have very good entertainment, good lectures and fantastic food. It is much more formal than Oceania- no shorts in public spaces after 6 PM. If you enjoy fine dining, fine wine and having personalized service this line is for you.

Yhe only dining package on Celebrity that I saw was 2 dinners and a lunch and the discount was not that much. Maybe I am missing something

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4 minutes ago, Travrat said:

 

Yhe only dining package on Celebrity that I saw was 2 dinners and a lunch and the discount was not that much. Maybe I am missing something

That is odd.  Normally you can choose from 3 nights all the way up to the end of the cruise.  The more nights the more savings.  We had an 11 night package on Edge.

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According to my cruise planner it is $70 every night of the cruise except for Christmas Eve when it is $119. If they pack them in at that price I would be surprised. Again, my point is that they should make people aware of what the specialty dining costs BEFORE they book. It was only available after I booked and is no place to be found on their website. I think that is very sketchy and makes me dislike this cruiseline! That's why I think I made a mistake!

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Did not have that option on my cruise as far as I can tell- the 3 dinner discount option. If someone is on this Equinox sailing Dec 21 please advise me if there is this option available

Edited by Travrat
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I find it really difficult to take a post seriously where someone gets on fire about discrimination for not having their drink of choice. Sometimes I think we need to appreciate celebrity are a business and cruising at the holidays attracts a premium on land or sea. That said you have clear options such as upgrading your drinks package, room or eating in speciality that will solve your issues. I hope you enjoy your cruise. 

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We refuse to patronize the specialty restaurants on any of the lines we sail on. Why should people pay these ridiculous prices when the food in the main dining room on the various lines we sail on is very good, at least to us they are. We have sailed 4 times in the past year on the Equinox and HAL's Oosterdam and on both ships we have had the best food we ever had on our 61 cruises. Let me add that I don't begrudge anyone that does eat in the specialty restaurants, it's just that we are traditionalists when it comes to cruising and sometimes feel that the lines are pushing that if you want a fine meal you need to eat in an upsell venue. So far for us this has not happened. We had a free meal in the Pinacle Grill on one of the HAL ships a few years ago and were disappointed in the meal, glad we didnt pay extra for it. I have read more than a few threads saying the same thing.

 

Edited by MISTER 67
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49 minutes ago, Cruiseyorkshire said:

I find it really difficult to take a post seriously where someone gets on fire about discrimination for not having their drink of choice. Sometimes I think we need to appreciate celebrity are a business and cruising at the holidays attracts a premium on land or sea. That said you have clear options such as upgrading your drinks package, room or eating in speciality that will solve your issues. I hope you enjoy your cruise. 

I think that the OP raises a good issue.

 

Which is more of a value?  Upgrading a Celebrity cruise with specialty dining,  excursions, spa, etc or booking on a luxury line.

 

I am starting to think that he has a point.

I will have to run the numbers for myself.

 

We have only eaten dinner in the mdr 2 or 3 times.  The specialty restaurants are better for us.

Edited by NMTraveller
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1 hour ago, Cruiseyorkshire said:

I find it really difficult to take a post seriously where someone gets on fire about discrimination for not having their drink of choice. Sometimes I think we need to appreciate celebrity are a business and cruising at the holidays attracts a premium on land or sea. That said you have clear options such as upgrading your drinks package, room or eating in speciality that will solve your issues. I hope you enjoy your cruise. 

I said it was discrimination to not allow people to drink at a bar because they don't have a premium drink package or to not serve them in a regular sized glass when they order a martini at the Martini Bar. This is what I have read on this post and I find it offensive to not take my post seriously because it is absurd that a cruiseline would do this! I am already paying a premium to sail on this holiday cruise as you probably know I could sail this same cruise any other week in December for considerably less. There should not be additional upcharges on top of that. That said, don't tell me to upgrade anything!

 

 

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42 minutes ago, NMTraveller said:

I think that the OP raises a good issue.

 

Which is more of a value?  Upgrading a Celebrity cruise with specialty dining,  excursions, spa, etc or booking on a luxury line.

 

I am starting to think that he has a point.

I will have to run the numbers for myself.

 

We have only eaten dinner in the mdr 2 or 3 times.  The specialty restaurants are better for us.

I prefer the specialty restaurants for more than just the food. I enjoy dining in different venues and think that service in the specialty restaurants is better and certainly the atmosphere is much nicer than the MDR. That goes for all cruise lines

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Just now, Travrat said:

I prefer the specialty restaurants for more than just the food. I enjoy dining in different venues and think that service in the specialty restaurants is better and certainly the atmosphere is much nicer than the MDR. That goes for all cruise lines

Same here.  

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Recently off Equinox...Yes, the Revolution was not completed but the guests most affected are those who were booked in the suites that never happened and the suite guests which have a deck which is without a water feature. For most guests the ship is simply ‘refreshed’.

 

It is a great ship in good shape with lots lots of opportunities for activities and entertainment but with lots of places to just chill and relax if you don’t want/need to be entertained. A great place to enjoy the festive season...

 

We dined every evening in Murano’s or Tuscan other than one visit to see LPC and friends which is worth a visit...go expecting to giggle like an 8 year old and you will thoroughly enjoy. Not fine dining but definitely fun dining...Marco and Marco  in Tuscan and Murano’s (yes very confusing) were great M’Ds and really looked after their ‘regulars’...If you can book in you will enjoy really good food and excellent service...

 

I would expect the ‘special’ nights to be at a premium but others should be standard price...Why not just choose ‘Select’ dining and then negotiate on board for a package deal/discounts for other nights? If they are not available or only available at a high price then will it spoil your vacation? An alternative could be to upgrade to a suite and have the option of Luminae... 

 

We never cruise or hotel vacation at Christmas or New Year, mainly because we want to be at home but also because we are aware ‘premium’ prices do seem to effect everything from the prices charged for cruises to the prices charged in restaurants to the cost of taxis...If you were vacationing anywhere in the world on those dates I think you would need to expect some upcharges...

 

Strongly suggest you do some serious homework...If you board feeling ‘bitter’ and ‘nickel and dimed’ it will tarnish your full vacation experience...Phone if necessary to confirm the price of dining packages pre booked, look at the cost of cancelling and booking another cruise/holiday...Only if you board feeling that cost=experience will you be happy...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by chemmo
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49 minutes ago, MISTER 67 said:

We refuse to patronize the specialty restaurants on any of the lines we sail on. Why should people pay these ridiculous prices when the food in the main dining room on the various lines we sail on is very good, at least to us they are. We have sailed 4 times in the past year on the Equinox and HAL's Oosterdam and on both ships we have had the best food we ever had on our 61 cruises. Let me add that I don't begrudge anyone that does eat in the specialty restaurants, it's just that we are traditionalists when it comes to cruising and sometimes feel that the lines are pushing that if you want a fine meal you need to eat in an upsell venue. So far for us this has not happened. We had a free meal in the Pinacle Grill on one of the HAL ships a few years ago and were disappointed in the meal, glad we didnt pay extra for it. I have read more than a few threads saying the same thing.

 

Totally agree that sometimes a meal in the MDR can be better than one in a specialty restaurant. Our dinner at Pinnacle Grill on the Koningsdam last Christmas cruise we took was awful! I have found that since HAL started giving away so many free dinners at Pinnacle the service and food quality have decreased dramatically! The menu items have been downgraded and quality of meats has definitely gone downhill. This is one reason I won't sail HAL anytime soon. I do like specilty restaurants because I prefer a change in venue and a more intimate atmosphere.

 

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