Greetings Cruise Talk Readers!. We will be coming to you live this week and and next from on board the Celebrity Equinox.
This ship, the second of the Solstice class ships is as beautiful as it predecessor on which we sailed last year. All the contemporary decorations and attention to details that were on the Solstice can be found on this ship. The only differences a few color patterns here and there and a different collection of art work in the public areas.
Embarkation was an absolute breeze, though at times I felt that in an effort to keep things running smoothly we were rushed a bit. We were greeted as soon as we boarded with either a glass of champagne, orange juice or mimosa.
We arrived too early to go to our room so we headed to the buffet for a quick bite. I chose the Tai station and enjoyed some rice and rice noodle dishes. We also enjoyed a mini carafe of wine which holds about 2 Â½ glasses of wine.
We then made our way to the Cellar Masterâ€™s lounge, which has become our hang out one previous cruises. We promptly found out that the cellar master from our previous two cruises, Sinisa was on board as the cellar master. He greeted us with some of the shipâ€™s complementary wine and shared with us some of the wine events that will be doing throughout the cruise.
Around 1:30 we went up to our room and found everything in order for our standard concierge class cabin. No luggage had arrived yet so it was too early to unpack. I decided to take the time to go down to the main dining room and check out our dining assignment. I am usually not very picky, but this table was actually behind the wrap around stair case and kind of tucked way into the corner. I got in the request for changes line and waited my turn. When I got up to the line I saw that the Assistant Maitreâ€™de was familiar to us from a previous cruise. He said that it was no problem and to come back at 8:45, just 15 minutes after the start of the second dining and he would have something nice for us.
Shortly afterward our luggage had arrived and I was able to unpack before must drill. At 4:30 we had our quick safety drill, and then we were off to our sail away party on the back of the ship. The group from Cruise Critic had preplanned to meet on the aft deck sunset bar. The views from this vantage point were spectacular as we were able to watch each of the other ships in the queue depart. First the Westerdam, then us on the Celebrity Equinox, then the Massdam and finally the Allure of the Seas, though Iâ€™m not sure we actually saw the Allure head out. We believe that his was her first â€œrealâ€ cruise so she may have been waiting for some fanfare before taking off.
We enjoyed meeting new friends at the sail away. People from all over the country and all over the world, some seasoned cruiser with more cruises under their belt than us and even a few first time cruisers.
After the sail away it was time to venture down to the dining room and see what was in store for us. There was quite a long line of people awaiting their table assignments, but most of these people merely didnâ€™t know which table they had already been assigned. We didnâ€™t mind waiting as we knew our table change was a special request. The Maitreâ€™de had found a lovely table for two over by the window. We think we will enjoy this location when we are sailing by some of the islands at night. Our waiter was extremely professional, kind and efficient. The food was generally very good though my soup could have been hotter (I blame that on the fact that we were over 15 minutes late to be seated because of the table change request.) The turkey, pork and beef meatballs also were a little dry. Our waiter especially asked me about them because I think he had some concerns, so I suggested more beef and breadcrumbs to keep them more moist. They were still very good, just had some room for improvement. At the end of the meal our waiter asked if we had any special request and my two requests were fresh berries for dessert and vegetable sticks instead of break sticks. He went to the maitreâ€™de and we could see that he was working on getting this approved. He said that he should have these both for me the rest of the cruise. No problem either way, it is a special request and I understand that sometimes they are able to do them and sometimes not.
After the dinner we went to the theater for the preview show. If you like standard cruise shows this one was very nice, if itâ€™s not your cup of tea, this one would not convert you. They had some production singers and dancers performing show tunes, a comedian who made some good airplane jokes and the cruise director welcome all of us aboard. The male aerialist performed a beautiful straps number and then more of the cruise director telling us what to expect on the cruise.
All in all I have to say that this was a great start to what should be a very enjoyable cruise.