Booked Our Cruise for 2010, Celebrity Equinox Caribbean

We have booked our next cruise for 2010, the Celebrity Equinox 10 Day Ultimate Caribbean with stops in St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Maarten. I booked through my favorite cruise travel agency, Skyscraper Tours and got a better deal than I could have booking directly.

For this cruise it will be just my husband and I cruising, with Grandparents coming to stay with the kids and dogs back home. It will be our first with just the two of us in 7 years. It is much easier selecting a cabin for 2 than for 4, and in general a standard size cabin is plenty of room for two people. We were thinking that we’d go with a balcony one price point up from the entry level balconies. The Solstice class ships don’t have very many ocean view cabins, as most of their outside cabins include balconies. There are just a few that have an ocean view only on the lower level, and some on the very front of the ship. The inside cabins are less expensive, but my husband prefers to have a window.

When I called Skyscraper tours I spoke with their owner Lori Cunningham about the cruise in which I was interested and the type of cabin we were hoping to book. As luck would have it, this was one of her cruises that she had a special deal. Sometimes the cruise lines will contract with travel agents to sell a certain amount of cabins at a discounted price. In some cases the agency must commit to purchase the cabins weather they sell them or not. Other times the cruise lines will offer a promotional rate through a few select travel agencies. I’m not sure what was the case here, but Skyscraper was able to offer me a Concierge Class cabin at the same rate at the entry level partially obstructed view balcony cabins. The Concierge Class cabins are the same size and lay out as standard cabins but are located higher up on the ships and offer a few more small amenities like fresh flowers and premium bath robes. The location on the higher deck was the important selling aspect for us. We enjoy the views and the slightly better proximity to many of the ship’s features that we enjoy. There were many of these cabins from which to choose, but I selected one that was about 1/2 from the back of the ships to the block of elevators and not located across the hall from inside cabins. My thinking was less walking to get to the elevator or stairs, and less traffic on our side of the hall. We were so please to get more than what would have expected when we booked.

As usual we only booked the cruise portion of the vacation through our agent. We were able to use frequent flier miles for our air in and out of Ft. Lauderdale. Since we won’t be arriving until after 9 pm the night of the cruise we looked into value priced hotels. Many hotels in Ft. Lauderdale offer free shuttle transportation to and from both the Airport and Cruise terminal. However, I determined that with our later arrival, it might do better to book a lower room rate and take a taxi to the hotel and to the cruise port.

We are looking forward to a fabulous cruise this year. For us this cruise is much more about the ship and the relaxatin that it has to offer, than the actual destinations. In some ports we may not get off the ship, in others we may just pay a simple visit to the closest beach. I do enjoy snorkeling, so we are hoping to possibly do one snorkeling excursion either on our own or through the ship. The Equinox itself is the real attraction. We have enjoyed such excellent service, entertainment, and a relaxing atmosphere on our previous Celebrity cruises, and even more so on our most recent cruise on sister ship Solstice, that we are sure to enjoy every minute on board the Equinox.