Friday, February 23, 2018

Travel Guide: Celebrity Equinox Cruise

celebrity equinox review

sunset on celebrity equinox
As most of you know from social media, last weekend I got back from a cruise with my mom on Celebrity's Equinox. I honestly wish I was still aboard becuase it was so. much. fun! Many of you had e-mailed/DM'd me asking which cruise we were on and what I thought about it, so I am going to share all of the details in this post. 

I also could not get over how many of you commented and DM'd me on Instagram saying how happy I looked and how wonderful our trip looked. Traveling with my mom is so special, but the trip itself was one to remember for a lifetime!

I've been on my fair share of cruises before so I know the whole 'the food is bad' and 'it's all elderly people' rumors are simply not true. But if you've never been on a cruise (or think you are 'just not a cruise person'), I totally urge you to try one for your next vacation. I think you'll all be thanking me when you get back :) Let me tell you, you're going to want to book with Celebrity becuase it far exceeded our expectations.

What cruise were you on?

Miami, Key West, Sea Day, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Sea Day. 

What is the Celebrity brand like?
I have so much to say about the Celebrity brand first, and then I'll get into the ship itself. Celebrity's CEO is Lisa Lutoff- Perlo and while you may not know the name off the top of your head, she is the first and only female CEO of a publicly traded cruise line on the New York Stock Exchange. 

One of the things she is known for is that she hired the first American female captain of a cruise ship and I find that to be very cool. One night, my mom and I had made friends with a woman and as we chatted, the woman was speaking about how inspirational Lisa is... there are like, a lot of employees on each ship and Lisa remembers people's names and gets to know them. I find that incredible becuase I have a hard time remembering anyone's name. 

Celebrity is part of the Royal Caribbean brand and is considered a 'premium' cruise line. I actually wasn't sure what that meant, but now that I've been on one- it's like a floating Ritz Carlton! High end and luxurious! 
interior photos of celebrity equinox

interior photos of celebrity equinox

interior photos of celebrity equinox

interior photos of celebrity equinox

interior photos of celebrity equinox
How was the Equinox?
No two ships are created equal. Even within brands of cruises, all of the ships are different! This was probably the nicest ship I've been on. Not only was everything clean and well-maintained, but everything was beautiful (interior and exterior) even down to the fixtures (the showers in the staterooms had Grohe spa shower heads... it's the little things). Even the 'public' restrooms throughout the ship were that of something in Neiman Marcus! 

80% of the rooms on the entire ship have verandas! If you aren't familiar, on a cruise, you can also have the option of booking an interior room (no windows) or a room with windows. It's nice that most of Equinox's rooms have verandas! They are SO much fun becuase you can be in the middle of the ocean and enjoy coffee or a good book, in peace and right outside your room! It actually amazes me.

The ship itself is MASSIVE. So you never get bored, and you never feel like it is crowded or cramped with people. I was able to easily walk around the ship and get some great shots sans people because there is just so much to do and see, that no one area gets crowded. 

There was major high-end shopping on board. From fine jewelry (I was dying over all of the incredible watches) to a Chanel and Dior counter, to a fine art gallery, and even a section of Vineyard Vines! 

There was over an acre of grass (a literal lawn) on the top deck. You could play croquet or just set up a towel and sunbathe. It was the craziest thing to be in the middle of the ocean while walking across a lawn.

There was a beautiful fitness center that had every machine or equipment you could imagine which was right off of the spa. 

We LOVED the productions. We saw the Four Seasons/Frankie Valli themed show one night and we truly could not get over the incredible talent! You may have seen me share some of the performance on my Instastories, but they sang one of my favorites. We sang along to all of the songs and it just put us in the best mood before dinner! 

They also had a casino, but my mom and I don't really gamble, but if it's your thing, it looked really nice! 

What was your favorite port? 
I had never been to any of the ports (minus Miami and Key West) before (never even to Mexico), so it was fun for all of these to be 'firsts'. But, I have to say that I loved Grand Cayman so much. Everywhere we went, the water was SO clear and so blue... but Grand Cayman was just beautiful with their wildlife and the beautiful, high-end stores, stunning, waters, delicious food, and so much more. 

Did you do any excursions?
Yes! We did the catamaran cruise and snorkel in Costa Maya. We went out in the ocean on a catamaran and got to snorkel through a coral reef! My mom and I love to snorkel so this was right up our alley! We had so much fun and the amazing staff made it even better. 

Did you go to the spa?
Yes! The spa is by Canyon Ranch (which is known for luxury spa vacations) so I was thrilled to try out the Tangle Me Up treatment. It's a wrap, which I've never had before, but now that I have, it will be my go-to treatment. I found it to be more relaxing than a massage! Basically, they massage your entire body with a seaweed scrub, then they wrap your body in layers of cloth... kind of like a mummy but not claustrophobic at all! After you let it soak in for a while, you wash it off and they massage in an oil/lotion. It was so incredible. 

There were so many services to choose from... even if you just wanted something simple like a manicure, there is something for everyone. 
celebrity equinox stateroom photo

celebrity equinox stateroom photo
What were the rooms like?
Spacious! Which you know is saying something when on a boat! Plenty of closet/drawer space (and my mom and I brought a lot of clothes and accessories, hah!!). Large bathroom and shower. Lots of storage and even counter space in the bathroom! We had a couch, a vanity area, and a large TV. The rooms were pretty, modern, and very clean and well-kept. 

Our veranda was spacious where we had a table and two lounge chairs! We often sat out there to enjoy coffee in the morning, a good book in the afternoon, and a glass of champagne at sunset! 

celebrity equinox cruise luminae
silhouette dining room celebrity equinox
Silhouette Dining Room 
luminae celebrity equinox

food on celebrity equinox cruise

food on celebrity equinox cruise

How was the food?
The level of food on this cruise was that of 5-star restaurants on land. The photos you see above are just some of the meals that we had while on board. We absolutely could not get over the selection and freshness of everything we were ever presented with. Even the presentation of the food was something to look at! Each night we would order so many things becuase we couldn't decide and every single thing we ate was delicious. 

My mom and I also could not get over how delicious the vegetarian dishes were, too. I think sometimes vegetarian dishes can be bland or boring, but we would order a vegetarian dish each night becuase they were incredible. Everything was so full of flavor. 

One of my favorite things about the selection of food is that you could get your standard filet, but you could also get dishes that were exotic with pairings that you'd never imagine!

As for variety, there eleven total places to eat (that's more restaurants than there are days on this cruise). There are 5 specialty restaurants and 6 non-specialty. We went to one specialty restaurant, Murano, which had a French flair. My mom and I agreed it was one of the best meals we have ever had. They cooked my mom's lobster right in front of us and I had chateaubriand that was cooked to perfection. 

One thing I loved and noticed was different from any other cruise that I have been on is that they also had outdoor seating (for dining). We would go up to the Oceanview cafe for breakfast and fill our plates with beautiful fresh fruit, grab some coffee and sit out on the deck enjoying the warm morning sun!
celebrity equinox review
Was there a good selection of wine/beer/cocktails?
The drinks were amazing... my mom and I drank a lot of champagne on this trip. It's our favorite. But you know what? They had so many phenomenal choices... all my favorites! They had vast wine selections and all of the gins that make my heart sing. It was so amazing that they really did have everything we could want (inlcuding endless supplies of sparkling water). 

Also of note: they made a great extra dirty Hendrick's martini and had wonderful, plentiful coffee. These are always two things I judge wherever I go. I loved that coffee was so easy to find, so readily available, and delicious! 
Celebrity Equinox review
Serkan and me on our last night! (dress I am wearing)
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Besides the fact that we had an overall wonderful time, the staff was far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. They all knew us by name. They treated us as if we were special and were genuine and kind. They really anticipated our every need and always went above and beyond. 

We made friends with our waiter, Serkan, at Luminae. He waited on us each night and he made every single night memorable. He was from Turkey and told us of his travels and a bit about his life. We were truly sad to leave the cruise because of all the staff who were so hardworking. It was inspiring. It was also wonderful to see that so many of the employees have been working for Celebrity for 10+ years. They all spoke so highly of the company and it was so clear that they truly enjoyed what they were doing.

My second favorite thing about the cruise was Michael's Club. This is a member's only area of the club that you can get if you are in a suite. It reminded me a lot of my country club at home with the dark wood-paneled walls and plush decor. Some nights, there was a pianist, and always the cutest and most delicious canapes. The waiter was the same every day, his name Joey and every time we came, he knew us by name and what we were drinking! We would stop into Michael's club every night before dinner. It was such a beautiful space to relax and enjoy a cocktail or two! 

Overall, both my mom and I felt very relaxed, carefree, and well taken care of. We enjoyed every second and it was a trip we will both be reliving for years to come. I can speak for both my mom and me that we would wholeheartedly recommend sailing with Celebrity! 

A big thank you to Celebrity for hosting me. As always, all opinions are my own!


Anonymous said...

I went on a Celebrity cruise with my husband 2 years ago and it was one of the best vacations we have ever taken. Looks like you had a great time.

Unknown said...

Yes, I agree 100% with your blog. I am extremely fascinated with the Celebrity brand.
I just cruised with Celebrity for my bday. Although this was my 10 plus cruise this was my first Celebrity cruise Celebrity cruise.
Line is the cream of the crop. I was just blown away by everything on the Equinox. I’m so happy
I was able to find the best cruise that suits me. Well done!!’ Can’t wait until my next cruise.


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