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Travrat

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Everything posted by Travrat

  1. The Ensemble Lounge has really friendly bartenders.
  2. I like Oceania’s Marina and Riviera especially the food and itineraries. They aren’t really new though. Selling off the old ships and building new ones is a great idea for Crystal to keep their fleet updated but small. Most lines keep their old ships and keep building new ones and that is when I think the lines start to go downhill.
  3. I think Crystal is well worth the cost for what you get. I also agree that Specialty dining is a must on Celebrity. I don’t agree that Crystal should increase their fleet too much as I think when lines “spread themselves thin” they decrease in the product they deliver and can’t produce consistency from ship to ship. Crystal now has yachts and river cruises also. Maybe a refurbishment of The Symphony and Serenity would be better than more ships.
  4. The menu was not enhanced but the price was $70 pp. The enhanced menu was served on Christmas Eve and was $119 pp. They did give a 30% discount on first night. Tuscan Grill is not worthy of the up charge.
  5. I wonder why they don’t have it anymore- love sipping a margarita or pina colada listening to Red, Red Wine🍹
  6. Good idea about taking the screen shot! Thanks
  7. Abbreviated is an understatement! They performed a Pas De Deux- it was excellent but it’s like saying you went to a Rolling Stones concert and they sang one song
  8. My husband and I are frequent cruisers and have been on 30+ cruises on many different cruise lines. This was our 4th Celebrity cruise and 2nd on Equinox. We have no loyalty to any line so I hope to give a non-biased review of this sailing. Getting on the ship was relatively quick once I was able to open my Xpress Pass inside the cruise terminal. For some reason it was difficult to bring up on the App on my iPhone and was somewhat an annoying way to start the cruise. Once on board we were handed a half glass of pink sparkling wine and were told we had to drink it in the Grand Foyer. Went to our cabin and dropped off our carry ons and picked up sea passes. This was a great feature and allowed us to start enjoying the ship right away. Headed to Spa Cafe to check out their lunch offerings and the small plates were not enticing so went to Ocean View for buffet. They definitely have lots of choices but as I personally find most buffets have more quantity than quality. There is a nice salad bar sandwich station with cheeses, cold cuts, tuna, egg and chicken salad so I am happy. There are Pasta and pizza, Mexican, Indian, Asian and Grill stations available everyday along with vats of hot items that remind me of school cafeteria food. Lots of desserts and ice cream station too. In general the lunch buffet on Equinox is above average compared with other non- premium lines we have been on- RCCL, Princess and HAL. The Muster Drill was awful. They crowded our group into Qsine where there was not enough seating and I had to stand for 1/2 hour on my incredibly painful feet! We had the Classic Drink package and did not feel the need to upgrade to Premium. Had one issue with one bartender at the Martini Bar who gave me attitude and said he would not charge me “this time” for my Tito’s and splash of cranberry served “up” but would next time because “this is a Premium Bar” and I didn’t have a Premium package even though my drink is included on the Classic package. Never a problem getting this drink at any other bar on the ship so we never went back to the Martini Bar! Not a lot of bar service at the tables at any bar and few bar waiters on pool deck and Sunset Bar. You just had to go to the bar to get your drink which I found below average from other non- premium lines where bar table service was more readily available. We did not have a problem with bar service at lunch or dinner in any dining venue. Loved the Ensemble Lounge! The bartenders were delightful and there was live music by a duo every night. Sunset Bar was crowded and lacked music- would greatly benefit from a Steel-drum Caribbean vibe. Nightly shows ranged from very good to awful! Both comedians were very good. The ABT Pas de Deux from Nutcracker was excellent but really just a very short act and X should have more dancers or have more performances by these dancers as they advertise their exclusive affiliation with ABT. The violinist was good, the Magician/ Comedian was good. The Journey Tribute band was bad- singer was awful! Elysium was horrible- IMHO! Celebrity needs to upgrade their entertainment! Way below average compared to HAL and RCCL- especially RCCL which I think has the best entertainment at sea! The other live music on the ship was average at best. My husband actually thought they were doing Karaoke when it was one of the ship’s bands. Food is subjective but it is important to me on choosing a cruise line. I won’t compare the food on Equinox to that on Oceania and Crystal Cruises as there is no comparison! Azamara also has better food than Celebrity in my opinion. So compared to Princess first- In general the food is better in the MDR and Specialty Restaurants on Celebrity. Princess has a better outdoor grill and much better pizza than Celebrity. Compared to RCCL Celebrity is better but the Equinox lacks in variety of restaurants. The Petit Chef concept is not at all interesting to me as I prefer a fine dining experience. I hope Celebrity will rethink this venue and change it as soon as possible! RCCL ships have many more options although not all of them are good! HAL and Celebrity are close when it comes to buffet and MDR. I like that they serve the food at the buffet on HAL so everyone’s germy hands aren’t touching the tongs. Much more sanitary! Quality of the food at the buffet pretty much the same. Service in MDR on HAL has deteriorated. Service in MDR on Celebrity is better and I like the everyday escargot and onion soup on Celebrity. The menu choices on HAL in MDR are better. I don’t often eat in MDR for dinner on any of these ships. Usually 2 times on a 7 night cruise as I prefer the atmosphere of Specialty dining and don’t mind paying for it. The Asian restaurant on Koningsdam is excellent! I did not try Sushi on 5 as the menu was so limited. Koningsdam has a sushi bar within their Asian restaurant but the menu is Asian Fusion, food very tasty and the service excellent! Sel De Mer on Koningsdam is very good and Equinox does not have anything like it so I have to give HAL the edge here. They also have a bagel deli which turns into a sandwich and pizza space at lunch. It is free and very good. The Dutch cafe on Koningsdam is free and has great pea soup and Dutch specialty dishes. Celebrity has nothing like this. Celebrity charges for wings and bar food at Craft Social- score another for HAL. Outdoor grill on Celebrity- love the grilled onions, mushrooms and fries but are those burgers really meat?? I bet they have filler in them and are not 100% beef! More choices at grill outside on HAL. So many more free options on HAL at least on Koningsdam compared to Equinox. Murano was excellent! In fact we had dinner there 3 times on this cruise. It beats the Pinnacle Grill a 100 times over! Fantastic service and loved the table-side preparations! Highly recommend the rack of lamb, Lobster Murano and Dover Sole for main courses. Lobster bisque and pear baked in phyllo for appetizers. I would have rather had dinner there twice but the lack of choices on Equinox prevented that. Dinner at Tuscan Grill was a mixed bag. The service was OK, nothing compared to Murano! In fact our waiter poured our wine because we had the Classic package. The sommelier only came to our table when my husband ordered a glass of wine not included on our package. The Caesar salad was terrible- wilted romaine and watery dressing. My husband said he made himself a better salad at the Caesar station at the lunch buffet! Crab cake was shredded crab and breadcrumbs and the accompanying sauce was not good. Average at best! The filet mignon was delicious and mine was prepared perfectly medium rare! My husband’s was over cooked but he ate it anyway. They made a mistake and put my husband’s au jus on my plate but quickly corrected it. Spinach and mashed potatoes were good but nothing special. So we only ate here once. We don’t eat at HAL’S Italian restaurant but the quality of meat at Tuscan is better than meat at Pinnacle Grill. Breakfast buffet on Celebrity very good with omelette and eggs Benedict stations. Lines moved quickly for both. Very good variety for breakfast at buffet- wish it stayed open to 10:30 on sea days! Lastly, I found the baked goods, especially cakes, were bad on Celebrity. They were lacking in both flavor and texture. Did not find the cakes any better at Cafe Al Bacio. I guess it was a good thing I didn’t like them! The ice cream and creme brûlée were better dessert choices. The breads also looked better than they tasted- with the exception of the brown bread and baguettes in Murano.That’s it for dining! Stateroom attendants were good on Equinox- I don’t need towel animals when I come back to my cabin but those hanging monkeys do make me smile! Other than trivia ,which we love, we don’t do too many shipboard activities. I do like the fact that there are less kids on Celebrity than Princess and RCCL. There are equal amounts of kids on HAL and Celebrity. We sail the Caribbean every year at Christmas so the amount of kids may be different during the rest of the year. We always sail on Premium lines in Europe-Usually Oceania or Crystal. Only did HAL in Europe twice. We did sail on Celebrity in 2006 to Alaska on the Summit- it was the worst cruise I have ever been on! I swore I would never sail Celebrity again but tried it after S Class ships came out and liked them. We did our own thing in ports. Had dinner in Old San Juan at Marmalade- I highly recommend! Went to Coki Beach on St. Thomas by group taxi. One of my favorite beaches in the Caribbean- can rent 2 chairs and an umbrella for $15. They have beach bars with good drinks and Caribbean food. On Tortola we took a $16 pp round trip group taxi to Cane Garden Beach. $15 for 2 chairs and umbrella. Had drinks at Pussers. Lovely beach! Stayed on the ship in Nassau- no desire to go there again. Wish Celebrity had a private island beach day instead of going to Nassau or just did another day at sea! Bottom line was I enjoyed my cruise on the Equinox! I especially liked that the crew, for the most part, were pleasant and seemed to enjoy their jobs. I think if Celebrity upgraded their entertainment and their food program, especially including more free and Specialty dining venues, they could be #1 in the non- premium market. Happy New Year and Happy Cruising!
  9. Same on the Equinox! It is pure greed and totally taking advantage of people! You are already paying a premium to do the Christmas sailing and then to double dip by increasing the upcharge for specialty dining puts a bad taste in my mouth! I used my OBC to pay for it but I was not happy about it. $70pp is ridiculous but $119pp is Highway robbery! That I won’t do. The food and service is not even close to that #!
  10. On S Class ships the Aqua Class cabins are the same size as standard Veranda cabins 194sq ft with 54sq ft balcony Of course there are deviations within each category but Aqua Class not bigger in general
  11. They do indeed have the worst website but if it is outdated then it is false advertising.
  12. I read that the Spa Cafe eliminated serving cooked to order salmon, tuna and chicken at lunch and saw a posted menu with limited offerings. Celebrity website has Spa Cafe menu and says you can get cooked to order salmon, tuna and chicken and to allow 15 minutes for the order. Have they started to serve these proteins again?
  13. Other than the disappointing dining how is everything else - entertainment, bar service, etc
  14. Aqua class cabins are the same size as all regular cabins on X and are not as big as HAL’s SS cabins. Only benefits of Aqua Class are Blu and Persian Garden. The Blu dining room is very nice and has better service but the food is not that much better than MDR. I prefer to book a regular Veranda cabin and spend the difference on Specialty dining unless there is a great deal on Aqua Class.
  15. Sorry to hear that your dining experience is below par. I am sailing on Equinox this Saturday. All cruise lines seem to have deteriorated in food quality over the last 25 years. I have had some bad dinners on every cruise including Crystal and Oceania but overall they both have a solid dining program. I find that ships sailing from European ports have better quality food than ships sailing out of Florida. I am not loyal to any cruise line as I get bored sailing on the same line year after year. I have been on 30+ cruises including 4 on Celebrity. In my opinion I have never thought the food was great on Celebrity. I usually book 4 nights in specialty restaurants on a 7 night cruise. I hope the food in Murano and Tuscan Grill is good. They certainly better be as Celebrity is charging $70pp to eat there!
  16. If you download the Celebrity app you can see the menus for each night of your cruise as well as the menus for specialty dining. On the Equinox Christmas cruise week there is no special Christmas Eve or Christmas Day menu in the MDR- Day 2 and day 6 are the “chic” nights. I am not familiar with the specialty restaurants on the Edge but they have all that info on the app
  17. Thanks. I have been on Celebrity before and never had a problem but things change all the time and I did see that weird comment in their "Before You Board" tgat just said there is a corkage fee for the wine you bring on board regardless of where it is consumed
  18. Just checking that they haven't changed the rules. In FAQ it states that but on the section called "Before you board" it says you can bring 2 bottles and then in parentheses it says "subject to corkage fee" and does not say only when bringing it to public places.
  19. Are you still allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on board with no corkage fee?
  20. Is the lunch menu for Tuscan Grill and Murano the same as the dinner menu? I see there is a progressive lunch in Tuscan Grill. Will that be every sea day on a 7 night cruise?
  21. I don't eat at buffets during dinner but I would rather have a freshly grilled burger or hot dog at lunch than one that was previously cooked and lying in a grease filled pan. I would rather have a personal pizza made fresh to my specifications than pizza pre- made. I like the freshly toasted bagels and lox which are served late into the morning at NY Deli- just saying
  22. A lot of people on these boards and truthfully, from my own experience I think the cakes and other desserts are not very good on Celebrity. Food is subjective
  23. BTW, Koningsdam has gelato- it is not free but available
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