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chemmo

Equinox, a Royal Suite experience

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On our last 12 day cruise on Reflection we dined in Muranos almost every night.  We had three delicious off menu dinners prepared by the Assistant Maître D , fillet, seafood platter and beef stroganoff with beets and pickles (seemed very Russian) and was excellent.

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1 hour ago, vtcruising said:

Sounds like great service! Your descriptions are wonderful - I could smell the garlic when you described the shrimp dish. Sorry about the Dubonnet - was hoping they would be able to get that for you.  At least they will have time to get it for your 40th anniversary cruise next year! 🙂

 

We cruise from Tokyo to Singapore a few months after our anniversary so sake may be more suitable!

 

 

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17 minutes ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

On our last 12 day cruise on Reflection we dined in Muranos almost every night.  We had three delicious off menu dinners prepared by the Assistant Maître D , fillet, seafood platter and beef stroganoff with beets and pickles (seemed very Russian) and was excellent.

 

Sounds wonderful...there are definitely benefits from being a frequent Murano diner!

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5 hours ago, chemmo said:

 

I remember a post recently about ‘invisible’ Suite Managers...Well Wim (I hope I have got that correctly) is far from that. He introduced himself to us on the first day, visited us in our suite to check we were happier with our balcony furnishings now our butler had ‘acquired’ retreat deck cushions and got off the ship personally to try to buy me a bottle of Dubonnet!!! He couldn’t get the Dubonnet but has managed to find some Sherry for me to enjoy pre dinner and with Rose looking after me with a range of drinks post dinner I am not missing my ‘Queen Mother’ cocktails. 

 

 

Wim was totally missing in action when I was on the Equinox at the beginning of the month.  Never once saw him.  I'm used to suite managers like Maya who are everywhere and exceedingly personable.

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

 

1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Wim was totally missing in action when I was on the Equinox at the beginning of the month.  Never once saw him.  I'm used to suite managers like Maya who are everywhere and exceedingly personable.

I totally agree!  I think we were on the same sailing as you and agree that Wim was invisible.  We too are not used to that at all from other suite managers.  We saw him once all week, when he breezed through the retreat lounge, and breezed right back out.  Not so much as a smile, let alone a hello.

i will say that Alexandra said they read cruise critic and I know there was a comment on here about him being non existent.  Perhaps it was brought to his attention and he has stepped up his game?

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Wim was totally missing in action when I was on the Equinox at the beginning of the month.  Never once saw him.  I'm used to suite managers like Maya who are everywhere and exceedingly personable.

 

Perhaps there were some issues on your cruise? I remember on one of our Eclipse cruises both the suite manager and the concierge were trying to support an elderly lady with a  husband who had taken ill on board...We obviously didn’t know all the details but were aware that both members of staff had at different ports supported this family firstly to visit a hospital and then later in the cruise  to get them packed up and flown home...

 

I must say, I don’t particularly expect to see the suite manager frequently although I do think it is nice when they introduce themselves at the start of the cruise and are present on occasions like the ‘Meet the Officers’ event.  I expect them to be more behind the scenes ensuring the full suite experience runs like clockwork.  If we hadn’t had the issues with the balcony furnishings then perhaps he would have been more invisible to us....It is more the concierge we expect to be ‘everywhere and exceedingly personable’...As long as the suite manager is available if I have a problem I am happy with that...

Edited by chemmo

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Our visit to the Cathedral in St John’s today was wonderful but tiring...It is our third visit, we have watched it slowly be renovated from a stage of near dereliction to what it is now, a thriving Anglican Church. Antigua, is probably our favourite Caribbean island. I love the fact that taxi drivers and vendors try to sell you their wares but then accept a firm ‘No thanks’ and genuinely hope you have a nice day...

 

Nothing to do with a Suite experience but everything to do with a quality ship experience was reboarding. We were really hot, tired and in some discomfort as we returned to the ship. Those cold drinks, iced towels and chairs gave us the boost we needed to get up the gang plank! We were really touched that one of the men on duty as we pinged our cards could see we, and another gentleman with mobility issues, were struggling and short cutted us through what was at that point quite a long line...I wish I had spotted his name. It is little touches of kindness like this that make a cruise genuinely accessible for those of us who wouldn’t describe ourselves as disabled but certainly are not as sprite as we once were!

 

On returning to our room we needed some lunch...We decided to give room service a go...Great free dining option for all guests. Simple menu but it has variety, ir arrived hot, well cooked, tasty and on time! What more can one ask for or expect? Much as most of my review has specifically focused on the suite experience we have nothing but positives to say about many general aspects of the ship.

 

 

 

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This is exactly why we love Celebrity - while we sail in suites we still enjoy the entire ship. It seems like other cruise lines have such opposite experiences between suite areas and non-suite areas.  

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Thank you for your wonderful review. We will be on the Equinox Oct. 14th on this itinerary and don't have anything planned for Antigua. I would be interested in visiting the Cathedral. Did you take a taxi? Is it only open certain hours and is there a fee to enter? Thanks.  Counting down the days!

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52 minutes ago, ATLgirl15 said:

This is exactly why we love Celebrity - while we sail in suites we still enjoy the entire ship. It seems like other cruise lines have such opposite experiences between suite areas and non-suite areas.  

 

Agree! A lovely big ship to enjoy but then those ‘Retreat’ areas to retreat to!

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1 hour ago, Sherman78 said:

Thank you for your wonderful review. We will be on the Equinox Oct. 14th on this itinerary and don't have anything planned for Antigua. I would be interested in visiting the Cathedral. Did you take a taxi? Is it only open certain hours and is there a fee to enter? Thanks.  Counting down the days!

 

So pleased you are enjoying the review...

 

No fee but we always leave a donation. It is always manned and welcoming. The parishioners that man it will tell you the story of it. It does have an internet page, simply look up St John’s Cathedral Antigua. It is very easy to find, you will see it’s two towers from the port. Simply head up the hill until you glance down a street on the left and see it’s gates.

 

We last walked up a couple of years ago on a cooler day and decided we were still well enough to do it. It was harder and hotter than we thought and we got a taxi back $10 for three of us. In hindsight we should have taxied up and walked down! A fit and healthy person would get there in 10 mins we hobbled up in about 30 and our knees and backs know about it. The pavements are quite uneven.

 

It really was wonderful today to see it back as it should be and in full use. Speaking as someone who comes from a country rich in stunning church architecture it may seem a bit strange that this relatively humble church is really important to us....I think you just feel the love the local people have put in to save it...They still have work to do so all donations are really appreciated. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Edited by chemmo

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Thank you for the information, I think that is what we will do. Enjoy the rest of your cruise. Sounds like you are having a lovely time.

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3 hours ago, chemmo said:

 

Perhaps there were some issues on your cruise? I remember on one of our Eclipse cruises both the suite manager and the concierge were trying to support an elderly lady with a  husband who had taken ill on board...We obviously didn’t know all the details but were aware that both members of staff had at different ports supported this family firstly to visit a hospital and then later in the cruise  to get them packed up and flown home...

 

I must say, I don’t particularly expect to see the suite manager frequently although I do think it is nice when they introduce themselves at the start of the cruise and are present on occasions like the ‘Meet the Officers’ event.  I expect them to be more behind the scenes ensuring the full suite experience runs like clockwork.  If we hadn’t had the issues with the balcony furnishings then perhaps he would have been more invisible to us....It is more the concierge we expect to be ‘everywhere and exceedingly personable’...As long as the suite manager is available if I have a problem I am happy with that...

 

I asked for him when I had some problems.  Jeffrey, one of the concierges, handled my issues instead.  Said he (Wim) was unavailable.  I already knew that since I had not seen him.  Perhaps there were problems.  I'd just never been on a cruise where the suite manager was completely invisible.  Shoot, on a cruise in May when I was not even in a suite, I saw the suite manager all the time around the ship and she helped me with an internet connectivity problem.

 

I prefer suite managers like Maya and Bogdan who are available and willing to interact with you.  Both were promoted from suite concierges.  They were also excellent in that role.

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2 hours ago, ATLgirl15 said:

This is exactly why we love Celebrity - while we sail in suites we still enjoy the entire ship. It seems like other cruise lines have such opposite experiences between suite areas and non-suite areas.  

 

I don't always sail in suites on Celebrity, but I agree that the whole ship is a pleasure.  I think the suite experience in MSC's Yacht Club is a bit better than Celebrity's (with the exception of the food), but the rest of the ship is crowded and I would never sail them not in Yacht Club.  On a Celebrity ship, I can be comfortable anywhere on the entire ship and in any type of cabin, and I've been in them all.

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So a bit about the toiletries...C.O.Bigalow....

 

Firstly I thoroughly washed the outside of  all bottles in hot soapy water on entering the suite...I do have concerns about sharing cosmetics...

 

There is one bottle of each product in the bathroom. As I tend to bath and my husband showers we did need to remember to switch products back and forth...Not a big deal but a bit annoying when you are in the shower dripping wet and can see the gel on the side of the bath!

 

Soap, small square bars, weld themselves to the dishes and then crumble. Adequate but nothing special.

 

Shampoo. Not good, my husband will usually use most products without complaint but found that he needed to use a lot to get a lather. I just found it very drying, hair gets frizzy enough on a cruise without having a ‘hard’ shampoo. The conditioner I like but you do need lots of squirts.

 

Shower gel...The squirts are small, we find it smells, looks and feels like the shampoo. With Bulgari products a small amount of gel in the jacuzzi gave a luxurious relaxing bath, this just disappears in the water, no smell, no bubbles no silky feel on your skin.

 

Body lotion fine...

 

The products are OK but by no means luxurious...I was looking forward to trying them but definitely prefer Bulgari.

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1 minute ago, chemmo said:

So a bit about the toiletries...C.O.Bigalow....

 

C.O Bigalow used to be great products.   I noticed these "bulk" bottle products are MADE IN CHINA.  No, just NO.

 

I would NEVER buy a product to put on my body that is made in China.   I won't give my precious dogs any treat made in China, I won't knowingly eat food made in China.  I think you get the point.    

 

Personally, I think the C. O Bigalow name is being licensed by another manufacturer to make these cheap products.  I have an email into to C.O Bigalow( a very well known store in NYC). 

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5 hours ago, calicakes said:

C.O Bigalow used to be great products.   I noticed these "bulk" bottle products are MADE IN CHINA.  No, just NO.

 

I would NEVER buy a product to put on my body that is made in China.   I won't give my precious dogs any treat made in China, I won't knowingly eat food made in China.  I think you get the point.    

 

Personally, I think the C. O Bigalow name is being licensed by another manufacturer to make these cheap products.  I have an email into to C.O Bigalow( a very well known store in NYC). 

 

No idea about any of this, I just know that I wouldn’t buy them and I preferred the Bulgari...

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I agree the Bigelow bath products are a HUGE step down from the Bulgari.

I LOVE the Bulgari bar soap! The small hard bar soap provided now is HORRIBLE.

I have a stock of leftover Bulgari at home and have been bringing it with me.

The shower gel is completely useless.

Personally don't mind the shampoo......

 

We get these as Zenith even when sailing in an inside cabin.

I could not imaging spending $1000+ per day and having to bring your own bath products !!!

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2 minutes ago, TommyD3 said:

I agree the Bigelow bath products are a HUGE step down from the Bulgari.

I LOVE the Bulgari bar soap! The small hard bar soap provided now is HORRIBLE.

I have a stock of leftover Bulgari at home and have been bringing it with me.

The shower gel is completely useless.

Personally don't mind the shampoo......

 

We get these as Zenith even when sailing in an inside cabin.

I could not imaging spending $1000+ per day and having to bring your own bath products !!!

Personally I never really liked the Bulgari stuff either. As far as I am concerned anything else is an improvement. I usually carry a selection of small containers with stuff I like which I have picked up in hotels on the way to the cruise.
 

 

 

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I bring my own hair care and facial products but otherwise we are fine with provided bath products. Hope I'm not disappointed on future cruises.

Edited by CHEZMARYLOU

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I’ve sailed PS and RS on Equinox with another RS planned Feb 2021 on Equinox as well. Would like to know if anyone on this thread can comment on RS in Infinity.  It will be post revolution so hope the ship is refreshed nicely.  Any comparisons that would talk me in/out of trying M class RS?  Cost between Equinox and Infinity is quite a bit so curious to hear what I will miss the most.  Murano seems to be the biggest loss.  Oh and the 1/2 bath in the RS!!

Edited by SpartanGirlCruiser

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I've sailed in royal suites on M class.  It was very nice.  There is a separate shower and tub.  A nice walk-in closet.  Now, keep in mind, this is prior to the revolution.  God only knows how many of those amenities remain.  Once upon a time there was a lovely table and chairs in the dining area.  We easily had 4 more people to dinner.  Then they changed it to a bench thing which I didn't care for as much.  Who knows what it will be like after the revolution???

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On 9/28/2019 at 1:25 PM, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Wim was totally missing in action when I was on the Equinox at the beginning of the month.  Never once saw him.  I'm used to suite managers like Maya who are everywhere and exceedingly personable.

Perhaps Wim was ill during your cruise.  Or maybe he had some VERY DEMANDING suite passengers (some are really really demanding as I'm sure you might know).  Thankfully I have never really needed a suite manager to handle any issue for me.  I have been on sailings when I hardly ever saw the Suite Manager and I've been on others where he/she was present in the Retreat Lounge (Michael's Club) nightly.  So I'm sure it varies from sailing to sailing.  I agree that both Maja and Bogdan are wonderful at their job.  Would you happen to know which ship Maja and Cemal are on now?  Or perhaps they're home on vacation?  I haven't seen either of their names mentioned in quite some time now.

 

Apologies to chemmo for barging in on her thread with my question.  Chemmo - I'm really enjoying your thread and I really enjoy all of your posts all the time.  You appear to be a lady with a lot of compassion, humility and common sense (which is rare these days) and you don't get involved in the every day mud-slinging that sometimes occurs on these boards.

 

Edited by jcpc

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Sometimes they are called off the ship, too... that happened to us. I needed to talk to the manager about a party we were throwing in the PH. The SM had unexpectedly needed to go to Miami the day before and wouldn't be back until the end of our cruise. We wouldn't have known this had I not needed to talk to her.

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14 hours ago, TommyD3 said:

I agree the Bigelow bath products are a HUGE step down from the Bulgari.

I LOVE the Bulgari bar soap! The small hard bar soap provided now is HORRIBLE.

I have a stock of leftover Bulgari at home and have been bringing it with me.

The shower gel is completely useless.

Personally don't mind the shampoo......

 

We get these as Zenith even when sailing in an inside cabin.

I could not imaging spending $1000+ per day and having to bring your own bath products !!!

 

Now you see you you don’t mind the shampoo and that is the bit we find worse! Which only goes to show you can’t please everybody all of the time...

 

13 hours ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

Personally I never really liked the Bulgari stuff either. As far as I am concerned anything else is an improvement. I usually carry a selection of small containers with stuff I like which I have picked up in hotels on the way to the cruise.
 

 

 

 

...further adding to the ‘you can’t please everybody’ argument!

 

 

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