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Now that I’m the seasoned cruise expert, with all of two cruises under my belt, I can say with great confidence that Celebrity Cruises’ newly launched Equinox is an amazing vessel.
From the inauguration of the Celebrity Equinox
Prior to my current status as experienced cruiser, my great knowledge of shipboard activities stemmed largely from what Julie McCoy would urge upon soon-to-be lovebirds. As a non-fan of shuffleboard and not a particularly big drinker or partaker in the nightclub scene, I am always worried that cruising will leave me bored on board.
Again, I need not have feared.
The Equinox, which can hold up to 2,850 passengers, has ensured that this floating city offers plenty to do for its transient residents. The shopping galleria alone took several hours of my time. The space is designed in an inviting open style. I realize all cruise press releases basically say this same thing, but the creatively constructed two-story mezzanine-style gave an upscale mall feeling, and allowed for as much people watching as it did actual shopping.
Large shop windows and the pass-through shops, a la Disneyland, made me want to wander from one space to the next. My favorite shop was a gallery of glass works — Celebrity Cruises has an agreement with the Corning Museum of Glass — and I spent much of my time admiring jellyfish shaped designs encapsulated in glass globes.
The pastry counter at Cafe al Bacio, onboard the Celebrity Equinox
While sipping an expertly prepared ice mocha (while I was on board a coffee tech was training staffers how to work the immense espresso machine), I took the time to plan out my cruise dining strategy. With only two days and 10 restaurants to choose from, I was challenged to find a scheduled that would maximize my culinary explorations.
Adjacent to the coffee bar was a gelateria, also a popular hang out during the inaugural cruise. Just across the ship, was Bistro on Five, the on board creperie. My first lunch consisted of a hot and spicy steak crepe (yum) and I knew I’d be returning to this location. Fortunately many of the onboard eateries are open quite late, allowing for a late night snack (or two).
The Lawn Deck aboard the Celebrity Equinox
With the Equinox, Celebrity also introduced its “Celebrity Life” program which offers a variety of fun, educational activities. From drink mixology and glass-blowing to health and fitness programs, passengers can quite easily fill all of their free time in the pursuit of knowledge.
The Equinox also has a high-caliber onboard entertainment program. A cut above other maritime shows (better even than the Village People when they appeared on the Love Boat), the show features pretty decent vocal talent and an aerialist, a la Cirque du Soleil. If you enjoy the review type performance, this one just may be worth seeing.
With this whirlwind activity schedule, I almost forgot that I was worried I’d be bored. Was there anything I didn’t get to do? Yes, there was quite a bit, but the one I regret the most was forgetting to take the time and enjoy the smell of the ocean from my balcony room.
But, there’s always next time.