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Celebrity Equinox cruise ship review

Celebrity Equinox cruise ship, reviewed

This is a bit different from my usual reviews, being as that it’s a cruise ship rather than a hotel. But when you think about it, what is a ship really other than a massive floating all-inclusive hotel? Albeit more like a mega-resort with 1400 rooms, 10 restaurants, eight bars and its own theatre. But it’s still a place to stay and picking the right one is even more important, as when you’re miles out to sea you can’t really change your mind and go stay somewhere else.

Lucky I picked a good one on my first cruise – Celebrity Equinox. She’s one of Celebrity Cruises Solstice Class ships and has been sailing across the world since 2009. I had no idea what to expect, but was impressed by the facilities on board, which were more luxurious than most hotels I’ve stayed in. But what’s it like on board? Here’s my Celebrity Equinox review.

This trip was hosted by Celebrity Cruises, but all views are my own.

Celebrity Equinox review

The pool deck on Celebrity Equinox cruise ship

Celebrity Equinox pool deck

Where can you visit on a Celebrity Equinox cruise?

Our cruise on board Celebrity Equinox was a seven-night trip around the Eastern Mediterranean from Venice to Istanbul, calling at Dubrovnik, Corfu, Olympia, Santorini and Ephesus. But Celebrity Equinox sails on lots of different routes around the world, including the Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords and Alaska, but she’s currently based in the Caribbean.

Celebrity Equinox cruises generally last 7–12 days, but there are some short, two-night taster trips if you want to try it out. Staying in one place while the destinations come to you is definitely one of the best parts about cruising – something a normal hotel can’t compete with.

Sailing out of Santorini on the deck of the Celebrity Equinox

Sailing out of Santorini

It’s so nice to be able to unpack everything once and as you travel by night so you can make the most of your holiday days. Our cruise had no sea days so we arrived into a new port each morning around 9am and sailed around 6pm. So you get most of the day to see each place.

Disembarking can be a bit hectic and any passengers who are going on official cruise line excursions get priority, so we usually held off a bit until the rush had passed. Most of our port stops were outside the city, so you needed to get a taxi or bus if you weren’t not doing an excursion. Celebrity provided some basic information on transport and a shuttle in some places but it’s worth doing some research in advance if you want to explore independently.

Two cruise ships in dock

In the harbour at Katakolon

What are Celebrity Equinox cabins like?

There are a range of different cabins (sorry staterooms) on Celebrity Equinox. They start from interior (without a window), through ocean view (with a window), balcony (with a private balcony), Concierge Class (with extra perks like priority check in) and Aqua Class (with spa extras and a special restaurant), right up to luxury suites with a butler and VIP lounge.

Within each category there are a range of subcategories, and when you book you have the option of choosing a specific stateroom, which is useful if you want to be in a certain area (mid-ship on one of the lower decks is best if you’re worried about seasickness like me). Otherwise you just choose a category and are allocated the best available cabin.

We had a balcony stateroom on deck six at the back of the ship, so had great views as we sailed out of port. It was bigger than I imagined and never felt cramped, with lots of storage space hidden away. All cabins have a separate sofa seating area and desk as well as a big comfortable bed and en-suite shower room. You have an interactive flatscreen TV (where you can book excursions and check your account balance), toiletries, a hairdryer and mini bar.

Balcony stateroom bedroom and en suite bathroom on Celebrity Equinox

Our balcony stateroom

What facilities does Celebrity Equinox have?

Although Celebrity Equinox looks enormous, with 2800 passengers I did wonder if it’d feel crowded. But the public areas stretch over 12 floors and are divided into lots of smaller sections so it never felt too busy. Starting at the top there’s a real grass lawn, where there’s a weekly evening concert. There’s also a glass-blowing studio where they do nightly demonstrations.

Below is the pool deck with two pools, lots of sunloungers and day beds, and below that is an adults-only indoor solarium with jacuzzis and a pool with a waterfall wall of ferns. This is also where you’ll find the gym and the Canyon Ranch spa. The library stretches over two floors with books you can borrow and some relaxing spots to curl up and read.

Then underneath are various rooms like the art gallery, casino and shops, all set around a central atrium with glass lifts which connect the floor. Right on the lowest floors is a nightclub and the full-size Equinox Theatre. There’s a different show each night, with early and late showings featuring magicians, singers and a Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic show.

The Celebrity Equinox cruise ship library

In the library

What’s Celebrity Equinox’s food like?

You’ve got no chance of being hungry on a cruise – there’s always something to eat somewhere. There’s a range of eating options on board Celebrity Equinox, with formal dining in the Silhouette dining room, the Oceanview Café buffet and a few snack cafés included in the price. Speciality dining at Murano (French), Silk Harvest (Asian), Tuscan Grille (Italian), the sushi bar and gelateria cost extra. There’s also Luminae for Suite Class and Blu for Aqua Class guests only.

Most mornings we ate in the buffet, with a mix of cooked and continental options plus loads of fresh fruit. You can also have breakfast delivered to your room, you just fill in a form the night before saying what you want and when. If you’re on board in the daytime you can eat in the buffet, which has a wide variety of hot and cold options, which were themed around each of our destinations, so there was a Greek day as well as a daily afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea in the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship buffet

Cake heaven in the buffet

We ate dinner at Murano one night, which costs an extra $50 per person. It has a smart, continental feel with lots of dark wood and moody lighting, and the food was a step up from the normal onboard menu. But we generally ate dinner in the Silhouette dining room on a flexible package, so we could go at any time and choose to either share a table or eat on our own. You can also opt for the more traditional timed dining where you sit at the same table every day.

Dinner is four courses: a starter, a salad or soup, a main course (or rather an entree as it’s an American ship) and dessert. Portion sizes are manageable so you don’t feel overstuffed by the end of it, and there’s a standard menu and one that changes each day, marked in case of gluten and dairy, and they’re happy to adapt dishes in case of intolerances if you give notice.

Dining at Murano speciality restaurant on board Celebrity Equinox

Dining in Murano

How about drinks?

There’s a selection of different bars on board Celebrity Equinox – our favourites were the Sunset Bar on deck at the back of the ship and the smart Sky Bar up front which is quiet in the early evenings. There’s also the Gastrobar for craft beers, the ice-topped Martini Bar and World-Class Bar for cocktail aficionados. We didn’t have any full days at sea so most of the time people were getting on and off or relaxing after a busy day, so sometimes it almost felt deserted, and was easy to find somewhere peaceful watch the sun go down with a G&T.

You can pay as you go for drinks on board or buy a package. The Classic Drinks package covers beer, wine (up to $9 a glass), spirits, cocktails and frozen drinks, as well as soft drinks, juices, teas and premium coffee. Or there’s a Premium Package covering fancy waters and more expensive wines. They were quite pricey at $49 a day though, and you have to buy them for the whole cruise, so we went for pay as you go and bought drinks separately.

The World Class cocktail bar on Celebrity Equinox

Cocktail tasting in the World-Class bar

What are the other passengers like?

Celebrity is an American company, but the guests on board were a real international mix. Our fellow passengers were mostly from the US, Australia and Europe, and there was a surprisingly broad age range. There was a mixture of couples and groups of friends as well as families, mainly with older children. Celebrity doesn’t have as much of a family-friendly reputation as some of the other cruise lines, but there are kids’ clubs and activities on board.

Cruise ship decks

Looking down

What’s the service like on board Celebrity Equinox?

There’s almost one staff member for every two guests. All were incredibly friendly and helpful, from the bartenders to the woman on the dining room reception desk who remembered our room number every night after we told her once. Cabin service went beyond what I expected, with a dedicated stateroom attendant who serviced the room twice a day (and created some impressive towel animals) and 24-hour room service. After feeling slightly awkward ringing up on the first day to have a cup of tea delivered, it didn’t take long to get used to it.

The only negative was that there can be some quite persistent upselling, especially on the speciality restaurants, spa and drinks packages. Tips aren’t included in the cruise price but are charged at a standard rate of $14.50 per person per day ($15 for Concierge/Aqua Class or $18 for suite passengers) – you can pay them upfront or at the end of the trip.

Cruise ship in Santorini, Greece

Celebrity Equinox in Santorini

What else do I need to know?

You don’t need any cash on board as everything is charged to your ‘Sea Pass’. This acts as an all-in-one ID, room key and charge card so you need if for anything from buying a drink to getting back on board, so take good care of it. If you want to check your email (or upload those holiday selfies), there is wifi on board but it’s pricey and slow. But there were cheap internet cafes near the port in all our stops. See more tips in my guide for first-time cruisers.

The Lawn Club deck on Celebrity Equinox

The Lawn Club deck

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Celebrity Equinox cruise ship review – including cabins, facilities, food and drink and useful tips for on board this Celebrity Cruises Solstice Class ship. #cruise #CelebrityEquinox #CelebrityCruisesCelebrity Equinox cruise ship review – including cabins, facilities, food and drink and useful tips for on board this Celebrity Cruises Solstice Class ship. #cruise #CelebrityEquinox #CelebrityCruises

marie stella tapp

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

bonjour je dois prendre Equinox en Janvier 2022 et j'aimerais voir ou est situé ma chambre 8247 et je ne réussis pas a la voir ,pouvez vous me dire comment je pourrais le faire merci ,

Lucy Dodsworth

Monday 10th of May 2021

Bonjour, une plan d'Equinoxe peut être trouvée sur le site Web ici


Sunday 2nd of June 2019

We just completed our 8th cruise, second time to Alaska, on the Celebrity Eclipse! It was wonderful. The service was extraordinary, the food was exquisite, and the ship is comfortable and classy. This was our first Celebrity cruise, but it won’t be our last! The Equinox sounds very close to the Eclipse. Our evening in Murano, the French restaurant was better than I expected. We had Chateau Briand that was perfect and crepe flambeau at our table side. I hope you enjoy Alaska as much as I do. We saw humpback whales and bald eagles, Alaska is majestic and beautiful.


Monday 3rd of June 2019

Thank you! I'm really looking forward to seeing Alaska, it's been on my wishlist for so long. And looking forward to getting back on board with Celebrity too.


Thursday 18th of April 2019

Just got off the Eclipse on their South American Carnaval cruise. It was my first time on such a large ship but I never felt crowed. I have cruise over 20 times mostly on ships that hold less than 700 guest. I must said I choose an Aqua class and I ate at specialty dining locations throughout the ship. When getting to dinner saw a mass off people trying to get to main dinning room. This was not for me but my dining experience was above my expectations. The ship facility and staff was great.


Wednesday 24th of April 2019

I'm sailing on Eclipse on an Alaska cruise later this year and really looking forward to it!

Scott Mace

Saturday 16th of March 2019

My wife and I went on an Eastern Caribbean cruise last year on the Equinox and it was amazing. Amazing staff. Already booked our Western Caribbean cruise for this July. I would definitely recommend it if you like or want to experience a cruise.


Friday 22nd of March 2019

I've just booked an Alaska cruise for August with Celebrity and can't wait! Hope you have an amazing time in the Caribbean.

Lawrence Beaury

Monday 25th of February 2019

My wife and I took a 10 night and 11 night Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox in 2017 and 2018. We absolutely loved the food, the entertainment, the friendly service, music being played throughout the ship, time on the green lawn. We also loved our stateroom, which was large with plenty of storage space. In Jan, 2019 we took a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway and were greatly disappointed. On the Breakaway the storeroom and balcony were much smaller and there was much less storage space, even though with both the Equinox and the Breakaway we were paying for the same type of room, a balcony room. Also, the food in the buffet on the Equinox was much better, particularly when it came to the deserts. We already have our cruise booked for 2020, and it's on the Celebrity Equinox. The ship that you select for your cruise makes all of the difference in the world.


Thursday 28th of February 2019

So true – the choice of ship is so important as you spend so much time on there. I was really impressed with Celebrity Equinox and hope to be back on another Celebrity cruise later this year.