Talent show and high-powered extravaganza kick up the entertainment

Tuesday, November 16, 2009…My Equinox diary

Tomorrow is our final day at sea before arriving at Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday so everything is kind of wrapping up. People are checking their accounts, packing up their trip purchases and planning their Thanksgiving holidays.

Today there were two highlights:

First was the passenger talent show. There were 15 “acts” – brave souls willing enough to get onstage before hundreds of people to perform – and most acquitted themselves admirably. Several of the singers were quite good, and then there were the surprises…including a fellow singing to his wife for their 61st wedding anniversary.

The live show last night was an extravaganza…titled “Equinox: The Show” it was a Cirque du Soliel-type production with lots of acrobatics, contortionists, high flyers and fabulous costumes and staging. In my opinion, it was the best show I have ever seen produced on a cruise ship.

I did hear others say that they prefer song and dance over acrobatics but one must give credit to Celebrity for investing in this ambitious undertaking. I enjoyed it so much that I was willing to stand for the entire hour…as the house was packed and no seats were available.

So what are the cabins like on the Equinox?

This seems like a good time to discuss the cabins here on the Equinox. About 90 percent of the cabins on this ship are exactly the same. They are all veranda cabins with 194 square feet of space. The differences in price are largely due to placement on the ship and additional amenities offered so bear that in mind when booking.

We prefer this configuration...

We prefer this configuration...

What is rather unusual is that the way these Solstice-class ships are configured, every other cabin is arranged differently. Either the bed is next to the entry door, or it is next to the sliding glass doors to the veranda. We much prefer having our bed next to the entry door…but whichever your preference you should be aware of this when booking.

The veranda cabins are very nicely appointed with very comfy beds, high end linens, 32” LCD TVs which swivel so you can see them from anywhere in the cabin, a large sofa (some of which contain trundle beds) and a rather small vanity. The lounges on the veranda are excellent. The only improvement would be a bit more storage space.

The bathrooms are perhaps the best I have seen, with plenty of storage, a large mirror and an excellent shower with sliding glass doors. The automatic night light is much appreciated.

...over this one

...over this one

Some of these cabins are designated Concierge Class, which means the cabin is exactly the same but you get some extras. These include fresh fruit, daily canapés, fresh flowers, plush terry bathrobes and a nice piece of linen by your bed each night. We are in one of these cabins and we discovered that while the posies are a nice touch, we do not eat the fruit or the canapés (who needs the extra food?) and that the plush robes are actually kind of a pain and too big to wear on deck. So is the upcharge worth it? You decide.

There is another group of cabins designated AquaClass. You pay a larger premium for these. They are located near the spa and have the same amenities as Concierge Class plus a bit more. People in these cabins have their own specialty restaurant, called Blu, which serves lunch and dinner. Supposedly, it features healthier fare. Also, there is not set seating, you can dine anytime.

Bathrooms are excellent

Bathrooms are excellent

They also have their own Spa Concierge, who coordinates spa appointments for them, and they have access to a couple of special lounges in the spa.

Sky Suites are slightly larger…the rooms are wider, but no longer…but I am not sure these are worth the upcharge either. Our friends have a Sky Suite and noted that a comparable suite on Holland America Line’s Eurodam was much larger and better configured.

Tomorrow, time to pack…

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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