Our Equinox cruise is over but great memories still linger…

The Equinox cruise is over but the memories still linger.

Well, the last memory wasn’t the best, as debarkation did not go very well. Of course, it was the first time that this ship had visited Ft. Lauderdale but I do believe that the Solstice has been here already so there shouldn’t have been any surprises.

Dolly and Mike Biennas
Dolly and Mike Biennas

The first problem was that the original gangplanks were too steep…so, with about 200 people jammed into the lower level, they decided to stop letting people off and fix the gangway. That meant we all stood there, packed like sardines, for about 20 minutes while this was accomplished. (I think they should have cleared the area and then made the fix.)

Then once we did get off, our luggage was not there and did not arrive for another hour. To be sure, we slipped off early so maybe we could have been waiting in a comfy chair somewhere rather than in the terminal…but I would estimate that at least 2/3 of the people on board got off an hour late. For some who had to make flights it could have been tricky. Considering we were at the pier at 4 a.m., why couldn’t they get that luggage off way earlier? One of the mysteries, I guess.

Ron and Doreen Ronholm
Ron and Doreen Ronholm

But glitches are to be expected. To be sure, most of this cruise was flawless so we have nothing but praise for how well the cruise was run.

I wanted to mention a few more people that we sailed with on this cruise, specifically our lovely tablemates Mike and Dolly Biennas from Melbourne Beach, Fla., Sally Scott from Tucson, Ariz., and Doreen and Ron Ronholm from Del Mar, Calif. They were great dinner companions.

Someone I met while still in the hotel in Rome and ran into often during the cruise was MaryAnn Gamrot and her husband Ron. MaryAnn is a part-time travel agent so she and I were often comparing notes.

My husband Chet and Sally Scott
My husband Chet and Sally Scott

Before I wrap us this commentary on the Equinox cruise, I wanted to compliment Celebrity on its Captain’s Club program for frequent cruisers. They upgraded the program a few weeks ago and it is now superior. The benefits they give their Elite cruisers (10 cruise points or more) are fabulous and creative…and they were challenged because there were over 600 Elite cruisers on this transatlantic sailing! (Most cruises they have 40-60 aboard.)

MaryAnn and Ron Gamrot
MaryAnn and Ron Gamrot

The highlights of what Elite cruisers get on cruises of 12 days or more: Each afternoon a two-hour cocktail party with free drinks and appetizers (think how much that can save you on a 14-day cruise); each morning a private “coffee break” from 8-10 p.m. where they have continental breakfast and such luxuries as fresh-squeezed orange juice, mimosas and cappuccinos; 90 minutes of free internet time; complimentary dry cleaning of one item; complimentary pressing of two items; complimentary laundry of up to 30 items; a free bingo bonus card, matching coupons for the casino and more.

If you want to know more, go to www.celebritycruises.com/captainsclub.

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