Celebrity Equinox is a Solstice-class cruise ship that was the second of five Solstice-class ships for Celebrity Cruises. At just 11 years old, she is on the newer side in terms of cruise ships. It shares many similar features with its sister ships, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Silhouette.
While each of the five Solstice-class vessels are known for their own unique histories (Celebrity Reflection, for example, was the largest cruise ship of the five and cost an astonishing $750 million to build), Celebrity Equinox holds the honor of being captained by the first American woman to captain a mega cruise ship, Kate McCue.
The ship can accommodate 2,850 passengers and 1,250 crew members for each cruise. There are 19 decks in total, and the ship has a gross tonnage of 121,878 GT, as well as a length of 1,041 feet. Floated out in the summer of 2009, the ship underwent a dry dock and refit in 2019, upgrading its amenities and offerings to cruisers just a year ago.
If you’re thinking of taking a Celebrity Equinox cruise in the next few years, what can you expect? What should you know about this award-winning, luxurious ship? For starters, here are 11 awesome things to know about the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship.
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1. Recent Rransformation
Celebrity Equinox received an extensive transformation in 2019, as part of Celebrity’s Revolution ship transformation initiative that’s dropping $500 million of investment funds into upgrades and reimagined spaces.
New enhancements include the addition of The Retreat for suite guests, with The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge (which removed Michael’s Club); the new Qsine dining experience that incorporates 4k technology for an unforgettable meal (removing Silk Harvest); a newly imagined Passport Bar; a new casual bar, Craft Social (which replaced Gastrobar); new staterooms and suites all across the ship, now with new exclusive bedding and mattresses; new Camp at Sea programming with a STEM focus; new tech, including RFID lock technology, Xcelerate WiFi and facial recognition technology within the Celebrity Cruises app; new treatments and products at the spa; and new shopping options, including offerings from Kate Spade, Swiss and John Hardy.
2. 2014 Dry Dock
In 2014, the ship was briefly dry-docked for some less extensive renovations than what it saw in 2019. You can still see some of these renovations today and the new amenities this 2014 dry dock resulted in. These include Slush, a frozen drinks venue offering cool, adult beverages, as well as a few non-alcoholic slush drinks, all made with fresh, healthful ingredients.
The change also brought in a fine art photography studio, a Michael Kors boutique, new offerings from luxury brands such as Chanel and Dior and a new internet lounge.
3. Major Milestone
In 2018, Celebrity Equinox hosted a major LGBTQ event — the first LGBTQ wedding at sea with a major cruise line. Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray were the first same-sex couple to tie the knot aboard a major cruise ship, in a ceremony officiated by the ship’s captain, in the ship’s Blu Restaurant.
The event was only made possible after a 2017 vote in Malta, which allowed Celebrity (as most of its ships are registered in Malta) to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed onboard, by Celebrity captains, while at sea. Now, everyone can enjoy Celebrity’s Wedding Cruise package, which includes on-board and destinations weddings, event coordinator services, photography services, cake, Champagne and more.
On some cruise ships, if you want to save money, you’re going to have to go with one of those many, many budget interior staterooms that are available, that leave you in a cramped space, with no view and feeling a little — let’s face it — claustrophobic. However, that’s not at all the case on Celebrity Equinox.
The ship offers a total of 1,426 staterooms, but 85 percent of those staterooms come with a veranda. Only 10 percent of those staterooms are interior staterooms and the other five percent of the staterooms are ocean-view.
More than a third of the staterooms are suitable for traveling families or groups, as they can accommodate three or four guests. If you want to take things a step further and upgrade from a veranda room to a suite, you can definitely do so, as there are a total of 66 suites on the ship to choose from.
5. 11 Different Dining Venues
Celebrity Equinox has some of the best dining at sea (as its awards can attest). The best part, though? Six of the 11 dining options are included in the price of your cruise fare, while only five are specialty venues that require surcharges and reservations.
Included in the cruise fare, you have the Silhouette Dining Room, for a traditional cruising main dining room experience in a dramatic setting; the Oceanview Cafe, for all-day dining with indoor and outdoor seating; Cafe al Bacio & Gelateria, for traditional gelatos, pastries and coffee; the Spa Cafe, for light bites in a spectacularly soothing setting; Mast Grill & Bar for casual, poolside eats; and Luminae, for modern cuisine available to suite guests only.
Dining options that do require reservations and an extra fee include Blu, a clean cuisine eatery open to Aqua-class guests only, as well as suite guests dependent upon availability; Murano, a modern and classic continental eatery; Qsine, a dining experience that’s tech-heavy; Tuscan Grille, an Italian steakhouse; and Sushi on Five, a Japanese restaurant with a range of eats, sake and Japanese beer.
6. Outdoor Entertainment and Relaxation
You’ll find a very unique entertainment and leisure space aboard Celebrity Equinox. The Lawn Club is an incredible one-of-a-kind space for passengers to get some sun. It’s about a half-acre in size and yes, it actually is a lawn, with actual grass.
The 22,927 square feet of space is situated on Deck 15 and includes its own restaurant, the Patio on the Lawn and Sunset Bar, as well as a three-hole putting course. There are also various activities to keep you entertained, such as a hot glass show, lawn bowling, croquet and bocce. And, if you just want to chill, you’ll find plenty of seating in both the sun and shade to enjoy this unprecedented space at sea.
7. The New Retreat
The new Retreat that was recently added to Celebrity Equinox during the ship’s last round of refurbishments is a place to get away even more so than you normally might. This exclusive, VIP space is available to suite-class guests only.
The Retreat is made up of both The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge. The Retreat Sundeck offers outdoor, open-space seating where you can enjoy light bites, cocktails and more while you sit in the sun and enjoy the great outdoors. The Retreat Lounge offers a relaxed and sophisticated space adjacent and indoors.
8. Luxury is the Key
Some cruise ships are built for family fun and family getaways. While Celebrity Equinox does offer plenteous programming and activities for kids, you can easily tell right away when boarding the ship that they are not the main focus. Family fun can be had, but you’ll have to look for it, versus just having it served up to you on a platter, as you might find aboard other ships or with other cruise lines.
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Instead, the vessel puts luxury at the forefront of everything the ship and cruise line as a whole does. This makes it possibly more suited for luxury adult travelers and couples who are looking for a cruising experience that’s a bit more refined.
9. The Vibe is Mostly Low-Key
If you’re looking for a loud and raucous party vibe, you won’t find that aboard Celebrity Equinox. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of ways for you to enjoy yourself. Rather than having a busy, busy, busy schedule of cruise day activities on the agenda, the ship rather offers a nice variety of activities, but not so many that you feel like the ship is overly active.
You’ll find pop-up parties, game shows and gambling, as well as films, karaoke and adult arts and crafts. However, you’ll find that most of your fellow cruisers are more than happy to just chill, whether by the pool, on the lawn or in one of the many bars and lounges aboard the ship.
10. Watering Holes
Along these same lines, you’ll find that the bar culture aboard Celebrity Equinox is extremely varied. Whatever kind of bar or lounge you typically prefer, you’ll probably find that same atmosphere aboard the ship. For example, at Martini Bar & Crush, you’ll find high energy and elegance combined with a bit of mixology flair and some of the largest crowds you’ll find in a bar on this ship; at Quasar, you’ll find a bit of a retro nightclub feel; World Class Bar is all about the mixology; and the Sky Observation Lounge gives you great views and huge dance floor.
One of Celebrity Equinox’s newest watering holes is Craft Social, formerly Gastrobar, added during last year’s extensive dry dock refurbishments. Craft Social is a casual, yet refined, bar offering more than 40 craft beers, wines and cocktails on tap. The menu includes lots of comfort foods and flatscreen televisions show off your favorite sporting events, visible from multiple leather chairs around the room.
11. Quiet Spots Well
Unlike some other ships, which push the quiet spots found around the vessel to the back burner, making them lackluster at best, Celebrity Equinox recognizes its clientele often like a more refined, quiet space to get away. Because of this, the ship offers an expansive library, card room and even art gallery.
Celebrity Equinox is a Solstice-class cruise ship that was the second of five Solstice-class ships for Celebrity Cruises. It shares many similar features with its sister ships, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Silhouette.
Celebrity Equinox can accommodate 2,850 passengers and 1,250 crew members for each cruise. There are 19 decks in total, and the ship has a gross tonnage of 121,878 GT, as well as a length of 1,041 feet.
The Celebrity Equinox cruise ship offers three pools — one large (10.8 meters in length) outdoor pool on the pool deck, one small (9.2 meters in length) outdoor pool on the pool deck and one indoor pool (12.7 meters in length) in the Solarium. The ship additionally offers five hot tubs, including four on the pool deck and one indoor hot tub in the Solarium.