Thrilled to be cruising again, our last cruise was on Celebrity Equinox, departing Fort Lauderdale on May 29, 2022. This was a 6-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Our cruise was approximately 70% capacity, which to me is perfect. There were no problems getting seats anywhere and we do like to spend our days outside by the pool or on the deck by a lounge. As all cruises are a different experience, this one was no exception.
For the first time in many years, we didn't book our cruise in The Retreat. When traveling in multiple rooms, it's often easier for everyone to be in the same "level" so that meals can be shared together. Admittedly, I was somewhat nervous that I'd notice that maybe being in the The Retreat was what elevated the Celebrity Cruises service. Boy, was I wrong! Is Aqua Class on Celebrity worth it? In my opinion, 100% YES. Read more for my reasons why.
It was our first time trying AquaClass and I was extremely impressed. The Blu dining room was unbelievably beautiful with wonderful personalized service. Although I have to note, the food at every venue on Celebrity Equinox was amazing. It was probably some of the best food I've enjoyed at sea in the past few years. The food quality was top-notch, extremely fresh, and prepared well. The steaks and seafood rivaled any restaurant on land.
Here are a few standouts of AquaClass:
The AquaClass staterooms on Celebrity Equinox are all located on Deck 11, very convenient to get to the Spa and other upper deck venues. In your room, you are provided with 2 generous bottles of water every day. We asked our stateroom attendant to clear out the mini-bar so that we can keep our water cold, along with stash a few treats we pick up in our travels throughout the ship. One of my favorite parts of the AquaClass stateroom is the amazing shower...those jets! With an array of jets the length of the wall, along with a rainforest shower head, you may have trouble leaving this shower. I also became obsessed with the delicious Bigelow bath products. You'll find body lotion, along with shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel in the shower. Below are photos from our Celebrity Equinox AquaClass stateroom 1539. You can see the sofa is next to the veranda. Our sons had Celebrity Equinox stateroom 1540 and their beds were opposite, closest to the veranda.
The Persian Garden relaxation room hot beds are OMG wonderful! You can wear robes, swimsuit or even comfy clothes. With curves set right where they need to be, the warm tiles support all of your muscles and take your cares away. A lovely fragrance fills the air and the only view you'll need is the ocean right in front of you.
Snacks are delivered to your room each day in Celebrity Cruises Aqua Class. Honestly, they weren't always my favorite but a nice treat if you like them.
Blu: This intimate dining room is reserved for AquaClass guests. You can order from the Blu menu or the MDR menu. They graciously accommodate both. One night, they even brought my son a burger. If you love a wine experience like I do, I was thrilled to have Jesus for a Sommelier in Blu. Jesus is amazing. He suggests a perfect wine for each course (I didn’t even ask) and kept my glass full through dinner. Our Blu server was Ida (enjoyable at every meal) and we adored the hostess Melanie. Keep in mind, Blu is open for breakfast and dinner only. Also, you will not have an assigned dining time, just show up when you are hungry.
Virtual Tip: If you are traveling with a larger party, the table configuration in Blu is not typically set for large tables. For our party of 6, we gave the Maitre D' and hostess an approximate time of when we'd be arriving each night and they always seated us right away.
Overall around the ship:
One of our favorite spots is the Solarium Pool. When the weather isn't the most idea, this is the place to be. They even have drink service and very comfortable lounges.
We dined at Murano, it was wonderful as always. Although, it is a long dining experience, so be prepared. The Murano lobster was the best we’ve had on any ship.
Tuscan Grille: Love the location and the Celebrity Cruises Tuscan Grille Italian specialities. Choose a dining time around sunset and/or a port sail away and you’ll have an incredible view.
Sushi on Five is a family favorite! I always start my cruise off with the Lobster Ramen, followed by the mouthwatering Caramelized Ginger Cake and Wasabi Gelato. And a cocktail (or two) of course. Sushi on Five on Celebrity Cruises has some of the most creative and unique drinks on the ship. You are on vacation!
Room Service: Aqua Class room service was super fast and they got everything right. Our favorite Celebrity Cruises resource Joyce Lopez' recommendation was for the late night club sandwich and I think my husband had it three nights straight after we came back from the shows/activities. I love the cheese plate.
Oceanview Cafe: It's incredible and I don’t usually say that. I’m not typically a fan of the Oceanview Cafe on Celebrity Cruises, but we have eaten numerous meals there and loved them. The pizza is REALLY good and the churros bar was a hit. The Mexican selection was forefront when we were docked in Cozumel. I even went back for seconds of mole chicken.
The shows on Celebrity Equinox are really, really good! Even the entertainment in the lounges (we always love the Ensemble Lounge on Celebrity Cruises for pre-dinner drinks) are very talented musicians and vocalists.
For those sports fans, YES! Craft Social, along with other public areas around the ship, showed the NBA Finals, and other high profile sporting events. It's lots of fun to share in the camaraderie and cheering with other fans while watching the games at sea.
One of the highlights for athletic cruisers is the basketball court. Celebrity Equinox is one of the few Celebrity Cruises ships that still maintains a basketball court. It was supposed to have been taken down in order to revolutionize The Retreat area, but because of an incident occurring at Port Everglades during the renovations, the construction crew was needed elsewhere and so this change never happened (much to the joy of my youngest son!) You can see him below in the pink polo playing with the Celebrity Equinox crew at night.
The Captain onboard our cruise was Captain Matt Karandreas. We really enjoyed Captain Matt’s announcements everyday. The weather on our cruise was not great but he kept us informed all along the way. He has a fun format of announcing birthday’s each day along with a seaworthy quote.
The revolutionized alcoves on the lawn of Celebrity Equinox are fantastic! I wasn’t sure about how functional they would be since they completely changed the design. But I love them! They are ingeniously spacious. Reserve one for the day and be prepared to be pampered. They come with butler service (think bottled water, fresh fruit, and an antipasto platter…they will even bring any drinks on your drink package, pool towels, and more!) Reserve an alcove ahead of time on the app or they might sell out. Go the Dining section, just reserve 1 person and it will seat up to 4. The cost is $99 for port days or $249 for sea days. It’s available to you from 9AM to 9PM. You’ll have a great view of movies showing on the Lawn’s big screen too.
As always, our Celebrity Cruises vacation was fabulous. Not knowing what to expect about AquaClass, it turned out to be an outstanding cruise experience and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. The Blu dining, wonderful AquaClass amenities, and relaxation room were notable stand outs. Even though Celebrity Equinox was first built in 2009, she was revolutionized in 2019 and is still wonderfully maintained with some of the most hospitable staff we've had.
Thank you Celebrity Cruises for helping to make the best family memories once again!
If you or a friend are planning a Celebrity Equinox or Celebrity Cruises Aqua Class cruise, feel free to share this article!
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About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic young men. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels while enjoying upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable! When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
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There is no stopping us! We immensely enjoyed our first Aqua Class experience on Celebrity Equinox this past spring.
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