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Celebrity Equinox
"Here Comes The Sun"

Celebrity Equinox

Early Morning & The Lawn Club Is Being Groomed
For The Day

by Linda Coffman

Part Two

Where Turf's Up & the Action Is Hot
Covering a half-acre fifteen decks above the sea and providing a sea of green for genteel croquet matches, golf putting, lawn games, picnics, or simple barefoot strolls, the Lawn Club has real, honest-to-gosh grass and even a crew of groundsmen to care for it.

Nearby covered patio areas are furnished with thickly padded chairs and settees. But the pièce de résistance is the Hot Glass Show, presented in its own specially-designed open air “theater” where artisans from The Corning Museum of Glass demonstrate glass making techniques. Watch the schedule of daily events for show times—it proved so popular on Celebrity Solstice that seating has been expanded on Celebrity Equinox and you won't want to miss seeing it.

Celebrity Equinox Martini Bar
The Ultra Cool Martini Bar

Inside and on decks 3, 4, and 5 is where the lounges are located and there are a lot of them, ranging from Quasar the futuristic disco with lucite-globe chairs suspended from the ceiling to Celebrity's signature Michael's Club, the refined, wood paneled clubby lounge to savor a cocktail in front of the faux fireplace while a pianist or jazz combo performs. In addition to familiar spots, such as the hip and trendy Martini Bar, Celebrity Equinox features Ensemble, a lounge concept that resembles a drawing room aboard an ocean liner in the last century. Located near the entrance of the specialty restaurants, it's an ideal spot for pre-dinner aperitifs.

Crush, an enclave adjacent to the Martini Bar is where vodka and caviar samplings are the order of the day (or night). Cellar Masters wine bar delivers wines and wine-tastings accompanied by the sommelier service that is a standard aboard Celebrity Cruises. Off the Lobby is the Passport Bar, filled with cozy, comfortable seating, and a relaxed yacht-y atmosphere.

Two public spaces that aren't exactly lounges, and might be confusing as to their purpose until you experience them, are Galleria Tastings, the spot to “taste” an array of foods and beverages while sampling fashion, jewelry, and art presentations, and Celebrity Central, the Entertainment Court venue where you can expect to see anything from daytime culinary demonstrations and enrichment lectures, to feature films and late-night comedy shows.

Sky Observation Lounge offers panoramic views from atop the ship by day and a dance club vibe at night. Sensibly, the sound system delivers music directed at the central dance floor, yet the volume level in surrounding seating areas is lower. Finally, a lounge where you can dance and still carry on a conversation.

Naturally, there are poolside bars; however, my choice of outdoor watering hole is the Sunset Bar. Tucked away aft of the Lawn Club, it's the ideal location to get away from it all and savor a perfect sunset.

Fortunes Casino is conveniently located near Shops on the Boulevard, the ideal spot to relieve yourself of some "found" money. In all, there are 18 onboard shops filled with enough merchandise to satisfy the need for retail therapy. The Lawn Club Shop offers nifty "turf" soled flip flops, that are truly a unique souvenir. You can be sure no one at home will have a pair.

Celebrity Solstice Solarium
The Solarium, with overhead solar panels
Celebrity Solstice Resort Pool
Resort Pool
Celebrity Solstice Resort Pool Seating
Resort Pool Seating Area

Relaxation & Water, Water Everywhere
Celebrity Equinox's AquaSpa has my nod for a total spa vacation at sea. In addition to a complete menu of spa treatments to get you glowing from head to foot, there are salons for both women and men. Guys have their own barbering space where screens set into the mirrors show sports programming when they droop in for a traditional shave-and-a-haircut.

In addition to the usual spa offerings, Celebrity Equinox features medi-spa treatments (Restylane, Perlane, and Botox Cosmetic), an Acupuncture Clinic, and Gold Therapy—a 24 Karat Gold Facial. Get your Gold Card warmed up when you make your appointment for it, the fare is a not inexpensive $325, and at 75 minutes in duration, that's $4.33 a minute! There is a perk to go along with it, though, the “Golden Kiss Martini” inspired by the treatment, which is a mixture of Golden Supreme vodka, cucumber juice, agave syrup, and lemon juice, all muddled with fresh mint.

Gym enthusiasts can use exercise machines, free weights, and an exercise area to get the heart pumping. Some sessions, including basic aerobics and stretch classes, are complimentary, while there's a per class fee for others, such as yoga and pilates. You can also take a Tour de Spin (Ride for the Cure), a cycling workout that enables you to give back. Participation in the trio of Tour de France themed classes supports Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG Foundation in the fight against cancer. Complete the three 45-minute classes ($30 fee) and you receive a distinctive yellow LIVESTRONG wrist band.

Complimentary saunas (with glass walls for sea views) are located in ladies' and men's changing rooms, but for true relaxation after a work out, give the Persian Garden a try—heated stone loungers, a gentle aromatic sauna, and herbal steam room are included in the per cruise fee ($99 at present, but which is complimentary to AquaClass passengers). The AquaSpa and Salon offers treatments and services by Steiner Leisure.

Adjacent to the AquaSpa is the prettiest Solarium at sea. With a soothing fountain at one end and a wall of bougainvillea at the other, in between are the pool, two hot tubs, and a variety of padded loungers and funky wicker clamshell-style seating. It's an adults-only haven.

Just a few steps away is the main Resort Pool area. Separate sports and family pools lead to the wet zone where kids can frolic amid jets of water pulsating from the floor while adults relax nearby in the four hot tubs. Go early if you want to laze on one of the poolside loungers set into draped sailing material—there's no charge for one of these cabana-like loungers, but they're popular and get snapped up fast. Set in the shade are padded wicker seating areas where you'll also find nifty draped hammocks-for-two. Service is provided by Pool Bar stewards and Pool Butlers keep the area ship shape. For sun worshippers, the good news is that Solstice Deck has been expanded on Celebrity Equinox to provide more space for chaise lounges.

Fun Stuff For Families
While Celebrity Cruises are heavily adult-oriented, no one gets overlooked on Celebrity Equinox and the youth and teen areas are as appealing as any I've seen at sea. Fun Factory offers age-specific spaces and activities for groups ages 3-5 (Ship Mates), 6-8 (Celebrity Cadets), and 9-11 (Ensigns). Extensive play areas for children feature not only the usual arts and crafts and games, but they also offer “edutainment” in collaboration with LeapFrog SchoolHouse. Teens, ages 12-14 and 15-17 have their own supervised XClubs Teen area with computer stations, video games, and a hang out space with a mock bar.

Chic & Cutting Edge With a Softer Side

Celebrity Equinox Art
Artwork from the Galaxy Collection graces the Deck 10 elevator landing: "Model For Synthetic Pictures" Intaglio Print 1995, by Terry Winters

While Celebrity Equinox has public spaces where “traditional” ship decor predominates—Michael's Club, Ensemble Lounge, Murano Restaurant—and even contains areas that could be considered “themed”—Silk Harvest's Asian inspiration and Tuscan Grille's Italian ambiance—overall the decor is stylish and chic with a hip edgy twist. Only slight color scheme modifications were made from Celebrity Solstice to develop Celebrity Equinox's individual personality. You could say that Celebrity Solstice was a full-scale mock up for Celebrity Equinox.

Accented by modern art and sculpture, clean and crisp public areas flow into one another with unparalleled continuity. In the hands of most designers, the result could be cold and sterile; however, hard lines are softened with the use of textiles. Seating alcoves throughout the ship are defined with sheer fabric drapes creating intimate spaces and textile “columns” soar skyward from the lobby floor.

For Celebrity Equinox's modern art collection, Celebrity Cruises developed a curatorial concept embodying “the essence of equinox,” where balance, harmony, and the principle of “yin-yang” (the existence of opposing elements to create equilibrium) were the driving force behind the selections. With an eye to both quality and beauty, Celebrity’s platform for the concept is evident from the varied blend of media, artists, and images juxtaposed throughout the ship. Comprised of new acquisitions from a combination of internationally established, mid-career, and emerging artists, the art collection on Celebrity Equinox also features a selection of works from the lauded collection that graced Celebrity Galaxy prior to the ship’s departure from the fleet earlier this year.

Celebrity Equinox Lobby
Softness & Style: Classical Entertainment in Celebrity Equinox Lobby

Lighting also plays a key role aboard Celebrity Equinox. Tables are individually lit in the vast double-height Silhouette Dining Room to create the illusion that each one is in a smaller, more intimate space. However, the most useful lighting fixtures aboard are located just above each elevator door where panels change from blue to pink signifying an elevator's arrival. That effect is illustrated in our artwork image (above) shot near the Deck 10 elevator landing. The elevator lights cast a decidedly blue glow.

The "Celebrity Life" program, consisting of enriching, sophisticated, and fun events, went "live" aboard Celebrity Equinox during her July 31st maiden sailing and will be introduced across the balance of the fleet by the end of November 2009. During our short preview cruise aboard Celebrity Equinox we were introduced to the "Guru" who hosted breakfast in the AquaSpa Cafe, we meditated and experienced stress relieving exercises in the gym, began learning a new language with Rosetta Stone, and had our choice of dance lessons, a Wine Appreciation Seminar, and met the Liquid Chef for Molecular Mixology. A brief overview of the "Celebrity Life" program left me wanting more.

Natural elements and environmental friendliness also play a part aboard Celebrity Equinox. The only solar panels at sea (other than those aboard Celebrity Solstice) capture the sun's energy to create power sufficient to operate the ship's elevators. A special silicone hull coating reduces the sea's friction and improves fuel consumption. You can learn more about the energy efficient features incorporated into Celebrity Equinox as well learn about conservation efforts worldwide in the Team Earth venue. Created in cooperation with Conservation International, Team Earth isn't marked on deck plans yet, but once on board you can't miss its location, which is highlighted by a huge globe on Deck 7 near the aft scenic elevators.

With respect for tradition and an eye to the future, Celebrity Equinox is truly a dazzling addition to the Celebrity Cruises fleet.

Celebrity Equinox Fast Stats

  • 122,000 tons
  • 1,033 feet long
  • 121 feet wide
  • Cruising Speed 24 knots
  • 2,850 guests, double occupancy

Photos © Linda Coffman,
Resort Pool image courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Back to Part One --> Celebrity Equinox Preview

Cruise Diva's Celebrity Equinox Blogs:

  • Celebrity Equinox: First Look & Christening
  • Celebrity Equinox: At Sea, Day Two

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