We set sail on a relaxing 6-night Celebrity Equinox cruise and it was filled with incredible experiences as we explored the ports of Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Bimini. Allow me to share the highlights with you.
To make the most of our adventure, we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale a day before the ship’s departure. We stayed at the conveniently located Hyatt Place, which was just a stone’s throw away from Publix, local eateries, and the port itself. One gem we discovered was the Southport Raw Bar, highly recommended by a local. The place was buzzing with energy throughout our visit, and we indulged in delicious treats like sweet bread, mouthwatering coconut shrimp, and, thanks to our adventurous waitress, a bowl of combined conch and clam chowder. It was a surprise that exceeded all expectations.
The next morning, before heading to the port, we took a short stroll across the street to grab a few essentials. Sunscreen, snacks, and drinks that were on our shopping list, ensuring we were fully prepared for the sunny days ahead.
Day 1: Bon Voyage from Ft. Lauderdale
The moment arrived when it was time to step aboard the ship and the warm smiles and exceptional service from the crew immediately made us feel welcome, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey. I must say, the boarding process was a breeze—quick and seamless. Since we prefer to travel light, we simply carried our roll-on bags and backpacks with us to our room on Deck 6. We were assigned a room with a partial obstructed view, and as I had suspected, it was due to the lifeboats. We dropped off our belongings and then headed straight to the Ocean Air Cafe for a late lunch. We indulged in the delicious offerings while taking in the stunning views. We decided to explore the ship, making sure to visit all the fantastic restaurants and cozy hangout spots. As 4pm approached, we eagerly made our way to the top deck, knowing that the ship would soon sound its horn as we set sail southwest towards the open sea. The coastline of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami served as a picturesque backdrop as we embarked on our journey towards the beautiful destination of Grand Cayman.
Our dinner reservation was set for 6pm, and we were assigned to table 241, right in the heart of the dining room. We found ourselves paired with Jennifer and Audrey from Georgia, along with Chris and Christy from Virginia. Little did we know that this chance seating arrangement would lead to some incredible evenings filled with laughter and storytelling. One night, I managed to convince Jennifer to step out of her comfort zone and try her steak cooked medium instead of her usual medium well. It turned out to be a success, and she was pleasantly surprised by the delicious flavors. As for me, my excitement peaked when I saw escargot on the appetizer menu. I couldn’t resist giving it a try, and I must say, the buttery flavor was absolutely incredible. It was a delightful culinary experience that added an extra touch of enjoyment to our evenings onboard.
Day 2: Day at Sea
To kickstart our day, we made our way to Café al Bacio for a much-needed dose of morning coffee. Chris suggested trying the pistachio latte, it was a fantastic recommendation! For breakfast, we decided to treat ourselves to the Main Dining Room.
Since the sun was shining, we headed up to the bustling deck 14 to soak up some Vitamin D. As luck would have it, we ended up sitting next to two friendly couples from Florida. Over the next hour, we struck up a lively conversation, getting to know each other and sharing stories and experiences.
Afterward, we took the opportunity to explore the ship further, venturing into different areas and discovering hidden gems along the way. Of course, we couldn’t resist ordering our favorite drinks to keep us refreshed and hydrated 😉
Day 3: A Rainy Day in Grand Cayman
This particular day was a rare one where we didn’t have any set plans or excursions scheduled. Initially, I had my sights set on visiting the famous 7-mile beach, but Mother Nature had other plans. The rain was pouring down, and the humidity was off the charts, so we made the joint decision to stay onboard and enjoy a peaceful day on the ship.
With the inclement weather outside, I found myself immersed in a captivating novel “It Ends With Us.” Now, for those who know me well, they know that finishing a book in a single day is quite an unusual feat for me. But let me tell you, this book was an absolute page-turner. I couldn’t put it down, and it kept me engaged from beginning to end.
As dinner rolled around, our waiter Santiago surprised us with his impressive napkin folding skills. Tonight, he crafted a beautiful swan out of a simple napkin, adding an extra touch of elegance to our dining experience. It’s these small moments of creativity and attention to detail that make cruising with Celebrity truly special.
After indulging in a scrumptious dinner, we made our way to the ship’s theater for the 9pm show, Boyband Evolution. The talented performers took us on a nostalgic journey through the hits of various boy bands, creating a lively and entertaining atmosphere.
Day 4: Mexican Charm in Cozumel
When we arrived in port, the sight that greeted us was absolutely awe-inspiring. Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Sea loomed over our ship, and let me tell you, it was massive!
Our destination for the day was Cozumel, known for its breathtaking beaches with powdery white sand and crystal-clear blue waters. We decided to spend a few hours at one of the island’s renowned Paradise Beach. We opted for an all-inclusive day pass, and as soon as we settled into our chairs, the attentive staff took care of us. They brought us refreshing drinks, mouthwatering salads, crispy chips with salsa and guacamole, delectable coconut shrimp, and a delicious ceviche. We especially enjoyed the fish tacos—they were simply delish.
After soaking up the sun for about three hours, we were completely exhausted. Our skin had absorbed enough sun for the day, so we made our way back to the ship to cool off and relax and enjoy some gelato. It was a great decision because as we were leaving, we noticed the ship next to us departing 30 minutes before us. The passengers on that ship were quite rowdy, screaming and yelling from their balconies. In that moment, we felt incredibly grateful for our quiet and low-key ship.
Later in the evening, after a satisfying dinner, we headed to the ship’s theater for the evening entertainment—a magician’s show. This magician was not only incredibly talented, but he also had a fantastic sense of humor.
Day 5: Day at Sea
Today was one of those lazy, laid-back days where John and I decided to take it easy. He dove into his book, making some serious progress, while I indulged in several much-needed naps. We loved exploring the quieter, less crowded areas of the ship, finding hidden spots where we could just sit back and watch the waves go by.
In the evening, we had the opportunity to dress up a bit for the “evening chic” attire. I convinced John to join me in a mini adventure to capture as many selfies as we could, exploring different parts of the ship and capturing memories along the way.
Dinner was a highlight of the evening, as always. Our waiter, Santiago, amazed us once again with his impressive napkin folding skills. This time, he crafted a remarkable turtle out of a simple napkin, leaving us in awe of his talent. It was such a fun and unexpected touch to our dining experience.
The entertainment for the night was a well-known comedian named Corey Rodriguez. Let me tell you, he had us laughing hysterically throughout the entire show. His jokes were on point, and his delivery had everyone in stitches.
Day 6: Bimini – A Hidden Treasure
Bimini, this was the port that had me buzzing with excitement. Little did I know that this hidden gem in the Bahamas would steal my heart. From the moment we set foot on its shores, I was completely charmed. Bimini is a true treasure, known for its jaw-dropping white sand beaches and mesmerizing turquoise waters. It’s like stepping into a picture-perfect postcard.
Our day in Bimini was spent at the World Resort, and we were lucky enough to be among the first to arrive, giving us the perfect opportunity to snag two chairs right at the front row, shaded by umbrellas. From there, we had an unobstructed view of the most incredible water.
Although I have to admit, there was a bit of a disappointment when we realized there weren’t many servers around. However, the views and the warm water more than made up for it. It was a day of pure relaxation, basking in the sun and taking refreshing dips in the crystal-clear water.
I can confidently say that Bimini has earned the top spot as my favorite port. The sheer beauty and serenity of this place captured my heart. I’ve already started planning a future trip to the Bahamas because I know I can’t stay away for too long. Bimini, with its untouched beauty and peaceful atmosphere, has left an indelible mark on me, and I can’t wait to return and explore more of what this incredible destination has to offer.
Once we hopped back on the ship, we were in the mood for a something sweet. So, we treated ourselves to some mouthwatering gelato. It was the perfect way to cool down.
But our adventure didn’t stop there. We heard whispers about a Martini flight that we just had to experience. When we arrived at the Martini Bar, we were blown away. The entire bar was made of ice! Can you believe it? The bartenders were having an absolute blast, showcasing their incredible skills and pouring some seriously impressive martinis.
As luck would have it, the couple sitting next to us was from Houston, and they highly recommended coming back to the Martini Bar at 8pm for a show. Intrigued by their enthusiasm, we made a mental note to return after dinner.
Stepping into the Martini Bar later that evening felt like stepping onto the set of the iconic movie, “Cocktail.” The bartenders put on a mesmerizing performance, juggling bottles, mixing drinks with flair, and creating a lively atmosphere. It was a spectacle that had us completely captivated.
If you ever find yourself on the Equinox, mark my words, a visit to the Martini Bar is an absolute must. The icy bar, the skillful bartenders, and the lively energy make it an unforgettable experience. So raise a glass, savor the flavors, and enjoy the show—it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.
Day 7: It’s time to go Home
The process of disembarking from the ship was surprisingly smooth and efficient. As we made our way to the coffee bar cafe, we had the pleasure of meeting a delightful family from Dallas. We instantly hit it off and spent a great time together, chatting about our favorite movies and sharing wonderful memories from the week. It was a fantastic way to end our cruise experience, connecting with fellow travelers and exchanging stories.
Leading up to the cruise, I did my fair share of research by reading blogs and joining various Celebrity Cruise Facebook groups. I wanted to be well-informed and gather any useful tips as we prepared for our adventure on the high seas. Here are a few recommendations I found particularly helpful:
- Downy wrinkle release spray is a game-changer for keeping your clothes looking fresh and wrinkle-free.
- On embarkation day, consider checking in to the ship closer to the time of departure. This ensures that your room is ready and allows for a smoother boarding experience.
- I personally loved using a magnet with a clip to attach my hat to my bag.
- Bring a couple of magnets with clips or hooks to hang flyers and lanyards on the walls of your room. It’s a handy way to keep important documents and schedules organized.
- To keep your towels secure when on the top deck or at the beach, consider using towel bands or clips.
- Packing clothes with compression bags is a space-saving hack that can make a significant difference.
- Consider bringing a small alarm clock for your room.
- I highly recommend bringing Hawaiian Tropic Weightless Hydration After Sun Lotion.
- If you’re sensitive to noise or prefer a consistent sound environment, bring a white noise device or use a white noise app.
During our visit to the Katy, TX home and garden show in March, we had the pleasure of meeting Alix with Cruise Planners. Instantly, we formed a connection with her and expressed our desire for assistance in planning a last-minute vacation. Alix graciously stepped in, organizing all the necessary details for our cruise and providing invaluable recommendations. Throughout the process, she remained readily available to address any inquiries or concerns we had. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have crossed paths with Alix, and we eagerly anticipate entrusting her with the planning of our upcoming Costa Rica adventures.