Saturday, August 22, 2009

Celebrity Equinox - Traditional Celebrity Touches and Some Nice Offship Experiences

On the Celebrity Equinox there are a number of “traditional” touches that Celebrity Cruise Lines continues ranging from complimentary iced towels and water greeting you when you return to the ship to complimentary sorbet passed out in the afternoon around the pool to the lack of announcements to the staff, without exception, saying hello as you pass by. They are the little things that make the cruise a bit more upscale.


The pretty much always open complimentary pizza and ice cream (including candy toppings) keep the kids and the kid in you content.

Last night we ate in the main dining room again. The atmosphere was definitely more settled, but there is nothing you can do about the noise or buzz of activity. If you enjoy the more stayed and quiet aspects of dining on, say, Seabourn there is no way you will be happy in the main dining room. For us it is a place to have an occasional dinner; nothing more. For many around us, it is the traditional time for families, friends and/or tablemates to gather and discuss their day and their plans for tomorrow.

After our two dinners in Murano we decided to eat lighter. My chicken broth tasted of chicken and was not salty and my Cesaer Salad with Shrimp was crisp, had appropriate flakes of Parmesan cheese and a light dressing. My DW had the lobster bisque which was essentially the same as served in Murano, but with less of a presentation and a shellfish risotto which I think may also be similar to that offered in Murano.

I am not a fan of cruise ship entertainment and after watching two shows, I remain not a fan. They were not bad shows, just nothing that makes me feel my time was well spent.

Afterwards we made the “mistake” of checking out the Martini Bar with its frozen bar. Let’s just say the martinis were well prepared and we were a bit sluggish waking up this morning.

As far as off the ship events, yesterday we took a taxi to the new museum in Athens which opened in June 2009. DO NOT MISS THIS. It is truly a world class museum; very modern and with countless ancient Greek artifacts in a very approachable setting. (And as such even though there were crowds, you did not get the sense of it being crowded.) Next time in Athens I think I would hire a guide to really explain many of the pieces to me in detail. I understand the prices are going to rise next year, but at a total cost of 2€ for our family of four, it is by far the best deal around.

We had a very nice, traditional Greek lunch, in a restaurant hidden way down one alley and then onto another. If you didn’t know it was there, you would never find La Palentine. As such, it was not touristic at all. Greek salad, tzatziki, marinated anchovies and grilled cuttlefish with a carafe of the house wine. (And so you know it is good value, we notices some of the ship’s dancers were eating there.)

Today we were in Rhodes and had a lazy day. After a walk around the medieval city we were recommended to Alexis 4 Seasons’ Restaurant for a fish lunch (after being warned by a few locals that there are no good meat restaurants in the medieval city). Once again, you had to know where to look to find the place. Our waiter was very quiet and polite, but could not wait to brag that Senator John McCain had eaten there two days ago and then showed us his photo still on his phone. We had a truly wonderful lunch of Greek salad, steamed clams (two kinds) and mussels and grilled octopus. We had a white wine locally made in Rhodes (Rodos 2400) which was acceptable, but nothing memorable, good or bad.

Tonight we are trying out Silk Harvest, the Asian specialty restaurant.