Celebrity Equinox Holiday Cruise Day 9 New Year's Eve
Celebrity Equinox Holiday Cruise Day 9 Saturday December 31, 2011 New Year's Eve
Spending the day before New Years in the tropical sunshine was just as strange as spending Christmas there. Could not get my head around the fact that it was New Year's Eve!
Being a sea day, that meant finding a deck chair somewhere and enjoying the sun.
Easier said than done. I wandered for a long time, seeing many many chairs "claimed" by towels, with no-one in sight. I finally ended up on Solstice Deck, 2 flights up past where the
elevator stops on Deck 14. It was hot, sunny, and much quieter up there and I was lucky to find one of those comfy cushy chairs I'd sat on the first day. Enjoyed my morning in the sun with a good book and my mP3 player.
Met James for lunch in the Ocean View Cafe, then we went to play "Progressive" trivia at 2:30.
This was the competition where you could earn extra points by finding out ship info or taking photos, and I had managed to find and photograph myself with two of the singer/dancers from the Equinox theatre for an extra 2 points. Unfortunately, those extra points didn't help us win the game....
Back out in the sun again, there was a very noisy game of pool volleyball going on in the main pool, between the officers and staff (in uniform!). Game aside, you can see how very crowded the main pool area was on a sea day!
Being New Year's Eve and another formal night (only the 2nd on a 10 day cruise), we chose to dine in the elegant BLU restaurant this evening.
I enjoyed a "BLU Caesar salad", which had added sliced parmesan and tofu, then an exquisite entree of Kobe beef stuffed pasta shells in tomato sauce.
James ordered a spicy corn soup, but was brought a cold pea soup. He tried it, liked it, so didn't say anything about the wrong order. Lobster was on the menu, and since he has always had bad luck with lobster on cruises, he was hesitant to order it, but he did, thinking that BLU would get it right. Wrong.
Despite our waiter de-shelling it for him, he found the meat covered in some sort of membrane, and difficult to cut, and even more difficult to chew. Of course the waiters noticed him push it away and apologized profusely and offered to bring him another, but he declined. He decided to order dessert instead, and for the first time in BLU, did not enjoy it.
His rum soaked brioche was dry and not very good, however, my dessert, a cognac-cream filled "cigar", with fresh fruit and fruit dipping sauce was delicious.
Service was friendly and attentive, and a cheese plate was offered to make up for the unfortunate lobster meal.
For this evening's entertainment, we decided to give Showtime one more chance, with the Equinox singers, dancers and acrobats, and were stunned at how bad it was.
I must give credit to the singers and dancers, who could sing and dance very well, and to the acrobats who were faultless. However, the "themes" (or lack thereof), plus the horrid choice of songs and weird arrangements made for very incohesive and confusing entertainment. There was no flow, no continuity, and most numbers were so loud and over the top, I couldn't wait for them to be over.
Adding the aerial artists in most numbers made no sense either, it was like "let's throw a little of everything in and see what we get". What we got was a loud, confusing, and not very enjoyable theatre experience.
By the time the main show was over, festivities had started up on the main pool deck, so we went up to investigate. All the deck chairs had been taken away, and only a few of the
cushioned rattan lounges had been left out, which of course were already occupied.
There was no place to sit, and there were hordes of people milling about, not knowing quite what to do. Many people were already dancing, as the band D'Revelation was
playing the hits.
The hot tubs had been emptied and re-filled with ice and mountains of champagne bottles, in preparation for the midnight festivities.
We noticed many people lifting down deck chairs to sit on, and some even climbing the stairs into the Ocean View Cafe and carrying down chairs from there.
More and more crowds arrived every minute, and roving groups of kids and teens were everywhere. There were even children playing unsupervised in the pools.
As if the noise from the band wasn't enough, the entertainment staff on hand were yelling into their mikes to "make some noise", which of course everyone did, because New Years hats, necklaces, tooting horns and twirly noisemakers had been given out to all guests in the main dining room at dinner. In BLU we got nothing.
It was pure and utter chaos, and many people around us were complaining at how unorganized it all was. By 11:30 we had had enough, and went inside to the main foyer, the 2nd of the five celebratory venues for the evening. Here it was much less crowded, and a more sedate soft-jazz band played, and people danced and awaited the giant balloon drop at nidnight.
There was even comfortable seating, and we found a place at the bar.
With 10 minutes to go until midnight, waiters came around with trays of champagne for everyone, and with 5 minutes to
go, the Cruise Director messed everything up by announcing Happy New Year via the live audio feed from the pool deck. He interrupted the band in the middle of their song, and everyone looked confused because it was not yet midnight. There was supposed to be a live video feed as well as audio, from all of the 5 venues, but apparently they never got it working, so we did not get to see how the celebrations went up on the pool deck, nor did we get to hear the ship's horn at midnight, which was a big thrill on previous New Year's cruises.
Recovering quickly, the band struck up "Auld Lang Syne" and then hundreds of balloons dropped from several decks above, and they all began popping loudly like champagne corks!
Once the champagne was drunk, the balloons popped, and Happy New Year greetings were exchanged with fellow passengers, we had had enough of the noise and crowds and retired to our room, where we ordered a New Year snack from room service.
Tomorrow....our last day....
Last edited by rollerdonna; January 17th, 2012 at 11:16 PM.
Reason: adding photos
I both hope and expect that the entertainment on the Epci in March will be several cuts above the Equinox as that is one of that ships's bigger draws (Blue Man Group, etc.). Thus far, I haven't read any negative reviews about the entertainment.
As I've oft said, you post the most wonderful reviews R/D and I wish you'd go cruising more often...say once a month?
NCL Epic 2012, Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas 2009, Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas 2007, Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas 2006, Eastern Caribbean