01.04.2011 - 01.04.2011
Well sadly our wonderful cruise is drawing to a close. The main stage show last night was a great finale to the entertainment we have enjoyed on board this great ship. While we enjoyed our first two cruises on the Holland America Line ships we have enjoyed this ship, Celebrity Cruise Line's Equinox even more. Part of it is that this is a very new ship so has lots of nice features and a modern very pleasant airy decor, but I think the real difference has been the crew on this ship. They have exceeded our expectations on almost a daily basis. Holland America crew are great but at Celebrity they have been just a cut above. Needless to say we will be adding a few $ of cash on top of the normal tip that is added to your bill every day. Yes, for you non cruisers, the most common way that cruise lines handle tips these days is to add a “Gratuity” charge of between $10 and $12 per person per day to your ship’s account. If you wish to reduce or increase the standard tip you just go to the front desk and change it. It is all very sterile and convenient but it certainly takes the guess work out of tipping. In addition 15% is automatically added to any bar charges when you incur them.
Our original plan was to get off the ship at a leisurely pace and go back to the hotel and pick up our car and stay in Florida for a few days before heading north. We were also planning to stop for a short visit at Rob & Ingrid’s (Hazel's son and his wife) in Geneva, NY on our way home. Given the increased urgency of getting home and getting our Visas and other travel documents ready for our move to Dubai we have decided to take advantage of the ship's Express Departure option where you have to carry your own luggage, which can be considerable on a two week cruise with dress up wear and all, and you have to get yourself off the ship by 6:30 am.