Well, 7 days passed in a flash. I missed reading blogs but didn't miss writing them, so maybe I'm not that much of a blogger after all - though here I am again!
We weren't sure what to expect on that holiday. Rain, coldness, grey skies...? There were some grey skies, and rain on one afternoon, but the rest of the time it was amazing - I got sun-burned on 2 of the tours (big hikes about which more later)
Norway was stunning, offering the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.
The ship looked lovely...
but there were some design flaws in my opinion. The cabins were narrow and long, but seemed smaller and more cramped than on past ships because there was so little space at the end of the bed for instance.
Everything looked great, but some of the bars lost out in atmosphere because of their size and the fact that several were walk-through areas to get around the ship. And there was a lawn on the top deck that I personally would have replaced with an extra pool and some more hot-tubs, but it was nice enough, and seemed popular for playing bowls and baggo.
The day time entertainment at sea was good, with an excellent pair of lecturers dealing with life, the universe and everything. Celebrity call it the Enrichment program, and it certainly was more interesting than lying by the pool! The lecturers were called Milos Radokovich (or something like that) and David Aguilar, and they were very good presenters, dealing with very interesting subjects.
There were also live glass-blowing demonstrations on board every day! I'm surprised that they got permission to do something like that on a ship, but it was well worth seeing.
Celebrity also added a good free 'on demand' movie program in the cabins so we saw some very good films as well.
The evening entertainment wasn't outstanding, but then it rarely is. We only went to one show - a woman who did singing impressions of other celebrities. She was very good, both at the singing, the impersonating, and the comedy. Her name was Karen Grainger I believe, and she even did duets - performing both the male and female parts!
The spa seemed very comprehensive, but included some ridiculous treatments - 24 karat gold face mask anyone??? I had a back massage (with hot stones) facial and reflexology package on the Friday in the spa, that was very good (sometimes painful!) The package wasn't too expensive but they do use the treatments to lead into a hard sell on the products.
The food! It was wonderful, but I utterly failed at the self-control and ate everything in sight- as long as it contained cream / oil / sugar / all three!!! I meant to photograph every meal but forgot more than half the time, so there will only be a few photographs appearing. The food on the Equinox was the best of any cruise I think - not all the menus were very inspiring, but the quality was excellent and the cover-charge restaurants were OUTSTANDING. The cocktails were great too - sadly - and I found a new favourite (called a Pink Coconut - a blend of grenadine, pureed mango, malibu, dark rum, coconut cream and heavy cream... AAAH). I gave myself full rein to eat whatever I wanted, and took full advantage of that permission. Breakfasts were the worst, I always had fruit with bircher muesli - which I discovered on an earlier cruise and have always loved - but also had some cooked food most days because the hot buffet was the best I've encountered. Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, home-style potatoes with mixed bell peppers and onions - all delicious, and all actually hot and fresh! Which is why my breakfasts this week will offer NO variety and nothing different to the weeks before the cruise, while I try to convince my body that breakfast doesn't need to be 1500 calories!!!