October 26, 2022

Oct 24, 10 Days on The Equinox

Home for a week then 10 Days on The Celebrity Equinox. A 10 day cruise that should take us from Ft lauderdale to Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St Kitts & Nevis then back to Ft Lauderdale. A nice diversion from the often visited Nassau and private Islands.

In the week at home, everything was cleared for my sinus surgery except locking in a specific date and time.  I imagine sinus surgery is pretty low on the priority list for busy medical facilities.  The scheduling nurse knows how to get in touch with me, even on the high seas.

The drive to Ft Lauderdale is mostly uneventful.  The skies are cloudy, and there are a few showers. Well showers except during the mandatory stop for fuel, breakfast, and restrooms in Ft Pierce where the rain came down in buckets. 

"She", my vehicle GPS, takes us most of the way on the Florida Turnpike and then takes us over to I-95 for the last 60 miles. We slip into the Park-N-Go parking lot just before 1:00 and within a few minutes we are on our way to the ship.  Being a Monday the Equinox is the only cruise ship in port, there are 6 of us on the bus.

The usual process to check in, except there are no lines, and no waiting except for a 2 minute diversion because of my pacemaker. Passport is checked, and everything else is checked from my phone including a picture of a negative covid test taken at home on Friday. 

Probably within 20 minutes of arriving at Park-N-Go we are in our cabin dropping off our carry on items.  A quick lunch follows in the Oceanview Cafe, then check in at our muster station on deck 5. Today we listened to the safety drill and the safety horn in the car during our drive. This has become the new norm. Gone are they days of crowding under the life boats.

Phone calls to all three children to let them know I am safely on board. I have been doing this for over 10 years. This time one daughter forgot I was cruising this week, and I never was able to connect with my son. I leave him a voice mail.

More than the usual pallets of provisions to be loaded today. They are still loading the hold as our departure time comes and goes.  About 30 minutes late we back out from the pier, make a turn, and head to the open seas.

I don't have the perks here that I do with Royal, there are some, but they are limited in comparison and are given as a courtesty to high level Royal customers as both Royal and Celebrity are owned by the same company but managed as competing brands.

Getting a drink before dinner is nearly imposssible. One worker and many customers.

We have 6:00 PM dining reservation every night. We are promptly escorted to our table. Again ordering a drink was nearly impossible. Four people are trying to wait our table. A waiter, an assistant waiter, a beverage person and a wine person.  There is no visible or effective coordination. Not a single worker in the dining room has a smile.  We try to get our waiter, a young man that acknowledges he is here to escape from Russia to smile, but we are not successful.

Dinner food was good, and they served real apple pie, not the factory pastries found on Royal.  Before dinner is over, the captain announces that he is turning the ship around and heading back to Port Everglades.  This is getting to be a very bad habit, it is the third cruise in a row that turned around because of a medical emergency shortly after leaving port.

We have a passenger that needs shoreside medical care. Transfer to a Ft Lauderdale Fire and Rescue boat occurs about 3 or 4 miles off the coast between Miami and Ft Lauderdale. As the rescue boat heads to shore, we turn and head south again.

The main show tonight is "NYC3" a trio of male singers. Personally I felt they were OK but nothing special., probably because I don't know most of the music they sang.

The seas remain under 3 feet, ship rocking is barely detectable. Skies are mostly cloudy with passing rain expected.

We will be at sea for 2 days before arriving at our first port of St John, Antigua on Thursday.