Get Away With Fran

July 10, 2009

Oh goodie, a new ship to explore – Celebrity Equinox in Germany

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:37 pm

When a new ship emerges from the shipyard, the cruise line executives get all giddy and some of us cruise writers do too. And so I find myself overnighting at the Maritim hotel at Germany’s Dusseldorf International Airporten route to tiny Papenberg, where Meyer Werft has been building the Celebrity Equinox.

I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this ship – which takes on its first real passengers next month – since its sister ship, Celebrity Solstice was my favorite ship of the past decade. Last year, when I first saw the 2,850-passenger Solstice, with its stunning, sophisticated contemporary decor and 1/2 acre of real lawn on top, I let out several audible “wow”s, and was even quoted as saying such on various other Websites. I hope to show more restraint this time, but who knows. The Equinox may even get a “yipee” or a “gosh” or a “golly-gee.”

The 122,000-ton Equinox won’t be quite finished when I get to see her tomorrow – fine tuning will take place after the “Conveyance” ceremony which has her navigating backwards down the narrow River Ems towards the Netherlands. But I will be staying onboard for a little ride, and I’ll offer a full report.

Early word is there won’t be any major changes from Solstice, and why should there be? Why mess with a good thing?

Speaking of good things, I flew Lufthansa from Boston over to Germany. Yes, it was tight in coach, and yes, I got stuck in one of those rows where the seat doesn’t go back very far (and near the toilets too).

But I need to compliment the airline for being utterly responsive to a little issue my seatmate encountered. Her audio for the movie didn’t work (the switch was broken). She flagged down the head flight attendant who tried to reset the system. It didn’t work. So she gave the passenger, get this, 50 euros in credit to use for onboard Duty Free (good for a year). That’s nearly $70.

I kept checking my headset, but it did indeed work. Still, I was happy for my elated seatmate.

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