We picked this cruise for it's itinerary and were not disappointed. We had an easy check in (despite having no printed document as our printer had died) and we waited no more than 20 minutes from joining the queue to walking on to Eclipse. For those who have not sailed with her, we, as 1st time cruisers thought she was a huge ship. However she is very well laid out and it is often hard to believe that there are over 4500 people including crew on board.
After embarkation we headed to the Ocean view for Lunch, we ate most lunches here - a great selection and regularly replenished. Tasty and hot with Italian, Chinese, Mexican, sandwiches, fromagerie, hot foods such as stews and goulash, pizza and the list goes on.
We found our cabin to be far more spacious than we had expected and the layout was in our opinion good with nice touches like fresh fruit and flowers. As concierge we also received canapes each day, the novelty wore off before the end of the 1st week. A nice idea but 4 small canapes were delivered each afternoon. Nothing too special but as I say a nice touch.
Our cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our steward Mario and the bed was extremely comfortable. We took advice from a previous thread and took 1 european and 2 US adaptors and that was indeed adequate and correct.
We enjoyed the balcony and despite heading North thanks to the beautiful weather we made use of our balcony nearly every day. We also enjoyed the outdoor spa and 1 day ventured to the outdoor pool. he indoor pool was very very busy.
We had no idea what sort of demographic to expect but were pleased to enjoy the company of a few couples not very far removed from our own age group and we enjoyed catching up with them and also the odd drink or two. We opted for the drinks package and would do so again (celebrity did offer 10% off the price on embarkation day)
We found all public areas of the ship to be well serviced and did not find the music intrusive or annoying. We enjoyed a few shows, the magician, the west end musicals, and the ventriloquist. As mentioned in other reviews there was a caomedian who's material, although funny to the younger British audience, was either inappropriate due to the age of the majority of the audience, or was lost on them due to the nationality eg del boy from only fools and horses and Chris Tarrant impressions
We enjoyed a couple of private tours we had organised (Golden Circle with IG tours, Whale watching with Gentle Giants booked through fjallyson.is (excellent and provided sight seeing too with informative guide and the local service bus too Mount Dalsnibba - can be booked online, which was fabulous), a walk round Bergen and Reykjavik) and also a shorex overland to Voss and Flam railway - excellent tour but not impressed with the buffet lunch.
The golden Circle tour is in my opinion a must do - it visits some amazing places and our tour company and guide were fabulous.
Reykjavik was stated as a 20 minute walk we are relatively young and averagely fit and it took us 40 minutes, a shuttle bus was available for a fee, I believe $8 or $9, the church is worth a visit. The central area is lovely too.
Lunch in Husavik Iceland (where we did the Whale watch was approx Â£21 for two with two beers - two beers in Norway (Geiranger with lunch was Â£27 approx. and Bergen no lunch Â£27)
Klaksvik was another port we wandered round(free shuttle bus), the bakery does excellent cakes and sells the foroyar beer. There is the football stadium (they are top of the league in July 2012) and it was a nice wee place to amble through and the locals put on a display in the square with dancing singing beer and stalls
Geiranger was beautiful the scenery stunning and it was a tendered port, a 5 minute crossing(no charge) and you arrive ashore where there are shops tourist info restaurants and bars and the bus stop where our pre booked bus left from, and of course the obligatory troll statue
We had a walk round Molde in the rain (the only rain we saw) and headed back to use the pool, it appears we headed back to early as the sun came out, a jazz festival was in town and many we spoke to enjoyed Molde.
As mentioned the shorex to Voss and he railway was a great way to see some of Norway and the Flam railway really was an experience, beautiful beautiful scenery (watch out for the siren luring men into the mountains at the waterfall!)
Bergen was lovely to walk round, we visited the fish market, Bryggen, the cathedral and enjoyed the sunshine soaking up the atmosphere.
We ate mainly in Moonlight Sonata for our evening meal and although the portions were smallish the food was hot, well presented and tasty (maybe a slight lack of vegetables though) The choice was always very good.
We did however eat in The Tuscan Grille one night and this is a must the Fillet Mignon is to die for as is the view. Qsine was a fabulous experience too (we did this as part of a group of 13 and this really made the menu tasting much more exciting. A worthwhile choice.
This was our 1st cruise but it will definitely not be our last!