Have travelled with Thomson, Cunard and most with Royal Caribbean so was interested to see how the Eclispe compared.
Travelled by plane to Heathrow and we had to wait there wondering what was happening for two hours with no one to ask. After one of our party phoned Celebrity to say we had been stranded, one of their reps appeared and lead us to the bus to get our transfer. After stopping at all terminals we eventually arrived at ship 30mins before departure. Embarkation was very quick as there was no one else to board.
First impressions of ship were good. It was modern, clean and the welcome glass of sparkling wine was nice. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10 and it too was clean and modern. The stateroom attendant called to introduce himself.
Moonlight dining was good but repetitive. We dined in the three speciality restaurants and we were able to do this for half price each night. $40 reduced to $20. This was worth it. They were absolutely fabulous. We talked to people who's waiters has offered this to selected people as they could not fill the speciality restaurants, but if you go yourself and tell them that you are available any night for half price and walk away, you will be called back and booked in for that night. Try it..
I will not go one about the ports of call as most have and we too enjoyed them. We travelled on a cruise excursion at each port, and although they were much more expensive than booking them yourself, they were effortless.
Ocean view was adequate but very busy at lunch. Not the best buffet cruise restaurant by far.
We found the staff in general to not have the attitude that we had experienced on other ships. They did not seem to be interested in getting to know your needs. I wondered about staff moral as most seemed miserable when serving. Only a few wanted a conversation. The dirty glass we received our welcome bubbly in on arrival did not get cleared for one week. These little things added up. Such as waiting 30mins for dessert to arrive in Moonlight several times. Coffee drunk before it arrives. We did complain and they did say it would improve.
Drinks package was very good if you like a drink. I got my money's worth. The cocktail bar was fab, and if your on the package it is especially great.
Music every where. No quite areas found easily.
We paid tips up front for the first time and felt that the dining staff and stateroom staff were not making the same efforts as we had previously experienced as they knew this. But as the holiday progressed there were many people on the ship saying the same thing. It was obvious that the Celebrity repeat customers were concerned at the cruise not being up to the usual standard.
We very much enjoy the entertainment on the ships and especially the evening shows. Most were good, especially if you enjoy a laugh. The activities manager, Maria, was very good and got people involved. The cruise director on the other hand was not a success. I was at all shows and still don't know his full name. He was not to been seem anywhere around the boat like other would be and he did not seem to be very comfortable in his job. This was a pity as the personality of the cruise director means a lot to a cruise. I think his name was Stuart Turner.
We were Concierge Class and benefited from priority embarkation and disembarkation. As I said we did not need this on arrival, but did not need as we left the ship either. There was a lounge set up for concierge class on departure, but this did not open until most of the concierge class had left the ship. The other benefits were small in comparison to price and really weren't needed such as shoe shine service. I don't think I would bother with his again.
A good cruise and we enjoyed it, but was certainly not the holiday of a life time, nor did it offer the wow factor that other cruise companies promote. I saw too many times passengers being told "we don't do that". Simple things that I have come to expect of other 3star ships.