My friend and I boarded the Eclipse on Saturday 1st September in Southampton and spent the next 14 days in cruise heaven. We were in a 1A grade Balcony Stateroom, which was very comfortable with plenty of storage for our clothes. The bathroom was far superior to the P & O's Ventura.
The crew were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble. We were addressed by our first names, giving you the feeling that you were amongst friends. The food throughout the Ship was just first class whether you were fine dining or having a poolside burger. Special mention goes to our waiter, Willmar, in the Moonlight Sonata restaurant. Such a wonderful and knowledgeable character. He could also be found in the Ocean View restaurant assisting with the breakfasts, still smiling, singing and doing his utmost to serve.
Boris, the Bar Tender in the Mast Bar by day and in the Sky Lounge by night and Vicente (Sky Lounge)were friendly, professional, courteous and got to know us so well that we didn't have to ask for another drink, they just magically appeared on the bar - thank goodness we opted for the Premium beverage package before we set sail. Good decision!!!
The Martini bar was also a great place for a pre-dinner Martini. Wonderful ambiance and a treat to watch these wonderful Martinis being concocted!!
I have never felt so relaxed on a holiday. I read 4 books and they weren't small books either!!
The ports of call were very well thought out. Plenty for the historians amongst us. Villefranche was breathtaking. We took the tender ashore and walked round the bay to a beach where we could swim in the Mediterranean to cool off whilst keeping a close eye on the "Mother Ship" When returning to the ship after every excursion there was the welcome sight of the Crew with icy cold towels and drinks. Such a nice touch.
One thing I would like to mention is that when booking tours it is advisable to book through Celebrity Eclipse rather than an independent. Although you pay more you are looked after better. Our tour guide in Rome didn't do head counts and consequently my friend and I were left behind at one point and we were panicking that we wouldn't make it back to the ship, which was over an hour's drive away. She had us walking around in stifling heat, not breaking for lunch until the time we were left behind (14:30) Consequently by the time two Roman gladiators (I kid you not) had phoned her office and they had phoned her to find out where she and the rest of the group were. She had no idea that she was two people down!! We had missed lunch, loo breaks etc. Having not eaten since a 7:00 am breakfast, we were pretty hungry, angry and stressed.
Celebrity would always do regular head-counts and the ship would not leave without you. If we had not managed to re-join our party then we would have had to make our own way to the next port of call, Livorno, incurring heavy costs.
I can honestly say that the Rome experience was the only downer on a perfect holiday and that was not the fault of Celebrity at all.
Anyone thinking of booking a cruise on this ship....do it!! You will not be disappointed. The food, the crew, the ship, the ports of call, the entertainment, the cabins, the weather......everything was perfect and I would go again in a heartbeat.