Booked this cruise early thro' Bath Travel, Poole, in order to get cabins together which worked very well, 3 couples in adjoining cabins and our American friends on the same deck but a few cabins forward on the starboard side. Bath Travel's price was the same as I could get anywhere online. Free parking at Southampton, right on the dock with a truck to take the luggage. A short walk to the Embarkation area. The process was a dream almost straight thro' and onto the ship. A glass of 'champers' as we entered the door - a nice touch. We sat in a lounge area until our cabins were ready, probably 30 min's. Great cabin - bigger than usual with a shower to match. Huge bed right next to the balcony doors. we often slept with the curtains open to enjoy the view of the sea and the arrival at port early in the morning. We were also blessed with a super cabin steward.
We all met in the Oceanview buffet for lunch. It was a bunfight for tables. We complained to the guest relations as the tables were not being cleared despite lots of staff in the area. A poor show as people were desperate for a seat. We sat on the back in the fresh air, luckily we are hardy outdoor types and it was not too wet. The food was fantastic. Too much choice and wonderful. We were booked on the late sitting for dinner on a table for 8. The service and the food were just fantastic. 4 courses at each meal over 14 nights and every serving was a treat. Lobster, caviar, frogs' legs we enjoyed it all. I was trying the wines recommended by the Cellarmaster and they were top knotch. We had a birthday and anniversary cake along with a song from the staff - great. Because of the bunfight situation in the buffet we took breakfast in the dining room - very nice and very civilised, even on the last morning. After dinner we went to the shows, again first class. There were 3 comedians - all hilarious and a brilliant ventriloquist. Top class entertainment all round. The officers gave lectures on various aspects of the ship and were very informative.
I missed the 'cocktail of the night' a cheaper drink we found on Celebrity Galaxy some years ago. The decor too is a little arty instead of being bright and cheerful.I found the gym disappointing as I like the cycling m/c's.On one visit I found only 1 working out of 5. They were fixed by my next visit however apart from on-screen choices of scenery which never did work. Take a leaf out of 'Ventura's' book. Their mountain bike simulators are awesome. 'Ventura's' library is also superior with loads of travel guides. The only guide I found on 'Eclipse' was on Bruges - useless. P & O's free shuttles are a bonus too. Celebrity's are a rip-off. 15 euros for a 4 mile round trip. We never took a shuttle on principle.
Overall a fantastic cruise with good friends and family. Loads to do on sea days. Fantastic food and service.