My wife and I sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale on December 1st for a 14 night cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse. In a subtle way, the Eclipse is elegant, with lovely lounges, stairways, and art. Especially warm and inviting are Michael's Club, Martini Bar, and Cellar Masters. The stairway into the Grand Foyer is beautiful, and the seating areas around and just above the Grand Foyer are comfortable and attractive.
Our Sunset Veranda stateroom featured a comfortable bed and large, flat screen TV. The balcony was small but did feature 2 chaise-type chairs. Good closet space and 5 small dresser drawers. We have learned (!) and took only enough clothing to get by.
The Celebrity Theater is state of the art and most comfortable. We took in every evening show. Of the 3 involving the Eclipse performers, only one was very enjoyable. The visiting performers, however, were well-received and among the best we have seen at sea.
A unique feature of the Eclipse is the real grass lawn and the adjacent Corning Hot Glass Show. We enjoyed both.
The negatives all dealt with food. I was surprised the first morning to see a $2.50 charge for fresh-squeezed orange juice. It was always free for the asking on HAL cruises. The Oceanview Cafe (Lido on HAL) was set up much better than on Hal in that there were many islands, each featuring different foods. The negative thing, however, was that the hot foods from these islands were rarely hot and usually warm to cool. The elegant Moonlight Sonata Dining Room was elegant only in its decor. The food was disappointing. I believe it was due to the finer cuts of meat being relegated to the four Specialty dining rooms. Where, in the past, NY Strip was a nightly choice, on the Eclipse the nightly choice was a very thin piece of Sirloin. I did enjoy three different veal preparations and a very good t-bone steak.
The Eclipse staff was very friendly and accomodating. Many times we noticed Oceanview Cafe staff assisting older people by carrying their meals to their seats. The room stewards were friendly and attentive. In fact we were called by name by not only our room stewards but also by a Martini Bar server who had waited on us only one time before!
We enjoyed 8 different ports, at four of which we took excursions offered by Celebrity.
Again, although we enjoyed almost everything about this cruise, I personally would place Holland America just a tiny niche above Celebrity.