Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by Love to travel 54: Good cruise and ship but not very festive
Overall Member Rating
Good cruise and ship but not very festive
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
5 of us (all sister and brothers-in-law) spent 2 weeks on Christmas cruise. We enjoyed it and would recommend the ship but not for Christmas, as it was very limited in Christmas spirit.
The ship was lovely - nice public areas, lovely spacious stateroom. We had a balcony with obstructed view which reduced the cost and I would strongly recommend. The view was good - the only restriction is that you cannot see straight down into the water but that was little or no limitation bearing in mind that it was much cheaper!!
The staff were the highlight of the cruise, friendly and efficient and helpful. Not just your cabin attendants were friendly but everyone - every member of staff you encountered or just passed in the corridors smiled and greeted you. Any small issues (and very few of those) were handled quickly and efficiently. We sat at the same table every day (although we used Select Dining) and the 2 waiters and wine waiter were superb - funny, friendly, and did More their jobs excellently.
Food was mixed - excellent in Oceanside buffet restaurant which was the best buffet eating area I have seen on any ship, with great food and good layout so few lines developed. Mixed in Moonlight Sonata main restaurant - some food very good, some good but not as described in menu, and some poor offerings - eg cheesecake which I literally had to spit out!! Steaks uniformly excellent.
Enrichment excellent - great talks by 2 external speakers - one series about science (speaker was excellent) and one about geology. Also great talks by crew about navigation, engineering, and environment - they made the subjects very interesting.
The main downsides were :-
Sell, sell, sell !!!! - we always felt as if the staff were on commission - trying to sell you drinks, trips, spa treatments, items in the shops - it felt like a very hard sell operation which was tiring
Christmas spirit - very little. There were nice decorations in the foyer and there was a Catholic priest who gave wonderful masses, particularly Midnight Mass on Christmas Day. But that was it!! No decorations on your tables, nothing to mark out Christmas Day except a carol concert which lasted precisely 7 minutes - enough time for 4 short carols. Also, a carol concert on Christmas Eve in the Grand Foyer which was absolutely packed (showing that there was a demand for such a thing!). It lasted 15-20 minutes!!!!
Embarkation was well organised but desperately slow. However, that was great compared to the slow, disorganised chaos which was disembarkation - 30 minute delay in leaving ship followed by ages standing in line with no explanation. Less
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