We have not experienced Celebrity Cruise Line, in the past few years. Our very first cruise was with Celebrity, but had taken 6 cruises with other cruise lines, in the interim period.
We just returned from the 2/9/13 Eclipse sailing. The ship itself is wonderful, as one would expect of Celebrity. However, the quality of staff service is significantly lower, than our previous cruise. For example, this was a 14 day cruise; we had assigned seating. During the cruise, our waiter never made ANY
personal contact with anyone at our table of six. Never introduced himself, never engaged in ANY conversation. Absolutely no rapport with the diners. Never made any comments about the menu selections, or advice on items to order. The waiter merely stood there with pen/paper in hand, asked each diner for their order. This was the only interaction we had, for the two weeks!! I regretted the dining room experience, and wished I had just dined at the Oceanview Cafe.
Note: the gratuities are automatically added to your ship account. You have a limited "window of opportunity" to proceed to Guest Relations, and dispute any
daily gratuity. Or it is cast in stone, on your ship account.
A similiar experience with the cabin steward. He was very efficient in maintaining our state room; just never had a conversation with him, until the second week of the cruise. We did not know who was assigned our state room, for the first days. We stayed in a Sunset Verandah cabin-which was fabulous! Cabin 7364 has almost twice the size of balcony, as some of the other cabins in this category.
The entertainment the first week, was wonderful. A star from a Le Mis production, Irish violist, a flutist, comedian/pianist. Wonderful performances.
By the second week, a magician-a juggler-a variety show featuring the magician and juggler together, an Eclipse cast show, prevailed. I appreciated the variety of shows that were offered, but the quality of the performers varied greatly.THE highlight of the Eclipse entertainment was James Stephens III. There is an upcoming movie to be released, telling the story of Bill Cosby's life. Mr Stephens plays the main role, impersonating him. He is the most gifted performer I have personally witnessed. The greatest impersonator of an unlimited
number of people, an awesome comedian, a great pianist; a fantastic person!
My wife and I were so impressed with Mr. Stephens, that we attended both of his performances that evening! If he performs on your cruise, do NOT miss seeing him.
As far as the quality of the food presented, the Oceanview Cafe is awesome.
There was a great variety of food offered at both breakfast and lunch.
The ONLY negative comment about the Oceanview is simple: not enough seating for the diners. Breakfast was always at capacity, for the available seating. Many times during the cruise, we ended up sitting at the bar, eating our meals. Many people became frustrated on walking around and around, searching for an elusive table. So did I.
We were flexible in our dining times there, but it didn't matter. The itinerary of the Eclipse, is why I booked it. Great ports of call.
Overall, a wonderful cruise experience, and I highly recommend the Eclipse.
There are many more examples, of less than acceptable service received, but there is no purpose in belaboring this topic. Maybe I was holding Celebrity, to the high standard, experienced on our first cruise with them?
If you are considering an Eclipse cruise, go for it!