My husband and I spent two weeks on this beautiful ship, Feb. 9-23, sailing to the exotic southern Caribbean. This was our 10th Celebrity cruise since 2005.
The itinerary drove our decision to book this cruise. Although we've been to a couple of the ports before, namely St. Marten, St. Lucia and Barbados, Aruba, Bonaire Grenada, Antigua and St. Croix were new to us. We booked a shore excursion package through Celebrity that we were very happy with. We've outgrown the more rigorous excursions and opted for a sightseeing package that touched upon the highlights of Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados and St. Lucia. It was approximately $200 per person and well worth every penny.
This was our 3rd cruise in Aqua Class and our stateroom 1529 was fantastic. Located just a few rooms from the front elevators, it was quiet and convenient. Our stateroom attendant, Francisco, was probably the best we've had (as was his assistant but I can't remember his name!). The service was flawless.
We were traveling with another couple who we met in 2007 on the Mercury. After trying AQ on the Eclipse in 2011, we convinced them to give it a try for this cruise. They loved it as much as we did. So much so that they cancelled specialty dining reservations as they preferred Blu. Our waiter, Rosebud, and his assistant Oxana were very efficient and friendly. Our sommelier, Erik, was outstanding. Our wine glasses were never empty. The food was topnotch each night-absolutely no complaints.
We did dine in Qsine one night as we had never eaten there before. It was fun and the food was wonderful. We also did the "Chef's Table" in Murano. Wow! Well worth it if you have a chance. I was concerned that the weight of the "Excite the Senses" cookbook would put my suitcase over the weight limit but it was fine.
I can't speak much for the shows in the evening as we only went to one and that was to see the comedian, James Stephens III, who was hysterical. We've seen him before and he was just as funny. We had every intention of going to see Perry Grant but frankly, just never made it. Blame it on the Martini Bar, our favorite hangout after dinner. We first experienced the Martini Bar on the Millennium in Alaska this past June. Our bartender from that cruise, Wid, just transferred to the Eclipse and it was his first cruise on her. It was fun to catch up with him and we enjoyed his sense of humor and showmanship each night. We really enjoyed the Party band, Fully Functioning. I liked the Jazz band but when they performed in the Ensemble Lounge, it was a little loud. I much preferred listening to them when they played on the Lawn Club. Activities were plentiful. For the first time, we participated in the ship building contest and we won!!
We attended the Elite breakfast in the Tuscan Grille most mornings and then followed that with breakfast at Blu. As some have mentioned, the Elite Cocktail party was replaced with drink coupons due to the number of Elites on board. As we had premium drink packages, the coupons were not used. My husband did use his a few times and went to the bar and asked for three unopened bottles of beer. Our stateroom attendant emptied the fridge and he stored the beer there. He liked being able to have one in the evening without having to go to a bar to get one. Kudos to Remco, the Captains Club Host. He was outstanding. We enjoyed meeting the Hotel Director, Tom Brady, who lives in my hometown in Illinois and dining with Simon Coley, the Food and Beverage Manager at the Chef's Table.
I want to mention a couple housekeeping items that I learned about through Cruise Critic and found most helpful. Thanks Sandy (LibraryLady) for sharing the tip about the folding storage cubes. I did purchase 6 and they were so convenient. I've never liked the over the bed storage units as I'm short. I was able to open the unit and grab the handle of the storage cube with no trouble. I brought a sheet of "Hello My Name is" stickers and after we unpacked, I labeled the cubes. I also brought a hanging shoe bag for not only shoes but evening bags. This cruise I also packed a Ziploc bag of magnets. It was great to put the important items on the wall and not have to dig through the inevitable pile of papers under the television!
This was the longest cruise we've ever done. Fourteen nights flew by! We met some wonderful new friends and can't wait to cruise again. We were booked on a 15 night to Hawaii next year on the Century but found out yesterday that that cruise has been cancelled. Oh well, maybe we'll need to go back on the Eclipse again!