Unfortunately we didn't purchase our flights through Celebrity so we were responsible for getting ourselves to the first port; Aruba to catch the ship. We incurred $4000 in hotel, flight, and miscellaneous fees to do so and are waiting for reimbursement through TravelGuard. Celebrity was great to deal with through this process; our questions were answered promptly, the ship was held at port an extra 5 hours to accommodate more guests, and we were given red carpet treatment during embarkation in Aruba and disembarkation in Port Everglades.
The Eclipse is a beautiful newer ship with modern decor and plenty of space for everyone. Our first cruise was 2 years ago on the Equinox which we loved. We were concerned that we would be bored being on the same ship but it would be a hard one to beat. We noticed only minor differences such as Q-sine instead of the Japanese specialty restaurant and decor changes. Both ships seem to have poor stabilizers; there was a lot of motion felt on both cruises.
Our stateroom; 6182 was a 2D obstructed view balcony. It was on the 6th floor, midship, quiet, and close to elevators. The obstructed view didn't bother us especially since we got a deal. The stateroom was large with plenty of storage space and a modern bathroom. We preferred it to our Aquaclass stateroom on the Equinox which was on the 11th floor below the fitness centre; very noisy due to the treadmills above and lots of motion felt. We didn't miss Blu except for their exceptional breakfast; we prefer the service and menu at the main dining room. We enjoyed lighter fare at the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast and the buffet/Mast Grill for lunch.
We like cruising with Celebrity because they cater to an older, sophisticated crowd. The food quality and variety throughout the ship is excellent. The service received from all staff was great. The ship is newer and meticulously kept. Plenty of space around the three pools, six hot tubs, and various sun decks. We never had trouble finding a lounge chair. The only negative is the entertainment which is geared towards seniors. We didn't bother going to any shows except for the Cirque style show which was excellent and the comedic impersonator who was great. However, after being bored with 90% of the shows during our last cruise, we learned that it is a great time to enjoy the hot tubs with complete privacy! The activities for younger people are limited during sea days so we were glad not to have many. We loved all of the ports and booked private excursions at each. St, Marten was a zoo with 6 ships in port.
We purchased an Open Passages certificate while onboard and plan to sail with Celebrity again next year.