First of all let me say that the Eclipse is a beautiful ship. The entire Solstice class is really first class in design. Beautiful lines, details, artworks and lots more. Large open spaces. The best buffet serving designs afloat. Celebrity has built five wonderful ships plus is Solsticizing the Millie class and soon maybe the Century. Now what? I am not sure. They have become very popular very fast.
Elite class is over full? So they told us when we boarded the Eclipse. Too many of us on board so here are some drink coupons you are on your own. But wait. The bartenders don't really like to serve people FREE drinks. So give them a tip and they still don't like us at least not in the Martini Bar. Well it is too noisy there, even the waitress says the new music is too loud, so we go to Michaels. A quiet refuge and a nice waiter who does not mind that we are Elite with coupons and likes our tips. By the way since when is a Manhattan only made with Bourbon or Scotch?? Those were our options. Until I found the Casino Bar one night and he offered me the usual Canadian. He got a bigger tip!! Elite breakfast in Tuscan was very nice and never very busy despite there were supposedly 600+ of us on board??? Second to last night friends discovered that the elite lounge was in fact open in the Sky Lounge even though the Captains Club Rep said it was not???? The daily news letter said that the Sky Lounge was Closed but when our friends went there it was open with the usual sign for Private Elite Function????? Oh well, we got our free drinks but really missed the Elite lounge and that extra bit of specialness that comes with it. I gather Celebrity has changes to the whole Captains Club coming soon, maybe July so we will see what happens then.
This was our first time on Solstice class ship in a few years. As I mentioned very nice but lots of people. A sea of people by the the two tiny pools outside. The inside pools was a nice refuge from the noise. But why is the AC set so cold that you have to get dressed as soon as you get out of the pool? It is a lovely peaceful area. Unlike most other areas of the ship which now seem to have loud and louder Rock, Techno, Disco, Reggae with four letter words blasting from speakers everywhere. Do not get me wrong. I Like lots of kinds of music. I listen to Tina Turner just not first thing in the morning or when I am dining in a nice restaurant trying to have a conversation with old and new friends. I am not an old fogie but enough is enough. All day everywhere. According to staff it is a new thing from CELEBRITY????? Why. It droves out of the dining room one night. And on many other nights I just grinned and beared it to be with friends. My partner has hearing aids, he turned them off left them in and still it was deafening. I hope this is not the NEW Celebrity. Just a one off I hope.
The food was great for the most part. I know this is very subjective so suffice it to say I gained 6 pounds in 14 days. I ate well ok. The fish dishes seemed to be the one real let down. All I tried were sad and others tried by friends were not too good. Beef, Veal and Lamb. Perfect. Sometimes even better in the main dining room then the Filet in Tuscan. We went there one night. Nice but not worth the extra $$$ I will not go again. The great salads in the glass bowls in the buffet were a huge hit with all of us at lunch. 4,5,6 choices each day and different ones too. Did I say HUGE HIT!!!! Healthy is only good for you if you do not eat too much of it! Oh well it was vacation, right!!
The ship is so well run so spotless it is really awful to have to say anything bad. Celebrity does so many things so well that when they slip up, and they do, they really stand out. One more area was the Oceanview Bar. That lovely open air area aft of the Oceanview Dining Room. FILTHY!!! Oh so badly maintained. Why this area was over looked I do not know. The floor in the mens room was cleaner then the tables outside. There was an attendant in the mens room to keep it clean. Yet waiter after waiter after manager after manager would walk thru this area and do little if anything. Pick up a dish here or there. Never wipe or really clean tables. Very Sad. Shades of CARNIVAL.
Two more things for others to consider when booking a room . I was in 7174 inside forward on deck seven. Turns out to be right above the theater. The cast practices daily, sometimes morning, sometimes afternoon, sometimes both. Do you like to takes naps? I do. Not a good room choice. Since we were last on the Solstice they seem to use the central foyer now as a the late night party place. Many nights we would come out of the dining room after late dining and they would be there. Some nights they would start at 11pm. They being the party band. WARNING to anyone booking a cabin on Deck 3 the noise is very loud all the way to the end of the hall. How much people hear in their cabins I do not know. Our friends were to be in one but were lucky to get upgraded to a balcony on 7. They were oh so happy not to be near that noise. Whatever happened to using the Sky Lounge far away from Cabins for this kind of noisy party stuff after 10pm?
All In all a great cruise but Celebrity now needs to focus on getting down to figuring out what kind of cruise line they want to be. I was on the Connie in Dec and it had problems but some of that was due to it being a TA. I was in the Infinity back a year ago and everything was near perfection. I hope that the NEW Celebrity will finds its way back to it roots.