We set sail from Southampton on June 8th, on our way to a wonderful voyage on the Baltic Sea. The Eclipse is beautiful, with lots of great activities (our favourite was the Hot Glass Show by Corning), food, drinks and is a beautifully decorated, comfortable ship. Our cabin was great - quite comfortable in size and had a large balcony. The Eclipse has the best staff we've every encountered!! Every employee, regardless of their job, always smiled & said hello. The bar & wait staff were very attentive and took our orders quickly. The Activities staff was superb (a big shout out to Michael, who ran the Trivia & Countdown games... he was so funny & entertaining!!). We were a bit disappointed with the night time entertainment (except for the staff singers/dancers & the comedian, Steve Womack, who was so funny! We went to all 3 of his shows). We ate at 2 of the specialty restaurants (Tuscan Grille & Qsine). They were both excellent and would recommend anyone that wants a truly different & special dining experience to make reservations at Qsine!! It was a fabulous meal that we will never forget!!
The ports were great, although we weren't too impressed with Warnemunde. It was a 3 hour drive to Berlin(6 hours on a bus), so we decided to stay in port & walk around (which took about 15 minutes). In Zeebrugge, one of our ship mates had pre-arranged a van to meet us, to drive us into Brugge (about a 30 minute drive), from SNELL Taxi. He never showed up, so we were left to scrounge on the dock for a cab (for 8 people). My advice is to take the Celebrity transfer into Brugge.... it's a few dollars more but it's guaranteed!! It's definitely worth the trip into Brugge... best waffles & chocolates. Try Dumon Chocolatier.
Our favourite port was St.Petersburg. We took an Alla 2 day Grand Tour, which was excellent. It's a beautiful, vibrant city... quite different than what we had expected.
The ship wasn't able to sail through the beautiful Swedish archipelago into Stockholm, due to extremely high winds. Instead of skipping the port, the captain docked just off the coast, at Nynashamn, had the lifeboats tender everyone in and had buses waiting to take everyone into the city (a 1 hour drive). I'm sure this cost Celebrity a lot of money and I don't think every cruise line would have gone to that much effort & expense to keep their passengers happy.... we are VERY grateful to the company for going above & beyond!!
On our third day out, we were notified that there was Noro virus on board. We were SO very impressed with the measures Celebrity took to minimize the spread. They stopped all self-service food (had staff dishing out all the food & drinks in the OceanView cafe), there was staff constantly cleaning the elevator buttons and railings and everyone had to use hand sanitizer before entering/leaving any of the ships common rooms (restaurants, bars, theatres).
We've been on many cruises but we have to rank this one as one of the best!!