After an overnight stop in Southampton, my husband and I arrived with our car at gate 8 to start our cruise. We had already received an email informing us of a delayed embarkation due to an outbreak of the novo virus. we were advised to use the waiting shuttle bus (free) to visit Southampton for a few hours as they were not letting passengers board until they had a clean bill of health. When we returned, there was a large number of people queuing. My husband is disabled, and the staff immediately directed us to the fast lane where we boarded in a matter of minutes.As I had hurt my back lifting the cases, this was a boon, as I was in agony.
What can I say about the Eclipse, WOW, our cabin was great, beautifully presented, with fresh flowers and champagne. The staff on the ship were without exception wonderful. We had the most attentive stateroom staff, and we hit lucky in the Moonlight restaurant also, our waiters were great. My husband was not well on one evening and they were lovely. The novo virus meant the hygiene precautions were rigorous. It was not until about the third day that we could serve ourselves in the Ocean view café. But that was ok, better safe than sorry. The standard of fitting and luxury touches are throughout the ship, lots of lovely seating everywhere. The pools are great, while we were on board they were not crowded, although the weather was not always sunny. I think we had the best deck on the ship (10) Our cabin (1078)was in the middle of the ship, in the event of any bad weather this is an ideal location. It is also dead centre so great for restaurant or the theatre. The entertainment in the Theatre Eclipse was on the
whole very entertaining. We especially loved Mike Doyle, a welsh comedian, with a wonderful voice. Although we loved the circus style show, we nearly walked out, as the music throughout was horrendous, even the excellent singers couldn't hide the fact that it was a nightmare, lots of people made the same comment.
We had only pre booked our Russia excursions, which were breath-taking, but with my bad back, we decided to go on the panoramic sightseeing tours for the other cities. I'm so glad we did as they were so informative and we saw so much more than if we had gone on our own.
The only negative comments I can make are the cost of any purchases on board are not cheap. If you want to have a laugh and play bingo, beware, it will cost $25.!!!EACH. The excursions are not cheap either, but I imagine this applies to all cruise ships. I think the only other negative comment is the constant music, there really is no escape. Sometimes it was very background and didn't intrude, at other times even in the café it was always there.
But I have to say as first time cruisers, we had the most wonderful experience. We met fabulous people from all over the world. Funny Americans prepared to join in anything, chatty Australians, and of course good old Brits, prepared to have the micky taken out of themselves by every comedian at every opportunity. I must add a comment about the activity director, Ian Creswell and his team, they worked so hard and were a constant source of amusement. At the end of the cruise the disembarkation was amazing, so well organised we were off in a flash and picking up our car in no time. Will we be going on another Celebrity Eclipse cruise ? absolutely!!!!!!