We were on the Eclipse last year for a Baltic cruise. Although we loved the ship, we did find it really noisy and were a little nervous of our trip this year.
The great news is that the noisy ship is now lovely and quiet. It is possible to sit and have a martini without being bombarded with techno music. You can eat your meal without being bombarded with techno music and you can walk along the outside decks without trying to find at least one place where it is quiet. Marvelous news for all who hated the techno music. Even the slot machines seemed quieter. Last year as you walked along by the shops you could not hear yourself think from the loud bells ringing all the time.
Thank you Celebrity for listening to us.
The food was marvelous, better than last year. Oceanview and Moonlight Sonata restaurants superb. We were spoilt for choice and the quality was amazing. Wish we could find such wonderful meat here.
The entertainment was as expected, although slightly worse than last year. We went to most of the shows, found the first comedian very good, think his name was Noel, it was his first time on Celebrity. There was a couple, one played guitar and the other did impressions who were not to our taste. A reasonable comediene/singer. Katy who played the piano and was very entertaining. A violinist who was excellent and a Hypnotist who was - well - a hypnotist. Another comedian who was reasonable. The Celebrity Shows were the same as last year, ok but one of the girl singers was prone to screech a little.
The resident party band were good, infact all the live entertainment we saw in the bars was ok.
As for the lecturers, not good at all. The guy who kept telling us that he worked for the Discovery Chanel was awful. Spent ages telling us about polar bears during a lecture on the wildlife of Iceland. They do not have native polar bears there. According to an Icelandic guide we had it is only on very very rare ocassions that polar bears float over on an iceberg and if they are seen they are shot. The lecturer seemed to make out that they were indigenous to the region. I could do a far better job of the port lectures, all the girl did was read off the information from the daily news sheets delivered to our state rooms. She did not tell us any 'insider' tips, at least I did not hear them. Very boring speaker.
The only day time entertainment seemed to be either keep fit, art or trivia. When there was something interesting for us they all clashed as they were all the same times. Not very well thought out.
We were 'blessed' with a group of noisy, and sometimes rude Brazilian solicitors and lawyers, around 400 of them we understand. They took over areas of the ship including the Sky Bar at times. Many of them thought that it was their given right to push into lifts, push to disembark at ports, shout loudly in all public areas. We just ignored it, but it did upset a lot of passengers, especially Elite ones who were not allowed into the Sky Bar. It would be good if Celebrity advised if a large group was going to be on your chosen cruise, but then why should they I suppose.
We were very unlucky with the weather, as we left the sunny, hot shores of England we sailed into fog which stayed with us all the way to Iceland. It was really quite cold there. We did the Golden Circle Tour privately, what a long day that was. It was interesting to see the places of beauty and I would not have missed it, but 9 hours is a long time to be travelling around. The second day we went on our own to Rekyavik. Lovely place but really expensive. We did not see anyone, apart from Brazilians with shopping. Akureyri was lovely to walk around in my water proof trousers!
The weather then deteriorated, torrential rain in Klaksvik. Lovely place, we did tour but it was so cold and wet. It then rained continuously to the Fjords so no one could enjoy the outside areas. There were long faces until we reached Flam. More fog, but it did clear eventually so some people did manage to see something. We had been before. The same in Geiranger, more rain and mist. Just as we thought it could not get any worse our tender boat crashed on to the pier and knocked a hole into its door. Thank goodness no one was hurt and it did not take in water. Gave me a fright I can tell you.
More rain, and then just as we got to Stavanger the sun came out. Really enjoyed our day there. The same for Kristiansand, where we received the best welcome. The tourist information hut had provided entertainment for our arrival and a stuffed moose to have our photos taken with. They were so welcoming, infact they had come onto our roll call forum and introduced themselves. There were lots of small speed boats racing around to see us off.
The iLounge is expensive and quite honestly these days there is free wifi at most ports so I would not bother with it again. Text messages cost far less. The guys in the iLounge are lovely, very helpful and great fun.
All in all it was a good cruise. We met great people, had good food, and the ship is lovely. Would not do that itinerary again though.
The staff are amazing, so friendly and quick to smile and welcome you. Our room stewards and waiters were fantastic. If I have a criticism it is that some of the girls around the ship could benefit from lessons in smiling. We did encounter some rudeness and sulky faces, Cafe Al Bacio comes to mind. There was also a blonde somelier downstairs in Moonlight Sonata that would benefit the smiling lessons. Have to say all the male staff without exception were friendly, quick to smile and ready to engage in conversation. The majority of the female staff were great too. Shame about the miseries.