This was our 15th cruise on Celebrity. In 2011 we took our eldest son with us (who was 8 months at the time) and had a great time on Eclipse. Previously we had just cruised as a couple.
So ... based on previous experience we booked a 2 week cruise on Eclipse with my parents and our two sons (aged 1 and 2 1/2).
We booked a family room which was amazing - 2 bedrooms and a huge lounge/dining room. There are only 4 of these cabins on the ship and they are one of the best kept secrets - the square footage was similar to the Royal Suite. The only negative was that there was no bath - we improvised with a paddling pool for the children!
The good things...
- The cabin!
- Embarkation - very fast and friendly staff at Southampton
- The main restaurant assistant maitre'd (Vladamir) - very helpful and flexible - accommodated all food requests for our children
- The photography staff - we booked a photo package and they made sure we got excellent value for money
- The shop staff
- Disembarkation - the quickest ever - 10 minutes from leaving our cabin to getting in a taxi at Southampton
The bad things...
- The Cruise Director - he was terrible - kept a very low profile and didn't 'lead' his team
- Our stateroom attendant - was surly and rude and he rarely cleaned our room properly. He also resented the fact that we ate many of our meals in our cabin - to take advantage of our large dining room table and as it was easier when the children were tired. He flatly refused to bring us a high chair in the cabin. Fortunately the restaurant staff over ruled him
- The Ocean view cafe - tables took ages to be cleared and cleaned and on many occasions we had to wait over 20 minutes for staff to find high chairs
- Entertainment - far fewer quizzes than previously and the evening shows were tacky
- Captain's Club - has lost its way and sense of being something special
The worst area was the Kid's Club. The staff were totally disinterested in children and sat talking amongst themselves the whole time. Many of the toys were broken or had no batteries in. Loud dance music was played non stop in the kid's club that was enough to give anyone a headache! But the worst thing was that my husband and I were told that we couldn't both come to the kid's club with our children - only one of us at a time. This was crazy as there were only 6 other toddlers on the ship and the area was normally empty.
Celebrity let us down and for the first time in many years, we are jumping ship and have booked our next cruise on Royal Caribbean. I know there will be more for our children to do on this line but I mainly hope that the staff have more of a 'can do attitude....!'