Also our first time in Aqua Class. The stateroom was fairly standard. Not a lot of storage. The cabinets above the headboard are difficult to reach. There is not enough drawer space. The bathroom was very well designed. The bed and pillows were very comfortable.
We really enjoyed the culinary delights in Blu (the restaurant exclusive for Aqua Class). I do wish they would do more to encourage people to share tables. We asked one time and were discouraged, being told that most people end up talking to the folks at the table next to them. That did happen but we had to make it happen whereas if you were seated at the same table, the conversations would be much easier to start. The food was out of this world wonderful, the waiters and other staff fabulous. Blu is an intimate dining venue, so you still get to see the same wait staff every night which is lovely. They all work so hard.
A special thanks to the wine steward, Anthony, who introduced me to another wine I now like very much -- a simple Beringer white zinfandel rose. We had the drink package (complimentary with our booking) and enjoyed the freedom of ordering without thinking about the price in the back of our mind. Each day, we each usually had 2 glasses of wine with dinner, a couple of soft drinks, some tasty coffees and teas, fresh squeezed OJ and smoothies at the Aqua Spa cafe. We did not keep track so don't know if purchasing the package would have been a good deal for us. But did enjoy the peace of mind.
The ports were lovely. The weather wonderful. Beware that disembarkation in Rekjavik took longer than anticipated without any warning by the cruise staff. I saw some upset passengers ... but chill out people, you're on a cruise. We did not reserve any shore excursions via the cruise line. A wonderful fellow passenger here on Cruise Critic took it upon herself to organize a bunch of tours directly with the same tour providers used by the ships and for a lot less money than charged by the ship. We just sent her $$$ via Paypal and she forwarded to the tour operators. So all that was arranged and paid for in advance. Thanks, Lee!
The Eclipse was the most beautiful ship upon which we have ever sailed. We were wondering how crowded the ship would feel given its huge size. But the Solstice class ships are so well designed. Traffic flow is great. The only time some areas seemed a little crowded were: (1) buffet area upon embarkation but only because we were all trying to eat at the same time, (2) Solarium adult only pool on sea days but understandable due to a bit cooler weather. Given the cool weather, I thought it was a wonderful idea they did permit the children in the pool during certain hours each day. A great compromise for the kiddos.
About 3/4 of the ship were Brits (we're from the US), so naturally the menus and entertainment was programmed much to them. We enjoyed trying new foods mushy peas?) and learning about British humor - RUBBISH! The Oceanview Cafe was a delight. Many choices of yummy food.
All in all, a wonderful time on a wonderful ship with a wonderful crew.