Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by joew44: Caution for future Eclipse passengers....hidden danger
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Caution for future Eclipse passengers....hidden danger
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
If dangerous steep uneven wet stairs might be a concern for you, please be cautions about Celebrity Eclipse excursions.
They don't feel any responsibility to warn you about these dangers in their excursion descriptions....so you must ask and be cautions.
We had been on 3 previous Celebrity excursions in Columbia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica including a coffee plantation and crafts factory. Stairs were never a problem or concern.
So we were shocked with the danger on excursion Spice and Waterfalls in Granada. (GD43). This excursion was listed as "mild" and there were no warning about the stairs. I don't know if other excursions have this danger. After this terrible experience we only went on one other excursion in St. Marteen and there was no problem.
All three stops on this tour required dangerous steps. The waterfall was the worst since you park on a narrow road above the water fall and to get a view of the waterfall you had to walk down a number of More steps. If you didn't want to go down the first set of stairs you were stuck on a narrow road.
To get the to bottom of the waterfall was the worst and only about 1/2 of the crowd went to the bottom. The stairs were steep, lacking handrails, uneven and wet.
Also on this tour they used a local public bus to transport us. This bus was smelly of diesel fumes, had terrible suspension, thin dirty torn up seats, bad air conditioning and going to the waterfall which was uphill they turned off the air conditional due to the vehicle overheating. Finally it couldn't go up the hill anymore and the driver told us we had to get out and walk.
Immediately after this excursion we went to the excursion desk to complain. We talked with the destination Concierge Francois who told us he would get back to us in 24 to 48 hours about our request for a partial refund. After 48 hours we heard nothing from Francois so we talked with him. He seemed to have forgotten about us. We then talked with 2 other people in the excursion dept and finally within a few hours we got the partial refund we requested.
None of the excursion dept people seemed to understand the danger that stairs pose to older people. The vast majority of passengers were over 60.
Francois said that if they warned people about the stairs less people would go on the tour. He didn't think the stairs were that bad. I asked him if he had gone on this tour and he said no.
None of the people on the ship seemed concerned about the stair issue. Or seemed to feel any responsibility to warn passengers before booking about the hazardous stairs.
On return to the US after the cruise I talked with someone in corporate about the issue. He seemed concerned but we'll see if they make any changes.
In the meantime if you want to avoid dangerous stairs you can't depend on the Celebrity excursion description.
The rest of the cruise....first the good.
Cabin's great. New ship. Everything works. Showers great. Excellent interesting rooms and chairs all over the ship. Good elevators. Glass blowing demos fantastic. Perry Grant (piano entertainer) ...outstanding,
Not so good. They don't have many chairs available on deck 5 if you want to sit near the ocean. The upper decks 12 and 14 are great for looking at the islands from a high distance but very far removed from the ocean. The ship design makes you feel you're in a hotel not a ship. Not a good thing in my opinion. I like the feeling of being on the water. The food wasn't as good as last year on the Celebrity Infinity
The food in the buffet was equal to Infinity but the main dinning room was worse.
We got to the port in Ft Lauderdale at 11AM and got right on the ship. Leaving the ship was fast also. Customs this time had enough people to handle the crowds.
There was a Chinese magician who was great.....and Perry Grant outstanding....but otherwise entertainment bad. Not entertaining. Don't go on this ship for the entertainment.
Lots of people had the drink package. It wasn't available a year ago on Celebrity. This over 60 middle class crowd can handle their liquor so there were no fights or rowdiness. But not as fun if you don't drink to be around everyone else heavily drinking. Once people get the package they tend to drink much more than otherwise to "get their money's worth" from the package.
But the heavy drinking is another reason the ship has the responsibility to warn people about stairs.
If you're not over 60 you don't understand the problem with stairs. And the excursion dept didn't understand or seem to care. Stairs that are steep, uneven, wet, with no handrails are not allowed in the US. You have a older crowd getting out of a smelly bumpy bus. Their back is stiff. Their balance is weak. Hard to judge the stairs with bifocals. And the fear that if we fall on the stairs we might not be able to get up. And we're looking at ambulance ride to local Granada hospital....not a pleasant thought.
The excursions should be about fun not fear. Less
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