My wife and I sailed on the Celebrity Eclipse on the 22nd February sailing from Ft Lauderdale on the 14 night exotic Southern Caribbean cruise.
This was our third time sailing with Celebrity and the second time on a Solstice class ship.
We made our booking including Choice air via The Cruise Specialists, a travel agent in Glasgow, Andrew Liddell who dealt with our booking was excellent, knowledgeable and helpful.
Our flights were with Virgin Atlantic in premium economy and were excellent and very comfortable, well worth the upgrade.
Celebrity put us in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Ft Lauderdale for the night before the sailing, the transfer from the airport was well organised and the hotel was excellent.
There was a delay in boarding due to the ship having a deep clean because of an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise. However embarkation was smooth and quick, we were allowed on the ship for around 12:30 in the public areas and had access to our rooms for about 3 pm.
The Eclipse is a lovely ship well set out and well looked after its exactly like the Solstice we sailed on a couple of years ago, so we felt at home and familiar with the ship very quickly.
Our cabin was 6307 which is on the Continental deck, it is an aft cabin on the very back of the ship, looking out over the wake as she sailed, we had requested this cabin as we had a similar cabin on the Solstice. It is a good walk from the lifts but the exercise was welcome, the room was very quiet and well appointed, with plenty of hanging space and drawer space, a good sized tv but not many channels.
A good sized balcony with two chairs and a table.
The bed was comfortable and quite large. The shower was the best I had ever had on a cruise.
The room attendants visited twice daily (more on that later)
We eat mainly in the Oceanview café, which on an evening was a nice quiet place to eat, but at breakfast time sometimes resembled a rioting crowd.
The food was ok…breakfast were always the same but there was plenty of choice, evening meals were quite repetitive and of varying quality. We always found something to eat, but some days were harder than others.
For the first few days the ships staff served all food and cutlery because of the problems on the previous cruise, and the hand wash was handed out on every visit to the café. The serving of food by staff was relaxed after the first 3 days, to my knowledge there were no incidents of norovirus on the cruise.
The Corning Museum Glass blowing was excellent as always, with great staff and good banter,
The trips we went on were ok, and reasonably priced.
Now for the things that were not so good.
I said we were delayed boarding the ship due to a deep clean taking place due to the previous sailing having the norovirus, well when we finally got to our cabin, we immediately notice urine stains on and around the toilet area, on the floor, and toothpaste on the sink and tap, also dirty hand prints on the rear of the toilet door,hardly a deep clean, we contacted housekeeping who dispatched the room attendants, who wiped over again the areas highlighted, we also got a visit from the housekeeping manager for that area who apologised, and arranged a further deep clean the next day…not very encouraging.
I believe the problem was our two room attendants Arthur and Anderson, who appeared very disinterested in working for a living, they never checked the minibar and always had to be asked for it to be topped up. They obviously didn’t like cleaning which appeared to always be rushed.
Also once staff had stopped serving the food, for the first few days, both my wife and I noticed a gradual lack of cleanliness on the ship, both in table cleaning and in utensils and plates being dirty not cleaned or washed thoroughly.
The final thing that was not so good was the disembarkation, it took over 90 minutes to leave the ship and collect our bags and pass through security, it then took another 90 minutes to get us to our hotel, our coach driver actually gave me the phone to answer the questions from his base, he could not read the names of the hotels we were going to or know where they were, we ended up pointing them out to him as we drove round.
The final error was that the day room was booked at the Courtyard Marriott, but when we arrived there it was actually at the Marriott, which was only a minutes walk away but again was poor service..it wasn’t even shown on my itinerary
Hardly what you expect from Celebrity