My husband & I and another couple decided to try the transatlantic experience on the Eclipse. We had previously taken two of her sister ships and were not disappointed this time. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship. It really sparkles. The staff is wonderful and go out of there way to please.
We embarked at Fort Lauderdale around noon after flying from Toronto that morning. The embarkation was seamless and we were able to access our rooms around 1:00 p.m. We had Concierge rooms on the 9th level Starboard side. The rooms were side by side which is great for having the balcony partially opened. Both cabins were spotless. Our cabin steward was named Florence and she was wonderful. She anticipated our every need in a quiet and inconspicuous manner. Possibly the best we have ever had. Many kudos to her.
We asked for and received a cheese plate instead of the other offering before dinner with Concierge cabins.
We had first seating dining which was different from our usual choice which is Select Dining. In retrospect I find the 6:00 dining to be too early if you enjoy pre-dinner drinks and music. Our two waiters, Myo and Slatko were excellent. They were efficient, friendly and personable. Our friend is a vegetarian and they made certain her needs were well met. She was very happy. In general I agree with the posts that say that the quality of the main dining room dining has decreased somewhat. Still, the food is far superior to what we had on Royal Caribbean last year. Breakfast was excellent whether in the dining room or Buffet. So many choices. We always have a few dinners in the Speciality restaurants. We went to Quisine for the experience. It is always novel and fun. Our favourite continues to be the Tuscan. Fantastic. The setting at the aft of the ship looking over the wake is charming. The food is excellent as is the service. Our only regret and disappointment was the cancellation of the fabulous brunch buffet held on the second last day. It has been a highlight of previous cruises and I must say that the removal of this takes some of the magic that makes Celebrity excel above other cruise lines. I hope that this can be reconsidered.
We all had the Classic Drink Package. Yes, it is costly but well worth the experience. We love the coffees of the Cafe al Bacio and spent time there each day. We also love the fresh squeezed orange juice. Of course we also make use of the wine, beer and liquor as well. We found what was offered to be adequate in brand. I would probably prefer the Premium Package but the cost is prohibitive overall and Classic meets our needs.
We only attended the evening show on the first night. We found it entertaining overall. In general there is just so much going on that we always seemed to have other things to do. We went to hear Perry Grant one evening and found him to be very funny. However his current venue in the wine bar is horrible. The space is just not appropriate to be a piano bar. The chairs are stuffed into the room, uncomfortable and crowded. It is very likely that you cannot even see the entertainer. Not good. We did not return.
We enjoyed our ports of call. Nassau was pleasant as the weather was excellent and shopping entertaining. Bermuda was wonderful as usual. It was our first time at the Naval Dockyard which was surprisingly well developed. There is excellent ferry service from there to other parts of the island. The Azores was fantastic and our favourite by far. We took a tour with Lisa Ringleberg which was about 6 hrs. She was very knowledgable and informative. We had a country luncheon at a Portugese home that was outstanding. This entire experience provided us with beautiful photography. This island is truly spectacular. When we arrived at Southampton we did not stay in London but flew out the same day.
We found this cruise to be one of our favourite and love the Eclipse which is a gorgeous ship. I also recommend the break in the number of days at sea with the stops at Bermuda and the Azores. Otherwise the number of consecutive sea days might seem tediously long. This is said by someone who loves days at sea. This cruise is highly recommended.