This was our second time on the Eclipse. We love it. The first cruise was a Mediterranean Cruise out of Southampton. We wanted to take the Transatlantic because we enjoy sea days.
The day before the cruise departed, we arrived in Fort Lauderdale. I highly suggest arriving at your port at least the day before the ship leaves. With dicey air travel it is recommended.
We booked our air flights through Celebrity Choice Air program. It worked. While on the phone with the Celebrity travel agent, we were able to find flights that fit our needs. The costs on the website were the same as offered by the agent.
Embarkation was wonderful. Everyone is excited to get started. Celebrity kept the lines moving and were very pleasant. We boarded the ship at approximately 11:45. As the staterooms were not ready for us, we were directed to the public areas. We had a lovely lunch in the Ocean View Café. This was the first of many! During lunch, we spoke with fellow Eclipsers and started making friends. Here’s a tip: Bring your carryon luggage and pack a bathing suit. After lunch, you can sun bathe and swim in the pools while waiting your state room availability. Hardly anyone was doing this.
The first stop was Nassau, the Bahamas. As we have been there before, we decided to just get off the ship and walk around. As it was Easter Sunday, we decided to go to the local church. We were welcomed warmly and enjoyed a beautiful service.
The second stop was in Bermuda. We took two tours. The first was the glass bottom boat tour. We had a good time of seeing a sunken ship with the swimming sea life. The second tour was a trip to Hamilton. We walked around the city and enjoyed the shopping.
The third stop was Ponta Delgado in the Azores. We loved this location. We took the crater lakes and island tour. We went to a pineapple plantation, botanical gardens, and crater lakes. Our tour guide was Manuela. She was quite a tour guide for the Azores! We enjoyed her presentation and pleasant demeanor. The island was just beautiful. We would go back in a heartbeat!
All of our tours were booked through Celebrity. Although they were a bit expensive, they did deliver what was advertised and guaranteed your return to the ship. This is critical. The ship leaves and you better be on it!
We really love the sea days! They are especially relaxing and enjoyable. We swam and sat in the hot tub every day! One of us had a goal of taking three naps a day. This goal was met on many days. We joined the Eclipse Choir and had fun with 72 other singers. We sang a Beatles Medley and Cohen’s “Halleluiah”!
Here’s another tip: If you are a walker or jogger, go to deck 5 by the life boats. We had maybe 1 or 2 others on the deck when we exercised. The walking track and gym were somewhat crowded.
Here’s another tip: Get up early and enjoy an empty ship. At 5:30 a.m. only a few guests are around with some hard working staff. The ship has a completely different feel.
We ate dinner at the 6:00 p.m. seating. Our waiters were Ersoy and Simba. They were professional and friendly. We made some terrific friends and had some tasty food. We had plenty to eat and drink while passing on the specialty restaurants and drink packages. There is plenty to do without adding to the cost of your cruise.
We met some really experienced cruisers. This was our 4th and we met folks who had cruised 20+ times previously. We enjoyed the international friends we met and shared our experiences. Celebrity provides the platform for and truly memorable time. And, we took full advantage of it!
Debarkation was well organized and exactly as planned. We were given a time or 9:10 a.m. to leave the ship. Sure enough at 9:00 a.m. the speaker announced that we could depart. We left the ship and picked up out luggage and were on the bus to our hotel by 9:10.
We booked our transportation to and the hotel through Celebrity. This worked beautifully. Upon arriving at the hotel, we were greeted by a Celebrity employee who helped give us tips for the area and answered our questions. Check-in was a breeze. Our paperwork and room cards were lined up in alphabetical order on the counter. We found our names, signed the documents and went to our room. Check-in lasted less than 5 minutes. So, I highly suggest booking your transportation and room through Celebrity! Great job everyone!