However this was still classed by Celebrity as the inaugural cruise.
Travel from Leeds to Southampton was arranged via a coach, was OK but coach was not as nice as the Eavesway service that P&O use, that having been said it WAS perfectly acceptable.
Boarding at Southampton was a dream, shore to deck in less that 10 minutes.
Having previously cruised on Equinox we knew the ships layout, so no suprises there. Decor is, of course different, and I have to say, in my opinion, at least on a par with Equinox and maybe even better.
We were fortunate to be upgraded from Concierge class to Aqua Class, I have to say I was slightly trepidatious at the thought of "healthy eating", with pictures being conjured up of lettuce leaves and raw carrot. BOY how wrong can one be!!!
The Blu restaurant for Aqua Class passengers is a total joy, open seating a fantastic wait staff, Maitre d\ etc and a Sommelier (Marina) who actually knows how to use the little wine pan around her neck, very covertly whilst the passenger is "tasting" the wine, she pours a tiny amount into her pan, sniffs it, and slurps it for taste. Well done Marina.
The food is fantastic, Blu is open from breakfast I can recommend the Blu parfait a layered mixture of Blueberries, granola and yogurt presented in a wine glass, my wife had a similar concoction with strawberries banana and yogurt.
The evening meal has 4 starters, 4 main courses and a selection of wonderful desserts, I will not spoil your enjoyment by describing them all, but the short rib of beef on horseradish mash, was by taste and presentation unforgettable.
Entertainment is always a strong point on Celebrity cruises.
Eclipse does not disappoint.
First night was a production show called EDGE, very professional, fantastic lighting effects and VERY loud music.
Night 2 was a concert by UK singer Lindsey Hamilton, I've seen Lindsey on 2 other Celebrity ships, on Eclipse she received a standing ovation, so nothing new there then! She has sung in the West End of London in Shows like Evita (where she played the lead) and Les Miserable, a must see cabaret.
Night 3 was a cabaret, featuring acts seen in lounges and bars throughout the ship and of course the wonderful Celebrity orchestra. Those appearing in this show were Manny Kelough Jazz Band, Inspiration Strings ( classical quartet from Ukraine )and a great a Capella quarter who as well as singing unaccompanied also sangs songs from The Jersey Boys, backed by the Celebrity Orchestra.
Night 4 The Eclipse Production show
All I will say about this show is you MUST see it.
Another Celebrity triumph,ship superb, entertainment fantastic and food to die for. Was it worthwhile paying for Aqua Class (remember I had a complimentary upgrade) If you are into spa treatments and wonderful food food and service in a great Blu restaurant it would be well worth looking at. If, like me, its just the food and service and not the spa treatments maybe it's marginal, for example my next cruise on Eclipse is the first Transatlantic cruise in October 2010, the additional cost is just over £300pp for a 14 night cruise and this is £300pp extra from the Concierge Class fare so in my case the jury is still out on that one.
But if any Celebrity Executives are reading this review please feel free to give me another complimentary upgrade.