We booked this 3 night innaugral cruise on Celebrity Eclipse as it was at such a bargain price for an inside guanrantee, £190 per person, cant be bad, it was a Monday to Thursday sailing and we managed to talk the in-laws into looking after the kids so this was a perfect short break away for us as a couple.
We had already decided we werent going to get off in France as we just wanted a few days of doing very little, which is what we got, fortunatelt the weather for teh short break was fantastic, which was great and we were very fortunate, it made a huge difference!
On arrival at Southampton you are treated to the usual Royal Caribbean/Celebrity greeting and swift check in process, arrived in the car 20 minutes later you are on and all checked in! straight up to get some lunch, so off to the buffet, good selection of food, juices, tea, coffee etc, really enjoyed the lunch, then spent an hour or two having a wonder around the ship before going back to our room, our guarantee room was an inside and we were allocated an inside accesible room, which was huge as it had to be that size for wheelchairs etc, it was a great size and the showeroom was huge and well appointed, but no shower gel in the cubice, slightly disappointed with that, the incabin TV and interactive bit was excellent, you could do everything you needed on it plus have a choice of music, on-demand films etc etc, a great addition to the room, the room served its purpose and done what was required of it.
Spent the time on the ship just relaxing, taking in the bars, swimming, food, just generally a relaxing few days.
The MDR was a bit hit and miss really, had a table for two, but the table for two next door was so close you could hardly get a fag paper between us, not a problem as the people there were nice and friendly but cant say I would enjoy being that close if it was a two week cruise, the service was good, as was the food however, the actual dining room itself was missing something, some ambience or something???
In actual fact the whole ship was missing some ambience, or character or soul or something, it just felt slightly lifeless?
We really enjoyed the ship, but there is just *something* missing on it, strange to describe but something is missing.
Anyway, onto the room service, we always have room service breakfast as it is so much easier than messing around in the usual places, and the breakfast on the room service menu was comprehensive and always served bang on the time requested and always found it very good, teh hot items arrived hot and everything that was ordered actually arrived, when we used the room service at other times for other bits again it was always quick and always to a good standard.
In the evenings we enjoyed the Sky Bar with the live music and the small smoking area, which was great to see, we are smokers so we used it however, you are out of the way and the smoking area is relatively small so I dont really see why people are moaning about it to be honest!
The fittings on the ship all seemed to a high standard and decorated to perfection, but it felt slightly bland, maybe that was from the modern minimalistic style maybe? But things like sunbeds, seating etc were all to a high standard and felt plush.
Having got used to the Independence of the Seas, you can see the similarities on the two brands as they are under the same ultimate control, but it also shows you how used to a specific brand you get, we love the Independence and have cruised on here several times, and you really do get used to the Royal Promenade, you can sit there and people watch, enjoy a coffee, pastries etc where as Eclipse missed something similar.
The pool and all that was nice, although the hot tubs could of been slightly warmer, but not a problem anyway.
One thing that did annoy me was the promenade deck, some lovely deck space that could be enjoyed with coffee, looking out to see etc but you cant as the viewing space is all taken with lifeboats which on my view is poor design, ok, no problem with lifeboats being on teh ship obviously, but why there? It really does ruin what could be a wonderful outside space.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, as its a cruise, beats being at home, however, we have had better and worse cruise holidays, so our rating would be average, but there is definately something missing, its atmosphere based, maybe that will come with time once the ship comes alive maybe?
Hope this is helpful.
Thanks, James & Karen.