No boring reviews of how we got to the port etc. On arrival luggage was taken from us, the car parked, no lines for embarcation for anyone, we had done the online embarkaction forms and were Elite members and we were on the ship by noon. Staterooms not quite ready, so we sat quietly watching the world go by until then. First impression good, a lovely ship. Had a great cabin just off the midship elevators, could not ask for better. The beds were next to the balcony, plenty of storage space, closet, drawers and over the bed. Everything fitted in neatly. However I could see a problem if the bed was next to the closet, things could get a little tight. The cabins are soundproof, no noise from our neighbours and even though we were close to the elevators and the music nights on deck 3 it did not disturb us.
We had two days at sea which were something of a shock, given that we have always cruised the Caribbean before. There was not much on these days in entertainment. I have heard that the Titanic talks were very good. Quite frankly it took those two days to get the lay out of the ship. The third day at sea between Lanzarote and Lisbon was hot and we spent a pleasant time at the Sunset Bar. The last sea day between Vigo and Spain was wet and windy, no chance of getting out on the decks.
The Stateroom: Ours was narrow in the entrance and wider towards the balcony. I think the Constellation staterooms seemed bigger, especially with all the mirrors. The shower was the best yet, roomy, and plenty of storage space. The towels seemed a little small, but worked. There is an awful tap over the washbasin which is fixed, don't lean down too far to splash your face or you will get a bloody nose! We had a kettle/tea/coffee hospitality tray. I have a feeling that this is just for European sailings, hope so. The tray took up the whole dressing/make up area and had to be moved, it also blocked the power points. I would rather call room service for my coffee and juice. The beds seemed a little high and slightly hard, I guess they have not been slept in enough times! The worst thing was the coffee cups. They were glass with a chrome handle attached to a ring around the bottom. Twice they collapsed leaving me with a lap and a worktop full of coffee. Take note Celebrity, these things are dangerous. Our stateroom attendant was Ronny. Suffice to say that we saw him rarely and the stateroom was well attended too. This is how it should be.
We ate early sitting in the Moonlight Sonata. We had asked for a table for two which I can guess you can say we got except it was about four inches from the next tables. Thus you could say we were on a table for eight, the strange thing being that one waiter served four of us and the other the other four. We were lucky in having great table companions (Dave and Joan do you hear this!) But we never really got to know our waiter and bus girl. There was absolutely no interaction. The food was what we expected which meant dining most nights off the left side of the menu. I don't want to see steak again for a long time! But all was good except from the last night when my onion soup was too hot and my steak was a mass of fatty tissue.
But we did dine at Muranos and the Tuscan Grille. Muranos was out of this world. I travel with a picky eater but we had nothing but praise for the food or the service. At the Tuscan Grille the picky eater developed an aversion to garlic. No problem, all sorted, but Muranos had the edge.
Having been used to the Caribbean, this came as a disppointment. We are not show people, only attended one with the Irish Comedian where we sneaked out half way through. Managed to catch the tail end with the hits from the musicals which seemed good, then headed for the Passport Bar where Frontliners done a good job. They seem so constrained in space, lots of times I watched from the floors above over the Atrium. "These Guys" a capella were top notch. Never attended the Karoake but were there when they had a few trivia quizzes, the screaming DJ was just TOO much! This was in the Sky Lounge which leads onto............
This time Celebrity have got it right. We had five smoking areas, the Sunset Bar, the decks(2) deck 5 outside and the portside of the Sky Lounge. This was appreciated, and for any non smokers I say tough. The only inside was the port side of the Sky Lounge with about 6/7tables curtained off from the rest of the venue. These seats were filled each day and night. My partner does not smoke but he said there was no smoke smell. We were in Siberia!!!
Pricey, and not much choice. Interesting to see how well the cigarettes sold!
Ports of Call:
Apart from Vigo every docking was in an industrial area. Thus it was shuttles or taxis. Celebrity charged $8 per person for the shuttle. I hate to think how much monet they made especially as I have heard the towns provided the shuttles free of charge to Celebrity. And so I go on to "Celebrity Today" provided each night in the stateroom. There was no mention of how much taxis would cost, no mention of where the nearest beaches were or the cost, no mention of the hop-on hop-off buses at the port. A nice earner! Lanzarote the buses were $8 yet you could get a taxi for 7 euro for 4. This was when we realised we were NOT on Celebrity in the Caribbean! Also "Celebrity Today" need to be returned to it's old format. It was confusing to read what was going on so we missed alot. OK there were trivia quizzes and music quizzed hosted by the screaming DJ which were all US angled. But to be fair to the entertainment staff..through the day and nights I have never seen so many scooters, wheelchairs and walkers. I have no problem with the disabled but some of them were really laying it on. So many chairs outside the dining room, I guess they could walk from there!
To sum up, and thanks to all who read this far!
Celebrity Eclipse is a lovely ship who has yet to find her heart. I am sure she will adopt a different guise when she arrives in the Caribbean. Many of the crew seemed to be on their last cruise which seemed to result in a slapdash approach. We made some good friends (Maggies take note, we miss you!) and I would be willing to give Solstice Class another go. Maybe we chose the wrong cruise? After 13 in the Caribbean we thought we would give Europe a whirl. Bad mistake.
Finally, again a thanks to Ronny our Steward and the great Eduaodo in Sunset Bar who was on his way home to the Phillippines, you were top notch. We will sail Celebrity again, itineraries considered, but I think we will return to the Caribbean and Millenium Class or Century. This ship was not for us. Maybe if we had waited until she got to the Caribbean we would have different views.
One last sour note!! We had stateroom set up for our drinks, the last night I had run out and took out a bacardi miniature. But there was no Coke, so I put it back and was charged all the same!!!
Kudos to Celebrity: Thanks for trimming the ship for Halloween even if we got off that day. It was nice. Finally!! Thank you Maggies and Erin! Made our cruise!