We were very excited for this vacation, having booked it almost 9 months ago to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It was also freezing at home, and we were very much looking forward to a chance to escape from the cold. Thankfully, the Eclipse did not disappoint on any level. It was a wonderful ship with beautiful rooms, amazing food, and top-notch entertainment. What a world of difference from previous cruises, which pretty universally had less than excellent food and only a few good entertainers.
STATEROOM: Our stateroom, though small by non-ship standards, was arranged in such a way that we had no trouble storing our things or getting around the room. The 5 headed shower tower in the bathroom was amazing, even though the shower was VERY small. The TV swiveled, and the in-room entertainment options were pretty good for a cruise ship. We were very glad to have booked one of the "bump" cabins, as the extra balcony space was necessary to use the footrests. Not sure how standard-size balconies can fit all of that furniture!
PUBLIC AREAS: This ship is, in a word, breathtaking. The most amazing part was that, despite having a lot of people onboard, the ship only rarely felt crowded (only when leaving theater events with big crowds did we really realize how many people were onboard). There are lots of visually interesting elements to the ship - the suspended tree, the lawn, and artwork at every landing on the stairs. There were a variety of lounges, bars, and spaces, decorated to suit any taste. We loved the Molecular Bar!
SPA: We took advantage of the on board spa, and the access we got to the relaxation areas by being AquaClass passengers. My masseuses were both skilled and handled a long-standing shoulder injury carefully. The sauna, steam rooms, showers, and heated loungers were all lovely and not too crowded...we never had trouble finding an open spot to sit. I spent many an afternoon lounging, steaming, and relaxing in this peaceful hideaway.
DINING: I can honestly say that I have never had such good food on a cruise ship. We knew it was going to be special from the boarding-day buffet...typically NOT a great meal on most lines. Celebrity threw together a feast, and I knew from that moment that we were in for a treat. As an AquaClass guest, we got to eat in Blu, which was worth the cost of the upgrade by itself. Blu had some of the most amazing hot soups that I have ever eaten in my life. Every night, there was a new, amazing soup to try. The entrees were delicious and perfectly portioned, and you could eat three courses without getting overly stuffed. The only quibble I have is with the desserts - they were hit and miss. We usually got lunch at either the AquaSpa Cafe (delicious, if limited) or the buffet. The buffet food, though obviously not as good as Blu, was still impressively varied and pretty tasty. Having ice cream available almost all the time was great, but dangerous for my waistline. Room service was a little disappointing (bland breakfast omelet, for example, and cookies that tasted straight out of the supermarket), but otherwise, we were blown away.
SERVICE: The service on Eclipse was great...first off, it was in unobtrusive, which is always nice when you're trying to relax and get away from it all. Our stateroom was kept very nice, our flowers and toiletries refreshed, all without us really noticing Violetta, our stateroom attendant. In fact, I don't think I saw her at all after she introduced herself, except when she was making a quick delivery (pillow, room service, etc). The restaurant staff was also great - always there to keep a water glass filled as soon as you empty it, but except on the first night, not constantly asking you if there is anything that you need. Everything we needed, someone was able to get for us.
ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment on Eclipse was truly outstanding. We were particularly fond of Last Call, the A Capella group on board. They were a lot of fun and kept popping up in all sorts of venues - in bars and lobbies, with the big band, and on stage in Ovations, the Broadway-revue type show that played on the first formal night. Ovations was pretty decent. Last Call was the highlight of the show when they popped up as the Jersey Boys. We went to almost every show they performed, and we were never disappointed. They were chatty and friendly, and developed quite a following throughout the cruise. Luckily, they were friendly and talked to all of their admirers. The party band was also exceptional, and had a huge repertoire. These two groups pretty much kept us entertained throughout the entire cruise.