Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by RTanner: An Excellent Cruise
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An Excellent Cruise
Overall, this was a very good cruise experience. We have noticed a decline in the quality of cruising in the past few years but this cruised restored our faith in enjoying leisure time at sea.
STATEROOM: We elected to go Concierge (C1) and were pleased with the selection. Our room was comfortable though a little small. However, good use of space allowed for adequate storage. The shower was surprisingly large for a cruise ship's shower. The balcony was small but met our needs quite nicely. The room was unbelievably quiet and we never heard our neighbors.
PUBLIC AREAS: Only one word can sum up our feelings here; exceptional. There was lots of light and we ended every evening enjoying a drink in the Sky Lounge on Deck 14. One think we noticed that should be mentioned is the fact that, on Deck 4, one can go from forward to aft without entering the casino (on starboard side). This is a definite improvement, doing away with the usual jam of people maneuvering around More players and players being bothered by non-playing passengers.
SPA: I used only the exercise machines and the sauna. The exercise was a bit small but adequate. All the facilities I saw appeared excellent.
DINING: This was a surprise. The food in MDR was of superior quality and we never felt the need to utilize the speciality restaurants in order to get a top-notch meal. The ONLY negative I have here was our seating (toward the back with very limited lines of sight -like none!)However, on the up side, we were close to the serving area and we were served first. I heard complaints from other diners, sitting in more central locations, that they had much longer waits for serving. The Buffet on Deck 12 was good with very good seating. The few times we used this venue we never experienced a wait for a table. We did take lunch in Bistro on 5 once and the crepes were of excellent quality.
SERVICE: Very good across the board. Our room steward was extremely attentive, even bringing us afternoon canapes even when we forgot to place our order.
ENTERTAINMENT: Her was another surprise. We have seen the quality of entertainment go steadily down but the Cruise Director, Paul Baya, has set a benchmark for other cruise lines to meet. Top rate all around. The dance troupe was phenomenal and their shows, both on stage and in the main foyer, were high octane all the way. All the groups were great. Even the bartenders in Crush were a show within themselves, with their juggling and multiple drink pourings. (They get a good drink, also!)
EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Celebrity has this down to a science. We basically walked on and off in Miami. In ports, there was never a long wait.
PORTS: San Juan, Philipsburg and Basitere were all enjoyable. We engaged tours through our own and did not take ship's tours so I can't comment on that. Naturally St. Maarten and St Kitts are weighted heavily toward beach activities and this isn't our main interest. But, there are a number of other things to do at each port.
OVERALL: Celebrity has hit a home run with its Eclipse. We have purposely stayed away from the large ships but even though there were 3000 pax on our cruise, we NEVER felt crowded in any way. I have been on cruises with half the number of passengers where I felt twice as surrounded. In truth we were about ready to give up on cruising but Eclipse and Celebrity has changed our minds and we look forward to our next adventure. Less
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