Our apologies for the long review but we just can't say enough good things about the Eclipse.
A little background to start, we are a thirty something couple just returned from our 15th cruise. This was a 7 night Western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan, Honduras. We have been to all of these ports many times with the exception of Roatan. This review is about the ship NOT the ports.
Celebrity is our line of choice but, we have also strayed to a few other cruise lines from time to time. After so many cruises we have become, as my DW puts it, cruise snobs. LOL We can get a bit picky about service or the food or the entertainment. We agree that this cruise was nothing short of PERFECT!
If we had to choose one word to describe Celebrity Eclipse we would have to choose SPECTACULAR! This was as close to a perfect cruise as we have experienced. The service was beyond excellent, the staff was phenomenal, the food was incredible, the entertainment was varied and professional class, and the ship and facilities were by far the best we have experienced.
Each and every crew member we encountered went above and beyond our expectations, intent on providing the promised "Celebrity Life" Our last cruise on Century shook our faith in cruising and thought we would have to cruise exclusively on the 6-star lines to meet our high expectations. This past week on Eclipse has once again restored our love of Celebrity. So much so that for the first time in our cruise history we booked our next cruise while still onboard.
If you are looking for the glitz and excitement of Las Vegas this is probably not for you, go on Carnival or just go to Vegas. If you are looking for over the top activities go on RCL Monstrosity of the Seas. If you are looking for a high end 5 star hotel and culinary experience we encourage you to go on Eclipse or one of her Solstice class sister ships.
Looking to bake in the sun and meet new people in an upbeat atmosphere? Hang out in the main pool area. Grab one of the 2 person padded sunbeds tucked into the alcoves along both sides of the pool. Or just hang out in one of the pools, where you will meet many interesting people in no time. Want to be close to the action with a bit more relaxed feel? Grab one of the 2 person covered hammocks tucked in the corners of the pool deck.
Looking for a quiet place to sunbake? Make your way to the Solstice Deck on 15 forward and stretch out on one of the big comfy red sunbeds or one of the oversized padded wicker chairs.
Looking for a no kids environment? Go to the adults only pool and after sitting in the Jacuzzi, curl up in one of the covered circular privacy PODS and just watch the waves slip by or nap away the afternoon.
One of our favourite spots was up in the Lawn Club. Oversized wicker chairs looking out over half an acre of manicured lawns and sparkling blue waters. What else could we ask for?
If you don't find a spot that suits your taste on the first or second day, keep looking you will find one you love. Well done Celebrity!!
We booked Murano prior to the cruise expecting it to be the best dining experience of the week. As always, it was amazing. They even went to the trouble of bringing us some antipasti from the Tuscan Steakhouse even though it was not generally available in Murano.
To our enormous surprise Qsine surpassed even our admittedly high standards. It truly was a fantastic adventure for the senses. The food was incredible and was only made better by the engaging staff and the out of the ordinary approach. The best way to describe Qsine is tapas on steroids. LOL From the enormous array of appetizers and entrees selected from a very cool IPad menu to the Rubik's Cube dessert menu and the funky dEcor, Qsine should be the envy of most land based restaurants. Be sure to bring your appetite because each dish delivered to our table was better than the last and by the end of the first round we found ourselves wishing we had a second stomach. You start by select 6 dishes which are brought to your table in random order. If you make it past the first round you select another 5 dishes to be bought out again in random order. You just keep ordering until you are full or fall out of your chair in a food coma. We thought no problem bring it on. LOL We started with the Veggie and Pork spring rolls with spicy Thai sauce and truffle BBQ sauce, Lobster & Escargo in garlic butter, the crab volcano, the Kobe beef sliders, and the crunchy munchies (a tower of potato croquettes, sweet potato and regular fries and dehydrated veggie chips). We thought this would be a good start but by the time the last dish was placed on the table we knew there would not be a second round. Next came the Rubik's Cube of dessert. There was a great variety of interesting options including the Qsine surprise. I ordered the cupcakes. 2 red velvet and 2 vanilla which came with three different kinds of frosting and 4 different kinds of sprinkles. It was my own personal do-it-yourself cupcake buffet heaven. My wife ordered the Qsine surprise.... which I will not reveal but needless to say it was delicious. After this experience we wanted to book again for next night to try the items on the menu we had intended to be in our second round. Unfortunately, they were fully booked. Oh well, just another of the many reasons to go back on this ship.
The food quality and presentation in the Moonlight Sonata dining room was amazing. Our wait staff team of Colin and Orlando were virtually flawless in there recommendations and service. One night I ordered the rack of lamb and had dinner envy (DW had ordered the beef cheeks) Colin noticed immediately and before I could say anything he was there waiting with the beef cheeks in hand as I finished my lamb. I really cannot say enough good things about this team. They worked incredibly well together.
A quick word about Bistro on Five. We discovered this great little place late in the cruise. They serve delicious panini and crepes for an add-on fee of $5 per person. Definitely worth the cost, as the food and the service were both outstanding.
The Oceanview buffet was surprisingly organized with lots of seating and had a very large variety of foods every time we ate there.
Mexican,Indian,Italian,Asia,North American,a made to order Sandwich bar, a pizza and calzone counter, a large salad bar, and an ice cream counter with a dozen or more flavors, if you cant find something to eat... well you just are not trying hard enough. LOL Breakfast also had a very large variety, but I think you get my point. It was good quality and with smiling service. A rarity these days in the cruise buffet section.
Room service was fast and efficient and had a good varied selection all available through your TV or at the press of a button on your phone.
The pool grill had standard burgers and dogs, fries and rings. Nothing special.
The stateroom was spacious and comfortable. We found there was plenty of storage for the 2 of us. We loved the Apple powered Samsung flat screen TVs, so much so that we are looking into installing the same system in our home. There were lots of free movies and relatively fast internet access available through the very cool little keyboard right in our cabin. The internet was the quickest we have seen on any cruise ship. Not sure if that is due to the fact that the entire ship is wired by Apple but none the less it was great to not waste half the purchased package waiting for screens to load.
Our room attendant Haroldo was one of the best we have ever had. We are both scuba divers and had our gear spread out all over the room every day. Yet he and his team somehow managed to clean everything and make the room comfortable and organized every day. He was prompt and accurate with a friendly smile for every request we made and never once did he miss an opportunity to offer us service beyond our expectations. If you are fortunate enough to get him and his team count your blessings and tip them accordingly.
Executives at the 6 star lines had better be looking in their rear-view mirrors and come up with something new because Celebrity is gaining on them fast! Who needs the small intimate ship experience when you can get that same service and dining on a big one that has so many varied intimate spaces? I honestly didn't think it was possible to provide this type of experience in the big ship mass market segment but Celebrity has proven me wrong. They have truly outdone themselves with these new ships and from what I hear they are only going to get better with each new Solstice class launch. We enjoyed Eclipse so much that we can hardly wait for Silhouette and Reflection and the highly anticipated additions such as the Lawn Club cabanas, the Outdoor Grill restaurant and other great new features and venues.
Well I think I have rambled on and sung the praises of Eclipse for long enough. It is my sincere hope that anyone that has had the patience to read through this longwinded review and was sitting on the fence of whether to try this ship or not has now been pushed over into the lush green grass atop the Eclipse. If not, no worries, just more room for us to stretch out and enjoy the next time we are on it.
If anyone has any questions at all I am more than happy to answer ?
Happy Cruising !!!!