This review is for the April 9, 2011 sailing on the Eclipse in Aqua Class. We had sailed on the Solstice previously out of Ft Lauderdale (also in Aqua Class) and had a fabulous cruise. We were expecting a repeat performance, but unfortunately we were very disappointed.
Arrived at the port in Miami about 11:30 and it was a mad house. Quick check-in with the AQ desk. But that was the last quick thing to happen during embarkation. Huge lines snaking through lots of ques. Took about an hour and half to get on board. Not quite sure what the hold up was, but heard that the ship was late to get in due to high winds.
Arrived on-board and was greeted with a mimosa. Which is always nice!
The Eclipse is a beautiful ship. As we had sailed on a Solstice class ship before, we new what to expect. She is a lovely vessel. Our disappointment is not in the quality of the ship, but it was in the service that we received and also the amount of people that were on this particular sailing.
I was told by several crew members that there were over 3000 people aboard. And you could tell. The ship must have been at capacity - or over. Way too many people and it was impossible to find a deck chair or pool towel if you arrived at the pool past 11:00 am. If you did not get to the gym by 6:45 AM you would not be able to find a treadmill or any cardio equipment. Too many people using the gym for the amount of people on board. Also, I never saw a crew member walk around the gym to see if guests needed any help with any equipment. And I was there every single morning by 6:45 AM. The Eclipse needs crew members to be visible to assist guests with the equipment.
Without going into specifics, we were simply disappointed in the quality of the service that we received on this cruise, as compared to our last Solstice cruise. I feel that Celebrity is known for their level of service and that quests have come to expect a certain level of service. And unfortunately, on this particular cruise it was not provided.
We encountered a lot of misinformation from our stateroom attendant and also Guest Relations. Service that we received from our stateroom attendant was not up to Celebrity standards - or for that matter any other line we have recently sailed. Crew members seemed as if they were tired or just not interested in really assisting guests. Maybe because it was the last Caribbean sailing before heading to Southampton? Maybe because this particular sailing was very crowded with people? Maybe the crew was just burned out???
Unfortunately for us, our cruise went from one series of "problems" to another. As we were simply looking for some relaxation and rest - it was a disappointing sailing. Too many people, too little space for everyone. As we were in AQ, we had access to the Persian Gardens. And trying to find a heated tiled bed that was unoccupied was a difficult thing. Guess there were too many people in Aqua Class and it showed in the Persian Gardens. As it was filled to capacity and not very relaxing...
The food in Blu was excellent as was the service. The dining room is lovely. No complaints.
The stateroom is designed well and has very efficient use of space. Balcony is nice with 2 lounge chairs and 2 footstools. Usually we love to relax and decompress on our balcony. However, we had neighbors right next to our balcony who were very, very loud. And one of them liked to sing on the balcony. Hard to "decompress" when you have that right next to you! Just wish people would be more considerate of their balcony neighbors and talk in a low tone of voice when they are outside.
It was the other areas of the ship that we had problems with. And that was an unfortunate thing for us as we had expected to experience a fabulous cruise like we had on the Solstice. However, this was a TOTALLY different experience.
Not sure how that could happen as both ships are Solstice Class ships, and we were in the same category of stateroom on both cruises. Odd that you can have that happen. But apparently it can and did......