We began this trip with 4 days in the Bellagio Las Vegas. Which is as stunning on the inside as it is out.
My only complaint is that I'm sure that all of the hotels have been moved at least half a mile since our last visit (or my legs have got shorter!)
Our highlight in Vegas was the Elvis show in the Aria Hotel, this was arranged as an anniversary present by my daughter. Absolutely stunning I would gladly have stayed for the second show and paid full price. Any Elvis fan couldn't fail to marvel at the presentation I'm sure the King would have loved it.
We had an early start (3am) for our flight to Miami (American Airlines)with overweight bags we had to perform a quick re distribution of contents around anything we could carry, thus avoiding any other charges.
We were booked in a Celebrity Hotel in Miami for the 1 night.
The Courtyard Marriott Collins Ave South Beach - wonderful location right on the beach.Clean bright room, which looked as if it had just been renovated.
We had a meal in the attached Italian Restaurant, first class service and food, I would highly recommend both for travellers.
We elected to take a taxi rather than use the bus transfer.
The boarding process was straight forward and although they were trying to board visiting travel agents took about 20 mins from beginning to end.
We knew what to expect, having sailed with Eclipse out of Southampton in August 2010. We are also firm Aqua class fans enjoying the intimate dining and very friendly and professional staff.
Our sailing was delayed a while, when 5 police cars an ambulance and fire engine turned up. (appears a lady fell and I believe had to be taken to hospital) Then off into the Atlantic.
We had a lovely welcome back to Blu from Akar and our favourite waiter Danni (his assistant Louala had been promoted to waiter status in Tuscan Grill - well deserved) there were a large number of the staff from August and we were very surprised by the recognition and welcome we received. Needless to say the service and food in this venue is first class.
We have never spent a long time cruising before and had concerns that we would be bored after a day or two.
This never happened there were so many places to sit and read, onboard activities, and wildlife to watch. (we saw flying fish, whales and dolphins)
I have seen previous comments regarding lack of sun beds - this was never a problem, there were plenty in all areas, I suppose this problem will arise when you have a large number of sun lovers.
We had a visit to the bridge, Captain Club receptions, and to be honest after Las Vegas we were happy to relax and read. The weather helped and I understand this is one of the best transatlantic crossings.
The onboard music was as good as ever and we really enjoyed getting a seat in the atrium after dinner to see the band and dancing. I know its small but the atmosphere every night was brilliant.
I was surprised that the ship was full and the mix of passengers didn't seem to favour any particular nationality. We met many interesting people, one poor lady from Texas who's luggage had not got to Miami. It eventually caught up with her in Lisbon.
A lot of the passengers had arranged to stay a few days in London after the cruise. However this was the day of THE wedding and I still wonder how they all got on.
One young Australian couple we talked to have sinced e mailed me to let me know that the got to London by 9am booked into the hotel then got a great position to see the happy couple.
Sorry I have gone on long enough - suffice it to say Eclipse and the crew are a great team and I highly recommend Aqua class.
I'm really glad we did the Vegas visit first (there are a number of trips where the vegas visit is after a cruise) will really find it difficult to fly back from the states after this experience