We live only 2 hours drive away so drove down to Southampton and parked at the port which was easy and got mini buses to the terminal. Embarkation was fast and well organised by Celebrity. When we got onboard we were guided to go to our stateroom we had two Oceanview staterooms with connecting doors between the four of us. The rooms were very clean and modern as the Eclipse is a newish ship (Spring 2010). The stateroom bathrooms are much bigger than those of other cruise ships. After this we had a walk around the ship with the kids and had lunch at the grill on the open decks as it was a nice day in Southampton. At around 3pm they had the mandatory Muster drill before we left the port unlike many cruises we did not have to wear our life jackets during the muster drill and was well organised by the crew. On deck 15 is the Lawn Club which is an area with real grass at the back of the ship and has a nice bar we decided we would watch the ship sail from this point which was nice. We had early seating dinner at 6pm and sat on a table of 8 with another family of 4 from Scotland the meals were fantastic and always cooked to perfection. The menu had plenty to offer and if nothing suited you then there was also some dishes which were always on the menu such as Sirloin Steak. After dinner the kids went off to The X Club (teens) and The Fun Factory (Children) both of these facilities were excellent and the staff were really enthusiastic and got involved in the activities. Celebrity Cruises has a fantastic youth programme and beats Royal Caribbeans by far. When the kids were enjoying themselves we went to watch the evenings show and had a few drinks.
Day 2- At Sea
Today was a sea day and the ship was in off the coast of Western France and the weather was a bit cool so not many people went to the outdoor pool but went to the Solarium which is the indoor adults only pool. We went to the Solarium whilst the kids went off with their friends around the ship and to the Kids clubs. We also went to Cafe al Bacio which offers speciality teas, coffees and delicious cakes and cookies. We had our lunch at the Oceanview Cafe which has a huge variety of good quality food in a buffet style.
WE enjoyed our dinner in the main restaurant and kids went to kids clubs afterwards whilst we enjoyed the ships entertainment.
Day 3- At Sea
Another day at sea which we enjoyed and it was allot warmer as we were off the coast of Spain so most ventured out onto the open decks to enjoy the sun and heat. The kids enjoyed kids club through the day and evening whilst we enjoyed the pool, solarium, cafe al bacio and the lawn club.
Day 4- Vigo in Spain
Vigo was a nice and unspoilt city of Spain with nice range of shops, cafes and bars. We enjoyed walking around the older and less tourist related areas of Vigo instead of going to the shopping mall near the port. Vigo had allot of market sellers with a range of products from fruit to handbags. Our ship the Celebrity Eclipse was joined in Vigo by Ventura which is a fleet member from P and O Cruises which we have never cruised with so I cannot compare the two. When we got back to the ship we were welcomed back by a cold towel and a drink which is always nice on a hot day. We watched the sailaway from the Solarium and went do dinner when we reached open waters. After dinner the kids went to the kids club whilst we enjoyed the entertainment, bars and onboard shopping malls.
Day 5- Lisbon in Portugal
In Lisbon my family and I decided to have a walk around Lisbon which is very beautiful but hot and we found a store which had golf buggy GPS tours it was not too expensive so we decided to hire one and was a great way to see Lisbon in short time. After this we decided to go shopping and go up a big tower which you can see the whole of the city of Lisbon which was very nice to do. We walked back to the ship and enjoyed the sailaway from the Lawn Club the sailaway from Lisbon is special as the ship passes under a bridge which it just fits under. We enjoyed dinner and the kids went to the kids clubs shortly after whilst we enjoyed our evening around the ship.
Day 6- Gibraltar
I have to say that I did not enjoy Gibraltar as it was very fake. Me and my son went walking into Gibraltar an shortly turned back to the ship as we did not enjoy it. My husband and daughter went for a walk and found a dolphin boat tour which they really enjoyed as there were plenty of dolphins. That night we decided for all 4 of us to try one of the speciality restaurants we chose the Tuscan Grille which was superb one of the best meals we have ever eaten and would definitely do it again food was well worth the $30 per person.
Day 7- At Sea
It was nice to have a sea day after 3 busy days in port and we enjoyed the onboard shops, pool, spa, gym and talks whilst the kids had an excellent day with their friends. We had lunch with one of our children at Bisto on five which made a nice change and was worth the $5 per head. We met up with them for dinner and then enjoyed the ship that night whilst the kids had a good time with their friends at the kids clubs and around the ship.
Day 8- Barcelona in Spain
In Barcelona we decided to have a walk around the city and we went up the statue were we had fantastic view of Barcelona. We enjoyed walking around and then found a bike hire shop and decided to have a go at it and really enjoyed it. WE enjoyed dinner and the kids went off to see friends whilst we enjoyed the entertainment and bars.
Day 9- Provence in France
On this port day the kids decided that they did not want to come ashore and spent the day in the pool and with friends whilst we enjoyed a nice walk ashore. That night we enjoyed the sailaway and then had dinner. The kids went off to kids club whilst we went to the shows and bars.
Day 10- Palma De Mallorca
On this day went went to Old Palma which was nice, quiet and relaxing. We then decided to do a tour bus tour of the city. When back onboard we enjoyed an afternoon before heading to dinner. After dinner we decided that we were not going to go back ashore even though it was an overnight port but decided to enjoy the ship and the kids went to kids club.
Day 11- Palma De Mallorca
Today we decided to have a nice and relaxing day whilst most passengers went ashore. We had lunch at Bistro on five again and then the kids went off with friends whilst we sunbathed by the pool and at the Lawn Club.
Day 12- Cadiz in Spain
My husband and kids did an excursion with the ship to a water park which they had a really good time at whilst I explored Cadiz at my own leisure on a tour bus and then went for a drink at a local bar sat on a nice street. That night we had dinner and then the kids went off to the kids club whilst we enjoyed the evening onboard.
Day 13- At Sea
We started sailing back to Southampton and we made good use of the onboard shops end of cruise sale. We enjoyed the Lawn Club and the pool whilst the kids enjoyed being with their friends and at the kids clubs. After dinner the kids went back to meet their friends and go to the kids clubs and we enjoyed the night watching the ship sail from the Sunset Bar.
Day 14- At Sea
The weather became cold and foggy so most passengers stayed indoors and enjoyed the ships facilities and entertainment. The kids enjoyed being with their friends and we enjoyed our last day onboard. That night we enjoyed the final dinner and enjoyed our final night whilst the kids went with their kids to kids club.
Day 15- Disembarkation Day (Southampton)
Disembarkation was quick and well organised and we were quickly back home with just a short 2 hour journey. We had an excellent cruise and will look forward to our next with Celebrity Cruises.