Good but not 5 star: Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by kbt cruiser
Overall Member Rating
Good but not 5 star
Destination: Baltic Sea
..... and yet we had previously been on Sea and Ruby Princess and in many respects this was better. Ship was nicer and newer feeling, much glass in the public areas up top made her feel very modern. The lawn, which I thought was a gimmick, was actually lovely. The glass blowing was just an excuse to do something unique - pointless. The theatre was wonderful, and the entertainment top class (compared to Princess which was woeful). Cabin was great, especially the bathroom which was spacious. Staff were very friendly and mixed with passengers, a great idea Princess could learn from.
Sounds great doesn't it ? So what was wrong? Well the main Moonlight Sonata restaurant was a major disappointment. Just like a school canteen - tables in rows, no soul at all. It was so bad, we actually felt uncomfortable dressing More up on the formal nights to go there. Food was pretty good, but one night (my wife's birthday) we ate in one of the Speciality Restaurants - the French one. It was faultless, worth every penny - so good in fact, it was as good as the regular restaurants on the Princess ships. In other words, you have to pay $70 per day to get what Princess give for free. Also I ordered three rare steaks in first week, got two well done and one medium (pinkish), so I gave up. I never spoke to anyone who liked a rare steak who'd managed to get one.
The breakfast buffet was a disaster, it took 3 days before we managed to get a seat within 30 minutes of arrival, and this is where it gets to be a bit of a moan. The buffet food was really not that good. At breakfast, there was loads of choice, including 5 or 6 types of fresh sliced fruit (melons etc), but by day 10 it started to tail off, day 13 no pineapple, last day, ONLY water Melon - nothing else. They effectively ran out of food ! They also ran out of wine in Moonlight Sonata. In week 2, we ordered 3 different wines that they'd run out of during the cruise. They did handle the logistics of anytime dining better than Princess however - we never waited. Also on the buffet, we went in for lunch a few times, lots of choice of meats, Mexican, Indian, Italian, but fish was always very poor and vegetables non-existent. Many days, there was only one veg (green beans).
Back to the BMW/Maserati thing, the Sea Princess restaurant is intimate, multi-layered and welcoming, Eclipse is cold and functional, completely soulless. In fact, so is the ship, no flowers anywhere, nothing going on after about 10 at night - although it's very beautiful and it's qualities did grow on us. Would we go back on a Celebrity cruise ? Yes we would, but we'd choose Princess first. We had relatives on the Eclipse the week before us for a Med cruise and they rated it the best ship they'd been on, hence my comment about it being completely subjective. Also, if this was your first cruise, you'd be mightily impressed. I realise 3 is a small sample size, but Eclipse is similar size to Ruby Princess and they do share a characteristic, namely that the buffet seating areas are not big enough for the number of passengers, although Ruby's bars etc are lovely and welcoming - the buffet was poor(not the food which was fabulous).
So what conclusion ? If you like an intimate dining experience with world class food, don't go near this ship, you'll be disappointed. If however you are happy to be served up decent to good food and really go for the entertainment and the facilities on deck, then this could be for you. For us, if we could swap the bathrooms from this ship onto a Princess ship, we'd have no reason to go elsewhere. Yes, the entertainment is dire, but that's not important to us. Less
Cabin review: 1A6183 Deluxe Veranda
Wardrobe too small - possibly because we took too much stuff, you'll be fine if you've flown in. Bathroom lovely. If you want a sea view, but (like my wife) don't actually want to look down at the ocean when ship is moving, then choose midships on deck 6. You get a nice view, but lifeboat obscures the view downwards. Wouldn't suit everyone, ideal for us. Avoid being near the "shoulders" of the ship, balconies are not private.Read All Deluxe Veranda (1A) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
TIP : There are two unmarked VW Touran's on the dock which WILL take you to the tram stop, and they are free - but unadvertised. Obviously some sort of stitch up only the Europeans can do (in the single market).
You could walk from the ship, but it's a bit of a trek across a nice looking park, we took the shuttle bus, quite convenient and efficient