THE GOOD. The ship, Celebrity Eclipse, is a beautifully built ship, well worth her 5 star rating. She is very clean, and well maintained. The staterooms are of an average size, with plenty of storage space for two occupants, but not 3 or 4. Dining rooms were excellent, and the food was superb, again of 5 star quality. The variety of food in the Ocean-view Cafe was also excellent and first class quality. It was good to have proper crockery to eat and drink off. The staff, throughout the whole ship were very professional and always happy to serve you. Prices, both in the shops and Bars, were very reasonable.The Ports of call were, on the whole very good; Palermo was a very dirty City, with rubbish overflowing from bins. A very minor poor point was that there was not enough shore time in Venice, Dubrovnik and Cartagena.We liked the fact that the pool team enforced the "No Reserving of Sun Beds" rule. The Special Brunch Meal was excellent. We would have liked more than 3 Formal Nights.
THE BAD.Even though we had checked in on line, we were held up at Check-in, because the operative did not know how to set up the split Credit Cards on my account. This caused further problems during the cruise when my card was declined twice. I had also requested that my Sea Pass account be converted to GBP by Celebrity. This did not happen and I ended up paying more because the bank exchange rate was not as good as the ships. The quality of the entertainment on board was not up to the same standard as the ship. However, there was one act that was superb. The other acts were more suited to Butlins. In the evenings, when there was no entertainment on deck, there was insufficient seating in the Bars inside the ship. As the Celebrity Eclipse was our home for 16 days, we feel that we should have been allowed to smoke on the balcony, in line with other cruise ships.
THE UGLY. Disembarkation at Southampton was the worst I have ever seen. We were all allocated a disembarkation number 1 to 35, however, there were only numbers in the baggage claim area 1 to 20. The first bags off (1) were put in row 1 at the passenger entrance to the Baggage area, with the other rows then working towards the Customs Exit. This meant that the first passengers off, had to fight their way through later bags coming off and later passengers looking for their bags. If row 1 had been near the exit, then building back to the entrance, this would have been better. Bags were, towards the end, being placed in the wrong row, or just left at the side on the baggage trolleys.