This cruise was a birthday present for my best friend and we intended for this week to be low key and low stress with lots of naps and book reading. We were Concierge level 3, cabin 1073 on Deck 10. I managed to begin and finish the complete trilogy of the Hunger Games in this week. Let me begin:
Port of Miami, very easy embarkment, all took less than 45 minutes, we arrived at the port at 11:30am. We were on ship by 12:15pm. Took the time to explore this ship, my friend had never sailed on Celebrity before and I had only been on the Celebrity Solstice last year. The Eclipse is the sister ship of the Solstice and just as nice. We enjoyed lunch in the Oceanview Cafe and were allowed in the room by 1:30pm. Our room was lovely, lots of storage, good closet space, nice sized bathroom, beds were great. Balcony (my favorite part)was wonderful. We unpacked and sat on the balcony when leaving the port. Miami's port is prettier than Ft. Lauderdale, in my opinion. The way out goes by some wonderful sites and we were able to see the Fisher Island Ferry on its way to some of the most expensive real estate in the world and a great view of South Beach and the Miami Beach Marina. The weather was cloudy and cool but it was fine. We enjoyed the first night in the dining room and dinner was wonderful with the best wine steward ever.
Day two was down key, reading books, ate breakfast in the dining room and this was the last time for breakfast, nothing wrong with it, just don't like to make small talk with strangers in the morning. The rest of the cruise we had coffee and light breakfast sent to the room each morning. We ate dinner at the Oceanview Cafe wanting at all cost to avoid formal night. Both of us dress for work each day and nothing turns me off more than a pair of heels when I'm on vacation and my traveling partner feels the same.
San Juan - fabulous town, took a tour of Old San Juan that was supposed to be "low impact".......my foot. We had the tour guide who decides we should run through San Juan, she was nice but she was also the tour guide who said "keep moving people" every three minutes. Old San Juan is beautiful and very historic but I think better served to see with a map and your own walking shoes. I won't do this tour again. 3 hours and my feet were screaming! Dinner on the downtown street at a local restaurant, had Mofongo with fish and shrimp. Local dish, very yummy! Service is slow...island time, expect it.
St. Martin- did a Celebrity tour of Philipsburg, Marigot and time at the beach. Would not do this tour again. I wanted to see Marigot, and expected something way different. I was disapointed in Marigot EXCEPT for the food at Enoch's Place on the square. Had Mahi mahi and it was the best fish I ever ate. Wonderful! Bravo Enoch's! The rest of the tour was a bust, they were supposed to take us to Orient Beach for a two hour beach time. We ended up at some hotel's beach with nothing more than a chair and a tiki hut for drinks. Very disappointing. I would not recommend this tour at all. Several guests complained to the ship and got refunds. I wasn't in the mood to complain.
St. Kitts- such a beautiful place and we had the best excursion of the cruise here with the St. Kitts railroad tour. It was wonderful. Took about 3.5 hours and costs about $100. per person. Very worth it, got to see the culture, the singers are terrific, the scenery is gorgeous and you will see parts of the island that you would not see any other way. The guide was informative and I felt like I knew lots about the island when leaving it. I can't wait to go back.
The last two days were complete relaxation, reading books, napping. As I said before we had no interest in formal night. We also did not go to any of the shows although we heard they were wonderful. My companion is a smoker and there were numerous places for him to smoke on the ship which was nice for him but not obtrusive for me or others. We didn't do much shopping on board but walked through the stores which are nice. Ate at none of the speciality restaurants so I won't comment on them.
Again, we have very high stress jobs in health-care at the executive level. We wanted nothing more than to read, nap and relax for the entire week while seeing some of the highlights of the islands and enjoying the warmth of the sun. Celebrity Eclipse made that possible and this cruise was grand. They make it easy to do nothing or something! Highly recommend!