The Eclipse is almost identical to the Solstice we sailed in 2010 so we felt very familiar with the ship. Since fellow passengers had booked a Veranda and dining in Moonlight Senada and we were to dine in Blu, we tried unsuccessfully to change prior to our cruise to the main dining room.Upon phone conversation with a Captain's Club rep, she assured me that while no changes could be made prior to our cruise she would make a note on our dining booking for the maitre d that we would like to join our companions at their table.
Upon boarding we found our cabin, just behind the suites on deck 11 and dropped our carry-on baggage and went to the upper dining room and were given a number and wait until we were called to see about changing out table from Blu to Moonlight Senada. There was no memo attached to either of our dining reservations about our request, but they were able to place us at a table so we could dine together.
All in all the ship is a gorgeous floating hotel. The open atrium with double banks of glass elevators, and more times than not entertainment happening there, makes a very good impression.
Our cabin was nice, but the bed uncomfortable and even though we had a pillow menu, the pillows were awful. Wish we had brought our own. There are no shelves for storage, only drawers and the closet. If you've cruised on Princess, you appreciate the double drawer nightstands and rows of shelving in the closet area. The bathroom shower is one of the best we've had if not in a suite. Water pressure is strong and temperatures stay constant. Great storage in this area for all your toiletries. But once again, the steward is stingy replacing bottles of lotions. More about our steward later.
Each night after turning lights out, it was difficult to fall asleep. The ship creaks and shutters. We heard same from other passengers, too. My husband said it sounded as though there were rats on board running between the decks. I prefer to think this not true!
The gym is nice but wish the Celebrity trainers were more personable. Heard a couple of them complaining that they had to put floor mats away after a passenger had left them on the floor. I found weights out of logical order and had to hunt for matching pair on the first morning after we sailed.
Food on board has seemed to be not as excellent as on other Celebrity ships. The lobster tail entree was changed to a half of a FL lobster with crab stuffing in the portion of the body. It was all bread crumbs. The Oyster Rockefeller proved to be outstanding on this ship as on the Millie in October they were almost inedible. Prime Rib was only on the last night. Maybe this is the sign of the times since other cruise companies have cut back on the quality, too.
For booking AQ, you would think the cabin steward would be excellent. Not Jose! After his initial welcome "hello", we hardly saw him. His assistant was far more visible and accommodating. If there is a lotion missing from the row in the bathroom, why isn't it replaced? Even when the empty is in the small trash bag!!! The veranda hadn't been cleaned after the wood railing was scraped and varnished. The last evening I made sure to close both sides of our closet since the garment bag would not be packed until the morning. When we returned from dinner and last evening stroll, our personal hangers that we needed for our clothes were missing. The steward had gone inside the closet, taken the liberty to remove hangers that were not Celebrity ones from the cabin.
Captain's Club events are scheduled during the day or early in the evening. This is an inconvenient time that perhaps Celebrity has scheduled on purpose so attendance is low to save money. We did not attend one event since schedules were poor. Plus we avoided the grand buffet this cruise since our last was a stampede of passengers for mediocre food. Comments from table-mates pretty much confirmed our decision not to attend.
We found our ports to be usual and nothing special. Old San Juan hasn't changed much since our last visit. St. Martin proved to be the same jewelry stores but better beachfront bars and entertainment. Blue Bitch has great ribs and good wings. St. Kitts needs to be removed from the itinerary. Not much to see there and just how many times does one need to be asked if you want a taxi tour of the island?
Disembarking the ship was just as easy as embarkation.