We sailed out of Miami on the Celebrity Feb. 4-11 EASTERN CARIBBEAN and out of Fort Lauderdale on the Allure of the Sea Feb.12 -19 SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN.
Let me say this was the way to do it! To compare the ships, this was my plan, and to have completely different experiences as we don't come to Florida too often, and wanted to maximize our time and also the cost of airfare.
First, on the Celebrity, our room was a simple inside room on Deck 3. Everything is just a little better organized on these two ships compared to other ships, but both ships have the fluffiest most comfortable beds and bedding (maybe the sheets on the Eclipse were a little more luxurious). I happen to love the down pillows on the HL line, but the pillows here were first quality. We slept well and loved the 3rd floor because it was so close to the theatre, and the open area featuring beautiful music, and especially the gorgeous elevators that shimmer with glass along with the cacophony of spendid music radiates throughout this ship. By comparison, the only probably negative I have re the Allure of the Sea, and something that is to be expected on such a large ship, is the barrage of noise in the public areas, including the dining room where conversation is even sometimes difficult because of the loudness of the much more youthful and international peoples groups, possibly. The Cruise Director was funny and English on the Allure was a most personable character who also happened to sing very well. All the shows are highest quality, with wonderful music.
Foodwise, both ships have flavourful options, with a fresh and clean focus and also healthy choices. Perhaps we preferred the meat/menu options on the Eclipse, and the dining room experience is superior and professional in the Moonlight Sonata. We are retired on a fixed income, so we never use the specialty restaurants on either ship, but were completely satisfied with both ships. The Eclipse serves better tasting meat, wonderful breads, but the Allure serves better vegetables and desserts, especially the pastries were memorable... how will I start my morning now without the apple strudel? But something on the Eclipse I loved was the huge bowl of fresh blackberries and blueberries that were presented towards the end of the trip, but not to be outdone Allure had bowls of fresh strawberries. We never bought the beverage package on the Allure, and fared very well. We carried fresh water into our cabin, and fresh juices from the Windjammer, and that worked out fine. Food is not a focus as we both want to watch our weight, so we are careful and take the stairs, as the wait for elevators is longer on the Allure, but never was a problem except once or twice ,eg after the muster. The fitness area was nicer on the Eclipse, and less crowded. The pools are popular as always, and the hot tubs, and the adult area is beautiful on both ships. On the Eclipse they could have put in another pool/hot tub and dispensed with the huge grassy area. At first, it looks so unusual and is a wow factor to see the green grass for lawn bowling, etc. After a while, you realize it mostly takes up a lot of space, and seems not to be used much ..but it is a nice option for suntanning. The glass blowing is interesting, but not worth all the area either. We loved the access to the stern from the buffet, where you can eat outside and enjoy the wonderful sea, the reason you are on a ship isnt' it? The Windjammer has much less ambience in general areas than the Eclipse, and posslbly less choice, foodwise. There is a relaxed rejuvenating feeling here on the Eclipse, and glamour and beauty predominate. What was amazing on the Allure is the fantastic way they handle the huge amount of people, especially when you embark and disembark, (better actually on the Eclpse). Both ships are superior to the other lines we have sailed on, and even when we were visiting the various shores, disembarking and embarking was a smooth experience and I give them high marks for this! Lots of emphasis on hand cleansing helps you to feel it is less likely you will get sick. The wet towels available outside the ship (and the refreshing drink) finished off the shore excursions safely.