I thought I should review the Celebrity Eclipse experience from the viewpoint of a 75 year old who did not experience Aqua class and who tends to travel at the oceanview level. As a winter resident of Florida it was an easy drive to Miami and we boarded just after noon. The boarding went smoothly although the need to review and enter into the computer all particulars including passport and credit details, which I had previously submitted to Celebrity, escaped me. When we traveled recently on Princess it was just a photo and on our way.
We went immediately to our oceanview which was on deck 3 and was the same size and layout of a verandah. It was very convenient and accessible for many major activities. Walk out, turn left and straight on through the lobby to the dining room. Walkout, turn right and up the stairs to the theater, shops and casino. Like the rest of the ship it was a clean, well laid out, contemporary design. In particular the interactive TV was really innovative with it's ability to stop, start movies and show the bill as it developed. The bathroom was as wonderful as many other reviews describe. Unlike some reviews I have read our cabin steward and his assistant were first rate. Several reviews have noted the tea makers in the cabin and I was disappointed to find these had vanished.
First the ship: it is very well laid out, however there are some problems.
There is no promenade deck that allows one to walk around the ship instead there is a short jogging track on deck 12. This is only usable early in the morning as it is littered with deck chairs for the rest of the day. The fitness center is very nice but I could not find a clear area to do my early morning stretching exercises. There is no real swimming pool. On the Princess Grand class there is an endless pool which is great, here there is the solarium with a shallow small pool. The grand foyer is cramped and the many good musical events are difficult to participate in. A good idea would be to get rid of the grand staircase.
On the other hand the oceanview cafe is by far and away the best laid out and best food of any buffet at sea I have seen. The lawn area was lovely for a quiet early morning coffee but seemed a waste of space.
I am lactose intolerant and a small amount of milk products produces great pain. The assistant maitre D' Oliver Dukic and out table waiter Omar were very helpful and cheerful and made sure that I had no problems. Each night we reviewed tomorrows menu and ordered my food to ensure my well being. That is very hard with almost 3,000 people to care for and was appreciated. We did not use the specialty restaurants. A small comment that I will cover elsewhere, I wore a tuxedo on the formal nights and each cruise we take the number of fellow passengers, men and women, dressing formally diminishes. It is probably time to give in and abolish the formal night.
The entertainment was average and ruined by the sound levels. I am deaf and wear hearing aids, by turning the hearing aids off and leaving them in and turning them into ear plugs I could reduce the sound to tolerable. The magician was very good. I attended several lectures and found them very interesting. I was unable to take in the i Pad lectures and wish these had been repeated.
I had read that Celebrity was for an older crowd and found that the majority were 30-40 year old. Perhaps it was the school break or maybe living in Florida I think of older as over 70.
We were independent travelers and left at 7.30 very smoothly and quickly.
In summary the ship is beautiful with some minor flaws and we had an enjoyable time. I should note that the Captain and senior staff were both accessible and very professional in their work.