DH & I are in the low 50's. DS is a 17 year old high school junior. We have cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney & Carnival prior to this sailing. We knew what to expect from Celebrity, but were excited to see a ship from the newest class of ships. Eclipse did not disappoint us!
We flew into FLL from DFW Friday on a 6:15 AM flight. We picked up our Avis rental car and headed down to Miami. DS was doing a college visit at U of M so that he could get the day excused and not have it count against his final exam exemptions. Therefore, U of M was our first stop! With forms signed, we set our sights on lunch. Thanks to Yelp! we found La Moon. It is a small restaurant that serves Colombian food. It was delicious!
We booked our hotel using Hilton Honor points. We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Miami-Brickell/Downtown. It is a new hotel that touts itself as being the "greenest" in Miami. Big whoop...but, the hotel was nice and within walking distance of the people mover and several close by businesses. We had to pay $20 for a roll away bed for DS. They served a substantial breakfast the next morning and gave us a free beer the night of check in. Our only complaint was the hallways echoed all noise into the room. Several people checked in after midnight. I thought that they were in the room with us!
The hotel called a taxi for us and we headed to the port around 10:30 AM. The hand-off of the luggage was seamless and we headed into the cruise terminal. We entered the concierge line and quickly had SeaPass cards in hand. Unfortunately, there was some hold-up on the ship. Don't know if the previous cruisers were slow to depart or there was some extra clean-up required to get us on board. We waited in the terminal for about an hour. The wait just added to the anticipation. Once we were allowed to board, we skipped the picture line and headed onto the ship. Our usually cold sparkling wine, was a little room temperature. (I'm sure that they had them poured and waiting for a little while!) Not a big deal because we both had the premium drink package wisely purchased back in January. We headed to Bistro on 5 for the often discussed delicious crepes. It is well worth the $5/person charge IMHO. Our waitress happily found some COLD Prosecco for us to enjoy with our lunch. It was a nice complement to our choices.
The rooms were not ready so we decided to walk around the ship and check out the public areas. We stopped at the Martini Bar...which was sufficiently frosted...and ordered a couple of drinks to enjoy as well strolled. I got the 20 Year Martini (too sweet for me). I don't remember which drink DH got. They made an announcement that the suites were ready. We decided that we should attempt to check out our cabin. Our cabin #1407 was aft and there is a long walk from the elevators. That was fine for us. The extra exercise is good and it made for a very quiet cabin area. In our cabin, the beds are by the closet and couch is by the balcony. With the beds together, we didn't have any issues utilizing the closet. I bought the folding bins that others suggested for the cabinet above the bed. I am 5'6" and didn't have any issues accessing those areas. The bins do make for more organized storage. There was lots of space under the bed for luggage even with the life vest bins under there too. The flat screen TV was lovely, but a bit stiff when attempting to move it around. I thought I was going to break it! We loved the free on-demand movies that we could pause and watch later. The bathroom was large and the shower was not cramped. The drawers in the bathroom were useless. We didn't use them because they were tiny. The shelves next to the sink were great. The lower set of shelves were adjustable and there was adequate storage for the three of us there. The balcony was awesome! There was a table and two of the reclining chairs with the coveted footstools. We spent a lot of time out there gazing at the ocean and watching the wake as we sailed across the ocean. Our room steward was adequate. He didn't make a single towel animal! He also removed our personal hangers on the last night while we were at dinner. I wasn't happy about that. I appreciate that he wants to expedite his cleaning after we debark, but don't take anything out until AFTER we have left the room at the end please!
The ship is well thought out and has some beautiful touches. I especially enjoyed the art. The art was one of my favorite things on Oasis of the Seas. Eclipse is a close second in beautiful art pieces. There is a real tree growing in the middle of the inside atrium area. It was a surprising sight to see. The grass growing topside was a pleasant surprise. We stood on the grass barefoot during the sail away. Awesome experience! Hot glass show was entertaining and informative. We weren't able to be in attendance when they raffled pieces. There are a lot of different bar areas. DH was quite disappointed to discover that Michael's Club DOES NOT have craft beers! :-( We were under the impression that it had an extensive craft beer menu. We volunteer at our local craft brewer and were hoping to expand our micro-brew taste buds. Bummer! All of the public areas were always gleaming as the staff was constantly cleaning all areas. The main dining room is lovely. Love the wine wall in the back of the dining room and the chandelier above is beautiful. Our only ship complaint was that we felt a lot more motion all over the ship...even on days that the ocean appeared to be calm. I don't know if it was an issue with the stabilizers or if it is always like that. If you are easily seasick, you might have issues.
We dined in Qsine the first night. It was AWESOME! We highly recommend it. The lava crab was our favorite item, but there were lots of other delicious choices as well. All of our other meals were eaten in the MDR. Our waiter was fantastic...His assistant not so much. One night, our waiter was doing all of the work for our table. The maitre d made a point of checking in with us several times during the week. The sommelier was awesome. If you get Nicholi, he will not disappoint you. He paired wines with all courses and was great at explaining all of the wines. He's a great educator and we appreciated that. Unfortunately, my ulcer decided to make itself known on day 2 so I didn't get to enjoy any more pairings after that. DH had a great time trying a lot of different wines though. (Side note...Celebrity graciously refunded the difference between the premium alcohol and non-alcohol package for me!)
The entertainment was good. Some shows better than others. We were sleepy and missed a lot of the later shows. The celebrity life series were all good too. Our biggest complaint was that there was a lot of overlap and we had to sacrifice one thing for another on several days.
DS did not participate in any of the teen club activities so I cannot comment on any of them.
We booked all of our excursion through the ship prior to sailing. We did the Segway tour in San Juan. We have done Segway before, but this was an awesome tour. It was very informative and our guide ensured that we knew how to use the Segway's before embarking on our journey. We got a good overview of Old San Juan and Puerto Rico in general. Highly recommend this excursion. We've been to St. Maarten several times so DH & DS went scuba diving while I walked around town. They had a great time and were lucky enough to see a shark! We've never been to St. Kitts so we did the catamaran sail & snorkel that also went to Nevis for lunch. This was also a fantastic excursion and we highly recommend it too! Great crew on the boat. The beer and rum punch was flowing.
A notable moment was when we ordered room service after St. Kitts before dinner. DH was told that it would take 40 minutes. It ended up being over an hour. It was no big deal to us since we were just getting a few snack items to enjoy before dinner. When we returned to the room, the room service items were waiting with a bottle of champagne. Wow! We didn't feel that we were wronged, but Celebrity apparently didn't think that the service lived up to their standards. The director of room service made a point to come by the room the next day AND had chocolate covered strawberries delivered to boot. Gotta love their standards!
We asked for a later debarkation time since we were flying out of MIA at 2:10. It was a breeze, but the line for taxis was a nightmare! We waited in that line for over 30 minutes!
Overall, this was another great cruise. We will happily sail Celebrity and would love to sail Eclipse again. She is a lovely ship with fantastic service. Hope you have as much fun as we did! :-)