Hi all, we are just off the Eclipse 10 night cruise (OK, 3 weeks ago). We booked 2 years ago while on the same route but on the Equinox. I didn’t take a lot of pictures and don’t have any food photos as they’ve been posted on here ... Read More
Hi all, we are just off the Eclipse 10 night cruise (OK, 3 weeks ago). We booked 2 years ago while on the same route but on the Equinox. I didn’t take a lot of pictures and don’t have any food photos as they’ve been posted on here many times already. We are in our late 50’s (very late) and for the most part retired although we still dabble in Real Estate.
We are pretty boring on a cruise. We don’t hang out in the public areas much, no trivia, games, etc. We cruise to relax, read, watch some movies, gamble a bit, eat, etc. I mean we do get out and about but don’t hang out around the ship unless there is a good show or talk. I’d pay a fortune for an ocean front room at a nice hotel and you can’t get any more ocean front than my balcony.
We live in S Florida (other coast) but still go over the night before. Costs just a little more than parking for the 10 days so it works. Stayed at the La Quinta Airport East. We stay there anytime we cruise out of Miami. OK hotel. Rooms are fine, breakfast nothing to write home about but the hotel was remodeled last year so it’s in decent shape. Since we drive we leave our car there and use their shuttle to the pier. Never had an issue.
We arrived at the pier right about 11:30. Our shuttle dropped some folks off at Carnival and there was a line stretching way out the door. I’m thinking, on no…… But when we got to Celebrity we walked right through security, right up to check in then directly on the ship. Easiest boarding ever, probably 10 minutes from the time the shuttle stopped. As is our habit we went to the Aqua Spa for lunch. Figure we might as well start out eating healthy and it’s so quiet compared to the buffet.
We were in Aqua Class 1552, large angled balcony by the front elevators. We’ve been in this cabin at least 4 times now and it’s our favorite. Originally booked a normal verandah cabin but the prices dropped so it wasn’t much to bump to Aqua. Loved the shower. Not the body jets but the shower head was great. Nice pressure. Cabin attendant is OK. He does his job but isn’t very friendly. Tried talking to him a few times, no go. That’s OK as long as he does his job which he does. I love this balcony. I spend most of the sea days out there reading, watching the ocean, listening to music, etc. Never once sat around the pool. We don’t see the draw, elbow to elbow with everyone else. But being from S Florida with our own pool we don’t need the sun.
One issue we had is the AC. We could never get the cabin cool enough at night. I like it a bit cool to sleep and it wasn’t cooperating. We did call and they said they’d send an AC person. Who knows if they did but it never got cool enough
We are not foodies and don’t worry too much about expensive wine or drinks. I don’t drink and my wife was happy with the Classic package. I asked a couple of times if she wanted to upgrade since we had so much OBC but nope, she was fine with house wine and mudslides. We don’t really sit at the bars either so that might make a difference. A ritual was to go to the Mast bar when we got back from shore or around 4 PM and grab 2 mudslides then head back to the room. We are more, get a drink and leave instead of hanging out. Our opinion is you really do not have to upgrade by any means. And yes the wine is drinkable and call brands are OK if mixing. I am sure we do not get full value even out of the Classic package but I enjoy grabbing a soda, coffee, etc. without thinking twice. We never did go to the Elite social.
Shows were good. Went to the first and last production show and thought they were pretty good. Great costumes, good singers and decent choreograph. They had a Michael Buble “tribute” band that was very good then a one person performer that sang, joked, etc. He as pretty good. We missed the Broadway show, the Virtuoso and the Divas. The Rock and Roll show was OK. Decent choreograph but the singing was off. They just tried to put their own spin on these songs. Didn’t care for it. The house band, Sea Monkeys, was pretty good too. They played in the foyer quite often. While my wife gambled I’d hang out on deck four overlooking the foyer watching the dancers and listening to the band.
As has been reported the casino will not give you money for your OBC. You can get promo ships for table games and credits put on your sea pass for slots. They did have a promo if you put money on slots. Not sure of the entire promo but if you put on $200 they gave you $25 in extra credit. I think $400 you got even more but forget the details exactly. Guess where most of our OBC went.
We ate in Blu every night. Had a great 2 top off by itself as they pulled the table next to it so they could make a 10 top. Server and Assistant were fantastic. How they can stay so positive while working so long and hard…… The rest of the staff was just a great. While not all the menu items were to my liking the experience was. It was like eating in a nice restaurant. We are not fans of the MDR as it is too noisy and crowded for us. But, there were many nights I just “settled” on something as nothing on the entrée side interested me. Wife felt the same way. We almost always found a good appetizer and salad, it was just the entrees that were lacking – for us that is. We weren’t sure about booking Aqua again but went to the MDR for lunch one day and that kind of sealed it. It was chaotic and loud compared to Blu. What a difference! This will be a tough choice going forward.
Other than Blu the only other benefit to Aqua Class is the Persian Gardens. I went to the Persian Gardens probably 3 times the entire cruise and that was after a workout just to use the steam room. Wife never went. There really isn’t much of a draw. Sure the loungers are nice but I’d rather sit on my balcony. I think they missed the boat as there is no hot tub. It’s just there isn’t much to it. Steam, a few chairs and an aroma room. It could have been really nice.
Went to one enrichment seminar on Barbados – about fell asleep. He tried I guess but it was pretty dull. We stayed to the end but others got up and left. Also went to a Barbados excursion talk that lasted about 15 minutes. We were renting a car and weren’t sure where to go so thought these would help. They didn’t. A couple of talks from Eddy the Cruise Director and the two from the Captain and his crew later in the cruise were good.
The only ship excursion we have ever purchased was on this trip. We bought the St John “On Your Own” tour. This is basically just the boat ride over. They pick you up pretty much right from the ship and drop you back off there too. Figured that for $39 each it was worth not having to catch a cab to Red Hook, then the ferry and do the same back. Since we docked in Crown Bay the taxi would have taken a lot longer to the ferry and back. Overall it probably cost us about $10 more per person but I knew my wife would prefer the less hassle. Well, not sure I’d do it again. First off the boat ride is about 40 minutes versus the 10 minutes from Red Hook which is not an issue if the seas weren’t rough. My wife gets motion sickness so the ride was a little rough. Second issue was they stopped to pick up other passengers from RCCL at the other pier. This added about 45 min to the trip. We ended up with only 3 ½ hours on St John and that included taxi/walking time. St John is so beautiful though. We went to Honeymoon beach. The water was the prettiest we’ve ever seen. We’ll go back, just not sure how we’ll get there next time. We took the trail and walked back to the ferry dock and it was a bit of a hike. Up, down, rocky….. Don’t do it if you have mobility issues. Kept promising my wife “we are almost there”….
In St Kitts we took a snorkeling tour from Theneford Grey Tours. We had a short around town tour then headed out to Frigate Bay area. Some really nice places out there. We had a guide that took us to two places to snorkel. After we spent some time at a local beach then headed back. The snorkeling was good but after St John……. We’ve already been on island tours here so we wanted something a bit different.
Rented a car on Barbados. We had a blast. Booked the car from Voyager and they were great to deal with. They were there when we showed up and after a little paper work we were on our way. A tip – get the GPS! It was only $5 and was a life saver. The plan was to just a make a big circle of the island. We headed up the coast and stopped to check out some beaches, shopping and grabbed a bite to eat. Headed over to the East coast which was beautiful. The Atlantic side is quite a bit different than the Caribbean side. From there headed down South to the Rum Distillery, which was closed then back to the West side. We went around Bridgetown and headed back up the coast to a spot we saw earlier so we could swim for a bit. Beautiful water. Since we swam with some turtles on St Kitts we didn’t pursue it on Barbados. We did last time and it was fun. So for under $100 we got to explore on our own all day. It was a lot of fun but I’ll warn you, some of the roads are a bit “bumpy” and narrow, especially on the East coast. I’d do it again in a heartbeat though. Sadly we were here overnight. Not a fan of the overnight, I would have preferred to go to Dominica which was the original itinerary when we booked the cruise. We didn’t do anything that night, no desire to go to the fish fry. The shops and casino were open that night. The overnight did allow me to go on a nice long run the next morning which was nice. Being Sat the roads were not that crowded and that was important when the “sidewalk” suddenly disappeared.
I am proud to say that we never ate at the buffet. I take that back, we did stop by after being off the ship and grab a piece of pizza to take back to the cabin. Breakfast was either room service or just a couple of Danish from the Bistro. I finally went to Blu for breakfast the last day. It was decent but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get there. By the time I finished working out I didn’t feel like showering and rushing down for breakfast. Lunch was either room service or a burger. Room service, for lunch that is, was pretty good. Everything was fresh, hot and very tasty. I became fond of the turkey club. There is something nice about have shrimp cocktail delivered to your room. Two at a time actually..... We did breakfast room service on port days. It was decent but breakfast food gets cold quickly.
Love the gym. Plenty of equipment and I was able to find open equipment every time I went. I took two spinning classes for $15 each. Not a bad price and it was nice being pushed a little. I’d never work that hard by myself. Decent weight set up. I don’t use the weight machines so I can’t really comment on the quality of them. One sea day I waited until about 10AM figuring the place would have thinned out by then. Nope, busy as can be. But I can attest that at 8PM the place is pretty empty.
It’s a shame that a ship this nice has such small hot tubs and nothing in the Persian Gardens. If there are 4 people in one of these tubs they get crowded. Not a fan of playing “footsies” with a man I don’t know. I started going after the show at night. Wife would go to the casino and I'd go to the hot tub. No one around and I could have the hot tub to myself. We'd catch back up after awhile. Sure miss the T pool from the M class ships.
We had a 9:15 disembarkation so we went to breakfast in Blu then sat in Tuscan until our number was called. They said Blu closed at 8 am but there were still people eating in there at 8:30. If I had known I would have just gone around 8. We thought you’d have to be finished around 8. When our number was called we passed the huge line up at the aft exit and went mid ship. No one mid ship. Took a little bit for the luggage then we just walked through customs. Got an Uber and went back to the hotel to get the car. Uber was $16.50 whereas last time a cab was over $30.
I love how this cruise is set up. Two sea days, then ports then end with two sea days. Very relaxing. Having been on the S class a few times now we are thinking of maybe going back to the M class for our next cruise or try RCCL again. The T pool is calling….
This was a great cruise. Nearly everyone we talked to was amazing. Considering the hours they put in I can’t see how they can always be so polite and accommodating. Food was for the most part good, dinner service was excellent. But, I’ve never had a bad cruise and we’ve been on Carnival, NCL, RCCL and Celebrity. And yes, Celebrity is our favorite at the time but I’d sail on any ship given the right price.
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