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1 Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Reviews for Gay & Lesbian Cruises to Europe - All

Celebrity Eclipse Review, May 22nd 2016, 14 Day Baltics. We had done this itinerary before 4 years back on another ship but the places are so large and interesting we wanted a repeat, this time on our favourite ship, The Eclipse. This ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse Review, May 22nd 2016, 14 Day Baltics. We had done this itinerary before 4 years back on another ship but the places are so large and interesting we wanted a repeat, this time on our favourite ship, The Eclipse. This was our fifth time onboard her and we feel very comfortable with this ship. We like the spacious well designed cabins, the decor, the food and the drinks package. We also enjoy the mix of passengers onboard and find it easy to chat and make friends onboard. I've reviewed all 4 previous Eclipse cruises so won't go into detail about the same things. 2 things however had an impact on this cruise taking the edge of our overall enjoyment a bit compared to previous cruises. Entertainment This was our first time back onboard since they changed the production shows which are now produced in house by Celebrity. They were 'Topper', 'Rock' and 'Chandelier'. We saw each one and were excited to see them as we were tired of the old shows. These new shows were not good at all. Visually they looked great, the sets and costumes were very good. However each was a random selection of songs, one after another many of which were too recent or current for the age range on this cruise. Topper and Chandelier had 'stories' but they were terrible, childish and cringeworthy. We left Topper after 30 minutes. Rock we just watched from the back and left after 10 minutes and Chandelier we were stuck in the middle of a row so had to endure it to it's surreal ending (the chandelier 'eats' the baddies, yes a man eating Chandelier!). The applause for Chandelier was polite rather than appreciative. We were in Select dining and a group of around 10 rotated around the same tables each evening. There wasn't a single positive comment from any of these passengers about the new shows so we knew it wasn't just us. Celebrity evening entertainment largely centres on the main theatre shows and it was disappointing that these big production shows were so poor. Cruise lines like to over-use the description of 'West End Style Shows'. These were not West End quality but more High School quality. The previous ones, despite having seen them a few times, were much better. 2) Norovirus. This started pretty early on at about day 3 with clean up teams being evident around the ship, people being visibly sick in the Oceanview cafe, aqua spa cafe and during a theatre show. From then on every Captains announcement mentioned hand washing and the daily paper had a section on it every day. Procedures were put in place with the buffet so staff had to serve passengers. From day 6 all buffet stations became wrapped in cling film and they had to serve you over the top of the counters, a it like being in a lab. Menus and condiments were removed from all outlets apart from the main dining room and the speciality restaurants. Staff started going missing including our wine waitress and two out of a group of around 10 people based in the same area in Select dining came down with it. Now it's pretty likely this was brought onboard by a passenger given the early onset of the disease and it isn't necessarily the cruise lines fault but here is where they didn't seem to do all they could. Condiments were removed from tables elsewhere but remained throughout in the main sit down restaurants. Hand sanitisation was not encouraged or required on entry to the main dining room until after the virus had taken hold. Once it was around the ship people could leave the main dining room during dinner for a comfort break but walk straight back in without anyone encouraging them to sanitise. Passengers passed cruise cards back and forth to waiters who in turn handled hundreds of other passengers' cruise cards and yet this wasn't stopped till day 10 because, we were told, the infection rate wasn't dropping sufficiently. Why not restrict the handling of cruise cards by staff as soon as an outbreak commences? Public lavatories were frequently out of soap. On one day I reported a pool side toilet as having no soap in the dispenser at 9.30 am, again at 1pm and by 6pm I gave up. This didn't feel like a priority despite the Captains announcements. The worst example was on around day 8 when the Mast Grill burger joint on deck opened for the first time. Now given we were at code red and were being constantly warned about the virus and measures were in place throughout the ship what happened was beyond belief. We went to the Mast Grill about an hour after opening but there was no hand sanitiser to be seen. We eventually found a machine tucked behind a bin gathering dust. We asked staff how we could sanitise and they shrugged. One eventually produced a Purrell bag but it was empty. About 15 mins later the Purrell machine was pulled out and a gel bag put into it. The machine was dud. We went to find an officer to speak to and on our return the grill was very busy, with no one who had been there in the proceeding 90 minutes being able to sanitise. We found a restaurant manager eventually and spoke to her about this contradiction that we were at code red but the grill had been opened without any hand sanitiser. She was offhand and said she had now walked down the queue and administered the hand gel and the machine was now working. I said what about the dozens of people that had gone before and hadn't sanitised and had then touched the ketchup, mustard and Mayo dispensers and the bottles of condiments (all of which had been removed days earlier from the Oceanview Cafe). She walked off and started removing the dispensers and condiments. Now I realise the gel isn't a replacement for hand washing but what disappointed was whilst we were being bombarded with info on sanitary procedures, staff had opened this grill without even considering the basics of hygiene during a code red. This made me question if they were just paying lip service to taking precautions to protect passengers. This ever present reminder of the virus which was across 11 days of our 14 day cruise made it feel like a sick ship and we had a feeling of 'are we next'. Luckily we didn't contract it but many did and the ship had a delayed embarkation on its next sailing for a deep clean. Now I have gone on about two specific issues here. Overall we still like Celebrity and love The Eclipse but the entertainment and handling of the Norovirus did disappoint. Whereas I've given the ship 5/5 stars previously I've reduced that on this occasion because of these two problem areas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Celebrity Eclipse Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 4.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates N/A 4.2

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