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21 Celebrity Eclipse Holiday Cruise Reviews

We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin ... Read More
We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin passengers. The room is smaller than the main dining room, service top notch and I think the food is prepared in a different kitchen. We generally had breakfast there as well, fresh orange juice, yum..and Nice and quiet. I used the Persian Gardens almost daily, nice heated beds, steam and sauna looking out over the ocean, and the other perk is the shower in our cabin that had jets of water for the body and overhead. We did have lunch in the buffet. Because Blu was so good, we did not feel like we needed go to any of the private, extra charge dining rooms. Our friends, on the other hand, did not see the value. They said they are not foodies, don't care where they eat as "food is food" and there is plenty everywhere. They used the Persian Garden only once. And the third couple loved Blu and never used the Persian Garden. So, everyone is different. The ship itself was kept very clean. We were in the casino a few evenings and it was quite busy. The shows were hit and miss. The entertainment we enjoyed were In the Skydeck at 10 p.m. Almost nightly. Live Music, a bit of a show by the dancers, and the guests joining in, or just watching. The gym is large and very busy in the morning. More equipment available later. New Years Eve was magical, dancing and singing out on the deck with at least 1200 people on a warm Caribbean night under the stars. The band played for all age groups. Only minor issues were: Disembarkation was very, very slow getting through customs. I think it was because it was New Year's Day and they were short staffed. Chairs on the deck at the pool was a challenge ...people 'saved' seats by putting down towels and books, then left,..and lots of times those spots were vacant for hours. Not a great system. All in all, we complained that we had nothing to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I've noted previous reviews on here that list a range of complaints and frankly I just don't understand what anyone has to complain about. This is my third Celebrity Cruise and I was a little worried after reading some reviews ... Read More
I've noted previous reviews on here that list a range of complaints and frankly I just don't understand what anyone has to complain about. This is my third Celebrity Cruise and I was a little worried after reading some reviews that suggested things were slipping in relation to food on Celebrity. I had nothing to worry about. The food on my 14 night Holiday cruise was outstanding! The best of any of my previous cruises which had already impressed me. The Main Dining room was so good. I chose Celebrity select and enjoyed the flexibility this provided. No wait for a table ever. Always seated at table for two as requested. Service was consistently outstanding, friendly and attentive even with different waiters. Food quality was outstanding every night, plenty of variety and I was always impressed what was achieved considering they are trying to mass produce for several thousand people a night. The baked french onion soup is the most delicious version of this soup I have ever tasted. Food quality in the buffet Oceanview Cafe was also consistently high with plenty of cooked to order stations keeping everything fresh and hot. The curry station was excellent. I think i had curry at nearly every lunch and was delicious. I noted several people commenting on the quality and authenticity. Everything was kept well stocked and turned over. I ate at Tuscan Grille and Qsine. Both of which were terrific. Tuscan more for the service and atmosphere as I did not see all that much difference in food quality over the Main Dining. Qsine is super fun and has so much variety but you really need an appetite. The christmas atmosphere was terrific complete with a transformation of the foyer staircase into a winter wonderland ginger bread house display and a truly impressive Christmas day brunch in the Main Dining which was stunning. The ship was kept so spotless and clean it was always impressive as to how much care was taken to keep the ship looking brilliant. So many great activities on board to suit every persons tastes and interests. Entertainment was fantastic all over the ship with the exception of the Male barbershop quartet who I thought were abysmal, thankfully they did not really feature and were easily avoided. The ports were all interesting and quite different. My favourite being St Maarten and Barbados. I could have passed on Grenada which I thought was not as good as the other ports by far. The crew, waiters, bar staff and activity staff were all helpful and genuine. Beautiful food, beautiful ship, amazing vacation. So hard to come home! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
About us: We are in our 50's and both retired. This was our 10th Cruise and our first Celebrity Cruise. Arriving: We flew in from Atlanta, GA and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express that was about ½ mile away from the port. We ... Read More
About us: We are in our 50's and both retired. This was our 10th Cruise and our first Celebrity Cruise. Arriving: We flew in from Atlanta, GA and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express that was about ½ mile away from the port. We considered walking over to our ship, but were told that our ship could be up to 2 miles away from the port entrance so we went with Holiday Inns bus service. I think it was $10 each, but I do know within 5 minutes of purchasing the tickets someone convinced me that we should have took a cab telling us "It would cost about ½ of what your paid". So it goes. We arrived at the port about 11:15 am and the boarding process took 45 minutes. Was the slowest check we encountered in our cruise history, no problem since we had 14 days onboard? The ship: From the moment we first stepped on the ship we were simply amazed, The Eclipse is such beautiful ship. It was decorated for the holiday's which added a nice touch. It has a very nice layout and easy to navigate. The person per public space is low compared to the other lines we sailed on, so even thought there were around 2800+ passengers sailing we never felt crowded. It didn't take long for us to realized this was the nicest ship we ever been on. We stayed in cabin 7290 which is a on the starboard side. It is a hump cabin and our room stewardess told us the balcony was about 50% bigger than the standard balcony. We were able to fit our huge suitcases under the bed and we had plenty of room for our clothes. It is real close to the elevators and was very quiet. Spent time on the balcony each night of the cruise. The gym was really quite large for the number of people that actually used it, so that was a nice change. On a number of ships we have been on there simply isn't enough equipment for the number of people. Food: We went to the MDR just about every night. We were seated with four other people who we developed a close bond with over the 14 days we were there. The food was excellent, the best we have had a sea, and the service was great. On RC we tend to be disappointed with the MDR for one reason or another and usually end of at the buffet so this was a nice change. Celebrity was really pushing the Specialty Restaurants. They had a guy greeting people after our dinner in the MDR. He had a signup sheet and if you seemed the least interested he would try to close the deal. We didn't do Any of the Specialty Restaurants but 3 of the people at our table went to the Tucson Grill and said it was excellent. We did the Ocean View for breakfast and lunch. Food was good there too. They had an Italian, Mexican and Indian section that I enjoyed. The coffee was excellent. Very strong, the way I like it. Entertainment: The entertainment in the Theatre was very good. We didn't go to a lot of the shows on this cruise but we caught most of the Celebrity Shows, the last one was a Cirque du Soleil type production which was excellent for a cruise ship. If you decide to see just one show I would recommend that. They also had different performers through out the ship that were pretty good. I really enjoyed the 3 violin players. I also went the Casio on most nights and yes they do have a few 1 cent machines so I was able to keep my losses to a minimum. Was nice to have a smokeless Casino. The prices for alcohol were reasonable $8.05 for a glass of wine with included tip. Disembarkation -- We walked right off the ship at 8:15 with no delays. We carried our luggage as we thought we could get an earlier flight home. They did run out of coffee in the Ocean View Cafe. I shared a table with 6 other people that last day and one person came back to the table and said "they are out of coffee" Since it was so early it didn't register and 5 minutes later I went to get some and they still didn't have any. That was a first. Other: Pool- nice added touch with the cushions on the lounge chairs. The wait staff will walk by once in awhile but not the constant "Can I get you a drink" that we see on Carnival and RC. This was also true with the photographers. Conclusion: We loved the Eclipse and first thing I did when we got home was book Celebrity Solstice for 8/2013 and Celebrity Equinox for 1/20/2014. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Since we live in the northeast we decided to fly to FLL. We made all the arrangements through Celebrity for the flying and ground transportation to the ship. The flights were fine, right on time both ways. When we arrived in FLL we found ... Read More
Since we live in the northeast we decided to fly to FLL. We made all the arrangements through Celebrity for the flying and ground transportation to the ship. The flights were fine, right on time both ways. When we arrived in FLL we found the Celebrity transfer agents in baggage claim. There was about 40 of us total to use the transfer bus to the pier. We were herded out to a far end of the baggage claim and then another bit of a walk to the bus area, all this dragging our bags. The agents seemed to be in a dither, running around and talking on their radios. Thirty minutes go by and there is no bus. I asked one of the agents about the hold-up and was told they were waiting for a bus. Another 30 minutes go by and still no bus. This time I found an agent that seemed to be in charge and asked what was going on. He told me they needed a special bus for a passenger in a wheelchair. I suggested he use a taxi for the one passenger that needed special care and not hold up the other 39 of us. After some more running around and talking on their radios, that is what they finally did. One hour and thirty minutes later we boarded a bus and headed to the pier. The ship was already decorated for Christmas - very pretty. Our room was a port side balcony and since we carried our own bags we were able to settle in right away. Others, it seems, did not receive their luggage until the next day. They had to go down to the baggage area in the ship and point out their luggage. It seems many of the tags were missing. Since we were Aqua Class, we dined almost every night in Blu restaurant. The service was good, the menu interesting, and with the exception of two nights, very good. We tried Qsine one night and had a fun time - too much food! I enjoyed the gelato on the 5th deck even though it was an extra charge. The entertainment shows were very good and there were always seats available whether we went early or late. Good magic show and super Cirque type show. My wife and I met many wonderful folks during the voyage and enjoyed playing the various trivia type games. Michael and Mickey were always able to make us laugh. I really enjoyed the Hot Glass show. The artists who made the various beautiful glass pieces were very good and made this one of my favorite places to visit. The two enrichment presenters were very good, but the area where the talks are presented was noisy and the projector was dim and washed out - too bad. We did not use any of the ship tours, but found our own way around. Getting off the ship was a nasty experience. Other ships we have sailed on had the food area in the bow. That left the mid-ship elevators less busy and made getting off the ship a non-event. This ship has the food area and the mid elevators in the same location. The passengers going for food conflicted with others trying to get off with luggage. After waiting for over twenty minutes most of us had to resort to the stairs - in our case 9 floors. Then all passengers had to walk a long way aft on the dock past the end of the ship and then the walkway turned to the left and we walked back again in the opposite direction to enter customs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Let me start with a little background to put this review into some perspective. This was our ninth cruise, our sixth with Celebrity but our first on an S-Class ship. Every cruise is special but we wanted something extra special to ... Read More
Let me start with a little background to put this review into some perspective. This was our ninth cruise, our sixth with Celebrity but our first on an S-Class ship. Every cruise is special but we wanted something extra special to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Before booking and even setting our budget, we researched every cruise line and every itinerary finally deciding that we would spend two weeks relaxing in the Caribbean on Constellation in one of her Penthouse Suites with the huge aft balcony over Christmas and the New Year. Of course, when details of the 2012/13 cruises were released for sale, Eclipse had replaced Constellation on this route and the holiday cruises were split. The best laid plans ... Pre-cruise The scheduling of this cruise immediately gave us logistical problems. We really wanted 3-days in port pre-cruise but that meant flying on Boxing Day [26th December] and travelling down to Heathrow on Christmas Day. Not something we thought it fair to ask our taxi company to do. We eventually decided on travelling down on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day in a Heathrow hotel. More research resulted in us selecting the Ambassador's Suite at the Marriott. The suite was definitely the right choice with a huge sitting/dining room and ample-sized bedroom with king-sized bed. It had 1½ baths, two wardrobes, a large desk area, two really comfy sofas and a dining table that could seat six people more than comfortably. Compared to what we would have paid for a standard room, the suite was excellent value. The service was quiet and efficient. Complimentary Internet access was provided for printing boarding passes. There were two issues which marred our stay a little but both were probably one-offs. Because it was Christmas, there was only one restaurant open serving a reduced menu plus a set three-course Christmas dinner. The food was mediocre at best. A bigger issue but not really anything the hotel could do much about was some of the other guests who were not only very obvious for the size of their group but whose behaviour was loud and unpleasant. There was no breakfast provided in the Executive Lounge but the other complimentary refreshments, including wine and beer, were and we especially enjoyed the cheese board after dinner. Our breakfast in the restaurant was complimentary. It was one of the most laid-back Christmases we have spent but enjoyable none the less. Our usual preference would be to book our flights [and pre-cruise hotels] through Celebrity but, by the time the flights came on sale, prices had risen so much that we would not be able to afford business class through Celebrity. In the end, we arranged our BA own flights. Apart from a delay of over an hour whilst we sat on board due to a problem with the hydraulics, the flight was very pleasant, the food surprisingly tasty and the cabin crew friendly. We made up much of the lost time at the start. However the biggest surprise was Miami airport. Our previous experiences there since 2009 have been more than unpleasant and, for different reasons, it has taken us between 2½ and 3½ hours to get through the system. Recent reports on Cruise Critic did not encourage us to believe there had been any improvement. However, the airport has not only clearly undergone a huge upgrade but we were actually made to feel welcome. Immigration and Customs were friendly without being unprofessional -- not quite up to the high standards of Philadelphia or even Las Vegas but no longer an airport we feel we want to avoid. One thing to note about Miami airport is that there is now a US$5 charge for a luggage trolley and you will need $1 or $5 to feed into the machine. The result of this is that available porters are now much more difficult to find. Our three days pre-cruise, booked through Celebrity, were at the Embassy Suites hotel in Fort Lauderdale. This is not the most luxurious of hotels but we like the space in the suites [especially useful for storing cruise luggage] and its location [close to a number of restaurants and shopping for everyday items and wine] but, most important, we are used to it and enjoy our stays there. This was our fifth time here. What we had forgotten is how friendly and efficient the hotel is. With the complimentary full breakfast and daily evening Manager's Happy Hour and suites equipped with microwave, fridge, coffee maker, iron & ironing board and hairdryer, and a lovely outdoor pool area we consider the hotel extremely good value. Embarkation For the first time, we decided to skip the Celebrity transfers and take a taxi to the ship in an attempt to avoid arriving with a crowd. In the event, we were persuaded at the hotel to take their shuttle but this still allowed us better control of our luggage. We arrived at the terminal about 11 o'clock and no queues but, once we had checked it, realised that we had not avoided the crowds. The ground floor waiting area was already full. We were directed upstairs to the suite waiting area but had hardly sat down when we were called for boarding, suite guests first. There had been some reports about problems with those who required assistance boarding but there was no sign of problems this time. The area for those requiring assistance was next to that for suites and they followed us boarding. However, there were only two people using mobility scoters and no wheelchair users. After some confusion, we discovered that we could use Michael's Club where we met the Captain's Club Hostess and there were light refreshments. We able to book a cabana on Labadee through the Concierge but little else because our butler arrived to take us to our suite long before the announcement that the staterooms were available. Having been told that our butler would be Luis, we were really surprised [and pleased] to meet Jose, our butler from our previous cruise on Infinity. To avoid confusion with another Jose, he was now known as Luis. Penthouse Suite The one word we both use to sum our suite now we have had time to reflect will probably be a surprise. It is not "large" nor "luxurious" but "comfortable". The suite is very large and really luxurious but, above everything, it was comfortable. We loved it! We had spent many hours studying photographs and videos on the Internet and these give a very good impression of what it is like. There were few surprises except for the lighting and the bed. It is very good lighting but there are 32 light switches [excluding any of the doors which turn on internal cupboard lights when opened] many of which are sophisticated combined on/off/dimmer switches. We never did completely master them! The huge king-sized bed was so comfortable! It was the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in by a very long way. Ship Even some of the critical reviews I have read about Eclipse describe her as stunningly beautiful but that description did nothing to prepare me for just how stunning and beautiful she is. There is something about her that is beyond her contemporary beauty and I was struggling to put what it was into words until Captain Manetas summed it up by saying that it was the German engineering. And he was right, it is all the small details such as the soft close drawers that make all the difference. One of the issues attracting a great deal of criticism before our cruise was the music throughout Eclipse -- not just the volume but also the type of music played. This certainly was not a problem on our cruise. There was loud, very modern music in the Martini Bar but, most of the time, it was difficult to hear the music there over the buzz of conversation or the music from the foyer. There was just one evening when the bar was unusually empty that the music was too loud. Elsewhere on the ship, there was different music in different areas and the musak piped into the hallways was at very low volume and varied from Christmas Carols to the Beatles. The only music we found objectionable was the guitar player. In the Sunset Bar for sail-away from Fort Lauderdale, not only was he far too loud but he was also very bad! Unfortunately, like a bad penny, he just kept turning up everywhere. Conversely, Twist of 8, the party band, on the Pool Deck on New Year's Eve played for something like 4 hours without a break and created the perfect party atmosphere. Dining Since 2009, we have chosen to eat only in the speciality restaurants but we did enjoy our one visit to Blu on our last cruise and hoped to be able to repeat that experience as well as having dinner served in our suite for the first time. Pre-cruise, we booked five nights in each of Murano [including our two complimentary meals] and the Tuscan Grille. [Our four visits to Qsine on our last cruise were probably enough for us.] Despite the rumours on Cruise Critic, we were able to book Murano for New Year's Eve in advance. As it was, we were invited to the Captain's Table for New Year's Eve, took part in the Chef's Table for another of our planned visits and organised a dinner in our suite for four Cruise Critic friends for a third. To make up for there were two lunches held in Murano -- an extra one because of New Year. We were disappointed on our first visit to find that they are no longer able to serve fois gras on board. The fois gras on Celebrity ships has always been the best we have found anywhere, including some of the top restaurants in Paris, and something we always look forward to. They have also discontinued my favourite desert, the Pear & Pineapple Napoleon -- this, apparently because it was not very popular! Having overcome these disappointments, we found the quality of the food in Murano outstanding even by comparison with its equivalents on the M-Class ships. The lobster was excellent every time we choose it. Conversely, although we still enjoyed our dinners in the Tuscan Grille, it did not come up to the high standards of Constellation in 2010. Personally, I found the Tuscan Onion Soup disappointingly thin and the Calamari nothing special. Both were firm favourites on Constellation. I had breakfast each morning in Blu but, despite hoping to go more often, we only managed to fit in one visit for dinner but we exceptionally lucky. The Chicken Consumee we had loved so much on Infinity last year was on the menu again this evening. We had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and my husband thought the New York Strip better in Blu than in the Tuscan Grille and the Main Dining Room on New Years Eve. We ate lunch most days in the Oceanview Cafe and much preferred the island layout over that on the M-Class ships. We were surprised to find that we did not miss the trays. The selection of food each day was excellent and varied. In particular, I found the choice of curries exceptionally good and my husband was impressed with the pies of which there was usually a choice of two types. The Caribbean Buffet provided on the second Sunday [a sea day] was really good and most enjoyable. Lee Goble, the new Executive Chef, even ensured that there were whole coconuts which were broken open after the coconut water had been drunk for the coconut jelly to be eaten. However, the dining highlights for us would have been the Chef's Table and the lunches in Murano had it not been for the meal provided when we entertained some Cruise Critic friends for dinner. Between them Chef Lee and Antal Puskas [Maitre d' of Murano] wanted to create something special for us and they excelled themselves with a four course buffet. Drinks Package For our last cruise, we purchased a Premium Alcohol Package each but we had a couple of problems for the package to be more convenient: we found the choice of wines by the glass not too our tastes even paying the supplement for those over $12/glass and had far too many problems being charged for drinks at Cafe al Bacio. We certainly did not get good value from the packages. Because of this, we initially decided not buy a package this time. In the end, we did buy the Premium Non-Alcohol Package still not expecting to save money. This worked for us this time and the only problem we had was trying to convince the bar staff in the Oceanview Cafe that Strongbow Cider is not a Soda and we should be paying for it! Captain's Club We have cruised with Elite status for some years now but have never attended the evening cocktail event. Although we really enjoyed the Elite breakfast in Michael's Club on our first cruise after it was introduced, since then all Captain's Club events have been far to crowded for us to enjoy them. When the Captain's Club Hostess informed us that there were 500 Elites on board we said that we would not be attending any of the Captain's Club events. We did receive three vouchers each for drinks on New Year's Eve when there was no Elite Cocktail Party but they were not accepted in the bar where we were meeting friends so we did not even use these. Entertainment We have never been to a show on a cruise and consider relaxing over a good meal our entertainment. We did make an exception to watch the Hot Glass Show and really enjoyed it, staying for the full two hours despite a very heavy rain shower. We were so pleased on the last day of the cruise to be lucky enough to buy, at auction, one of the piece we had seen made. Ports The rain plagued us in most of the ports. This was our first Caribbean cruise and, other than Labadee, we had not been to any of the ports before. We had few plans in advance because we are not beach people and, as I mentioned, it was our intention to simply relax. However, we did book two excursions pre-cruise. Some years ago, in Grand Cayman, we had taken a submarine tour but a recent hurricane had made the water cloudy. We decided to try again in Bridgetown. Although [perhaps surprisingly] Celebrity offered this excursion for less money than booking direct, we did book direct because they offered a special "VIP" package not available through Celebrity. This cost just US$40/head more than the standard tour and was well worth it because we got the best seats in the submarine, just behind the pilot. We had a great view through the front window as well as the sides. The VIP package also gave us exclusive use of the top deck of the tender boat to and from the submarine, priority boarding and disembarkation, canapes, fruit juices & wine, and a souvenir photograph. It was a far better experience than in Grand Cayman: the water was crystal clear, there were lots of fish to see and we went to a depth of 149 feet [as opposed to 100 feet]. We can highly recommend this tour in Bridgetown, with or without the VIP package. Despite having no experience, I have always wanted to ride a horse along a beach and booked the Celebrity tour to do this on Aruba. This turned out to be one of the many highlights of this cruise for me. Despite being a complete novice, I gained the satisfaction of learning how to control a [admittedly, beginner's] horse, Lulu. We had a fantastic ride over the rough terrain of the Arikok National Park to a small cove where, unfortunately, the heavens opened and we were soaked to the skin destroying the photo opportunity. However, that was the only negative aspect of the whole fantastic morning. Disembarkation and Journey Home Prior to the cruise, there were a number of reviews on Cruise Critic complaining about the distance people were required to walk on disembarkation. As my husband has difficulties walking long distances [and because of our experience of how his need to stop for rests caused obstructions to others disembarking in Hong Kong in similar circumstances], we arranged for him to have wheelchair assistance. Everything went very smoothly and the only negative was the extremely long queue for taxis. Celebrity had actively discouraged guests from relying on this method of transport and cannot, therefore, be blamed for something outside their control. The taxi queue was well controlled and we probably did not wait longer than the other option we had considered. We had pre-booked a day-room at the Miami airport Sofitel hotel where we had a lovely lunch outside enjoying the last of the Florida sun. I am not sure if we really got value for money as we spent very little time in our room before catching the hotel shuttle to the terminal but it was nice to have somewhere to sort out the luggage and relaxing for the short time we had. We had another delay after boarding -- this time because a passenger had been taken ill and her luggage needed to be removed from the plane. Again we were about an hour late in taking off and made up no time on the journey. Arriving at Heathrow, we waited about 45 minutes for a gate to be made available for us but at least the snow had not started, yet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We started our month long vacation from Virginia on December 19, 2012. We drove to Florida and spend a week at a time share resort with family in Orlando, FL. We drove to Fort Lauderdale the day before sailing and stayed at a Holiday Inn ... Read More
We started our month long vacation from Virginia on December 19, 2012. We drove to Florida and spend a week at a time share resort with family in Orlando, FL. We drove to Fort Lauderdale the day before sailing and stayed at a Holiday Inn hotel that provided 14 nights of parking free. We took the shuttle to the ship and boarded the fastest we have ever been able to board. Since we had already sailed on Solstice and Silhouette we were able to recognize most of the ships venues immediately. This was a bump out veranda and was located mid ship which we prefer. The two weeks flew by and was over all too soon. Thank goodness we had booked a 7 day cruise on the new sister ship Reflection that was leaving Miami just hours after the Eclipse cruise was over in Fort Lauderdale. I must say that the reviews that been posted by Eclipse guests are NOT indicative of the cruise experience we had. Compared to the other 29 cruises we have taken Eclipse food, crew, entertainment was as good as and in some ways better than any other ship. It was so good that we decided to book the same ship for the same islands for the 2013 New Years 14 day sailing. We would NOT do this unless we were happy with the overall 2 weeks we sailed this time. Was the cruise perfect?? NO! Did the crew listen to any concerns with food or excursions and do whatever they could to address our concerns in a timely manner and with genuine effort? YES! A small example would be the fact that trying to book the horseback ride at the excursion desk they indicated that the Aruba company offering this excursion had an age limit of 65. They could have just told us they could NOT help us. Instead, the excursion manager was called in and seeing that we are very fit at 66 and 69 and have ridden horses all our lives he took it upon himself to contact the company by email to discuss getting a waiver. A day later we were informed the waiver had been approved. After the ride we went back to the excursion desk and the young women who helped us had also gone horseback riding on a previous cruise and had ridden the same horse my wife rode. Our wait staff in the MDR also made sure to ask if we had any special requests. We like to use olive oil instead of butter on our bread and the olive oil was at our table every night after that. We I made a point about how good the goat cheese cigar tasted I found 3 goat cheese cigars on my plate the following night even though it was NOT on the menu. Why do I point out all the things that the crew did for us?? Because it was obvious they DID care and DID want to make our cruise experience as good as possible. When the cruise critic organizer had to cancel this cruise I wound up becoming the MC because I had co organized the gift exchange. The names tags my co organizer prepared had the country flag of each person at the cruise critic Connections party. Even the senior staff officer Patti who was the cruise director commented on never seeing better name tags at a cruise critic meeting. I implored all cruise critic guests at the party to seek out ALL crew during the cruise and if they saw them without a smile they were to give them one of theirs. I will be active on next years boards with hints on things to do to have a wonderful two week vacation. Some of the highlights for us included the wonderful holiday decorations the crew had worked hard to put up. The 2 hour glass show at night was wonderful and did not seem near that long. Yes the seats are NOT cushioned so you want to drag a beach towel from your room to make a cushion! Yes the ships today are trying to squeeze every dime by offering things that used to be included at an additional charge. We spent the extra money for Tuscan and Murano and felt it was worth every dollar. Murano was requested to make a dish NOT on the menu (Steak Diane flambe at the table). This was for our 41st anniversary. It was over the top good. As good or better than any Washington DC restaurant that charges double the price. By being the fill in MC for cruise critic we wound up getting invited to the Penthouse Suite for the 40th anniversary party of one or British cruise critic couples. This was another over the top experience during this two weeks. The cabin storage space seems to be an issue that we get around by requesting 2 dozen wire coat hangers so we can hang up as much as possible. I also turned one of our suitcases into an extra wardrobe drawer under the bed. We learned to utilize the overhead bins for things we did NOT use every day and to use the easy access drawers for our everyday items. I hope this review balances out some of the reviews where everything seemed to be going wrong. Terry Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We loved the Eclipse. The ship is beautifully designed with lots of bars (of all kind), very good food-even in the beautiful and spacious buffet and especially in Blu where the staff was terrific. Boarding-We arrived at the terminal at ... Read More
We loved the Eclipse. The ship is beautifully designed with lots of bars (of all kind), very good food-even in the beautiful and spacious buffet and especially in Blu where the staff was terrific. Boarding-We arrived at the terminal at about 12:30pm and boarded right away with very little wait. We had carry-on luggage and went right to the buffet for lunch. Our room was ready shortly thereafter. Cabin-we were in Aqua Class, cabin 1631. It was very nice but a bit smaller than we're used to and less drawer room than we've found on other ships. Nonetheless it was fine. The veranda was large enough for a small table, 2 chairs and two ottomans--all very modern furniture. The bathroom was also nice with enough storage room, but again small with no tub. (The best bathroom we've ever had was in a veranda room on the Niew Amsterdam earlier this year-it was huge with separate shower and tub). Thankfully, the cabin was very quiet and we were glad we booked a cabin below other cabins as v. a public area. We're convinced, after several noisy experiences, that a cabin between other cabins is the best choice. Restaurants-The dining room reserved for Aqua Class is Blu. It was wonderful-great, healthy food--but not bland, just well cooked and not enormous helpings. If a food was not on the menu, staff did its best to get it for you-like a certain vegetable. On the subject of staff, they were great and eager to please. Blu was open for breakfast and dinner only so we either had lunch at the buffet or on deck 12 at the healthy spa food area. The problem with the buffet was that there were so many choices, arranged in multi-stations, that we tended to overeat there. We also experienced the usual rude passengers who acted like they hadn't eaten for days!! We also ate at Qsine-one of the specialty restaurants. It's menu could best be described as ecletic tapas--very interesting and worth at least one try. The other restaurant that we paid extra to eat at was Murano. We were looking forward to it based upon positive reviews on this site. However, it turned out to be our worst meal. The service was okay, but the lobster was horrible--very small, dry tails almost like a langostino, but not billed as such. After one meal was sent back and another one just like it arrived, Tony, the maitre d' came over to ask me what the problem was. I told him the food was "horrible" and he started arguing with me in front of everyone about how I could use the word "horrible" to describe my meal. I was mortified and I told him I'd take up his attitude with the hotel manager-which I did. The manager apologized and I hope that no one else experienced what ruined the evening for us. We had room service several times-for early morning coffee. It was great-on time and hot coffee. Entertainment-We went to two shows-both were good-not spectacular, but fine. We also attended two lectures-on the history of pirates (which was very boring) and on baseball (which was okay). We also went to one afternoon movie. Bars-The Martini Bar was the most entertaining with very talented bartenders who used a very generous pour. We also had wine at the Wine Cellar. The Cellar had a unique way of purchasing a glass--you buy a card there, insert it at a wine "station" and then select the amount of wine you wish. There was a tremendous variety of wines and delightful staff to help. Gym-The ship has a large gym with newish equipment (since the ship is a little over a year old). Very nice facility with the usual very young staff not too interested in helping you unless you're buying their services. Disembarkation-It was a breeze. We left the ship at 8am and were at the Miami Airport by 8:30am. Since we had carryon we just walked off the ship when we were done with breakfast at Blu. P.S. Ports-The 3 ports were essentially the same. They were Puerto Rico (good to get off ship to cross street to go to CVS), St. Thomas-the usual tourist spot with tons of jewelry shops, and St. Maarten/St. Martin. On this last island we took a van tour with 3 other couples-got it outside the port for $25/pp. It took us around the island-both sides-and was very good with an entertaining guide and a very good price as v. the ship's tour. The most interesting thing in St. Martin (the French side) was the Sarafina Pastry Shop-pastries and coffee tasted like Paris! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
CELEBRITY ECLIPSE East Caribbean Cruise December 10 -- 17, 2011 By Mary & Vincent Finelli 'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house there was hustle and bustle, so this review did not get done! 'Twas ... Read More
CELEBRITY ECLIPSE East Caribbean Cruise December 10 -- 17, 2011 By Mary & Vincent Finelli 'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house there was hustle and bustle, so this review did not get done! 'Twas the week after Christmas and all through the house there was hustle and bustle, so this review did not get done. 'Twas Jan. 1, 2012 and a New Year, so with resolution we now attack the job; it will get done. The Celebrity Eclipse is a wonderful art experience. Since she is a sister ship to the Solstice, she is exact in every way except in her decorations. The art collection has been described like her name: Eclipse -- "rare and unexpected" as the book on Eclipse art says. The pieces of art have been selected to make the passengers look "stop and ponder." Featured is the art community of Miami; showcasing two artists per deck, one on port side and one on starboard. With each display there are unique points being made, for example, Miller's photos of what seems to be an eclipse are actually camera less shapes made directly onto photographic paper. Using this as a stepping off point will set passengers up for a unique and surprising art experience. Be careful what you think you are seeing may not be what you are seeing at all! EMBARKATION The Eclipse sails out of the Port of Miami, although it's about a one hour ride from Boca Raton, FL, security is much less time consuming than Ft. Lauderdale. Thus a similar amount of time is required. We arrived at 12:45pm, baggage drop off was rapid. Vincent used his walker and not his scooter. Even though 1:00pm was listed as boarding time, we were boarded immediately. We have Elite status; therefore, there was no waiting. Our stateroom 1524 Deck 11 was ready; we left our carry on luggage in the room and were off to the buffet of Roast Beef and Pop overs in the Oceanview Cafe` (deck 14 aft). THE SHIP As we remember, all the captains of the Celebrity ships we have met have been Greeks, so is this one on the Eclipse, Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis, who was born in Athens, Greece. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The Grand Foyer on Deck 3 had a wonderful gingerbread Church and winter scene. The church had three separate sections and two bell towers. The scent of gingerbread brought Mother's kitchen to mind. It was artfully adorned with lots of frosting and "snow"; the foreground had a miniature train and it was surrounded by miniature Christmas trees with many twinkling white lights. There were several mini house scenes and even a red mail box with Snoopy sleeping on top of it. The Atrium balconies on Decks 4 & 5 were festooned with green balsam garlands and clusters of gold and maroon balls. Everywhere were real red poinsettia plants and some areas were all white poinsettia plants --- just lovely. To travel on these fantastic cruise ships anytime is great, but at holiday time it's spectacular. Hotel Director Bernhard Stacher (Austria) and his staff set the tone on the Eclipse with very high standards. The sea is good to Bernhard and he gets younger looking every cruise. Even though we wrote a thorough description of her sister ship, the Solstice, here we will concisely review the Decks: Deck 2 houses the medical facility. Deck 3 has the lower level of the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room with its fantastic ceiling of crystal balls and ship evoking shapes. Here are also Guest Relations, Shore excursions and the Passport Bar. Deck 4 has Celebrity Central, Entertainment Court and the Eclipse Theater. Here are also Cellar Masters Wine Room and three Bars: the Quasar, Martini Bar, and Crush. It also houses the Fortunes Casino, the shops on the Boulevard and the upper level of the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room. Deck 5 has the upper level of the Eclipse Theater, the Art Gallery, Galleria Boutiques and the Photo Gallery. There are four lounges: Cafe al Bacio (coffee), Ensemble, Galleria Tastings, and Michael's Club. There are five restaurants: Bistro on Five (Creperie), Blu (Aqua Class reserved restaurant), Murano (specialty restaurant, French cuisine), Qsine (specialty restaurant, around the world cuisine), and the Tuscan Grille (specialty restaurant, Italian steakhouse). Deck 6 has the iLounge (Internet) and staterooms. Decks 7, 8, & 9 have all staterooms. Deck 10 has the Library with open stacks (24 hrs.) and staterooms. Deck 11 has a Relaxation Lounge and staterooms: mostly Suites, Concierge and Aqua Class staterooms. Deck 12 has passenger areas: Aqua Spa, Beauty Salon, the Persian Garden Pools, Solarium swimming Pools and Whirl Pools. Aft there are the Sky Suites and the Concierge Staterooms Deck 14 has two Bars, the Mast and the Oceanview, the Sky Conference Center and the Sky Observation Lounge. Midship is the Jogging Track and aft is the Oceanview Cafe`. Deck 15 has the Corning Hot Glass Show, the Lawn Club and Bocce field, the Fun Factory and the Video Arcade. Deck 16 is the Sun Deck. The ship is registered in Valletta, Malta. She had her Inaugural Season 2010; she weighs 122,000 tons; her length is 1,033 ft., beam is 121 ft. with a draft of 27 ft. and a cruising speed of 24 knots. Her occupancy is 2, 850 guests. CABIN Wheelchair accessible cabin #1524 (Aqua Class) is located forward on the starboard side. It has an automatic door opener with an extra wide door and a foyer with a place to park the wheelchair. When entering on the left is a huge bathroom with a large 4X4 ft. shower with fold up seat. And safety rails all around. Next is the queen size bed with flanking night stands: One drawer and a shelf and reading lamps. Then, there is a small beige love seat and a medium coffee table. When entering on the right there is a double wardrobe with ample room. Next, is a long desk/cabinet with six drawers, a personal safe, a refrigerator, a lighted mirror, a desk chair and a coffee table. The carpeting was Burberry, heavy on the maroon and our Steward was Fevon Gracias, who was always ready to help. The far wall is half window and sliding doors to the balcony which has two recliners, two stools and a table. Vincent uses the balcony frequently, he loves to relax, to contemplate and sometimes naps lulled by the ship's motion and the sound of the waves. He also enjoys star gazing and this time he was lucky to see some of the most bright shooting stars on late Tuesday evening. Later we learned that it was the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower. FOOD AND SERVICE Service under Hotel Director Bernard is excellent. We travelled Aqua Class with our own special Dining Room "Blu." This restaurant is dedicated to healthy, inventive offerings (reminiscent of chef Todd English). The portions are medium to small; just the way we like them, since we are more tasters than eaters. The Blu manager is Alex , whom we met on the Solstice. Maitre D' is Marcel (Slovakia) and Asst. Maitre is Viorel (Romania). The Sommelier is Krish (Mauritius). Our waiters were Gede (Indonesia) nad Renata (Macedonia). This friendly International group made our week at table #855. Blu is decorated exactly like the one on Solstice except the dominant color there was cobalt blue and here it is ruby red. Not as stunning as the blue, but still lovely. The breads are excellent and hot: crispy bread sticks, French bread, olive rolls, dark ryes and some sweet ones too. Practically, there are just four courses: appetizers, soups and salads, entrees and desserts. Eating in Blu was pleasant and quiet. On the second Formal Night Bernard invited us to the Captain's table in the Moonlight Sonata and we were struck by the fact that the main Dining Room was so active and high spirited. It was fine for one night, but the next night we truly appreciated the calm and relaxing atmosphere of Blu! I guess we are starting to show our age. We dined in the Tuscan Grill ($30 cover charge) and enjoyed it. The menu is new, the Maitre d' Jorge is from Portugal and his Asst is Erkan from Turkey. There is an offering of eight or so appetizers. Mary tried the crab cake and a carpaccio of mango and octopus, and Vincent the prosciutto and an arugula salad with fried mozzarella. For entrees Vincent took the perfectly cooked filet Mignon and Mary the Veal cutlet done Milanese style with mushrooms and truffle sauce, buonissimo. Our waiters were Peter (Hungary) and Mehomet (Turkey) and the Sommelier was Maria (Serbia). Service was terrific and the entrance of walking under giant wine casks sets an expectation for a special night, and it was. ENTERTAINMENT On board activities are under the supervision of Cruise Director Mike Gibbons whose interesting background in music and performance makes him a hit! On this ship , in addition to the usual cruising activities, such a dance parties, pool games, trivia, bingo, casino gambling, etc., there is an interaction between officers and passengers which includes challenges of officers versus guests in Bocce games (Lawn Club, deck 15), Pool Volleyball (deck 12), etc.... Also there was a Star Gazing party on the Lawn Club conducted by officer Andrew. The List of Activities published in Celebrity Life is so extensive that you can be very busy throughout the cruise, so we are very fussy in selecting some interesting ones and dedicate the most of our time to relaxing and enjoying "il dolce far niente" (the sweet do nothing). We also enjoyed chatting with a few officers at the Captain's Circle Party, the Environmental Officer Andrew Mott (Worcester, Mass.), Financial Controller Fani Kechagia (Greece) and Resources Officer Mario Valentino (Canada). All of them are courteous, helpful and interesting people, easily interacting with passengers. "Celebrity Showtime" in the Eclipse Theater has been on par with our expectations, but the one show we enjoyed best was that of the singer impressionist Paul Tanner: a great voice and terrific impersonations of Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. We heard that comedian Al Ducharme was really hilarious in several performances throughout the cruise, unfortunately his shows were so late at night that we missed them all. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Miami, FL USA Depart 4:30 pm Day 2. At Sea Day 3. San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 3:00 pm Depart 11:00 pm Day 4. St. Thomas, USVI Arrive 8:00 am Depart 5:00 pm Day 5. St. Maarten, Antilles Arrive 8:00 am Depart 5:00 pm Day 6. At Sea Day 7. At Sea Day 8. Miami, FL USA Arrive 7:00 am DEBARKATION We had an early breakfast at Blu Restaurant and at eight o' clock we went to the Bistro to get wheelchair assistance for debarkation. It was all so very simple and expeditious that we were on our way home by nine o'clock. CONCLUSIONS This was another great cruise. There has been insinuations by some readers that our reviews are not critical enough, since they contain only a few negative points and bias for the special treatments we receive from officers and crew. And this is somewhat true: How could we write a negative criticism when we have had a great cruise, where everybody made us feel very special, where everything we desired we received? Naturally, our demands are reasonable and we know what to expect when we book a cruise on a given ship. This was our 93rd cruise and by now we know well many cruise lines and their ships. Thus, we know what to expect from most of them and we can choose our cruises accordingly to our desires and preferences. Furthermore, since in the last few years we both have had to deal with limited mobility and need a wheelchair accessible cabin, we cruise only with those lines which do best to accommodate disabled passengers. In the past we have raised issues about availability, location, comfort of accessible cabins with several cruise lines, but only some of them have heard our plea by making their new ships more wheelchair-friendly (i.e., Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian), while some others have ignore the problem (i.e., Costa, Carnival and Holland American). Actually, there is something that can be improved even in this ship: The gangway at the entry point to the ship on deck 5 is a bit too steep for Mary's wheelchair pedals thus she had to be helped to access the ship. Our next cruise is on one of our very favorite ships, the Oasis of the Seas, Jan. 21st, 2012. We sailed on the Oasis in Dec. 2010 for the inaugural cruise, thus we look forward to spend our wedding anniversary on this fabulous giga ship. We have also booked a cruise on the MSC Poesia for Feb. 18th, and this is a new cruise line we want to experience. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We're fairly experienced cruisers and enjoy luxury cruises. This was our first Celebrity cruise and our expectations were high. Celebrity did not disappoint. The Eclipse is a gorgeous ship. The interior design work on the ship, ... Read More
We're fairly experienced cruisers and enjoy luxury cruises. This was our first Celebrity cruise and our expectations were high. Celebrity did not disappoint. The Eclipse is a gorgeous ship. The interior design work on the ship, the fabrics, furnishings, linens and attention to detail on this ship was second to none that I've sailed with prior to this. The ship is well laid-out and it's easy to find everything. We had a CC stateroom and enjoyed this level of service. The upgraded linens were very beautiful and comfortable. The bed was very comfortable. The shower was very roomy and had rounded glass doors. There was ample storage space for clothes and suitcases. We ate at the MDR only once for dinner (New Year's Eve dinner only). We prefer the other dining options and thoroughly enjoyed Murano three times and the Tuscan Grille three times. I would recommend either of these choices for a great dining experience and exceptional service. The cruise director was great! There were so many great options of activities for all age levels and interests each and every day that if you couldn't find something to do, then it was your fault. We enjoyed a bocce tournament and golf putting tournament at the Lawn Club. It was great to have a real grass area at sea. We also enjoyed the fitness facilities and I took two Pilate classes that were well done. The shows were excellent. There was a Cirque du Soleil type show that was truly exceptional. The Eclipse singers and dancers were by far the best that I've seen at sea. We enjoyed every show. I didn't stay up to see the comedians but I heard that they were good. Our ports of call included San Juan, St. Martin and St. Kitts. St. Martin was truly gorgeous. We took an excursion to Orient Beach and had a great day. San Juan was okay. We took a city tour and saw a historic fort St. Kitts was fun and the people of St. Kitts were very nice. We took a catarmaran ride and a train ride to see quite a bit of this pretty island. The staff on the Eclipse were all wonderful. Our stateroom attendant, Racquel, was a true sweetheart and she brought us fresh fruit and flowers each day. Our room was always spotless. The Murano and Tuscan Grille staff were exceptional. We will book with Celebrity again. We were impressed and had a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We flew into Miami a day early and stayed at the Sheraton Hotel, we ended up heading to South Beach for a little night life which I would recommend, what was really nice about the Sheraton besides the fact that it seems to be a fresh ... Read More
We flew into Miami a day early and stayed at the Sheraton Hotel, we ended up heading to South Beach for a little night life which I would recommend, what was really nice about the Sheraton besides the fact that it seems to be a fresh remodeled hotel is that they let us stay until 1:00pm which gave us the much needed rest after being out late and getting ready for our cruise. Embarkation - A+: We chose to book concierge class which gave us priority embarkation, since we were out late we chose to show up at the 1:30 pm recommended time and were on the ship in less than 5 minutes, with the priority embarkation we had no line and were able to walk to the counter and get checked in. Concierge Class Room - A: Our stateroom was more than adequate, the balcony was fantastic, the bathroom was twice as large as our previous cruise ships bathroom and the room looked perfect, we also had a complimentary bottle of champagne and fruit bowl which was a nice add on to the concierge class, the only thing which was a little lacking was the drawer space and the closet, there is plenty of additional storage through out the room to compensate though. Ocean View Cafe - A+: We found the Ocean View Cafe to be a much better set up than the windjammer on RCCL, the food selection was great, the drink selection was also much better than in the windjammer. The atmosphere of the Ocean View cafe was very vibrant and fun, yet very luxurious. Side Note: We decided to add one premium beverage package to our room, we made this worth it though I do have to say if you don't plan on drinking more than 8 drinks a day then look at a different package or no package at all. Adding the package definetly gives you the ability to have no restrictions but after several days of drinking we started to wonder if we could have done with out it. Bars & Lounges - A: The bars on the ship are awesome, especially the ice bars, I have no complaints about the bars, we did run into an issue with a bar tender mouthing off about us ordering a drink and not wanting to cover it under our premium package, if it was not for this I would rate it an A+. Moonlight Sonata - A+: We chose the 8:30 seating but ended up changing midway through the cruise to a my time dining scenario due to a large group of children being seated next to us initially, this was nice because we were able to see different dining room areas and different staff (we had prepaid gratuities which is required to do my time dining). The food was the most consistent and great tasting I have seem considering we ate there 7 nights in a row. This comes from a standard of eating regularly at high end restaurants. The other nice option was customization, on RCCL ships you get what the menu says and that is it, on Celebrity your meal is made for you, because of the quality and daily menu changes we felt no need to try any of the specialty venues. Nightlife - A: For a cruise ship the nightlife was a good scene, I am not sure if the holiday cruise helped evolve this though it typically did not get going until after 12:30am, not the cruise ships fault at all, just I believe they may be able to do something to help get the night life going a little earlier. Casino - A-: After the shows let out the casino was always full yet they didn't have all the table games open, it is a very nice casino with plenty of slot machines and was open the rest of the ship so it did not feel confined or separate from the cruise ship, I just wish they had all the table games open so we were able to play a little more. Entertainment - A+: The entertainment on this ship was fantastic, after spending thousands of dollars at shows in Las Vegas the entertainment was almost worth the the cost of the cruise alone. The evening shows were some of the best we have seen, the comedian was one of the funniest we had ever seen and the singers were some of the best we had seen live. The cruise director was very involved and really made things spectacular! Public Areas - A+: There is so many nice spaces on this ship, we were able to do different things everyday, the ship looks brand new and is always being maintained. The pool area is very spacious and there is enough going on to keep the area active but also large enough to have peace as well. Service - A+: We were very happy with the service on the ship, we ran into a couple little issues, but nothing that would not be expected when the amount of service is being provided to you by so many people on a daily basis. Celebrity Cruises really does have a good staff running their ship! Enrichment: There was so many different options for enrichment including specials on the tv in regards to the ship, from all the options and the things that we had noticed going it did seem there were a lot of things the be involved in, we just chose to not. Fitness & Recreation: We did not partake in any of these options though there were plenty available. Cruise Overall - A+: Celebrity Cruises has really set the bar here, I don't know how it can be topped but they have definetly earned a repeat customer! We will be recommending this cruise ship & cruise line to everyone we know. We booked this fantastic cruise through cruise.com which prepaid our gratuities and gave us an onboard credit, they were great to work with and made our booking experience fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our 40th cruise. We were looking for a New Year experience and we got more than we paid for. This ship and crew were outstanding. It was a typical soltice, celebrity expereience. The new ships are beautiful, easy to get around and ... Read More
This was our 40th cruise. We were looking for a New Year experience and we got more than we paid for. This ship and crew were outstanding. It was a typical soltice, celebrity expereience. The new ships are beautiful, easy to get around and do not seem as big as they are. This particular cruise the dining in the main dining room was the best we have ever been on. Celebrity has made some minor changes in their menus and it was all for the better. We have always thought it has been good. We did the Tuscan speciality restaurant the first night and that was great. Then we went to regular dining but chose select for the first time. We were so happy with that we did not go back to another speciality restaurant. We will try the new restaurant on our next cruise. Since we have elite status on Celebrity we do get to meet many crew staff and all are very helpful and friendly. We also go to Micheals everyday for the free cocktail party where we meet many experienced cruisers. We also have thins status with Princess but the do not have this perk. The perks with Celebrity and RCCL are the best in the industry. We also frequented the Martini bar and other bars that have entertainment in the evening between shows. This is what separates Celebrity from HA and Princess. The entertainment on this cruise was spectacular. There were two groups that played party music, guitar player, barber shop quartet, and strings group. All were great. The shows were very good and comparable to other celebrity cruises. The did have one new show with some new music which was great. They also had a special Christmas show done at two in the afternoon which was exceptional. The cruise director and all star singers and groups played. We really enjoyed this show. We cannot say enough about how good everything was on this cruise. There is usually something to complain about but not on this ship. One last thing, the disembarkation experience was so good. We signed up to walk off at 745 am and did just that. We were in our car leaving for home at 803am. What a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
we embarked on our cruise on 30th October 2011 from Southampton, the embarkation procedure took quite a long time but I guess we just arrived at a busy time, we had flown down to Gatwick and were met by a rep who showed us to a mini bus ... Read More
we embarked on our cruise on 30th October 2011 from Southampton, the embarkation procedure took quite a long time but I guess we just arrived at a busy time, we had flown down to Gatwick and were met by a rep who showed us to a mini bus and taken to the ship, our luggage was taken to the cabin. Once on board we found our way to the cabin, excellent, could not fault anything our cabin boy was Martin who quickly found us and explained who he was and if we needed anything he was there. The ship is absolutely first class, spotless in all areas, cannot find fault with anything even the glass lifts (elevators) not a finger print anywhere. You could always find a comfortable place to sit. The weather was not so good and the captain had to change course, we were kept informed at all times. we did not get to the Azores but better to be safe than sorry, we did however visit Gijon in Northern Spain a very pretty town and La Coruna which was within walking distance off the ship.We did not do any organised trips just made our own way to the towns and wandered around. We opted for first sitting in the Moonlight Sonata restauant and shared our table with 4 very nice friendly Americans, the ship was 90% American people who we found to be extremely nice. The food was always excellent a good choice avaliable and if you wanted something not on the menu (as one by us did) they were always accomodated. The waiters were great very friendly and efficient at all times. The wine waiter very good and kept the glasses filled up, we were on the premium package which made a big difference to us in that we could have almost any priced wines. The entertainment was first class and we always managed to find suitable seats with a good view in the theatre. The daytime activities were plentiful, my husband attende the lectures and thouroughly enjoyed them very interesting and informative. I attended the cookery demonstrations they were great fun especially the chef from Hungary, hilarious, you could not be bored on this ship. As we went further west the weather improved and we were able to sit outside on the decks, again spotless and plenty of space. The range of food available was tremendous the mast grill doing burgers and hot dogs was busy but really good. The Ocean view cafe was always busy and the only trouble was finding a space and keeping it so we usually went up for our food seperatly a bind at times but ok. The ice cream counter was usually 15 deep but worth waitng for ( the Americans really loved the ice cream. When we came to disembark we had to place our luggage outside the room the night before and we were given a time and place to go to our time was 9.00am, but as we were going to America I think the port authorities obviously do more checks as the crew had to go though a drill and this then held up our disembarkation, we were lucky in that we gor called off at 10.15am our luggage was waiting for us and we sailed through the US checks, outside the port we were shown to the bus and more or less taken to our hotel and arrived by 11.15am. I cannot recommend Celebrity X highly enough especially Eclipse Crew and Officers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We cruised from Southampton on the Celebrity Eclipse on the 14th October 2011. Very similar to the Equinox. Staff excellent from the Captain to the Cabin staff, ship usual Celebrity quality, well organised Embarkation and Arrival home, ... Read More
We cruised from Southampton on the Celebrity Eclipse on the 14th October 2011. Very similar to the Equinox. Staff excellent from the Captain to the Cabin staff, ship usual Celebrity quality, well organised Embarkation and Arrival home, Food in all areas was of the normal high quality.Weather very good for October, everyone happy? Yes BUT someone in Celebrity Head Office probably an Accountant (only looking at the bottom line), obviously had no idea about how the passengers would react to outrageous drink prices throughout the ship and being charged for visits to The Bridge, The Kitchen, The Engine Room and other on board activities. $4.50 for 1 litre of water. Wine in the Moonlight Sonata dining room at a 400% mark up on UK prices.We felt sorry for the Somelier who were very helpful and trying to please. We all expect to pay corkage in a restaurant or bar but where we find unreasonable prices we can obviously go elsewhere, this of course is not possible on board. Two years ago on the Equinox drink prices were not cheap but were much more reasonable. It was very noticeable that on the Eclipse in the theatre, restaurants and cafes many of the staff who normally sold drinks were walking around trying to sell drinks unsuccessfully. By the last four days the price of Trips to the Galley, the Bridge and the Engine Room were greatly reduced. This may sound like a whinge, but hopefully Celebrity will take this as a friendly report and all future cruisers will be aware of the situation. On the entertainment front, just a gentle hint. The majority of passengers on our cruise were 'mature' but a couple of the entertainers seemed to be unaware of this and their content was often extremely offensive and crude and was making fun of the very age group they were entertaining. On the last night approximately 15% of the audience walked out before the end of the show. The last night was particularly bad when the ventriloquist attempted comedy of a crude nature, much to the embarrassment of the some of the ladies in the audience. He should have stuck to what he is good at. Comments like 'wouldn't you like a bit of Yorkshire in you' are unacceptable unless you are in a working mans club not directed at an 80 year old lady. Dru we love you but please 'GET a GRIP' In spite of this we will sail with you again, if you will have us? !! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We decided to travel to Southampton by coach from Liverpool, glad we did as the traffic congestion on arrival in Southampton was horrendous and I think we may have panicked if we had been on our own in the car. Check in was easy although ... Read More
We decided to travel to Southampton by coach from Liverpool, glad we did as the traffic congestion on arrival in Southampton was horrendous and I think we may have panicked if we had been on our own in the car. Check in was easy although there was a delay of about 20 minutes at security which was not a problem to us. The ship was absolutely sensational, clean, bright and modern, our stateroom and attendant were excellent. We ate in the Moonlight Sonata on the late sitting (we'll go select dining next time)and because the quality of the food was so good decided not to pay the excessive supplement to eat in one of the speciality restaurants, even though people we spoke who had visited them gave a glowing report (but not worth the supplement) We thought the entertainment was first class as did most of the people we spoke to, the comedian from Wales was particularly good as was the ships dancers and musicians. A special mention for Dru the cruise director, he is so enthusiastic and obviously enjoys his job (buy a new joke book Dru). The bad bit!...The drinks are so very expensive, I have never seen so many tables in a restaurant without a bottle of wine at dinner, the sommeliers were almost redundant. All in all though, this was a great holiday on a fantastic ship with first class staff providing excellent service,and met some lovely people, well done Celebrity, see you soon... Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Celebrity Eclipse 16 night Med cruise, October 2011 As usual, we travelled down to Southampton the day before our cruise, its 195 miles and takes on average 4.5 to 5 hours, worst trip was 7 hours plus. We have stayed at the Holiday Inn ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse 16 night Med cruise, October 2011 As usual, we travelled down to Southampton the day before our cruise, its 195 miles and takes on average 4.5 to 5 hours, worst trip was 7 hours plus. We have stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at Nursling, a few times, so just a short journey to the docks. Since our last visit in May, they had become a recommeded hotel for a local childrens theme park, and it was a little noisy. We have decided to stay elsewhere in future. We had been very lucky in getting an invite to visit the QM2 on the 14th October, the same day as we sailed on Eclipse. Having had a good meal at the local Beafeater the night before, we skipped breakfast, packed the car and proceeded to the QE2 terminal. We had a very interesting tour of QM2, in a group of ten with a good guide, followed by an excellent leisurely lunch with wine. We knew it would be tight to get to Eclipse, and it was 2.20pm when we left the dining room! We disembarked, fortunately the car was close, and drove to the City terminal, quickly unoaded our cases, parked the car, and checked in. We were one of the last to check in, we boarded (no photographers!), drank the 'welcome' drink, and went to our Aqua class cabin, where we arrived at 3.05pm! The difference between the two ships was a stark contrast, the traditional decor of the QM2 to the modern light decor of Eclipse. We popped down to Blu, our restaurant, as we had heard that our favourite waiter was on board, when we got there he was on the maitre d's desk, and we got a wonderfull greeting. When we got back our steward introduced himself, and went on a case hunt, as only one of our cases had arrived. This was our 5th cruise on Eclipse, all in the same cabin on the 'hump', so might know that we are very happy with the ship, it was like coming home. We had also reached 'Elite' status, the top tier in their 'rewards' scheme, which intitled us to several perks. First two days were sea days, and again the Bay of Biscay was kind to us, in these 2 days they held the 'Senior Oficers' cocktail party in the Sky lounge, where the only problem was getting an non alcoholic drink for my wife! I also did the Elite bridge visit, it was a fairly large group and a fairly short visit would not bother again! First port was Cadiz where we just walked into town and explored its many narrow streets, returning to the ship for lunch, which consisted of a drink and a few rolls from Cafe Bacio. We attended several shows with 'guest' artists, some good,some not so good. We did not attend any production shows, as we had seen them before. many pax were unhappy having to go early to get a seat in the theatre, seams to be the same on most ships! The next day was a sea day, which we spent drinking coffee, doing crosswords, and failing miserably in answering the quizz questions. We always went for the wonderful Blu breakfasts, which was always a lovely unhurried event. In the evenings we always dined early, so we got our waiter, several other couples were doing the same, and the 5 tables for 2 were nearly always occupied by the same couples, often in seated in a different order, so we all became friendly. The food and service were sublime, and nothing was to much trouble for our waiters. Items from the MDR were obtainable, but we never felt the need. There were 2 'secret' sweets, never on the menu, but available if you asked (Creme Brulee and Apple Pie). Next port was Cagliara, which we have visited before. We have cruised the Med many times, and have done the tours that interest us,so we did not do any of the ships tours on this cruise, so again, we just had a walk round the town, we normally find somewhere to explore. One of the perks of Elite is the 'happy' hours between 5pm and 7pm where you are provided with drinks and nibbles, we really enjoyed ourselves there, meeting a couple we had met before, and another couple we got to know. The next day was Palermo, we had seen all sorts of dire warnings about the port, but frankly, we thought it was not as scarey as Naples! Another sea day spent at leisure, enjoying the ship. We had prepaid our tips, and purchased a Premium non alcoholic package each, which we found excellent value, as latte's were $5.25 each and Tea $4.75 we also had sparkling water in Blu every night, at a rough guess, the average drink priced worked at around $3, we loved the no signing, no tickets involved. Then it was Venice, the favourite port of the cruise for us, it was $20 for the boat ticket, and I noticed a sign saying one way trips were 7euro's, so not ripped off too much! We walked as far as the market, and were very suprised to see vegetables for sale from our home town in Lincolnshire! We returned to the ship with heavy parcels and a lighter wallet! We had an invite to an Elite sailaway on the helipad, the crew had put some chairs out on the helipad, trust us to choose two in front of an almighty loud speaker, which deafened us when they turned the music on! It was very cold, so much so they had to fetch some blankets for us, it was a wonderful experience, but it was so cold! Next it was Dubrovnic, and as usual, people had not read the paper, or listened to the announcments, and had failed to take goverment ID's with them, and were turned off the bus at the dock gates by the border guards. Again, we explored this intriuging town, making purchases on our way round! We were then over halfway through the cruise, at sea heading toward home, but with a couple of stops on the way. The Captains Club celebration was held on a sea day, usual speeches and jokes, and a selection of food available, they had some great beef being carved, in which I indulged. That evening in Blu i had a wonderfull steak, but the next day i decided I had eaten to much beef the previous day! We noticed in the evening that many of the officers were 'on patrol' mid evening, we had several chats, in particular with the Guest Relations Manager And so to Cartegena, another port where you can walk off the ship into the town centre, so off we set to explore the place. Down one off the side streets we saw a set of 3 escalators outdoors, quite unusual we thought, so up we went. it turned out to be some roman ruins on a hill overlooking the town. We were somewhat surprised to see one of our dinner companians, who uses a buggy, at the top! That evening, the captain warned us it would be rough the next day, which was a sea day. As forecast, it was rough with 9 metre waves and 40/50 knot headwind, and in the morning the captain announced he was slowing down for passenger and crew safety. We took some pills and retired to our stateroom for a few hours. We felt fine later in the afternoon, so went o the Elite event and dinner in Blu. After dinner we were walking past the shops with some of our dinner companions when the captain again made an announcement. He explained that as we had slowed down so much, we would arrive in La Coruna in the late afternoon rather than mid morning, and we were due to leave at 9pm. He then annouced that we would not be going to La Coruna, and our reaction was that we would be going home somewhat slowly. He the said that with the co-operation of the Miami headquarters, and the port of Vigo, we would be docking in Vigo mid morning, and leaving early evening. We were delighted, as were many as they had not been to Vigo. Others, of course complained, but we did not fancy La Coruna in the dark with lots of places closed. Full marks to Celebrity for organising this at such short notice, other lines were cancelling ports completely. Docked as scheduled in Vigo, on a bright sunny day. Despite some moans, many seemed to enjoy our last port, the shops and restaurants must have welcomed this surprise visit by 3000 passengers, including around 35 children and 235 Americans. Once again, the Bay of Biscay was fairly kind to us, as we packed our cases and enjoyed our last chat with friends in the Sky Lounge, then our final meal in Blu and the farewells. I occasionally bought a glass of wine at dinner, and was paying around $9.25 for a glass of wine (which was a generous freepour) which is around £5.81, a similar price charged in many better hotels and restaurants in the UK. Cheapest bottle of wine in a Hilton recently was £20.00 equalling around $32.00, not sure why many were complaning about the prices of drinks on the ship When we awoke at 6am, we were back in Southampton, down to breakfast in Blu at 6.30am as it opened, when we finished we found out we could disembark, so returned to our cabin, picked up our carry off's, and walked off the seemingly deserted ship, quickly found our cases, surprisingly the customs hall was not manned, and off to the car which was parked close by. We were in the car and ready to go by 7.30am, the best disembark ever, and as it was a Sunday, a quick exit from Southampton, and home by 11.30am! In all, a wonderful cruise, perhaps our best ever, with the crew and food the best we have ever had. This not to say it was perfect, we had a few issues during the cruise.With the cabin being under the pool deck, around 7am we often got 'wake up' call around 7am, when the pool butlers started putting the sunbeds out. As mentioned previously, my wife often had a problem getting a soft drink at the Captains Club events, the waiters bring round a tray of alcoholic drinks, we ask for a non alcoholic drink, and off the waiter goes, often forgetting the drink, or another passenger highjacking it before they returned. After our visit to Vigo I went to guest Relations to pay some excess euro's off our account. There were 3 staff on duty, but it turned out only one of them was able to handle the transaction, and he was serving one passenger, with another waiting. Each transaction took several minutes, and I left the queue as it was time to get ready for dinner. When I left, there were 7 passengers waiting to do cash transactions! Looking at my account on the TV next day, I noticed that I had been charged for some drinks in a bar, and had not recieved the Internet credit due, so another trip to guest Relations, when I was able to pay in my Euro's, and sort out the overcharges. Never saw the Guest Relations Manager again, so could not hassle him about the service! Did not recieve a final account, but fortunately I had noted the ammount due as we went to bed on the last night. Just before we left for our cruise, Celebrity announced that Constellation would be coming to Southampton in 2012, to do a series of 'food and wine' cruises. We had already booked an Azores cruise on Eclipse, but this new cruise really appealed. so we enquired if we could change our cruise. Our Personal Cruise Specialist was really helpful, and changed our booking without charge, unlike other cruise lines we have used. We lost our free carking, that offer was not available for the new cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We love cruising and cruise twice or more a year. We arrived early at 11am to avoid lengthy queuing in our car as previously and waited in the foyer for half an hour or so until allowed up to the boarding lounge. Quite a large number of ... Read More
We love cruising and cruise twice or more a year. We arrived early at 11am to avoid lengthy queuing in our car as previously and waited in the foyer for half an hour or so until allowed up to the boarding lounge. Quite a large number of crew were also arriving so all credit to them for the seamless changeover. As noted by an earlier reviewer there were a lot, such a lot, of very elderly and disabled people on board. It once took us an hour from the scheduled meeting time for a trip to get ashore to the coach. The crew were trying to lift very many disabled people in wheel chairs and scooters down a steep plank in a general free for all disembarcation. I was wondering if there is not some maximum number that can be coped with on a ship before it represents a safety issue in the event of an evacuation. The Oceanview gets very crowded and it helps if people act with consideration for their fellow diners. I was astonished when an elderly lady without a dish or cup in hand sat down next to me one day to wait for her husband and proceeded to sweep the uncleared items from her table on to the cleared place of my husband who had gone for desert. The staff were clearing quite quickly but she did not wish to wait. An elderly man in a singlet at luchtime was very offputting. As noted in a previous review the number of people with tattoos, male and female, is increasing. When we first started cruising with Celebrity there were mostly American guests on board and many more international guests, with more UK guests standards of cruise dress and etiquette are slipping. Very many people said it was their first cruise and a lot of moaning went on. The staff do an excellent job in difficult circumstances. We dined on second sitting and although the doors were opened at 08.30 for 08.45 our waiter was often still 'meeting and greeting' at the door until 09.00. We had generally good service although a beef dish that was recommended to my husband did not turn out to be worth it so we tended to ignore recommendations and assumed it meant 'we've got a lot'. Fairplay we have never been told something is unavailable, amazing. The vegetables are often little more than a garnish on a long menu so rather than ask for a plate of steamed vegetables, which they are happy to provide, I always looked for a good helping of vegetables at lunchtime. Some lunchtime meals were so outstanding I was happy with a lighter meal at dinner. The smoking policy on Celebrity is that guests can smoke in the Sky Lounge, port side. As the air conditioning cannot cope with this, by late evening it has built up and so we did not spend much time there. We did go up one evening for a publicised special dance event but the party had not started and we retreated to the Disco. This is an underused facility, mainly because even when hordes are passing it after the show it never has floor filling music to tempt anyone in. We made a request and the floor soon filled but then it became obscure music again after 20 minutes and people drifted away. Actually we spent less time than usual dancing on this cruise and more time watching movies in our cabin. We dance a lot when we are on Cunard because it has a great Disco/nightclub and floor filling DJ also Grand ballroom for a twirl. The Ballroom floor on Eclipse adjoins the grand staircase which was part roped off one night with a big yellow hazard sign on the ballroom floor so photos could be taken. This kinda kills the romance. As noted in a previous review, the audience participation event 'Masquerade' was dulled down by about 16 seated elderly and disabled guests taking over the whole area surrounding the ballroom floor expecting a 'floorshow' which it isn't. Most of the Rocky Horror music type 'show' is on the staircase which is not viewable from the sofas. Perhaps the organisers could explain that this is a participation event and that the best view is from above. Cunard doesn't allow smoking in the Skylounge equivalent (however they do allow it in the cabins although I haven't yet had a problem tainted cabin). Evidence has recently been published that even one exposure to second hand smoke can cause a cardiac event so Celebrity should address this in the design of their new ships with a dedicated smoker's room like Cunard. Apparently 'third hand' smoke impregnated on drapes and chairs is carcinogenic according to a report in our our Local Authority magazine. In Provence we took a trip to 'Sanary and Castellet' two excellent stops for strolling with camera. The scenery on route is very pretty. In Pisa we viewed the Baptistry and the Cathedral interiors and admired the Leaning Tower exterior. If you wanted to climb it you would need to rush to the ticket office immediately on arriving at the 'Field of Miracles' to get a timed ticket which would allow you to do so before the scheduled departure. Unlikely at peak times. I was glad I took an umbrella as the walk to the Field was about 15 mins in very hot sun. In Civitavecchia we took the free bus into town and went first to the little archeological museum. We then strolled up the main street, looked at the market, finally we strolled along the promenade and read about the history of the Spa Resort it had been before the war. The Promenade is being restored and there are several pleasant cafe bars in this area. In Cagliari we went to the small archeological museum which has been excavated under a church revealing the ancient town walls and streets. We then enjoyed the views from the Bastion and walked up to the Cathedral. The Governor's Palace is worth a visit. We took the Cadiz walking tour and had a glimpse into the Arabic style courtyard interior of a private Club. The Cathedral, Covered Market and old Town walls were very interesting. Cadiz is more or less a grid system so you could do this tour using a guide from the Tourist Office. From Lisbon we took a trip to 'Medieval Obidos'. There were two beautiful museum/art galleries (free) to enjoy in our free time. A beautiful 17c church, a castle and many little shops are to be found inside the tiny walled citadel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My girlfriend and I just got back from an amazing cruise aboard Celebrity's Eclipse. First off, as a quick intro we are in our early 30's, and we are experienced travelers, with this being our 8th cruise. We have also ... Read More
My girlfriend and I just got back from an amazing cruise aboard Celebrity's Eclipse. First off, as a quick intro we are in our early 30's, and we are experienced travelers, with this being our 8th cruise. We have also cruised Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. This is my second Celebrity cruise, and my girlfriend's first. Embarkation in Miami: We arrived around 2pm, and boarded the ship effortlessly. My first step on the teak deck showed me the newness and beauty of the ship. Another step had me in front of a white-gloved staff member offering a choice of either mimosa or champagne. Nice touch, Celebrity. Very classy. I noticed these small but very important gestures the entire week. From that point on, we were overjoyed with every aspect of the ship. Typically, we choose interior cabins due to their economy price and convenience for mid-day naps and sleeping late, but we got a great deal on a balcony cabin, so we splurged. The cabin, on deck 8, was in a word, wonderful. The room was spotless, extremely well set up, and gone were the overly annoying blues and pinks of other cruise lines. The cabin was decorated in earthy tones, with wood cabinets and granite countertops. The balcony was large and beautiful. The bathroom was also fabulous, with a vessel sink and tile backsplash. The shower was easily large enough for two people, and had a door rather than the annoying curtain. There was plenty of room, and the bed was one of the most comfortable we'd slept on while on a ship. This theme of cleanliness and beauty ran throughout the ship. Public areas were amazing, and while it is a larger ship, it never felt cramped. The pool area was, of course, a popular hangout on sea days, and the Oceanview Cafe did seem a bit hectic on the day everyone boarded, but other than that, the cruise and the onboard experience felt very intimate. The Lawn club was fabulous, the previously mentioned Oceanview Cafe and the Moonlight Sonata (the wine tower is truly something to behold) were amazing, and the specialty restaurants were gorgeous. We found the ship to be the most attractive one we had ever cruised on. As far as beverages go, we found the sunset bar (at the very aft of the ship) to be rarely crowded, and Michael's Club (as well as the darkly lit area just outside of the entrance) to be wonderful places to enjoy a refreshing drink. The martini bar was fantastic, as was the casino. I was even blown away by the beauty of the public bathrooms. The ship is completely modern and beautiful, from head to toe. To be honest, I really don't have much to say in any sort of negative slant towards the ship. One very important note: My girlfriend and I typically bring a bottle of wine or alcohol onboard in our bags with no problem. I had previously read that Celebrity was really cracking down on this, but that we were allowed two personal bottles of wine with a corkage fee. So we decided to pack two bottles of wine, in our checked luggage, and if discovered, be very willing to pay the fee. So by evening on the first night, neither of our bags that contained the wine had shown up at our door. Around 6pm I got a call from the room steward, letting me know that I had to go to deck 2 security because there was liquor in my bag. Of course, I was pretty embarrassed, but he said not to worry, that there were plenty of people in the same boat that we were in. When I got down to deck 2, there were indeed a large number of people claiming their bags with alcohol. In order to leave with the bag, one had to open it and show the contents to a security staff member. Those with wine were allowed to keep the bottle(s), but any liquor was confiscated. I assume that it was given back at the end of the cruise, but I don't know. So take this as a word of warning to those thinking of sneaking the hard stuff on board. Truthfully I was a bit surprised that they did this, but I suppose its the direction the industry is going. Food was fantastic on all fronts, which was a welcome surprise. I admit that I have feared for some time that with the advent of specialty restaurants, cruise lines would allow the quality of main dining room food to deteriorate while focusing on the revenue generating specialties, but it was not the case here. Steaks were cooked very well, risotto was fabulous, and appetizers and desserts were fantastic. Also, the service was top notch. We did try both Qsine and the Tuscan Grill, which were both spectacular. In the Tuscan Grill, the steaks were cooked to perfection, as was the Sea Bass. Also, ask for Ozzy if you can. He will take care of your every need. Qsine is not to be missed. Everything about this restaurant is just fun. When you enter, they give you an IPad with which to browse and order the many small plates available in a tapas-style configuration. These were all better and way more creative than any tapas place I've been to. Sushi lollipops, Kobe beef sliders, a trio of soups, all served so creatively that they're as fun to look at as they are to eat. For example, the painter's filet arrived in the shape of a painter's palette, with the outside colors being various accompaniments that were to be enjoyed with the filet. Simply amazing, and well worth it. The only gripe I had with the overall ship offerings was the sushi that was offered nightly. It wasn't bad, by any means, but other lines (specifically Carnival, which is totally unbelievable) had much better rolls and fresher tasting fish. Also the pizza from room service was pretty doughy, but I wasn't expecting too much there. The ports were great. Please note that if you are ever in Costa Maya, please get out of that initial port area. I love Costa Maya, and have never spent more than 5 minutes on that tourist trap of a pier. I was told by another cruiser that the owner of the pier made a deal with the cruise lines that they would try to keep as many people on the pier as possible, but anyone who stays is missing a true Mexican/Caribbean gem. Rent a golf cart of take a cab into town. You will find great bars, fantastic restaurants, waaaaaaaaaay cheaper beers, great people, crafts, massages, and beautiful beaches. I hate to hear every cruise how many people didn't even know there was a town there. Also, if you are in Cozumel and have some wheels, Mr. Sancho's and the "Freedom in Paradise" reggae beach bar are totally worth the trip - my personal favorite being the Reggae bar. Its at the very southern tip of the island, and they have cheap drinks and great eats. It is well worth the trip. West Bay in Honduras was also a great beach with a lot of fun things to do. Entertainment was basic cruise fare...I don't usually attend many shows. The newlywed game, ran by passable cruise director Paul Baya, was bland. However, the cirque-de-soleil style show, titled Eclipse, was pretty good. In fact, I believe a lot of the stunts were more dramatic than the majority of the crowd could understand. If you are a Captain's Circle member - don't miss Celebrity's club member party. It was far and above the best of the parties that any line has thrown that we have attended for return guests. This is reason enough to join the club. The only issue we had with the entire cruise was the disembarkation. No numbers were going to be called like other lines, they just basically told you to vacate the stateroom by 8:30 and go to your assigned waiting area (the Moonlight Sonata for us). Well, rather than harp on it, lets just say we didn't get off the ship until around 11. There were tons of people standing around, with no information from Celebrity about how long things were taking or why. I was told by one of the customs people that this always happens in Port of Miami on disembarkation day, so I don't think this is a negative aspect of the ship or Celebrity itself. Overall the cruise was virtually perfect, and the Eclipse was one of the best ships we have ever been on. I will have to say that I personally prefer the "main street" design that Royal Caribbean takes on its larger ships as opposed to a 3-4 story atrium, but that's just me. It seems like it creates more of a central hub for the ship. I do like Celebrity's focus on elegance rather than family, and while I do like RC's approach to active people (basketball courts, rock climbing walls, surfing, etc.), Celebrity's focus on understated sophistication is also very a welcomed change of pace and was executed with ease. We will be sailing on Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We arrived later than expected due to a three hour drive in bad weather and afraid we wouldn't be allowed on the ship. Registration was a breeze and we were greeted by a calming, friendly agent who immediately put us at ease. This ... Read More
We arrived later than expected due to a three hour drive in bad weather and afraid we wouldn't be allowed on the ship. Registration was a breeze and we were greeted by a calming, friendly agent who immediately put us at ease. This gorgeous ship truly feels like a 5-star hotel. Despite the large number of guests on the ship, we never felt that we were in a crowd. We bought a bottle of our favorite wine to enjoy on our balcony with the lovely complimentary appetizers brought to our room every afternoon. Without exception, the wait staff was top notch. The holiday decorations and professional entertainment were very uplifting and kept us smiling. The ease of getting a quick bite to eat at the informal International Buffet was a treat. The food was always fresh and what great selections! The nightly dining included was very good; however, one night we chose to splurge and ate at the Tuscan Restaurant. OMG! I'm sorry we didn't eat there every night! The food was exquisite and worth the extra $. The martini bar was a favorite hangout with top-notch martini experts making unique concoctions. Yum! We did not book any excursions, but had a grand time just tooling around San Juan, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas on our own. It was drizzling in San Juan so we spent half the afternoon at Senior Frogs wearing balloon hats and eating popcorn out of dog bowls while sipping marvelous margaritas. I thought we would be bored with Labadee, but had the best time there. Actually, it was beyond our expectations and we had a blast. Disembarkation was a breeze...the easiest we ever experienced. The only disappointment was the lack of storage in the room. Two of my 4 cruises have been on Celebrity and, without doubt, were the best. The Eclipse, just launched in April, 2010, was an excellent choice and wouldn't hesitate to "do it again"! If I wasn't such a lady my husband would have had to drag me kicking and screaming off the ship. I didn't want to leave....neither did he. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We arrived in Miami at 10am. Our relaxation began as soon as we got to our hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Biscayne Bay. This was in the middle of nowhere with a nice beach, 2 pools, one adult, one family. They were showing a movie that night at ... Read More
We arrived in Miami at 10am. Our relaxation began as soon as we got to our hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Biscayne Bay. This was in the middle of nowhere with a nice beach, 2 pools, one adult, one family. They were showing a movie that night at the family pool. It was windy and a little cool, however the pools were like bath water and the loungers plush complete with pool butlers. The ocean felt a little cold. They do offer a reasonable "Bon Voyage" package and room rates, however we had "club level", all the food and champagne we needed and a wonderful 5 star dinner in the dining room. Breakfast was also good, if you have "club level"they have the best cookies! I had been diagnosed with cancer just a few days before final payment was due, so no alcohol for me and I need to eat. I felt very lucky to be on the this cruise as I was 6 weeks post op. We left the hotel at 10:30am it was $34.00 to the pier. We met wonderful people while waiting to get on board. Embarkation was easy, however they were having problems with the credit card machine and 4 days into our cruise we got a note that it had not been activated. An easy fix by the wonderful Guest Relations people on board. We boarded after 1pm, with a glass of champagne in DH's hand we explored our new home. We could not get into our room until 3pm. Lots of wonderful lounges, a smoke free casino-yea! We rarely had to deal with a smoker, except one who was lounging by the pool on the wrong side of the deck. It was nice to not smell smoke on the balcony, hallways, balcony and inside of the ship. Eclipse has by far the best buffet afloat of the ships we have been on. Liked the layout of the ship. We enjoyed the adults only pool and the piped in music, never took our ipods. We enjoyed the Hot Glass Show twice. Loved our AQ room and Persian Gardens, the dry sauna and relaxation room. We did not like the tea in our room however. We had the best cabin steward and I needed lots of water which I had. The shower was amazing and I would book this category again for the shower and amenities. It was nice having not to bring Q Tips and cotton balls. The first night dining in "Blu" was a nightmare for me. We had an 8:30pm reservation, I was hungry and ordered asparagus to arrive when DH's salad arrived, didn't happen. After 45 minutes and not happy waiters I went up to the buffet to eat, came down and the asparagus (over cooked) and pasta dish (spinach too oily and overcooked) waited for me. We then requested the dining room the next night as there was nothing I could eat, had a wonderful experience in Moonlight Sonata. We then ate at the buffet and "Q'sine" one night, this is a culinary journey like no other you will ever experience anywhere in the world and is not to be missed! We had turkey dinner and lobster in "Blu" on Thanksgiving at 6pm and everything was perfect this time. Our last night did not see anything I could eat in "Blu" so went to the buffet. Our room was across from the elevators and was constantly noisy, from hall closets, to kids running down the hall, to late night parties in the atrium and pool parties where people were jumping up and down until 2am. The balcony was deep, but not sure we would book it again, do not need a deep balcony, can only see forward and was still windy, if you look aft you see the Royal Suite Veranda. It was shady almost always which was nice for me and I could sit in the lounger with my wig off and no one would see me. San Juan we got off and took a walk, got caught in a huge downpour. St Maarten took a tour with Bernard's Tour, would recommend him again. Went to two beaches and saw the Planes fly over us. St Kitts got off and walked around the port shops and peeked over at the Millennium and laid out in the sun. On our way back to Miami it was not windy and it was warm. We loved the gelato with the home made waffle cups and cones. Could not get a milkshake made anywhere, tried everyday, every bar. DH had the premier soda package and loved it. I enjoyed the apple juice anytime from the buffet or Aqua Spa Cafe. We enjoyed afternoon ice cream complete with Reece's pieces and M&M's to sprinkle on. We loved being able to walk in our slippers and bathrobes to the spa and adult pool. The fitness room was by far the best ever. I loved the hours of the Persian gardens, adult pool and fitness room. The room service menu was the best we have ever seen and we had room service breakfast nearly every morning. This was by far the most relaxing cruise we have taken where we did not have to worry about smelling smoke from smokers. we could have asked for and more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Hotel/Embarkation: We flew into FLL the night prior and stayed at the LaQuinta FT Lauderdale Airport. Very clean, friendly staff, super cheap. Steve from SAS picked us up at 11:00 Saturday morning and we were on our way. We arrived at the ... Read More
Hotel/Embarkation: We flew into FLL the night prior and stayed at the LaQuinta FT Lauderdale Airport. Very clean, friendly staff, super cheap. Steve from SAS picked us up at 11:00 Saturday morning and we were on our way. We arrived at the terminal right at noon, entered the terminal...and stopped. Almost 3 hours later we were on board. I know that arriving at noon was going to put us right into the thick of things, but wasn't expecting it to be quite this long. Online registration/check in seemed to have been an exercise in time wasted, as we had to fill in the same information all over again in the terminal. Finally just before 3 we were on board with our champagne, and headed directly to our stateroom. Stateroom: Our home for the week was AQ1551, port side, next to one of the bubble cabins. Very convenient to the elevators and spa. Cabin and bathroom were both big, with plenty of room for us and our belongings. Limited drawer space, but the overhead cabinets above the bed made for plenty of storage. Balcony was nicely sized with two chairs/footstools, and a table. This cabin was of the bed-near-the-door configuration. Flat Screen TV was on a swing arm which allowed us to watch free movies in bed -- a luxury! Our cabin attendant was generally absent -- and not in the good 'the cabin fairies visited while we were gone!" way, but rather in the "strange that he never introduced himself, cannot be found for ice, doesn't seem to pick up consistently, and leaves odd notes" way. Housekeeping was really the only service quibble we had, and we weren't going to let it ruin our trip. Public Rooms: The last email I sent before shutting off my phone in Miami was "this ship is gorgeous!" and I still felt that way a week later when we left. From the art to the furnishings you could see how much thought was put into every detail in every space, making everything comfortable and elegant. All areas were always clean, including the public bathrooms which were lovely and well-used. We were sailing full and rarely saw passenger logjams -- the flow seemed to be working. Dining: Its been a very long time since I last sailed Celebrity, but the food and service were every bit as good as I remembered. We had a bit of a service misstep Saturday night in Blu, had a quick conversation with Adrian & Akar, the wonderful Maitre D' and Assistant, and were nothing short of amazed every meal thereafter. The food was lovely, with a decent variety of choices. The portions were just right, and never left us stuffed or hungry, and the presentations were very nice too. But the true star of Blu was the staff. Everyone from the Maitre D's to the waiters and assistant waiters operated like one big family, and welcomed us into their dining room every night. They were warm and friendly, and maintained just the right balance of formality and friendliness to make sure meals were elegant without being stuffy. Luana, Musfiin, and Danny were among some of the best I've ever had, and nothing was ever too strange or inconvenient for them. Dinner at Blu was the highlight of many days, and we never left the dining room without a good meal, some good laughs, and good company. We had dinner at QSine one night, and actually found ourselves missing Blu. The food and the presentations were really remarkable and innovative, and the service was perfectly adequate -- but it just wasn't what we'd been spoiled by across the hall. The buffet (Oceanview Cafe) was always well stocked and manned, with a wide variety of foods. Soup, salad, pizza, pasta, Indian, Mexican, breads, stir fry...a little something for everyone. The food was always tasty and hot. Finding seating in the buffet was a problem sometimes, as folks tended to linger. If you head aft outside, there are usually a few tables near the Oceanview Bar. We ate breakfast here most days, and really enjoyed the omelets and waffles. Room service was hit & miss. Some of it was quite good, some was just okay. Sometimes we'd get all the necessary items, sometimes we'd get no silverware. It always came pretty quickly, even late at night. We did have lunch in Bistro on 5 one day, for the $5 surcharge. I very much enjoyed this, and was surprised to see the restaurant always empty. Activities/Entertainment: We did not participate in many of the activities, but the Cruise Director's staff was always around and working hard. We attended the first night show, the last day cooking competition, late night comedy, and the Liar's Club. All were adequate and about what we'd expect -- nothing really outstanding, but plenty enjoyable. We did spend a bit of time in the casino each day, which was quite good to me, and not so good to my fiance. We did pop in briefly on the Thanksgiving football and tailgate party and thought it was a nice idea, and well executed. I watched the Officers vs Passengers pool volleyball tournament, and was very amused. Bar service: We vacillated a lot over whether to purchase the bar packages, and in the end we did not. I still believe this was the right choice for us, as neither of us drank anywhere near the daily charge, but I have to admit being a little jealous at the convenience I saw other folks experiencing. We did have one soda package, and I never experienced any weirdness on the part of the crew when using it. Starting Sunday we fell into an easy routine of stopping by the Molecular Bar on the way to dinner, and spent an always enjoyable hour with Thomas every day. This is a man who takes his craft and his cocktails very seriously, but is charming, funny, and engaging. We eventually drank our way through the cocktail menu, and enjoyed each one. I was even the recipient of a custom cocktail one evening, complete with a peanut butter cookie to compliment it. Ports: We visited San Juan, St Maarten, and St Kitts. At San Juan and St Maarten we just wandered around a bit and did some snacking and shopping. In St Kitts we took a ship-sponsored excursion to Caribbean Cooks, a cooking school run by two sisters who used to live in Northern Virginia. We spent a delightful afternoon with them, full of good stories and good cooking. In the end we ended up with 6-7 dishes and a book of recipes used in class. Not your typical city tour or beach excursion, but I'd highly recommend this one for anyone looking to do something a little different. Disembarkation: A world of difference from embarkation. Much more organized and orderly. We had been assigned a 9:15 disembarkation, but things were moving so quickly that we were off the ship closer to 8:30, and by 9:15 we were back in our SAS shuttle en route to FLL. Overall: Eclipse is a beautiful ship with a wonderful crew upholding the Celebrity standard of service. While there were a few wrinkles to work out, I'm confident that they're a function of newness, and that they'll be sailing near-perfection in no time at all. If you have the ability and means to sail AQ, go for it! Blu, the daily iced tea and bottle water, the ultra fancy shower, and access to the Persian Gardens are all worth it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Well a fantastic cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse, there were a few niggles like all cruises but the majority was fantastic. The Ship Definitely one of our favourites, from the public areas to the stateroom we love the styling and ... Read More
Well a fantastic cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse, there were a few niggles like all cruises but the majority was fantastic. The Ship Definitely one of our favourites, from the public areas to the stateroom we love the styling and the atmosphere onboard. Large yes but plenty of intimate areas to sit chill out or have a drink. The Cabin 1605 Aqua Class on the portside forward facing on the hump. The advantage of this cabin was the balcony 15 feet deep on onside 13 feet deep on the other it was massive, even in the rain and wind it was possible to sit outside with no ill effects, there were 2 seats, 2 foot stools and a table. Inside the bed was next to the balcony, which did make moving around a bit difficult but after a day or so we got the hang of it. Plenty of hanging space but not a great deal of drawer space for 16 nights, gym stuff etc stayed in the roll on bags and was pulled out as required. The bathroom had plenty of storage with a shower that blasted water from all angles. Being Aqua Class there were 3 or 4 bottles of water, fresh fruit and flowers each day. Dining Blu The jewel in the crown of Aqua Class, the food and service was great every night and for the majority of the time we were able to get the waiter area we wanted with the staff we wanted, however all staff were great and we sat in a variety of places due to the anytime dining in this restaurant. The food was quite un-Americanised in comparison to the main restaurant. It was served in a very contemporary style with what we felt good sized portions. Breakfasts were also good here for the 3 times we made it. The difference in the ambient noise when dining when compared to the main dining rooms on ships was unbelievable Main Dining Room We had lunch here twice plus one of the brunches and enjoyed it each time. Oceanview Cafe Good selection throughout the day and the quality was good, on occasion it could possibly have been slightly warmer but that is a common buffet problem. Bistro on 5 and Cafe Al Baccio Great for lunch and the Crow's Nest captured the record for the most diners at on table - 12 in total, thanks to Brenda for organising. I would like to see a slightly different menu in the Evening but for lunch and that returning to the ship snack it is ideal. We enjoyed numerous different teas and coffee's in Cafe Al Baccio and the pastries/cakes/sandwiches were to die for. Qsine and Murano's We tried Qsine again and although we enjoyed it we felt that Murano's trumped it for food quality and service if we go onboard again we will certainly go again. FlambEed Lobster and the FlambEed Strawberry Crepe's being the highlight. In all the dining areas tea was available in individual teapots and there was a wide choice of teas. Bars & Drinks package We took the Classic Drinks package so basically beers too $5 and all other drinks to $8, this was approx $39+15% a day. We pre-booked before joining the ship and were apprehensive about had we done the correct thing, but for us it worked really well. We had freshly squeezed orange juice or freshly made smoothie's ($2.5 to $4) each morning in the Oceanview Cafe, fresh Espresso based coffee ($3 to $5) in any of the restaurants or bars rather than the "machine" coffee, all the teas or coffees in Cafe al Baccio ($3 to $6). Cans of soft drink were $2.50 and bottled water was $2 to $4 depending on size. It is fair to say that we used at least half the cost in non-alcoholic drinks daily. It was good to experiment with the different cocktails and spirits these were generally cost $6 to $8. The wine was very easy basically the selection at $8 a glass in blu met our needs and the glasses were kept topped up. When we mentioned to the Sommelier that we had tried wine in cellar masters that we enjoyed it appeared the next time we dined even though it was not on the Blu wine list. The more expensive package included the martini and molecular bars where the drinks were $10 to $12, but you could basically get all other drinks at those venues. In addition although it included more beer selection too $8 but there were not many spirits between $8 and $12 - only a handful. The other spirits were over $12 therefore not in either package so it is worth planning ahead as too what you like. There is a slightly wider wine choice too. Remember all the above do not include the 15% gratuity. Entertainment The live music around the ship was varied but all had something in common the artists were good something we have not seen on a ship for a while. What we saw of the main theatre acts were good but the 7pm show was not really for us. Ports For us the main ports were Split, Venice and Dubrovnik and we walked the feet of ourselves. We thoroughly enjoyed each of these ports and I will highly recommend the tour that we booked in advance in Venice - The Secrets Itineraries of Doges Palace (http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it/frame.asp?pid=595&z=2&tit=_EN_itinerarispeciali) and really enjoyed it. We pre-booked Vaporetto tickets and collected them at Place de Roma with no problems. We also visited the Opera House which was an enjoyable tour. Palermo - what a riot - dark, dusty, dirty, noisy and smelly. Although a complete contrast to the rest of the cruise I secretly enjoyed Palermo. Niggles We did have some drinks appear a few times on the bill and after few discussions with the Guest Relations staff I finally asked to see the Bar manager. The matter was then resolved and we received compensation for the hassle. People with feet on tables that you eat off - do you do it at home, why do it on a cruise. Man boobs, hairy chests and women in bikinis dangling over the food choice at the Aqua Spa cafe sorry please show some respect too others and follow hygiene rules, we could not eat there after what we saw. Crow's Nest meet and lunch We had a meet on the second sea day (Cruise Critic meet was the first sea day) and then lunch later in the first week and we enjoyed meeting all the other nesters and they really added to the enjoyment of the cruise. If you have never attended a meet before remember everyone is nervous as you before the meet but you will get on like a house on fire. It was our first time and we will attend on other cruises in the future. We were also invited to the bridge and engine control room. So that is it a superb ship, a superb cruise, superb staff, and some superb new cruise friends what more could we have asked for. Our pictures are at http://picasaweb.google.com/clydecruiser/CelebrityEclipseOctober2010# not had time to tag them due to work but hopefully you can guess where. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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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