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37 Celebrity Eclipse Holiday Cruise Reviews

I am late posting as I have been in communication with RCCL regarding dietary issues but will keep this fair. My wife has a food allergy which means she cannot eat wheat. We have cruised several times before on P&O and this was our ... Read More
I am late posting as I have been in communication with RCCL regarding dietary issues but will keep this fair. My wife has a food allergy which means she cannot eat wheat. We have cruised several times before on P&O and this was our first and last cruise on Celebrity So lets look at the ship first, very good , well it ought to be as it is not yet a year old. Room quite spacious for an inside but not enough storage, lack of drawers was a problem. The bed was very comfortable. Our room attendant did not really greet us and introduce himself as other room attendants have done in the past. We did not really see him a lot until the last few days when he dropped off his envelope!!!!! He did turn the bed down every night though. After the first three days we had to prompt him to empty the bin in the bathroom. Entertainment wise, distinctly average with a few exceptions. The Jazz quartet were excellent as were the acappella group of boys and the classical string quartet. Guest artists were ok but nothing exciting apart from Jamie Allen, a clean scouse comedian and the girl singer from Birmingham whose name I forget. Too much arial stuff in the shows and the male lead singers are past their sell-by-date. The contortionist was excellent but scary. The cruise direct John (American) tried his very best and I cannot fault his enthusiasm. The star of the show was Carl Pucl, a young Canadian guy who did a talk on the Titanic over three one hour presentations, arranged a passenger choir and loads of other things to many to mention. A future cruise director if ever I saw one. No we come to the main issue, food and dietary requirements. Firstly let me say we are seasoned cruisers but only until 2010 with P & O. The cruise we wanted with P & O in 2010 was fully booked and this cruise was going to similar destinations so we gave it a go. Bearing in mind we have never had any problems with food for my wife on their cruises we were bitterly disappointed with Celebrity Eclipse. Let me say some of the negatives should not put you off but the dining experience is a major part of any cruise. The buffet restaurant for breakfast and light lunches never posed a problem as my wife knows what she an and cannot eat. An order for wheat free toast was always provided relatively quickly. The big issue was with the Moonlight Sonata main restaurant. On the first night we introduced ourselves and highlighted my wife's wheat intolerance and were initially pleased to find out that they were aware having had previous notice from us and our travel agent. Based on this you would think things were going to be ok, not the case. Our waitress Boz was excellent and to be honest towards the end of the cruise she was distinctly embarrassed by the performance of the kitchen. To be told night after night by the Maitre'D that there were no alternatives to starters, main courses and desserts other than to remove sauces, bread products and various parts of desserts was totally unacceptable. Ice Cream every night is not a dining experience. Coq au vin was presented for my wife as two pieces of chicken with no sauce despite the Maitre'D stating a separate sauce would be prepared. The speciality restaurants were a different kettle of fish and nothing was too much trouble. The Tuscan Grill were able to provide superb wheat free foccacia bread, a change from the two pieces of cardboard bread in the Moonlight Sonata and wheat free versions of most desserts. When we queried why they were able to provide this type of bread the staff were astounded as it is all made in the same kitchen!! Qsine exactly the same and truly unique dining experience, you must try it. On a personal note I found the main dining room food to be quite bland. Tasteless prawns (Or shrimp as they call it) and most of the sauces tasted the same. The fish was good though but you don't want it every night. Same with the steaks, very tasty but you don't want it every night. Despite complaints to the Maitre'D nothing happened so we had to raise it with Customer Relations who put us in touch with Simon? The Head of Catering who whilst he was apologetic did not have time to change anything until the last night when some wheat free foccacia bread miraculously appeared. Now then tipping: Tips are automatically taken from your account unless you get them taken off. They are also added on to every drinks bill you get at 15%. So if you buy a bottle of wine for $50.00 your tip is $7.50 which I think is a little OTT. The whole experience onboard reflected this. Some of the staff did not seem as motivated to provide good service as they are on P&O. Drinks prices were ridiculously expensive on the whole but as we are not big drinkers it did not bother us. Having read some other reviews I find that the special dietary requirements have proved to be an issue before. Having registered a complaint with RCCL I had to e-mail the CEO in Florida as the UK side were taking too long and after 19 days responded by saying they had passed it to another department. Strangely enough after I e-mailed the CEO I had a phone call from Florida and a response the next day from the UK. However, whilst being apologetic, they chose to hide behind their terms and conditions which basically state that they will endeavour to meet any dietary requirement but cannot guarantee to do so. They made what I saw as an empty gesture of offering money off any future cruise with the RCCL group. This wont be happening as we will be returning to P & O in 2011 so I have asked if they would make a charitable donation in the same sum to a British Charity, I won't be holding my breath. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Our family traveled together for Thanksgiving - 13 of us - all very experienced cruisers. 3 older teenagers, everyone else from 45 years of age to a very young 79. The Eclipse is, quite simply, a beautiful ship. We were all ... Read More
Our family traveled together for Thanksgiving - 13 of us - all very experienced cruisers. 3 older teenagers, everyone else from 45 years of age to a very young 79. The Eclipse is, quite simply, a beautiful ship. We were all blown-away by lovely decor and attention to design detail in both our staterooms and all public areas. Such a clean ship. Even the sinks in the public restrooms were amazing! Staterooms: Positive: Very comfy beds, fabulous bathrooms including showers with very hot water and great water pressure, good toiletry storage, and outrageously thick and fluffy towels. Our staterooms were all adjacent so we slid back each balcony divider and therefore had one long veranda which allowed us to enjoy time together watching sunsets, port entries, etc. Great tv with good reception and the teenagers loved the on-demand movies. Negative: Lacking adequate storage for clothes. Steward did not keep the room as clean as it should have been. Food: Beautiful dining room, with VERY slow service. After we expressed concern the service improved (additional waitstaff was added) but each dinner still took 2+ hours. Many times the food was cold or tasteless. We appreciated the nice try with the Thanksgiving dinner, but the turkey, dressing, etc. was really not good. The Buffet area was huge with a great assortment of food and very minimal wait time. Good cookies. Entertainment: Theatre is beautiful. Saw a fantastic "Cirque du Soleil" type show. Casino: Machines did not pay...lol. Teen Entertainment: None. Non-Existent. Our three kids(16, 17, and 19) are low maintenance, experienced cruisers and so they found what to do to amuse themselves but there were not planned activities or specific teen areas (as there are on Royal Caribbean) for them. I do not recommend taking your kids on this ship. Ports: St. Marten - One adult and two teens went zip-lining - it was fun but strenuous for the adult. On a previous cruise we raced an America's Cup sailboat and I certainly recommend that excursion. St. Kitts - Heaven on earth. Such a beautiful island worth many more visits. Take the tour offered by Rosevelt Taylor - velt28_21@hotmail.com. www.stkittsislandparadisetours.com. This was the best tour we've ever taken on a cruise vacation. Rosevelt is professional, knowledgeable, and his van was clean and comfortable. We drove right through the area that the recent armed robbery occured in and saw police patrolling the area in an attempt to make the tourists feel more comfortable. Spa: Wonderful spa and gym areas. Great variety of brand new work-out equipment. Took the stretch and ab classes each morning - good instructors. Summary: Beautiful ship for adults wanting to just relax and enjoy the view. However, next time we'll cruise on one of the new big Royal Caribbean ships instead. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Vessel: Celebrity Eclipse Dates: Holiday Cruise: Dec. 26, 2010- Jan 2, 2010 2 Adult Passengers, Balcony Stateroom, Eight Floor Ports of Call: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya Our expectations were high ... Read More
Vessel: Celebrity Eclipse Dates: Holiday Cruise: Dec. 26, 2010- Jan 2, 2010 2 Adult Passengers, Balcony Stateroom, Eight Floor Ports of Call: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya Our expectations were high prior to boarding the Eclipse. I had looked into different cruise options for more than 20 hours online and the Eclipse met the bill for a sleek, sophisticated vessel. Boarding: The process went fairly smoothly. Initial Impression: A large, very good looking vessel that shows upscale lines. Champagne was provided on initial boarding. Drink Package: We decided to purchase the beverage packages, which was a good decision, as soon as we boarded. After deliberating for a couple of weeks prior to the departure as to whether the price was worth it ($50.00 a day for the premium alcohol package and $40.00 for the classic alcohol package for my girlfriend), we determined it was indeed. These are rates per person. Classic included all wines and mixed drinks to $8.00 and the premium up to $12.00. Beer is up to $5.00 in the classic and unlimited in premium. Good selection of imported beer, including Guinness. Bottom line here: If you plan on buying alcohol onboard, get the package. I suggest the premium package as it allows the 10.00 martinis in the martini bar and the $12.00 martini creations in the Molecular Bar (featuring organic martinis, including those with liquid nitrogen). All bottled water, soda, coffees, wine, champagne, after diner drinks are included in the alcohol packages. A 15% surcharge is applied at the front so no tipping is required, although the better staff bartenders deserve more. We tipped the sommelier quite a bit more because he was professional, knowledgeable, and was quick with refills at dinner. It also eliminated needing to sign every time one wanted a drink. Very cost effective and flexible, especially on New Year' Eve. However, we were not able to get a bottle of water from 0230am-0700am. My girlfriend was told at 0630 by a waiter in the Oceanview cafe that she could purchase a bottle at 0700am at the bar; and this was after he consulted his supervisor. I feel that guests that purchase beverage packages should have access to water 24 hours a day. There is water in each room available for an additional fee. Dinner: We had the assigned 6PM time. Dinner was prompt and professional with 2 sides of the menu. One listed classic dishes available every night; the other side provided a Chef's selection which changed daily. One may mix and match and ordering multiple courses is not a problem. After dinner Remy Martin Cognac, either at dinner or in Michael's Lounge was relaxing. We liked the bartender Mila in Michael's because she was personable and knowledgeable. Jesus in the Ensemble lounge kept the drinks coming and was a blast. The music varies in each of the lounges. Dinner varied and the formal night included lobster. Impeccable service in the dining room. We could not get a reservation so late in the process for the specialty restaurants, although others raved about them. Nightly room service was quick and excellent. The pool bar is great for chicken and burgers. The 14th floor has the Oceanside grille which has great variety if one chooses a casual option. The sushi was disappointing as there were 3 options and they were not very tasty. Celebrity select dining seemed to be unnecessary for the extra cost as seating was flexible by 15-20 minutes or goes casual. Caffe Bacci- great international coffees and drinks. Gelato bar- costs $3.00 a serving which was surprising as everything else was included. Some of the guests were rude to staff and complained about minor issues, such as the size of the chicken pieces in the pasta! To the women who were acting as nannies for two children during breakfast on Deck 14, PLEASE change the kids soiled diapers in the restroom and NOT at the dining room table. Entertainment: Saw the magic show and variety shows. Both good. Martini Bar has its own show on the cold, ice bar with one enthusiastic staff member who was going wild on NY Eve. There was only one DJ available on NY Eve and was removed from the club that we were in and reassigned to the top deck where many young guests were partying. The activities director did not offer us another option and stated it was not her fault. Additionally, she added it was her boss decision and we need to voice our concerns. Balcony Stateroom- Well apportioned and excellent design. Beautiful bathroom and spacious balcony. In room entertainment is awesome and the bed was relaxing. We had an outstanding attendant, Eric, who was there as soon we departed the room and had it reassembled immediately thereafter. Bravo! Ports: Grand Cayman- We almost missed this port of call as we were one of 2 ships to make it because of the weather. No jewelry deals in ANY of the ports. It is all hype. As a matter of fact, some of the items are pricier than in the USA. Roatan: Filthy port with little to offer. This is a place for shore excursions sponsored by the trip. We took a private taxi tour and after $40.00 and 1 ½ hour later, were ready to get back to the ship. Cozumel: Good port but be safe. Many opportunities for foolish tourist to drink too much tequila and wind up in jail with high bail. We went to an all inclusive at Uvas and it was a blast. Just know the area is a tourist trap. Costa Maya: Do not leave the sheltered shopping district without a cruise sponsored tour. Care to pet the dolphins for 100 bucks a person for 10 minutes in a small cage about 30 feet long. We passed on it. Best part of the trip? Horseback riding on the beach and in the ocean at Pampered Ponies in Caymans. Good price and a good staff. They cater to all styles. My girlfriend and I noticed an eclectic combination of personas. The cruise ship is luxury and upscale. Providing an ice cold towel on return from each of the ships ports distinguished the ship amongst others in port. If you want to be treated like royalty in a new ship, which crew is still getting used to the intricacies of the vessel, sail the Eclipse. Only gripe here is that some of the staff's limited English proficiency resulted in confused orders in some bars... something easy to overlook. The bartenders in the Molecular bar were distant and disengaged. The male bartender handed us a drink menu and did not offer us any suggestions. A female bartender spoke only to the male bartender in perfect English. Again, no suggestions were made to help guide us on our drink selection. One of the other guests guided us. The drinks were fresh and spectacular. The Molecular bar was something we looked forward to and my girlfriend refused to go and be treated poorly by the bartenders. The male bartender did interact with a specific group of male guests. Both failed to make us feel comfortable. Awesome cruise lines, decent price, first class service. GREAT job and we will return. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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 flew into London then bus to Southampton and stayed at the Dolphin Hotel for 2 nights. Embarkation went smooth, the room was well appointed. 1st problem came with the people smoking on their balcony. I called management and they dealt ... Read More
We flew into London then bus to Southampton and stayed at the Dolphin Hotel for 2 nights. Embarkation went smooth, the room was well appointed. 1st problem came with the people smoking on their balcony. I called management and they dealt with it right away. I am very allergic to Smoke Ship Info: Daily schedules were delivered the night before and were well done. Dining: Breakfast - buffet was good. Served Breakfast in Dining room - food arrived cool. Didn't return to served breakfast. Lunch - good. Tried several areas for lunch. Dinner: meals were good (not excellent) except for 2 that had to be sent back. We were not the only ones who had returned their meals. We eat at 2 of the specialty restaurants at 35.00 each and both were excellent. Activities: We sat in the lounges, shopped on board, swam, exercise room, walked the decks. All were enjoyable. Staff Service: Room service - excellent, Dining service was excellent, Specialty Wine tasting room service - excellent, Bar servers - very good, Breakfast and lunch servers- very good. Service Desk - one lady was very abrupt.(more on that under Entertainment) Entertainment: So so but missed the demographics of those on board. We got to meet many others on board who were also disappointed of the type and quality. I must say this was the lowest rated entertainment compared to all other cruises we have taken. Next - we went to the upper deck to hear the musicians and looked forward to Dancing only to experience a large portion of this room was for smokers. We had to leave and never went back. The Main Atrium - there was always live music and when part of the Big Band played the tiled floorarea was filled with couples dancing. We did as well and really enjoyed it. That was one day then the rest of the time there was a Jazz group, however the music they played - nice to listen to but not the beat to dance to. Couples just stood around hoping for a number they could dance to. After the 3rd day of this I went to Customer Service - located in plain sight of the Atrium floor area, and mentioned to the young lady could she get a message to the entertainment manager regarding a change to the music. She was abrupt and told me that the Jazz group was requested??? Well my request fell on deaf ears because this same group continued day after day with no one able to enjoy a dance. I have been on so many other ships where dancing in the atrium is enjoyed by so many. Shore excursions: Brugees- great time there. Had the best Belgium ever at a restaurant in the town square. Berlin: 3 hr bus ride each way. The bag lunch was not only unhealthy but whatever that 1/2 sandwich was - was uneatable. Ever the Apple was bruised. Guide was good except we spent more than an hour driving in circles in the city then rushed to look at some sights - too rushed. Sharon and I broke away to go through the Jewish memorial - one other couple from our bus joined us. Best part of OUR tour. ON bus ride back to ship - given another bag snack - the other 1/2 uneatable sandwich. If ever again I will get the ship to make us a bagged lunch. Helsinki: Great time there St. Petersburg - 2 days - go go go but overall - rushed through palaces, etc, it still was worth seeing. The arranged lunch was OK. Tallinn: Great city to tour - forget the other tours. We went to the Farm - OK then to visit a home (this was a set up by the home owner) waste of time. Stockholm - we loved seeing the City. Problem was our tour guide had an appointment for another tour a 4pm and rushed us through the Ship museum. She actually got off the bus early and the bus driver took over. He knew more history and points of interest than the guide. Copenhagen: After that tour in Stockholm I decided we would do our own walking tour. We got to see so much more than others on board that took Cruise Tours. We took river boat tour - few on board and had plenty of one on one with the guide. We would go back. We went off the tourist beat to where locals shopped and eat and had a great lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Disembarkation: This went smooth. We took a bus to a Heathrow Hotel, spent a night then flew home. This Cruise cost us approx 1000.00US each more than we could have paid for a similar cruise on another cruise line. Unfortunately we have had better consistent meals, service and entertainment on many others. Since this cruise we and 9 other siblings took a 7 day Alaska Cruise in mid September on Carnival. It was better in so many ways- surprise! Best Regards Dwayne Jacobson Read Less
Sail Date May 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
Excellent start to cruise, no problems with embarkation & stateroom as expected. (Sailed on Eclipse to the Baltic last year). The food and service in the main dining room was of the previous high standard - this time we chose to ... Read More
Excellent start to cruise, no problems with embarkation & stateroom as expected. (Sailed on Eclipse to the Baltic last year). The food and service in the main dining room was of the previous high standard - this time we chose to have select dining to give us more flexibility which we found worked well for us. We ate in two of the speciality restaurants which, although expensive was a nice treat and most enjoyable. The quality of the entertainment varied, with some shows better than other, or perhaps not to our taste. More time in ports would have been appreciated, especially Venice and Dubrovnik. In Venice we noticed how long the queue was waiting for the shuttle boats back to the ship and cut short our sightseeing to make sure that we were not late back on board. More information regarding the closure of some sites on certain days would have been helpful. All service on board was very good - special thanks to our stateroom attendant. The end of the cruise was not so good!! We were due to leave the ship at 9.00 but did not reach our car until shortly before 11.00. ( Last year we had left the ship, collected our luggage and walked to our car within 15-20 min.) Utter chaos would best describe this years disembarkation, collection of luggage and transfer to the car parks. We hope that in future Celebrity will take action to improve the disembarkation process, because unfortunately this is the last thing that we remember of what otherwise was an excellent holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Having spent an enjoyable holiday aboard Eclipse I can only endorse everything Dr Paul has to say about this holiday. We have travelled on most of the cruise lines at some time or another, and have never felt we were being conned for ... Read More
Having spent an enjoyable holiday aboard Eclipse I can only endorse everything Dr Paul has to say about this holiday. We have travelled on most of the cruise lines at some time or another, and have never felt we were being conned for every penny on board. Whilst the ship is delightful and food extremely good, we were disgusted at the cost of drinks on board. Whilst on holiday we always have a bottle of wine each night, but because of the cost made a bottle do for two nights. Celebrity should be aware that they will price themselves out of the market, if they continue along these lines. The cost of shore excursions were also prohibitive, and we heard many complaints about this. Because of the cost we did not take any excursions, once again Celebrity loosing money. When we were in Venice last year, we had a shuttle bus to take us right into the water bus station, free of charge, but Celebrity charged $20 per person for a shuttle boat to St. Marks Square, once again extortionate. With regard to the entertainment, on the whole it was good, but the pianist and the ventriloquist had people leaving the theatre in their droves. We also felt the first of the cruise company shows was aimed at a far younger audience than those cruising today. It was so load we heard complaints from quite a few people that they came out of the theatre with a headache. As you said, Dr. Paul, Dru think of your clientele. We very much enjoyed Michaels Club when Rik Steele was playing, and had to hurry to get to the bar after the show as he was so popular. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
We sailed from Southampton on 14 October, having travelled down from Cardiff by train. Embarkation: Not impressive. It took nearly an hour to shuffle around the hall in single file. Other lines let you sit down until called. Cabin:We ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton on 14 October, having travelled down from Cardiff by train. Embarkation: Not impressive. It took nearly an hour to shuffle around the hall in single file. Other lines let you sit down until called. Cabin:We were originally on deck 6, above the theatre, but the noise drove us to ask for a move which was done speedily and efficiently, to Deck 10. Top marks.Cabins smallish,with drawer space at a premium, but excellent shower in large bathroom.Spotlessly clean. Dining: We had Select Dining after paying £221 gratuities in advance. But the tables we were given were always next to a service station.The better areas appear to have been assigned to those who had cruised with Celebrity before. No problem, but an early indication of the dual class system on board. For instance, the best bar was arguably the Sky on deck 14, but each evening this was reserved largely for the Captain's Club members.The small area left was for smokers, and it was usually difficult to get service. The self service restaurant was the Ocean View on deck 14, which had easily the most comprehensive range of food I've experienced, but at peak times it was extremely difficult to find a free table. These were not always cleared quickly, though strangely, there was always a surfeit of staff pushing drinks (of which, more later). Entertainment:External acts brought in were mixed, but those who stood out were Irish comedian Adrian Lynch, Welsh comedian Mike Doyle, and songstress Lindsay Hamilton deservedly brought the house down. But the funniest was a juggler/comedian, whose name I didn't note but should have. To attend a popular act, one had to get to the theatre half an hour early. P & O lay on 3 shows a night to obviate this. Why can't Celebrity? Drinks: As others have noted, the prices charged will stop me cruising with Celebrity in future. Two single gin and tonics £14?(Not even Schweppes!) Cheapest wine about £21. Gratuities: The brochure says Reception will give people who had pre-paid a voucher to prove it. One old lady at Reception was told they don't, to her obvious distress. We told our cabin steward we had, which he says he understood, yet left 2 envelopes when we checked out, which is another reason we will now be returning to P & O. 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 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
A little about us: this was my 4th cruise but my first on Celebrity Cruiseline (recent last 2 were NCL and 1 Carnival Cruise back in my 20's). This was my husband's 2nd cruise, his first being NCL Epic. We are in our early ... Read More
A little about us: this was my 4th cruise but my first on Celebrity Cruiseline (recent last 2 were NCL and 1 Carnival Cruise back in my 20's). This was my husband's 2nd cruise, his first being NCL Epic. We are in our early 40's, no kids. We are somewhat health and fitness minded so while we like to indulge while on vacation, we still stick somewhat to routines such as working out in the gym and balancing lighter meals to compensate for some of the higher calorie meals and drinks while we are vacationing. We probably don't represent the majority of cruisers which seemed to be about 45% families with young children/pre-teens and 45% who appeared to be couples in their late 50's and up without children. We did see some young couples around our age without children but not many. So my review will have more weight around items that fit our profile vs. what others may be looking for (such as children's activities, etc). The boarding process. We came in the night before to avoid any travel delays getting to the Ship. We stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay (very nice hotel and fantastic sleep in the "heavenly bed"). A short cab ride over to the marina and we arrived about 10:30am. The Port is always chaotic what with the Cab drivers with baggage handlers and cabbies fighting with one another. Last year when we went on the Epic, we witnessed a little spat between a passenger and a bag handler and whether or not it was coincidence, one of their bags never made it on the ship. We opt for over-tipping the baggage handlers and my husband joked with the man that he was paying insurance to ensure our bags all make it on the ship. Our bags were available almost immediately on the boat. Back to check-in. Unlike NCL, where we lined up outside, Celebrity allowed us inside the terminal. I did the pre-registration easy pass thing prior to leaving and we were scanned in, setup the credit card and ready for boarding in 5 mins. We had to wait approx 10 mins before being let onto the ship which was about 11am or so. Our cabin wasn't ready but I didn't expect it to be until 1pm or so based on other reviews I had read prior to sailing. The bars were open so we immediately started with a beverage while we explored the ship. First thing I noticed in comparison to NCL Epic was the drink had plenty of booze in it and that the bartender was not too friendly. On the Epic, the alcohol in the mixed drinks was practically non-existant but the bar tenders were very friendly. I'll take a good drink over friendliness so not a bad trade-off from my perspective. The Spa As mentioned we like to work out and we also like to enjoy Spa amenities such as the Sauna, Steam Room and Jacuzzi after a good workout. This Spa, sadly couldn't hold a candle to the Epic. We opted not to go with the Aquaspa Class Cabin since we had done the Spa class on the Epic and felt it was not worth the extra cost when anyone on the ship could purchase the Spa pass and have the same amenities. On the Eclipse, we purchased the Spa pass for the week which entitles you access to the Serenity Room. Honestly the Serenity Room/Spa Pass was a joke. I was very disapointed. First off, NO TALKING in the Serenity room. It is posted on a small sign when you walk in, very easily missed so if you miss that sign and comment to anyone with you about the room you will be glared at by the people in there as if you are with monks taking a vow of silence. Zip it. Okay, we got that and learned to mime all week when we would want to signal each other to go in the steam room or stay in a chair. The Serenity room has 1 small unisex steam room. There are 2 curved benches. 1 bench can seat approx 4 people and the other can seat 2. Very inadequate for a ship of this size. My gym at home had a much nicer and larger steam room. The floor of the steam room had some sort of debris floating around the fist day which didn't help my opinion. There is another tiled room entitled the Aromotherapy room. Guess what? No aroma at all. Not sure what it was for. So for $205.85 for a couple, you have access to a quiet room, a small steam room and heated chairs. Should this really be an extra charge? Mens/Women's Shower/Locker Rooms. We visted the gym everyday bringing a change of clothes, etc. The ship does not supply flip flops or slippers whether you are having a "treatment" or not. So while there is Purell being pushed on you wherever you go, there is no attempt to curb spreading foot fungus in the steam room and other shared areas. There is also no complimentary razors or products as you will find in most Spa changing rooms. There is the usual dispenser in the showers with shampoo, body cleanser and conditioner, but again nothing special. 3 out of the 7 days I visited, they did not have lockers available so had no choice but to lug my bag with me into the gym or choose to leave it on the floor in the changing room. Cabin. The cabin was nicely designed and the bathroom larger than on the Epic. We had a balcony out the back of the ship which was very nice. The bed was extremely comfortable with very nice linens and the room was pretty much soundproof. We slept well. Definitely alot less storage than the cabin on the Epic. One set of small drawers. 2 overhead bins above the bed and a closet. The Room Stewards were very nice and the upkeep of the room impeccable. Surprisingly, on the Epic our bathroom smelled so bad of urine I had to ask them twice to please do something about it and they were very lax about replacing supplies (we had to call for toilet paper) so Celebrity cabin stewards were more on the ball than NCL. Room Service. We enjoyed ordering room service directly from our TV. It was very nice to have breakfast in bed and/or on the balcony. One word of warning, pay attention to quanties when ordering. For instance, select Egg, Select Quantity (we choose 4 for 2 eggs each) and we received 8 eggs not realizing, "Egg" is actually 2 Eggs. It was very confusing. It seemed on some days, the eggs automatically came with Bacon and Sausage but we would also have 2 more sets of Bacon and Sausage in separate plates. Quite embarrassing to have the Room Steward cart in 12 plates for just 2 people! Room Service was great. Dress Code. I don't know how I missed this but I didn't know about the formal dress code and we didn't pack anything dressy so we pretty much were left to eat in the Cafe (buffet) for almost all of our meals. 1st night was Cocktail Attire, 2nd Night Formal Attire, 3rd & 4th nights were "Smart Casual" which I would say is similar to business casual, then back to formal attire... I understand the majority want to glam it up but personally I prefer a look that is more neat and casual. Unfortunately, we didn't go to any restaurants because I felt underdressed. We met other cruisers who told us not to let that us stop us from going but the reality is that I go to fancy dinners all dressed up for my job and it's not necessarily what I want to do on vacation. Also, I don't remember this coming up on other cruises but apparently no irons are allowed on board and if you want something pressed, you must pay for pressing which is fine but you need to plan ahead, if you want it back before 24 hours, it is double the price. We tended to wear clothes that were the least wrinkled rather than deal with sending clothes out for pressing. There was one day in the Celebrity Daily news where they offered a Laundry Challenge, stuff 1 laundry bag with as much as you can fit for $40. This was a good deal and it was nice to not have as much dirty laundry to bring back with us. Cafe Buffet. I'm not a food snob but have to say the buffet was blah, mediocre at best. Same food every single day. There were a few Indian selections, your typical Pasta offerings, 1 carving station and a large salad bar with very wilted, sad and dried out looking cukes, tomatoes, etc. It was okay and edible but nothing special. Soda is not included. Coke, Diet Coke, etc. is $2.00 per can plus automatic gratuity. 1 Liter of Evian $4.00 + 15% auto gratuity. 15% auto gratuity is added to everything. If you drink 1 bottle of water out of your cabin fridge, you are still paying the 15% gratuity. We would have loved to have a casual eating option such as a Sports Bar (Epic had a great Sports bar with Darts, Pool Tables, etc.) with ice cold mugs and draft beer that my husband really enjoyed. One night in the casino, there were throngs of people surrounding a tiny television where a game was on. It would have been nice to have a casual grill/pub style restaurant with appetizers, etc. Deck/Pool Area. It was a challenge to find 2 chairs together in sun no matter what time you went outside however, it was easier than on the Epic. The Pool Butlers were very good about removing towels from chairs that appear to have been held or abandoned so while we had to canvas 2 decks searching for chairs, it wouldn't be long before we would find some. We thought the grass area would have been better used for chair space than for the lawn area. Entertainment. We enjoyed New Year's Eve out on deck with singing and dancing entertainment. We particularly liked the acapella boy band. We didn't go to any of the shows because we just didn't see anything that looked interesting or anything we haven't already seen elsewhere. Can't comment too much there. Ports. We arrived late in the day for San Juan, PR. We spent some time in the casino there. After we each lost about $250 each, my husband went to use the Restroom and was turned away because he did not have a casino card! He thought there was a misunderstanding and explained we had just spent $500 in the casino and should be allowed to use the rest room. He was told that did not matter, go get a casino card and we'll let you in. He was forced to go next door to Senior Frog's to use the bathroom. We spent some time in the Old Harbor Brewery and met some super nice locals, my husband had his icy cold draft and I was able to get a nice grilled chicken salad and the best margarita I've ever had. This made up for the casino. St. Martin. 2nd time to St. Martin, same old chaos trying to get transportation to the beaches. Lots of yelling and fighting between the taxis and the people coordinating passengers. We chose to go back to a Marriott Resort where we spent the day on the beach last visit with rented chairs and an umbrella and beach bar nearby for cold ones and frozen drinks. Very nice. St. Kitts. Loved the little monkeys we saw everywhere. We went to Frigate Bay and again rented chairs and an umbrella. Beautiful beach day and area. One caveat was the price for food, 1 burger with fries was exactly $21.00 and it was no special burger either. Disembarkment We chose the Express option where you get off the ship with your bags. This means you must report to the Theater at 6:30am. We were off the ship in 2 minutes and at Miami Airport around 7:15am. While all in all, we had a terrific vacation, I would go back to NCL next time only because of the Freestyle dining and cruising style. Not to mention the Spa on the NCL Epic was incredible with huge hottubs and hot/cold baths, Steam room, saunas, etc. Hope this review helps!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We were quite apprehensive booking a cruise: our usual mode of travel is to pack light, head to Europe, rent a car and see where the wind takes us. For several years we've listened to (dedicated cruiser) friends talk about how much ... Read More
We were quite apprehensive booking a cruise: our usual mode of travel is to pack light, head to Europe, rent a car and see where the wind takes us. For several years we've listened to (dedicated cruiser) friends talk about how much they love it, but we always felt it probably wouldn't be for us. How wrong we were! When holiday plans in the Yucatan with other friends fell through last July, we went back to the drawing board. We considered everything under the sun - a cold-weather city break in Europe, eco-lodging in Costa Rica or Panama, a quick zip across the Pacific to Hong Kong or Singapore, or South Africa. And the cruise. Putting all the pieces together, the cruise just made the most sense at the time, and more than once we said to one another and to our friends, "well, if we don't like it, we can survive anything for a week, and the weather's practically guaranteed to be good." Amex in hand, we booked it. Went for Aqua Class on the advice of the travel agent at American Express (who, when she learned this was our first cruise, said, "You're setting the bar awfully high") and we were glad we did. Flew down to Miami a full day in advance, cashed some points and bunked into the Conrad. Rental car from the downtown Hertz location, and we took off exploring Miami for a day and a half. Two quick plugs -- had lunch at the Segafredo cafe at Bal Harbor Shops (we always seek out Segafredo cafes in Europe, and this one didn't disappoint), and dinner at Jaguar in Coconut Grove. Both were great. Breakfast at the Conrad in the morning, then an hour walk on the beach, return car, and off we go on the grand adventure. Relatively quick check in (about 1:30 pm - could have gone earlier, we now know), and met the couple in line in front of us. They made the vacation! We ended up having dinner together twice on board, in San Juan on that shore day, and hanging by the pool as well. Attended the Connections event and met another great couple and a family of four - we became a little group throughout the cruise. And it was a great time. The dining in Blu made a big difference we think. The food was good, but the atmosphere really made it. Only figured out that they served breakfast on day 4, so missed that the first half of the cruise. Did specialty dining in Tuscan Grille and Murano. Both were good - not spectacular, but definitely passble. the night we ate in Murano, there was a loud band playing in the bar outside, and the music clashed notably with the background music being played in the restaurant. It detracted from the experience, but wasn't a total killer to the experience. Great wine list at Murano, BTW. Also enjoyed the Aqua Spa cafe. Nice healthy alternatives. I actually lost weight on the cruise! Did our own thing on the port days. Nothing pre-planned. We think we missed something in Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. it was fine, but not the destination we expected. Really glad we went to St. John on the St. Thomas stop. it was beautiful. There was a real rush for the chairs at the pool -- descending into what I dubbed "Chairgate" when one woman sought the intervention of three personnel. A very loud argument ensued - which made many people uncomfortable. One morning I arose before 6 am -- and was able to get the last of the beds for two by the pool, and a few chairs for the rest of our crew. Also, the poolside crew didn't enforce the adult pool occupancy rules - and when pressed on the topic, said that it was because of the number of children on the vessel. While we love children, it would have been nice to have had the rules enforced. We wanted to use the spa, but essentially couldn't because it was occupied by groups of young people who occupied it from 10 am and didn't get out til the end of the day. The entertainment was decent -- a bit on the cheesy side, and as we seemed to be at the end of a contract period, some of the singers were exhibiting audible vocal fatigue. Also, found it quite odd that the string trio would be playing selections from the movie Titanic -- or is that some inside joke that I'm not in on? FInal analysis: I've never been more relaxed in my life. We've booked a short 5-day'er at the beginning of April - not S class ship, so we'll be in C1, (or is it C3 -- highest Concierge Class) and we'll be looking forward to trying cruising without the benefits of AQ. Will be interesting to see how the impact of Blu, etc, will be on our experience. But we're hooked. See you on the seas! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
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
5 of us (all sister and brothers-in-law) spent 2 weeks on Christmas cruise. We enjoyed it and would recommend the ship but not for Christmas, as it was very limited in Christmas spirit. The ship was lovely - nice public areas, lovely ... Read More
5 of us (all sister and brothers-in-law) spent 2 weeks on Christmas cruise. We enjoyed it and would recommend the ship but not for Christmas, as it was very limited in Christmas spirit. The ship was lovely - nice public areas, lovely spacious stateroom. We had a balcony with obstructed view which reduced the cost and I would strongly recommend. The view was good - the only restriction is that you cannot see straight down into the water but that was little or no limitation bearing in mind that it was much cheaper!! The staff were the highlight of the cruise, friendly and efficient and helpful. Not just your cabin attendants were friendly but everyone - every member of staff you encountered or just passed in the corridors smiled and greeted you. Any small issues (and very few of those) were handled quickly and efficiently. We sat at the same table every day (although we used Select Dining) and the 2 waiters and wine waiter were superb - funny, friendly, and did their jobs excellently. Food was mixed - excellent in Oceanside buffet restaurant which was the best buffet eating area I have seen on any ship, with great food and good layout so few lines developed. Mixed in Moonlight Sonata main restaurant - some food very good, some good but not as described in menu, and some poor offerings - eg cheesecake which I literally had to spit out!! Steaks uniformly excellent. Enrichment excellent - great talks by 2 external speakers - one series about science (speaker was excellent) and one about geology. Also great talks by crew about navigation, engineering, and environment - they made the subjects very interesting. The main downsides were :- Sell, sell, sell !!!! - we always felt as if the staff were on commission - trying to sell you drinks, trips, spa treatments, items in the shops - it felt like a very hard sell operation which was tiring Christmas spirit - very little. There were nice decorations in the foyer and there was a Catholic priest who gave wonderful masses, particularly Midnight Mass on Christmas Day. But that was it!! No decorations on your tables, nothing to mark out Christmas Day except a carol concert which lasted precisely 7 minutes - enough time for 4 short carols. Also, a carol concert on Christmas Eve in the Grand Foyer which was absolutely packed (showing that there was a demand for such a thing!). It lasted 15-20 minutes!!!! Embarkation was well organised but desperately slow. However, that was great compared to the slow, disorganised chaos which was disembarkation - 30 minute delay in leaving ship followed by ages standing in line with no explanation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
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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