1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Eclipse Review
  5. Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Reviews

11 Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin ... Read More
We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin passengers. The room is smaller than the main dining room, service top notch and I think the food is prepared in a different kitchen. We generally had breakfast there as well, fresh orange juice, yum..and Nice and quiet. I used the Persian Gardens almost daily, nice heated beds, steam and sauna looking out over the ocean, and the other perk is the shower in our cabin that had jets of water for the body and overhead. We did have lunch in the buffet. Because Blu was so good, we did not feel like we needed go to any of the private, extra charge dining rooms. Our friends, on the other hand, did not see the value. They said they are not foodies, don't care where they eat as "food is food" and there is plenty everywhere. They used the Persian Garden only once. And the third couple loved Blu and never used the Persian Garden. So, everyone is different. The ship itself was kept very clean. We were in the casino a few evenings and it was quite busy. The shows were hit and miss. The entertainment we enjoyed were In the Skydeck at 10 p.m. Almost nightly. Live Music, a bit of a show by the dancers, and the guests joining in, or just watching. The gym is large and very busy in the morning. More equipment available later. New Years Eve was magical, dancing and singing out on the deck with at least 1200 people on a warm Caribbean night under the stars. The band played for all age groups. Only minor issues were: Disembarkation was very, very slow getting through customs. I think it was because it was New Year's Day and they were short staffed. Chairs on the deck at the pool was a challenge ...people 'saved' seats by putting down towels and books, then left,..and lots of times those spots were vacant for hours. Not a great system. All in all, we complained that we had nothing to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I will start on a positive as we have cruised on the Eclipse four times now. As usual the staff really made the cruise as they are so gracious, interesting and hepful. Also the cleaniness of the whole ship was good. The ports were as good ... Read More
I will start on a positive as we have cruised on the Eclipse four times now. As usual the staff really made the cruise as they are so gracious, interesting and hepful. Also the cleaniness of the whole ship was good. The ports were as good as usual with no delays despite turning back to Curacao due to a medical emergency. The proceedure on and off the ship was efficient. We feel like many others that the cutbacks on the ship made our experience quite different. We tried for the first time the choice to dine when you wanted to and found the experience better than we anticipated. It avoided the rush to get ready for early dining as the other is too late due to a gasterol illness. There was no wait and we had the joy of meeting different people each evening. Also meant that it avoided sometimes sitting on an empty table. Like many others we did enjoy the food but somehow was not so special as often delays and feeling that the staff were too few. We actually ate in the buffet one night for the first time ever in the evening. Obviously the dress code has dropped very significantly which is a shame. The brunch is no longer in the Sonata and is now in the Ocean View Buffet Restaurant and was a shambles. There was nowhere to sit as full and when you did find a table to share all the dirty plates were still there so had to take to plate station so could set down own food. We loved the food and ice sculptures in the old brunch set up! Please bring it back. Also when asked whether everything was satisfactory we said the new tea bags were terrible as even with two there was no flavour. Three people took our Cabin No. and no-one came back. One gentleman working in Murano Restaurant high up said he would get loose tea and pot to us. We were so grateful but nothing. Would this have happened in days gone by - no never. We went to Sales Office to set up a forward passage but are home now and still heard nothing despite filling in form etc. on chasing it up on ship were told they had a pile to work through. Guess it is not going to materialise now! We probably will not go with Celebrity again despite Elite Status after seven cruises with them as wondering if it is worth the premium.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We are a couple from the UK in our early fifties. We absolutely love cruising and have mostly been on various Royal Caribbean ships. So as this cruise covered New Year, we thought we would " trade up " and although it was ... Read More
We are a couple from the UK in our early fifties. We absolutely love cruising and have mostly been on various Royal Caribbean ships. So as this cruise covered New Year, we thought we would " trade up " and although it was expensive, we thought it would be worth it to enjoy the 5 star treatment Celebrity promised. Oh Dear ! I really don't want to write a moaning, negative review but Celebrity failed on so many areas and I think it is only right to point out what we experienced so that other guests will know what to expect. We flew British Airways from the UK to Miami. It took 3 hours to get through immigration and out to the bus. Brits please note , it's better to fly into Fort Lauderdale. They are much quicker. Pre night cruise was the FLL Hilton Marina. Room was clean and comfy. They stiffed you a bit on the price of their breakfast. Embarkation on cruise day was like any other. A big queue but what do you expect when there's 3,000 passengers. The ship is beautiful, of that there is no doubt. Furnishings are very plush and we had no problems ever getting loungers etc. Yes, people do leave towels on loungers all day but that happens on all cruise ships. My first gripe is the crew. They just didn't seem interested. Don't they realise it's us customers that keep them employed ? Bar staff, waiters, cabin attendants, guest relations all made us feel as if we were getting in their way. Don't get me wrong , I'm not into having long , meaningless conversations with crew but a simple Hello or the odd smile wouldn't hurt. The crew on royal Caribbean ships were much more friendlier and interactive and this is the same company. So what's gone wrong on Celebrity which they say is their premium cruise line ? - I don't know but the difference was extremely noticeable. Second gripe is the food. We enjoyed excellent food on Royal Caribbean so we were really looking forward to Celebrity cuisine. What a disappointment. Main dining room food was cold, very small portions and took way too long to be served. One hour wait between soup and main course is appalling. No point complaining as all you got was a blank stare. Food in the buffet was more akin to a works canteen. Someone should tell the chef that custard can be accompanied by more than just Bread and butter pudding. We didn't use the specialty ( or fee paying ) restaurants and from what I saw, not a lot of other people used them either The Cruise director was Patti Honacki, a celebrity wannabee who thinks her role is to appear once a day on the TV to tell us how wonderful she is, what bit parts she has had in films and to advertise the specialty restaurants, spa and other fee paying stuff. Absolutely no interaction with passengers.She should take lessons from Richard Spacey or Joff Eaton to see how it is done. Theatre entertainment was a bit naff. More akin to what you would get at a Butlins holiday camp. On board activities seemed to be limited to Trivia challenges and Zumba. For what we paid I expected a bit more imagination than that There is a large lawn area on the top deck and it is a complete waste of space. Especially when there are " Keep off the Grass " signs all over. I found that ironically amusing. A word of warning, check your stateroom account daily. We had shore excursions, champagne and specialty restaurants all charged to our stateroom account. Problem was we hadn't done any of those. We wasted valuable time trying to convince the uninterested guest relations people that they had made these mistakes. And also, even if you haven't opted to pre-pay gratuities, they still add them to your stateroom account. You have to go to guest services and stand in a queue to sign a waiver if you want to give your tips in cash. This is a terrible way to treat customers. Anyone who saw the Channel 4 Dispatches programme will know this in the only way to ensure that your tips get to the people you want as Celebrity use pre-paid gratuities to make up the crews basic wage I won't go into details about the ports - It's the Caribbean - you know what to expect. However I would advise avoiding Celebrity's excursions as they are very expensive. So to summarise - a comfortable ship but staffed by a crowd who don't seem to realise why they are there. I will not use Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Since we live in the northeast we decided to fly to FLL. We made all the arrangements for air travel and airport-to-ship through Celebrity. Air travel was great, right on time. The bus to the ship was as if they never did this before. ... Read More
Since we live in the northeast we decided to fly to FLL. We made all the arrangements for air travel and airport-to-ship through Celebrity. Air travel was great, right on time. The bus to the ship was as if they never did this before. After meeting with the cruise ship rep, we were all herded out to the sidewalk to wait for the bus. The noise and the fumes were awful! After standing around for 30 minutes, I asked one of the uniformed people what the hold-up was. It looked like a Keystone Kops routine. Many uniformed Celebrity people with radios, but no information other than "We are waiting for a bus." Thirty more minutes pass and we're still standing around waiting for a bus. All the people waiting are starting to get annoyed. I finally asked one of the reps who looked like he was trying to figure out what to do, "What is the problem?" He told me that they needed a "kneeling" bus for a wheelchair-bound person in our group. I suggested that he provide a cab for her and let the rest of the group use the bus that was already there. Now, an hour and a half into the mission, we board the bus and leave for the pier. The ship is beautiful, the staff wonderful, the food mostly good. I loved the Corning Museum hot glass show and watched it many times. The 2 enrichment speakers were excellent, and trivia and other games were a hoot, thanks to Michael and his staff. Christmas decorations were already in place when we boarded and were nice, but nothing special was done for Christmas day. The shows were top-notch, especially the magician and the final, Cirque-type show. We enjoyed one meal in Qsine and, with a couple of exceptions, had great food and terrific service in Blu. The room, although beautiful, had limited storage compared to what we found on the Enchantment of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). Now, here's the rub: the disembarkation was a disaster, at least for those of us who disembarked early, carrying our own bags. The problem seemed to be that the same elevator bank served the departing guests and the guests who were going to and from the Oceanview Cafe, resulting in jammed elevators and waits of more than 30 minutes before people could enter an elevator with their bags. I never did get on an elevator; after waiting futilely for more than 30 minutes, some of us carried our bags down from the 11th deck. We have cruised several times on the Enchantment and never had this problem, possibly because breakfast was available at the front of the ship, and the disembarkation point was in the stern. In any case, it was inexcusable for the cruise line to allow such chaos and discomfort to reign on the last day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
As Constellation has been relegated to shorter cruise lengths the Eclipse has taken over our favourite two week itinery. It is a beautiful ship with stunning designs but it lacks the ambiance and friendliness of Millennium class vessels ... Read More
As Constellation has been relegated to shorter cruise lengths the Eclipse has taken over our favourite two week itinery. It is a beautiful ship with stunning designs but it lacks the ambiance and friendliness of Millennium class vessels with an emphasis on selling extras. We were "Select" diners and on the first night we had booked for 8.15pm but couldn't be seated for another 30 minutes. However, every othernight we went to the other side and Andrea always found us a table (served by Guisti & Bilyana) no matter when we turned up and we always seemed to be around the same friendly diners too. Cabin was good - bigger shower is definately a plus but storage space has been slightly sacrificed for floor space. Entertainment was good/poor depending on your taste.Production shows were excellent, Guest Entertainers were of a poor standard and I'll be diplomatic to say that Cruise Director Patti has been given a bad hand to play with. Either that or her lack of appearances around ship was not out of embarrassment. Ships Officers were also not as friendly as on other cruises. Embarkation was quick/Disembarkation was slow Connie had a regular clientele and last year they were bemoaning the ship being replaced on his route. I didn't come across anything to change that view. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Pre Cruise Stay: Since we decided to unwind a few days before we were to board ship we looked for a nice Hotel in Fort Lauderdale- preferably close, or at the Beach. We choose the " W -- Hotel- " Fort Lauderdale. After a ... Read More
Pre Cruise Stay: Since we decided to unwind a few days before we were to board ship we looked for a nice Hotel in Fort Lauderdale- preferably close, or at the Beach. We choose the " W -- Hotel- " Fort Lauderdale. After a little searching we arrived there in our rented car! Right from the start we were very satisfied with their service. We just drove in , stopped the car and were taken care of by a friendly staff member who parked our car- since no one is to park his own car there, they took care of the luggage , which we saw again in our room. We were escorted to a nice , if a trifle dark Lobby were check in was a breeze! The Hotel itself is very modern, " cool" and vibrant -- HIP as they call that these days! We got a nice room with a spectacular view over Fort Lauderdale- including the port ( very important- for me) Since the Hotel has two towers- finding ones way is a bit confusion in the first- but one get's used to it soon. We really enjoyed our stay, the weather was perfect so we could enjoy their " cool" ( literally speaking- since the water was very, very cold) pool area! Dinner and breakfast were excellent -- if a bit pricy, with outstanding service! Would I recommend the " W " -- well yes- ideal if you look for a modern and, as mentioned, vibrant lively hotel. Nice experience but we would choose a more " conservative" kind of Hotel next time! Anyway since we were booked on a Solstice Class ship- Eclipse to be precise- the Hotel was a perfect match- since they are very similar in style and surroundings. The Cruise: We sailed on board Solstice Class ships before, so we knew what to expect. Embarkation was swift and soon were on board and greeted with usual " champagne" ! From former experiences we knew the cabins would not be ready before 1 pm, so we decided to have a little lunch before! Bistro on Five was packed so we went up to Buffet! As always a nice selection and something for everyone's taste. We booked one of these " most wanted" hump- cabins we had a nice and large balcony- Deck nine! We booked this cruise whilst on board the Constellation more than a year before so the cabin selection were still great back then. We made our pick from the Elite- member booklet- for us , it was the free Internet package and the laundry coupons- the rest- well it is buy something and get a little something extra! Nice perks for Elite members are the complimentary drinks in the special selected lounge every evening-and the nice -- if only continental breakfast in Tuscany Grill- stunning view's included! The later comes in handy on Debarkation day- where one can sit and have drinks an little snacks while waiting for ones number to be called! The Eclipse is- as all Solstice Class ships, a stunning and elegant ship. I mentioned it in my former reviews and will do so again- X- ships are exceptionally clean and well taken care of! The food was very good- I don't know but for us we thought the food on our previous cruises with X a bit better- but still- very good! Service in the main dining room was good- NOT EXCELLENT- where they constantly remind us to put the cross in the comment card. The first evening we arrived at table mentioned on our card and were politely asked if we would agree to change tables , since a family would love to sit together. We were traveling with our friends from germany, who live very fare from us . Therefore we asked for a table for four right from the early stages of booking. Naturally we agreed and so ended up on a table with eight people. Since we especially looked forward to nice chats during our dinner and due to four more people at our table we were almost unable to do so. As nice as the people at our big table were we asked the Maitre'd to change tables for us! He did so and we got our table for four! During the cruise it got to our knowledge that the " family" for which we made room in fact where total strangers- so THAT family -- thing was an outright lie! Not very nice! The new slogan with what X s advertises is called " Modern Luxury" -- well it seems that includes loud music all over the ship. " Hip and modern" background music almost in every lounge and every nook and corner! Very difficult to find a nice quite spot to read ones books! If anyone is looking for them- they are there sure- but hardly so- one is the Solstice Deck- the other in the very front of the ship up on the uppermost decks! The promenade deck is pretty useless for that purpose- or maybe you like to look at nice orange life boats! I understand X want's to attract a younger bunch of cruisers as well so they seem to have turned the music up as soon as the early seating diners leave their cabins, dressed for the night! The live band who performs on deck 3 can be heard all over the atrium, that and the overly loud music in the Martini Bar ( a " nice" mix by the way) makes it impossible to have a nice chat whilst enjoying a Drink in the otherwise wonderful Martini Bar! We had dinner in two of the ships Specialty Restaurants- one in Murano's and the other in Tuscan Grill. Well, the food in both of them were outstanding good and well worth the extra cost. However we were absolutely not impressed with the Service in Murano's -- it started " HIGH UP- with much blah blah- from then on in went downhill - no coffee or tea afterwards ( we were not even asked) and we had to call the waiter over twice in order to get our checks! Totally different in Tuscan Grill- besides we like the nice views and atmosphere there much more! Solstice Class ships compared with the Millenium Class of ships have a few design flaws -- well that of course is my/our opinion! I already mentioned it- there is no proper promenade deck, just very limited under the hump and up front at the Bow! To less elevators for ship that size an passengers carried- waiting for an elevator, not even at peak times can be a very long wait ( not that big a problem for me - since where I go, my e-book goes LOL) The Lawn Club is a nice alternative- and one which I used on former cruises with X 's S -- Class ships. This time the background music was just to loud to sit , read and enjoy! After the first week my better half fell ill with high temperature and all the symptoms of the influenza -- none of the pills we brought seemed to help so I insisted on going to the medical facilities on board! They were very friendly helpful and professional - the doctor diagnosed pneumonia in the early stages. They handled it well and it got better after only three days! We were surprised to see that so many people fell ill- the place was packed every time we went there for treatments. At almost every port the paramedics showed up at the pier and carried one or two ill passengers away. We were told they had to leave the ship because the ship could not handle their illness! So sad to watch and how easy it could have happen to us! The cost for the medical facilities and treatments - very pricy indeed, was covered through our Credit Card, otherwise I highly recommend travel insurance. There is so much reported already about the ports of call, which included, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin, St. Lucia, Bonaire and the private beach of X, Labadee - in Haiti and I can't add anything new there, I won't go into the port of calls any further! We booked the non alcoholic package -- which suits as nicely and is quite enough! They advertise those packages like crazy. Petty obviously some bar tenders or waiters seem not quite happy with them. Some of them were downright rude! Especially in the Casual Dining Area, called " little all Baccio! One example: one the very last day I asked for a glass of orange juice for breakfast and was told on Debarkation Day there is no orange juice available, not a problem -- I have no idea why - but be it! Just when I left I saw that he put the bottle of orange juice- full to the brim- out of his fridge! That was the icing of the cake! I made sure to write in the comment card- even if it is no big avail- they should be aware of it anyway! The celebrations for the New Year were great and held on the pool deck, they did a great job in bringing us in a good and mood and high spirits into the New Year. To the point and the ships whistle at the turn of the year rain set in- that only could mean luck! Debarkation was a smooth affaire since we made use of the Elite -- Waiting Lounge- Tuscan Grill! We booked the transport to the airport via Celebrity, to avoid long taxi cab lines. Well when we arrived at the bus it all got very unorganized and chaotic! Rude and unnerved bus drivers shouting at each other ( and some not so patient passengers as it is) -- in other words a real zoo! They made us wait in order to get our luggage into the bus in the order to the chosen airline- very well thought and good thought out! When we arrived at the airport we all had to leave to bus at THE first entrance of the building- we were told " every airline counter is nearby so we should all get off now" -- who is familiar with Miami International know THAT THIS ABSOLUTLEY NOT THE CASE! So why putting the luggage in such an orderly fashion into bus in the first place??? It has a been a great cruise with a few issues- but nothing that could spoil our cruise. We just came to the conclusion that the next cruise with Celebrity has to be on one of their Millenium Class ships since they suit us more in size and design. In cruising with Celebrity you get a lot for the money you spend! Michael February 2013 Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I've noted previous reviews on here that list a range of complaints and frankly I just don't understand what anyone has to complain about. This is my third Celebrity Cruise and I was a little worried after reading some reviews ... Read More
I've noted previous reviews on here that list a range of complaints and frankly I just don't understand what anyone has to complain about. This is my third Celebrity Cruise and I was a little worried after reading some reviews that suggested things were slipping in relation to food on Celebrity. I had nothing to worry about. The food on my 14 night Holiday cruise was outstanding! The best of any of my previous cruises which had already impressed me. The Main Dining room was so good. I chose Celebrity select and enjoyed the flexibility this provided. No wait for a table ever. Always seated at table for two as requested. Service was consistently outstanding, friendly and attentive even with different waiters. Food quality was outstanding every night, plenty of variety and I was always impressed what was achieved considering they are trying to mass produce for several thousand people a night. The baked french onion soup is the most delicious version of this soup I have ever tasted. Food quality in the buffet Oceanview Cafe was also consistently high with plenty of cooked to order stations keeping everything fresh and hot. The curry station was excellent. I think i had curry at nearly every lunch and was delicious. I noted several people commenting on the quality and authenticity. Everything was kept well stocked and turned over. I ate at Tuscan Grille and Qsine. Both of which were terrific. Tuscan more for the service and atmosphere as I did not see all that much difference in food quality over the Main Dining. Qsine is super fun and has so much variety but you really need an appetite. The christmas atmosphere was terrific complete with a transformation of the foyer staircase into a winter wonderland ginger bread house display and a truly impressive Christmas day brunch in the Main Dining which was stunning. The ship was kept so spotless and clean it was always impressive as to how much care was taken to keep the ship looking brilliant. So many great activities on board to suit every persons tastes and interests. Entertainment was fantastic all over the ship with the exception of the Male barbershop quartet who I thought were abysmal, thankfully they did not really feature and were easily avoided. The ports were all interesting and quite different. My favourite being St Maarten and Barbados. I could have passed on Grenada which I thought was not as good as the other ports by far. The crew, waiters, bar staff and activity staff were all helpful and genuine. Beautiful food, beautiful ship, amazing vacation. So hard to come home! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
About us: We are in our 50's and both retired. This was our 10th Cruise and our first Celebrity Cruise. Arriving: We flew in from Atlanta, GA and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express that was about ½ mile away from the port. We ... Read More
About us: We are in our 50's and both retired. This was our 10th Cruise and our first Celebrity Cruise. Arriving: We flew in from Atlanta, GA and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express that was about ½ mile away from the port. We considered walking over to our ship, but were told that our ship could be up to 2 miles away from the port entrance so we went with Holiday Inns bus service. I think it was $10 each, but I do know within 5 minutes of purchasing the tickets someone convinced me that we should have took a cab telling us "It would cost about ½ of what your paid". So it goes. We arrived at the port about 11:15 am and the boarding process took 45 minutes. Was the slowest check we encountered in our cruise history, no problem since we had 14 days onboard? The ship: From the moment we first stepped on the ship we were simply amazed, The Eclipse is such beautiful ship. It was decorated for the holiday's which added a nice touch. It has a very nice layout and easy to navigate. The person per public space is low compared to the other lines we sailed on, so even thought there were around 2800+ passengers sailing we never felt crowded. It didn't take long for us to realized this was the nicest ship we ever been on. We stayed in cabin 7290 which is a on the starboard side. It is a hump cabin and our room stewardess told us the balcony was about 50% bigger than the standard balcony. We were able to fit our huge suitcases under the bed and we had plenty of room for our clothes. It is real close to the elevators and was very quiet. Spent time on the balcony each night of the cruise. The gym was really quite large for the number of people that actually used it, so that was a nice change. On a number of ships we have been on there simply isn't enough equipment for the number of people. Food: We went to the MDR just about every night. We were seated with four other people who we developed a close bond with over the 14 days we were there. The food was excellent, the best we have had a sea, and the service was great. On RC we tend to be disappointed with the MDR for one reason or another and usually end of at the buffet so this was a nice change. Celebrity was really pushing the Specialty Restaurants. They had a guy greeting people after our dinner in the MDR. He had a signup sheet and if you seemed the least interested he would try to close the deal. We didn't do Any of the Specialty Restaurants but 3 of the people at our table went to the Tucson Grill and said it was excellent. We did the Ocean View for breakfast and lunch. Food was good there too. They had an Italian, Mexican and Indian section that I enjoyed. The coffee was excellent. Very strong, the way I like it. Entertainment: The entertainment in the Theatre was very good. We didn't go to a lot of the shows on this cruise but we caught most of the Celebrity Shows, the last one was a Cirque du Soleil type production which was excellent for a cruise ship. If you decide to see just one show I would recommend that. They also had different performers through out the ship that were pretty good. I really enjoyed the 3 violin players. I also went the Casio on most nights and yes they do have a few 1 cent machines so I was able to keep my losses to a minimum. Was nice to have a smokeless Casino. The prices for alcohol were reasonable $8.05 for a glass of wine with included tip. Disembarkation -- We walked right off the ship at 8:15 with no delays. We carried our luggage as we thought we could get an earlier flight home. They did run out of coffee in the Ocean View Cafe. I shared a table with 6 other people that last day and one person came back to the table and said "they are out of coffee" Since it was so early it didn't register and 5 minutes later I went to get some and they still didn't have any. That was a first. Other: Pool- nice added touch with the cushions on the lounge chairs. The wait staff will walk by once in awhile but not the constant "Can I get you a drink" that we see on Carnival and RC. This was also true with the photographers. Conclusion: We loved the Eclipse and first thing I did when we got home was book Celebrity Solstice for 8/2013 and Celebrity Equinox for 1/20/2014. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Since we live in the northeast we decided to fly to FLL. We made all the arrangements through Celebrity for the flying and ground transportation to the ship. The flights were fine, right on time both ways. When we arrived in FLL we found ... Read More
Since we live in the northeast we decided to fly to FLL. We made all the arrangements through Celebrity for the flying and ground transportation to the ship. The flights were fine, right on time both ways. When we arrived in FLL we found the Celebrity transfer agents in baggage claim. There was about 40 of us total to use the transfer bus to the pier. We were herded out to a far end of the baggage claim and then another bit of a walk to the bus area, all this dragging our bags. The agents seemed to be in a dither, running around and talking on their radios. Thirty minutes go by and there is no bus. I asked one of the agents about the hold-up and was told they were waiting for a bus. Another 30 minutes go by and still no bus. This time I found an agent that seemed to be in charge and asked what was going on. He told me they needed a special bus for a passenger in a wheelchair. I suggested he use a taxi for the one passenger that needed special care and not hold up the other 39 of us. After some more running around and talking on their radios, that is what they finally did. One hour and thirty minutes later we boarded a bus and headed to the pier. The ship was already decorated for Christmas - very pretty. Our room was a port side balcony and since we carried our own bags we were able to settle in right away. Others, it seems, did not receive their luggage until the next day. They had to go down to the baggage area in the ship and point out their luggage. It seems many of the tags were missing. Since we were Aqua Class, we dined almost every night in Blu restaurant. The service was good, the menu interesting, and with the exception of two nights, very good. We tried Qsine one night and had a fun time - too much food! I enjoyed the gelato on the 5th deck even though it was an extra charge. The entertainment shows were very good and there were always seats available whether we went early or late. Good magic show and super Cirque type show. My wife and I met many wonderful folks during the voyage and enjoyed playing the various trivia type games. Michael and Mickey were always able to make us laugh. I really enjoyed the Hot Glass show. The artists who made the various beautiful glass pieces were very good and made this one of my favorite places to visit. The two enrichment presenters were very good, but the area where the talks are presented was noisy and the projector was dim and washed out - too bad. We did not use any of the ship tours, but found our own way around. Getting off the ship was a nasty experience. Other ships we have sailed on had the food area in the bow. That left the mid-ship elevators less busy and made getting off the ship a non-event. This ship has the food area and the mid elevators in the same location. The passengers going for food conflicted with others trying to get off with luggage. After waiting for over twenty minutes most of us had to resort to the stairs - in our case 9 floors. Then all passengers had to walk a long way aft on the dock past the end of the ship and then the walkway turned to the left and we walked back again in the opposite direction to enter customs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Let me start with a little background to put this review into some perspective. This was our ninth cruise, our sixth with Celebrity but our first on an S-Class ship. Every cruise is special but we wanted something extra special to ... Read More
Let me start with a little background to put this review into some perspective. This was our ninth cruise, our sixth with Celebrity but our first on an S-Class ship. Every cruise is special but we wanted something extra special to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Before booking and even setting our budget, we researched every cruise line and every itinerary finally deciding that we would spend two weeks relaxing in the Caribbean on Constellation in one of her Penthouse Suites with the huge aft balcony over Christmas and the New Year. Of course, when details of the 2012/13 cruises were released for sale, Eclipse had replaced Constellation on this route and the holiday cruises were split. The best laid plans ... Pre-cruise The scheduling of this cruise immediately gave us logistical problems. We really wanted 3-days in port pre-cruise but that meant flying on Boxing Day [26th December] and travelling down to Heathrow on Christmas Day. Not something we thought it fair to ask our taxi company to do. We eventually decided on travelling down on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day in a Heathrow hotel. More research resulted in us selecting the Ambassador's Suite at the Marriott. The suite was definitely the right choice with a huge sitting/dining room and ample-sized bedroom with king-sized bed. It had 1½ baths, two wardrobes, a large desk area, two really comfy sofas and a dining table that could seat six people more than comfortably. Compared to what we would have paid for a standard room, the suite was excellent value. The service was quiet and efficient. Complimentary Internet access was provided for printing boarding passes. There were two issues which marred our stay a little but both were probably one-offs. Because it was Christmas, there was only one restaurant open serving a reduced menu plus a set three-course Christmas dinner. The food was mediocre at best. A bigger issue but not really anything the hotel could do much about was some of the other guests who were not only very obvious for the size of their group but whose behaviour was loud and unpleasant. There was no breakfast provided in the Executive Lounge but the other complimentary refreshments, including wine and beer, were and we especially enjoyed the cheese board after dinner. Our breakfast in the restaurant was complimentary. It was one of the most laid-back Christmases we have spent but enjoyable none the less. Our usual preference would be to book our flights [and pre-cruise hotels] through Celebrity but, by the time the flights came on sale, prices had risen so much that we would not be able to afford business class through Celebrity. In the end, we arranged our BA own flights. Apart from a delay of over an hour whilst we sat on board due to a problem with the hydraulics, the flight was very pleasant, the food surprisingly tasty and the cabin crew friendly. We made up much of the lost time at the start. However the biggest surprise was Miami airport. Our previous experiences there since 2009 have been more than unpleasant and, for different reasons, it has taken us between 2½ and 3½ hours to get through the system. Recent reports on Cruise Critic did not encourage us to believe there had been any improvement. However, the airport has not only clearly undergone a huge upgrade but we were actually made to feel welcome. Immigration and Customs were friendly without being unprofessional -- not quite up to the high standards of Philadelphia or even Las Vegas but no longer an airport we feel we want to avoid. One thing to note about Miami airport is that there is now a US$5 charge for a luggage trolley and you will need $1 or $5 to feed into the machine. The result of this is that available porters are now much more difficult to find. Our three days pre-cruise, booked through Celebrity, were at the Embassy Suites hotel in Fort Lauderdale. This is not the most luxurious of hotels but we like the space in the suites [especially useful for storing cruise luggage] and its location [close to a number of restaurants and shopping for everyday items and wine] but, most important, we are used to it and enjoy our stays there. This was our fifth time here. What we had forgotten is how friendly and efficient the hotel is. With the complimentary full breakfast and daily evening Manager's Happy Hour and suites equipped with microwave, fridge, coffee maker, iron & ironing board and hairdryer, and a lovely outdoor pool area we consider the hotel extremely good value. Embarkation For the first time, we decided to skip the Celebrity transfers and take a taxi to the ship in an attempt to avoid arriving with a crowd. In the event, we were persuaded at the hotel to take their shuttle but this still allowed us better control of our luggage. We arrived at the terminal about 11 o'clock and no queues but, once we had checked it, realised that we had not avoided the crowds. The ground floor waiting area was already full. We were directed upstairs to the suite waiting area but had hardly sat down when we were called for boarding, suite guests first. There had been some reports about problems with those who required assistance boarding but there was no sign of problems this time. The area for those requiring assistance was next to that for suites and they followed us boarding. However, there were only two people using mobility scoters and no wheelchair users. After some confusion, we discovered that we could use Michael's Club where we met the Captain's Club Hostess and there were light refreshments. We able to book a cabana on Labadee through the Concierge but little else because our butler arrived to take us to our suite long before the announcement that the staterooms were available. Having been told that our butler would be Luis, we were really surprised [and pleased] to meet Jose, our butler from our previous cruise on Infinity. To avoid confusion with another Jose, he was now known as Luis. Penthouse Suite The one word we both use to sum our suite now we have had time to reflect will probably be a surprise. It is not "large" nor "luxurious" but "comfortable". The suite is very large and really luxurious but, above everything, it was comfortable. We loved it! We had spent many hours studying photographs and videos on the Internet and these give a very good impression of what it is like. There were few surprises except for the lighting and the bed. It is very good lighting but there are 32 light switches [excluding any of the doors which turn on internal cupboard lights when opened] many of which are sophisticated combined on/off/dimmer switches. We never did completely master them! The huge king-sized bed was so comfortable! It was the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in by a very long way. Ship Even some of the critical reviews I have read about Eclipse describe her as stunningly beautiful but that description did nothing to prepare me for just how stunning and beautiful she is. There is something about her that is beyond her contemporary beauty and I was struggling to put what it was into words until Captain Manetas summed it up by saying that it was the German engineering. And he was right, it is all the small details such as the soft close drawers that make all the difference. One of the issues attracting a great deal of criticism before our cruise was the music throughout Eclipse -- not just the volume but also the type of music played. This certainly was not a problem on our cruise. There was loud, very modern music in the Martini Bar but, most of the time, it was difficult to hear the music there over the buzz of conversation or the music from the foyer. There was just one evening when the bar was unusually empty that the music was too loud. Elsewhere on the ship, there was different music in different areas and the musak piped into the hallways was at very low volume and varied from Christmas Carols to the Beatles. The only music we found objectionable was the guitar player. In the Sunset Bar for sail-away from Fort Lauderdale, not only was he far too loud but he was also very bad! Unfortunately, like a bad penny, he just kept turning up everywhere. Conversely, Twist of 8, the party band, on the Pool Deck on New Year's Eve played for something like 4 hours without a break and created the perfect party atmosphere. Dining Since 2009, we have chosen to eat only in the speciality restaurants but we did enjoy our one visit to Blu on our last cruise and hoped to be able to repeat that experience as well as having dinner served in our suite for the first time. Pre-cruise, we booked five nights in each of Murano [including our two complimentary meals] and the Tuscan Grille. [Our four visits to Qsine on our last cruise were probably enough for us.] Despite the rumours on Cruise Critic, we were able to book Murano for New Year's Eve in advance. As it was, we were invited to the Captain's Table for New Year's Eve, took part in the Chef's Table for another of our planned visits and organised a dinner in our suite for four Cruise Critic friends for a third. To make up for there were two lunches held in Murano -- an extra one because of New Year. We were disappointed on our first visit to find that they are no longer able to serve fois gras on board. The fois gras on Celebrity ships has always been the best we have found anywhere, including some of the top restaurants in Paris, and something we always look forward to. They have also discontinued my favourite desert, the Pear & Pineapple Napoleon -- this, apparently because it was not very popular! Having overcome these disappointments, we found the quality of the food in Murano outstanding even by comparison with its equivalents on the M-Class ships. The lobster was excellent every time we choose it. Conversely, although we still enjoyed our dinners in the Tuscan Grille, it did not come up to the high standards of Constellation in 2010. Personally, I found the Tuscan Onion Soup disappointingly thin and the Calamari nothing special. Both were firm favourites on Constellation. I had breakfast each morning in Blu but, despite hoping to go more often, we only managed to fit in one visit for dinner but we exceptionally lucky. The Chicken Consumee we had loved so much on Infinity last year was on the menu again this evening. We had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and my husband thought the New York Strip better in Blu than in the Tuscan Grille and the Main Dining Room on New Years Eve. We ate lunch most days in the Oceanview Cafe and much preferred the island layout over that on the M-Class ships. We were surprised to find that we did not miss the trays. The selection of food each day was excellent and varied. In particular, I found the choice of curries exceptionally good and my husband was impressed with the pies of which there was usually a choice of two types. The Caribbean Buffet provided on the second Sunday [a sea day] was really good and most enjoyable. Lee Goble, the new Executive Chef, even ensured that there were whole coconuts which were broken open after the coconut water had been drunk for the coconut jelly to be eaten. However, the dining highlights for us would have been the Chef's Table and the lunches in Murano had it not been for the meal provided when we entertained some Cruise Critic friends for dinner. Between them Chef Lee and Antal Puskas [Maitre d' of Murano] wanted to create something special for us and they excelled themselves with a four course buffet. Drinks Package For our last cruise, we purchased a Premium Alcohol Package each but we had a couple of problems for the package to be more convenient: we found the choice of wines by the glass not too our tastes even paying the supplement for those over $12/glass and had far too many problems being charged for drinks at Cafe al Bacio. We certainly did not get good value from the packages. Because of this, we initially decided not buy a package this time. In the end, we did buy the Premium Non-Alcohol Package still not expecting to save money. This worked for us this time and the only problem we had was trying to convince the bar staff in the Oceanview Cafe that Strongbow Cider is not a Soda and we should be paying for it! Captain's Club We have cruised with Elite status for some years now but have never attended the evening cocktail event. Although we really enjoyed the Elite breakfast in Michael's Club on our first cruise after it was introduced, since then all Captain's Club events have been far to crowded for us to enjoy them. When the Captain's Club Hostess informed us that there were 500 Elites on board we said that we would not be attending any of the Captain's Club events. We did receive three vouchers each for drinks on New Year's Eve when there was no Elite Cocktail Party but they were not accepted in the bar where we were meeting friends so we did not even use these. Entertainment We have never been to a show on a cruise and consider relaxing over a good meal our entertainment. We did make an exception to watch the Hot Glass Show and really enjoyed it, staying for the full two hours despite a very heavy rain shower. We were so pleased on the last day of the cruise to be lucky enough to buy, at auction, one of the piece we had seen made. Ports The rain plagued us in most of the ports. This was our first Caribbean cruise and, other than Labadee, we had not been to any of the ports before. We had few plans in advance because we are not beach people and, as I mentioned, it was our intention to simply relax. However, we did book two excursions pre-cruise. Some years ago, in Grand Cayman, we had taken a submarine tour but a recent hurricane had made the water cloudy. We decided to try again in Bridgetown. Although [perhaps surprisingly] Celebrity offered this excursion for less money than booking direct, we did book direct because they offered a special "VIP" package not available through Celebrity. This cost just US$40/head more than the standard tour and was well worth it because we got the best seats in the submarine, just behind the pilot. We had a great view through the front window as well as the sides. The VIP package also gave us exclusive use of the top deck of the tender boat to and from the submarine, priority boarding and disembarkation, canapes, fruit juices & wine, and a souvenir photograph. It was a far better experience than in Grand Cayman: the water was crystal clear, there were lots of fish to see and we went to a depth of 149 feet [as opposed to 100 feet]. We can highly recommend this tour in Bridgetown, with or without the VIP package. Despite having no experience, I have always wanted to ride a horse along a beach and booked the Celebrity tour to do this on Aruba. This turned out to be one of the many highlights of this cruise for me. Despite being a complete novice, I gained the satisfaction of learning how to control a [admittedly, beginner's] horse, Lulu. We had a fantastic ride over the rough terrain of the Arikok National Park to a small cove where, unfortunately, the heavens opened and we were soaked to the skin destroying the photo opportunity. However, that was the only negative aspect of the whole fantastic morning. Disembarkation and Journey Home Prior to the cruise, there were a number of reviews on Cruise Critic complaining about the distance people were required to walk on disembarkation. As my husband has difficulties walking long distances [and because of our experience of how his need to stop for rests caused obstructions to others disembarking in Hong Kong in similar circumstances], we arranged for him to have wheelchair assistance. Everything went very smoothly and the only negative was the extremely long queue for taxis. Celebrity had actively discouraged guests from relying on this method of transport and cannot, therefore, be blamed for something outside their control. The taxi queue was well controlled and we probably did not wait longer than the other option we had considered. We had pre-booked a day-room at the Miami airport Sofitel hotel where we had a lovely lunch outside enjoying the last of the Florida sun. I am not sure if we really got value for money as we spent very little time in our room before catching the hotel shuttle to the terminal but it was nice to have somewhere to sort out the luggage and relaxing for the short time we had. We had another delay after boarding -- this time because a passenger had been taken ill and her luggage needed to be removed from the plane. Again we were about an hour late in taking off and made up no time on the journey. Arriving at Heathrow, we waited about 45 minutes for a gate to be made available for us but at least the snow had not started, yet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We started our month long vacation from Virginia on December 19, 2012. We drove to Florida and spend a week at a time share resort with family in Orlando, FL. We drove to Fort Lauderdale the day before sailing and stayed at a Holiday Inn ... Read More
We started our month long vacation from Virginia on December 19, 2012. We drove to Florida and spend a week at a time share resort with family in Orlando, FL. We drove to Fort Lauderdale the day before sailing and stayed at a Holiday Inn hotel that provided 14 nights of parking free. We took the shuttle to the ship and boarded the fastest we have ever been able to board. Since we had already sailed on Solstice and Silhouette we were able to recognize most of the ships venues immediately. This was a bump out veranda and was located mid ship which we prefer. The two weeks flew by and was over all too soon. Thank goodness we had booked a 7 day cruise on the new sister ship Reflection that was leaving Miami just hours after the Eclipse cruise was over in Fort Lauderdale. I must say that the reviews that been posted by Eclipse guests are NOT indicative of the cruise experience we had. Compared to the other 29 cruises we have taken Eclipse food, crew, entertainment was as good as and in some ways better than any other ship. It was so good that we decided to book the same ship for the same islands for the 2013 New Years 14 day sailing. We would NOT do this unless we were happy with the overall 2 weeks we sailed this time. Was the cruise perfect?? NO! Did the crew listen to any concerns with food or excursions and do whatever they could to address our concerns in a timely manner and with genuine effort? YES! A small example would be the fact that trying to book the horseback ride at the excursion desk they indicated that the Aruba company offering this excursion had an age limit of 65. They could have just told us they could NOT help us. Instead, the excursion manager was called in and seeing that we are very fit at 66 and 69 and have ridden horses all our lives he took it upon himself to contact the company by email to discuss getting a waiver. A day later we were informed the waiver had been approved. After the ride we went back to the excursion desk and the young women who helped us had also gone horseback riding on a previous cruise and had ridden the same horse my wife rode. Our wait staff in the MDR also made sure to ask if we had any special requests. We like to use olive oil instead of butter on our bread and the olive oil was at our table every night after that. We I made a point about how good the goat cheese cigar tasted I found 3 goat cheese cigars on my plate the following night even though it was NOT on the menu. Why do I point out all the things that the crew did for us?? Because it was obvious they DID care and DID want to make our cruise experience as good as possible. When the cruise critic organizer had to cancel this cruise I wound up becoming the MC because I had co organized the gift exchange. The names tags my co organizer prepared had the country flag of each person at the cruise critic Connections party. Even the senior staff officer Patti who was the cruise director commented on never seeing better name tags at a cruise critic meeting. I implored all cruise critic guests at the party to seek out ALL crew during the cruise and if they saw them without a smile they were to give them one of theirs. I will be active on next years boards with hints on things to do to have a wonderful two week vacation. Some of the highlights for us included the wonderful holiday decorations the crew had worked hard to put up. The 2 hour glass show at night was wonderful and did not seem near that long. Yes the seats are NOT cushioned so you want to drag a beach towel from your room to make a cushion! Yes the ships today are trying to squeeze every dime by offering things that used to be included at an additional charge. We spent the extra money for Tuscan and Murano and felt it was worth every dollar. Murano was requested to make a dish NOT on the menu (Steak Diane flambe at the table). This was for our 41st anniversary. It was over the top good. As good or better than any Washington DC restaurant that charges double the price. By being the fill in MC for cruise critic we wound up getting invited to the Penthouse Suite for the 40th anniversary party of one or British cruise critic couples. This was another over the top experience during this two weeks. The cabin storage space seems to be an issue that we get around by requesting 2 dozen wire coat hangers so we can hang up as much as possible. I also turned one of our suitcases into an extra wardrobe drawer under the bed. We learned to utilize the overhead bins for things we did NOT use every day and to use the easy access drawers for our everyday items. I hope this review balances out some of the reviews where everything seemed to be going wrong. Terry Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
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

Find a Celebrity Eclipse Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click