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11 Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Canary Islands

We chose this cruise because it was sailing from Southampton. We usually take a flight before cruising so we were interested to see how Southampton would work. The embankment was quick and efficient from the time we reached the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was sailing from Southampton. We usually take a flight before cruising so we were interested to see how Southampton would work. The embankment was quick and efficient from the time we reached the cruise terminal to getting on board was only a matter of 20 minutes. The ship was great spotless and all the crew were wonderful. Our cabin was an ocean view (3143) we always take a balcony cabin usually but thought we would try out the ocean view. It was very good near the lifts, shops and dinning. The cabin steward was brilliant always kept the cabin clean and catered for all our needs. I wouldn't hesitate to have the same cabin again. I especially like the shower with doors instead of a shower curtain. We didn't go to many of the shows we aren't great lovers of musicals but we did enjoy the magician. The staff in the resturants were very good and the food was delicious. The ocean view cafe was excellent a great variety. Our first stop was to Maderia which is a beautiful island and the weather was great. We have been to the canaries islands many times on land holidays, so we were keen to see how a cruise to the islands would be. We felt the stay at the ports were too short a time as the cruise were only 10 days so it seemed a bit rushed. There wasn't a lot to do in the ports. As it was a 10 day cruise in October, the first two days out weather wise was chilly and the same coming back. Disembarkment was also good off the ship and through customs in no time. Overall we would cruise with Celebrity Eclipse again but not to the canaries. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Timing and destinations were our main decision makers for this cruise. We had never cruised with Celebrity before (10 previous cruises) so thought we'd try them. On boarding there was no one to guide us to the lunch area set aside for ... Read More
Timing and destinations were our main decision makers for this cruise. We had never cruised with Celebrity before (10 previous cruises) so thought we'd try them. On boarding there was no one to guide us to the lunch area set aside for "Concierge Class" guests, we did ask a couple of crew members but they seemed to have no idea what we were asking, so we ended up in the main buffet area. Our "Concierge" cabin was stateroom 9350 and luggage was delivered in good time. We were a little disappointed with the size of this cabin, but it was clean and nicely presented. I soon found out that the hand basin tap (faucet for the American readers) had a long, obtrusive overhang thus risking hitting one's head on it when rinsing the face. That aside, the shower was very good with a really effective, but quiet, extractor fan, no misting of the mirror whatsoever. We did not have a beverage package included with this cruise and soon found out the extortionate costs of ANY type of beverage (water, soft drinks plus, of course, alcoholic drinks). As an example one 330 cl bottle of Beck's beer was $7.50 plus 18%, so total of $8.85 (£7.38 @ $1.20 to the GB£) unbelievable! Needless to say we were careful when choosing any drinks. Had we opted into the "Premium Beverage Package" that would have cost over $2,000 or over £1,800. Okay, our cruise price was probably quite a bit lower than those who had it included, but our main objection to these packages is that both of you have to take it and my wife only has a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and a cocktail prior. We had what we wanted and our total bill came to £365, a saving of £1,445, not bad! Had we been on a package deal we would, I'm sure, have had more to drink, but silly to drink just to justify the package. Moving on to a more positive note, the food we had was very good and varied, well presented too. The "Oceanview Cafe" offered really good buffet food with a great selection to accommodate all tastes. The main dining room "Moonlight Sonata Restaurant" was equally good as was the service we received. Entertainment was reasonable, but that's all. I do agree with another contributor that special, reserved seating was opened up to all-comers just prior to the start of the performance, bear that in mind should you choose to cruise on this ship! As usual with ships' crews, they were all keen to assist and kept the public areas really clean. Our cabin attendant, Maria, and her assistant were unobtrusive and carried out their work in a warm and friendly manner. We liked this ship for its very quiet running and good food. Our biggest issues were that simply everything on board had a price tag attached (plus the mandatory 18%, of course). As another subscriber pointed out, we had never before been asked to pay for shore-side transportation at any port of call on past cruises! I hope these comments help the readership, happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have sailed many times with celebrity and this was the 6th cruise on eclipse. The disappointment was that the Bistro on 5 has been replaced with Sushi on 5 This is a limited taste restaurant and was empty most days . Also the very ... Read More
We have sailed many times with celebrity and this was the 6th cruise on eclipse. The disappointment was that the Bistro on 5 has been replaced with Sushi on 5 This is a limited taste restaurant and was empty most days . Also the very generous celebrity have given away so many drink packages that include speciality teas and coffees, that the Re was no chance of getting a seat in cafe baccio. This cruise there were small notices asking for people to drink up and go and not play cards in Baccio. Never needed that before. I would rather that the coffees were paid for and they still gave the brunch, petite fours and the old 4 courses at dinner. I was wondering if they were trying to attract business from the likes of P and O as so many people we spoke to had cop,e to try it out. Then they complained that it t was not as good as P & O expensive wines and no union jacks. Come in celebrity you are a higher level than that , either pout up the price or stop the give always. The food was as usual fantastic, most entertainment was good. Accommodation excellent and service wonderful. These are things that celebrity has always been good at. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Celebrity Eclipse Cruise from Southampton to Azores, Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lisbon {13 nights} This was my first proper cruise. I went on the SS Uganda in 1976 with school so I don’t count that! Went in a party of 6, all ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse Cruise from Southampton to Azores, Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lisbon {13 nights} This was my first proper cruise. I went on the SS Uganda in 1976 with school so I don’t count that! Went in a party of 6, all adults aged from mid-40’s to 53, from Southampton 17/09/2016. This could be quite long as I’m writing it for all first timers. I had no idea what to expect, so here goes: ARRIVAL - Arrived at Southampton approx. 11.00am, our boarding time slot was 3.00pm. This was not a problem as we just went through the process as normal. Cars drive right up to the drop off area for luggage & passengers. All luggage taken by porters and transferred to ship; you don’t see it again until you get to your cabin. I was the one numpty that left the passports in the luggage! Not a problem. Porter fetched case and took it back down when passports retrieved. I then dropped car off at the collection point literally across the road {I had arranged a drop off/collect at the port by wepark4u on the web. I would recommend this}. Very smooth and efficient system. BOARDING - We then went through the boarding process, into a large reception area where we were processed; details input onto computer, photo taken and boarding card issued {this is like a credit card that contains all security info/photograph/drinks package etc.}. The cards gets you into your cabin and any purchases on board are charged to it. You need it to get off and on the ship. This process took about 5 minutes. It was then off to the ship and board. This is when you first meet the ship’s crew, a quick scan of your card and you’re on! This ship is yours to experience. We obviously went to the bar and sampled our drinks package. At approx. 1.15pm the rooms were ready. CABIN - We had an outside room {called a Stateroom} with a fairly large window – deck 3 room 3140. It was certainly large enough for us. On entry there was a fair sized bathroom to the left: loo, sink and shower with enough storage space for our toiletries. In the cabin there was a ‘leather’ settee on left wall with a small table in front, a large flat screen TV opposite. Below was a ‘top’ area with 5 drawers below. Not massive drawers but sufficient for us. Hairdryer in the drawer. Queen size bed with overhead storage. There was a large enough electronic safe – you input your own code for the duration, and a small fridge/mini bar. You are charged for use of mini bar {well we would have been on our package}. There was a large enough double wardrobe with approx. 20 hangers in for 2 people. We had a dedicated attendant {Andrew} who looked after all of our needs – nothing was too much trouble. The room was cleaned/tidied several times a day and bed turned down at night. I would recommend an outside cabin like ours as the large window gave plenty of natural light into the cabin and made it feel large. It was also good to sit and watch the sea go by. We saw numerous dolphins and whales. I peeped into a few inside cabins and they appear to be the same size/layout but obviously no natural light. I appreciate budget plays a part in cabin choice. The only down I can think of is that the air con is on ALL of the time {we certainly never sussed out how to turn it off} and created a bit of dry eyes and throat syndrome. It can be turned up or down according to weather. TIP: take a plug converter as the plugs are either European or US. We also took an extension so we could plug more than one thing in at a time. SHIP – MASSIVE!!!! 15 decks tall. Longer that the height of the Eiffel Tower. 11,500 square feet of sail {that’s the side of the ship to the wind}. Front bow thrusters. 2 Rear azipods instead of propellers make for a quiet and smooth cruise – I learnt all this from the Captain’s talk in the theatre! Lifts fore and aft. Sky observation lounge at the front with a cracking view and a good bar. Good for relaxing. Quizzes and events held here. One pool in the solarium {adults only}. Beds can’t be reserved here. Anything longer than 30 minutes and staff remove towels etc. Two outside pools. Beds can be reserved here. If we wasn’t up by 8.00am the best beds were already taken. I used the running track here most mornings so I reserved all of our beds no problem. It’s also nice to sit and watch the sun come up. It can obviously get windy here. Towels and blankets are available on the pool decks – use as many as you need/want. The Mast grill is here and another bar. To the rear is a large lawned area with a bar. You can relax, play bowls, small putting green, sun bathe etc. There is a library and games room on deck 9 and 10 {I think} with a large central atrium and another 8 lifts. There is a 1500 seater theatre on deck 4. They do 2 shows a night. The ship has its own cast and they do majority of the shows – all very good and entertaining. They also have guest artists and we had a couple of comedians too. There are numerous shops {most of them expensive – 249 dollars for a shirt – IN THE SALE!!}. Anything purchased here is charged to your card. You can check your account details via the TV in your cabin – keep an eye on them. We were charged twice for drinks we hadn’t had; Guest Services took the charge off no problem. There was also several art auctions in the Sky lounge. Dress most of the time was casual – shorts, vest and flip flops, although the restaurants have restrictions. The clientele was primarily old; apparently Celebrity is well known for the older age group. We had no idea when booking it and to be honest it didn’t make a jot of difference. It’s a massive ship so explore and enjoy. BARS - Numerous bars on various decks. All our drinks were included {you have to show your card} and they were ‘proper’ brands such as Famous Grouse, Absolut vodka etc. All good quality stuff. Spirit measures are larger than UK as it is classed as a US ship. The measures are MINIMUM…they often pour a lot more, so get to know the bar staff!! There is a casino on board {closed whilst in ports} and plenty of one arm bandits. I managed to win over a 100 dollars on my last night – well chuffed. You need cash for the casino, it isn’t charged to your card. I used sterling, dollars and euros. RESTAURANTS – There is the Ocean View by the pool area. You can have breakfast, lunch or tea here. This is informal – shorts and vests are allowed for example. It’s very much mass catering and not always easy to find a table – for 6 anyway. There are various food stations serving different types of food from around the world. Have as much as you want. All of the staff are exceptionally helpful and go the extra mile for you. The food is of a very good standard. We had our evening meal in the Moonlight Sonata restaurant – two sittings, either 6.30pm or 8.30pm. We had the 8.30 sitting. {This worked well. It allowed us to make the most of a long day by the pool and visit Café Bachio for a coffee and treat AND have time to chill before getting ready}. We were normally finished by about 10.00pm which meant time to get to the theatre for a show. There were several specialist restaurants that you paid for so we didn’t use them. We had 3 formal nights; we all got dressed in best bib and tuckers, ladies dressed in long dresses etc. On other nights it was ‘informal chic’ – basically smart jeans/chinos and a collared and sleeved shirt, ladies looking smart in similar fashion. The food and service in the Moonlight Sonata was EXCELLENT. Everything was 5 star plus. You can have as much as you like. I had 2 crème brulees most nights! You get your own dedicated table staff and the service is above and beyond. The quality of the wine and port is excellent. PORTS OF CALL – We didn’t take any of the cruise advertised tours – we intended to do our own thing or nothing – so I can’t comment on them. AZORES: didn’t get long here. We walked around the main town, took in the scenery and the bars. Very nice and very Portuguese. Weather excellent. MADEIRA: {Funchal} very interesting. We took our own open top bus tour {15 Euros pp}, lasted about an hour – very interesting. I would recommend this, you get to see quite a bit. The main town is beautiful. We took the cable car up to the top. Views were beautiful over most of the island. There is a café here – with 2 extremes of weather. Cold up there and HOT by the coast. Weather excellent. TENERIFE & GRAN CANARIA: If you’ve been before you know what to expect. Purpose built for tourism, not really my cup of tea. When you get off at Gran Canaria turn left out of the port and head towards a tall green glass building – you can’t miss it! Continue past this and you’ll find a lovely beach so take your kit. We were not told about this by the cruise staff – probably because the cruise was trying to sell a 45 dollar trip to another beach. Large shopping centre opposite the docks if all else fails. Weather excellent. LISBON: EXCELLENT! Had 2 days here. Beautiful 17th/18th century city, stunning architecture. Plenty of narrow streets and alleys. Plenty to see and do. Built on several large hills so a lot of walking is UP…followed by quite a bit of down. Not suitable for people with mobility problems in my opinion. We took an open top bus tour for 20 Euros each. The stop is directly opposite the entrance/exit to the port, which is about a 2 minute walk when you disembark. More informative than interesting. There were plenty of tuk tuks touting for business. This seemed a good way to see the sites as they can get down the smaller streets – we didn’t use these though. We found a bar called Wine Bar do Castelo {I’ll do a separate review for that} which offered free samples! This city is beautiful and I intend to go back for a longer break. Weather excellent. Overall my opinion of this cruise is excellent; excellent ship, staff, facilities, service and experience. We’re already looking at 2018 {we’ve got Cephalonia next year}. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was only our second cruise with Celebrity having mainly cruised with P & O. We have been to the Canaries several times before so this cruise was to get away for some warmer weather. The embarkation was smooth and well organised ... Read More
This was only our second cruise with Celebrity having mainly cruised with P & O. We have been to the Canaries several times before so this cruise was to get away for some warmer weather. The embarkation was smooth and well organised but the hurried glass of champagne when we boarded seemed unnecessary. Our balcony stateroom was fine, but lacked sensible drawer capacity, the bed overhead lockers were inconvenient, my wife had to stand on the bed to reach them. The dining and food was probably the best we have experienced in 12 cruises and was marred only be the absurdity of serving a single scallop of approximately 20 cm on a large scallop shell as a starter selection, better not to have served it at all! Service and attention from the crew throughout the ship was excellent. As a final consideration, despite all the good points mentioned the Eclipse seemed to lack soul, it was rather a 5 star American hotel afloat than a ship. Although P & O seem to have slipped from the standards of 10 years ago, but for my part their bars and public room were more intimate and comfortable, for example the Eclipse had nothing like the ambience of the "Yacht and Compass" bar on the Oceana. Nevertheless we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is my first and last cruise with Celebrity. First off I would like to say the food was excellent in the restaurants and the buffet was a very good second to Independence of the Seas. The crew in the restaurants were so nice and ... Read More
This is my first and last cruise with Celebrity. First off I would like to say the food was excellent in the restaurants and the buffet was a very good second to Independence of the Seas. The crew in the restaurants were so nice and friendly, so were the cabin crew. The whole cruise was ruined by the Celebrity Ethos.....rip off wherever and whenever possible. Drinks packages are unbelievably expensive...Does Celebrity think we should pay Celebrity prices?...a drinks package can cost £600 per person. The rip off continues in the Spa, and shops. The first bottle of wine I purchased was $95...the price was not shown or mentioned to me before purchase...I got a considerable shock. Shuttle services (complementary on all other cruises I have taken) in the ports can cost $12 per person...when a taxi will take four of you for 10 Euros. Two rows in the theater were segregated for Suite passengers (two couples in all) while disabled people had to do the best they could to get to other seats in unsuitable areas. 2 mins before the show, people were allowed to use the segregated area. (I have never encountered this before in my many years of cruising...totally disgusting). I shall not be cruising with Celebrity again, nor will my travelling companions either. Beware....if you are tempted to take a cruise with Celebrity...make sure the drinks packages are included and you get spends as well. The cabins were generous in size but the wardrobes were too small and the vanity area was also too small. It would have been nice to have been informed that tea and coffee facilities were available. I shall stick with Cunard, and other cruise companies I have used in the past. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Cruise Review: Azores and the Canary Islands – September 2015 The cruise got off to an unpleasant start with really rough seas for almost three days en route to the Azores with the wife being “man down” for virtually the entire ... Read More
Cruise Review: Azores and the Canary Islands – September 2015 The cruise got off to an unpleasant start with really rough seas for almost three days en route to the Azores with the wife being “man down” for virtually the entire sailing to Ponta Delgada! However, thereafter the weather improved considerably with sunny, albeit often somewhat windy days, being the norm for the balance of the cruise which, in general, proved to be an enjoyable and interesting experience. We spent a couple of days in Southampton prior to the cruise after having spent an eminently pleasant week touring the beautiful Cotswolds area of the UK and South Wales, both areas which have long been on our bucket list. We were enchanted by this Olde England experience visiting many quaint towns, historic buildings and monuments and country pubs, interspersed with many scenic walks in this delightful part of the UK. The ship: The recently refurbished Eclipse is an impressive vessel. However, we frankly, did not see that much had changed from the previous time we had sailed on her some four years back apart from the addition of the Luminae restaurant reserved for suite holders and the change to the access to Michael’s Club, which similarly is now reserved exclusively for suite guests. But the general, understated ambience of the ship remains – clean, well-furnished, tastefully decorated and well maintained. Service: Service was of the standard we have come to expect from Celebrity and we must commend the Royal Caribbean Group for the quality of people it employs and for the obviously high standard of training that is provided. Staff were, with very few exceptions, uniformly well-groomed, courteous, friendly and efficient - some exceptionally so, such as Jacinto and Ricky our hard working, respectful stateroom attendants, also Nyoman and Yoanna in the Select dining room who provided outstanding attentive service, jovial wine steward Kenrick (Hey Mon!) always willing to go the extra mile and Govind, barman at the Sunset Bar who my wife will attest mixes a mean apple martini! Officers were always highly visible around the ship and the Captain ensured there were plenty of opportunities for officers to engage with passengers through, inter alia, photo ops, officer/guest competitions, official parties and so on. Entertainment: Entertainment was also some of the best we have experienced on recent Celebrity cruises. Despite the disruption to the main entertainment programme caused by the inclement weather during the first part of the cruise which necessitated the cancellation of some scheduled stage productions, energetic Cruise Director Sue and Activities Manager Martin, ensured guest were kept entertained with a range of activities and game shows. Some of the evening entertainers in the main theatre, including a few better than usual singers, a frenetic juggler, and a comedic pianist, were especially good. For some reason, and we never got a satisfactory explanation, it had been decreed that the evening theatre performances would take place at 8h30 and 10h30 each evening as distinct from the usual times of 7h00 and 9h00 that we have always found on other ships. We found the latter times to be much more convenient. We prefer to dine reasonably late so can take in the 7h00 show before dining at our leisure after eight each evening. However, with the changed theatre times we would either have had to dine before seven to take in the 8h30 show or resign ourselves to waiting for the 10h30 performance which, generally, we feel is too late. The matter was compounded by the numbers of passengers who now choose Select dining and often it was difficult to get a table much before 9h15 which resulted in a rushed meal if one wished to see the 10h30 performance. It seems to us as if the whole change was made to accommodate the foibles of first sitting passengers, who on this cruise were predominantly British who, apparently, like to dine a little later than the American who, typically, are the majority on most sailings. We trust the changed show times on this cruise are an aberration and do not become standard for Celebrity in future. Dining: Food by and large, was pretty good with some memorable meals and very few, unsatisfactory dining experiences. Because of the congestion in trying to get a table for two in Select dining on many evenings, we had more evening meals in the buffet restaurant than we would normally ever contemplate. We were never left hungry with the range of fare on offer including better than usual sushi. In fact, we thought the quality of food generally in the buffet restaurant was amongst the best we had yet experienced on Celebrity ships. Main dining room fare was always more than satisfactory. Generally tasty, well-presented meals efficiently served. We had one excellent meal in the speciality Tuscan Italian steakhouse but generally we find the costs of Celebrity speciality restaurants at $50 per head to be too prohibitive, especially for us South Africans where our currency (the Rand) is now over 21 to the US$, i.e. each Rand is equivalent to less than five US cents! Itinerary: Overall itinerary was interesting visiting seven ports during the course of the fourteen day cruise. We only participated in two ships excursions -in Funchal Madeira, a city tour that included a cable car ride and an exciting two kilometre rumble down the streets in a wicker toboggan and in Tenerife an exhilarating tour of the national park, a World heritage Site, with views of the lava fields of Mt Teide, the tallest mountain in Spanish controlled territory, both tours good value for money. In other ports we did our own thing, either taking a Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour, a useful way to orientate oneself to a new destination especially in large cities such as Lisbon, or just touring on our own which we did in the smaller ports of Fuerteventura and Lanzerote. Summary: All in all an excellent cruise in the comfort and ambience we have become accustomed to expect from Celebrity. We are happy to now be able to strike the North Atlantic islands off our bucket list – another wonderful privilege to be able to experience this unique part of our fascinating planet. However, we would be unlikely to do a repeat cruise to this destination and were somewhat amazed to learn from many other passengers that they had cruised the Azores/Canary Islands on numerous occasions before to the extent that many seldom even left the ship at the ports of call as they had already experienced the main attractions on offer on previous cruises! As enjoyable as this cruise was and as interesting as many of the sights and attractions offered were, there are still so many other destinations we wish to explore before we would ever contemplate a return to North Atlantic archipelago. Now looking forward to our next cruise to Alaska in May 2016! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Firstly, on out first night in the restaurant, the light above our table was not working. Not a huge issue but the problem I had was that the 'head waiter' picked up a (metal) knife from an adjoining table and started tapping it ... Read More
Firstly, on out first night in the restaurant, the light above our table was not working. Not a huge issue but the problem I had was that the 'head waiter' picked up a (metal) knife from an adjoining table and started tapping it until it sprang into life. Five minutes later, the bulb failed again and the head waiter started tapping it once again. This went on for a while, until one of the assistant waiters started tapping the bulb. As this point the whole fitting fell from the ceiling, showering our table with debris. The head waiter said the waiter (not the on-board maintenance team) would fix the light. Amazing that non qualified staff were being asked to do electrical maintenance! Next day there was a letter under the cabin door saying they were about to suspend out on board account as they had not received my credit card details. This was untrue as I had registered my credit card details with them on line almost a year earlier. Yannis (the financial controller) met with me and I showed him the evidence of my credit card actually being registered with Celebrity Cruises. He didn't seem very fazed by this and later that night, I received the insult of a cheap bottle of red wine in my cabin. I wonder how many credit card details have been lost by them? (I have already cancelled my card) In the meantime I had deposited $1200 (cash) to our account - our intention was always to settle our account in cash. I escalated this to Simona (the Guest Relations manager) and she offered us a complimentary meal in one of the speciality restaurants (which we declined). To add insult to injury, on the last day of the cruise (after we had settled our account - Celebrity actually refunded just over $25 to us) we received a voicemail message saying that we should urgently visit the guest relations desk to settle our account as they had no credit card details for us!! The 'Cruise Director' wasn't interested in our situation, neither was the 'Hotel Director'. I assume they are the equivalent of 'compere' and 'head of cleaning'. Not directors at all. No accountability. Non existent customer relations. The icing on the cake was the cold food in the buffet. What is the point having hand sanitation when the cooked meat (that is supposed to be hot) isn't? Celebrity Cruises are supposed to be 'Modern Luxury'. They certainly are not. We have travelled twice with Royal Caribbean (without incident). We won't be using Celebrity again.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Prior to this cruise we had not sailed with Celebrity, but had spent quite a long time on various P & O voyages, mostly on Oriana, but also on Artemis. I am a part-time scooter user as a result of over 35 years of rheumatoid arthritis ... Read More
Prior to this cruise we had not sailed with Celebrity, but had spent quite a long time on various P & O voyages, mostly on Oriana, but also on Artemis. I am a part-time scooter user as a result of over 35 years of rheumatoid arthritis and cruising is a good way to overcome this difficulty. P&O have banned scooters from ordinary cabins, so we looked for another line to travel with. Celebrity Eclipse was the answer and a pretty good one at that. Better than my P&O experiences in a number of ways. We took a late offer on a Concierge Balcony cabin which offered certain privileges. We travelled to Southampton in our own car and parked with Cruise Parking for 14 nights. Our luggage was loaded on to a minibus by their staff and thus transported to the passenger terminal where it was taken by a porter and loaded on to the ship. On return we were met by Cruise Parking staff and transported back to our car in the same fashion. Embarkation at Southampton was easy, and not too lengthy. There was a special desk for disabled people, and then a series of long ramps to get aboard, which was OK for me on a portable scooter, but not good for my wife with two replacement hips and a dodgy knee (no scooter). This is a big ship, so there was a good deal more walking to get to the cabin (1122) on deck 10. The lifts are, however, very good indeed with plenty of room in each for a wheelchair and scooter as well as several standing passengers. The stateroom I would rate as a step up on an ocean view cabin on the Oriana and it was both more easily accessible, and spacious. Our twin beds were firm and comfortable, the heating could be controlled adequately and the scooter stowed in one piece without difficulty. There was adequate wardrobe, cupboard and drawer space, as well as a settee which would double as a third bed. The electric outlets are US sockets, so those who go on board without a European adapter will need to buy or borrow one from customer services($50 deposit). Our steward was excellent and we were delighted by the free room service for food. This proved a boon because we are both pretty stiff in the early morning and were thus able to have breakfast in our stateroom. Food on the whole was good (not outstanding), especially the meat in the main restaurant (Moonlight Sonata), though there was noticeable repetition of items on the dinner menu We felt this was an interesting way to encourage some passengers to use the various specialist restaurants aboard, for which they would have to pay extra. As part of the cruise deal we had a free Classic Beverages package which entitled us to more than enough free drinks, alcoholic and otherwise. Some speciality coffees are included, so one can enjoy these in the pleasant surroundings of the Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria, providing it isn't too crowded, or elsewhere. There are also various bars . Waiter service was very good and friendly in the Moonlight Sonata. The other main inclusive dining venue is the Oceanview Cafe, a buffet, which I would rate as very good, though we didn't use it for main meals. All the crew were extremely helpful, but staff in the buffet deserve a special mention for volunteering to help unaccompanied mobility disabled people to carry food to their table. I don't use the entertainment facilities. My wife does, sometimes. As far as we could judge they were OK, but we heard some criticism of one or two of the acts. Those who are mobility disabled may find the following account of some interest. Our first unscheduled stop was Vigo which we have visited several times previously. It is possible to walk into the town centre via a large ramp. I scooted and my wife did the walk, with some difficulty. Otherwise we booked excursions in almost every port, Funchal (Madeira), Las Palmas (Tenerife), Santa Cruz (Grand Canary), Arecefe (Lanzarote), but not in Fuertaventura or Lisbon. We also booked an excursion in the Azores, but this port was removed from the itinerary due to bad weather. In the end we didn't go on any of the excursions because I found it extremely difficult to meet an early morning start. Instead we took a step on step off bus round Las Palmas which was ideal for wheeled travellers because there was a special disabled ramp for boarding. In Funchal we hired a taxi (€60)which took us round the old town and then up to the Cabo Girão, one of the highest cliffs in Europe, by the back route which was not used by coaches. The driver had lived in St. Albans for a number of years and spoke excellent English. The driver of our taxi in Santa Cruz (€80)could not speak English, but he had a friend who could (lived in Birmingham for some time), so we got on very well because we met the friend in several locations along our route which was up to the old village of Teror and then on to the volcano crater of Caldera de Bandama to view it and get a splendid panorama of the island. We had an idea that Lanzarote was going to be a dead loss - wrong! On disembarkation we found a large comfortable taxi (€85), whose driver, Alexandro, we could only rate as being excellent beyond the call of duty. His driving was measured and smooth, his treatment of us was both considerate and empathetic. We went to the volcanic wilderness which is the Timonfaya National Park and on arrival were deterred by the sight of long lines of tourist cars queuing for entry. Our taxi pulled over and drove past them all the way to to the visitor centre from which the compulsory national park buses start. After a short spell in the tourist queue we boarded one for the extraordinary drive round this massive caldera and its larva flows. Alexandro escorted us on to the bus and met us coming off. He didn't speak English, but the car was fitted with an English commentary which was played to point out the features of interest along the tour. In Lisbon we used a step on step off disabled friendly bus again. We intended it to be a short trip, but it proved to be a longer, rather high speed, but very informative trip round Lisbon which also took in the very modern Orient district. In the past we have only trudged the few tourist streets in the centre of the city and were determined this time to see more. I would class the Celebrity Eclipse as a first rate (not luxury) modern cruise ship whose builders have made excellent use of the space available. The passageways are roomy and public rooms are pleasant, the lifts fast and efficient. I met no problems getting around with my scooter. Other wheelchair and scooter users seemed perfectly happy as well. Those with arthritic joints might find the walking to get on to this large ship a little difficult, so they would be wise to be prepared before they embark. I should also mention that the size of the ship can mean a long walk to get to the dock gates on the rare occasions that shuttle buses or other transport is not provided. Taxis are generally not allowed inside the dock gates. Complaints? I would simply mention that we booked the cruise initially because the itinerary included the Azores. We didn't go there and dallied across the Bay of Biscay to Vigo. It would have been possible for the passengers to have spent more time in Vigo (or maybe some other port) if the amended itinerary had been adjusted to take account of the shorter distance which the ship needed to travel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Once again delighted with Celebrity and the quality provided. This was our fourth time with Celebrity and everything was as we have come to expect. Several days before departure we were offered an upgrade from C2 to a Sky Suite which we ... Read More
Once again delighted with Celebrity and the quality provided. This was our fourth time with Celebrity and everything was as we have come to expect. Several days before departure we were offered an upgrade from C2 to a Sky Suite which we accepted at extra cost. The suite was enormous and comes complete with much bigger balcony, a larger than normal television, a butler who was extremely helpful, and even a set of scales in the bathroom. However being situated at the stern there was constant background noise and a slight vibration from the engines. We have previously been midships where there is quiet and a more comfortable motion in rough seas. Everything you read about the standard of service is true. Embarkation was efficient and the glass of fizz when you get on the ship always a nice touch. The food in the main dining room, Moonlight Sonata, was excellent.It was always hot and if anything better than before on the Eclipse and the Infinity. The food in the Oceanview restaurant is also good but although there is a very wide range to choose from it does become repetitive. We would have thought that with some thought there could be a 'dish of the day' for each style of food to add variety. And why are there no French baguettes for breakfast? They produce them for dinner each evening in the Moonlight Sonata restaurant. Finally, there are not enough tables and chairs to cope with the rush periods. Finding a table becomes a lottery, whether cleared or not. We were disappointed with the entertainment. Several acts and the main company shows were the same as twelve months previously on the Eclipse. Mike Doyle and Gareth Oliver were excellent, Bobby Davro is a bit like Marmite as you either like him or not, Adrian Walsh was unfortunately just as poor as when seen a year ago. The main company all singing and dancing shows were very professional and you have to admire the quality and stamina of the cast, but the high speed tempo was the same throughout the shows and the themes behind the shows were baffling. What, for example, was the Aztec/Inca show all about? There was no story line just people dressed up in costume singing and dancing at high speed. Having been on three previous Celebrity cruises we no longer want to see talks and tours on how the ship is operated but no alternatives were on offer. The podium speaker was excellent and it is a shame there were no others talking about different subjects. The Captain's Club receptions were OK but exactly the same as on previous cruises and spoiled by groups playing loud music for some of the time, as it made conversation very difficult. Overall it was a superb experience as the few niggles mentioned did not detract from a great cruise. We already have two more cruises booked with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We flew in to Heathrow a day early and travelled by National Coach to Southampton. A bus departs from the Central Station every two hours and after picking passengers up at Terminals 4 and 5, it takes 2 hours to arrive in Southampton,. ... Read More
We flew in to Heathrow a day early and travelled by National Coach to Southampton. A bus departs from the Central Station every two hours and after picking passengers up at Terminals 4 and 5, it takes 2 hours to arrive in Southampton,. We can recommend staying at Jury's Inn in Southampton, a 5 Pound taxi ride from the bus station. The central shopping area is a 15 minute walk from the hotel across a leafy park. A huge ASDA supermarket stocks essential supplies to take on board. Next morning, a ten minute cab ride got us to the ship by 11:30. THE SHIP: Huge, of course, but her lines are graceful and the deck layout is easy to follow. Our state room on Deck 6 was compact, seemingly with less storage that the equivalent class cabin on Millenium. The shower stall was spacious enough for my 6 ft 2ins, 185 lbs frame. Our steward was, unusually, a woman: Darlene and her assistant kept the cabin spotless and were very attentive. Once we reached the islands and the weather improved, the pool area and upper decks were packed with sunbathers, but I could always find a lounge chair in a quiet corner for a quiet read - on my fabulous new Kindle! As predictable on a cruise out of Southampton, the passengers were probably 90% "Brits". Scottish, Welsh, Irish and regional English accents far out-numbered the Americans and Europeans. Mostly gray heads and the few children behaved well, and only "lost it" when heard squealing happily in their assigned swimming pool. DINING: The evening choices were Moonlight Sonata, (the main dining room), the buffet or one of three specialty restaurants. We tried them all and our favorite specialty restaurant was Murano's for its soufflEs, wonderful fish and rack-of-lamb. Actually, the food in Moonlight Sonata was varied and excellent quality so there was no need to go elsewhere. As a relaxing alternative to the buffet for breakfast or lunch, try the main dining room for waiter service. Another lunch alternative is Bistro on 5, which serves good soups, paninis and a variety of sweet or savory crepes for a $5.00 charge. ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT: Celebrity's shopping guru Fiona MacKenzie was familiar from other Celebrity cruises. There were limited shopping opportunities on this voyage so she shared her insights into what to see and do in each port, particularly if not taking a shore excursion. A retired British customs officer gave two entertaining talks on the islands and the last day he related his career "confessions" as a customs officer. Another speaker gave us details of the special fauna and flora unique to the islands and the last sea day scared us with dire global warning predictions which left our home state of Florida largely submerged by the next century. The shops on board were kept busy especially on sea days and I suspect the British love of pubs was good for bar business. However, it seemed the Brits aren't into casinos as whenever we passed the only gamblers were a handful of Asians and Americans. The Celebrity Theater shows often fill to capacity so get there early for a good seat. The best performer was singer Lindsay Hamilton who is entertaining and has an excellent voice. My companion complained that we'd seen her on four previous Celebrity cruises but I didn't care. PORTS-of-CALL: Anybody who stayed on board at any of the ports missed a lot. They were quite varied and well worth a day visit. Madeira was the first, lit up by a rainbow as we drew close. We had arranged a private tour with Joao Daniel Freitas, recommended by prior CC visitors. An energetic, blue-eyed man, his English was fluent as he'd lived many years in South Africa. His wife Eusebia was very responsive to our e-mails while setting up the day's arrangements for 11 of us split between two cars. We saw a lot in 5 hours and were particularly impressed with the natural beauty of this mountainous island. Tenerife: Once you get off the quay there is an organized taxi rank. We were assigned David who agreed to take us on a 5 hour ride for Euros 100. The old city of La Laguna has some beautiful streets and churches that merit an hour or two. After stopping for some panoramic views of the fertile slopes falling down towards the Atlantic, the next call was Orotova. We visited a colonial building called Los Balcones where a variety of local goods are for sale, then on to the popular resort town of Puerto de la Cruz. It has a rocky sea front, a black pebble beach and many swimming pools. Charming streets and up-market hotels are side by side with souvenir shops selling rubbish and cafes catering to a clientele that can't cope with Spanish food. Unfortunately, Mount Teide was hidden in the clouds. As we requested it, our last stop was at a locals-only, family restaurant. We enjoyed island specialties such as octopus, fish croquettes,and three types of sausage, washed down by strong red wine. Gran Canaria: After the first two islands, Las Palmas had a real city atmosphere. We walked from the ship down a short street to catch the first (9:30 am) Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus. Our first stop was Vegueta, the old colonial neighborhood several kilometers from the modern downtown. Santa Ana cathedral is magnificent. Don't miss the separate entrance to the South Tower, where for Euro1:50 an elevator carries you to the top for a spectacular view of the old city and shoreline. There's a lot to see in Casa de Colon (Columbus' House, free entry) and the narrow streets around there. Back on the bus, we stayed aboard till it went around to the second stop, the main shopping district, home of El Corte Ingles department store (the Spanish equivalent of Selfridges or Macys). We walked back from there to the ship after a diversion to the beach, an attractive stretch of golden sand boarded by hotels and restaurants. Lanzarote: is an arid volcanic land where a tour is essential, so we opted for the once-in-a-lifetime "Camel Ride and Fire Mountain" trip. The camels were fun and the landscape created by the violent eruptions was unforgettable. The downside was that even in late October tour buses engage in a fierce struggle to gain entry into Timinfaya National Park, one by one. This resulted in a lot of wasted time and our guide was under constant pressure to chivvy the 50 or so passengers on and off the bus, leaving little time for us to absorb what we were seeing. Nevertheless, it's still worth doing once. Lisbon: unlike HAL's ship which docked down town, we happened to dock way out by the April 25 bridge and I questioned how Celebrity could justify an $8:00 shuttle fee. Anyway, a HO-HO bus, taxis and public transport were available right there. Lisbon is a lovely city with lots of atmosphere, ideal for walking around or taking the rattling old trams up its many hills. The views from San Jorge Castle are not to be missed. Vigo: located in Galicia, the so-called "greenest" part of Spain, it was not surprising that it rained all day in Vigo. Rain or shine, Celebrity's ½ day tour to Santiago de la Campostela is not to be missed. Our educated local guide's English was good and he made sure we packed the maximum into our two hour walk in and around the medieval Cathedral, third most holy site in Christendom, which the Pope was to visit a week later. Earphones eliminated the need for all of us to cluster around the guide and strain our ears. DISEMBARKATION & AU REVOIR As Elite class passengers, we could disembark anytime up till 9:00 am and it worked smoothly. We rented a car and a word of warning if that's what you plan on a Sunday: the rental offices aren't open at the port, at least in late October, so you need to get to Southampton Airport, a 20 Pound cab ride from the ship. On Sundays the offices at the Airport open at 10:00 am. In sum, we had a good time on the Eclipse and while on board booked another cruise on her for October 2011, guided by Jose, the ever-helpful sales manager. We had a chance to get a feel for the different ports and will try to get back to Madeira and to Gran Canaria for a longer stay. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Celebrity Eclipse Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 4.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates N/A 4.2

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