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729 Celebrity Vancouver Cruise Reviews

We wanted a quick getaway leaving from the port in our home city, and I wanted to see San Fran again. Overall, the cruise was great, as it always is with Celebrity. Great food & service. The main dining room had delicious food, of ... Read More
We wanted a quick getaway leaving from the port in our home city, and I wanted to see San Fran again. Overall, the cruise was great, as it always is with Celebrity. Great food & service. The main dining room had delicious food, of course. Our servers were great. But there was an overall confusion when we dined there. One night, we were there over two hours because the food didn't come very quickly at all. Long gaps between appies & entrees, and some at our table ordered an extra lobster tail, and they didn't come out until we were all done our meals. Very chaotic. We didn't take in any shows but heard from others that they were great, especially the comedians. My hubby enjoyed playing poker in the casino. I just enjoyed relaxing and reading, as I usually do. We did our own thing in San Francisco and Victoria, but did an excursion in Santa Barbara. It was "The Solvang Shuttle" and it was a rip off at $98/pp, I do NOT recommend it. Solvang is a cute little Danish town, but so geared for tourists that they charge huge amounts for simple things. The food was good in one of the little restaurants, and not too pricey. I am feeling frustrated with Celebrity these days. They seem to want to charge you a bundle for EVERYTHING. I'm trying to change a cruise we booked while on a previous cruise, and they want to charge us a penalty, even though we were told that we could change it at any time without penalty. And while on the cruise, the wifi costs are far too high. I don't know why they can't charge us for 60 or 90 minutes that we can use at any point throughout the cruise instead of having to use it all up at once. We have quite a few Captain's Club points now, nearly Elite members, but with the ridiculous charges, I may have to find a different cruise line. (Not HAL as their food is atrocious.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
There were several problems with this cruise but there was a lot of great things too. I will start with the problems, when I got to check-in, the clerk couldn't find my reservation, so we had to get a supervisor who finally found it ... Read More
There were several problems with this cruise but there was a lot of great things too. I will start with the problems, when I got to check-in, the clerk couldn't find my reservation, so we had to get a supervisor who finally found it but it had the wrong cabin, I upgraded to a Concierge Class about 3 months before the cruise. Finally, he got the right information and I got my key. My credit card wouldn't go through and the supervisor explained it was a Celebrity problem and Guest Services would let me know what I needed to do. This didn't make me feel very confident. The first evening I had a reservation at the Tuscan Grille, I ordered a steak and it was terrible. I couldn't cut it with my knife, not kidding, I ordered Medium/Well Ribeye and it was tough as could be. I contacted the restaurant manager who offered me $15 towards another meal and I told him I wasn't interested, since it was $45 to eat there. American Airlines lost my luggage. It finally arrived at the ship on the second day while in Victoria. The delivery service called me and asked where they needed to deliver it and to whom. I was in downtown Victoria so I had to go back to the ship to get this information. The lady at Guest Services refused to call the delivery service, spending time writing all of the information down for me so I could call. It made no sense and was a waste of time, when she could have called while I was standing there and given them all of the information. Wheelchair debarkation was a huge mess. I arrived right when they opened at Sushi on 5 and there were already many people waiting. A Celebrity rep was there to assist us. While waiting Celebrity crew members would radio the rep and ask for a wheelchair to be brought to Celebrity Central on Deck 4. There were 5 chairs and 5 attendants, they called 6 times and there were no chairs left for us, the passengers that had been waiting for an hour. I asked the rep why this was happening and why these people took precedent over us and he didn't know. He finally told a crew member he couldn't send any more chairs down to 4. I waited over 90 minutes to get off of the ship because there weren't any chairs. This needs to be addressed and fix. Celebrity needs to stress to passengers if you want a wheelchair you have to go to Sushi on 5. My cabin was lovely. Room Attendant, Waiter, Assistant Waiter were wonderful and helpful. The main dining room food was good, not great but good. The Buffet, which I rarely eat at was delicious. The staff was very helpful. The ship is easy to navigate, I found everything without a problem. Elevator waits were very short, which is unusual on a ship. The shows were exceptional, singers, dancers and aerialist were amazing. The tender crew was very helpful. Every place I went was clean, spotless. The art work on this ship was fabulous, I took several photos of it. All in all, it was a great cruise with a few problems. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Penthouse Suite Celebrity Eclipse October 2019 Beautiful suite, friendly crew! We missed the tea time “delights” delivered by the butler. Also fresh flowers, fresh fruit basket and towel animals. When we asked what happened to them ... Read More
Penthouse Suite Celebrity Eclipse October 2019 Beautiful suite, friendly crew! We missed the tea time “delights” delivered by the butler. Also fresh flowers, fresh fruit basket and towel animals. When we asked what happened to them we were told it is the new corporate policy. The crew then delivered the most beautiful arrangement of red roses to the suite. Then came a few days of “delectables”, a fruit basket and a couple of towel animals. The crew wants to please and they certainly did. Guess if you want or miss an amenity, you just need to ask. Delicious food! ( but had a couple of “prime” steaks that were so tough they were pretty much inedible. One was fantastic, 3 inferior even if they had not been Prime). The crew was fabulous with offering assistance with my friend’s gluten free diet. Making her gluten free bread and sausages. Even going through the menu explaining what had gluten and if they could substitute. Embarkation at Vancouver was confusing. No priority line for suite passengers. Cruise check in sent us to three different lines and one agent told us to go on to the ship to get our sea passes. Disembarkation equally confusing. Not Celebrity’s fault. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the second time on the eclipse and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. The ship was in good shape from the public areas to the cabin. Selected late seating as that was only thing available when booked, the staff wasn’t able to ... Read More
This was the second time on the eclipse and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. The ship was in good shape from the public areas to the cabin. Selected late seating as that was only thing available when booked, the staff wasn’t able to assign a perminate table for two the first night, but they accommodated us the second night and we stayed with the same table for the remaining 10 nights. The head waiter was helping his staff and greeting guests every night. We found the captain around the ship, he was very visable as well as his senior staff. Entertainment is available in the evenings before and after dinner. The heart of the ship is the Martini Bar and always a great place for a drink. Sky lounge is a nice venue for late night dancing. Casino wasn’t open during the ports days or evenings. Somethings to do during the days at sea are claim your chair in the saloruim where they also have light breakfast and lunch served. Gym is packed during the morning and early afternoon, plan to work out between 2-4 and 5-8. The Sunset Bar is a great place for an afternoon cocktail and live music on occasional. A few tips for excursions in the ports of call; Hilo - highly recommend renting a car from Hawaii Jeeps and make sure your a Budget Fast Break customer will save you time. There are a couple highlight must sees; Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, Two Step for snorkeling and Valcono National Park. Maui Hyatt Regency has a Hertz with a free shuttle that will save you time not having to go to the airport. Most popular excursion is the Road to Hana it will take a whole day. I would suggest downloading the GyPSy app and bring an extra phone charger cord. Ohe’o Gulch is not a must do we thought it wasn’t worth the drive. Kona has a great snorkel at Kahalu’u beach with snorkel rental avalible and accessible by Uber. Hawaii would not be complete with out a visit to Pearl Harbor, tickets are available online 60 days prior or 24 hours in advance. I would suggest staying in Ko Olina, we stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club and was one of the nicest resorts we have stayed at. Also there is a Four Seasons and Disney has a resort there as well. If you are not TSA PRE arrive to HNL airport 2 hours early to insure you don’t miss your flight, but if your traveling to another island be sure to look at Hawain Airlines as they mainly do island to island flights regularly throughout the day. This was a great way to see Hawaii even if you have been before. The ship changes time 1 hour every other day to help get adjusted. 5 days at sea may seem like a lot, but it’s nice to get into vacation mode or unwinding from a jam packed vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We’ve been on a Eclipse before & had a great time, so when we were thinking about another cruise for our 50th anniversary & Eclipse was going from Vancouver to Hawaii, well, it was a nobrainer! We flew into Vancouver the day ... Read More
We’ve been on a Eclipse before & had a great time, so when we were thinking about another cruise for our 50th anniversary & Eclipse was going from Vancouver to Hawaii, well, it was a nobrainer! We flew into Vancouver the day before & stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, a bit pricey but they bring your luggage to the ship (actually to our stateroom), sold. We’d stay there again if cruising from Vancouver. We did a trip out to Capilano Suspension Bridge (us & about 700 other folks). Great dinner with new friends at Old Spaghetti Factory in GasTown. Embarkation. We had breakfast at Pan Pacific & about 10am we strolled downstairs to checkin. We went directly to the counter, received our seapass, went thru customs & boarded! Seriously, from the time we got in the queue to get our seapass till we were onboard with our bubbly was under 10 minutes. Would’ve been less time but there was a lot of walking! Walked around as cabins weren’t ready yet, got our hot glass class appointment & then went to the concierge luncheon (recommend the short ribs!). Finished lunch & cabins were ready. Went to cabin & as promised, our luggage was at our cabin door! Our cabin was one we’ve enjoyed, 2105, great location by pool, elevator & one deck from Oceanview Buffet with a lovely sized balcony. Met our stateroom attendant, Christopher & we recognized each other from a previous cruise! He remembered that we prefer the cheese/fruit to the canapés (I have too many food allergies to chance what I don’t know) & that we like ice twice a day. He is a fabulous stateroom attendant, never had to ask for anything. Our few requests confirmed we got unpacked & went to our Cruise Critic Sailaway...it was a bit damp but over 100 folks braved the sheets of rain & enjoyed a meet. Five sea days, ahhh, total relaxation! First couple days were quite cool but there were many indoor activities. We had several fun Cruise Critic events scheduled over the sea days. First sea day was our Cruise Critic Meet n Mingle attended by over 200 people including Capt Leo, Dan the Hotel Director, Lauren the Cruise Director & many other officers. Capt Leo’s comment, wow I think everyone that was on the board came! (see they do read our comments!) Our gift exchange had 42 people (also huge!). We also did a cabin crawl (with over 40 people viewing many different styles of cabins). A slot pull, lots of fun & we actually won our money back! Our final sea day we had a Cruise Critic luncheon in the MDR that was attended by about 80 folks. We had a great Roll Call. The second sea day I did the Hot Glass blowing, what a lot of fun! I wish I’d signed up for more than one session, I wanted to make everything! I made a glass heart for our 50th anniversary & the girls engraved our names, date & 50th anniversary on the bottom (what a nice touch!). Bring your own bubble wrap (they wrap the items in packing paper) for travel. My heart weighed over 5 lbs! We had traditional 6pm dining with the best waitstaff we’ve had in absolutely years! Our waiter, Aartee, was truly superb, her attention to every detail was fabulous (especially with my food allergies); her assistant, Julianna, was delightful (friendly, unobtrusive & that great smile!). Our sommelier, Uliana, was great! She took me on as a challenge to break me out of my favored Conundrum Red, I had some fabulous wines (all by the glass) this cruise! She’ll be on our Reflection cruise in February, I certainly hope we get her as our sommelier! The food this cruise was also exceptional, hot foods hot & cold foods cold, great taste on everything. Our location in the MDR was closest to the entrance doors, so keeping hot foods hot must’ve been a true challenge. We did one specialty restaurant, Murano, it was fabulous for our anniversary. Lobster cooked at tableside with chateaubriand for 2 & strawberry bomb crepe for DH (cooked at tableside) & I had grand Marnier soufflé. Delectable food, good service (we preferred our MDR servers) We went to the Elite Coffee Break most mornings for lattes & a continental breakfast spread. The most fabulous spread I’ve ever seen. Rose, the Captains Club Hostess was her gracious self. We also attended the Elite Happy Hour in the Sky Lounge several times. Evenings saw us at several of the shows (when will Topper leave???) or the Martini Bar or World Class Bar chatting with friends & imbibing delightful concoctions. We were celebrating our 50th anniversary & had made mention of it in our cruise planner! Wow, they read that! We received a lovely bottle of champagne from Dan the Hotel Director; flowers & red wine from the Chief Housekeeper, a rose from Rose the amazing Captains Club Hostess, chocolate covered strawberries, balloons & a poster from Johnna the Concierge...WOW! Way more than anticipated & so much appreciated. We also had two of the wonderful chocolate mousse cakes (one at our MDR table & one in Murano) Land Ho! Five sea days in a row, just enough, we were ready to be on dry land. First port was Hilo for 2 days (could’ve used 3 days). We toured the National Volcano Park on our own with friends & had a great day! Second day in port we had a fantastic Celebrity Tour, Land of Frozen Fire (hope you get Donna as tour driver!). Highly recommend this tour, well paced, informative & perfectly sized at 20. Off to Kona & a private tour with C Big Island Tour for Historical Kona, Coffee Farm & Turtles. We had a great tour guide, Dre. Great tour (bit too long at coffee farm). Nice fish lunch (on our own). Fabulous pictures of the sea turtles. Off to Maui for two days. The only downside to our entire cruise was the absolutely terrible Celebrity excursion, Road to Hana. The tour was nothing like it was described, we’d been in the overcrowded bus (without anywhere to store our bags) for over an hour when the driver announces we won’t be doing the tour you expected. We’ll be coming back the winding road instead of continuing around the island (with all the places we wanted to see, the reason we’d booked the excursion). The restrooms at our few stops were deplorable, the “luncheon” was at a filthy city park & consisted of an unrefrigerated tortilla wrap with mystery meat (no choices), jalapeño potato chips & dry prepackaged cookies with two pieces of soggy fruit. I didn’t expect a 5star lunch, but I did expect something edible & properly refrigerated (I know they weren’t refrigerated as the boxes were stored under my seat (eliminating any foot room). This wasted 11 hours of what should’ve been a great day on Maui. The second day we wandered Lahaina on our own & has a great day (including the best shave ice I’ve ever had! We were back on board when the wildfire broke out closing the road & stranding 170 cruise people that eventually were evacuated by tender for over 2-1/2 miles of rough water (without any known injuries) a remarkable show of seamanship by Capt Leo & his crew that took many, many hours. We had friends involved in this evacuation that were highly complimentary of the rescue. The next day was disembarkation. We had a light breakfast in buffet, said goodbye to our fabulous stateroom attendant, Christopher & went to the Concierge disembark area with number 13. We sat down, the Concierge, Johnna came by & said your number is ready! Go to gangplank & Capt Leo is saying farewell to each person...such a nice touch, we thanked him for taking such good care of everyone the night before. Ok, off we go...that sad ding that your cruise is over We go down the escalator, grab a porter ( lots of luggage), get our bags & go straight to the taxi line where our porter grabbed us a mini van & we off to our week at the Hale Koa Hotel. From time we left Concierge departure until we left in our taxi less than 10 minutes total!!! This was definitely The easiest disembarkation (& embarkation) we’ve had in over 20 cruises, bravo Celebrity! The end of a fabulous cruise...would we do it again? You betcha!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We've always wanted to visit Alaska and I'm so glad we chose Celebrity to take us there! We embarked in Vancouver (lovely city) and went to Hubbard Glacier, Icy Straight, Juneau and Ketchikan. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship; ... Read More
We've always wanted to visit Alaska and I'm so glad we chose Celebrity to take us there! We embarked in Vancouver (lovely city) and went to Hubbard Glacier, Icy Straight, Juneau and Ketchikan. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship; very elegant and spotlessly clean. Service was exceptional all around. We ate at Moonlight Sonata (main dining room), Ocean View Cafe (buffet), and Cafe el Bacio all were great! We had mixed reviews at Tuscan Grill. I enjoyed my meal, but my husband ordered steak and he hated it. The steak was the only bad item we had all week. Our favorite was Sushi on 5, we ate there twice and loved every item we were served. We didn't go to any shows, but we were never bored. Plenty of bars with great drinks and lots of little places to meet people or just have a quiet moment alone. The ship only felt crowded in the Ocean View Cafe during peak hours. Embarkation and disembarking were tough, with long lines. We've had similar experiences on other cruises. Overall, it was an amazing cruise and we can't wait for our next Celebrity adventure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see Hubbard Glacier and we did! Went with friends who had never sailed on Celebrity. They were very impressed. We had been on Eclipse before and knew what to expect. We had done the other Alaska ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see Hubbard Glacier and we did! Went with friends who had never sailed on Celebrity. They were very impressed. We had been on Eclipse before and knew what to expect. We had done the other Alaska cruise on Celerity, but different itinerary. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. Could not have asked for a nicer crew. Everything was well kept and service outstanding. Our stateroom attendant was fantastic and everything was very well kept. We had a table for four early seating and were treated like royalty. Can’t say enough how efficient everyone we encountered was and they were exceptional. Food was very good. The Captains Club hostess, Rose and Fabio were so amazing. The Concierge class stateroom is a very nice enhancement to make the cruise special. Will definitely book another cruise on Eclipse. Love the Persian Garden!1077 We enjoyed everyone that we encountered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We boarded the Solstice in Vancouver destination to Hawaii. It was our 25th Anniversary and we couldn't of made a better choice. The 5 full days at sea gave us time to relax and decompress from our everyday routine. We were in Aqua ... Read More
We boarded the Solstice in Vancouver destination to Hawaii. It was our 25th Anniversary and we couldn't of made a better choice. The 5 full days at sea gave us time to relax and decompress from our everyday routine. We were in Aqua class and the service was in excellence. Our room with balcony was excellent and well taken care of by the room attendant (Devan). We dined in Blu every night and looked forward to our dinning experience each night with the wonderful service of our waiters (Yogender, Preyan and Nick) as well as received by beautiful Larissa each evening. I can't say enough about the food and variety we received on this ship. There was nothing missing. We visited and took advantage of the Persian garden spa which also delivered excellent service. On the first couple of days, the waters were a little rough and was a little on the cool side. They had fleece blankets available near pool side for everyone, I thought that was a nice touch. There was also always fresh towels available and as for loungers, there was always a seat available. The excursions we booked went well without any issues, well organized for tender ports as well. I will not hesitate to sail with Celebrity in the future. Good Job!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a trip we are glad we took, but probably wouldn’t take again. On the plus side, it is a relatively inexpensive way to visit Hawaii, which is hideously expensive. Room and food cost us about $180 per person per day on the boat. ... Read More
This is a trip we are glad we took, but probably wouldn’t take again. On the plus side, it is a relatively inexpensive way to visit Hawaii, which is hideously expensive. Room and food cost us about $180 per person per day on the boat. Comparable accommodations and meals would probably cost at least twice as much on land. Not to mention we saved some on air fare. Flights to Vancouver are much less than flights to Hawaii. In addition, we got to visit three islands, one with two stops. On the downside, tendering at Kona and Lahaina limit how much time you have to visit these ports. There are some sights we would like to see, especially on Maui, that would better be done while staying there. The first day in Lahaina the sea was pretty rough and getting on and off the tenders was challenging, especially for people with mobility issues. We were on the Solstice in June to Alaska and liked it so much we booked onboard for Hawaii. Many of the same crew members were still on board and some remembered us. The ship is very well run, and the crew were all accommodating. We never ventured into the specialty restaurants since the food in the main dining room is excellent. Naturalist Brent Nixon was onboard on both cruises. He brought a lot of expertise to explain the natural world we would be experiencing. We took advantage of the adults only Solarium many times. The pool was the perfect temperature and it seldom felt crowded. The Alaska cruise was out of Seattle, most of the guests were Americans and there were 315 children. The Hawaii trip began in Vancouver, and at least half the passengers, perhaps as many as two thirds, were Canadians. Many were from British Columbia. Alberta and Saskatchewan were also well represented. There were also several Aussies traveling all the way through to Sidney. Most of the Americans seemed to be from the Pacific Northwest. We enjoyed meeting and sharing experiences with people from all over. This is definitely an older crowd. Most were retired. We probably had fewer than 20 children. For those of you wondering about the weather, it was 58° and raining when we left Vancouver. The first sea day it was 60°, the next 65, the 3rd sea day it hit 70, the 4th it was 75 and finally the last sea day as we neared Hawaii it hit 78°. Of course in Hilo it was about 85° and humid. The first two days the swells were running about six feet and people who were prone to motion sickness experienced some problems. After that, the ride was pretty smooth. Hilo – We rented a car for $48. The car rental shuttle will pick you up from the pier and take you to the airport, about three miles away, where you can rent a car. Couldn’t have been easier. We met a couple at Kilauea who hired a car and driver for $325. They said they wish they had talked to us first. Perhaps they should just read Cruise Critic. The first stop was Akaka Falls. Do this one in the morning because the falls face east. The sun will illuminate the falls perfectly in the morning. If you do it in the afternoon, the sun will be behind the falls and your pictures will be backlit. Next stop was Kilauea. While Akaka Falls was sunny and hot, Kilauea was rainy and cold. We wish we had our sweatshirts, but when it’s 85°and sunny, how do you know? This was kind of a good news bad news experience. The rain and mist kept me from getting really sharp pictures of the caldera, but the steam vents certainly stood out. I leaned over one to see how hot the steam actually was. Take my advice and don’t try this yourself. Steam is hot. We stayed at Kilauea about two hours and headed back to Hilo. I would have stayed longer, but the rain showed no signs of letting up and we had done all we could do without getting soaked. Kona – Here we took the ship’s excursion. It was billed as the snorkeling and dolphin adventure, but they apparently forgot to tell the dolphins, who didn’t show up. The cruise on the catamaran south along the Kona coast was picturesque. The excursion includes equipment rental, but we take our own. The rental equipment looked to be first class if you are interested. The spot they picked for the day had good coral and lots of fish. Three-foot swells made snorkeling and getting back on the boat more of a chore than you want, but overall it was a fun trip. Maui – Renting a car on Maui is substantially more difficult than on the Big Island, and more expensive. The nearest car rental outlet to Lahaina harbor is Hertz at the Hyatt. They claim they have a shuttle, but it runs just once between 8:30 and 9:30 and we never saw it. So it’s a $30 cab ride to rent a car. The car was $98 a day versus $48 on Hawaii and $53 on Oahu. We went south the first day looking for a beach to snorkel. The conditions were terrible. Because of the height and direction of the swells, waves were breaking right on shore and the water was churned up. We should have checked the daily report https://thesnorkelstore.com/maui-snorkeling-conditions-reports/. Then we would have known that. The next day we went to Honolua Bay. This is a terrific snorkeling spot and it’s always calm. It’s surrounded by land on three sides and facing Molokai, so no swells can get in. The shore itself is very rocky, so it’s strictly for snorkeling. Also, parking is very limited and it’s at least a 300 yd. walk from the road to the water. Hawaii is not California where they have large paved parking lots at all the state parks. Most of the fish and coral formations are on the eastern side of the bay. Turtles are found on the western side. Dolphins also made an appearance. Honolua Bay is a must stop for snorkelers. We would like to spend some more time on Maui. Some of the sights like the road to Hana and Haleakalā are too time consuming to be done from a ship while tendering. The cruise finished up in Honolulu. This was the smoothest disembarkation ever. We go off sooner than advertised, found our luggage immediately and got a cab to the airport to pick up our rental car. Hertz says they have a location the pier, but when I checked online, they said there were no cars of any kind available. Very suspicious. The cab to the airport was about $35. It is only 3.7 miles from the airport to Pearl Harbor. I was impressed by what the National Park Service and the Navy have done there. It’s a very solemn experience and well done. One very important note…they do not let you bring bags in through the gates, not even ladies’ pocketbooks. You can check them for a $5 fee. My wife took hers back to the car while I stood in line for tickets. I have to say I was not impressed by the Honolulu airport. Much of it is open air (not air conditioned) until you get to your gate. We had showered just prior to leaving the hotel and didn’t want to work up a sweat turning in the car and getting our bags through the agricultural inspection and airline check-in. Some on our cruise got off the ship in Maui, one day early. They then spent several days on Maui and flew home from there. I didn’t realize that was an option. If I took this cruise again, I would probably do that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had enjoyed a previous cruise with Celebrity and so we chose them again for our Alaska trip but found this cruise disappointing in several ways. First, though, some of the positives which just about scrape it an 'average' ... Read More
We had enjoyed a previous cruise with Celebrity and so we chose them again for our Alaska trip but found this cruise disappointing in several ways. First, though, some of the positives which just about scrape it an 'average' rating in our book! An excellent state room and balcony, good customer service desk who organised an early check-out for us on the last day very efficiently. Good destination choices in Icy Strait Point and Juneau,fab time at - and commentary on - Hubbard glacier, lovely Persian garden steam and sauna and relaxation facilities and a library which, though small, had some really good - and up to date - and even British (!) authors. As for the shows, a couple of good comedians and a good magician but the ship's troupe, though talented, are saddled with lacklustre shows - and there were no less than three of these during the seven nights. The negatives: the endless attempts to up-sell are really, REALLY irritating, especially when (as here) they begin with someone trying to sell you speciality dining as you make your way towards the gangway (not even on the ship yet!) at the very start of the cruise. Mind you, after seven nights in the main dining room and breakfast and lunch in the buffet, we can see why the specialties might be popular. The dining room evening meals were mostly undistinguished and the buffet was constantly crowded to an extent that wholly undermined the relaxation element of the cruise. On the subject of up-selling, it became clear to us during this cruise that this ship's staff are personally rewarded for the extras they can sell - not sure how much this happens on other cruises, but it seemed a matter of considerable importance and even stress to staff on this ship, which is troubling and suggests they may be be being under-paid for their routine duties. Also worth pointing out that the alcohol on board is grossly over-priced, even before you add on the 20% service charge, so again the savings - on various drinks deals, meagrely worthwhile as they are - can seem attractive. On our previous Celebrity cruise (Solstice), we'd been quite impressed with the coffee shop. Here, the coffee shop staff were boorish and uninterested - as a previous reviewer has remarked, more interested in their own conversations. Also outraged and belligerent at the mere suggestion that they'd made me a latte when I'd asked for a flat white. Again (of course) ridiculously overpriced, (And, as has been previously pointed out, the freecoffee on the buffet deck was dreck (which I don't recall it being on the Solstice three years ago!). Less enrichment activity on this cruise than on that previous one - are Celebrity dialling this back, I wonder? That said, their anthropologist was very good and in particular he gave a fine lecture on the fascinating First Nation tradition of potlatches. There seems more of an emphasis on this ship of raucous entertainment - Mr and Mrs shows et al - which is fine if you like that but I felt that the superb classical duo on board were under-used by being positioned mainly in a fairly quiet bar. If you DON'T like raucousness, which (you'll have gathered!) we don't much, you'll be glad to know that he sound-proofing on this ship seems superb - said raucousness echoed up the dazzling and dizzying main lift area but then was muffled to nothing by the time you got into our state room not far away from there on deck seven. Perhaps the biggest negative of all was a particularly odd one: in several years of cruising, I have never experienced such an inept initial safety and evacuation drill, which seemed to consist simply of watching a daft spoof 'Jane Bond'-type video whose sound was turned so low that no one could follow it and which did not involve any attempt to ensure that passengers were able to put on their life jackets. Worrying that a company as big and professional as Celebrity should be so lacking in this area… Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise for my wife and me, but also invited my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. Not sure if most of my comments apply to most cruises ship/cruise lines. But all in all, it did not impress us as a first ... Read More
This was our first cruise for my wife and me, but also invited my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. Not sure if most of my comments apply to most cruises ship/cruise lines. But all in all, it did not impress us as a first experience. Pros : - Ship is in in good condition and cabin was fairly big and comfortable - Friendly professional staff, at restaurants and everywhere else - Buffet restaurant is good quality and good variety - Most shows were very good quality, talented performers! - Very nice gym onboard Cons - Biggest issue is that almost everything on-board is design to get more money out of you: expensive upsell for all the specialty restaurants, alcohol and automatic tips are expensive, casino, - Food at the main restaurant had good variety but was often blend. - My wife and me are vegeterian, and options were not great - Not very many activities to do on board, the upper deck with the lawn and glass blower, but also the game room an everything else, it's ok, but not very entertaining... - Automatic tipping is expensive, especially that for us, the canadian dollar doesn't compare well to the US dollar. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were a party of 4. Two couples, one couple in their 60s(husband and wife) and one couple in their 20s(daughter and boyfriend). A cruise of the Inside Passage of Alaska had been one of our "bucket list" must dos so off we went. ... Read More
We were a party of 4. Two couples, one couple in their 60s(husband and wife) and one couple in their 20s(daughter and boyfriend). A cruise of the Inside Passage of Alaska had been one of our "bucket list" must dos so off we went. We selected Celebrity Cruises primarily because they offered an Inside Passage cruise that left on a weekend day and returned to the same port on a weekend day. Great schedule for working adults. Hindsight being 20/20 we would definitely select this cruise company again regardless of schedule. With the help of a local travel agent, we selected Concierge class cabins(1670 and 1676) AFT of the ship. Knowing that the primary purpose of an Inside Passage cruise was the scenery, these cabin offered up views encompassing both sides of the ship. Although we were NOT the first to see the scenery, we saw both amazing sides of the cruise. The location of these cabins afforded us quiet uninterrupted sleep. However, they were a good distance from the elevators, and we did experience some feelings of motion sickness on the last day of the cruise during the open-water portion of the cruise. Nothing that some motion sickness pills did not help cure. Our cabin steward Jaime was the absolute best, always there when we needed something, and extremely quick to respond. He insured that the cabins were always clean and well maintained. Celebrity is lucky to have him. The cabins were just the right size and had sufficient storage for our large and full suitcases(each weighing about 50 pounds). Celebrity is known for its dining, and the dining did not disappoint. My husband and I dined(breakfast and lunch) in the Ocean View Cafe. There was always a wide assortment of items available, both fresh and cooked. Busy time at the Cafe occurred starting around 8:30am for breakfast and noon for lunch. These times required the need to "hunt" for table space, as other passengers tended to linger, watching the scenery go by. But once the individuals departed, cafe staff were on the spot cleaning the table off for other guests. The only food item we did not enjoy were the desserts. They were beautiful in appearance, but lacked flavor. However the ice cream was good. As Concierge Class guests we did take advantage of room service for breakfast, several times to avoid the crowds. Our daughter and her boyfriend did the same. Room service was very timely, but on a couple of occasions, an item or two were missing. One call to our cabin steward Jaime and it was quickly resolved. We ate dinner most nights at the Moonlight Sonata, 8:30PM seating with a reserved table. The food was excellent, including the desserts, with a wide variety of selection. The experience was made Superior by the service of Marvin, Lawrence and Demi. Having elected to purchase non-alcoholic beverage plans, because we are not big drinkers, we were given the opportunity at dinner to purchase cards for alcoholic drinks, which was perfect for us. A $30 card got you 5 drinks up to $9 per drink value and a $60 card for 5 drinks up to $15 per drink value. These cards were accepted at all dining and bar facilities, but must be fully utilized by the end of the cruise(no refunds). Most nights we went to the early show, and then proceeded to dinner. We had two specialty dining experiences between the 4 of us, one night at Murano's, and one night at Sushi on 5. Both were excellent and well worth the surcharge. The entertainment was good, with the best shows being the Beatles night and the comic. We did take advantage of many of the games, with guests and crew, which were fun and afforded laughs for all. The only "Celebrity" sponsored excursions we took advantage of was the Hubbard Glacier excursion. With a hefty price of $279 per person, we decided to take the gamble and yes it was worth it. The Glacier was amazing and we witness much calving. Both beautiful and alarming(climate change) at the same time. We arrived for Embarkation at 11:00AM and were met by lines. Being Concierge Class allowed us to zip through the Celebrity guest check-in, however US Customs caused for some delay in boarding. The whole process took approximately an hour to 1 1/2 hours. Very much like passing through security at any major US airport. Canadian and US citizens were segregated from the others, so I am uncertain as to how much time for guests who were not Canadian or US Citizens. We did not take advantage of any of the enrichment activities on board. My husband utilized the fitness facilities and found them excellent and clean. Overall the public rooms of the ship were well maintained and clean. It appeared that staff maintaining these areas were diligent in their work. Many a time, I spotted the Captain and/or other Officers moving about the guest areas insuring that guests expectations were met. Would I sail with Celebrity again. Absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get ... Read More
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get around: 1) My wheelchair-accessible cabin had a ramp to get out to the balcony. Great. But NO ramp on the balcony side, just a 3.5" drop, making it unusable. I had to contact our cabin attendant, who then called engineering, who built a wooden ramp for me. Great, but shouldn't this have been done from the beginning? 2) Our table in the Metropolitan dining room was lovely. But didn't it occur to ANYONE that a table in the farthest corner from the entrance, with two heavy high-backed chairs (photo attached) might not be the best fit for someone requesting an accessible cabin?? 3) There was NO seating set aside in the Oceanview Buffet for wheelchair diners. Again, didn't it occur to ANYBODY on the dining staff that we might need tables that were easy to get to? (Again, after speaking to the maitre'd, by the end of the cruise there were heavy plastic "reserved for accessible seating" signs on 3 tables at the entrance, but I'm amazed I had to bring this to somebody's attention.) 4) We were invited to check out the Spa, but upon inspection I found the most (all?) of the therapy rooms had a 2 inch lip on the bottom of the doorway, blocking anyone with a wheelchair from getting in. Come on, guys, now you're actually BUILDING barriers preventing me from using your facilities. Deck 10, the pool deck, had automatic doors to the outside. But all the other doors on decks 4 and 11 were doorknob doors, making it challenging to get outside. And most of the hallway and large-room carpeting was like wheeling on velcro. I will say that the crew was extremely accommodating and more than willing to help out however they could, but my feeling was that Celebrity Corporate gave mere lip service to the concept of accessibility and couldn't care less about anyone actually needing accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that ... Read More
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that Celebrity is living off its reputation (& messaging) of ‘premium’. My experience is that they are looking for ever 'sneaky' ways to drive up revenue (as any good business should), whilst minimising the product (which is cancerous). Sure push the envelope for a few dollars here and there, but don't reduce the product at the same time. We cruise Royal Caribbean and Celebrity a lot… and enjoy the loyalty reciprocity and we are finding the gap between the 2 becoming more and more insignificant. Royal are getting better, whilst Celebrity are slipping. So would I cruise Celebrity again? Yes. I’ve seen Celebrity really good, and quite average. Considering this cruise might have been an exception, I’ll go again… but that may be the last if it remains under-whelming. The Good: - Crew: The 'Worker bees' were all so generous and courteous... nothing but good things to say - Tuscan Grill: Personalised and accommodating… even modifying the menu upon request (The Maître d was brilliant) - Stateroom: Remodelled room (Balcony Concierge Class) was very good… décor was modern and warm, whilst storage space was plentiful and practical - Beds and pillows were so good… slept like a baby (despite some rough seas) - Ocean View Café – Lunch and Dinners were amazing in terms of quality & choice. And the pizza… the BEST on the open seas! (In contrast the Main Dining Room’s food was a complete let down) The Bad: So before looking like I’m just whining, I respect that everyone has different tastes so I’ve left entertainment, enrichment and excursion off the ‘bad’ list. Most of my ‘bad’ is centred around how I’ve seen Celebrity go from ‘WOW!’ to ‘’MEH!’. - Casino: I thought I was being a little too negative, until I heard many guests in there complaining. Apart from 2 to 3 dealers, the rest were inexperienced and most impersonal. There was a strong contingent of Texas Hold’em Poker players onboard, and the availability, service and games structures were amateurish at best. A 10% rake (yes..10%) should come with incredible dealers… instead we had trainees who did not know the rules, and continually exposed cards whilst dealing. - Outdoor hot tubs were lukewarm at best. I know many folk were requesting for the temperature to be increased. Each time was met with a shrug of the shoulders saying ‘it was just the way it is’. Considering the weather outside was cool, this was most disappointing. - Concierge Class: This is pretty much a bluff... (It is anything but personal, group phone messages, line up for 30 minutes, call the service desk and we could never get through). On sea days the concierge was ‘closed’ from Midday to 4:30pm every day. This is an absolute oversell... save your money!! The Concierge Class left me questioning why we did it… just couldn’t see the value. - Embarkation: 1.75 hours kerb to ship! - (And we were concierge class)… absolutely dreadful - 'Premium' Drinks Package - You can't get a glass of wine with your room service order (you can pay for it though). I think this is a nasty slap in the face and really lost Celebrity lot of points in my book. (Using the 'we must see your stateroom card upon ordering' is so condescending). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - Take a Coke from your mini bar - you'll get charged. Again just thoughtless. (So instead I go to the bar get a heap of unopened soft drinks and put them in the bard fridge). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - with a dreadfully limited selection by the glass of basic wines. If you are a wine drinker (primarily) I strongly urge you to give the drinks package a miss. The selection is very, very limited and anything but ‘premium’. - 'Premium' Drinks Package - in the specialty restaurants the wine by the glass choices are a contradiction (to align to 'specialty')... limited in terms of choice / country / region / variety / quality. - When I first cruised celebrity the wine experience was great. The Sommeliers were experienced and knowledgeable. They really should not use the term Sommelier for the wine crew on this cruise… can you believe we were served corked/off red wine in one of the specialty restaurants (because it had been left open for a few days), and the Sommelier just didn’t get it! - Main Dining room - Can't tell the difference between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean anymore. This has sadly been dumbed down to mass production without the culinary prowess the once defined the Celebrity difference. So the main dining experience is the centre of ‘Premium’ cruising. It’s where the nostalgia lives… Celebrity have absolutely dropped the ball here. The main dining room is pretty much sitting back in the industry pack now… so very disappointing!!! Bland, unseasoned, cold, huge variance from one guest plate to the next, lack of imagination (sides were pretty much boiled carrot, broccoli & a bit of mash with most meals). Also the dress standard Celebrity have held to all but disappeared… formal nights were really just neat casual. It’s not good when the buffet is way better than the main dining room. - Main Dining Room - can you imagine getting your 1st drinks order half way through your main course? (twice). - Constantly pushing up the prices on specialty dining (Tuscan now up to $45 US!!). But then at the bottom of the menu offering premium steaks for an additional $18... Really!! - Disembarkation… It’s amazing how much colder and unhospitable the crew became on disembarkation morning. We went to guest services to see if I could exchange some US for YEN... got an abrupt NO... with an immediate reminder that we had to get off the ship! In closing I was surprised at how aloof and closed off the managers and above were... almost like the guest were annoying them. But again the core crew were so great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and ... Read More
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and enthusiastic. The Captain is everywhere (who's steering the ship??) but is very pleasant and does his best to communicate with the passengers even though his heavily accented Greek/English almost requires a translator. The Average: This was a re-positioning cruise through the Gulf of Alaska known for its difficult weather so when the weather is bad, you can't enjoy the outside. On bad weather days, the buffet is so crowded you can't find a seat because the overflow that usually sits on the deck by the pool are inside due to the weather. Best to go to the formal dining room. The Not so Good: While there is a difference of opinion between my spouse and I, I found the Entertainment second or third rate and the production shows boring. We have experienced much better entertainment on re-positioning cruises including on Celebrity. The food was only average or worse. Breakfasts were good, we rarely ate lunch but the dinners were another story. The appetizers at dinner were good and some of the main course meals (Prime Rib of Beef, Duck, Lamb Chops were good) the rest was not. This is not a problem with the quality of food, it is how it was (over) cooked and sometimes, had little flavor. Don't order the chicken or fish unless you want shoe leather texture. One woman at our table loved fish and ordered it every night only to be constantly disappointed by the tough overcooked fish they served her. She complained with no success, even sending it back for a replacement only to receive the same overcooked tough fish again. I lay this on the feet of the Head Chef who has been on this ship for some time and is responsible for supervising the cooks. Some people say that fish, poultry and pork should be cooked right through (tell that to the Sushi Chefs) but good restaurants and chefs have been producing juicy versions for years. Quite disappointing! On the subject of restaurants, the Specialty Restaurants were overpriced and in the case of the Sushi restaurant not popular. They were heavily discounting this one at the end of the cruise and most of the time we passed it during the dinner hour there were only a handful of couples in it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the ... Read More
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the airport to the port, and were ready to board the ship for the Concierge lunch in the dining room. While our cabin #8177 was not quite ready, the “touch” Seapass was on the door and we could drop off our carry-on bags. First impressions of the refurbished cabin were very positive. Fresh, clean décor, large TV screen, clear view from the balcony (with slight obstruction to the far left where the window cleaning ladder was stationed). Good number of wood hangers in the closet, soft closing drawers, ample lighting, USB ports. What we didn’t like: unable to regulate the fan speed, undersized sofabed for the available space, unable to angle the TV for viewing when sitting on the sofabed. As for the bathroom, while the shower stall has a nice door, it opens inwards, almost hitting the oversized grab bar leaving little space to maneuver. The grout on the tiled shower floor had many cracks which resulted in water leaking on to the floor. We asked to have this fixed, and we were given access to another cabin for half a day while the shower stall was re-grouted and re-caulked. Concierge Violetta Joson took charge of this case, sent us wine, strawberries and gave Future Cruise Credit for our inconvenience. This commitment to customer service in a friendly and honest manner was also demonstrated by many of the crew, including cabin steward Ronnie, assistant Maitre d’ Eric and waiter Limon to mention a few. The captain and senior officers were visible throughout and very approachable. The Elite breakfast, which was served in the Tuscan Grill on prior cruises, was moved to the MDR. In the new design, Tuscan Grill has shrunk in size, and access blocked off from the mid-ship lobby. In the first two days the breakfast was plated menu service and very disorganized. From the third day onwards it was a buffet service. Hot items were also included, which was a welcome addition to the Elite breakfast, but the pathetic so-called bagels need a new recipe. The Elite cocktail hour 5pm-7pm, allowed unlimited drinks in the Skylounge as well as the other bars. We had Select dining, and booked 6:45pm well in advance. Only once we had to wait with a buzzer, since we changed the reservation from 2 to 4 persons. The food and service in the MDR was up to Celebrity standard – good to very good. The Oceanview Café was nicely re-designed with a variety of seating options. Pizzas and fajitas bar were very good, but there is no stir-fry station, available on the Solstice class ships. Our days at sea were filled with many activities ably supplied by Cruise Director Steve Gayda. The guest speakers were excellent, the Asia Film Festival screened good quality movies. Evening entertainment was good to very good, with notable highlights of Tom Franek (piano acrobat and sing-along), aerialists Julia and Alan, and Scottish soprano Elaine Gray. Weather was pleasant on our port days. There were a couple of moderate seas and windy days on the crossing, being on the edges of a passing storm. Clock were set back one hour almost every night. After a few days it was difficult to stay awake past 9pm. We “skipped” Friday the 13th when crossing the International Date Line. Upon arrival to our first port in Japan we had to get through immigration process. Celebrity and Japanese officials were very efficient and quick. Lines were short and within minutes we were done and ready to go ashore. The ports of call offered a good variety. Sitka in Alaska with its wildlife and forests, and Japan’s destinations with the small town of Otaru, a larger city Hakedote, and metropolis Yokohama. Celebrity provided free shuttles at all the ports except for Otaru, where we docked within walking distance of town centre. Disembarkation was also well organized and efficient. We were off the ship, with the Captain and the senior officers lining up to bid us farewell. What a thoughtful and heart-warming gesture. How can you not want to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
As 2 couples we wanted to see Western Canada. Glaciers, Ice flows and Mountains so starting with an all inclusive cruise seemed a good idea, especially after the long haul flight from London UK. Cabin and Service Any photographers ... Read More
As 2 couples we wanted to see Western Canada. Glaciers, Ice flows and Mountains so starting with an all inclusive cruise seemed a good idea, especially after the long haul flight from London UK. Cabin and Service Any photographers will end up very frustrated though as the Room TV does not display any images nor video and asking for assistance is a waste of time. The Cabin attendant said that's technical. Sorry... The customer service desk said USB connection are not permitted as they could contain viruses. -They didn't listen though as i said HDMI connections. It took 5 days to get any sense from anyone and then i was given just 1 hour in a conference room using its TV as it did display jpeg images - and played mp4. jpeg is what's ion android phones and pretty much all camera. Celebrity Eclipse you actually offered Feeble service - P&O for me from now on. Entertainment and activities Why do i have to pay $99 to use the steam room? Why charge extra for Yoga lessons? There is this maddeningly silly game in the gym on the first day to get everyone excited about getting free training sessions. Then it turns out they are not free just a bit cheaper. Such an old fashioned naff idea. Why they treated us like children is beyond me! - As a group we laughed at the stupidity but actually its insulting. As for the Yoga, fortunately I've done enough Yoga to do my own sessions. The Ship. I could not fault the ship, quiet, smooth, stylish. i could see regular maintenance being carried out. All looked fine. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We enjoyed seeing the changes in the ship and for the most part they look good. The ship looks brighter and cleaner. What we missed was the library, the first place I went to get a book to read and no library. There are a few books I ... Read More
We enjoyed seeing the changes in the ship and for the most part they look good. The ship looks brighter and cleaner. What we missed was the library, the first place I went to get a book to read and no library. There are a few books I finally found by the Rendevous, but very few and the topics of the books were not chosen to excited cruises. I imagine more for decoration, but I borrowed one anyway and then returned it and picked up a second in port. I also love going to deck 12 forward where it is usually quiet. But, it is now the private sanctuary of Suite cruisers. Don't they already have balconies? Boohoo! The cabin is looking good. The storage was more than enough for us and we loved the soft close cupboards and drawers!. The new tv's and system look really good. DH was able to watch the tennis finals, Go Bianca Andreescu!!!!! Nice and clear when we got the signal. The new boarding system where we could take our own photos ahead of time was really seamless and we were on board in record time, picked up our keys from our room and left our bags. We had expected to be seated at a table for ten, but ended up at a table for two right at the stern window. Well that was really lovely and we decided to stay with it as i hated to give up the window. For the most part the meals were excellent, sometimes a little too much for me, but generally tasty. As always there is too much salt but I drank lots... of water. Despite being able to get our Captain's club drinks at most bars we visited the cosmos each afternoon as a nice way to end the busy day and then off to diner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed on the millennium 4 years ago from Vancouver to Seward on an 8 day cruise and returned back by air. We found it to be in need of refurbishment at that time and were disappointed. We have always enjoyed the Solstice ships and ... Read More
We sailed on the millennium 4 years ago from Vancouver to Seward on an 8 day cruise and returned back by air. We found it to be in need of refurbishment at that time and were disappointed. We have always enjoyed the Solstice ships and therefore remained with them instead and have enjoyed MANY wonderful cruises to many fabulous destinations. Since they refurbished the Millennium this spring we thought we would give it a try. We live 30 mins away from the cruise terminal and enjoy the Northwest. This was our 5th cruise to Alaska on Celebrity. We have sailed with Celebrity for 15 years now and always book the CS celebrity suite. All CS suites were booked when we found this cruise while on the Eclipse this May on an Alaska cruise, the Royal Suite was available so we booked it. Check in was a breeze with the new system! We arrived at 10:30 am and were escorted to the Retreat lounge at 11:15! We always take our bags with us and never check them, and were told we could place them in our suite! We walked thru the doors and saw the LOVELY new restored ROYAL suite! We were delighted! The suite guest which is now called the Retreat lounge was Michaels club before this restoration which had dark wood and warm Colours and we enjoyed it 4 years ago the bar area was very inviting. Now it’s very bright and airy and it is very pretty to look at, however most seats are not so comfortable and the bar is tucked away out of sight and very stark and has no character. On the top deck they have added the out door Retreat, and it is extraordinary! The suite guest dining room Luminae has not increased in size after this restoration however they have added sky suites, adding many more guests to this venue. Therefore it has become a little too small and if you wish to attend the 7:00 pm show you must come early as it gets very busy. We found that after 7:00 pm is was less hectic and you could enjoy a lovely leisurely dinner. The food is always outstanding! The service is top notch! Every evening is a joy to have dinner in this lovely dining room. It is the service from the wonderful staff in all departments that keeps us coming back to Celebrity Cruises. They are always friendly, helpful, gracious, and polite. We enjoy the GYM and were very happy with the restoration, they removed the carpet and now have a nice floor! Cafe al Bacio is a lovely spot! The Martini Bar is extra ordinary as always the servers make it special with their talent shows! Both are larger venues on the Solstice class ships. We enjoyed the beautiful towns by walking around on our own as we have seen them all many times before. We have taken many excursions in the past, and made this a relaxing holiday to enjoy on our own. Alaska is beautiful, very clean and very friendly. We are booked again for next spring on the Eclipse. As much as we enjoyed the wonderful Royal suite and all that comes it we do enjoy the Solstice class ships much more. For specialty dining the Murano is our all time favourite and they do not have it on this Millennium ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We enjoyed another great cruise on the Eclipse to Alaska leaving from Vancouver. We had two days in Vancouver prior to sailing and one day after. We had a great time in Vancouver and would highly recommend spending a few days in this ... Read More
We enjoyed another great cruise on the Eclipse to Alaska leaving from Vancouver. We had two days in Vancouver prior to sailing and one day after. We had a great time in Vancouver and would highly recommend spending a few days in this beautiful city. This was our first trip to Alaska but it will not be our last. This was one of the most scenic beautiful cruises we have taken. We stayed in a Sky Suite on the 10th floor in 1198. This was a corner aft and it was perfect for the beautiful Alaska viewing. We did a whale watching cruise from Icy Straight Point with a company called Glacier Wind Charters. This company was amazing and the tour was great. We loved everything about it. We also did a Helicopter/Glacier walk booked thru Celebrity. This one was not worth the 900.00 in our opinion. The helicopter ride was amazing but the Glacier walk was quite disappointing. Just not worth the money. The last tour we took was another one booked thru Celebrity it was a ketchikan wilderness tour & Rain forest walk - this tour was also well worth the money and so much fun. Our day at Hubbard Glacier was magical and words cannot describe the incredible beauty of this area. We ate most of our meals in Luminae and the service was beyond exceptional. We enjoyed some of the shows and others were just ok - this is obviously very subjective. The bottom line for us is we loved our trip and we will be back on Celebrity as our go to cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to ... Read More
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to that one. This was a 7-day round trip Alaska cruise out of Vancouver. EMBARKATION - For the first time ever we spent time in town prior to the cruise and boarded on the latter end of the time window - just after 2:00. The luggage drop off, check-in and other areas felt like a ghost town. It was truly eerie, making us wonder if we were in the right place even though we went through here two years ago. There were zero waits except at customs where we waited 2-3 minutes. Other than this it was walk up, take care of business, walk to the next place. The entire process took about 20 minutes, with most of that time spent walking from one place to another. We walked slowly with elderly parents with us. While we love to board early and begin our cruise experience early, we also love avoiding lines. We may start boarding late for a better embarkation experience. PUBLIC AREAS - We walked the ship and got a feel for the layout, confirming it was exactly like the Equinox except we had Cellar Masters wine bar where they had the Gastropub, which we preferred with the TV and beer theme. Other than that, everything was clean, well maintained, very classy. FOOD - We thoroughly enjoyed the food on board. We dined in the "traditional" areas, Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and lunch, Moonlight Sonata for dinner. Food was very good in all areas, with lunch being especially nice with many choices and great quality throughout. My only complaint was the length of dinner. Service was good but a bit slow in the evening. I'm not sure if they waiters thought we would enjoy taking our time in a 2 hour dinner, or they were just so busy during the busy times we ate that they simply could not keep up. We had some slow eaters with us but dinners should have taken 90 minutes not two hours. We had any time dining and ate at all different times, from 6:30 to 8:00. Desserts in Oceanview were never as good as they looked - although ice cream was very good. Desserts in the sit down restaurants were all very good. We also had a meal in Tuscan Grill and one in Murano. Service and food were very good, but had a few minor service issues in Murano - including my wife with an allergy to shellfish had a minor reaction to the flambeed lobster from another table. She had to leave in the middle of the meal to make sure the reaction didn't become a major one. Had they asked about her allergy or mentioned this as a possible allergic reaction, we may have done things differently. We ate family style in Tuscan Grill and it was very enjoyable - highly recommended. BARS - We had a drinks package and enjoyed many of the bars. Service and drink quality was very good throughout. We discovered a few new drinks we had not had before. ENTERTAINMENT - I saw three shows and one comedian. The comedian was OK, the shows were good. Especially enjoyed the last show - Euphoria - but all three had some real high points. The musicians on board were good but not great. None stood out to us. We really enjoyed DJ Leo, especially on the first night. Loved his work on the "turntable". CABIN - see below. DEBARKATION - We had an 11:00 AM flight so we worked hard to make sure we made our flight. Here's what we did for the perfect early debarkation: - We met around 7:05 at Cafe al Bacio. We got in line soon after, with about 30 people in front of us. We schlepped our own bags - not an easy task with three elderly people in our party - but we did it without incident. - The line to debark started moving around 7:30. - Ship exit and customs was very fast. We probably got in our two cabs by 7:40. - I expect we arrived at the airport around 8:05. Cabs were $32 each Canadian. - All lines at the airport were short including flight check-in, bag drop, customs, and security. We were on our way to the gate by 8:35. So a process we expected would get us to the gate by 10:30 instead got us there almost two hours early. Lesson - if you plan to get off the ship early, even a 10:00 AM flight is possible unless there are unexpected delays. Our plane ride home was uneventful and we landed in Raleigh before 9:00 PM. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The first part of the critique here is about the Celebrity experience… This was our first time sailing with Celebrity. Overall it was excellent across the board, with a couple of notable exceptions. We were traveling with another ... Read More
The first part of the critique here is about the Celebrity experience… This was our first time sailing with Celebrity. Overall it was excellent across the board, with a couple of notable exceptions. We were traveling with another couple who have previously sailed several times on Celebrity and persuaded us to join them on this trip. POSITIVES: BY FAR, the biggest Celebrity Eclipse stand out experience for us, was the restaurant LUMINAE which is exclusive to suite guests. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The staff, service, and cuisine were virtually flawless the entire week. Meal after meal exceeded some of the more exceptional restaurant experiences we’ve had anywhere in the world. Personally, (and if you possibly can swing it and/or are considering a suite), LUMINAE alone would be worth the upgrade. Some of the other suite perks are worthwhile as well, the suite package included their “1-2-3” with fast unlimited internet, package, premium beverage package and the varying credits aboard”. The rest of the suite “perks” are more limited (at least at the Sky level and this class of ship). Although the butlers do a very good job, I believe they have too many guests to attend to at times, which is not their fault. The housekeeping staff were just great as well. Zero complaints. The ships interior (and this is pre-remodel coming in 2020/2021) are very very nice. The open atrium effect , the “Solarium” indoor adult pool area, spa, restaurants, etc etc. were all just fantastic. ______________ Daisy our butler was first rate all the way. Even when a couple of minor issues occurred she was able to more than compensate and/or resolve. We loved her and her smiling face every day. She's a very hard worker with great attention to detail and your customers' satisfaction. We were very very happy with her. Juan Pablo and Jose our servers every day at Luminae did a non-stop outstanding job. Quickly learned our likes, dislikes and accommodated us at every single opportunity. Smiles and friendliness as well as great attention to detail and professionalism were ever present. On one occasion that my husband left dinner to return to the suite not feeling well, Hugo quickly asked me how he could assist. He sent ginger ale, a bread basket and chicken soup to the room within minutes. Another outstanding interaction. Absolutely loved getting to chat with Bianca at Luminae. She is just awesome!!! _______________ The "suite" experience really made the trip for us. The benefits were well worth it to us. I've already recommended two friends to the Celebrity line and that they at least get a Sky Suite to enjoy the perks. On the negative side, I wanted to make a point of relaying that almost every interaction we had with staff members at Cafe al Bacio was bad! Between us and the other couple we were traveling with (also in a Sky Suite) we stopped by Cafe al Bacio every day. It wasn't just one or two people. It was daily, and not limited to anyone person, different people. I couldn't give you one good recommendation or come up with a name of one person there that even smiled or who wasn't looking and acting like they couldn't give a damn. Sometimes we were kept waiting while two or three were congregated chatting with one customer or each other. Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. And weren't going for complicated coffee drinks. It was for a couple of sweets, some tea, a coffee to go, etc. It was very unfortunate. Not even the Suite room card changed there attitude. I'm only speaking for the four of us in our traveling group. We talked about it daily, and tried each time we went back to smile ourselves and temper our requests. The Sunset Bar bartenders were also all and always unfriendly. No interaction or personality or smiles. In contrast all of the bartenders at Ocean, Mast and the other bars were great. The only other comment (negative) is about the room service. Which, food wise, was very unfortunate. The so-called extended menu I assume for suite guests, as you know, is only a few extra items. The one night we stayed in the suite and ordered from that portion of the menu, we got a filet (passable) and a ribeye (AWFUL), crab cakes. Gross. I'm sure we were spoiled with the great food at Luminae, but ... My suggestion would be to have a REAL expanded menu for suite guests that was actually above par. I'm sure the intent is to get guests to the restaurants for the best experience, but occasionally dining is preferred, and it shouldn't be such a sad experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I are not big cruisers; our last cruise was 20 years ago on the Celebrity Century to the Western Caribbean. But this was Alaska, so it had to be by ship. The Celebrity Eclipse made us rethink cruising, as it was a pleasure from ... Read More
My wife and I are not big cruisers; our last cruise was 20 years ago on the Celebrity Century to the Western Caribbean. But this was Alaska, so it had to be by ship. The Celebrity Eclipse made us rethink cruising, as it was a pleasure from beginning to end. I was surprised to learn it will go for refurbishment in March, as it is pristine. With 2800+ passengers, the ship is big but never felt overly crowded, except maybe at the lunch buffet. There were many public spaces-- the library, card room, that felt almost intimate. We had a verandah cabin, which was worth the extra cost for the daylight and feeling of openness. Plus it was great when we neared Hubbard Glacier, where the captain did a 360 degree pirouette with the ship so that everyone had equal viewing. Spectacular! One of the highlights of the cruise. We had late dining, which initially concerned us because we usually have dinner at 7-7:30. But it wasn't a problem. And we were fortunate to be seated with two couples from New Zealand and one from Canada. Very refreshing to meet people outside of our orbit, who were intelligent and fun to be with. It was another highlight of the trip. Specialty dining at the Tuscan Grille and Murano was outstanding, and well worth the extra $45-50 person. Great service, outstanding food, and flexible dining times made these great choices. Highly recommended. We booked shore excursions through Shore Excursion Group rather than through the cruise line; these were identical excursions for about 10% less money. I learned from a savvier shopper on one of our excursions that I might have saved even more money had I shopped online more. The highlight was the whale-watching excursion at Icy Strait Point (the first port); we took a short bus ride to the dock where we took a boat with about 12-14 passengers to Hoonah, Glacier Bay. The captain and the "guide", two young men who were passionate about their work and extremely knowledgeable took us out to sea. We were fortunate to see both orcas and humpbacks, one of whom breached several times right outside of the boat. Incredible! The next day, another sunny and warm one (luckily, like all of our days on the cruise), we approached Hubbard Glacier and the blue waters surrounding it: majestic and awe-inspiring, we could only marvel at its size and beauty, and fear for its future. We heard the thunderous sound as it calved, and watched as fragments crashed into the water. On Thursday, we reached Juneau, where we took an excursion to Mendenhall Glacier. Unfortunately, a big disappointment after seeing Hubbard. It lacked the spectacle of Hubbard. I would skip this excursion. Although we did go to a salmon bake as the second part of the excursion. It was outside in a large picnic area under canopies. We watched the silver salmon being grilled, and helped ourselves to side of cornbread, potatoes, cole slaw, and blueberry cake. Very tasty. Although when we got back into the city of Juneau, we saw people eating huge crab legs at a restaurant near the dock. If we ever go back... Finally, to Ketchikan for our final stop. There we took an off-road Jeep Safari through the Tongass Forest, where a guide took us through the winding, rocky path in four-wheel drive Jeeps. Everyone had a chance to drive; lots of fun. That was followed by a short canoe trip:10-12 passengers per canoe, to an area in the woods where we enjoyed fish chowder, salmon salad, and homemade bread and jam. A fun excursion that I recommend. Otherwise, we found the service on the ship to be exceptional, from the cabin steward to the restaurant staff. The entertainment was fine--comedians, singers, and an ersatz Cirque de Soleil that was very good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
CRITERIA: We wanted an Alaska cruise that stopped at a truly impressive glacier, that left and returned to the same port, and lasted no more than 7 days due to work/life restrictions. Many of the one-way or 10-day or 14-day cruises have ... Read More
CRITERIA: We wanted an Alaska cruise that stopped at a truly impressive glacier, that left and returned to the same port, and lasted no more than 7 days due to work/life restrictions. Many of the one-way or 10-day or 14-day cruises have stops at the good northern glaciers, but this Celebrity one was the only RT that was 7 days and stopped at the stunning Hubbard Glacier. We also had family spanning ages 8 - 72 in our group, so we wanted a ship that offered activities for all the ages in our group (8, 40s, 70s). Finally, we wanted a cruise line with good food, so we booked Royal Suite 1241 in order to have the option of dining in any and all of the restaurants onboard, and having Luminae as our primary dining room. This cruise was to celebrate our mom's 70th bday and we chose this stateroom for several reasons: (1) She a homebody and does NOT like going out to public spaces. We knew she would refuse to go to the library, Lawn Club, Sky Lounge, Michael's or any public areas to hang out, so having a living room and dining table in the suite was of upmost importance. She is the type to stay mainly in her stateroom, so we wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. (2) Since she is inclined to stay in her stateroom, we chose a large one with a dining table and butler so that she could have high tea served in the suite, as well as some lunches or even dinners catered in. (3) She wanted really good food, so Suite Class meant that she could eat at the best options on the ship without even having to think about upcharges. Suite Class pretty much means you can eat anywhere without extra fee. Pre-departure: Shoreside Concierge never reach out to us. We had to hunt down a number and call them to make our requests. We spent time on two lengthly phone calls with them covering our requests but mainly covering the food sensitivities of the three Suite Class passengers. Port of Departure: Vancouver. Amazing city. We visited for a total of 6 days before and after our cruise, and we liked it more than the cruise itself, LOL. Can't say enough great things about our experience in this city, and since it isn't technically part of the cruise experience, I won't delve into all the things we loved. Suffice it to say, if you're choosing a departure port, Vancouver would be my pick, hands down. Embarkation: We enjoyed how, as Suite Class, we were escorted right onto the ship. The girl checking us in at port did an awful job and we encountered problem after problem with our SeaPass cards throughout the cruise because of all the things she forgot to do at check-in. But we wouldn't find out until later; beyond that, the check-in process was smooth. The port of Vancouver is an enormous building, but signs and people made it clear which way Celebrity was to go vs HAL. There was no real curbside check-in; we had to take our luggage and roll it to where port workers were collecting them. It was no more than 100 yards from where the taxis dropped us off, but it is still a struggle for two seniors and two adults to handle a child and 8 rolling bags. Once onboard, they whisked us pass the champagne to Michael's Lounge, but there was no champagne offered to us there nor later. The staff in Michael's told us to head to Luminae for our embarkation day lunch without telling us how to get there. They unceremoniously kicked us out of the lounge, in effect, and we had to fend for ourselves, grabbing champagne as we passed through the busy entry hall, confused as to where Luminae was or how to go there. Shoreside Concierge requests: We discovered, once onboard, that several of our requests to Shoreside Concierge was never taken care of. Given that we had two rather long conversations with them, this was extremely disappointing to find out. The three biggest things they missed: (1) we were never put on the waitlist for the Hubbard Glacier Excursion; (2) two out of the three Suite guests had food sensitivities that were discussed extensively but not noted at all, including the guest of honor who cannot have dairy or beef; and (3) the room was not decorated for the 9 year old's bday celebration on the final night of our sailing. That last one was a huge let-down, because the room WAS decorated for grandma's bday celebration on our first night, so he was looking forward to the same treatment. Stateroom attendants: We had nothing but wonderful things to say about the stateroom attendants for both the Royal Suite and Aqua Class staterooms. They did an amazing job, so diligent and so unobstrusive and so thorough. One of the best things about the ship. My mom is meticulous and she was so happy with the job her stateroom attendant did, plus, it was tricky to catch the suite empty, given how much time she spent in the suite! Kudos to him. Food&Dining: LUMINAE *Hugo was a star, always welcoming and solicitous. We had several really extensive food restrictions in our group, and he always worked so hard to make modifications to address that. *Definitely a far superior menu to main dining room menu, but service was unacceptably slow. It should not take one hour between appetizers and entrees. It got so bad that we started to avoid eating here; no one wants to spend 3 hours eating two course at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seriously. *The Daniel Boulud specialty menu was a disaster and not even close to evoking our experiences dining in his various establishments. *The food substitutions were not the most interesting food. A fruit plate is not a clever substitute. We did a much better job of requesting modifications to the menu than going with what the chef came up with. One exception was a stunning platter of 16 prawns that the chef grilled up for my mom's dinner on the last night. That plate was delicious and on par with the rest of the menu. Other than that, our own modifications and requests were much more successful than the chef's. *At Luminae, the staff was completely unaware that guests of Suite Class guests invited to dine with them had no surcharge for kids 12 and under. We literally had to tell the staff multiple times and show them Celebrity's own printed materials to convince them of the correct policy. Honestly, guests should not know more than the ship's staff. We only had this problem at the first meal, however, as this problem did not come up again. *Overall, by the end of the cruise, the servers were finally getting to know us, even though we dines here maybe a dozen times. By contrast, on a Disney cruise, by your third encounter, they know you and your preferences very well. BLU *Excellent octopus dish, overall lighter and pleasant menu, but the service was really lacking. Almost every time, water glasses would sit empty until the meal was almost done, or refilled only after the meal was already done. Coffee refills would be hit or miss. Juice would never be refilled for us, though it was at other tables. *This felt very impersonal and unfriendly. Definitely uneven service. *One standout server was Unica, who took the trouble to remember guests. She was the ONLY person on the entire cruise whose service level was truly memorable. After just one breakfast with her, she remembered both our pastry and fruit preferences. The next time we saw her a breakfast, we didn't even have to say and word and she just showed up with what we liked. She would be a star on Disney Cruise Line, where this is often par for the course from their dining staff. On Celebrity, no one remembered us except Unica. And we certainly got the feeling that she was given some grief for caring about the guests. MURANO *Excellent menu, excellent service, excellent pacing. Best restaurant on the ship, we felt. *If the menu didn't feel so heavy, and if it wasn't always the same, we would have eaten here more often. We were able to modify our dishes with ease, though our mother's food restrictions were not communicated to the staff here and she was very annoyed when they put a beef amuse bouche in front of her. LOL *For all the places were we had to pay surcharges for members of our family sailing in Aqua Class (we could not all fit in the Suite), this one was worth the money. *They could be a little more friendly, take a page from Danny Meyer's book on hospitality. SUSHI on FIVE *Servers here extremely nice, some of the nicest onboard. *Udon broth and rolls involving fresh crab were good. Other than that... *This was the WORST nigiri sushi ever. Worse than what you'd get at a grocery store. Such a HUGE disappointment given how much fresh fish was available at all the ports we stopped at. *This place has so much potential and its a shame what they have NOT done with it. AND it is the one restaurant on the ship where everyone is supposed to pay, Not worth the time or money. AVOID until they make some drastic changes to their sushi/sashimi selection. OCEANVIEW CAFE *Convenient (almost always open), huge, and nice change from the heavier menus we were being service. Difficult to find a table during busy times but not at all impossible. *Horrible coffee, tho. Always go to Il Bacio. *Son gave jello thumbs up and had about three per day, after we discovered this place. *Only place on the ship I could find Passionfruit Orange Guava juice cocktail. Best stuff ever, but water it down with sparkling or still water because it is too sweet. CAFE AL BACIO *THE place to get coffee and tea on the ship. They serve Lavazza, which I love, and a decent selection of Tea Forte teas. The associated gelateria was never manned, but you could always ask someone at the coffee counter. They did a great job with every coffee I ordered, and all my soy milk cappuccinos ordered in Luminae, BLU or Murano came from here. *Staff here was never friendly or welcoming. Despite seeing our faces every day, no one welcomed you like one would be welcomed at your local coffee shop. Again, very impersonal and standoffish vibe. They were more interested in socializing and joking around with each other than interacting with guests. Entertainment: *The ship's staff of singers are extremely talented and the aerialists are also very good. The shows themselves are really blah, however, with unclear storylines/plots. Disney definitely does a better job telling stories, but these singers were better, I feel, as pure singers. *The comedian we saw was funny, though relied too much on racist stereotypes (equal opportunity racist, he called himself). Many of the jokes went over my 8 year old's head, but he still thought the guy was funny, especially given this was my son's first exposure to a comedian. *The three singers who did the soul show were also very talented and fun. Overall, it was fun to catch the shows, though the changing of showtimes each night made it tricky to book dining reservations times (and we had to bc not everyone in our group was Suite Class and we paid to have guests in Luminae with us; also, we ate at Murano 3x). And with how slow dinner service was in BLU (which was STILL faster than Luminae's ridiculous 1 hr between appetizer and entree), you were never sure if you were going to make it to the show anyway. Ports of Call: *Very fun since Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan are only accessible by air and sea. In order to get some good variety of experiences, we booked a private tour in Sitka, booked directly with the tour company in Juneau, and booked through the cruise line in Ketchikan. SITKA Our experience in Sitka was amazing. Our ship arrived late to port b/c of engine trouble. Our tour time could not be moved b/c the captain had a group right after ours. He told us to try and be among the first off the ship so that we could get onto one of the first buses and down to the harbor as quickly as possible. When we went down to disembark, our hearts sank because the queues snaked all around the atrium and across the ship. We just so happened to cross paths with the Michael's Club Concierge, who was escorting another group. She told us to follow her, and walked us right to the doors. We were the first people off the ship, the first people on the first bus, and the first people down at the harbor. NOW, if we had not run into the Concierge, there was no way we would have lucked out like this. Having made multiple visits to Michael's Club, NO ONE ever explained to us how to obtain priority disembarkation for the ports. That would have been something they should have covered in one of our conversations. Anyway, Sitka is a small town, and we ate at a local food truck, Captain JuJu's, featuring some great local catch, which was a lot of fun. We spent the afternoon doing a private land tour, visiting the bear rescue, raptor rescue and totem park. It was stunning to see humpback whales (one was REALLY close), sea otter, sea lions and SO MANY FLIPPING (into the air) SALMON! The bears at the rescue were really interesting, and the different injured raptors were cool to see up close. Sitka is really quite beautiful and a great first port stop. HUBBARD GLACIER Technically not a port because we didn't dock, but we lucked out with the most clear day imaginable. The onboard naturalist was PHENOMENAL and told us such interesting things about the glacier. The helipad was overcrowded, but I liked how they provided blankets, headsets and warm drinks. However, in the end, we just returned to our staterooms and took in the beauty from our two verandahs, which I had made sure were on opposite sides of the ship, so that there was always at least one good view. Though ALL the views were good that day. Once in a lifetime experience. Could not have asked for a more perfect day weatherwise. JUNEAU Well, for every good day, there is a bad one. Our dogsled camp excursion had been touch and go all summer b/c the heat and high temps were making dog camps shut down weeks, even months, earlier than usual. It turned out that Mendenhall stayed open until the end fo August, so we were so excited to go. Unfortunately, they could not get us on the earlier helicopters, and by the time it was our turn to fly out, the fog had gotten so bad that all choppers and seaplanes were grounded. This also meant that our back-up plan with the glacier walkabout could not happen. I was disappointed to find that the tour company we had booked with could not drive us to the glaciers instead, because that was an option and we had a long enough day at this port to go. I don't know if our experience would have been any better had we booked our excursion through the cruise line (if they could have booked us on a good alternative), but I took the opportunity to explore the port. Too many touristy shops, but we did get to have King Crab legs at Tracy's, as was the plan. There's a lovely museum in town, but most of the main strip are touristy shops, which is a shame. There were a few cute shops and restaurants further afield, north of the port area. The main area around the port is just not very charming nor interesting. KETCHIKAN Yet another drizzly day, but this time, our excursion site was reached via bus and ziplining can be done even in the rain. This excursion was booked thru the cruise line and I appreciated how organized they were in getting us to the right buses and providing timely buses to bring us back. We did not choose to explore the downtown area, but the zipline adventure itself was lovely. We were SO HIGH up in the trees that I was seeing vegetation that I was completely unfamiliar with. They did loan us rain jackets for ziplining, but I packed the wrong kind of pants and shoes, and was pretty drenched from the hips down. Still, a beautiful and exhilarating afternoon in the beautiful and majestic temperate rainforest. The excursion offered by Celebrity went smoothly and was perfect for what we wanted to do. Michael's Club Other than the bartender, there was never ANY staff in there during the day. We must have stopped by over two dozen times to find no one at the desk. We always had to leave phone messages for the Concierge if we had any questions. I feel like Michael's Club should have a permanent Guest Services staff to take care of all the issues we constantly had to go to Guest Services for, such as our Sea Pass cards not working to paying for drinks, meals, etc. Such as my father's misprinted Sea Pass card that showed no beverage package. Those issues should have been handled within the Club Lounge. If there was ever anyone in there...which there wasn't. Canyon Ranch Spa Having been to Canyon Ranch Lenox, I was looking forward to their menu of treatments. They didn't offer some of my favorites (parafango), but the Revitalizing Ritual and Seaweed Detox Wrap were both AMAZING, mostly due to my wonderful wonderful spa therapist. She did just a great job explaining and massaging. I loved the two treatments I booked. The counter was a bit hectic on embarkation day, but I didn't wait to long when I came by throughout the cruise. The family members sailing in the suite all purchased Persian Garden passes and EVERYONE LOVED THE HEATED TILE LOUNGERS. The family members booked in Aqua Class got access as part of their perks. There are never enough of those things, and some people stay longer than the recommended 20 minutes. For the most part, the majority of people were really good about getting up and giving others a chance. I would have appreciated a larger variety of hydrotherapy showers, especially a warm water one. I liked the temperate sauna, but found it on one day to be cold and smelling of urine. That was only one day out of five visits, so not bad. Visited the steam sauna once and the dry sauna once. The nice showers in both the Royal Suite and Aqua Class staterooms meant that I didn't have to Toiletries I actually preferred the milder scented shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion of the Aqua Class stateroom to the overly perfumed Bulgari products in the suite. Just my preference. Still, H2O (Disney Cruise Line), L'Occitane (Regent Seven Seas), Aveda (Crystal) or Molton Brown (Seabourn) would be my top picks. Kids programming Maybe it is because we're used to sailing Disney, but I found it so odd that the Kids Clubs would be closed at three points during the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You had to pay extra for your kids to participate in a "dining program" during those times. WHAT?!? So odd. BUT, what I loved is that, unlike Disney, with fewer kids, the counselors really rounded up the kids to have them participate in the different activities. You did not have to worry that your kid would go to the kids club and just sit on the XBox for two hours. It would have been nice to give them a little more unstructured play time, but overall, they kind of forced to kids to get to know each other and interact a bit. I loved that. They even hosted a family even one night where you got to see what their "camp" program was like. Very fun, very well run. Overall, I was impressed (though still puzzled by the closures throughout the day). Recreation It was nice that the allowed a family swim btwn 4-6p each day in the enclosed solarium pool, bc the unenclosed pools are REALLY COLD on an Alaskan cruise! LOL Though I am sure that the adults in the adult-only area did NOT like their solarium being overrun every day from 4-6p, it gave adults with kids a chance to swim each day. We did the glass blowing and it was an AMAZING experience. Glass blowing is interesting and fun, in and of itself, but doing it on the top deck of a large ship was unique. We also did a Reidel workshop. No one else showed up, so it became a private tasting lesson with the Murano sommelier. Super fun AND you get a code for four free wine glasses (to order) once you get home. There is an arcade, though we never went. Also saw some taller guys shooting basketball, so my 8 yr old did not want to join in. There was a nice lawn on the top deck, but the signs were always turned to "keep off" when I went up there. Library had lots of adult books, no kid books, and some nice reading chairs and nooks that I always found passengers to be napping in, LOL. Card room had a few different games but never enough for the number of tables in the room. Only 1 mah jong set (with a few replacement tiles for missing tiles), that one old lady would be guarding like a hawk while her cardmates were eating or whatnot. It was very hard to get hold of that set to play with. Concierge should have extra sets of cards, mah jong, other games in Michael's for suite class guests to borrow and play in their own stateroom. We asked our Butler, but he said nothing was available to play in our suite. Some members of our family popped into the casino, but it wasn't a huge draw for our family. THE LETDOWN: Butler and overall Service So, we booked the Royal suite instead of two smaller suites because we wanted the butler service and in-room dining. Unlike with previous reviewers of this cruise, who had good experiences, our biggest disappointment was, unfortunately, our Suite Butler. Upon meeting us, he immediately told us that he was in charge of a lot of staterooms, so that he would be quite busy during this sailing. Anything we asked for was begrudgingly taken care of at best. There wasn't a lot of common sense; when we asked for more herbal tea selections to add to our choices, he took away the original assortment, which we had also wanted! When we told him which one we liked, he never restocked it. We always had to restock it ourselves from Michael's or Cafe Al Bacio. As opposed to reports of being able to cater Hubbard Glacier day with food from the sushi restaurant, in addition to other foods, we were told that we were limited to the room service menu and the main dining room menu. He did cater us a lunch on Hubbard Glacier Day, but it was much less of a festive celebration; he made it feel like an imposition. We tried to order the food from room service directly, but was told we HAD to do it thru our butler, whose very attitude told us that he did not really want to help us. Out of four days of wanting high tea served in the suite, it was done once. Out of three days of wanting lunch served in the suite, we also only did it once because our butler made us feel like it was such an enormous and excessive undertaking that was an imposition on him. We never even bothered to ask about any dinners. We were highly underwhelmed and disappointed by our butler's attitude. He was nice, just not proactive nor welcoming nor dedicated to providing true service. For future bookings, I would not recommend booking this stateroom category for the butler, just for the space/roominess of stateroom. Overall, this did not impress the first time cruisers nor the repeat cruisers in our group. OVERALL I think the problem with this sailing was really the service. Other than a handful (count on one hand?) of people who took the time to recognize or familiarize themselves with us, this ship felt like a machine churning out soulessness. Staff really should be more friendly with guests they're seeing often on a 7-night sailing. Most of the Celebrity Eclipse staff just could not be bothered. For each stateroom's occupants, we only felt that our stateroom attendant, spa therapist, Hugo in Luminae, our server (I forget his name) in Sushi on 5, and Unica in BLU really cared about having us as their guests on this ship. That's 5 people out of dozens and dozens of staff members we came across regularly. And that's sad when you're choosing Suite Class on Celebrity for their reputation, service quality, and being treated like VIPs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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