Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by FelexRabbit
- Sail Date: December 2012
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Concierge Class
We embarked in Fort Lauderdale and the embarkation process was fine for us, just a small queue to get through security and then another short queue to check in. Our stateroom was ready about 1pm, and we were very pleasantly surprised. We had previously cruised on the Norwegian Spirit and felt that the room was dirty and shabby, and the bathroom too small. This room was clean and set up a little bit better, and the bathroom felt very modern. We loved our balcony; we were aft and the balconies were much more private than we had been expecting as the overhang from the balcony above stopped people seeing you unless you were right at the edge. We also had no problem with soot. The location of the room was great, very quiet no noise from above or below and in the right end of the ship for everywhere we wanted to go.
The room was concierge class but there wasn't really any benefit apart from the location. If we couldn't get an aft room again then we wouldn't bother with concierge class. Our cabin attendant wasn't great; he kept the room clean and was friendly enough when we saw him but he didn't bother introducing himself on the first day and when my husband saw him subsequently he said to leave a note if we needed anything , he disappeared after saying he would bring us some ice for our ice bucket, was never in the corridor (other attendants were always in the corridor and we saw them nine out of ten times whereas ours was never anywhere to be seen).
We thought the food was very good everywhere. We ate in the main dining room most evenings and thought the service was excellent in the section we mainly ate in, and ok in the other sections. I've read a lot of complaints about portion sizes but they were fine for us -- I think they are more European sized than American sized so to us they always seemed like a normal meal size. Quite often we were so full from lunch that we could only manage a starter and main with no dessert. The Oceanview cafe at lunch was fantastic with a great choice (the curries were delicious) but not so good at dinner. On the NCL cruise there was a good choice of casual eating options in the evening if you couldn't be bothered to get dressed up and it would have been nice to have had this option on Celebrity.
We ate in all the speciality restaurants (apart from Blu as we weren't AC) and thought these were good. We paid $95 to do a special wine evening in Tuscan Grille and we had been worried that it wouldn't be worth the money but it totally was. We started in Cellar Masters with a glass of champagne and a (very large) canape then moved to Tuscan Grille. Each course was paired with a different wine which the Cellar Master told us about. Both the wines and food were very nice and Tuscan Grille was our favourite night.
Qsine was good. I really enjoyed the food, and the service was ok but there was far too much food. We were advised to order five choices but we would have been ok with three to be honest as we felt ill by the time the fifth came, and couldn't order dessert!
Murano was the most disappointing. The mushroom cappuccino I had as starter was delicious but the lobster main was only ok. The service was probably the worst part. The champagne we ordered wasn't available and when we asked what was similar we were recommended a load of different ones including a semi-sweet so not really any advice at all. Also we had ordered water but noticed that our water (which was in the wine cooler with our champagne) was being used to top up another table's glasses, then our glasses were topped up with another table's water which had gone flat and was almost empty so we were then asked if we wanted to order another bottle! We tried to explain but our glasses were then filled up again with our original bottle. The water wasn't on the bill so we are not sure what exactly happened, but it's worth keeping an eye on your water when they take it away!
Cafe Al Bacio and Bistro on 5 were both good.
The ship itself is beautiful and mainly well designed although there were a few areas that seemed to be underused or not well thought out (for example the Gelateria was hardly used and the poor girl who had to stand there all day looked bored stupid). The biggest issue is that the pool was entirely too small for a ship that size. There were hardly any children on our cruise but I would hate to think what happens in the holidays as the children's' pool and the adult's pool are next to each other, and the children on our cruise were using both pools anyway. It's hard to understand why Celebrity didn't choose to separate the pools into different areas (the Solarium pool was mainly used by the 'seniors').
We didn't go to any shows apart from the Hot Glass Show which was good. The live music around the ship was good (especially the jazz band 4Tune). The music in the Martini bar was bizarre -- terrible and loud.
The disembarkation process was a nightmare.
It sounds from the above like there were lots of things that were wrong but the good really did outweigh the bad. We had a great time, met lots of very nice people (both crew and passengers), ate lots and lots of very nice food and had a great time.