Celebrity Eclipse, 14 Day Souther Caribbean, January 2013: Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by energizer0_0

Celebrity Eclipse 5
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating

Celebrity Eclipse, 14 Day Souther Caribbean, January 2013

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Overall a very nice cruise with VERY few hiccups.

Travel To Port of Embarkation - we travelled from VERY far away, Western Canada. Allow AT LEAST one extra night for airline glitches in the winter time, and lost baggage. We stayed over in Fort Lauderdale two nights before the cruise. Stayed at a smaller, Mom - and - Pop style motel a block off the beach. Toured around the beach and Fort Lauderdale, using their hop on / hop off "trolley" which is quite enjoyable.

Ship -
Eclipse was only three years old when we sailed (January 2013). Nice to see everything new and working. Only a very few signs of wear (the odd bit upholstery in some public lounges). Public areas, hallways and our room were all up to snuff.

We travelled with a group of friends; our travel agent had booked us all close together which was really nice especially at evening sailaways, sharing conversation from balcony to balcony.

Dining -
Dining Room:
Service - our two More servers were great.
Menu - pretty standard compared to what we'd seen on other Celebrity and Princess ships (which is to say, very good). The lamb was especially good.
One of us with gluten / dairy diet issues had no issues at all selecting suitable items off the menu, and getting the servers / kitchen to "customize" here and there by omitting a sauce, making a substitution, etc.

"Island" type which takes a day or three to get used to.
Buffet staff were quite "up" on dietary needs (had soy milk available every day), BUT beware, labelling on the food in the buffet is nowhere near as comprehensive as that on the menu in the dining room.
Piping hot plates for salad / fruit were a little weird.

"Special Theme" restaurants:
Didn't even try them. For the price (hefty), not worth it.

Stage shows: "Edge" - great, enjoyed. Cirque style show was amazing.
As in all cruises we have been on, there was a mix:
Magician / Comedian was bad
Australian trumpet player / singer - didn't enjoy at all
Ventriloquist - enjoyed
British pianist - great musician but very full of himself
TWO flautists in one week? Who schedules these things? A Scottish lady who liked better than the Irish guy they had on the next night.

Ship's Choir (of passengers): Nice to see a ship's choir! We joined in and made a joyful noise in the main foyer the last night of the cruise.

They had a retired history prof on board who shared some very entertaining and enlightening stories about the Caribbean, pirates, ...

Talks by the ship's crew on "Navigation", "Environment" and soforth were mainly positive. Some of the guys were more comfortable in front of an audience and some were clearly less so!

Cooking demo was enjoyed by those of us who went.

Glass blowing (!) Bizarre thing to find on a cruise ship but it was very interesting!

Kitchen tour was informative as always.

Why do they think they have to charge for the bridge / engine room tour? And make it over $100, and bundle it with a champagne lunch? Needless to say, we didn't splurge.

Fooled again by the cruise company's instructions! On previous cruises we had boarded at the "recommended" time only to find we were among the last on board. This time we arrived an hour earlier ... only to be right in the middle of the crunch. Why oh why do they not tell you when the ship really opens for boarding?

Fort Lauderdale cruise port and the surrounding transportation infrastructure were stretched beyond limits with maybe 3 ships (?) arriving the same Saturday morning. Lots of stories of people missing connections due to not being able to get a cab / bus etc. Pity those who have to share a day with one of the 6000 passenger jumbo ships! Have an eye, book your taxi or shuttle early.

Generally a good experience: enough staff on duty so queues were not overly long, mostly they were able to deal with issues promptly and correctly.
With tipping, if you plan to go the "do it yourself" way rather than let the cruise line assign your tip, make sure you and the front desk clerk are perfectly clear on what you need. It took one or two tries to get ours straightened out.

One should comment on the Internet access. Yes, like all cruise ships it is obscenely expensive. We loaded a hard drive - based email program on our laptop and uploaded / downloaded in "bursts" once a day or two, consuming only a precious minute or two at a time. The WiFi worked quite well in the stateroom as well as the buffet restaurant. Less

Published 03/30/13

Cabin review: 1A7199 Deluxe Veranda

Celebrity Eclipse - 7199 - Balcony Stateroom We sense it is a little smaller than corresponding stateroom aboard "Celebrity Constellation"? Great balcony. Quiet. Mid ship. Not at all rock-and-roll. Bathroom small but workable. Men, beware the "artistic" sink whose fancy spout nails you in the head when bending down to shave. Bring hangers for your bathing suit etc ... nowhere near enough hooks! TV (Apple TV) takes some getting used to. Persevere, and you can call up really cool videos of the ship being built (hint: in the video-on-demand but not pay-per-view).

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Port and Shore Excursions

Just a town. Nice enough to walk around.
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Semi Sub Tour

Very windy and muddy waters day ... could hardly see a thing.

We took a taxi out to a hotel we knew on the south coast. Took transit back ... worth the price for the entertainment alone! Mini vans which operate as an adjunct to the "big" buses.
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Nice town to walk around. Dutch influence shows. Run out to the airport and back to stretch your legs.
Read 444 Bonaire Reviews

Seven Sisters Falls ... booked a ride with a privateer in a van. VERY STEEP and MUDDY terrain to get in there. Hike is quite a grunt. The falls itself is worth the effort. Wonderful refreshing dip. Grand Anse Beach was a nice splash at the end of our jaunt. Beware the rip-off open air "food court".
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Volcano La Soufriere --- took the Celebrity - sponsored tour. Not really a volcano: if you've been to Yellowstone or any hot mud springs, you've pretty much seen it.
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Walked right off the ship to the town beach. Mobs of people but overall a pleasant day. This is the sort of thing you go on a Caribbean cruise for!


Went on the "Sea Blaster" snorkeling tour, saw some cool sea turtles. Reef here isn't exactly huge or colourful.

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