Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by 013005267
- Sail Date: August 2015
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda
I want to start with the Cruise Director Sue Denning, and it would be easy to mention the person who has most contact with passengers, but having been on many cruises, on a number of cruise lines, Sue was like nothing we have ever encountered. Sue has that rare gift of making everyone she speaks to feel valued in a most sincere way. Too often in the past, CD's have worn shiny suites, lacked real personality and have had no awareness of the needs of the type of passengers on a particular sailing. This was not the case with Sue and her team. Leading from the front and setting high standards of engagement and behaviours, Sue reached out and touched most passengers, in a very sincere and humble way. I hope Celebrity & RC know what an asset they have. She made our vacation special. Never, have I been met on the quayside by a CD, welcoming passengers on their return to the ship after a tiring day in port.
This passion extends to her team, in particular her right-hand man, Activity Manager Maarten Bruels whose charisma, personality and charm made him an extraordinary asset, maintaining incredible enthusiasm during his hosting of numerous well organised activities on board. Additionally, he was very aware of todays technological society and made guests aware of Celebrity's profile on social media sites and encouraged their use to carry on the interaction with Celebrity once the cruise was finished. Even when off duty he was always friendly and made you feel valued, whether this be around the ship or in port when he was always quick to say hello in a way that never felt rushed or disingenuous and I can honestly say he is a CD in the making and an incredible asset to Celebrity.
I would also like to mention our Wine Sommelier - Marajan. What a special guy. I have never praised nor left a gratuity for a wine waiter before, but Marajan was different. He was extremely professional, courteous and respectful to me and my family. When I was slightly unwell during the cruise, he was the only crew member who asked after my wellbeing the next day. He was most attentive to my teenage children and he was a key factor in them enjoying the dining experience. A rare talent, surely ready for promotion. Regrettably, the same could not be said for the senior lady sommelier who appeared dour and miserable the whole cruise, and seemed to fall well short of the high standards of behaviour displayed by the rest of the crew. For example she could be seen remonstrating with her team during dinner which is something I don't want to see on vacation.
The other disappointing team for me is the Shore Excursion Team. Hours of operation were not extensive enough, and on the 2 occasions I had need to consult them, I found them unfriendly and belittling, and providing grossly misleading information. For example, a simple enquiry into the distance of the ship from the centre of Stockholm produced a "25 minute stroll" reply when in fact it took us nearly 75 minutes to walk on a long and unsignposted journey. I really think a shuttle should have been provided, rather than relying on the HOHO bus!
Food, cabin and everything else outstanding.
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