Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by Barbarian29
- Sail Date: April 2016
- Destination: Norwegian Fjords
- Cabin Type: AquaClass
The service is still very good and most of the staff are cheerful, very polite and most helpful. We have always opted for Aqua class and were very satisfied with our stateroom and the Blu Restaurant with its open dining. However even here there were signs of economies. For example we used to get a daily supply of bottled waters but now you only get 2 on embarkation and you have to purchase bottles for the rest of the cruise at exorbitant prices - $4.50 for a small bottle and $6.50 for a large bottle. Fortunately we had a drinks package so did not have to pay extra, apart from one large bottle which was left in our stateroom which we thought was free but was charged $6.50 on our statement. We did not receive this until after we disembarked and only then because we emailed Celebrity to request a final statement of on-board expenditure.
The Blu restaurant is still pretty good but there are many things that are not shown on the menu that will be provided if you ask e.g. french fries, additional vegetables, cheese and biscuits.
We opted for dining in the Tuscan Grill on one evening, especially to take advantage of the magnificent view on our departure from Flam. We were not disappointed as we managed to get a table by the window (you have to get there early for this as you cannot book specific tables). The service and food was good and just about worth the extra $45 dollars each.
Other food outlets were also showing signs of economies. The Aqua cafe on 12 was not as good as on previous cruises. Less variety,especially with the soups and salads and no butter available on some occasions. Similarly the Oceanview cafe had less choice, especially with sweets and butter was also lacking. On one occasion when I asked for butter 2 staff members tried to persuade me that the stuff available in small packs was butter when it was clearly not. I held out and eventually they "found" some butter in a fridge which was so hard that it was difficult to spread. Not the sort of service that we had come to expect from Celebrity.
The entertainment and activities on this cruise were somewhat below par. The poor weather experienced at the start of the cruise did not help as it curtailed the open deck activities. However the evening shows were not as good as on previous cruises and the cruise director was not a patch on some predecessors (bring back Sue Denning!)
We booked our own excursions on-line in advance of the cruise as we have learned that they are much better value than the Celebrity excursions.
The weather was so bad in Bergen (very wet and very windy) that we did not bother to go ashore. We had only planned to use the hop on hop off bus and had not booked anything, so no great loss.
The Flam railway trip was very enjoyable with marvellous scenery and it was snowing when we got to Myrdal at the top. The little Flam railway museum by the station was also very interesting and told the story of how the railway was built.
The Geiranger visit was one of the highlights of the cruise. We were fascinated to watch the extension of the walkway from the pier at Geiranger so that we could just walk ashore, unlike the other cruise ship in port that had to rely on tenders. We had pre-booked a bus tour that took us to 2 of the main viewpoints above the fjord and was very good value (see: http://www.geirangerfjord.no/english)
Alesund turned out to be a disappointing visit. I am not sure why this is on the itinerary as there is not much to see or do here. It was especially poor on the day we visited as it was a public holiday so all the shops and many of the cafes were closed, although Celebrity did not bother to tell us about this.
Stavanger was a good visit especially as the weather had improved markedly. We opted for the boat cruise to Lysefjord and were very pleased with this. A 3 hour trip with a useful commentary and lots of great scenery, especially the Pulpit Rock and the magnificent waterfall nearby. The boat went right up to the waterfall and collected a bucketful of water of which you could try a sample. We also stopped to feed some of the goats on a nearby escarpment.
Overall this was an enjoyable cruise although some of the cutbacks I have mentioned took some of the shine off it.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
AlesundThe most disappointing stop on the cruise, especially as it was a public holiday and most things were closed. We decided on the Hop On - Hop Off bus trip but this was a waste of money as there is a long interval between buses (45 mins). It was very windy at the top of the main viewpoint and as the cafe was closed and we could not face a 45 minute wait we braved the 418 steps down to the town. We do not think Alesund is a very interesting place, even if it had been open so wondered why this ws on the itinerary at all.View All 203 Alesund Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Alesund Cruise Port Review
Flam RailwayAlthough the weather was still not great we enjoyed the trip on the railway, the scenery was as good as we had expected so made the journey worthwhile. It was snowing when we got to the top and we were glad that we had booked for an immediate return as there was little to do at the top. We also visited the little railway museum which was very interesting.View All 187 Flam Railway Reviews
Panorama Bus GeirangerThe Geiranger visit was the highlight of our cruise. We booked the bus tour independently online before the cruise and saved a considerable amount compared with the cruise line offerings. The bus stopped for about 10 minutes at the 2 main viewpoints and we were able to take some great photographs.View All 12,792 Panorama Bus Geiranger Reviews
LysefjordAnother independently booked excursion which was about half of the cost of the cruise line trip. This was a very enjoyable 3 hour trip to Lysfjord to see the Pulpit Rock and the magnificent waterfall nearby. There was a good commentary that pointed out the main items of interest and the stop at the waterfall where we were able to sample a taste of the pure water was one of the highlights.View All 62 Lysefjord Reviews