For my wife and I, this was our second cruise with Celebrity. The last time was on the Solstice in Alaska, so being on the Eclipse, a sister ship, the layout was very familiar.
We left our home the day before (Friday) and stayed at the Holiday Inn at Fareham, that night. We were so glad we did, as we subsequently heard so many stories of traffic problems in many parts of the country on the Saturday, from other passengers. It was also made worse locally, as the Southampton Boat show was taking place.
We arrived in Southampton (City Terminal) at about 11am, and parked up in AB Parking carpark, which was about 300 metres from the terminal building. Plenty of staff on hand to direct us to a parking bay and our luggage was then collected and put into vans which were moving along behind all the cars. We didn’t see our luggage again until we were in our stateroom. As a note, you need a trolley on the return journey, as there are no vans to collect your luggage, to take back to the car. Then a short walk to the terminal building. Because we were Concierge class, we were directed to the Priority Check in desk and then straight onto the ship and drink in hand, all within 30 minutes from parking!
Stateroom No. 1658, Deck 11, Starboard, Aft - There was a bottle of “Champagne”, some fresh fruit and a tray of canapés to greet us as we arrived into our stateroom which was a C2 Concierge Class. The room was a good size with plenty of storage space above the bed, under the bed, drawers and a large size wardrobe. Our room had a convertible sofa bed, although we didn’t need to use this. The bathroom and shower were a good size. There was a wall mounted tv, and mini bar. Our room steward told us that because we were on the full premium drinks package, that any drinks taken from the bar would not be charged (there are notices saying charges would be made!). Apparently Celebrity have recently changed their policy on this.
Because we were on Deck 11, the overhang from the Oceanview Café did prevent some direct sunlight, to the balcony, depending on the time of day. However this didn’t bother us too much as we were not in the room that often. However, the big gripe with this room was at night. It is two decks below the Ocean view Kitchen. We had noise on and off during most nights from the kitchen, with utensils being banged around (metal on metal) and what appeared to be chopping and slicing of vegetables on the metal surfaces. There was also noise from the dragging of chairs on the hard surfaces, although we couldn't work out if this came from the bar area at the back of the Cafe, or from individual balconies above. The eating areas of the Cafe were carpeted, so it couldn't have been from there. The metal on metal, did echo down through the ship. We could also hear the cleaning of the hard surface floors during the night! We made comment twice to our room steward about about the noise and also near to the end of the cruise and to the Concierge. We paid extra for Concierge class, to "be located in the most desirable part of the ship" yet the noise from the kitchen did partly spoil it for us.
We understood from other guests, that some in the suites above, on Deck 12 had complained as well about the noise. Celebrity really need to address these issues with better sound insulation as it must affect a number of staterooms in this vicinity and probably on the decks below Deck 11, as well!