1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Celebrity Eclipse
On Eclipse to the Exotic South Caribbean 11/13/16 Overview This was our sixth cruise on Eclipse, and our fifth time with Celebrity/Azamara down to the Southern Caribbean. We congratulate Celebrity staff and crew on continuing to provide high quality service and on the itinerary that took us to six pleasant islands, all of which we have visited and enjoyed on prior cruises -- so we knew our way around. Embarkation We arrived at the Port of Miami terminal at noon. Many other passengers arrived at the same time and we anticipated a wait. However, there was plenty of Celebrity staff on hand to expedite check-in with separate lines for different categories of passenger. We checked in speedily and were on board in 25 minutes. The Ship We enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Oceanview Café before heading for our Deck 8 stateroom to await our baggage and the sail-away. We were located near the mid-ships’ elevators and stairs. The advantageous location meant we could walk straight upstairs to the Café or down to the main and specialty restaurants. Dellon was our attentive steward, ably assisted by Putra. By telling them by phone in advance when we would be out and when we wished to return, they ensured they got their cleaning done and the cabin was ready for our use. As our port-side cabin was on a “bulge”, the balcony was larger than most, facing forward for a spectacular view. We were as impressed as on prior trips a year ago by the cleanliness of our cabin and public areas. My only negative comments were that the stateroom window curtains were literally in shreds and that the bath robes were old and too skimpy for large adults. Our steward was able to switch the robes for newer, larger ones Announcements over the public address system were made in English and German. We learned that there was a contingent of 450 Germans and 80 Austrians on board. The rest were made up of 800 from USA, many Brits and Canadians. Everyone got along fine. On sea days the sun shone and there was hardly a deck lounge available. Those who lived in Northern winter climes worked hard on their tans. Dining We booked the Select Dining option in the main dining room, Moonlight Sonata, so that we could time dinner each day to fit in with the theatre shows. Hostess Olga is charming and efficiently seated passengers. Oscar Reyes is a very personable and conscientious maître d’. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table for three, whenever possible served by the same wait staff, Moses and Mario, who we knew from previous cruises the first time 10 years ago. Sommelier Alan always came over as soon as we were seated and was most helpful in selecting red wines each evening. We missed seeing the Chef’s Recommendations listed on the Celebrity Today newspaper, as in the past. There were always interesting options, however, on the a la carte side of the menu. Waiters Moses and Mario knew our preferences and steered us to dishes they thought we’d like. Often we mixed those plates from the classic side of the menu with favorites like escargots and salad. We dined one evening at Murano and enjoyed the personalized service and options there. The crab cakes were juicy and steak very tender with delicious flavor. Evidently the specialist restaurants weren’t getting booked up at the full rate so the staff resorted to touting discounts to lure customers. I’m glad we didn’t book and pay in advance at full price. There is a huge selection of breakfast and lunch plates up in the Oceanview. To avoid crowds, particularly on sea days, we recommend heading up there soon after 7:00 a.m., when they open their full breakfast range of choices. On sea days we enjoyed a leisurely a la carte breakfast or lunch in the main dining room. One Captain’s Club privilege for Elite Members that we enjoy and get good value from is Sky Deck cocktails from 5.00 to 7.00 p m. In the course of the two weeks on board we made friends with two charming servers, Samantha and Iryna, who took us under their wings and kept us happy. Entertainment & Activities Cruise Director Eddy was visible all over the ship, tirelessly involving guests and staff in activities and even providing entertainment in his own right. I love live shows and went to the theater almost every night. This cruise the entertainment quality was better than ever, getting off to a great start on the first night with “December’63” (My era!). During the whole cruise there was only one performer that didn’t appeal to us. Often the theatre is full at the first show, so get there early if you want a good seat. Our favorite performer was Vocalist Jayne Curry who did two shows. Celebrity’s own singers, dancers and band were excellent. We were pleased that the cinema at Celebrity Central offered several quite recent movies. We liked Woody Allen’s “Café Society” and the new version of “Alice through the Looking Glass”. The library seemed to offer a wider and more interesting selection of books than in the past. I spent many happy hours on the balcony with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and M. Poirot. Shore Excursions We had visited all six ports several times before so did not feel pressured to rush off the ship and explore. We did disembark each time and enjoyed our hours on shore, generally doing so on our own. Curacao: The famed UNESCO port is an easy walk from the ship and takes you past shops including one that sells quality aloe vera products, perfect as gifts. We sauntered along the narrow streets and dipped into stores, some international, top of the line, others good for cheaper souvenirs. Make sure to see the floating produce market. Venezuelans cross the sea in their old wooden boats bringing to Willemstad fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as fish. The swing bridge is fun to watch and the busy harbor activities.. Aruba: One day we walked in to the shopping area which is impressive with a lot of choices and attractive prices. The second day we had pre-organized a small group tour via cruise critic with tutitouraruba@gmail.com . Eight of us were collected by our well-informed and charming local guide named Courth Nedd who drove us in his modern, air-conditioned van to see the main sights of the island. Bonaire: Celebrity Shore Excursion: We took the Klein Bonaire Water Taxi across the bay to the island/reef for the scenery and snorkeling. You can take a water taxi across on your own from the taxi’s own dock but for the excursion a taxi came to the dock right next to Eclipse. Access to the taxi was easy and non-swimmers like my friends didn’t have to get their feet wet. Guide Inge stayed with us on the island, provided water and rum punch, and gave snorkelers hints on where best to enter the water and see fish. Note that you need to take your own towel to sit on and there are no toilets or other facilities. Barbados: We walked to Bridgetown down town from the dock. It was hot, as ever, and getting to the center is a bit of a trudge for us older people. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. It’s fun to poke around the food market and then cross the bridge to Waterfront Café on the Careenage for refreshments. The cathedral and government buildings are impressive. St Lucia: This was our fourth visit to St Lucia, for us the most beautiful Caribbean island. We enjoyed COSOL and Spencer Ambrose tours to the Pitons in prior years, Serenity Tours to Pigeon Island national park, last year we went to The Pink Plantation House Restaurant. All of these options we can recommend. This time we just shopped. St Kitts: Another day when we spent the morning in the many stores right off the ship at Port Zante. For first time visitors, an excursion to the UNESCO site Brimstone Hill fortress with its magnificent views and to Romney Manor for Caribelle Batik, is not to be missed. Before re-boarding we enjoyed an authentic Indian lunch at Tamarind Restaurant, evidently a favorite haunt of crew members, which we discovered last year. St. Maarten: Downtown Philipsburg is twenty minutes on foot from the dock or you can take a water taxi downtown. We picked up bamboo fiber shirts at Cariloha, 23 Front Street and Dutch cheese to take home at Amsterdam Cheese & Liquor Store. Super-clean and attractively laid out, the store is on the route from Eclipse to down town Philipsburg, next to Chesterfields Restaurant. Two brothers helped us select vacuum-wrapped cheeses to take home: our favorites are Old Amsterdam and Gouda with herbs such as cumin. A delicious accompaniment to the cheeses is their guava jam ("made by my mother"). The store offers an attractive range of Delft china, other Dutch souvenirs, and many wines and liquors. Disembarkation: We were scheduled to leave the ship at 8: 45 am. but were held back to avoid the crowds. There were long lines to collect luggage and for Immigration and we didn’t get out onto the street for our ride home till 10.30. The traffic scene outside was chaotic in part because our disembarkation coincided with early arrivals for the next Eclipse cruise. Without knowing how feasible this is, it would seem to make sense to separate the Arrival Gates from the Departure Gates, and taxi traffic from private vehicles.

We love cruising on Eclipse!

Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by ragbag1

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
On Eclipse to the Exotic South Caribbean 11/13/16

Overview

This was our sixth cruise on Eclipse, and our fifth time with Celebrity/Azamara down to the Southern Caribbean. We congratulate Celebrity staff and crew on continuing to provide high quality service and on the itinerary that took us to six pleasant islands, all of which we have visited and enjoyed on prior cruises -- so we knew our way around.

Embarkation

We arrived at the Port of Miami terminal at noon. Many other passengers arrived at the same time and we anticipated a wait. However, there was plenty of Celebrity staff on hand to expedite check-in with separate lines for different categories of passenger. We checked in speedily and were on board in 25 minutes.

The Ship

We enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Oceanview Café before heading for our Deck 8 stateroom to await our baggage and the sail-away. We were located near the mid-ships’ elevators and stairs. The advantageous location meant we could walk straight upstairs to the Café or down to the main and specialty restaurants.

Dellon was our attentive steward, ably assisted by Putra. By telling them by phone in advance when we would be out and when we wished to return, they ensured they got their cleaning done and the cabin was ready for our use.

As our port-side cabin was on a “bulge”, the balcony was larger than most, facing forward for a spectacular view.

We were as impressed as on prior trips a year ago by the cleanliness of our cabin and public areas. My only negative comments were that the stateroom window curtains were literally in shreds and that the bath robes were old and too skimpy for large adults. Our steward was able to switch the robes for newer, larger ones

Announcements over the public address system were made in English and German. We learned that there was a contingent of 450 Germans and 80 Austrians on board. The rest were made up of 800 from USA, many Brits and Canadians.

Everyone got along fine. On sea days the sun shone and there was hardly a deck lounge available. Those who lived in Northern winter climes worked hard on their tans.

Dining

We booked the Select Dining option in the main dining room, Moonlight Sonata, so that we could time dinner each day to fit in with the theatre shows.

Hostess Olga is charming and efficiently seated passengers. Oscar Reyes is a very personable and conscientious maître d’. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table for three, whenever possible served by the same wait staff, Moses and Mario, who we knew from previous cruises the first time 10 years ago. Sommelier Alan always came over as soon as we were seated and was most helpful in selecting red wines each evening.

We missed seeing the Chef’s Recommendations listed on the Celebrity Today newspaper, as in the past. There were always interesting options, however, on the a la carte side of the menu. Waiters Moses and Mario knew our preferences and steered us to dishes they thought we’d like. Often we mixed those plates from the classic side of the menu with favorites like escargots and salad.

We dined one evening at Murano and enjoyed the personalized service and options there. The crab cakes were juicy and steak very tender with delicious flavor.

Evidently the specialist restaurants weren’t getting booked up at the full rate so the staff resorted to touting discounts to lure customers. I’m glad we didn’t book and pay in advance at full price.

There is a huge selection of breakfast and lunch plates up in the Oceanview. To avoid crowds, particularly on sea days, we recommend heading up there soon after 7:00 a.m., when they open their full breakfast range of choices.

On sea days we enjoyed a leisurely a la carte breakfast or lunch in the main dining room.

One Captain’s Club privilege for Elite Members that we enjoy and get good value from is Sky Deck cocktails from 5.00 to 7.00 p m. In the course of the two weeks on board we made friends with two charming servers, Samantha and Iryna, who took us under their wings and kept us happy.

Entertainment & Activities

Cruise Director Eddy was visible all over the ship, tirelessly involving guests and staff in activities and even providing entertainment in his own right.

I love live shows and went to the theater almost every night. This cruise the entertainment quality was better than ever, getting off to a great start on the first night with “December’63” (My era!).

During the whole cruise there was only one performer that didn’t appeal to us.

Often the theatre is full at the first show, so get there early if you want a good seat.

Our favorite performer was Vocalist Jayne Curry who did two shows. Celebrity’s own singers, dancers and band were excellent.

We were pleased that the cinema at Celebrity Central offered several quite recent movies. We liked Woody Allen’s “Café Society” and the new version of “Alice through the Looking Glass”.

The library seemed to offer a wider and more interesting selection of books than in the past. I spent many happy hours on the balcony with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and M. Poirot.

Shore Excursions

We had visited all six ports several times before so did not feel pressured to rush off the ship and explore. We did disembark each time and enjoyed our hours on shore, generally doing so on our own.

Curacao: The famed UNESCO port is an easy walk from the ship and takes you past shops including one that sells quality aloe vera products, perfect as gifts. We sauntered along the narrow streets and dipped into stores, some international, top of the line, others good for cheaper souvenirs. Make sure to see the floating produce market. Venezuelans cross the sea in their old wooden boats bringing to Willemstad fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as fish. The swing bridge is fun to watch and the busy harbor activities..

Aruba: One day we walked in to the shopping area which is impressive with a lot of choices and attractive prices.

The second day we had pre-organized a small group tour via cruise critic with tutitouraruba@gmail.com . Eight of us were collected by our well-informed and charming local guide named Courth Nedd who drove us in his modern, air-conditioned van to see the main sights of the island.

Bonaire: Celebrity Shore Excursion: We took the Klein Bonaire Water Taxi across the bay to the island/reef for the scenery and snorkeling.

You can take a water taxi across on your own from the taxi’s own dock but for the excursion a taxi came to the dock right next to Eclipse. Access to the taxi was easy and non-swimmers like my friends didn’t have to get their feet wet.

Guide Inge stayed with us on the island, provided water and rum punch, and gave snorkelers hints on where best to enter the water and see fish. Note that you need to take your own towel to sit on and there are no toilets or other facilities.

Barbados: We walked to Bridgetown down town from the dock. It was hot, as ever, and getting to the center is a bit of a trudge for us older people. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. It’s fun to poke around the food market and then cross the bridge to Waterfront Café on the Careenage for refreshments. The cathedral and government buildings are impressive.

St Lucia: This was our fourth visit to St Lucia, for us the most beautiful Caribbean island. We enjoyed COSOL and Spencer Ambrose tours to the Pitons in prior years, Serenity Tours to Pigeon Island national park, last year we went to The Pink Plantation House Restaurant. All of these options we can recommend. This time we just shopped.

St Kitts: Another day when we spent the morning in the many stores right off the ship at Port Zante. For first time visitors, an excursion to the UNESCO site Brimstone Hill fortress with its magnificent views and to Romney Manor for Caribelle Batik, is not to be missed.

Before re-boarding we enjoyed an authentic Indian lunch at Tamarind Restaurant, evidently a favorite haunt of crew members, which we discovered last year.

St. Maarten: Downtown Philipsburg is twenty minutes on foot from the dock or you can take a water taxi downtown. We picked up bamboo fiber shirts at Cariloha, 23 Front Street and Dutch cheese to take home at Amsterdam Cheese & Liquor Store.

Super-clean and attractively laid out, the store is on the route from Eclipse to down town Philipsburg, next to Chesterfields Restaurant.

Two brothers helped us select vacuum-wrapped cheeses to take home: our favorites are Old Amsterdam and Gouda with herbs such as cumin. A delicious accompaniment to the cheeses is their guava jam ("made by my mother").

The store offers an attractive range of Delft china, other Dutch souvenirs, and many wines and liquors.

Disembarkation:

We were scheduled to leave the ship at 8: 45 am. but were held back to avoid the crowds. There were long lines to collect luggage and for Immigration and we didn’t get out onto the street for our ride home till 10.30.

The traffic scene outside was chaotic in part because our disembarkation coincided with early arrivals for the next Eclipse cruise. Without knowing how feasible this is, it would seem to make sense to separate the Arrival Gates from the Departure Gates, and taxi traffic from private vehicles.
ragbag1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Celebrity Eclipse price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda
Cabin 1A 8255
Great location, Excellent view from balcony, Stewards conscientious, prompt and cheerful.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    Just as expected, a gerat experience. Picked up by guide Inge at the Eclipse dock and taken straight over to Klein Bonaire for snorkeling.
    View All 146 Snorkeling Reviews