Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by pops7272
- Sail Date: October 2016
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Concierge Class
Booked this as a way of getting my mother-in-law & sister-in-law to the USA without the side-effects of jet lag.
Boarding: as we had special assistance, this was very smooth. We were in our cabins in about 30 minutes. Noted that luggage was loaded by rolling the cages onto a conveyor belt rather that using a fork lift truck we have seen in other ports.
Cruise Director Sue Denning reminded us of Janey York - the hotel manager in the early series of Benidorm.
Dining. We used Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and lunches and some evening meals. Could be busy at times and difficult to find a free table. Staff weren't that quick to clear old plates away. We were on anytime dining in the main restaurant (Moonlight Sonata) and had a wonderful waiting team looking after us (Sanjaya and Carols). Sometimes couldn't decide which starter we wanted, so we ordered both - wasn't a problem.
We also had a package for the specialty dining. Tuscan Grill (Italian Steak House) - situated overlooking the wake of the ship that is floodlit at night. As my wife was suffering from motion sickness, this wasn't ideal! This was a large dining area - with no atmosphere. Steaks were over-seasoned and service was slow. We tried Murano (contemporary French cuisine). Food and service was very good. Qsine (described as Uniquely Unordinary). They use iPads to choose from the menu. The food is OK, but this restaurant is all about quirky presentation. After the first few dishes it just gets irritating.
Entertainment: Sorry, but this was average. I think the best was December '63 - a Frankie Valli/Four Seasons tribute act. The house productions didn't make sense!
Enrichment: They had various lecturers on board. Ed Buckbee (a NASA public affairs official during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo era) gave a couple of interesting talks, and the Captain, Michael Sympouras, gave an interesting lecture about the Celebrity Eclipse and navigation challenges.
Ports: In Boston, we booked the hop-on/hop-off trolley tour independently. The stop is about 200-300 yards from the cruise terminal. It gave us time to go shopping (we found a Primark). For New York, we purchased the hop-on/hop-off tour through the ship as they were offering a package for the two days we were in post, so we managed to do an evening tour on the Sunday evening, and then a day-time tour on the Monday. The tours start from near Time Square that was a fifteen minute walk away from the cruise terminal. In Bermuda, we took a taxi to take us into Hamilton for US$40, and then caught the ferry back. In Nassau, we just walked around.
Disembarkation: Well organised and fairly smooth. Unfortunately one of our cases lost a wheel. We had booked (and paid) SuperShuttle to take us to the airport, but despite calling them, they never turned up, so had to pay for another shuttle to take us (which was cheaper than the SuperShuttle price).
Previously we have cruised with Princess and Royal Caribbean. I think that their public area are a lot more impressive. There is nothing grand about the Grand Foyer on Celebrity Eclipse.
Generally we felt that most of the crew were complacent and weren't really trying to make the cruise special for the passengers. A couple of examples:
On the second evening Sue Denning was trying to present the captain and senior officers on the staircase of the 'Grand' Foyer. Half way through this, one of the bartenders at the Martini started blowing his whistle as he started to carry out tricks (pouring 15-20 cocktails at one time).
We had reason to complain to the guest relations desk. However, this desk was vary close to where the house band were performing in the 'grand' foyer, so we were having to shout to make ourselves heard. When we asked if there was anywhere quieter that we could discuss the issue, the guest relations officer tried to take us to the back of the stairs behind the foyer, but it still wasn't easy to talk. After complaining about this again, he finally found an office where we could discuss our issue without competing with the noise of the band.
When we were in Boston, my in-laws got a note warning of maintenance that had to be done. There was heavy drilling and banging on many of the days. When we complained to guest relations (again having to compete with a band), we were told that passengers had been warned that maintenance was to take place during the cruise - this was an outright lie. We complained about the noise every time, and eventually they were moved to an Aqua class cabin at the front of the ship. When they were asked a day or two later if they were enjoying the facilities, they asked "what facilities"? It was only at that stage they were told what extra benefits Aqua would give them (most of which weren't really appropriate to their needs).
We will probably cruise with Celebrity again, but it won't be our first choice of cruise lines.
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Cabins have three electrical sockets - two x US 120v and one European 220v. These are all on the side of the desk area. Make sure you bring adapters/extension leads. Couldn't find any sockets around the bed area. Large balcony had two loungers and stools and a small table. We didn't make much use of the balcony until we got to Bermuda and Bahamas because of the poor weather, but useful for sails in - we had good views of Logan airport as we left Boston and Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as we sailed into New York.