My family just finished sailing the Celebrity Eclipse on a 6 day sailing. There is no doubt that the premium customer service and the aura of elegance that Celebrity used to pride itself in is slipping. While this is only my 3rd cruise with Celebrity, my first experience on the Silhouette two years ago really set the bar high. Last year when we sailed with the Constellation, we thought maybe the service was a little less stellar because it was not a Solstice class ship. After this year’s cruise on the Eclipse, it was made obvious that the class of the ship is not the issue; there are greater issues within the management by RCI that are causing the problems with Celebrity.
Our first bad experience was in the general dining room on the first night of the cruise. When we asked the sommelier for the wine list of wines by the glass, we were told that there was no wine list and could he recommend a wine for me. He poured a glass of wine from a bottle he was carrying. After tasting it, I told him it was not an acceptable wine and that I had paid for the premium alcohol package partly because I wanted to enjoy decent wines with my meal. We were told that because the previous sailing was 12 days and over Christmas and New Years that the ship’s stock of most wines was depleted.
At that point I got up to speak with the maître d. Quickly I was supplied with a wine list and a promise to serve us the wines we wanted. Later, however, our sommelier confided in us that he was told not to present the wine list by superior, and that I was only receiving special treatment because I had complained. He apologized to us because he wanted to provide good service but his hands were tied.
The cabin itself was fine. This was our first cruise on Celebrity with a balcony, and while there is an obstructed view, we rather enjoyed the fresh air.
We rented a car through Travelocity/Alamo Rental Car. We had no problems securing the rental and no issues with the return. (We had heard some horror stories. The service from Alamo was very impressive.)
Costa Maya was a waste of a port stop. We spent about 45 minutes walking around the shops before returning to the ship.
Costa Maya is advertised as "An Authentic Mexican Village experience." It is nothing of the sort. It is a few straw huts, a fake mission-style church façade, and a bunch of stores selling mostly fake/imported Mexican-looking crafts. (My mother bought a woven backpack. She got back to the ship before she realized it had a tag on it that said "Made in China.")
If I could give this port stop negative stars, I would.
Unless you are willing to pay upwards of $50 a person to lounge and drink at one of the nearby beach clubs, there is NOTHING to do at this port. The cruise lines that contrived together to create this port a decade ago should be ashamed. Cruisers need to demand NOT to be taken to this port.
We spent New Year's Eve in Miami prior to the cruise. We had a fantastic 4 day stay. The food was incredible!