Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by moderRNcruisER
- Sail Date: October 2018
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda
I agree with what many of the recent reviews have said about the Eclipse and it's Fall 2018 Mediterranean itinerary, but there were a few parts of our experience I will elaborate on.
Embarkation: We received an email about 2 days before departure that noted a suggested embarkation time of 2pm for those on Deck 7. Someone from the previous sailing had commented on long lines at the Barcelona cruise port, so rather than stand in line for a while, we chose to honor the 2pm assigned time. There were no lines and we went from taxi to first drink in less than 15 minutes. As a bonus, we could go straight to our cabin to put our carry-on bag away.
Getting to the port: We stayed in Barcelona for 3 days pre-cruise. I recommend a taxi from your hotel/airport to the port. It was about 15 Euros from Plaza Catalunya. It is cheaper to take the subway and then the cruise bus to the port, but this will still cost you about 5 Euros per person and a lot of lugging suitcases, so I don't recommend it (we did see quite a few people doing this).
Stateroom: We had a balcony for the first time and we loved it. Being the end of October, we didn't get to use it very much (too chilly), but it was nice to have the option. Also a shout out to our stateroom attendant Adi. He always magically appeared and serviced our room at least twice a day (if not 3 times some days). The room was very clean with minimal signs of wear and tear.
Food: We had a specialty dining package (4 nights). Qsine was gimmicky - good to do it once, but I wouldn't have paid full price. If you can do it as part of the dining package or at a discount, that is your best bet, but not worth full price at all. We did not love Murano as much as we had in the past. Not sure why - maybe just not our taste? Tuscan Grill was our favorite. We ate there twice and my only wish is that I had a bigger stomach to keep eating. Sushi on 5 was good, but service was a bit slower. It was a sea day when we were there, and I think they were a bit overwhelmed. Lastly, we ate at the buffet for most all other nights of our 12-night cruise. Great selection, food was very tasty and with such a port-heavy itinerary, we didn't want to be stuck in a long dinner. We were very tired. Of note, some nights at Sushi on 5, they turned it into an Indian restaurant. I didn't catch if it was a flat-rate or per-item pricing. Maybe a new concept they are trying out? I also learned that you can order the Sushi on 5 menu items to your stateroom (cost per item) - we occasionally saw bags of food going out, so there must be a few people doing this.
Drinks: We had both upgraded to the premium drinks package pre-cruise. I probably would only do the classic package next time. I didn't find the mixed drinks that great or the pricier wines that much better.
Shore Excursions: We originally booked 3 excursions with Celebrity, but one was cancelled pre-cruise due to heavy rain in Spain. On board, another excursion we booked was re-scheduled to a different time, then cancelled altogether. We rebooked a similar excursion and I wish we hadn't. The guide had a heavy Italian accent and I could barely understand him. He talked non-stop the entire way (80 minutes) between Naples and Sorrento. At 0715am, I really needed him to be quiet. There were also several stops for shopping - at carefully selected stores of course. By the time we got to Pompeii mid-afternoon, I hoped we would have a different guide. No such luck. Fortunately, I had an App on my iPhone to guide me around Pompeii. Much more informative in a voice I could understand. And free!
Transportation: At several ports, there were shuttle buses taking you into town. These were rarely free and could be up to 10 Euros per person (e.g. Valencia). In a couple ports, you can walk right into town, but in others (Civitavecchia), this is impossible as no pedestrian traffic is allowed in the port. Just something to be aware of.
Entertainment: We rarely remember the names of crew and almost never recall the entertainment, so for us to remember Alejandro and Super Captain Leo really says something about how good they were. While I didn't talk to either of them personally, they were very entertaining at shows and very visible and engaging around the ship.
Selling things/charges: Yes, lots of opportunities to spend money on this ship. We just ignored it. I was a bit disappointed that bingo on the last day was so expensive - $49 USD was the minimum to get bingo cards. That seems like a lot to me. Laundry was also pricey - $49 USD/bag as a "special" one day. I can understand why people pay the hefty airline fees to bring an extra bag of clothes with them.
In short, had a great time and we can't wait to be back on another cruise next year.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
AlicanteAbout 1/2 to 1km between the shuttle bus drop off and good shopping. It's a flat walk, but walking nonetheless.View All 81 Alicante Cruise Port Reviews
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Florence (Livorno)Bus picks you up and takes you to train station. Train ride to Florence takes about an hour. 4 1/2 hours in Florence for sightseeing, but this isn't really enough time to enjoy any of the museums. We had a lovely lunch and saw the sights from the outside, which was still great.View All 12,782 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
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GibraltarBeware the Monkey's at the top of the rock. They are fast and will take anything that you are not holding on to. We saw one sneak into the gift shop/cafeteria and take food off the plates. They are brazen. It's best to take a guided tour of sites at the rock of Gibraltar or you will be doing A LOT of walking.View All 723 Gibraltar Cruise Port Reviews
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SorrentoTook Sorrento and Pompei tour with Celebrity Cruises. The guide had a thick accent I couldn't understand and he wouldn't stop talking. Too many stops at shops selling to tourists. We ran into a group doing a private tour and they had a much better time than we did.View All 152 Sorrento Reviews
Rome (Civitavecchia)Booked a private tour with Italy Tours. They say you can't see Rome in a day, but I think we did! It was a whirlwind tour though and we can't wait to go back.View All 2,146 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
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VillefrancheVery easy to take the train into either Monaco or Nice.View All 336 Villefranche Cruise Port Reviews
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