Have just disembarked the Celebrity Eclipse following a 9 night Pacific Coastal Cruise from San Diego to Vancouver.
We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Eclipse 3 time previously and liked the itinerary.
On embarking the ship we were greeted with the customary glass of champagne (make the most of it as it’s the last freebie you will get).
The first thing I would say is that the Eclipse is not the ship it once was. The ship is looking a bit tired and does not seem to be as well maintained as it once was. Previously every time the ship was in port it was being painted, not so anymore! The soft furnishings have scuffs, rips and tears. That said, our cabin steward Salvadore was exceptional and kept our cabin tip-top.
Be aware that every drink you order, be it tea, coffee or alcohol will be subject to the addition of a 20% Service Charge which is added automatically so the staff have no incentive to offer a good service. You have to wonder how much of this 20% is passed on to the staff! Maybe the American market is different to the European market and is geared around giving a low entry price and then charge for everything you can as an “extra”.
The onboard shopping experience is poor with most shops selling over-priced tat.
The Qsine restaurant concept has been changed, and whilst it is different, the menu is very limited, the old concept was much better and offered more choice. Murano continues to be the jewel in the crown when it comes to the speciality restaurants. The food and service here is exceptional. Tuscan grill is a good second choice. The Oceanview buffet restaurant offers a good choice but the food is only ever luke warm at best. Moonlight Sonata, the main dining room is OK but the quality and choice of food has declined. The staff here aren’t particularly attentive and seem to be lacking experience, there seemed to be a changeover of staff occurring during our trip.
The entertainment is more East End than West End, maybe the Americans are easily pleased.
We missed our stop at Monterey due to bad weather. Astoria has nothing of interest to offer and seems to be a stop for the sake of a stop. San Francisco was well worth it and the additional overnight in port due to us not stopping at Monterey was a welcome surprise. Victoria and Vancouver were both nice places to visit.
Having travelled on Eclipse three times previously it was my favourite ship and I would have recommended it without reservation, unfortunately I can’t do this anymore. The Staff only seem interested in up-selling everything they can at every opportunity, even the bottled water in your Stateroom is now charged for.
Eclipse is no longer a 5* experience it’s now 4* and declining experience. Hopefully the re-fit next year will restore Eclipses former glory.
Cabin was functional and kept clean and tidy by cabin steward. There were a few scuffs and tears in the soft furnishings
Port missed due to bad weather
Alcatraz well worth a visit, Sausalito not so.
Possibly the most boring place on earth
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