We typically cruise for destinations and tours, but we live in Southern California, and picked this trip just to relax.
We have been to all of the cities, some of them numerous times, so we did not book any shore excursions. We did get off the ship in every port, but toured about on our own in each location.
Embarkation: We did receive an email advise us the there could be delays in boarding, as the ship was expecting an inspection, as it was returning to the US. We stayed across from the cruise port, so it was an easy walk to the port. They had plenty of porters, so dropping the bags was a breeze, and so was checking in. We were given a number, and then had to sit for 45-60 minutes waiting for our number to be called. This was the longest delay we have had boarding a ship, but never boarded on a repositioning cruise, so it might be normal. They were using the lower decks to load luggage and supplies, so the passengers were required to board climbing up 2-3 flights of stairs, or using long ramps to get to the ship. The last ramp was particularly steep, and you had people trying to climb up the ramp carrying, dragging or pushing their suitcases. Everyone had a backpack or small carry on, but there were people that didn't want to use the porter, and it made the boarding a bit scary, as they were nearly rolling back down on guests boarding behind them.
Dining: We dined in Blu most evenings, and several times for breakfast. We have certain items that we enjoy from the menus, and found all of our meals to be very good, and consistent with prior cruises. The service was excellent, and we noticed that the waiters and assistant waiters learned our names and preferences, offering the items they knew we had asked for on a prior visit. The hummus spreads were changed to a rotation of veggie spreads, which I thought was a nice change. There were a few misses with having menu items, like berries or asparagus. We dined in Murano one evening, trying the Chateaubriand, which was excellent, and done to perfection. We haven't had good service or meals in Tuscan Grille on the first 2 cruises, but decided to give them a try. The waiter was efficient and very pleasant, and we thought both of our meals were excellent.
Entertainment: We enjoyed the lounge and lobby bands in the evening. We did not go to any of the shows.
Ship: The Eclipse is in fine shape. The cabins, and public rooms were kept clean. I was impressed to see staff cleaning and wiping the hand rails, and there was always attendants in the washrooms in the evenings. The furniture was in good shape, but the style is starting to looked dated, as newer ships and hotels are changing up furniture.
Bars: The seas were rough on this cruise, so the bars were not all open during the day. At times the bars that were open didn't have all of the supplies they normally carry. Limes one day, bloody mary mix the next. We had to go to 3 bars to get a Coke Zero on one day, but other days they had them. I typically enjoy having a glass of good wine before dinner in the Cellar Masters, but stopped in 2 different nights, and no one was working. The last night, we stopped in World Bar, and asked for one of their drinks, and they didn't have the ingredients to make the drink. They have a pretty small menu of offerings, so we found it odd, that they were out of one of the drinks.
Overall we enjoyed the trip. The weather prevented us from tendering in Monterey, but the captain was able to secure a slip in San Francisco, allowing us 2 nights in a fantastic city. We will enjoy the Aqua Class product, and will sail Celebrity again. This trip did have a few times that the restaurants and bars were out of common items.
This was our 6th cruise on an S Class ship and the 4th in this general area of the Aqua Starboard, under the Solarium. We like the overhang for the protection from sun and rain. The cabin was more forward than the others we have been in, and we found the window washing equipment near 1554/1556 to be a little distracting. It isn't as noticeable further back. The Steward was Melvin, and he was excellent. He asked about our needs and wishes, on day 1, and followed through as we asked, he also kept the room clean, and linens refreshed. He was discreet, and always found a way to be in and out of the room while we were away.
The city is small, and when a ship with 3000+ people dock, it is overwhelming. Unless you are interested in seeing Mt. St. Helens, or touring an Oregon winery, there isn't much to do.
Eclipse was in port ahead of the Alaska tourist season, so we docked in town at Pier 66. It is an easy walk to downtown Seattle. We took an Argosy tour. They bus you to Lake Union, and give a guided tour from the lake, through the Ballard Locks, and return back to the piers near the Farris Wheel. Excellent way to see the city, especially is you have already seen the Space Needle, and other local sites.
We rented a car, and drove out to Butchart Gardens. It was early in the season, but they have many trees and flowers in bloom, already in April. Tea in the main restaurant was wonderful. This was a highlight of the cruise.