Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by caiaphas
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda
This was one amazing itinerary- sailing out of Vancouver (spectacular in itself), on to Icy Strait Point, a trip to Hubbard Glacier, back to Juneau, Ketchikan and back down the Inside Passage towards home. The sights in the right weather, which we were lucky enough to have all week, are unsurpassed: snow-topped mountains, small islands dotted with pines, early morning mists, clear blue skies, humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, sea otters, sea lions, seals, bald headed eagles, bears, and a glacier which grew before our eyes in a glassy sea dotted with curiously shaped ice blocks, some the size of a iceberg…
Celebrity looked after us, and very well we felt: our balcony stateroom was cleaned twice a day by Imade, the best cabin steward we’ve ever had in our six cruises to date. Yes, it’s knocked about a little bit since the last time we were on board, but we’re all a bit weathered with age… Food was exceptionally good in the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room where service was prompt and good humoured, thanks to Julius Caesar (minus his helmet), Santos and wine waiter, Rakman. We enjoyed the variety and quality of the buffet but found it difficult to get a table at times, one of the disadvantages of doing a cruise where many would otherwise stay outside on their sunbeds from dawn til dusk. On this cruise, we took to having lunch back in the main dining room, where we enjoyed all sorts of treats such as duck and steaks. Service in the bars was good although we felt that there should have been more staff on occasions. The main shows in the theatre were a little odd for our tastes at times- some strange song choices, and some weird concepts, one of which involved a top hat (!) but the singers and dancers were all well drilled and worked hard around the ship with their ad hoc shows to keep us entertained. Well sone to Simon, our Cruise Director. We particularly liked Savannah Smith, and knew that if ever the ship’s fog-horn lost its bellow, Savannah would step right in. What a pair of lungs! We enjoyed her so much, we ate lunch early one day just to attend her extra matinee show.
With only three ports in the week we chose to book independent excursions at Icy Strait Point (whale watching) and Juneau (a city tour, a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier and another whale watch) which were cheaper than those on offer with the cruise company. We were also on smaller boats for the whale watching, an obvious plus. We chose the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles tour in Ketchikan and were glad we did. The added advantage of this particular itinerary was the fact that so much was seen from the ship itself- the scenery, the glacier and the wildlife were all completely unforgettable.
This was the first cruise we’ve done which included a drinks package- and what a difference that made! And despite various crew members’ efforts to get us to upgrade from the Classic to the Premium, we felt our needs were more than catered for with the basic one on offer. Bottled water, coffees, hot chocolates, endless cocktails and glasses of wines from around the world kept us more than satisfied. In fact we’ve told ourselves that we’d have to think twice before booking another cruise without that particular offer…
We were lucky enough to be invited onto the helipad for the Vancouver sailaway where we were treated to exceptional views of the disappearing city while drinking complimentary champagne. We also found ourselves invited to a lunchtime drinks and canapes party up in the Sky Observation lounge, our favourite bar- a generous gesture we felt. And we couldn’t believe our luck when we were sent a special invitation to dine with the Hotel and the Public Relations Directors in the Tuscan Grille one evening… all these little touches made it a holiday to remember.
We’re particularly pleased that we’ve already got our next Celebrity cruise booked- to the far East at Christmas on the Millenium. We’re already considering the next, to Venice, and the next, to South America…
Thanks to all the thoroughly nice people we met on board, crew and fellow travellers, who made our first trip to Alaska a trip of a lifetime!
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