My wife and I sailed on the Scenic Ecplipse from Cartegena, Colombia to Lima Peru in Oct- November 2019. We have had a total of 18 cruises before this one including multiple trips on Seabourne, Crystal, Azamara and Oceania. Inevitably, one compares the Scenic experience to its price point competition. Our review is mixed.
We have found ourselves gravitating to smaller ships over the years and we had a pleasant time on a Scenic river cruise in France so we thought the Eclipse was worth a try despite concerns about shakedown issues with a new vessel. Like many others, our initial booking was postponed due to construction delays and we rebooked a similar South American itinerary a year later than originally planned.
We booked the Sofitel Santa Clara hotel in Cartegena on our own three days before departure and because it was Scenic’s chosen embarkation hotel, they met us promptly at the airport and delivered us comfortably to the hotel. Transfer to the ship was not as well done as we had to wait two and a half hours in the lobby to load the busses. Once at the pier, embarkation was as nice as any we have experienced, and our bags beat us to the room. I was surprised there was no ship security screening of our carry-on luggage, especially given Colombia’s reputation for smuggling. Surprisingly we had to disembark after one hour on board to go through a perfunctory passport check at Colombia customs. No luggage screen there either. Not complaining, but unusual these days.