Feeling like a celebrity on Celebrity: Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by DINKY Cruisers

Celebrity Eclipse 5
DINKY Cruisers
Member Since 2009
23 Forum Posts

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Feeling like a celebrity on Celebrity

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Southampton
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse and we were happy to find that the Eclipse was just as beautiful as we had left her in the previous year. We booked Aquaclass following fabulous food in Blu on the previous sailing.

Parking and check-in at Southampton were both quick, straightforward and very easy. Before we could say 'Martini Bar', we were on board with a glass of champagne, taking in the lavish, art-filled environment. The embarkation was made even more exciting as we ran across friends from the previous cruise on board who were also in Aquaclass. The only difference that I noticed from the previous year was that the average age of the guests was much higher than the previous cruise, but this may have been due to the Baltic ports as out destination.

We had opted for the alcoholic drinks packages and found that service in the bars was excellent. It was particularly useful in Blu as we both like to try different wines with our meals (we have the More food and wine pairing class from last year to thank for that) and found that the wine by the glass selection was very good and the sommeliers were happy to suggest different wines and provide those essential top ups. We did spend rather a lot of our time in the Martini Bar, where the service was exceptional and the drinks were highly creative. We tried the Molecular Bar too, but found that this area lacked atmosphere. The drinks package was useful during the day too - lots of hot drinks in Cafe al Bacio with some of those oh so tempting cookies.

Food on board was phenomenally good - my 9 pounds in increased weight tell some of the story. We found that the Oceanview Cafe could become rather crowded so we often ate outside by the Oceanview Bar, although it was occasionally a little windy here. Breakfast, via room service, in the Oceanview or in Blu, was always tasty and there was a wide variety of breakfasts available. We did find Blu much busier in the morning than in the previous year but the staff were still extremely attentive. Blu on an evening was a revelation. The food may be lower in salt but it is so tasty. The staff could not do enough to ensure that we were happy. They are a very hard working and caring team.

The room was good. Yes, we could always do with more wardrobe space but that may mean losing out on the generously proportioned bathroom. The shower is so good that we have bought one of the shower heads for home! Our room was always kept immaculately clean, by both the staff and ourselves. The best part of the room was that we DID get sun on our balcony as we were not under the overhang but under the suites on the floor above. Super!

We thoroughly enjoyed the ports of call. Like some other reviewers, we did find the charging for the shuttle bus excessive and only used it in Helsinki (although we could have walked that too). We took a Bruges on your Own tour and two of the St. Petersburg excursions with Celebrity. In the other ports of call, we followed walking tours that we had found independently. Tallinn was a beautiful surprise and Copenhagen will certainly be getting a second visit at some point. The number of ports does mean that the cruise can be quite tiring, especially after lots of walking. Stockholm was the only disappointing port of call. We didn't feel that there was much to do there.

Entertainment wise, there was not much on offer for our age group. However, we go involved in trivia quizzes, bocce and bean bag tossing competitions and DH won the basketball HORSE competition. The shows in the theatre were the same as the previous year - still good, but we've seen them before. The guest entertainers were from different fields, e.g. violinist, comedian, singer, magician, and all of them were of a good standard. Celebrity Central was also used much more effectively. It is a little quiet on the ship after 12, but the staff at the bars do their best to keep the guests entertained. The only disappointment was the hypnotist as the act seemed a little old fashioned.

One word of advice - just about all of the Baltic ports are fairly flat but have cobbled streets. Many of the older passengers and those with disabilities struggled with some of the steps and streets. Please check the description when choosing the trip.

Disembarkation was a very sad process. Again, it was very efficiently executed but very sad for us as our outstanding holiday had come to an end. Less

Published 09/06/11

Cabin review: A21645 AquaClass

Cabin was very clean and quiet. Not directly under the overhang.

Read All AquaClass (A2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We took the Celebrity bus to Bruges and then did our own walking tours. The shuttle bus does not drop off in Bruges so we had to buy the excursion.

The tour guide provided us with an overview of Bruges and an excellent map. In Bruges, we did three different walking tours that we had found independently, covering approximately 8km. We enjoyed the medieval feel of Bruges and although it was overcast, it was great exploring weather.

We also had time to shop for chocolates - a definite must do!

Wow, what a city! Again, the ship was in easy walking distance from The Little Mermaid. We enjoyed a tour of the Kastellet. The star-like design was fascinating and provided some excellent views of the city, as well as an extremely attractive walk. We ventured to lots of different districts of Copenhagen. We came across a design museum which permitted free visits on a Wednesday - bonus for us! It was full of furniture and fashion designs. This led to the Royal Palace area with beautiful architecture and well-designed gardens/fountains. We then walked to the marina and Nyhavn before exploring the ruins underneath Christiansborg Palace. It was thoroughly engrossing. We fell across the National Museum, where the displays were in Danish and English. The walk took us up Tivoli Gardens, a small theme park. We opted for a stroll into the city centre along Stoget and saw street performers and a priceless gold and jewel train in a shop window. We settled for a park based route back to the ship. The green spaces were immaculately kept and in the sunshine, the people of Copenhagen came out to enjoy the day.

Helsinki was a pleasant surprise, incredibly clean and friendly. Again, we followed self-directed walking tours and walked about 10-12km. The city is very green with lots of park spaces and dog parks, with benches for the owners in the style of different dog breeds. The church in the rock was spectacular and very atmospheric. There was a military parade on the day of our visit which attracted lots of visitors. It was very busy in the main shopping centre and some of the shops were shockingly expensive. The markets were intriguing and stunning. We saw reindeer and bear pelts for sale.

Read 611 Helsinki Reviews

Unlike most of the ship, we didn't go to Berlin as we felt that we could go for a long weekend to explore it in the future.

Warnemunde is an adorable place, full of character and very easy to navigate. It was a glorious day, so we took a walk along the promenade and along the beach. There were a few naturists on the beach so any prudes would have to avert their gaze. We found that there was an excellent atmosphere in the town and some lovely outside cafes and restaurants with seafood offerings.

St. Petersburg is very, very beautiful and very, very busy! We have never seen so many weddings taking place in one destination. On the first day of the visit, we lost count at 40!!!

Two days were not enough to take everything in here. We took two of the ship's excursion packages and had a good taste of what was on offer. We visited Catherine's Palace and Gardens, had a Russian lunch and then were guided round the opulence of the city. On the second day, we visited Peterhof.

The ship's tours were good but we felt that there was too much time given over to shuffling the guests into tacky souvenir shops IMHO.

Immigration was very efficient and easy.

Stockholm was the only disappointing port of call. As soon as we left the ship, we were bombarded by HOHO bus and boat touts who were desperately attempting to coax you on their tour. We took the boat tour but found that we could have walked.

We didn't visit the Vasa museum. All of the tourists sites are within easy walking distance from ship. We saw the changing of the guards and the old town. It seemed to lack the character of some of the other ports of call.

Tallin was a real surprise for us. It is a medieval city with narrow, cobbled streets, protected by ancient walls and towers. The houses are all wonky and full of character. Again, we opted for our own walking tour and walked form the ship (easy walking distance) to take in Tallinn. The knitwear and woollen booties were a reasonable price here too. A very pleasant experience.

Read 692 Tallinn Reviews

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DINKY Cruisers
Member Since 2009
23 Forum Posts
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