When the first Solstice-class ship debuted in 2008 (Eclipse is the third, launched in 2010), the phrase "game changer" was used to describe it. With a real grass lawn, a living tree suspended in the atrium, stunning cabins with character, quirky art, a glass-blowing studio, an achingly hip Apple store and a restaurant so innovative that land-based establishments took notice, the reviewers had a point: Ships in the Solstice Class blew all other mainstream vessels out of the water.

However, fast forward almost 10 years and some of these features are looking, well, a little worn. For example, Qsine, which really did set the bar high in terms of quirky cuisine, is now looking a bit gimmicky (sister brand Royal Caribbean's Wonderland restaurant has taken on the Qsine concept successfully).

That living tree? -- No-one gets quite what it's for. And the glass-blowing? -- was long ago removed from sister ships, to be replaced by a restaurant. We even heard people say the iLounge seems a bit dated.

Celebrity Eclipse regularly pulls in high marks for passenger satisfaction, and it has won Cruise Critic awards for the Best Mainstream Ship for several years in a row. Plus, Celebrity gave it a significant refurbishment in May 2015 (the first since its launch), introducing a number of new features that spoke to what cruisers want. These included a craft cocktail bar, World Class Bar; a craft beer bar, Gastrobar; and a dedicated restaurant for passengers traveling in suites, Luminae.

Eclipse is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful big cruise ships we've ever sailed. Its interiors blend sophistication with a bit of whimsy -- akin to a trendy W Hotel, but with softer edges.

And, perhaps most importantly, the ship positions itself perfectly for the first timer -- not so big that it's overwhelming, but not so small that you get bored. It's got a good selection of restaurants, the real-grass lawn is still a great spot to just hang out, the entertainment is still of a high quality and generous-sized cabins are bigger than the industry average.

It's also got that all-important celebrity (with a small c) link up with the the U.K. TV show, The Wine Show; and rugged Brit adventure expert Ben Fogle, who gives talks onboard and helps design some of the line's more adventurous excursions.

On the downside, the rampant upselling and fee surcharges are a bit of a turnoff, and on sea days, the pool deck, beautiful as it is, can feel crowded and chaotic. Service is often overwhelmed, not just on the pool deck, but at all bars; and the Oceanview Cafe often feels like a motorway service station.

But none of the negatives is enough to deter us from taking another cruise on this fine ship.

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Celebrity Eclipse
2017 Best Overall
2017 Best for Cabins
2017 Best for Dining
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Celebrity Eclipse Overview

When the first Solstice-class ship debuted in 2008 (Eclipse is the third, launched in 2010), the phrase "game changer" was used to describe it. With a real grass lawn, a living tree suspended in the atrium, stunning cabins with character, quirky art, a glass-blowing studio, an achingly hip Apple store and a restaurant so innovative that land-based establishments took notice, the reviewers had a point: Ships in the Solstice Class blew all other mainstream vessels out of the water.

About Celebrity Eclipse


Pro

Private club and restaurant for suite cruisers; craft cocktail and beer bars for everyone else

Con

Passengers not traveling in suites (the vast majority) are excluded from certain bars and restaurants

Bottom Line

One of the most sophisticated, stylish and contemporary mainstream cruise experiences


Find a Celebrity Eclipse Cruise

However, fast forward almost 10 years and some of these features are looking, well, a little worn. For example, Qsine, which really did set the bar high in terms of quirky cuisine, is now looking a bit gimmicky (sister brand Royal Caribbean's Wonderland restaurant has taken on the Qsine concept successfully).

That living tree? -- No-one gets quite what it's for. And the glass-blowing? -- was long ago removed from sister ships, to be replaced by a restaurant. We even heard people say the iLounge seems a bit dated.

Celebrity Eclipse regularly pulls in high marks for passenger satisfaction, and it has won Cruise Critic awards for the Best Mainstream Ship for several years in a row. Plus, Celebrity gave it a significant refurbishment in May 2015 (the first since its launch), introducing a number of new features that spoke to what cruisers want. These included a craft cocktail bar, World Class Bar; a craft beer bar, Gastrobar; and a dedicated restaurant for passengers traveling in suites, Luminae.

Eclipse is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful big cruise ships we've ever sailed. Its interiors blend sophistication with a bit of whimsy -- akin to a trendy W Hotel, but with softer edges.

And, perhaps most importantly, the ship positions itself perfectly for the first timer -- not so big that it's overwhelming, but not so small that you get bored. It's got a good selection of restaurants, the real-grass lawn is still a great spot to just hang out, the entertainment is still of a high quality and generous-sized cabins are bigger than the industry average.

It's also got that all-important celebrity (with a small c) link up with the the U.K. TV show, The Wine Show; and rugged Brit adventure expert Ben Fogle, who gives talks onboard and helps design some of the line's more adventurous excursions.

On the downside, the rampant upselling and fee surcharges are a bit of a turnoff, and on sea days, the pool deck, beautiful as it is, can feel crowded and chaotic. Service is often overwhelmed, not just on the pool deck, but at all bars; and the Oceanview Cafe often feels like a motorway service station.

But none of the negatives is enough to deter us from taking another cruise on this fine ship.

Fellow Passengers

The average age onboard Eclipse is younger than on many U.K.-based ships, as Celebrity has done a good job at positioning itself to couples and families. On short cruises to France, the ship often attracts hen (bachelorette) parties, as well as large groups celebrating significant birthdays.

When homeported in Miami, Eclipse attracts a similar passenger demographic -- just with a greater percentage of Americans. During school holiday periods, you will find a lot of families onboard.



Celebrity Eclipse Dress Code

The two levels of dress on Eclipse are smart casual and evening chic. Two evening chic nights take place per seven-night cruise. On smart casual nights, sport shirts and slacks are appropriate for men, while women will be comfortable in skirts or pants and blouses, or casual dresses. On "evening chic" evenings, men can ditch the full suit and tie in favor of a sport coat and collared shirt, with designer jeans. Women can wear cocktail dresses, sundresses or designer jeans or nice pants. n the buffet, almost any form of dress is allowed except swimwear, flip-flops, spa robes and bare feet.


Celebrity Eclipse Gratuity

Onboard currency is the U.S. dollar. Tips aren't included in the cruise fares, but suggested gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account at a rate of $13.50 per person, per day, if you're in a standard cabin; $14 per person, per day, if you're in a Concierge Class or AquaClass cabin; and $17 per person, per day, for passengers in suites. If you would like to adjust the gratuities, you can do so through the Guest Relations desk. An 18 percent charge is added automatically to all beverage and minibar purchases, as well as spa and salon purchases. You can't remove these gratuities but can add to them.


Celebrity Eclipse Awards

Cruisers' Choice Awards

2017 Best Overall
2017 Best for Cabins
2017 Best for Dining
2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2017 Best for Public Rooms
2017 Best for Service
2017 Best for Value
2016 Best Overall
2016 Best for Cabins
2016 Best for Dining
2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2016 Best for Public Rooms
2016 Best for Service
2015 Best Overall
2015 Best for Cabins
2015 Best for Dining
2015 Best for Embarkation
2015 Best for Fitness
2015 Best for Public Rooms
2015 Best for Service
2015 Best for Shore Excursions
2015 Best for Value
2014 Best Overall
2014 Best for Cabins
2014 Best for Dining
2013 Best Overall
2013 Best for Cabins
2013 Best for Dining
2013 Best for Entertainment
2013 Best for Fitness
2013 Best for Public Rooms
2013 Best for Service
2013 Best for Shore Excursions
2013 Best for Value


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Deck:
Plaza Deck
Promenade Deck
Entertainment Deck
Continental Deck
Sunrise Deck
Vista Deck
Panorama Deck
Sky Deck
Penthouse Deck
Resort Deck
Lido Deck
The Lawn Club
Solstice Deck

Additional Celebrity Eclipse Information

Celebrity Eclipse Details
  • Crew: 1,250
  • Launched: 2010
  • Decks: 13
  • Passengers: 2,850
  • Registry: Malta
  • CDC Score: 98
Celebrity Eclipse Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 4.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates N/A 4.2

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