<p>Celebrity places a high emphasis on food, and the quality of the food onboard is generally of a high standard. If you choose to only eat in the ship's complimentary main dining room, Moonlight Sonata, you will not be disappointed.</p>
Unfortunately, unless you're staying in an AquaClass cabin or a suite, there's only one other main free dining option, the Oceanview Cafe buffet.
Cruisers with special dietary needs might want to stick with the main dining room, where vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free and no-sugar items are clearly marked on the menu.
Room service is free, except for orders between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Moonlight Sonata Dining Room (Decks 3 & 4)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) on sea days, Dinner (D):
The towering, airy Moonlight Sonata is the ship's main dining room, spanning two decks at the aft end of the ship. The room is bright and light in tone and makes ample use of the ship's signature design element, glass. The two-story glass wine tower is a showstopper.
Surprisingly for a ship with 2,800 passengers, this single restaurant feels spacious and uncrowded. The room's openness, combined with extensive carpeting on the floors, results in a tolerable noise level.
Service is prompt, attentive and friendly. The dinner menu is not overloaded with choices, offering seven always changing entrees each night, including a salad entree. Although no separate spa, vegetarian or heart-healthy menus are added on, at least one choice per course qualifies for each category. In addition, the chef suggests his favorite from the available options, and there are also several "classic favorite" options available nightly. We found the cuisine to be a mix of French, Italian and "New American" styles, with good, hearty salads.
Deck 3 of Moonlight Sonata is reserved for those who want traditional assigned time dining; choices are either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. Deck 4 is for people who opt to dine anytime between opening hours.
Oceanview Cafe (Deck 14)
Meals: B, L, D
Nine decks directly above Moonlight Sonata is the Oceanview Cafe, an expansive multistation buffet for breakfast, lunch and casual dinner. Outside of regular mealtimes, ice cream, pizza, pasta, sushi, afternoon tea and late-night snacks are on offer, all without additional charge. A juice bar serves up particularly delicious freshly squeezed O.J., but it will set you back a few bucks.
The buffet layout is excellent, with many serving and prep stations situated as islands in the middle of the room, rather than stretched along the walls. The result is a dependably uncrowded, spacious operation offering an extensive number of choices.
Besides the conventional dinner choices, which tend to mirror what's served each evening in Moonlight Sonata, British (bangers, English bacon, baked beans, Marmite, Alpen -- but only when in Southampton) and Asian (miso soup with mix-ins, tofu, rice) stations, as well as vegetarian and carved meat stations, round out the mix. The standard breakfast selections don't change. We found the breads superb, especially the housemade English muffins.
Lunch features one changing "Chef's Choice" station (primarily a carving station) in addition to tacos, pastas, stir-fry, sandwiches, soups, salads and other specialty stops. There is plenty of elbow room between tables, and attentive waiters are available for assistance for those who require it.
Mast Grill (Deck 14)
Outside and forward of the main swimming pool, the Mast Grill serves burgers, hot dogs and fries.
Luminae (Deck 3)
Meals: B, L, D
This 92-person restaurant is free -- but only to those people booked in suites. Luminae has a contemporary look and feel: lots of light, chrome and glass to reflect the meaning of its name (light). It's split into two separate spaces, which gives the feeling of intimacy and exclusivity that Celebrity is trying to create.
Lunch and dinner menus change daily (as in they are never repeated) and are freshly prepared -- often with produce sourced from the port visited that day. The dinner menu is limited intentionally, apparently, to ensure the selections are always fresh. It features just four appetizers, five mains and three desserts. The food, service and ambience are outstanding.
Blu (Deck 5)
Meals: B, D
A private dining room reserved for passengers booked in Celebrity's AquaClass category, Blu has a similar multicourse menu to Moonlight Sonata but with fewer offerings. The cuisine style relies less on rich sauces and sauteeing and more on natural reductions, ragouts and herbs. The calorie count is printed next to each dish. We found the food rather uninspiring, and the atmosphere cold. AquaClass passengers do not have to pay extra to dine here; suite passengers may book tables on a space-available basis, also for free. The restaurant is otherwise off limits to regular passengers.
AquaSpa Cafe (Deck 12)
Meals: B, L
AquaSpa Cafe, in the adults-only Solarium, serves healthier fare (think small salads and wraps) for breakfast and lunch. The cafe also offers Greek yogurt parfaits, juices and smoothies, although these cost extra. It's usually quiet and relaxing in the early morning, with only the trickling sound of the nearby water feature. Solo travelers often dine here alone.
Pricing was accurate at time of review but may have changed since.
Murano (Deck 5); $50 per person (dinner); $30 per person (lunch)
Meals: L, D
Celebrity is renowned for its high-quality French alternative restaurants. On Eclipse, the restaurant is called Murano, and the theme is Continental with a tilt toward new French. The centerpiece is a six-course tasting menu, with two choices for each course and an option to have wine paired with each (raising the surcharge to $89). Diners can also order from the a la carte menu. There is a "Market Price" surcharge for caviar. Murano is the perfect choice for date night.
Tuscan Grille (Deck 5); $45 per person (dinner); $25 per person (lunch)
Meals: L, D
Tuscan Grille, Eclipse's Italian steakhouse restaurant, has the best view of any restaurant aboard the ship, being situated all the way aft. A meal in Tuscan Grille is best enjoyed before the sun goes down and while there are still seats right up against the wall of glass facing the trailing wake of the ship. The grilled meats and seafood can't be beat. Other signature touches are an antipasti bar and Caesar salad prepared tableside. There is also the opportunity to pay for upcharge items (steaks), like $15 for a bone-in New York Strip.
Qsine (Deck 5); $55 per person (dinner)
Qsine (pronounced "cuisine") has replaced its former gimmick of quirky cuisine, moving the novelty to your plate, literally. A cute, animated show is screened on each diner's plate and across the table in between four courses of gourmet food. Known as Le Petit Chef, because the cartoon stars a little chef who mutters in French as he struggles to prepare your meal, this unique experience is endearing and amusing. Kids would enjoy it as much as adults. Each dish is simple and delicious, but it's a set menu so ask the maitre d' when booking if you would like to switch out one of the courses.
Sushi on Five (Deck 5); a la carte, $4–$13
Meals: L, D
Much more than a sushi joint, Sushi on Five offers sashimi, hot pots, noodle dishes and snacks, which can also be delivered to your cabin.
Cafe al Bacio & Gelateria (Deck 5); a la carte, $4–$10
Located across from Sushi on Five, this coffee place was one of our favorite spots for a light snack. The food, from pastries to small sandwiches, is complimentary, but the (overpriced) beverages cost extra. On the opposite side of the room, a gelato bar dishes out cold concoctions, also for a fee.