We had a great cruise on the Eclipse. It was a beautiful ship, and we visited many great ports. We also had a total of five sea days for many onboard activity and relaxing opportunities. We enjoyed (too much) delicious food and drink. We met many fun and interesting people. All in all, an excellent cruise.
4 out of 5
Embarkation was smooth once we got through the long lines. We waited in line for 20-30 minutes, and then waited in another line to actually board the ship. We are Celebrity Elite, and even the Elite check in line was long.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We enjoyed the dining. We had two dinners at Tuscan Grille, one at QSine, and one at Murano. The specialty restaurants were all excellent. The main dining room was very good. Service in the main dining room tended to be slow - especially when seated at tables of 8-10. There are not enough sommeliers to serve wine. Most of the time the main waiter took care of the wine. Celebrity needs to have a larger sommelier staff in the main dining room. The food in the Oceanview Cafe was very good, and waiters were good with refilling coffee in the morning. We enjoyed cappuccino at Cafe al Bacio almost every day.
5 out of 5
We saved a visit to Murano for the last night of our cruise. We were able to sit in a nook of the restaurant by ourselves for almost the entire meal. Our waiter Velemir was wonderful. The food was delicious - even better than I had remembered from our last cruise on the Eclipse. It was a very special final dinner on our cruise.
5 out of 5
We had dined in QSine several times on other cruises, but did not plan to go there on this cruise (already done that). We were offered a discount, and decided to go again anyway. This time we limited our selections (hard to do, but a good idea). We had an excellent meal and great service.
5 out of 5
We thoroughly enjoyed Tuscan Grille both nights we ate there. The filet mignon steaks were delicious and cooked to perfection. Service was excellent. The entire meal was delicious. We heard complaints from other passengers that they did not like Tuscan Grille - especially the additional charge for the dry aged steaks. We were completely happy with the regular menu, and saw no need to upgrade our steaks.
5 out of 5
There are many activities available throughout the day. We enjoyed very active sea days as well as very lazy sea days. The running/walking track is very awkward. I would love to see a dedicated track that makes a complete circuit on a less crowded deck (Disney Dream had this, and there it was quite easy to get an unobstructed five mile run in). There seems to be an overabundance of saved deck chairs around the pool with no one in them. We like to stay out of the direct sun, and tended to visit the pool area later in the afternoon. We were able to find chairs in the shade. It would be nice, though, if there could be enforcement of people tying up the chairs without actually using them. We went to a few of the onboard lectures (good not great), cooking demonstrations, trivia, etc. We absolutely loved the Hot Glass Shows - attended at least a half dozen.
4 out of 5
We enjoyed the variety of live music available throughout the ship. We enjoyed seeing various performers in the lounges, poolside, and the Grand Foyer. The ship orchestra is very talented. The production cast (especially the singers) was not as good as we have seen on other cruises. We went to two of the three production shows, and they were OK to middling. There was a good variety of other entertainment for the evening shows. I am not a huge Whitney Houston fan, but that show was excellent. The Frankie Valli show was excellent. I did not realize all those songs were Frankie Valli songs. Jayne Curry was excellent. Unfortunately, we were very tired the night she did the extra 10:30 pm show and did not attend. The comedian was OK, at best, and probably had an off night.
The Lawn Club
5 out of 5
This review is for the Hot Glass Show -not sure where to find it to review. So, I am putting it in the Lawn Club section. The Hot Glass Shows were excellent. This is the third cruise we have been on with the hot glass shows. This was by far the best. The three artists, Tom, Rebecca, and Jeremy, were all excellent. Their level of skill and creativity was exceptional. We saw many complicated and beautiful pieces being made. It has increased my appreciation of glass art. Unfortunately my budget does not allow me to bid at the auction, but those people who did get the auction pieces are very fortunate. They took home gorgeous pieces and helped good causes. I am very disappointed that Celebrity will be changing the hot glass format. They will be using the space for guest experiences (revenue producing opportunities for Celebrity). Although it would be an interesting activity to try, I would love to have the hot glass demonstrations continued. There are very few places to watch that level of artistic skill and creativity. Other hot glass demonstrations I have seen (while interesting and fun) have been shorter, and the pieces created necessarily much simpler. Hopefully Celebrity can strike a balance, and include both experiences in the future.
Not traveling with children
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Most of the staff were excellent. Throughout the ship, everyone was always friendly and always greeted us. Our room steward was good, although we didn't actually meet him until the morning of the third day. As mentioned in the dining section, there were not enough sommeliers in the main dining room. One sommelier was actually borderline rude. We had an issue with specialty dining reservations. The initial response was unsatisfactory and very poor customer service. Guest relations and the head maitre d' both did an excellent job in resolving the issue to our satisfaction. My glasses broke, and we went to the Guest Relations desk for help. The woman there pulled a tube of super glue out of her drawer, and we were able to repair my glasses. I do not know her name - can't see much without my glasses. I really appreciated her helpfulness. (I do carry back up glasses, but these are the most up to date prescription, so it was nice to be able to repair them).
5 out of 5
The Eclipse is a beautiful ship, and very clean and well-maintained.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We were very comfortable. We had plenty of room - although I prefer to have the bed closer to the bathroom. We had issues with the toilet flushing on two days - seemed to be a problem that affected multiple cabins.
Antigua is beautiful. We did an Xtreme Circumnavigation Tour (booked privately, not through Celebrity). It was a great tour that circled the island on a fast boat. We snorkeled with the stingrays and at the Pillars of Hercules. We had a delicious lunch on a beach on a small island. We toured Nelson's Dockyard from the water. We had a stop at an idyllic sandy beach with rum punches! A great day!
We love Barbados (went there on our honeymoon). For the second time, we did the Calabaza catamaran excursion (booked privately not through Celebrity). Calabaza is wonderful - a beautiful catamaran with excellent food and drink, two snorkeling stops, sailing along the west coast, another beach stop, only twelve guests, and three crew members. What is not to love? We will probably do this again.
This was our first visit to Bonaire. We went on the Woodwind snorkeling excursion (booked privately not through Celebrity). The snorkeling was excellent. The administrative details and customer service at check in were definitely lacking. The original email that I had printed when I made the reservation listed the wrong time. When I showed it to the man who finally showed up (we were an hour early due to the incorrect time on the email), he blamed me for making my reservation so far in advance. I booked in July for a January cruise. So, definitely not a good start or a good first impression at all.
We had two days in Curacao. We had done an extensive island tour on our first visit. We planned to spend time exploring Willemstad on our own. We booked the Caves and City Tour through Celebrity for the first morning. We thought it would be a good overview and show us more things to explore on our own. Unfortunately, Celebrity moved the tour to the second day, so the timing wasn't as good. The caves were interesting. We had a good guide there. Our tour guide explained a lot about Curacao, and led us an interesting short walking tour in downtown Willemstad. On our own on the first day, we explored every street in downtown Willemstad. It is very easy to walk throughout the downtown and to and from the cruise ship. We visited the Kura Holanda museum which focuses on slavery. We were hoping for more information specific to Curacao, but it encompasses all slavery. They had an amazing collection of artifacts from ancient civilizations, Rome, and Africa. We jumped into a guided tour (an extra $3/person). The guide had an interesting but bizarre take on history. It got really strange when he started talking about how he was a vampire, etc. The museum itself is in Otrabanda, a short walk from the cruise ship, on the grounds of the Kura Holanda hotel. The hotel has restored about 85 old buildings, and is a delightful collection of buildings, cobblestone streets, and gardens. It was delightful.
We also visited the Maritime Museum, very close to the floating market. It is not a large museum, but very interesting.
We went on the Helmet Dive Excursion at DePalm Island, booked through Celebrity. The helmet dive was a lot of fun. We were in a group of six with two divers. We followed a route while holding onto metal railings about 15 feet deep. There were a jeep and old bus with many fish swimming around. The divers had us pose with bottles, sitting in chairs, sitting in the jeep, etc. It was hokey but fun. They fed the fish, so we were able to see swarms of fish and "pet" them. It was fun to try. The fish were pretty, but not the best we have seen. DePalm Island itself is OK,a private beach club. The beach sections are very small "pocket" beaches. There is a splash zone water park for kids and some other activities. There is a bar and buffet breakfast and lunch. We had enough time for the helmet dive, a little time on the beach and for a swim, and some lunch and drinks. We had to leave by 1:15 pm, so it is really not a day at the beach. The water was rough the day we were there, and it rained for a little while.
5 out of 5
We waited for our number to be called in the Tuscan Grille (Celebrity Elite) which was very nice and relaxing. We were able to get our luggage and through Customs and Immigration very quickly. It was about 30 minutes from when we started to leave the ship until we were driving out of the parking garage. Very easy and fast.
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