Great weather, amazing scenery, many issues with Celebrity

Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Celebrity Eclipse

8 Night Norwegian Fjords (Dublin Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 20, 2018

Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9199

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

The issues with Celebrity put a bit of a damper on this vacation. Everything from pre-purchased perks and dining to upgrades all done through Celebrity simply didn't seem to exist in the reservation system. We cruised with some friends very experienced at cruising and they said they'd never seen things this bad or poorly run. I'm not sure if it was a specific ship, crew, or Celebrity system problem but, it ate up hours of our vacation working with Guest Services only to find that, yes indeed, Celebrity had records of everything in their shore-side systems that somehow did not connect at all with the ship-board systems prior to the cruise. We'll be holding off booking again with Celebrity and may consider other cruise lines to avoid losing hours of vacation doing their work for them. It was our first family cruise so, over-all this was not a good first impression.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Our local hire taxi driver was well aware of the challenges but, he was able to get us to Terminal 7 and dropped off well. The process from there was relatively smooth and efficient and the staff were very professional.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The pastries were dry and either over-floured or over baked for 2/3 of the cruise. The last 1/3 they got it right. We did purchase a specialty dinner with reservations months in advance directly with Celebrity and neither the reservation nor the purchase were in the records on ship. They were both in the final receipts Celebrity sent me before the cruise. This kind of inefficiency and disconnect happened several times during the cruise and really put a damper on the vacation.

Qsine

4 out of 5

The food presentation was just exceptional. The flavor was mild, I did wish they could have spiced up the Indian and Middle Eastern offerings. Some authentic spice level and seasoning would have made this an even better experience but, I still recommend dinner here. The staff make this an exceptional experience even if the taste of food is a bit ho-hum at times.

Moonlight Sonata Restaurant

3 out of 5

The menus were interesting and portion sizes were perfect for not over-indulging as can happen on vacations. It was a little off putting when the dulce de leche came to the table as a creme brulee with repeat insistence that it was dulce de leche...it was creme brulee. Fix the menu and move on. Otherwise the staff was good but seemed a bit on edge.

Bistro on Five

4 out of 5

It is now Sushi on Five and it was good quality with a very attentive staff. The reservation we made months in advance somehow was not in their system so, it took some haggling with Guest Services and explaining the concept of paying the up-charge for the dinner to get things sorted. That kind of soured some of the experience. I just didn't expect to have to do so much of Celebrity's work for them to enjoy a dinner.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The insider tour was outstanding. The pool and hot tubs seemed very well used and enjoyed by folks that were using them.

Guest Relations And Excursions

2 out of 5

There were just too many fit and finish type errors and disconnects combined with bad information. For several of our excursions we received conflicting show up times and instructions. This is fundamental type stuff we figured a large cruise line like Celebrity would have worked out long ago.

Entertainment

3 out of 5

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
The staff were very nice and professional. One concern was they seemed to have set responses for questions, even when the response didn't match the question being asked. It gave a bit of a feeling of being trapped in a Disney animatronic experience. Our Cabin Steward was Stanley and he was outstanding in every way.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5

Ship tip

Bring printed copies of every receipt, voucher and statement for every single purchase or package associated with your trip. I spent hours with Guest Services working to get purchases we made months in advance with Celebrity credited to our account or to have upgrades purchased in advance updated to our accounts. This nonsense significantly detracted from our desire to sail with Celebrity again. Seriously, if their system can't track purchases they sent me a receipt for.. I just don't know what to say. It was very frustrating.

Ports of call

Dublin, Ireland Did not visit port

We boarded in Dublin.

Bergen, Norway

5 out of 5
The BN35 - Hiking Mount Floien hiking excursion was overbooked in that there were around 28 of us for one petite and very quiet guide. That became a problem when some of the more aggressive people ignored the guide's direction and decided to hike well past the turn around time, almost causing the ship to delay for us. We recommend skipping the excursion and leaving the ship early to get to the funicular before the crowds, hike around for a few hours, and then beat the crowds down. The crowds ate up 45 minutes of hiking time and set the day behind.

Skjolden, Norway

5 out of 5
The OH12 - Sognefjell Mountain & Scenic Jotunheim with refreshments excursion was great and had some amazing scenic stops and a very knowledgable guide.

Geiranger, Norway

5 out of 5
This is a quiet fjord-side small town. The GG40 - Herdal Farm excursion was fun and informative but, if you're an American DO NOT buy any meat products. We were assured there would be no issue and the sausage was approved for international transport. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol advised otherwise as they confiscated the $30USD goat sausage. There didn't seem to be a Celebrity representative on this excursion to help with those sorts of issues. The guide was knowledgable and the scenery and stops for photos were perfect.

Alesund, Norway

4 out of 5
The AE20 - The Path of the Trolls excursion was more a drive around the fjord with a little bit of troll lore added in. The stops were nice and the scenery was wonderful but the name seemed a bit misleading for the content..like the stop at a church. Our bus broke down but, they were able to get us a replacement bus in very little time considering we were up in the mountains. They were in constant communication with Celebrity so, we were never worried about making it back to the ship. The guide was very knowledgable, it was just a very long excursion so it didn't leave much time for exploring Alesund, which was a pity because there was plenty to see and do right there in the city. We made it back in time just to squeeze into the lower boarding doors as the tide was out and the ship was sitting lower in the water.

Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

4 out of 5
The WK06 - Mousa Island Discovery excursion was a drive and ferry ride out to the island and a few miles of walking around the island. The timing gets you back to town in time for lunch. Do not waste time, the restaurants stop serving lunch at 2 PM. That said, the museum was excellent with several high quality exhibits and thorough explanations of them.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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