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Celebrity Cruises: Eclipse

  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.

Eclipse Review

Insider Take

Overview

Third ship of the Solstice-class. An opulent, spacious ship with a great selection of fine dining and cozy staterooms.

Best For People Who Want

A spacious premium ship with plenty of dining options and an active nightlife; a relaxing but elegant onboard ambience; onboard shopping; large bathrooms in all staterooms.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Small-ship cruising, whimsical decor, singing and dancing waiters, an active onboard sports program.

Onboard Experience

If you already like Celebrity you will love Eclipse, the third ship in Celebrity's Solstice class (number two is named Equinox). Is it too big? Is the Hearst Castle too big? Size is relative and in many ways Eclipse is like a roomier version of the Celebrity Millennium-class. The designers more than compensated for the larger capacity, making her the perfect size - alive with activities but never too crowded.

Eclipse is also beautiful with many of the same features that make the Millennium class appealing. There are long drapes cascading down from three decks above to frame the Grand Foyer staircase. There is a beautiful chandelier in the dining room while the alternative dining spots are generously apportioned with plenty of space between the tables.

The vast majority of staterooms have balconies, and they average 15% larger than other Celebrity ships, Most of the extra room is given over to the bathroom where there is enough room for two people to get ready for dinner. The large showers feature sliding doors rather than plastic curtains that hug against you and there is more storage than most cruise ships.

One major extravagance is shopping with 18 outlets for "retail therapy" onboard. There are gift shops exclusively for women and for men, jewelry shops, dress shops, souvenir shops and kiosks. One does not generally cruise to shop, but these stores are certainly tempting and you can always go in just to chat. The art gallery is low-key and not hard-sell. Look for the 86-facet diamond-pattern round cut Eclipse Diamonds - available in all sizes.

Ten dining options will satisfy any craving, especially for fine coffees with pastry or gelato. Wine tastings by the glass are offered. There is an extensive library and game room.

Service

The service on our sailing was exceptional. A decade ago one would find Celebrity Cruises' staff very professional yet stoic in service. These days, they are encouraged to make the service friendly as well as professional. Beyond exceptional is the tuxedo-clad service in Murano, the specialty restaurant.

Entertainment

Eclipse has something for everyone in terms of entertainment. While it isn't as sports-oriented as sister company Royal Caribbean, many of the outdoor elements are there. There is a basketball court, a jogging track, putting green and Bocce ball.

Indoors during the daytime the library is extensively informative and the card room has plenty of tables and games.

A new attraction called "Team Earth" features user-interactive computer generated showcases of various topics of human interest. It is overseen by Conservation Intl., a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization that gently persuades large American corporations and other organizations to make their daily environmental practices "greener." Celebrity donated $10,000,000 to the fund as seed money for the Team Earth display. Naturally, it is there to underscore the point that Celebrity is environmentally aware and has many forward-looking practices to help planet Earth remain green.

The pool area is ample with plenty of plush loungers, two pools and two hot tubs. The cabana loungers are comfy and plentiful. The Solarium is an adults only greenhouse style swimming pool with great temperature-controlled sunning in any climate. The AquaSpa restaurant is inside.

Online at Celebrity is the Internet Cafe, but the entire ship has wireless access anyway. This room is great for people who do not travel with a laptop, but your surfing will be limited to web sites or a temporary Celebrity-assigned email address.

Online at Celebrity has been replaced on Eclipse with an Apple Computers iLounge, a combination web cafe using iMacs plus a store and computer education center featuring Apple products. Celebrity plans to put iLounge on all of the Solstice class ships soon.

For fine art, it is hard to beat an original piece of art glass or crystal by the glass blowers of the Corning Museum. Corning Glass is already well known in America for Corningware, but many people do not realize the Corning Museum is one of the finest glass museums in the world. Corning Glass is also the home of Steuben Crystal, a company that features original works of art in crystal by different artists. The Corning Museum "Hot Glass Show" is held a few times each day on "The Lawn." The gift shop is also an excellent place to buy original pieces of glass artwork.

Nighttime entertainment begins in the Eclipse Theater, which features three different shows with a full cast of singers and dancers on every seven-night cruise. The theater is a two-deck venue with a forward thrust proscenium stage and extensive balcony seating. The singers and dancers are very talented and the show has universal appeal.

Other diversions include the casino with several table games including craps, roulette, 21, let it ride and more. There are hundreds of slots including nickel and 2-cent machines. There are poker tables with an electronic "dealer" that allow from five to eight players to challenge one another.

The Sky Observation Lounge features a live band and large dance floor. It is high atop deck 15 forward and has an eclectic decor of white and red couches and chairs. The Quasar Dance Club is the ship's "disco" with pod-like seating and a loud sound and lighting system. This is the late night hot spot. The Martini Bar is located in the main public area next to "Crush" and both feature mixed drinks with the stronger spirits.

Michael's Club is the "Gentlemen's Club" where one can smoke a cigar and sip a brandy. The decor is decidedly masculine with deep recliners and paintings of popular game targets. The entertainment is a piano soloist.

The Passport Bar is a casual nightclub perfect for conversation with mixed company. Cellar Masters is for oenophiles looking to taste the finest vintages by the glass. The Ensemble Lounge is the late night live music venue. Galleria Tastings is for sampling malt-based scotches, brandies and other spirits.

Throughout the day and night various musical artists can be heard throughout the ship. A singer/guitarist plays sets poolside, in the atrium and in the Ensemble Lounge. A string quartet plays in the Atrium during the day and in Michael's Club and the Solarium at night.

A Jazz Trio plays in the Ensemble Lounge nightly, A pianist fills the atrium Grand Foyer daily, A steel drum player plays poolside and the pop/rock band "Top Secret" plays poolside during the day and in the Sky Lounge at night.

Eclipse keeps up the tradition of Celebrity having an excellent acapella vocal group onboard. There is a quartet group that performs at least twice a day in the Ensemble Lounge and in the Court.

Cabins

All of the staterooms on Eclipse share certain things in common. They average 15% larger than previous Celebrity cabins and most of that space is given over to the bathroom. The bathrooms are large enough for two people to get ready at the same time. There is ample storage space and the showers are approximately 25% larger than the average cruise ship.

All staterooms feature flat-screen televisions of at least 32-inches. Although the televisions are placed over the desk instead of directly in front of the bed, it is possible to adjust the angle of the screen so it is squarely visible to both people in bed. All beds can be separated into two twin beds or put together as a single queen-sized bed. All have a rounded corner to make it easier to walk around.

All staterooms offer wireless Internet access at an additional fee, with data throughput nearing broadband speeds - impressive for a satellite service. All cabins come with a generous sofa directly in front of the television. In cabins that can accommodate extra guests, these sofas are trundle beds. Eclipse does not have pulldown beds with ladders.

The desk area has plenty of shelf space and both US 110-volt and European 220-volt outlets - perfect for a computer setup, or a vanity area with lighted mirror. There is an adjustable-height coffee table. The staterooms all have doors that open outward towards the hallway instead of inward. All of the doors are recessed from the hallways so they do not open into public traffic lanes.

Every stateroom features an Apple Computer-based interactive television. A Mac Mini running special software allows the user to interact with various cruise services like shore excursion bookings, onboard accounts, on-demand movies, restaurant menus, ordering room service and more.

Cuisine

Celebrity Cruises was long associated with the culinary guidance of 3-star Michelin chef Michel Roux of London. That association began when Celebrity was under the auspices of John Chandris and lasted almost two decades before the line sought the guidance of dining expert Elizabeth Blau. Within her portfolio of culinary experts was the new "go-to guy." Now serving as Vice President of Food & Beverage is Jacques Van Staden in charge of creating the menus for each of the ten different dining destinations onboard Silhouette and all other Celebrity ships as well.

Restaurants

The Grand Epernay: this two-level dining room features a stunning decor of mostly white walls and angular pillars, chairs and tablecloths. There is a grand staircase with silver railings and an immense chandelier of hanging silver bubbles. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu features continental European cuisine and champagne from the rooms' namesake region.

Tuscan Grille: Italian steakhouse and specialty restaurant offering fine Italian wines and panoramic views along with your Caesar salad, made tableside. Surcharge $25 pp.

QSine: This restaurant replaces the Silk Harvest restaurants of Asian fusion cuisines found on Solstice and Equinox. The restaurant features unusual shared dishes served in quixotic presentations. Describes are a "tapas-like" experience, the cuisine is tasty and just plain fun. The cuisine was specially designed by Celebrity executive chef Jacques Van Staden. Surcharge.

Blu Restaurant: The specialty restaurant set aside as the exclusive dining venue for the AquaClass suite guests, serving healthier (but not true spa cuisine) fare in a sophisticated and soothing atmosphere.

Murano Restaurant: Savory multi-course meals featuring a blend of classic and modern continental cuisine with an extensive and superb wine list. Surcharge $30 pp.

Bistro on Five: This small, bistro-like room hidden behind glass walls in the public areas of deck five, this room features crepes of all kinds from breakfast to luncheons with beef or chicken and, of course, desserts. There are also soups, salads and quiche. The surcharge is a simple $5.00 per person.

Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria: across from the Bistro on Five, this upscale coffee house features mostly pastries and gelato or Italian ices by the scoop. There is a small charge for the gelato. Coffee and gelato cost from $3.00 to $5.00 per serving.

AquaSpa Cafe: not for the exclusive use of the AquaSpa suite guests (that is "Blu.") This restaurant is inside the Solarium and features lighter, healthier fare such as salads, fresh raw vegetables and small sandwiches.

Mast Grill and Bar: the poolside grill serving up the usual poolside fare; hamburgers, fries, tacos, chicken wings, bratwurst, gyros, rubens and onion rings.

The Oceanview Cafe and Grill: this is one of the nicest Lido cafeteria-style buffet rooms this cruiser has ever seen. With a multitude of dedicated stations of different types of food, it is easy to see all of the possible selections and lines are always short. Dedicated stations include the carvery, salad bar, dessert bar, Asian stir-fry, grilled steaks and chops and more.

Tipping

Celebrity suggests a per-person per-day gratuity of $3.50 for the waiter, butler (Suites only) and stateroom attendant; $4.00 for Concierge Class stateroom attendant; $2.00 for the Assistant Waiter; and $.75 for the Assistant Maitre d' and the Assistant Chief Housekeeper.

All guests are given a form to sign if they wish to have these gratuities charged to their shipboard account. Children under 12 who are the third or fourth person in the stateroom pay only half these amounts. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion.

Fitness/Spa

The AquaSpa area has all of the usual fitness machines and classes. Some of the classes carry a service charge.

Persian Gardens, a sensory treatment area within the spa area, features aromatherapy rain and mist showers, wet and dry saunas and hot ceramic lounge chairs to warm your body throughout. This is now available on a day-pass basis for $18-day. The Solarium is beautiful but has no thalassotherapy pool like previous Celebrity ships. It has a "no one under 16 allowed" policy that was not being enforced on our cruise, although the kids in residence were well-behaved. The spa also offers extensive acupuncture treatments which are surprisingly popular. The most common requests are for sleeplessness, backache, stress and seasickness.

The Solarium has a large thalassotherapy pool with water jets to soothe aching muscles. The ship also offers extensive acupuncture treatments which are surprisingly popular. The most common requests are for sleeplessness, backache, stress and seasickness.

Attire

There are two formal nights on a seven-night cruise, three on longer ones. On two informal nights gentlemen need only jackets and no ties. On formal nights most men turn up in dark suits rather than tuxedos, while ladies choose dressy pantsuits or dresses. By day, don't even consider wearing anything other than shorts, sneakers, polo shirt and a baseball cap.




Ship Overview

The third ship in Celebrity’s Solstice-class, Celebrity Eclipse was launched in 2010 with all the premium features previously introduced by the cruise line, including the Lawn Club, a buffet restaurant with stations instead of lines, spa-inspired accommodations, and more specialty dining options. In addition, Celebrity Eclipse introduced a new restaurant concept Qsine—serving playful reinventions of familiar foods—and the Celebrity iLounge—an Internet center with the latest tech gadgets from Apple. Winter months find Celebrity Eclipse sailing 14-day exotic Southern Caribbean cruises, while she spends the summer season in Europe offering itineraries from Southampton, England, that roam from the Baltic Sea and Norwegian coastal regions to the Mediterranean.

While Solstice-class ships are contemporary in design—even a bit edgy for Celebrity—the line included enough spaces with old-world ambience to satisfy traditionalists. The atmosphere is not unlike a hip boutique hotel filled with grand spaces as well as intimate nooks and crannies. Celebrity Reflection adds an additional deck for more high-end suite accommodations.

The Lawn Club, a half acre of real grass on deck 15, is where you can play genteel games of croquet, practice golf putting, indulge in lawn games and picnics, or simply take barefoot strolls. In a nearby open-air "theater" on Solstice, Eclipse, and Equinox, artisans demonstrate glassmaking in the Hot Glass Show. A similar space on Silhouette and Reflection houses an outdoor grill restaurant, and those ships, along with Solstice also have private cabanas in the Lawn Club (for a fee). These ships have a lot to offer families, with a family pool and the most extensive children's facilities in the Celebrity fleet.

Since it was founded in 1989, Celebrity Cruises has grown from a single refurbished ocean liner into a fleet of premium, sophisticated cruise ships that have a reputation for professional service, fine food, and some of the best design in the industry. Signature amenities have grown with the fleet, including gourmet specialty restaurants that carry an additional fee, large staterooms with generous storage, fully equipped spas, and butler service for guests in the top accommodations categories. Valuable art collections grace the stylish modern luxury ship interiors.

Although spacious accommodations in every category are a Celebrity standard, Concierge-class, an upscale element on all ships, makes certain premium ocean-view and balcony staterooms almost the equivalent of suites in terms of service. A Concierge-class stateroom includes numerous extras, such as chilled champagne, fresh fruit, and flowers upon arrival; exclusive room-service menus; evening canapés; luxury bedding, pillows, and linens; upgraded balcony furnishings; priority boarding and luggage service; and other VIP perks. At the touch of a single telephone button, a Concierge-class desk representative is at hand to offer assistance. Suites are still the ultimate, though, and include the services of a butler to assist with unpacking, booking spa services and dining reservations, shining shoes, and even replacing a popped button.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • An interactive TV system allows you to book shore excursions and order room service
  • Aqua-class has its own staircase direct to the spa
  • A Hospitality Director oversees restaurant reservations

Cons

  • Closet space is skimpy in standard cabins
  • There are no self-service laundries
  • Dining choices are plentiful, but pricey
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,253
  • Entered Service 2010
  • Gross Tons 122,000
  • Length 1,041 ft.
  • Number of Cabins 1,425
  • Passenger Capacity 2,850
  • Width 121 ft.
  • New

Jan 20, 2015

Worst cruise I have ever taken, islands visited excellent, waiter was not any good, had to ask for everything and he did not bring your requests like asking for coffee with meal another time he gave me coffee in middle of meal and everyone else at table he just left and di not give them coffee very very rude Bad, tasteless food, poor quality of meat tough Excellent cabin, our room steward was excellent NO night life at all . Shows

where awful and no live music at bars on ship. everyone on ship agreed that they went to bed early and disappointed train excursion was cancelled at ST Kitts, was disappointed they claimed train was broken Met a lot of nice people, food was not up to par, lacking night life, waiter really made me angry could not sit at table no more in dining room

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Apr 14, 2013

Southern Caribbean

My wife and I sailed on Celebrity's Eclipse on a two-week cruise to the southern Caribbean on January 12, 2013. We have sailed with Celebrity several times before, but this was our first cruise on the Eclipse. About us. I am a trial lawyer and my wife is a Personal Shopper. We exercise daily as an integral part of our lifestyle, and except when we vacation, we watch what we eat. "Trim" and "fit" are two words which I think best describe

us physically. Here are some compelling reasons for you to seriously consider a Celebrity cruise: 1. Celebrity has the most progressive non-smoking policy in the mass cruise market. It is the only cruise line to ban smoking on balconies as well as in the cabins and the casinos. On the Eclipse, smoking was limited to a section of the port side of the pool deck, to the port side of an outdoor bar at the back of the ship, and to an outdoor bar on the starboard side on the deck above the pools. I heard no complaints from anyone. 2. The Eclipse itself. The Eclipse is one of five new, nearly identical S-class ships in the Celebrity fleet. I find myself speaking in superlatives about this ship. It is a big boat, over three football fields long, yet remarkably easy to find your way about. It has a passenger capacity of 2,850 and yet never seemed crowded. Pictures of the ship do not do it justice. A spectacular atrium towering 11 decks holding glass-enclosed elevators with a tree suspended in the middle is simply breathtaking. Eye-catching artwork is everywhere. There are many, many features of the Eclipse unique to Celebrity I invite you to look at on-line, but in a word, the entire ship is positively stunning. 3. The pool deck and the buffet restaurant. I single out these two areas because through its innovative design of the S-class, Celebrity managed to solve two huge problems prevalent on cruise ships: a shortage of deck chairs and long lines in the buffet restaurants. On the Eclipse you could arrive on the pool deck at almost any time on a sea day and still find plenty of prime seating. The buffet restaurant, called the Oceanview Cafe on the Eclipse, was cleverly designed with separate stations in the center so there were never lines. That's right, no lines. Celebrity also substituted various-sized plates for trays to eliminate the look and feel of a cafeteria you find on other ships. 4. AquaClass. We treated ourselves to AquaClass on this cruise and it is no surprise that AquaClass was the first category to sell out. The AquaClass cabins are ideally located high up and are configured and decorated differently than the other cabins. The balconies are large enough for two lounge chairs. The bathrooms have fog-free mirrors, enormous bath towels, and a shower with a tower of five jets to massage and rinse you at multiple body points. There is also a private entrance to the AquaSpa and fitness center, unlimited access to the therapeutic Persian Garden, and exclusive access to the Relaxation Room at the front of the ship. But best of all was the specialty restaurant called Blu. 5. Blu. This small and intimate specialty restaurant was exclusive for AquaClass passengers. It was our private dining room. The quality of food on a Celebrity cruise is generally superb, but Blu's special menu took the dining experience to a whole new level. Blu was open for breakfast and dinner with no assigned times or seating. The menu differed dramatically from the main dining room, as did the preparation and the presentation. The menus changed daily but the chef would prepare even dishes off the menu. And while the quality of service on a Celebrity cruise is generally exceptional, the service in Blu was the best we've encountered on any ship anywhere. 6. Cleanliness. The Eclipse wasn't just clean; it was immaculate, including, and maybe even especially, the public restrooms, which were fresh and spotless whenever we used them. Purell hand-sanitizers were everywhere, including smiling crew members to personally dispense a shot at the doors to the dining venues and to passengers returning to the ship from port. This is clearly a cruise line which cares about our health. 7. The specialty restaurants. Like most ships, the Eclipse has her share of for-fee specialty restaurants. In addition to Blu, we dined in two of the three. The Tuscan Grille, an Italian steakhouse, served me a filet mignon you could cut with a sharp look. It was as good as you will find in any Capital Grille on land. The popular and innovative Qsine, with its iPad menu, is so unique it defies description. 8. Captain's Club. Like many cruise lines, Celebrity rewards its repeat passengers with special programs, parties and perks. As Elite members of the Captain's Club, we were invited to drink from a large menu of alcoholic and soft drinks at Celebrity's expense each evening. Other benefits included either complimentary or discounted laundry, dry cleaning, and Internet access. 9. Perry Grant. He is a flamboyant cabaret singer something like Liberace on steroids, who held court nightly on Celebrity's older and smaller Constellation for many years. I heard that Perry was about to join the Eclipse starting the cruise after mine so we missed him by a day. Perry is so immensely popular that some passengers book their cruises just because of him. You can watch videos of his performances on YouTube. 10. The crew. You will not find friendlier people at sea. During the entire cruise I never heard the word no. Moreover, I personally observed extraordinary acts of kindness and consideration from the staff towards passengers I found so touching I went searching for a supervisor to report them. If the stunning Eclipse is the exquisite body of Celebrity, then the remarkable people who inhabit it are its heart and soul.

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Jul 12, 2012

eastern caribbean

I felt the need to reply to some of the reviews as I have now been on 2 cruises with Celebrity - both on the Eclipse; one out of Southampton, and the other out of Miami. We are booked on another cruise (same ship but different location - in September). I have truly enjoyed all my cruise experiences with Celebrity - of course, I don't have another cruise line to compare - however, so far they have pleased me (& my Mum) enough to want to re-book twice!

The emergency drill discussed by one reviewer is not as she stated. You attend the mandatory drill at different locations on the ship according to where you would meet if evacuation was necessary. Obviously, if everyone went to the theatre it just wouldn't work...for example, our "muster point" has been within the area of the ship by the executive lounge. Yes, it's crowded but adequate - and there is a certain amount of personal responsibility too - to ensure that you know where the lifejackets are, and the emergency route from your cabin. On our first cruise out of Southampton - a tragic incident highlighted the importance of safety at sea, and the steps Celebrity is willing to take in order to take care of guests & staff. A guest onboard became sick, and it was necessary to evacuate him/her by helicopter. This was successfully done, but during the process a member of staff fell/jumped overboard. A ship the size of the Eclipse does not stop easily or quickly, but in this case, the ship was turned around, lifeboat launched, and rescue organizations off Cherbourg notified. The staff kept passengers informed but not overly involved. Although the outcome was not positive, I felt that the captain had done all possible in order to attempt to save the individual. During our 2nd cruise in January, when the Costa Concordia was on the news - I did not feel unsafe while travelling on the Eclipse. My Mum is elderly & has some special needs as well as an allergy to seafood. We travel Aqua class as I have found the dining arrangements especially accommodating (Blu restaurant). No need to book a time & portions much more manageable for both of us. The restaurant staff are incredibly helpful & friendly - attentive but not overwhelming. Most important - willing to accommodate a couple of unusual requests from us (one re. seating & other re. meals). We usually order breakfast in our room which has for the most part, been excellent. Lunch is at the buffet - and thank goodness I didn't spot any unruly guests contaminating the food (as per one review!). I found the selection excellent - and touch wood, have not got sick...hot food was hot in my experience and cold food appropriately cold. I enjoy the curries, whereas my Mum chose traditional "English" fare. Our stateroom has been great. Very clean indeed - concierge very attentive - & yes, I did have lots of little requests - extra coat hangers, an English tea kettle for the caribbean cruise (my Mum needed it!!) We both found the accommodation comfortable & relaxing. Wi fi good ('tho I seriously miss skype which is not available) - and tv. good also. I enjoy watching Sky news which I can't get at home. Bathroom also very good, clean, amenities (soaps, lotions, etc.) provided. Onboard activities were also very good. Hot glass show fabulous. Cooking demos very much enjoyed by us both, as well as music and people watching. Celebrity is not a "cheap" cruise line & I found that it can get expensive with add ons, if you are not aware & don't keep track! My Mum and I treated ourselves a little each day, & also enjoyed all the amazing things which are "inclusive" to keep costs reasonable. We didn't see the show (maybe this time?) as Mum was tired by evening & we prefered to relax and do our own thing. So far, we have been on an excursion at every port! My Mum uses a wheelchair for distances, but can walk as well. We did not take any "wheelchair only" excursions as this would have prevented non-ambulatory guests from enjoying a trip. The trips we went on were excellent without exception. I did choose as sensibly as I could knowing some of Mum's limitations re. walking, the unpleasantness of being pushed over bumpy cobblestones in a wheelchair, and the fact that she does get tired. All tour operators went out of their way to help us out, and we enjoyed ourselves! I did get lost in Rome - but caught another Celebrity tour bus back...oops. However, that was my mistake not theirs, and fortunately we easily got back to the ship in time. I am aware that it is cheaper to "do it yourself" and take taxi or public transport. However, when travelling with someone who is elderly - I found the tour bus to be by far the easiest and most relaxing way to see the sights. We have enjoyed both cruises on the Eclipse - and are anticipating another excellent cruise in a couple of months. I would not hesitate to recommend Aqua class on the Celebrity Eclipse to someone who is looking for a relaxing holiday, with responsive staff, and a touch of luxury. I have had no problem with swimming pools, hot tubs, or sunbathing areas - towel service is excellent, and entire area clean and inviting. All washrooms on the ship are clean and well appointed. Bar areas and lounges also very pleasant and nice to spend time in. When leaving the ship - be prepared for long line-ups - difficult to have so many people coming & going at the same time of course. Southampton was a bit of a zoo and one suitcase had wheel broken off. Experience in Miami much better due to extremely assertive staff pushing wheelchair & extremely assertive me getting a cab right away...Celebrity does offer slightly later disembarkation for special needs guests which is helpful.

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Apr 5, 2012

Caribean

This was our first cruise; we have had many a 5 star land resort all inclusive vacations and have stayed away from cruising because of the 'pay for everything else' approach. All in all I will say that the Celebrity Eclipse was cleaner than any 5 star resort that we have stayed at, the staff was terrific: friendly and engaging. It was a resort on the water. We stayed away from the pricy add ons such as the drinking water package, wine package ( worked

out to 33.00$ a bottle), etc., which made our vacation very affordable. We compensated by carrying our own insulated water bottles and enjoying 6 beer for 10.00$ in port. We took 2 bottles of wine with us and kept them in the stateroom. My wife and I agreed that excluding the 'pay for extras' we really couldn't complain about anything -- if you are into cruising the Eclipse is a good choice. I spoke to some seniors and wheelchair folk and they had similar stories. Our only major disappointment was that the hot tub was luke warm and it as well as the pools were chlorinated versus salt water. Considering how new the ship was (2010), the toxicity of chlorine on clothing and skin this was rather surprising. Breakfast/lunch buffet & dinning room food was very good. Dinner buffet terrible. Grill food by the pool was not bad. We had a veranda on the 9th deck, it's size (194 sq.ft) was very acceptable; it was clean, not worn and the bed was very comfortable. We were located about a 1/3rd of the way a stern from the bridge, just where the bow wake rolled off the hull, this provided a crashing wave sonata which we enjoyed. We were able to leave the patio door open all night so we could enjoy the sea sounds and fragrance, this was nice. The professional comedian was excellent, some of the singers and musicians were good, but most of the entertainment was just basic. We made good use of the fitness centre which was terrific, it was busy at times but there was loads of equipment and machines. There was a charge for fitness classes (?). On board activities were available but from what I saw there was not a lot of participation. Sun bathing was a challenge as the folks were packed like sardines around the pool and lounging decks. Ship specific information sessions were great but there was not enough of them as I noted many folk like to know about how the ship functions - an engine tour was 150.00$ !!! If you are into paying premium prices for activities, there were some interesting excursions to be found. We simply did a little research and walked off the ship and did our own site seeing, shopping, chatting with the locals and other tourists. In my view cruising from port to port and spending a few days at sea is better than lying on a beach, you get to travel in comfort, experience different places but the add ons can add up easily; don't be fooled by the cheap base price for the cruise and cruising is not an adventure or mind stimulating experience. Not being able to enjoy a bottle of water, a beer or a glass of wine without a hefty price made me feel like I was in a cinema buying candy - too bad for the industry.

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Jan 17, 2012

Carribean

After deciding again to take a cruise in January, we tried booking a Holland America cruise. The dates we needed were full, so we started considering other cruise lines. We found a cruise on Celebrity that fit our needs as far as times and destinations, so we booked a seven day cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse heading for the Carribean. It was going to San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Although we had already been to two out of three of these

ports, we had enjoyed them previously and decided to not to book any excursions. When we arrived at the ship in the Port of Miami the Ecipse had a buffet available in the Oceanview Cafe. This was our first experience with the cuisine on the ship. I tried the salad items shrimp salad and tuna salad. Both were at room temperature. So I decided to have some of their sliced lunch meats and cheeses. Again, the lunch meats were warm. I finally decided to try the pasta bar, figuring you can't get sick from tepid pasta. After making a conscious decision to stick to pasta and breads so as not to get sickened by warm salads with mayonnaise in them, I witnessed something that turned my stomach. I was in line once again at the pasta bar at lunch time. A man ahead of me was reaching under the "sneeze glass" to point out to the chef what he wanted cooked up in his pasta. His fingers were almost in the different bowls of cut vegetables and I noticed he was wearing a sleeveless top. He was leaning so far under the glass that his under arm hair was IN the bowls closest to him. This sealed my decision to order only what was so far behind the glass, that only the chef served it to you! Yuck! The rooms on board were ok. Nothing new for a cruise ship. My husband did pick up on the towels in our bathroom. They were threadbare. One of our dining partners at evening dinner actually complained about them. They were towels I would of used as rags at home. Frayed or even ripped around the edges and so thin they could hardly dry you. Our stateroom attendant was very nice and accommodating. He was working hard with what he had to work with. The rooms were kept clean. The Ecipse did offer a lot of activities but once again disappointed. On other cruise lines, the activities were free and included in the price of the cruise. This one was offering iPad classes.....for a fee. I was very disappointed because on the previous Holland America cruises we had taken, they had classes on the Windows 7 pictures, movie making, etc. all free, or included in the price of the cruise. The one interesting show they did offer that was different and fascinating was the Hot Glass Blowing. They had two shows a day and one show a day when you were in a port. This one activity somewhat redeemed the cruise for me. The artists were engaging, interesting and made beautiful works in glass. I'm only sorry they're on this cruise line as I won't be seeing them again. Maybe Holland America will take note. All in all, I'd rate this cruise a 5 out of 10. We actually felt sorry for the people working aboard. They kept asking if we were happy, or if everything was alright. We got the distinct impression they knew it wasn't. One other thing that made us sit up and take note. On all the 5 previous cruises we've been on, they have been very, very serious about the Emergency drill when you are first on board. It was MANDATORY!! On the Ecipse, you were asked to all go to the theater for Emergency drill instruction. To be fair, it was stated over the speaker system that attendance was mandatory. When we got there, we realized that it was a movie on planned evacuations and emergency procedure. No one from the ship was checking room cards to make sure everyone attended. And it was taken as seriously as a rock concert. It was so loud from people talking, you couldn't hear a thing! We disembarked to the news of the Italian cruise liners disaster. I really feel Celebrity should take the safety of their passengers more seriously. With their lack of a real safety drill, that could have been them.

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