Very nice ship, well layed-out balcony cabin (9178)and seemed clean. Cabin air was very dry so left balcony door open at night to get some moisture.
Over 1/2 the daily activities were fee only, many casino related. There are at least 4 fee only restaurants (some $40 per person), the usual art auction characters hawking dubious "collectibles" and the broadway type revue shows that are exceedingly bad with lip synching.
The comedians on board were excellant, 1 from the US, 1 from Wales and 1 from Ireland.
Food was passable, buffet on deck 14 was good altho every carved meat selection was extremely overcooked.
Breads and pastry were not good, french bread tasted stale and the morning croissants were harder than my head. Very poor pastry chef.
All in all, for a cheap cruise, not a bad deal, wouldn't rush back tho.
Celebrity did a wonderful job of lining up speakers of interest for this long transatlantic cruise. There was plenty of activity to keep everyone busy for the many at sea days. Dining was a bit of a disappointment as we felt the quality was not quite up to Celebrity standards based on our past 15+ Celebrity cruises. None of our shore excursions were booked through Celebrity, but the excurisions we took (booked at the ports) were excellent. In the Azores, we went with Ricardo on a tour of the green and blue lagoons...very nice. At LaHavre, we simply took a bus across the river to Honfluer and had a wonderful day just visiting the village. The PROBLEM we encountered was with Butler Tours of Cobh,(Cork) Ireland. Due to weather conditions the ship did not port at Cobh as scheduled. We, along with my sister and husband had pre-booked a tour with BUTLER TOURS. BUTLER TOURS states in their policy that a refund will be issued for the tour if the ship cannot port as scheduled. Butler did provide us (my wife and I) a refund, but denied a refund tomy sister, and here is the reasoning. Just a few weeks prior to sailing, my sisters husband was killed in a tragic accident. A week after the funeral, she wrote to BUTLER TOURS asking about their refund policy in an instance such as this, stating that "we (meaning her along with her now dead husband) will not be taking the cruise". She was considering other options, such as bringing a son on the cruise with her, or transferring the tour tickets to me and my wife to provide to another couple on the cruise. When BUTLER TOURS replied to her that no refund could be given, she wrote again stating that she had determined that she would take the cruise and bring her son along with her, so that the tour tickets could still be used by her. BUTlER TOURS then replied stating that they had cancelled her booking and "given the tickets to another couple who had earlier faced a similar situation". NEVER had my sister indicated she had any intention of cancelling the tour - this was something BUTLER TOURS did on their own based on the commet my sister made when she indicated that "we" (meaning her and her now dead husband) could not make the cruise together. BUTLER TOURS failed to allow her to make other provisions or to transfer the tickets. Now, with the cruiseship not porting at Cobh (Cork), BUTLER TOURS did set about to provide refunds to those that had bookings as per their policy, but refused a refund to my sister. I am sure that all of us find this to be totally unacceptable....if anyone deserves a refund it is a widow faced with difficult decisions and unexpected issues. BUTLER TOURS is being brutal in their stand on this claiming an intent to cancel, which is not true.
CELEBRITY ECLIPSE REVIEW 2-18-12 SAILING EASTERN CARIBBEAN
We just returned from the Eclipse-our 9th cruise with Celebrity- and 37th overall. We had been away from Celebrity for the past 8 years and were anxious to try the Solstice class ships.
Let me give you a little background on usâ€“ we are retired seniors living in South Florida just a bit north of W Palm in Martin county â€“ we started cruising in 1986 while still living in the Chicago area. We moved to Florida in 1994 and cruising became more accessible and we take advantage of that. We have cruise the most with Princess and Celebrity, but have experienced NCL, RCCL, Premier, Commodore, HAL, Carnival, and MSC. We love Princess and Celebrity for different reasons and keep HAL as an alternative. We booked this cruise last minute-about 2 weeks out. We cruise for relaxation and the enjoyment of being at sea â€“ We hate to fly so mostly cruise the Caribbean â€“ all areas.
We take the Cruise Connection bus to all our cruises â€“ the boarding point is very close to our home and it is a relaxing way for us toget to and from the ports. No wear and tear on our car and no hassle with traffic and congestion.
This cruise sailed from the Port of Miami. We hadn't been out of that port in many years. The bus dropped off passengers at Port Everglades and then continued on to Miami â€“ dropping us off last around 2:30pm. A great time to board â€“ we just walked in, presented our documents and were on the ship with a welcoming Mimosa. This would be a new experience for us as we were totally unfamiliar with the ship, although I had been reading up on it, as to where things were. We found our cabin (9260-inside on Deck 9) were pleasantly surprised at its spaciousness â€“ dropped our hand luggage and headed to Bistro on 5 for a quick lunch before the Muster Drill. The crepes we ordered were great as well as the soup â€“ we just finished when they called for the Muster Drill â€“ thankfully we were on the correct deck and we gathered at our station and were shown a film and listened to announcements pertaining to safety. Life jackets are not to be taken to this drill.
The Eclipse is the third of the Solstice class ships, launched in 2010 and is beautiful. Very contemporary in design and well laid out. There are a total of 16 decks (no deck 13). Public decks are 3, 4, 5, 12, 14, 15, & 16. The Grand Foyer is 3 decks high and very impressive. Everything was spotless. Some areas are more traditional in design â€“ some more contemporary â€“ mostly it flowed well. There were areas that appeared dark because of the dark wood used â€“ the Library has been made an architectural focal point and is beautiful â€“ lots of glass and big window areas in some parts of the ship â€“ a welcoming ship. There are two pools mid ships for all and the solarium pool forward that is adults only with lounges all around. It is enclosed however and can become noisy. There are hot tubs there as well. Lots of outdoor places to sit â€“ including deck chairs outside on deck 5. Very enjoyable. Great people watching!
We always book an inside guarantee cabin. We are Select members of the Captains Club and when we were assigned a category 10 cabin, I called and asked for the one category upgrade which they gave us. We were in 9260 which is midships on the starboard side of the vessel. It was excellently located to both the elevators and stairs. We take the stairs down and elevators up these days and the elevators were very efficient and ran quickly. Once acclimated to the ship, it was easy to get around. The cabin was very spacious â€“ one of the largest inside cabins we have ever had and the bathroom was spacious as well â€“ doors on the shower are a real plus as is a foot bar for shaving legs in the shower. The television was interactive and also had free movies on demand â€“ they could be paused until one returned if you wanted to do so. You can also check your bill, reserve dinner, shore excursions etc on it. A nice feature. Furnishings were very contemporary â€“ Bed was very comfortable and large. Choice of pillows was nice also.
The only thing of note was the lack of shelving to lay things - and hooks to hang things. There is a bureau with 4 drawers and drawers (tiny) in the bathroom. Closets have sliding doors which stuck a bit â€“ but had plenty of space for hanging clothes for a 7-10 day cruise. Our cabin steward -Efram- was excellent-seeing to our every need.
We signed up for late seating fixed dining at 8:30 in the Moonlight Sonata dining room. We requested a table for two and got just that â€“ table 431 on the upper level of the dining room and our waiter was Tamiji â€“ his assistant was Leonard â€“ and they were excellent in seeing to whatever we wanted at dinner. The food in the dining room was very good â€“ but lacked seasoning in some dishes â€“ more bland than we would have liked. There are items at dinner that are available every day â€“ some Celebrity favorites like Lobster Bisque and CrÃ¨me Brule and Cesar salad as well as Escargot â€“ and there was always plenty to choose from on the daily menu â€“ the rolls and bread sticks were excellent . After the first night, our drink preferences were always remembered and we were always greeted by name.
We ate in the dining room for breakfast as much as possible as well as lunch. On port days the hours for breakfast are shorter and we missed it the first port day and had to eat in the Oceanview Cafe â€“ chaos â€“ more about that area later. Both breakfast and lunch in the dining room were great â€“ my husband especially loved the Belgian Waffles â€“ I love the way they poach eggs â€“ service was great and we enjoyed it very much â€“ Lunch as well â€“ good choices and well served.
On Thursday there was no breakfast or lunch in the dining room â€“ instead it was billed as a Grand Brunch in the main dining room â€“from 10am to 1:00pm- well it wasn't grandâ€“ utter chaos â€“ people everywhere â€“ no idea of what stations had what food â€“ we were NOT impressed â€“ dining room cleanup was very lax â€“ a lot of work for not a good result in our opinion. Yes, the food was good â€“ but just try to maneuver the room-it certainly wasn't up to Celebrity standards of old.
The Oceanview Cafe is on Deck 14 â€“ a very utilitarian looking place â€“ very contemporary and loud and noisy â€“ hard surfaces all around and the way the stations were positioned, people just walked everywhere at once. At peak hours it was difficult to maneuver. There were good choices there for every meal â€“ we just prefer a more formal setting for our meals. The sushi that was served starting at 4:30pm was well liked by many â€“ ourselves included â€“ and the pizza was good and the pasta bar good. There is an ice cream bar too â€“ also a grill forward by the pool and the Aqua Spa Cafe in the Solarium (adult pool). We ate breakfast at the Aqua Spa and it serves healthy choices â€“ is a nice atmosphere and we enjoyed that. My husband found the pastry too bland and no real taste for him. He has a sweet tooth and loves that kind of thing â€“ feels that Princess is much better in that area.
All in all we enjoyed the food - we are not fans of alternative restaurants â€“ they seem to say that if you want superior food, you have to eat in these restaurants â€“ the main dining room food isn't really good enough. There are four specialty restaurants on this ship with a surcharge â€“ Bistro on 5 ($5pp), Murano, Tuscan Grill, and Qsine ($30 or $40pp) â€“ for us they are not worth the cost â€“ we have tried one or two in past sailings â€“ always too much food for us too â€“ and frankly the food wasn't so great that we felt it a good value.
I should add that they were very careful about sanitation. Crew members with Purell dispensers were at the doors to the Oceanview Cafe and the Dining Room and dispensers were everywhere on the ship. The public restroom doors were opened and closed with push buttons and the restrooms were immaculate that I used. Cloth hand towels were available as well as paper and with the push buttons you didn't have to touch door handles and the water in the sinks was automatic.
The Cruise Directors staff got the ship rocking the first night with a Motown Theme Party in the Grand Foyer â€“ it was outstanding and people were dancing on all three floors and enjoying the music â€“ great way to start off a cruise â€“ there were shows in the Eclipse theater (we didn't see any of them) and on Wednesday there was a Masque Theme Party which also had the ship jumping!!! Both of these theme parties we truly enjoyed. We also enjoyed the bands and other music all over the ship â€“ there was an acapella group, a great band Southside, the Impreze Trio, Front Page was a Caribbean theme duo â€“ great music everywhere. The shows were at 7pm and 9pm in the theater and that wasn't good for us so we just didn't see any of them â€“ but I can say that the Cruise Director Mike Gibbons was very good and his staff worked very hard all over the ship.
Celebrity did a Cruise Critic get together for us with refreshments and some senior officers there â€“ it was very nice and we got to put names and faces together â€“ We also attended the Select and Elite Captains party in the Sky Lounge where we could visit with Captain Skylogiannis and all his staff â€“ very nice party.
The staff EVERYWHERE on this ship was so friendly and accommodating. Smiles, hellos, time to talk, just great â€“ we were very impressed. Officers were mingling with passengers â€“ always glad to answer questions â€“ We took the Galley tour â€“ and that was very interesting â€“ they do that well and there is no charge. Celebrity sure rates an A+++ on their people on the Eclipse.
This was an Eastern Caribbean cruise â€“ stopping in San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Thomas USVI, and St. Maarten. We have been to all these ports countless times and enjoy them all. We arrived early in San Juan â€“ had plenty of time to reacquaint ourselves with the Old City â€“ sailed away at 10:30 pm â€“ beautiful out on deck as we left. In St. Thomas we got off early afternoon and walked around Havensight â€“ there is also a new area close to the ship called Ships Haven â€“ upper end shopping there â€“ we no longer go into Charlotte Amalie. A great option in St. Thomas is going to St. John on the ferry. We sailed away at 4:30pm â€“ a beautiful sight. St. Maarten is our favorite on the eastern route â€“ Phillipsburg is fun to walk around and the dock area has been improved tremendously from the days when all ships had to tender into the island. The beach on the Boardwalk is lovely. We just like staying in Phillipsburg. We have been to the French side a number of times â€“ no need to go back for us.
We haven't taken excursions from the ships in a long time â€“ so I can't speak to that aspect of the trip - Debarkation
Since this was the first time we had been out of the Port of Miami, we were unsure just how this process would work. We filled out the debarkation questionnaire and an envelope appeared in our cabin with luggage tags stating that we would be in a group off the ship at 7:00am â€“ I knew that the Cruise Connection bus groups were usually last off the ship, so I went to the Passenger Services Desk and sure enough, we had been given the wrong tags-so they corrected that. We were now in the group debarking at 9:40am. The dining room was open for breakfast until 8am on the last day â€“ so we just made it â€“ took our time â€“ then went back to the cabin, gathered our hand luggage and went to the library to wait-right about 9:30 our group was called. When we got to the terminal we found that, unlike Port Everglades with their big room of luggage grouped by color, there were luggage carousels like at the airport â€“ be sure that you ask the Celebrity Reps there WHICH carousel your luggage is on since we waited at the wrong one for a while â€“ only to find that our luggage was on the other â€“ once we got that and went through Customs, we found the bus representative, waited about 15 minutes and our bus was there. An easy way to end the cruise.
Our Impressions of the Cruise
We had a wonderful time. A cruise is made up of many parts and Celebrity hits a high on most of them â€“ however â€“ there certainly are areas in which they can improve the experience. The Solstice class ships are beautiful and enjoyable. The staff and officers and Captain of the Eclipse made it a great cruise for us. We will book Celebrity again very soon.
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have. Happy Cruising!
BEWARE, Great ship, excellent service, fabulous food, entertainment ok, This ship allowed a "DOG" to be on board, said customer had letter from doctor it was a service dog. I have no problem if someone needs a service dog. But this was a poodle which the owner carried around the ship even brought it to dinner. I have never heard of a service dog being carried around by the owner. We were not advised of a dog on board when we booked otherwise we would not have booked a member of our party has allergies to dogs and one is terrified of them. Celebrity blew it on this trip, If you are going to book with them be sure to ask will there be a "DOG" on board. Eating food with a dog in the room is unhealthy and disgusting
CELEBRITY ECLIPSE East Caribbean Cruise December 10 â€“ 17, 2011 By Mary & Vincent Finelli
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house there was hustle and bustle, so this review did not get done! 'Twas the week after Christmas and all through the house there was hustle and bustle, so this review did not get done. 'Twas Jan. 1, 2012 and a New Year, so with resolution we now attack the job; it will get done.
The Celebrity Eclipse is a wonderful art experience. Since she is a sister ship to the Solstice, she is exact in every way except in her decorations. The art collection has been described like her name: Eclipse -- "rare and unexpected" as the book on Eclipse art says. The pieces of art have been selected to make the passengers look "stop and ponder." Featured is the art community of Miami; showcasing two artists per deck, one on port side and one on starboard. With each display there are unique points being made, for example, Miller's photos of what seems to be an eclipse are actually camera less shapes made directly onto photographic paper. Usingthis as a stepping off point will set passengers up for a unique and surprising art experience. Be careful what you think you are seeing may not be what you are seeing at all!
EMBARKATION The Eclipse sails out of the Port of Miami, although it's about a one hour ride from Boca Raton, FL, security is much less time consuming than Ft. Lauderdale. Thus a similar amount of time is required. We arrived at 12:45pm, baggage drop off was rapid. Vincent used his walker and not his scooter. Even though 1:00pm was listed as boarding time, we were boarded immediately. We have Elite status; therefore, there was no waiting. Our stateroom 1524 Deck 11 was ready; we left our carry on luggage in the room and were off to the buffet of Roast Beef and Pop overs in the Oceanview Cafe` (deck 14 aft).
THE SHIP As we remember, all the captains of the Celebrity ships we have met have been Greeks, so is this one on the Eclipse, Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis, who was born in Athens, Greece. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The Grand Foyer on Deck 3 had a wonderful gingerbread Church and winter scene. The church had three separate sections and two bell towers. The scent of gingerbread brought Mother's kitchen to mind. It was artfully adorned with lots of frosting and "snow"; the foreground had a miniature train and it was surrounded by miniature Christmas trees with many twinkling white lights. There were several mini house scenes and even a red mail box with Snoopy sleeping on top of it. The Atrium balconies on Decks 4 & 5 were festooned with green balsam garlands and clusters of gold and maroon balls. Everywhere were real red poinsettia plants and some areas were all white poinsettia plants --- just lovely.
To travel on these fantastic cruise ships anytime is great, but at holiday time it's spectacular. Hotel Director Bernhard Stacher (Austria) and his staff set the tone on the Eclipse with very high standards. The sea is good to Bernhard and he gets younger looking every cruise.
Even though we wrote a thorough description of her sister ship, the Solstice, here we will concisely review the Decks:
Deck 2 houses the medical facility.
Deck 3 has the lower level of the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room with its fantastic ceiling of crystal balls and ship evoking shapes. Here are also Guest Relations, Shore excursions and the Passport Bar.
Deck 4 has Celebrity Central, Entertainment Court and the Eclipse Theater. Here are also Cellar Masters Wine Room and three Bars: the Quasar, Martini Bar, and Crush. It also houses the Fortunes Casino, the shops on the Boulevard and the upper level of the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room.
Deck 5 has the upper level of the Eclipse Theater, the Art Gallery, Galleria Boutiques and the Photo Gallery. There are four lounges: Cafe al Bacio (coffee), Ensemble, Galleria Tastings, and Michael's Club. There are five restaurants: Bistro on Five (Creperie), Blu (Aqua Class reserved restaurant), Murano (specialty restaurant, French cuisine), Qsine (specialty restaurant, around the world cuisine), and the Tuscan Grille (specialty restaurant, Italian steakhouse).
Deck 6 has the iLounge (Internet) and staterooms.
Decks 7, 8, & 9 have all staterooms.
Deck 10 has the Library with open stacks (24 hrs.) and staterooms.
Deck 11 has a Relaxation Lounge and staterooms: mostly Suites, Concierge and Aqua Class staterooms.
Deck 12 has passenger areas: Aqua Spa, Beauty Salon, the Persian Garden Pools, Solarium swimming Pools and Whirl Pools. Aft there are the Sky Suites and the Concierge Staterooms
Deck 14 has two Bars, the Mast and the Oceanview, the Sky Conference Center and the Sky Observation Lounge. Midship is the Jogging Track and aft is the Oceanview Cafe`.
Deck 15 has the Corning Hot Glass Show, the Lawn Club and Bocce field, the Fun Factory and the Video Arcade.
Deck 16 is the Sun Deck.
The ship is registered in Valletta, Malta. She had her Inaugural Season 2010; she weighs 122,000 tons; her length is 1,033 ft., beam is 121 ft. with a draft of 27 ft. and a cruising speed of 24 knots. Her occupancy is 2, 850 guests.
CABIN Wheelchair accessible cabin #1524 (Aqua Class) is located forward on the starboard side. It has an automatic door opener with an extra wide door and a foyer with a place to park the wheelchair. When entering on the left is a huge bathroom with a large 4X4 ft. shower with fold up seat. And safety rails all around. Next is the queen size bed with flanking night stands: One drawer and a shelf and reading lamps. Then, there is a small beige love seat and a medium coffee table.
When entering on the right there is a double wardrobe with ample room. Next, is a long desk/cabinet with six drawers, a personal safe, a refrigerator, a lighted mirror, a desk chair and a coffee table. The carpeting was Burberry, heavy on the maroon and our Steward was Fevon Gracias, who was always ready to help. The far wall is half window and sliding doors to the balcony which has two recliners, two stools and a table. Vincent uses the balcony frequently, he loves to relax, to contemplate and sometimes naps lulled by the ship's motion and the sound of the waves. He also enjoys star gazing and this time he was lucky to see some of the most bright shooting stars on late Tuesday evening. Later we learned that it was the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower.
FOOD AND SERVICE Service under Hotel Director Bernard is excellent. We travelled Aqua Class with our own special Dining Room "Blu." This restaurant is dedicated to healthy, inventive offerings (reminiscent of chef Todd English). The portions are medium to small; just the way we like them, since we are more tasters than eaters. The Blu manager is Alex , whom we met on the Solstice. Maitre D' is Marcel (Slovakia) and Asst. Maitre is Viorel (Romania). The Sommelier is Krish (Mauritius). Our waiters were Gede (Indonesia) nad Renata (Macedonia). This friendly International group made our week at table #855. Blu is decorated exactly like the one on Solstice except the dominant color there was cobalt blue and here it is ruby red. Not as stunning as the blue, but still lovely.
The breads are excellent and hot: crispy bread sticks, French bread, olive rolls, dark ryes and some sweet ones too. Practically, there are just four courses: appetizers, soups and salads, entrees and desserts. Eating in Blu was pleasant and quiet. On the second Formal Night Bernard invited us to the Captain's table in the Moonlight Sonata and we were struck by the fact that the main Dining Room was so active and high spirited. It was fine for one night, but the next night we truly appreciated the calm and relaxing atmosphere of Blu! I guess we are starting to show our age.
We dined in the Tuscan Grill ($30 cover charge) and enjoyed it. The menu is new, the Maitre d' Jorge is from Portugal and his Asst is Erkan from Turkey. There is an offering of eight or so appetizers. Mary tried the crab cake and a carpaccio of mango and octopus, and Vincent the prosciutto and an arugula salad with fried mozzarella. For entrees Vincent took the perfectly cooked filet Mignon and Mary the Veal cutlet done Milanese style with mushrooms and truffle sauce, buonissimo. Our waiters were Peter (Hungary) and Mehomet (Turkey) and the Sommelier was Maria (Serbia). Service was terrific and the entrance of walking under giant wine casks sets an expectation for a special night, and it was.
ENTERTAINMENT On board activities are under the supervision of Cruise Director Mike Gibbons whose interesting background in music and performance makes him a hit! On this ship , in addition to the usual cruising activities, such a dance parties, pool games, trivia, bingo, casino gambling, etc., there is an interaction between officers and passengers which includes challenges of officers versus guests in Bocce games (Lawn Club, deck 15), Pool Volleyball (deck 12), etc.... Also there was a Star Gazing party on the Lawn Club conducted by officer Andrew. The List of Activities published in Celebrity Life is so extensive that you can be very busy throughout the cruise, so we are very fussy in selecting some interesting ones and dedicate the most of our time to relaxing and enjoying "il dolce far niente" (the sweet do nothing). We also enjoyed chatting with a few officers at the Captain's Circle Party, the Environmental Officer Andrew Mott (Worcester, Mass.), Financial Controller Fani Kechagia (Greece) and Resources Officer Mario Valentino (Canada). All of them are courteous, helpful and interesting people, easily interacting with passengers.
"Celebrity Showtime" in the Eclipse Theater has been on par with our expectations, but the one show we enjoyed best was that of the singer impressionist Paul Tanner: a great voice and terrific impersonations of Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. We heard that comedian Al Ducharme was really hilarious in several performances throughout the cruise, unfortunately his shows were so late at night that we missed them all.
PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Miami, FL USA Depart 4:30 pm Day 2. At Sea Day 3. San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 3:00 pm Depart 11:00 pm Day 4. St. Thomas, USVI Arrive 8:00 am Depart 5:00 pm Day 5. St. Maarten, Antilles Arrive 8:00 am Depart 5:00 pm Day 6. At Sea Day 7. At Sea Day 8. Miami, FL USA Arrive 7:00 am
DEBARKATION We had an early breakfast at Blu Restaurant and at eight o' clock we went to the Bistro to get wheelchair assistance for debarkation. It was all so very simple and expeditious that we were on our way home by nine o'clock.
CONCLUSIONS This was another great cruise. There has been insinuations by some readers that our reviews are not critical enough, since they contain only a few negative points and bias for the special treatments we receive from officers and crew. And this is somewhat true: How could we write a negative criticism when we have had a great cruise, where everybody made us feel very special, where everything we desired we received? Naturally, our demands are reasonable and we know what to expect when we book a cruise on a given ship. This was our 93rd cruise and by now we know well many cruise lines and their ships. Thus, we know what to expect from most of them and we can choose our cruises accordingly to our desires and preferences. Furthermore, since in the last few years we both have had to deal with limited mobility and need a wheelchair accessible cabin, we cruise only with those lines which do best to accommodate disabled passengers. In the past we have raised issues about availability, location, comfort of accessible cabins with several cruise lines, but only some of them have heard our plea by making their new ships more wheelchair-friendly (i.e., Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian), while some others have ignore the problem (i.e., Costa, Carnival and Holland American). Actually, there is something that can be improved even in this ship: The gangway at the entry point to the ship on deck 5 is a bit too steep for Mary's wheelchair pedals thus she had to be helped to access the ship.
Our next cruise is on one of our very favorite ships, the Oasis of the Seas, Jan. 21st, 2012. We sailed on the Oasis in Dec. 2010 for the inaugural cruise, thus we look forward to spend our wedding anniversary on this fabulous giga ship. We have also booked a cruise on the MSC Poesia for Feb. 18th, and this is a new cruise line we want to experience. Happy cruising!
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse Cabin: Aqua Class 1552 Sailing: September 28, 2011 â€“ 16 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise Mates Reviewer: Mermen
email@example.com â€“ Gary
(Note: While on our cruise, we developed four substantial "newsletters" complete with photographs and details on the =X= Eclipse which we e-mailed out to family and friends. I was unable to upload these "live" newsletters because they are in .pdf format. If you have Adobe Reader and would like to read and view our newsletter broadcasts from the Eclipse, please e-mail me with your name and e-mail address and will be happy to forward to you these 4 newsletters with pictures and port reviews).
It always seems like a whirlwind before we secure our best friend, "Bear", double check the note we leave for the house and pet-sitter, lock up the house, and drive down the freeway to the SFO airport parking garage. Such was the case the week of September 19 with medical appointments, family get-togethers, and last-minute crisis at workâ€¦whew! We made it to the airport and waited for our first leg from SFO to Chicago. Second leg was Chicago to London. We were fortunate to have enough airmiles to upgrade our trip to 1st and Biz Class there and returning home. (By the way, if possible, select BC seats on the upper deck as it is less noisy and a more relaxed, attentive service). There were hit and miss points to United's service, but this review is not about the airlineâ€¦If you are interested in our airline review, feel free to drop me an e-mail and I will reply.
My partner and I elected a 4-night pre-cruise in London at the Grosvenor House, by Marriott. Our second time staying here and it was an excellent choice â€“ as it is in the Mayfair District, directly across the street from Hyde Park and walking distance to Harrod's, all bus (double-decker and HOHO), Buckingham Palace, and a huge assortment of pubs, restaurants and other tourist options. This area is unbelievable sleepy at night, so there is not an abundance of loudness and city-noises. If you are interested in our hotel and pre-cruise review, feel free to drop me an e-mail and I will reply.
A Celebrity Coach picked us up in the mid-morning, directly in front of our hotel. There were only about 20 pax on our coach. It was a leisurely 1 Â½ hour drive into Southampton with a 15-minute rest stop along the way. We boarded the Eclipse around 1:30 pm, after a 2-hour wait. There was a hold-up at the terminal because of a mild norovirus outbreak on the cruise which has just disembarked, so the staff was working diligently to rid the ship of unwanted germs. There were some crabby people waiting, huffing and puffing, but the longer they took to disinfect the ship actually made us feel a whole LOT BETTER!
After boarding we bypassed the multitudes which were grazing at the "Welcome aboard Buffet" and headed straight for Bistro on 5. What a great deal. For $5, this specialty restaurant serves up some amazing and filling crepes â€“ savory and sweet. They also serve fresh salads, soups and desserts. We ended up eating at Bistro on 5 three times on our cruise and never once had a disappointing meal or service. By the way, I highly recommend the Cowboy Crepe, yum!
A Little about the Celebrity Eclipse:
We have only been cruising for about 12-years, so we do not quite have our Masters in the High Seas, but we have sailed many times with 95% of our cruises on Celebrity. The other two were on Princess (a dreadful experience for us, as noted in another review â€“ staying on the banks of the Amazon would have been better) and Carnival (which was fine for a first cruise to get my feet wet).
Our Aqua Class cabin was 1552. This was our first time on a Solstice-Class ship. For years we have been sailing on the Millennium Class and enjoy Concierge Class, forward. Our AC cabin was approximately in the same position and deck, relatively speaking, as our former cabins, on M-Class. This is the deck just below the Aqua Spa and Solarium, close by the stairs. Our cabin was very nice and provides sort of a "bump-out" veranda, which is close to two times the size of an average veranda. The views forward and aft are amazing â€“ as well as directly out to sea. We also like being directly below the Spa. Our impression of the Eclipse as we were making our way to our cabin was that she was so much larger than the M-Class ships (by close to 1,000 in occupancy more) but it seemed very familiar and intuitive too, the deck plans were very similar. We found our way easily and were enjoying cocktails at the Sunset Bar, meeting fellow board cruisers, of course stopping at the Lawn Club to actually step onto the grass to make sure it was real! Sure enough. Although we didn't spend any more time on the grass, it was fun knowing it was there and providing a comfortable spot for others to picnic, listen to music or play bocce ball. The glass-blowing studio was cool to step into as well and observe their hand blown works of art.
While at the Sunset Bar having cocktails after embarkation, we met another cruiser who was griping and complaining about Blu. He said that he and his wife couldn't be PAID to eat there againâ€¦He said that Blu served Couscous with everything. In fact, he said the food was bland, flavorless and "dreadful with all the couscous they serveâ€¦" Actually, he seemed to be running his mouth negatively ("insights" as he called it) for the entire cocktail hour. Nothing positive was in his vocabulary, what a way to start the cruise! He also stated that the times they did eat in Blu, he had to "stop over at the buffet" to fill up afterwards. Really?
Blu: Because we stayed in Aqua Class, our dining room was Blu, which is considered a "specialty restaurant". Suite guests are permitted to eat there for $5 pp / per meal, although friends of ours who were in a Celebrity Suite ate there many nights and they claimed they were not charged. We had listened to a lot of feedback regarding Blu prior to our cruise and were anticipating a quieter, healthier option for our evening meal. To say we were not disappointed is a great understatement! We actually were blown away by the level of service from our waiter to the restaurant manager and Maitre'd. The menu was simply delicious and amazing every night we were there. There were a couple of standard entrees which were always present, but we enjoyed other options such as: Squab, pasta (every night our waiter brought a small bowl of hot and savory pasta to sample), lobster, scallops, fresh and salt-water fish, pork cutlets, lamb, filet mignon, rabbit, frog legs and chicken. Blu does not serve rich sauces over everything, but instead a lighter reduction. The portions seem a bit smaller and you do not feel obligated to have 4-courses. Many nights we skipped a course or two. The food is plated beautifully and the flavors were very good. We had a table for 2 every night, with a gorgeous view of the sea, and most every night enjoyed light conversation with neighbors dining around us. Oh, and would you believe, we did not see couscous on the menu one night? How very strange (LOL!). Not only, but we didn't see anyone walking away food-deprived. We could not think about food after eating dinner in Blu. Somehow, I think that those who complain about the quantity of food in Blu, would complain anywhere â€“ even in the MDR.
Aqua Spa CafÃ©: was probably our favorite for breakfast as they serve lighter options. Simply enjoyed grabbing a yogurt and granola or fresh fruit and juice most mornings. Of course they also prepare low fat / low sodium hot dishes as well. For lunch they serve wonderful light salads and fresh grilled chicken or salmon â€“ sometimes cold soups. Throughout the afternoon the cafÃ© runs a self-serve soft frozen yogurt machine with cones or small bowls. The only two flavors we found were vanilla and chocolate, alternating.
Bistro on 5: See above.
Tuscan Grille: This was our favorite specialty option for dinner. Again the staff was amazingly attentive. The courses were plentiful and gastronomically prepared! We ate here twice and rolled out each time, LOL! Your server will place a fresh plate of Antipasti in front of you before you begin anything: cured meats, olives, roasted garlic, pepperoncini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and cheeses. This is all served along side freshly prepared and warm Ciabatta, French bread or dinner roles / bread sticks, with a very fruity olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side. Truly an unforgettable Italian meal, with warm and friendly service! The thick cut pork chops were amazing, as was the seafood pasta dish. Everything we sampled and grazed upon was fabulous.
Qsine: Our least-favorite dining spotâ€¦Drat! We were really looking forward to trying this specialty restaurant as we had heard so many good things, and read a lot of reviews. I think this theme restaurant was a hit with the Brits on board, they seemed to really be enjoying their time. We ate here once, and probably won't return, although our experience wasn't dreadful, just sort of over-the-top, in an unsatisfied way. We're both Californians and fortunate that living in the Bay Area offers us an amazing opportunity to enjoy some fine fusion and cultural cuisines. We're not big foodie snobs, and sometimes enjoy a restaurant's "theme" but Qsine was a little far-reaching, IMHO. Many guests were dumbfounded with the menu being on an iPad. We both own one, so no novelty there. Ordering from the non-descript menu was interesting. I wish they provided real, live pictures. We sampled the Chinese and Mexican options and were left thinking, "that's it?" Really not a lot of flavor or authenticity. We both felt Qsine was over-rated. The theme was fun, but the food was mediocre in our opinion. The food servers, while really pleasant, seemed over-board and gimmicky with their, "Let's travel around the world tonight, for your first courseâ€¦." They did this with each option, and the food just did not resemble the cuisine we have had in these parts of the world, or even in California for that matter!
Moonlight Sonata Dining Room: Unfortunately, we did not dine in here during this sailing. We've enjoyed the improvement the MDR on the =X= ships has made over the past couple of years. We enjoy the string quartet when they play in here as well, but as Blu was our MDR, we missed out on this voyage. We did pass by to look at the posted menu a few times and it looked scrumptious!
Mast Grill: Yum! Grilled cheeseburgers, veggie and chicken burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, nachos, tacos, grilled cheese, onion rings and fries? Sometimesâ€¦you just have to have it. We ate here for one or two lunches and loved it. Their freshly baked cookies were amazing!
Oceanview CafÃ©: Probably our favorite for lunch. Every day was a different theme: Italian, seafood, Mexican, Tex-Mex, American, Indian and Asian (Japanese, Dim Sum, Chinese and some Thai), sandwich bar, soup and salad bar, pizza and calzones, pasta barâ€¦wow, you name it, and the Oceanview CafÃ© had it! There are several stations set up for easy access, and hardly ever a wait. Tables were easy to find. We always found something to eat or try and enjoyed the flavors for the most part. The food was not bland at all. We ate here for dinner once or twice as well and enjoyed a very quiet and peaceful (much-needed) dinner. I think my only negative with respect to food at the Oceanview was, 1) their pizza and calzone station. Calzones would have interesting ingredient combinations such as: BBQ chicken, zucchini and Garbanzos with Fetaâ€¦strange things like that. Good ol' Italian meats / cheeses were rare to find. Same with the pizza. Small negative 2) was that the Fish n Chips were not the best I thought. Granted we had some good F n C while in London, but the ship's seemed overly greasy and not a lot of taste. Since the ship contained 95% British passengers, this seemed odd to us.
CafÃ© Al Baco: This is the "coffee house" which is known as "Cova" on former M-class ships. The coffee was good. The service awful. The pastries, desserts and croissants were very good. The service was horrid. We gave them a couple of tries, and found we were not the only pax who decided not to try them again. Too badâ€¦
Murano: We did not try Murano, but wished we would have. The dining area for this specialty restaurant seemed very intimate and quiet. We checked out the menu and it seemed that it largely held what was on the M-class specialty restaurant's menu (Oceanliners, Normandie, the Olympic, etc.). We purchased a 3-night Specialty dinner pass and was able to use it twice in the Tuscan Grille and once in Qsine. Maybe we'll try Murano next time!
Room Service: There is something to be said about coffee and a leisurely made-to-order breakfast while sitting on your veranda watching the waves and world go by. The room service menu in AC and Concierge Class is enhanced, greater than a typical state room's menu: breakfast, lunch or dinner offers a good variety of hot and cold options. We ate dinner once in our room and a couple of late night snacks (French fries or apple pie ala mode calls at a certain time, LOL!). We enjoyed breakfast on our veranda a couple of times and enjoyed the morning immensely.
I think food is largely a subjective thing, but with an individually unique experience. We all have different tastes and desires, and hopefully everyone can find something on this large ship to enjoy. For a floating hotel, Celebrity does it right on the Eclipse. As you can see, there is no shortage of culinary options on the Eclipse. We enjoyed all of our meals, and found something good in every venue! Celebrity knows how to treat their guests, and their guest's palate!
Our stateroom was nicely appointed, with ample storage (including over the bed!). The bathroom was perfect with more drawers and cabinets than we've ever seen on a ship. The shower head and shower panel with the glass sliding door took it up a several notches for us. The cabin came with the typical up-scale items which Concierge Class has, with a few more things. There was an electric kettle with a full array of teas. A nice spa pack (lip balm, facial mist, designer creams and eye products, etc.). Nice (LARGE) spa robes and slippers and fresh bottled water delivered twice daily! There was a reed and oil room diffuser as well, which we really liked â€“ not strong at all. Because the Eclipse is mostly positioned out of the Southampton, UK port, its clientele is largely British, and we had a delightful time meeting them.
While in Venice, a woman who sat in front of us noticed our "accent" and asked if we were American. When we confirmed we were, she was relieved and said, "Finally!" She stated there was going to be a "party" on board because there were only about 38 Americans on the cruise. I couldn't believe it. A party? For what, because we're Americans? My partner and I just thought the whole idea was lame, giving further credence to the adage of the "Ugly American". Why not enjoy who you're with, and where you are? Had we wanted to surround ourselves with Americans, would have stayed at home and done something "American". We actually enjoyed getting away from our customs, ways of speaking and thinking, and meeting the Brits, and other nationalities. I guess we find solace in experiencing new things, places and people.
Sadly the Aqua Spa does not have a Thalassotherapy pool like the M-class ships. Still, the solarium was large and could accommodate a lot of people. At both ends of the indoor pool (which was not super-warm more warm / tepid) were beautiful prints of flowers: tulips, and lilies I think. There was a fun-to-watch water feature too at one end of the pool. With the relaxing new-age music playing, it was easy to get mesmerized by watching colored ropes of water dance around. There were plenty of chaise lounges! I think this was the first cruise we have been on, where we didn't feel the need to rise at the crack of dawn to grab a chaise before the chaise hogs claimed them all, and left unoccupied for the day! We always found a place to lie down and read, rest or nap. Security was prevalent in this area, and we actually saw them removing a few passengers' belongings, from a "saved" but unoccupied chaise. Go Security!! There were two or three smaller hot tubs in the Solarium as well.
I cannot speak for the women's facility, but the men's was a huge disappointment. On M-class ships, there are abundant lockers, and freedom to dress, shower, etc. Not the case on the S-class ships. In the actual locker / changing area, there were only 3 tiny square ottomans. Without thinking, a guy would sit down to dress / undress, and lay a towel or gym bag, etc. on the other small ottoman. This area is super-cramped and it is not easy to get into the little alcove of lockers. Forget bending over to pull your socks on, unless you want to do the "butt bump" with your neighbor. There are no real options on where to dress either, besides your cabin or in a stall. There were three very large and private showers with small benches enclosed therein. This was a nice feature. The dry sauna (no fee) inside the men's changing room was nice and it was HOT at all times. No cold-plunge showers next door, as on the M-class ships. The sauna could hold about 6 men comfortably. Again, much smaller than the M-class ship. I don't understand why the S-class (who totes the "Spa" cabin and package) would downsize this area? I was not impressed with this layout and thought it was definitely several steps down from M-class. Again, a big disappointment.
The caveat with staying in Aqua Class, besides dining in Blu every day, is having unlimited access to the Persian Garden. The PG on S-class is again, very different from M-class. Not bad, just lighter â€“ brighter and different. You must use a key card to swipe to gain access to the PG, so we never saw anyone "sneaking in". It was never loud either. You swipe your access card and as you walk in, directly in front of you are about 9 warm-tiled chaises, overlooking the sea. Floor to ceiling windows are throughout the co-ed PG. To the left of the tiled loungers is the steam room, which was very nice. To the right of the tiled loungers was a dry sauna. Not as hot as the men's cedar-sauna, but it did the trick. There were ample towels and ice water with sliced fresh fruit. There were also two "experience" showers in this room. It was nice to come in with the iPad, and lounge for a few minutes. I liked that there were no "squatters" hanging out here, LOL! I've noticed on M-class where some couples come into the Persian Garden and just hang out all day (with food, drinks, books, iPod, nail clippers, etc.) Not so here. I have a feeling that if anyone were to complain, they would be all over it. Again, a very good experience, although I prefer M-class, the PG was enjoyable.
All the way forward on deck 11 (on the same deck as the AC cabins) is the "Relaxation Lounge". Cushioned loungers and whicker chairs with ottomans fill this area, along with quiet new-age music and ice water with fresh fruit added. This room was seldom full, and another nice place for the AC passengers to pass the time away. Many were napping, peacefully away. There is a spiral staircase which takes you from this lounge to the Persian Garden, locker rooms and Spa area. Nice touch! Michael was the Spa Manager on the Eclipse. In our opinion, not as dialed-in as Charmaine (Spa and Training Manager). Kind of awkward and got the feeling he never really "fit in" there.
The entertainment did not seem as rewarding as on our last cruise. I guess it's "hit or miss" with the ship and group of entertainersâ€¦at least in our experience. We walked out of a couple of shows, but also enjoyed some others. Nothing really amazing stood out this time, which was sort of a disappointment. Maybe we've seen all that there is to see?
I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed sailing on a ship which held mostly British passengers. It was truly a lovely experience sailing with pax who were respectful and kind! Usually we have to fight to get off an elevator before those waiting get on (why is that even an issue?). We noticed when we got on an elevator (or "lift") everyone would say, "Hello". Likewise, when a pax departed the lift, those remaining in the car would say, "goodbye". Simple things like manners and greetings were a breath of fresh air. It seemed they were all interested in who we were, where we were from and what we had to say. Polite, cordial, just a wonderful experience traveling with our Brit friends, from across the Pond.
We found Celebrity to have continued on with the same format in games (newlywed / oldywed game, Bingo, Celebrity vs. Pax water sports and basketball). Nothing new there. I wish =X= would kick that up a notch or two, but I know so many cruisers love these things. Maybe some day we will too. Of course there were a lot of cooking demonstrations, wine pairings and excursion / port reviews. Have to give Princess the nod with port and tours education though. =X= has some lectures, but nothing really reached out and grabbed us. For example, on a Mediterranean cruise, it would be worthwhile to have something daily related to the ports of callâ€¦not just the "shopping in your port" lecture. Something like "wines from Italy", "History of Sicily and the Mediterranean", "The Roman Empire in Spain", maybe some travel videos thrown in with the lectures. Make the itinerary a celebration and saturate the cruiser with where they will be spending their time, and money!
On this 16-night cruise we enjoyed 8-days at sea (Aaaaahhhhh) and 8 amazing ports:
Southampton: Our embarkation and disembarkation point. We waffled back and forth on whether we wanted to do our pre-cruise in London our Southampton and London won out again on this cruise. We are looking forward to experiencing more of this fine city, some other time. On our post-cruise, we enjoyed a tour through Windsor Castle. That was a fun experience! Our guide got us right up to the opening gate so we were one of the first in line.
Seville (Cadiz), Spain: The last time we were at this port, we did a Â½ day tour in Seville, which was remarkable. On this cruise, we wanted to hang out in Cadiz itself, to see what this sleepy town was like. Got on a HOHO bus and toured around the city a couple of times, getting off to walk along the embarcadero back to the cruise ship. It was a lovely walk as we strolled through a beautiful botanical garden, saw many wild parrots and enjoyed marveling at the architecture of this old city. The weather was amazing and the view was spectacular. Cadiz is a great "do-it-yourself" port, if you just want to hang around town for the day.
Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy: Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia. We got off of the ship and since we had a couple of hours before the green open-top bus picked us up, strolled along the city square. We found a cozy little cafÃ© where we were able to sample some local Lemoncello and top it off with fantastic Gelato! Cagliari (the "G" is silent) reminded us a little of San Francisco, or Lisbon, as the city is built on hills. Great for walking! The open-top bus ride was a waste of time and money, in our opinion. They promised us sightings of Pink Flamingos (not that it was the reason we took the tour) but we did drive by them. Actually, it was a fish hatchery where the Flamingos camp out to eat the krill, or fish. Soâ€¦.kind of a big let down. I didn't think there were a lot of interesting sights to see at this port, but the town-square / shopping area was hopping! However, once off the 2-hour bus ride, found some local merchants who let us sample delicious hard cheeses, crackers and freshly pressed olive oil. The shop keepers were so friendly. We walked away with purchasing several pounds of pasta, a few bottles of Lemoncello (Ssshhh!) and a few containers of olive oil. Abbondanza!
Palermo (Sicily), Italy: The Eclipse docked in Palermo, on the island of Sicilyâ€¦steeped with heavy former influences of the MAFIA (which means "Death to the French is Italy's Cry"). As soon as we stepped off the ship, we stepped on to a Coach. Looking back, I wonder if it would have been smarter to just walk around the city? Palermo has got to be one of the most frenetic cities we have experienced. New York or California' traffic and crazy-driver mentality does not hold a candle to Sicily's Palermo. Grid lock could last an hour, without a budge. Cars come at every and any angle, jockeying for position. Think, "Bumper Cars" at a circus, with no rules. Seriously! Well worth the cost, our tour comprised of the Cathedral of Palermo and the Monreale. Photography was allowed in both places. We saw the most beautiful mosaicsâ€¦and most were in solid gold, just amazing! We didn't have to travel far, but because of the severe congestion, it took Â½ a day. Our first option was to take the HOHO and we are so glad we didn't. Taking the ship-guided tour meant that we would be guaranteed to be back in time before the ship set sail. Last but certainly not the least, we enjoyed the most flavorful cannelloni we have experienced. Perfecto!
Venice, Italy: The city of 117 islands, and bridges to connect most of them. Nothing prepared me for this city. I think I woke up around 5 AM just as the Eclipse was being quietly tugged (pulled) into Venice, along the canals. As the sun threatened to break over the water, we began to make out the churches, shops and homes along the water in the canal passage ways. Well, I'm not too much of an emotional traveler, but felt this overwhelming, "This is it!" overtake me. It was surreal and magical. We finally made it to Venice! After the Eclipse docked, we boarded a water taxi (Vaparetto) to take us to the city square. We purchased a 4-hour Venice tour from =X= and were glad we did. It included the Vaparetto to the city square, a 90-minute Gondola ride (amazing!) and a visit to St. Mark's Square and the Doges Palace with the Bridge of Sighs. We broke away from our tour group later, as we didn't want to see a card making / paper shop, and enjoyed lunch at a canal-side cafÃ© and just enjoyed shopping. Hit the jackpot on this tour. We're not huge shoppers, but will save our dollars for the right purchase and we found it here: stunning hand-blown Murano fused wine glasses, in rich colors, Murano jewelry and figurines for family were included in the treasure hunt. I'll tell you what; we have never seen so many women's shops with such beautiful fashion, and the most interesting bounty of high heels one could imagine. It was fun just to walk around and look in the shop windows. Leaving Venice was sad, and we vowed to come back to stay for longer than a day.
Kotor Montenegro: Kotor is just a little south of Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea. Sailing into the cove was awesome. We sailed through a beautiful serene fjord to tender in a turquoise cove. Two movies which were partially filmed in this lovely cove were, "Casino Royale" and "Master and Commander". We really enjoyed this port on foot, walking around the medieval town encased in it's very-high stone walls. Time looks like it never passed by in some places of this town. There was a spirit of camaraderie with the locals we met. We had fun getting lost in the many alley-ways within the fortressed old city, people-watching and enjoying the sites. It reminded us somewhat of Tallinn, Estonia.
Cartagena, Spain: This was a fabulous port, and really a big surprise for us. The city and port were beyond clean and presentable. You can see the pride the city takes in their heritage and location on the Mediterranean Sea. Cartagena is a Spanish Mediterranean city and naval station along the Southeast Iberian Peninsula. We toured this great city on foot as well. The highlight was the Roman Amphitheater built in 300 AD, but only discovered a couple of decades ago. This is a great port to just get off the ship and putz around at your leisure. But do try to visit the amphitheater. It was well worth the time and entrance fee, so amazing!
La Coruna, Spain: We felt right at home as we sailed into port. We San Franciscans can tell you all about our fog in the City and how it can be thick as split-pea soup! Some days the fog will sit heavy all day, and visibility is good for only a few feet. This is how it was sailing into La Coruna. We took the liberty to get off the ship and walk, and walk, and walk (about 2.5 miles) to the Tower of Hercules. The walk was fun because it was along the embarcadero the entire way, so we were able to enjoy views of the beach and water. The fog slowly lifted and we were rewarded with a very pleasing, sunny day. After touring the outside of Hercules, we took a local bus to the downtown area, got off and walked about the city. It was a holiday, so many of the shops were closed. We found a city garden to walk through, and did some last minute port-shopping for small bottles of booze to smuggle on board (Ssshhh!) and other little chotskies. Our last port, but a fun stop!
Our cabin attendant on the Eclipse was good. He was not exceptional, as we've had in the past. I think he had a couple of "off" days. His behavior was always respectful and courteous, and he would generally give us anything we needed. I don't think we ever met or really spoke with our assistant cabin attendant. These guys did their job, and they did it well. We were happy to provide them with a well-deserved gratuity.
So in short (although this was a little lengthy!) we enjoyed another fine Celebrity cruise, and will be looking forward to sailing with her in the near future. Currently we are booked for a B2B on the Millie this coming October (15-nights E to W Panama followed up by a 7-night Hawaii cruise). Looking forward to getting away from it all, and meeting new friends and making new experiences.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We both enjoy international travel and cruising immensely. While it's not possible to list the entirety of our experience, happy to share with you answers to any specific questions, or forward to you our electronic newsletters from this cruise.
Happy and safe travels to all!