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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise so it is difficult to make a comparison,however we were not dissapointed it was every thing we expected and we had a wonderful holiday. We boarded the Celebrity Eclipse on the 19 March in Miami boarding was ... Read More
This was our first cruise so it is difficult to make a comparison,however we were not dissapointed it was every thing we expected and we had a wonderful holiday. We boarded the Celebrity Eclipse on the 19 March in Miami boarding was quick and efficient, we didn't have to wait long to be allowed in our cabin, we had a balcony state room which was spacious clean and comfortable our cabin attendant John was very pleasant and helpful and saw to all our needs. The restaurants and staff were all very efficient polite and helpful, the choice of food in the ocean view restaurant was wonderful we ate here at breakfast and lunch time,in the evening we ate in the moonlight sonato where Willy our waiter and Vincent his assistant did their job to perfection. Entertainment was exceptional Eddy Jones the entertainments manager was so versatile and always had time to talk, Jane Curry was an exceptional entertainer as was the group of resident dancers,acrobats and singers. Trips organised from the boat were well organised and we found them to be very informative. Over all we enjoyed our first cruise, we now need to save to do another one which will probably on a Celebrity cruise ship as we have nothing negative to say about our experience Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week Southern Caribbean Cruise with celebrity Eclipse. This was our first cruise and we loved every minute of it. The staff were all very welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. Our Cabin ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week Southern Caribbean Cruise with celebrity Eclipse. This was our first cruise and we loved every minute of it. The staff were all very welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. Our Cabin was kept immaculate with towels and flannels being changed twice a day. The food was to die for, in fact I put on half a stone , there was so much variety you were spoilt for choice. The entertainment team, officers and different members staff often had competitions with guests which was great fun. We went on several trips organized by Celebrity and were not disappointed. We always managed to get a sunbed no matter what time of day. There were some couples who were selfish, and thought it ok to get 4 sunbeds 2 in the sun and 2 in the shade, but when the staff were notified it was quickly dealt with. In our experience there is not one thing I would change we had a fantastic time and are now looking to book for next year. Cruising for us is definitely the way to go. We met some lovely people on our holiday Thank you Celebrity Eclipse and all your wonderful staff for making our cruise just perfect. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
A number of people will tell you that your first cruise should be relatively short...but my wife and I decided to go big with a 14 day journey aboard the Eclipse. We loved every second of it! Rather than gushing about the experience, ... Read More
A number of people will tell you that your first cruise should be relatively short...but my wife and I decided to go big with a 14 day journey aboard the Eclipse. We loved every second of it! Rather than gushing about the experience, here are some useful details: 1) Staterooms: We booked a cabin in the Concierge Class on the stern of the ship (a C1 Stateroom on Deck 10) - concierge class gives you some additional subtle amenities, but it's the location that is key. We will never stay in another location - the view of the ship's wake is mesmerizing, and alone makes it worth the extra money. Additionally, the balconies on the stern are tiered, so you have direct sunshine if you want it (rather than having a shadow from above). 2) Staff on the Ship: They were extraordinary. Everyone from our stateroom attendants, to our dining team in the main dining room, to the bar staff, to everyone we would pass in the corridors - they were extremely friendly and attentive to our every need. 3) The Ship: it was spotless. And for those who worry about getting bored, it never happened to us. There is always something to do. My wife and I like to just relax on vacation, but we found ourselves going to just about every show on the ship...even attended a seminar on Faberge eggs. Also, the gym is very nice and well appointed. 4) Food and Drink: the food in the main dining room was consistently excellent, as was the food in the Oceanview Café and through room service. Bottom line - there are people in the world who love cruises and people who hate them. We loved it, and have already booked our next one aboard Celebrity (the Equinox this time). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Well what can I say. This was our first time cruising so did not know what to expect. The embarkation process went quite smoothly miles better than the process we went through after landing at Miami Airport. Our first impression of ... Read More
Well what can I say. This was our first time cruising so did not know what to expect. The embarkation process went quite smoothly miles better than the process we went through after landing at Miami Airport. Our first impression of the ship after we boarded was amazing, the decor and cleanliness was first class. We travelled concierge class which gave us extra services on board, the cabin was nice not as big as we would have liked but still adequate as we did not spend a lot of time in it. The staff who cleaned our room did a great job. The gym was great along with the spa. We thought the pools were a bit small we like to swim every morning but this did not cause a problem. The sunbathing areas were very busy during days at sea but the pool staff made every effort to find a space to set up a sun bed for us. The pool bar guys were first class great service and very polite. The food was good but sometimes in the ocean view cafe it was very salty for our taste. Having said that the choice in there was immense whether it was for breakfast lunch or in the evening. Dining in the main dining room was nice. The formal nights were a good change a chance to ge really spruced up. All bars were great we upgraded to the premium drinks package which gave us access to all cocktails etc well worthwhile. My husband especially liked the seaview bar we went there at 5pm when we were leaving each port it had a great atmosphere. On the ship there was plenty to do whether it was learning to dance or going to a talk in the theatre, pop quiz etc. The only thing we thought was poor was the evening entertainment in the theatre, it was not the standard we were expecting but this didn't bother us too much. The shore excursions were well organised and ran like clockwork. Overall the best holiday we have been on brilliant Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
SAILING: 14 Day Southern Caribbean - Feb 8 - Feb 22 - 2014 - Ft Lauderdale INTRO: This was our 8th cruise, 2nd on Celebrity, the other 6 on Royal Caribbean. We were a group of 6 couples who have all cruised before except for 1 couple. All ... Read More
SAILING: 14 Day Southern Caribbean - Feb 8 - Feb 22 - 2014 - Ft Lauderdale INTRO: This was our 8th cruise, 2nd on Celebrity, the other 6 on Royal Caribbean. We were a group of 6 couples who have all cruised before except for 1 couple. All couples had the Classic Beverage package and ranged in age from 45-75. PRE-CRUISE: Stayed at the Harbour Beach Inn for 1 night - quaint small motor hotel on Seabreeze Ave - clean, acceptable, out door pool, great stay especially for the low price $90/ nite, definitely recommend this hotel for a short pre-cruise stay- close to port, walking distance to many restaurants and beach, however no complimentary shuttle to/from airport or port. DEMOGRAPHICS: Clearly out of our realm, not a surprise, yet enjoyable. I have never met so many guests (as the cruise line likes to refer to us) as hospitable, respectful and honourable as on this cruise. Kudos to all these elderly cruisers. SHIP: Adequate size - well proportioned - easy to navigate - good layout - clean and well maintained. There was a lot of ship movement (pitching and rolling) as well as much vibration felt throughout the entire ship. I was unsure why, I’ve never experienced this much on any of the prior cruises. DECOR: Plain & simple - colour scheme and furnishings were of a quiet nature - most seating in all areas was fair to sub-par in comfort. There was no grandiose present anywhere perhaps leading to a calming effect. Not sure why for a fairly new ship in Celebrity’s latest group of ships. Don’t get me wrong, Michael’s Club and the Ensemble Lounge did present themselves with some beauty and posh looking surroundings, but the theme or purpose of these rooms did not agree with us. Perry Grant - now come on! I think Celebrity can do better even though he has a following. CREW: Mixed bag - most were curteous and friendly, while others seemed not happy, perhaps because we noticed that all areas seemed to be understaffed, causing an affect on their disposition, certainly not taking away notice of their hard work and efforts to ensure we as guests enjoy our cruise. we felt that Celebrity should give some serious thought on increasing the help needed to avoid any short comings. STATEROOM: Adequate size - good size balcony with 2 chairs and a table - able to shut and close the sliding door and have easy access to room without affecting the air conditioning nor fearing being locked out on the balcony. Storage is a little on the short side especially on a 14 day cruise, need more hangers in closet and more drawer space. Although the storage above the bed is a great use of space, however it is a little difficult to access. Shower is small but adequate, bathroom accessories (shampoo, conditioner, soap, cotton balls and cotton swabs) is a nice compliment. Bathroom storage is very sufficient. Twice a day bed make-up and refreshing of towels was much appreciated. Stateroom attendents did a masterful job of maintaining our room to high standards and was always clean, disinfected, neat and tidy. Any requests were attended to with no question (ice, water, glasses etc) just have to ask. ENTERTAINMENT: Clearly the weakest area. From the CD - Sue Denning to all the onboard shows, live bands and performers left something to be desired. Celebrity definitely needs to improve on the mediocre entertainment in all venues, perhaps this was geared towards the demographics. I must say that one show was of value, The Unexpected Boys 4 singers from New York who put on a really good repertoire of Frankie Valle. The Eclipse Theatre was packed solid for this performance. Celebrity is trying hard to improve this area of concern but will take some time to correct. It seems that there was a lot of repetitiveness using the same entertainers. FOOD/DINING: The most difficult area to comment as food tastes and preferences are so subjective. Food in Moonlight Sonata Dining Room was a hit and miss. Selections and taste ranged from fair (OK) to good. The menu did offer all areas of food categories. So really you can’t complain. I personnally would like to see an improvement in quality, taste and choices, but we all know the Cruise Lines are trying to cut costs in all areas including food. Oceanview Cafe (buffet) was adequate and offered an array of different foods, but was repetitive. The structure of different food bays(counter) made it very efficient and quick. food taste and quality was acceptable. Did not use the pay for fee restaurants. Always a table and seat available in the buffet. BARS: There were a sufficient amount of them, but drinks and service varied greatly between them. We found that at least once, everyday that our drink of choice was not available for various reasons, this was clearly unacceptable as our requests were common drinks. Service was on the slow side, possibly because of the drink package? It did appear that the bar staff purposely slowed things down for the people who had the beverage package. There were quite a few who received the 123 Promo. I guess you can’t win - you get a deal on one end (Promo) and suffer on the other (service) but we did manage to have a good time. SHOPPING/STORES: Not much of them and not much in them. This is fine as you can do your shopping in port. They do price match. Standards were all there - liquor/ tobacco, souvenirs, t-shirts/hats, men’s/ladies clothing, jewelry, perfumes/handbags. LAWN CLUB: Nice green grass on top deck to play bocce and other games. Looks good but not used much. Signs and rail to indicate “Keep Off Grass”. POOLS: Plenty of chairs/loungers available and you should be able to find one, however the chair hogs were present as they always are, leaving you perhaps not the preferred location. Pools were 2 in total ( 1 deep 6’ and 1 shallow 4’) and of course the solarium (closed roof) with nice loungers (upgrade from the standard pool ones). Solarium is a nice quiet place to relax, perhaps read your favourite book or as many,many were on their i-pads or tablets. i-LEARN: What a great idea to offer for free, 1/2 hr sessions every day on how to learn more of the use of your i-pad/i-phone its apps and system. Good info and presentation. The host was very knowledgeable and entertaining. A big hit on this cruise. This is an area that should continue and hope Celebrity will continue offering these learning sessions on all their cruises especially those with an i-Lounge (Apple products). GENERAL: There were many areas and activities that we did not participate, therefore we have no comment. We were however surprised on the interior decor of this ship. We were less than impressed. We were excited prior to getting on the ship thinking we will at least see some lovely and beautiful decor but to our surprise it did not materialize. The Eclipse being Celebrity’s newest class of ships sort of gave us this impression. Celebrity does do a great job at trying to please all guests and I think they are in the midst of finding their sweet spot, however there may be some time to past before they reach their goal. An example of trying to reach out but certainly not working was techno music at loud levels blaring through the PA systems throughout the bars and public areas. Many a time we had to ask to lower the volume. Most of the evening; 10PM and on, activities and entertainment (shows) etc were attended by only a handful of people. At the beginning of these shows (entertainment) you had a crowd and 15 -20 min later they quickly dispersed. Maybe demographics or maybe need better and higher quality performances. SUMMARY: I must stress that no cruise is perfect and the areas I have expressed as falling short is not to implicate an unsuccessful cruise. We had a really good relaxing time. The opinions expressed should be just that, a message to all who cared to read my review that there will always be room to improve and you can still enjoy yourself being pampered and cared for while you spend the time of your life on a vacation that surpasses all other types. We enjoy cruising and will continue to enjoy cruising, we will be booking 2 cruises on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas that follow each other in 2016. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
14 day cruises out of Fort Lauderdale are likely to attract an older demographic. Retired folk have more time, free income, and inclination. It's very important when picking a cruise to not only think about destination but who is ... Read More
14 day cruises out of Fort Lauderdale are likely to attract an older demographic. Retired folk have more time, free income, and inclination. It's very important when picking a cruise to not only think about destination but who is onboard. For me, the demographic on this South Caribbean jaunt skewed a little too much in that direction and the stream of scooters, walkers and people drawing their last breath as they climbed a flight of stairs was generational as much as anything else. Yes, I know this will be me one day, but if you are 40 and still mobile there are probably other Celebrity cruises for you. I certainly wouldn't want ths clientele/Celebrity, to lose what they enjoy/sell to accommodate a non-target audience. I think generationally it is important. Travelling as a gay couple we felt protected by the somewhat austere code of conduct policy given the right for some of the passengers to hold different life values and beliefs, but express this in silence not action. I did mention this occasionally and the comment was there 'are cruises for LGBT' people but I think that is self-defeating. This informs the cruise experience. It felt somewhat like dressing as tinkerbell for a Fancy Dress party only to realize its an OAP Christmas do. You have brazen it out or your go home and shower. We did the former, made our own fun, and enjoyed ourselves. I've never been cruising before. Our reason for trying this cruise was to scoot around some potential holiday destinations. The 7 island stops on this cruise fitted the bill nicely. I like my islands lush, earthy and a bit rough round the edges so Grenada and St Lucia won out despite the continual stops to visit my Aunt/Uncle the spice-selling, rum-swigging hawker. Other islands are more touristy and have rather lost their charm to the $USdollar. You can swim with stingrays, snorkel with sea turtles but tourism is the leading industry here - the endless parade of schools/universities identified spit out polished tourism professionals each year and they follow the same script. Of these St Maarten/Marigot is the best for shopping and beachfront atmosphere/punch and Antigua has the port 'Big Bananas' hangout where the barman will pour you some drinks and tell you some lies. The Eclipse ship is a striking thing and it delivers on design and use of space, particularly in communal areas. It's a little more 4 star Vegas than New England but this is a brand and its great what they have done with it. The Ensemble Lounge and Passport bar have a sort of smoky/hazy atmosphere that isn't to my taste, but the bright lights of the Martini Bar, the cocktail chic of the Sky Lounge and the fresh air of the on deck bars means you have choice. I would have preferred one long pool as opposed to two smaller pools but this is probably an engineering challenge on rough seas. Especially on sea days, it is vital to throw yourself at the onboard entertainment (not staff). It is a good programme for the demographic and there is surprising tension at the bingo.The entertainment director, Sue, is very good at working the crowd and pushes hardest amongst the crew to say hello and offer a warm greeting. Less so the officers unless you are a VIP. The Eclipse shows are of a good standard with skilled artistes even if I prefer more hoofing to acrobatics. Themed nights ,like the Irish night, were great fun.Perry Grant has made a career out of selling a blackpool pier performance as a niche, obsessively fan supported act. It must be something they put in the hot milk. And everyone is tucked up by 11pm here. After that its the outside smokers, the slot pull fanatics, and the pissed younger European numpties heading for the nightclub (hand held high). There is a slight sense that by not going to bed you have upset the status quo with the hard working staff and they will loiter, play terrible music and generally make sure that late is not-so-late, often so they can get to their own end of shift dos. Dining in the main restaurant is a bit of a chore - it's a noisy crowded operation as opposed to an experience in elegance, though this is a problem of scale. Food is heavily weighted to fish and meat entrees on rotation so it's a bit of a struggle finding variety. Onion soup is pushed everywhere so I think they over-estimated demand.Of the speciality restaurants, Blu is the best in that it is boutique, the food feels more inventive and the staff are more experienced at building atmosphere. Murano has a somewhat patronizing habit of explaining fine dining as if you've never experienced The Ivy. The Tuscan Grille suffers from foggy lighting but has good staff, and serves - yes - meat and fish entrees! We didn't use Qsine as I see enough IPads in my day job for this not to be a novelty and fusion food is overrated. We stayed in a Celebrity Suite and this was our highlight. A well designed, high end space to escape from it all with seperate lounge area, bathroom (with bath) walk-in storage and ample balcony space. This is probably where Celebrity wins out as you get what you pay for - including an excellent, tireless butler, Luiz. The suite comes with complimentary elite status discount vouchers (laundry and BINGO!) and perks - a sailaway on the helipad, wine tasting and a high tea. Very welcome and Rameco - the Captains Club host a charmer. one minor irritation is wifi shoukd be provided as standard for suite customers. We had the opportunity to view other class cabin spaces and they all seem good areas, imaginatively making the most of the footage available. We decided late in the sailing that we would do another Celebrity Eclipse Cruise in 2014 but, as per the top of the review, one in Europe where the demographic is likely to be more balanced. There are great deals to be had for early booking - discounts and onboard credits and Anna, in the office, is a real example of selling well, and keeping the customer onside with a thank you bottle or two. As this was our first cruise, I doubt we will become 3x a year cruisers or join the rankings for who has cruised the most that seems to be the introductory gambit on these things when meeting new people. and we DID met a small but perfectly formed group of new friends and acquaintences (initially helped by joining the cruise critic forum and signing up for their events). Any holiday is what you make and about managing expectations and overall Celebrity is a good brand that works hard for its position in the marketplace. Next time, however, I hope we have got it right and the focus is more travels with peers as opposed to travels with my Aunt - or even Grandad. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This was our first ever cruise and we had a tremendous time. We were slightly concerned based on some of the reviews we read prior to sailing...but we quickly discovered after boarding that we would have a different experience than those ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we had a tremendous time. We were slightly concerned based on some of the reviews we read prior to sailing...but we quickly discovered after boarding that we would have a different experience than those reviewers. We spent the night prior at the Embassy Suites in FLL and it was fine. With many cruise ships going out the next day, it was packed. We attempted to go to the manager's reception, however, with lines snaking out the doors of the lounge for a free drink, we decided it wasn't worth it. We went across the street to the Irish Pub (Waxy O'Connors) and had a great meal and pints. Embarkation was an experience. The cab ride to the port felt like a slalom run that came to a dead stop at the gates of the port. We waited for an extended time in stopped traffic, however, our driver forced his way into different lanes to get us to the ID check point. From there to the ship, it was about 30 minutes of more waiting in traffic mixed with mad dashes by the cabbie. None of this was Celebrity's issue, but it did make us grateful to flee the cab and join the line for the Eclipse. The line snaked out of the building from security and was not moving; passengers in suites were moved to a shorter line, but that did not appear to moving either. Having never cruised before, we had no idea if this was the norm or not. Others around us indicated they never had to wait like this. After about 30 minutes, the lines began to move and we made it through security, registration and the holding area. Our first stop once on board was to an empty Bistro on Five (thanks to all the posters with this recommendation). The staff apologized profusely that they were running behind due to a US Government Health Inspection that delayed them. We had just finished lounging after a very good lunch (the Bistro was still only 1/2 full) when the "staterooms are ready" announcement went out. Our cabin was on the forward bump and was a good size for the 2 of us. My wife was concerned about storage based on reviews, but with use of the over bed cabinets, closet and drawers, we had more than enough room. We met our stateroom attendant upon arrival to the room. Over the course of the cruise, he and his asst took care of everything we needed. Other than an occasional meeting in the passageway, we did not see him much for the rest of the cruise. However, the room was always ready and clean...I have seen others complain about this, but to me it meant they had an uncanny way of knowing our schedule and made sure not to inconvenience us. On the one occasion we called him on the phone, he was at the door within 2 minutes. We enjoy food and we were not disappointed in the MDR on this cruise. I understand food is very subjective and suspect that drives the wide range of ratings. We are not 5 star diners...we eat out at both neighborhood restaurants as well as those downtown, but tend toward nice, but not luxurious places. I can easily say that I enjoyed every meal I had onboard...both in the MDR and in Tuscan/QSine. I prefer meat over fish and had either steak or veal almost every night in the MDR. I did not order the "always available" steak, but went for the daily offerings. My wife had fish most nights and enjoyed nearly everyone. The one downer was the lobster on the last formal night...even though I warned her (based on my "extensive" cruise knowledge, which honestly I got from all your posts) that it wasn't going to be the Maine Lobster she likes. Our waitress overheard my last "are you sure" and offered to bring an Ahi entree for "the table to share" as well. Needless to say, the rest of us didn't get much of the Ahi (I was ok with that since my Beef Wellington was excellent). We never walked away hungry from the MDR...some meals were better than others, but that is normal. Overall they were excellent with some being superb. One last comment on MDR dinner portions...when I got my first appetizer plate, I was surprised at how small the portion was...but I soon learned they were about right considering I was going to eat 4 courses after eating plenty earlier in the day (plus if I wanted an extra one, all I had to do was ask and it appeared). If they would have been bigger, I could have rolled off the ship. We also visited Tuscan Grille (2 times) and QSine during the cruise. Both were excellent in different ways. Tuscan had tremendous views and very good steaks (I could've cut the filet with a spoon). Service was very attentive without being hovering. It also served to remind me why the MDR portions were about right...both times we left Tuscan, I was in near pain from eating too much. In each case, I knew I should have stopped, but it was too good. QSine was unique and a great experience. Much of the appeal is the presentation and combinations rather than the food itself. Everything we had was good, the service was great, but I'm not sure I would visit it twice during the same cruise. On our next cruise, especially if we take the children, we will go back though. The service we received on the ship from the staff can be summed up in one word...incredible! Our wait staff was wonderful and made dinner a great experience every night. I have seen other reviews commenting on how bad the MDR staff was and I can honestly say we were blessed with a waitress/2 assistants that were far and above what we have experienced on land. The same was true for the sommelier. He hustled constantly, although it looked like he did have a lot of tables to cover. Bar service in the various lounges was very good as well. We both had packages and expected slow service based on other reviews. Nothing could be farther than from the truth (but then again we tipped a dollar or so for each round). When we walked into the area, we were quickly noticed and served...in most cases with the waiter/waitress already knowing what we wanted. The only question we received on entry to Cafe Al Bacio was "for here or to go"...after that coffees just magically appeared. I won't bore everyone with all the islands other than to say, if you book COSOL on St Lucia, you will not be disappointed. He was our first ever island tour, and from what we saw for the remainder of the cruise, set the standard we'll measure all other tours against. In addition, the Segways on Antigua and Mandoo on Grenada were both extremely enjoyable and worth the money. Entertainment on board was somewhat of a mixed bag. The various bands, quartets, etc were good. We enjoyed John Winters (guitar singing oldies) more than the rest, but none were bad. The onstage entertainment in the theater was ok...we didn't attend all the shows, but the ones we did were enjoyable. It is not Broadway or the A list, and if you expect that, you will be disappointed. If you take it for what it is, talented people entertaining you on a cruise ship, you'll be fine. Finally, based on what I had read, I was ready to be blasted everywhere on the ship with loud background music. It didn't happen...the only time I really noticed it was if I consciously listened for it. The much talked about music in the Martini Bar was not necessarily what I have on my IPod, but it was not generally loud enough to cause people to flee. On the one occasion that it was louder than the norm, someone asked the staff to turn it down and they did. Finally, I'll close with 2 things that were not overly enjoyable. First, I can honestly say that I witnessed behavior that embarrassed me on multiple occasions even though I was not a party to the event. In every case, it was my fellow passengers that made we want to crawl under a rock. It started on Day 3 with an elderly man screaming at a staff member in the passage way while shaking his finger within a couple of inches of their face...the issue, he had not gotten a chocolate on his pillow the night before. It ended on Day 14 with a woman in line at Guest Services berating a staff member about tips on her bill. It seemed that she had already visited Guest Services to remove them, but there were still gratuities listed on the statement. The poor girl was trying to explain to the woman that those charges were the 15% added to her bar purchases, but the women was demanding they be removed too. The second issue was debarkation -- we have never gotten off a cruise ship before, but suspect it should not work like it did. For whatever reasons, it ended up with long lines moving down a single stair case and effectively going off 1 at a time down a single gangway on deck 2. There was a second gangway but it appeared to be used for those requiring assistance going ashore. The end result was a tremendous back-log with no obvious attempt by staff to organize the chaos. However, this did not detract from an otherwise wonderful cruise...I was already very sad because I was being forced to get off the ship! This was our first cruise and it will not be the last. We had a tremendous time and came away with incredible memories. We are hooked and cannot wait to start planning our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Having never been on a cruise before I was very unsure what to expect. We booked about 7 months in advance... Myself (30) and my partner (47) travelled with his parents (whom had both been on cruises before). Having used to work in the ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before I was very unsure what to expect. We booked about 7 months in advance... Myself (30) and my partner (47) travelled with his parents (whom had both been on cruises before). Having used to work in the travel industry I am keen to know everything i need to before travelling so naturally I read every review possible and joined forums to ask questions which were very useful. Questions before I travelled I wanted to know; Do I have to pay my on board spending with a credit card - the answer is although you do have to give a credit card number upon check in onto the ship you can pay your bill at the end of the cruise with debit card, card or travellers cheque. Are drinks packages value for money and is it worth getting one? The answer for us was no we didn't get one and nor was it worth it for us. The reason for this is we are not all day and night drinkers however did enjoy drinks in the day and in the evening. I would say on average we purchased (between 2 if us) 2 bottles of water, 2 coffees from the coffee bar, 4 cocktails, 4 vodka and oranges and 4 Guinness (or beer) and afew cans of red bull and coke a day. Some days we had more but generally not any less. We also bought a bottle of champagne in NYE ($70) and a lot of other bits I between such as gifts etc ... Our bill by the end if the holiday came to approximately $1300 - this included the 15% charge that is charged all drinks you purchase. This works out about £800.00 for 2 weeks. We could have saved on this by using the free drinks but we chose to buy nicer coffees etc. This was also using the mini bar on a daily basis. Are there any free drinks available on board and how often? In the dining room (ocean view cafe) and at the pool bar 24 hours a day there is coffee, various types of tea, hot water with honey etc as well as an ice machine with water, fruit juices and lemonade. With this in mind you don't have to purchase soft drinks at all. Boarding was a fairly easy process (it seemed quite long for us as we started travelling the previous day from the UK having flown Manchester to Heathrow, then Heathrow to Miami then had an overnight stay in fort lauderdale (Marriott - very nice). The queue to board the ship looked long but the queue went down quickly. Once onboard we had a wonder round then we all had to go to the safety demonstration - this wasn't a problem either.. Once this was over it was time to relax for the next 2 weeks and the staff are so brilliant they let you do just that.. (To the point where when we finished drinks and returned our glasses to the bar they were almost offended) and one waiter said to us "this is your holiday and that is my job" which was very kind of him. Our 1st port of call was Laberdee. I was dubious about this place due to the trouble with Haiti but it was lovely. Not alot there apart from a large beach with sun loungers etc, 1 small gift type shop, some jet ski's and a zip rope excursion from my mountain over the sea onto the beach which was very fun to watch. All kinds of ages were doing this and had it not been our 1st day of relaxing would have been tempted to have a go myself. That was NYE..... It was a fantastic place to enjoy something different. Everyone dressed up in tuxedos and nice dresses is just my scene. Men were given party hats and women were given tiaras to wear and there was a lovely menu in the moonlight sonata. We spent later in the evening in the ocean sunset bar at the back in the ship with a guitarist playing who was very good. Just before midnight we headed towards the pool area which was very busy so we went to the martini bar and got a seat and a bottle of champagne followed my many various cocktails and a trip to the casino and night club. We didn't do any organised trips with celebrity as my parents in law had already been to most of the places we got taxis to places of interest as and when we wanted to. Although the trips on offer we're an excellent selection I think they may have been slightly overpriced. As soon as you doc in all places there are plenty of taxis and on shore companies offering the same excursions and you can barter with them so if you feel comfortable doing this at is also an option. Although all places we docked were lovely, my favourite places... Aruba, St Marten and Curacao. All had quite a lot of things going on. Aruba has a fantastic range of boutique shops such as Gucci, Kenneth Cole, Prada, Diesel, Louis Vuitton , etc..... Curacao had lovely buildings, nice shops and an interesting bridge. St Marten had a nice beach we used with waterspouts, more good shop and generally nice. In Antigua we just got a taxi who took us for a tour then took us to a nice beach for a couple of hours. In Bonnaire we got another taxi to a beech - it was called link beach. Take note there are no sunbeds on this beach. It is known for windsurfing and the day we went it was very windy but very hot therefore all burnt so we warned you think it's cool but is definitely not. Food - is absolutely fantastic. Could not fault a thing. We breakfast either in moonlight sonata (saves you eating so much and is nice to be served) and in coda view cafe - excellent choice (so much temptation) and both very good. We didn't always have lunch but if we did was in ocean view cafe - again lovely and so much choice and every evening we ate in moonlight sonata. Our waiters were Balkan and Norman - both excellent, so helpful and want to please. I would guess we were easily pleased as we never asked for anything other than the norm but got the impression that others did by looking around. We also enjoyed ice cream in the parlour on 5th floor next to the coffee shop. You do have to pay for it in here but is worth it. Although the free ice cream available in ocean view cafe is very nice. The rooms - we had a deluxe ocean view with a balcony (6162) which said obstructed view (it didn't) it was just the lifeboats below which don't obstruct anything. Cabin was lovely, large double bed. Room under the bed for 2 suitcases and plenty of drawers, cupboard and wardrobe space with hangers etc. We had a balcony with 2 chairs and a Cakes / cookies are free in the coffee shop (even though you pay for coffee, tea etc here). Thankfully we only found this out afew days before the end of the trip. We only watched 1 show in the theatre, this was because the one we watched was like a circus type show. Although it was good, it wasn't our scene. My mother and father in law did watch a couple of other shows but said they were not as good as those they saw on the p&o cruise they went on. I heard the comedian was very much aimed at American guests ( which is understandable). However a band I really liked we're twist of 8. I never heard the same song twice in 2 weeks and they were brilliant. Heard them as normal and acoustic - both excellent. We spent a lot of time in passport bar where they played mostly. A word of advise on tipping.... We paid our tips upfront for waiters and cabin staff when we booked our cruise. I would not do this in the future. Although they are aware you have per-paid. We gave them all tips again on New Years Eve and again at end of the cruise as they were so good. We also tipped the bar staff who in bars we used alot at the end of the cruise as well as additional tips we signed on our account when signing for drinks. To sum up an excellent cruise and could not fault a thing..... Please feel free to ask any questions....... Read Less
Celebrity Eclipse Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 4.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates N/A 4.2

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