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Sail Date: August 2014
We have sailed aboard several Celebrity cruise ships, but this was our first time on the Eclipse. We are a couple in our sixties who has travelled the Mediterranean on several occasions and always enjoy the ports of call. This was no ... Read More
We have sailed aboard several Celebrity cruise ships, but this was our first time on the Eclipse. We are a couple in our sixties who has travelled the Mediterranean on several occasions and always enjoy the ports of call. This was no exception. About the ship: The ship is spotless, the decor elegant, and the artwork located throughout is amazing. We actually did a tour of the many staircases just to have a look at the very fine sculptures, paintings and photographs that decorate the stair walls. Service: Staff and crew were polite and friendly. Unlike some other reviewers, we did not encounter any rudeness or unpleasant attitude from any of them. If I were to make a reproach, it would simply be that the service in the Dining Room at late dinner seating was so efficient, at times we felt a bit rushed... I guess it's better to have this problem than the opposite. Food quality: Typical breakfast buffet, with options for every taste. Presentation in the Dining Room could be improved. Often, food is not served as requested; twice I ordered medium-cooked steak and both times it arrived rare. Food quality was reasonable, however, desserts were boring. We noticed that the Oceanview Cafe had some very interesting options for entrées and desserts at dinner time. Entertainment: This is where Celebrity absolutely failed. There we were, in an elegant and sophisticated environment, yet served pub-style entertainment. Out of 14 nights of entertainment in the theatre, we only enjoyed two at the beginning of the cruise, the comedian (who knew how to deliver stand-up comedy intelligently, without resorting to sexist stereotypes) and the singer (Linda Hamilton - another seasoned performer). All other guest performers were mediocre interpretation of bad-taste comedy, tired magic tricks, etc. Pre-dinner entertainment with the house band (Spitfires - who played out of tune and off balance most of the time) and the jazz band was offered in the Grand Foyer where acoustics are simply inadequate. They were intended to provide some dance music for guests, but mostly delivered tunes for kids to move to. We would be remiss not to mention the annoying piped in music throughout the ship. Lounges and bars: Too few seats in any of the bars for the number of passengers. Quality of drinks was quite variable. In the Cafe, we also noticed that coffee preparation was very inconsistent. This is totally unacceptable when you pay $6.50 for a latte. Celebrity traditions: We miss the special touches that we enjoyed so much in our early cruises: the chocolate on the pillow, the theme music that played at every port departure, the sorbet parade on sea days... We fear Celebrity is cutting too many corners and will soon lose the high rating it currently enjoys. Bad enough they have seriously cut back on enrichment lectures, they are now basically delivering activities to promote their paid services. We have another Celebrity cruise planned this year, but will likely then turn our attention to other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Firstly, I disagree with a lot of the other reviews for this cruise. However, there were areas that could be improved by Celebrity to make the whole experience much better. Food: The food was absolutely excellent, always at a top quality, ... Read More
Firstly, I disagree with a lot of the other reviews for this cruise. However, there were areas that could be improved by Celebrity to make the whole experience much better. Food: The food was absolutely excellent, always at a top quality, that never fluctuated, whether you are in the Moonlight Sonata or a specialty restaurant. Always a variety of different dishes, so you are never bored of the same thing. You always fill full after, but not uncomfortably stuffed. The room-service was also similar. The quality was always at a high standard, and you had a large variety of foods to choose from. Service: The service was always excellent, the staff were always smiling, friendly and happy to help, but at times I did feel there was not the right ratio of staff to passengers. We had a wine waiter who was obviously very busy, and found it difficult to help everyone. However all in all, the staff were excellent as expected. Entertainment: Personally, I believe the entertainment did let it down slightly. A lot of the activities were similar, and targeted at the older generation. In the evenings, the shows were usually excellent, however there were 1/2 fairly boring ones which were more about promoting the individual performer then giving the audience a good time. However, they were usually of a high standard. Cabin: Always spotless, very big especially for a cruise ship, and the bathroom was clean and of a good size, with lots of cupboards to put things away in. We have been on 2 cruises before, but this ship was definitely the best in terms of cabin size and space. Shore Excursions: All were very very expensive. We did an excursion in Malaga and we had more time in the coach then out looking around. Quite annoying that they didn't do a service for every port where they gave you a shuttle into the city. This is apparent as Civitavechia (Rome) is 1:30 hours drive from Rome, so there were no safe/cheap ways to getting into the city (taxis were a lot, and some friends we made on the cruise nearly got pick pocketed on the train into Rome). Weaknesses: The price of WIFI was a lot especially as you had lots of sea days so there was no internet. As well as this, it was extremely slow, and at times didn't worked. I believe Celebrity should give each passenger 30 minutes complimentary wifi each day, especially as it costed so much, and there were passengers like myself, who needed it. More sun beds is an absolute must! On sea days, it got very busy, and by 9 o'clock all the sun beds had been taken. So there was nowhere comfortable to sit and enjoy the sun. The pool areas were always packed with children (understandable as it in the summer holidays), but all 3 pools were just not big enough for the passengers to be able to have a swim in without knocking into other people. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Embarkation was efficient & cabins were available around midday. This was my second cruise the first was with Royal Caribbean 2 years ago. The interior of the ship is beautiful & our cabin was spacious with a balcony on the 9th ... Read More
Embarkation was efficient & cabins were available around midday. This was my second cruise the first was with Royal Caribbean 2 years ago. The interior of the ship is beautiful & our cabin was spacious with a balcony on the 9th deck. The room was spotless with a lovely comfy bed & great air conditioning.The weather wasn't great so the location of our cabin at the front of the ship meant we had some rocky nights. Our cabin steward was excellent and was always very attentive. The gym, solarium etc were of a high standard. I had booked select dining which I prefer especially when travelling with a teenage daughter who takes all night to get ready. I found the food a little disappointing not so much the meat/fish but the accompaniments which were really bland. The steaks were also hit & miss. I had expected better entertainment on a ship of this calibre especially when the president was on board, not that we ever saw him. The staff throughout the ship were friendly. The pool area wasn't maintained as well as other public areas on the ship with empty glasses, crockery etc left lying around. Porto Torres was a really disappointing port of call & makes one wonder why it was included in the itinerary (perhaps cheaper docking fees ??) I met really lovely people on this cruise which made the holiday. Would I travel with celebrity again - Yes but would need to ensure the ports of call are acceptable PS. I didn't get a survey form to complete from Celebrity which was supposed to be e mailed within 7 days Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
A group of 6 of us including two 17 year olds and their grandfather, recently cruised with Celebrity for the first time having previously cruised many times with various different cruise companies including Silversea and Cunard. In the ... Read More
A group of 6 of us including two 17 year olds and their grandfather, recently cruised with Celebrity for the first time having previously cruised many times with various different cruise companies including Silversea and Cunard. In the main we had a wonderful cruise and found the staff very helpful especially in the staterooms where we had a few personal issues that were handled efficiently with complete discretion. The food was excellent in the speciality restaurants however there were no table service restaurants open for lunch any day with the exception of the one day that we are at sea and this was the single reason that we will probably not travel with Celebrity again. When we are on our holidays we love to dine out for lunch and eating in a buffet restaurant is not what we were expecting on a ship of this calibre as we have never experienced it on any of the other cruise lines. As a result it meant that my father (who is incapcitated and uses a wheelchair) decided he would prefer to disembark and dine in a restaurant locally causing him unnecessary inconvenience. The other issue was that the wifi was extremely expensive and I think this is something that ALL the cruise lines need to consider because it is not a nice thing to do to guests who have already paid a substantial amount of money to travel with them! We also needed to use the medical centre for a simple issue that merited 30 minutes and we had no x-rays, bloods or medications along with an extremely unpleasant nurse and were billed $475! On a positive note the entertainment was good and as I mentioned above they do have a wonderful crew , many of whom have worked with them for years which is a very good sign. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
S2 Cabin. Premium Drinks Package. 7 Dinners MDR (table for 8 late sitting). 2 dinners in Murano, 3 dinners in Tuscan Grille, 2 Dinners in Qsine and 5 lunches Bistro on Five. Below are my observations of our first Celebrity cruise. • ... Read More
S2 Cabin. Premium Drinks Package. 7 Dinners MDR (table for 8 late sitting). 2 dinners in Murano, 3 dinners in Tuscan Grille, 2 Dinners in Qsine and 5 lunches Bistro on Five. Below are my observations of our first Celebrity cruise. • Embarkation/Disembarkation: Full marks to Celebrity, they have the slickest and easiest embarkation/disembarkation process I have ever experienced. • Stateroom: Our S2 stateroom was a good size with plenty of living space. The storage space in this cabin is amazing, there is plenty of room in the wardrobes and we were unable to fill all the drawer space. The bathroom although small is well designed with lots of storage and a shower that provides gallons of hot water. The balcony is furnished with two chairs/loungers and a table but we found the chairs/loungers uncomfortable. The room attendant kept the cabin clean and tidy and the butler was keen to offer his assistance whenever we needed it. • Public Spaces: We liked all the public spaces on the ship except for the Ensemble Lounge which we found poorly lit and old fashioned. Our favourite place on the ship was the Sky Observation Lounge. Although we did not use the sun deck there seemed to be plenty of loungers to go round. • On Board Activities: Apart from the quizzes (full marks to Sam, the activities assistant, for her whole hearted efforts) we found there were few day time activities of any interest to us. We did visit the Bingo once but at $25 per person declined to go again. • Entertainment: We attended one main show which was no better or worse than any other cruise ship show we have seen. By far the best entertainment was provided by Steve Womack the late night comic who gave three shows during the cruise. • Dining: Despite the best efforts of the waiters, service in the main dining room was very slow. On the last formal night we had only just received our entrée when the parade of the catering staff started. Wine service in the MDR was worse than the waiter service, we often had to wait 30 minutes or more for our wine order to be taken. The service in the speciality restaurants was much better. We especially enjoyed dining in the Tuscan Grille and Qsine. I unfortunately took an instant dislike of Murano, finding the waiting staff pretentious and condescending. Bistro on Five is a lovely place to have a quiet and civilised lunch with friendly and attentive waiters. It was only the limited menu in Bistro on Five that dissuaded me from eating lunch there every day. The Ocean View Café provides buffet style dining for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner for those who don’t wish to use the other restaurants. Overall we found the menus offered plenty of choice and the quality of the food on the ship to be of a high standard. • Drinks Packages: The drinks packages seem to be confusing to customers and staff alike. One sommelier confided to me that the list of drinks available on the packages was being reduced for the next cruise. My personal preference would be to have the drinks packages removed and replaced by an on board credit perk. • Overall Experience: Our only previous experience of cruising on a large ship is with P & O. Of the two companies I would choose Celebrity every time. Although disappointed with the service in the MDR and the many bars on the ship, I came away from this cruise feeling that I had had a good holiday and that I had received good value for money. If we do not cruise with Celebrity again it will be because we find the ship too big for us and are going back to the more traditional cruising experienced on the older and smaller Fred Olsen ships.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
My husband and I are regular cruisers on the Cunard line so it was with some reservations that we joined several of our good friends on this Celebrity cruise last May. It was such a different experience than Cunard that I thought that I ... Read More
My husband and I are regular cruisers on the Cunard line so it was with some reservations that we joined several of our good friends on this Celebrity cruise last May. It was such a different experience than Cunard that I thought that I would talk about it. Firstly it draws a much younger crowd. At 10:30 pm the shiip is just coming alive. It was lots of fun round the clock. Now I will go into the nitty gritty. The staterooms are modern and spacious whereas on Cunard they are stately with the look of an old time ocean liner. There is not much closet space but plenty of little shelves and much bigger bathrooms. The bathrooms have glass enclosed showers and space to keep makeup and put it on. We had a stateroom with a veranda which we used a lot. The food in the main dining room is okay but not great ( even for the formal nights) The food on Cunard is much better, However, the buffet and the space in which it is served is much much better than on Cunard. There are many stations so you never have to queue up. Because it's a younger crowd the pools get a lot more activity and are fairly noisy as is the gym. Something I disliked intensely was that those who worked at the spa would privately offer lower prices so you had no idea what the service really should cost. ( You could also haggle with the specialty restaurants) The ports were all great and as there were nine of us I primarily used Cruise critic and Trip advisor to book private tours for us. If you are not going on a ship tour you may have to wait over an hour before you get off the ship. While on Cunard you can pick up your tender ticket early and then not have to hang around until your number is called on Celebrity you were not issued a tender ticket until you were ready to go. You didn't queue up in the buffet lines but you did have to queue up to get off the ship. Our favorite port by far was Kotor Montenegro followed by the two ports in Croatia. All in all it was a great cruise and we are going on Celebrity again in February on the Antartica cruise Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Our Mediterranean cruise departed Barcelona on 1 November and visited ports in Malta, Greece (including the islands of Mykonos and Santorini), Turkey and Italy. We travelled as a family with two side by side balcony cabins which were well ... Read More
Our Mediterranean cruise departed Barcelona on 1 November and visited ports in Malta, Greece (including the islands of Mykonos and Santorini), Turkey and Italy. We travelled as a family with two side by side balcony cabins which were well situated midships on Deck 9. Having travelled on the Solstice, we found the Equinox very similar and thus easy to find our way around. As we've come to expect with Celebrity, the cabins and public areas are very well maintained, immaculately presented and clean. This was our first Mediterranean cruise we really enjoyed seeing new places and ports of call - Malta, Santorini, Mykonos and Ephesus were definite standouts. We usually prefer to do our own tours however on this occasion we booked on board, mainly to make sure that we saw as much as we possibly could and still get back to the ship on time. For the most part we were satisfied with the shore excursions, however we were disappointed with trips to Pompeii and in particular Rome, where we had paid a premium to do an exclusive tour, hoping to see as much as possible given the time constraints. The downfall with both of these tours seemed to be the guides. Pompeii was extremely crowded with multiple groups touring at the same time and for some reason our guide refused to hold her "lollypop" sign any higher than her shoulder which meant that we tended to focus more on trying to locate her than look at the ruins. The electronic communication devices used by both guides were either not of good quality or perhaps it was due to the large number of groups but the end result was that you could not hear the guide if you were more than a metre or so away which was extremely frustrating. Our guide in Rome spent an extraordinary amount of time outside the Vatican Museums telling us what we would see inside, when a shorter commentary and longer inside visit would have been preferable as by the time we actually got inside, there was very little time to actually look at the displays. Feedback to this effect provided by other guests fell on deaf ears leaving us to form the opinion that it was HER tour, not ours. We were however happy that we had chosen a cruise at the end of the season, which meant although we encountered multiple ships and large crowds in some ports, in others Equinox was the only ship which made sightseeing more comfortable. Equinox was one of four ships at Santorini, which meant long lines and waits to take the cable car or donkeys to the top and back, however it is such a spectacular place we were determined to enjoy every minute of it. One of us requires a gluten free diet, and as usual Celebrity was made aware of this at the time of booking. We noted that Celebrity had made some positive changes to the way they cater to passengers requiring special diets as now menu choices in the main restaurant are identified as being gluten free, low fat/salt/sugar etc. This makes choosing easier, and also negates the need to pre-order the night before, which we've had to do in the past. This appears to be a relatively recent change as we did not encounter it on our last cruise in March 2013. Having said that, Celebrity still needs to improve the quality and choice of their offerings for passengers requiring gluten free meals. Dessert menus do not mention whether items are suitable for special diets so on the first night I inquired about the choices available. I was told "creme brulee, or caramel creme brulee" (see our earlier Solstice review, March 2013)!!! Determined not to be content with the same offerings for the 12 nights of the cruise, we politely sought out the restaurant manager at the conclusion of our meal. He invited the assistant maitre d into the conversation and suffice to say that although we quietly, calmly and politely stated our concerns we felt that the response was less than we would expect of Celebrity. The next day we sought a meeting with the Food and Beverage manager, who also included the Head Chef (a fellow Australian) in the meeting. Our concerns were noted and we felt we were treated with respect and courtesy. From that point things improved greatly and we felt that they made a real effort to ensure we were well catered for in terms of gluten free offerings. We sail with Celebrity again in January 2014 (Solstice) and it would be fabulous to find out that Celebrity has finally taken on board feedback about the quality and range of choice of their gluten free choices. Most people (including us) do not want to have to make a fuss however as we pointed out, if the quality of an item means that a non gluten free person would not eat it, why assume that someone who requires a gluten free diet would be happy with it? Please Celebrity, do something about this... the range of GF food available is amazing now, with quality items readily available in most places. Case in point, without any prior notice our hotel in Barcelona was able to provide warm GF baguettes of excellent quality at breakfast each morning. While Celebrity is our cruise line of choice, they will only remain so if they address this issue.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Pros: - Beautifully appointed enormous boat - Glass studio on top deck provides amazing shows - Gorgeous roomy cabin - 98% of the staff is excellent - Food quality is very high - Very helpful cruise software available via in-room TV ... Read More
Pros: - Beautifully appointed enormous boat - Glass studio on top deck provides amazing shows - Gorgeous roomy cabin - 98% of the staff is excellent - Food quality is very high - Very helpful cruise software available via in-room TV - Excellent cleanliness - Specialty restaurants are nice (but expensive) Cons: - Terrible internet support and pricing, needlessly complex, the worst I've experienced on a cruise ship - Thousands of other passengers everywhere. Specialty restaurants are your only respite (but cost $30 to $45 additional per person per meal) - Not enough elevators - be prepared for waiting - Constant sales pitches from the staff: drink packages, specialty restaurants, spa, photos, jewelry, etc. - Entertainment is mediocre (other than the acrobatics show and the glass studio) - Obnoxious cruise director - Passive-aggressive butler - Cannot hear daily announcements in cabin - Mediocre library Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We booked directly with Celebrity in order to secure a five hundred dollar on board credit. This came in useful when paying our wine and bar bill. Beware prices for drinks are high. The Reflection at less than a year old and is very ... Read More
We booked directly with Celebrity in order to secure a five hundred dollar on board credit. This came in useful when paying our wine and bar bill. Beware prices for drinks are high. The Reflection at less than a year old and is very impressive. The sweeping central atrium is beautiful, the cabins are pristine with modern decor and the bars are exciting night time venues. Although we were slightly disappointed with the evening entertainment there were some stand out acts. 'These Guys', a group of four young Californian men were sensational. The comedy venue 'Sin City' show was great entertainment. Ask any guy who watched this show if they remember Sarah Storey, the Australian burlesque dancer. Overall the shore trips were well organised, but a little uninspiring. The food was never something to rave about, but consistently good. We soon learnt that the meat choices were by far the best. The buffet had plenty of choice and we always found a table outside to sit, both for breakfast and lunch. Both embarkation and disembarkation were efficient but a 6.30 start meant that Celebrity got us to the airport with three and a half hours to go before our flight to Birmingham. Overall a very pleasant cruise, but we came away saying we would like to try another cruise company next time. Read Less
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