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Sail Date: July 2011
The disappointment set in on arrival at Southampton although we had booked disabled parking we were directed else where. The boarding process was also disappointing compared to princess the previous year. The ship had the wow factor and ... Read More
The disappointment set in on arrival at Southampton although we had booked disabled parking we were directed else where. The boarding process was also disappointing compared to princess the previous year. The ship had the wow factor and was very clean and tidy. Our biggest disappointments was in the food on Grand Princess we were told if we did not like what was on the menu we only had to ask and the would supply whatever we wanted and they did. This was not the case on Eclipse when I asked for alternatives I was told that was how it comes take it or leave it more of less. The menu was boring and repetitive and I heard this repeated many times by other clients. Boarding tours was slick and professional with Princess it was badly organised and badly run by Eclipse staff. On returning to the ship things were much better with iced towels and drinks on the quay for guests. The entertainment was ranged from good to boring while we were on board. Lectures seemed to be badly placed as the most popular got the smallest rooms and the least popular the largest. Overall we did enjoy our cruise but would not be in a hurry to book again with Eclipse and would probably go with Princess or P & O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
This was our first cruise so I have written a review hopefully to inform those going on their first and review the ship and staff. Before your cruise. The information we received before was very good, I was not in charge of ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I have written a review hopefully to inform those going on their first and review the ship and staff. Before your cruise. The information we received before was very good, I was not in charge of organisation though but let me summarise thus: Pack for a normal holiday plus some really sharp suits, shirts and ties and you won't go far wrong. Also bring loads of medication because it is an American ship and healthcare there is unfamiliar. Getting there. Too easy for words as you head to the dock area in Southampton the road signs have special LED displays for which ship is boarding where. Then you turn onto that dock (no massive trucks or industry as such as it is further down the solent) and you arrive in a line of cars in the holding area where you can get out and look up at the enormous thing that is Eclipse (It dwarfed the French aircraft carrier in one port!). Once you get on that dockside you are done. They take over from there. From getting to the dock we said goodbye to our luggage (taken out of your car for you, but we were embarrassed so we helped) and parked. Short walk with hand luggage and suit carriers to the security where you are greeted by either very happy and helpful staff or extremely good actors. From leaving the car to getting on board we were about twenty minutes, no queues, no waiting, just checks at the desks and walking through to the ship. IT WAS BRILLIANT. No horrible airport to negotiate, no three hours wait for a three hour flight packed like sardines, just efficient happy service all the way to the ship, and when you get onboard you KNOW this is going to be something special. Our jaws dropped when we got on board. I have seen reviews saying this is not a 5star experience, they are, in my humble opinion very wrong indeed. The whole ship is gorgeous, not opulent in the dripping gold and gaudy carpet sense but sleek and stylish in a very classy way. For the car nerd, if I was expecting Lamborghini I got top of the range Aston Martin. Stateroom Excellent. Some reviews have mentioned storage space. I can only fear for what these people bring aboard. I had 5 suits, 14 shirts, loads of summer holiday clothes and I really overpacked. My girlfriend had 14 dresses and her summer holiday clothes and we had plenty of room. There is a good size wardrobe, draws, overbed storage and loads of room under the bed. The bathroom is solid and stylish, the shower excellent and plenty of storage in there too with even a thoughtful little rail in the shower for ladies to shave their legs. The rooms seem to exude those little thoughtful details that make two weeks in them seem like three days. A credit to their designers. Also everything was of excellent quality, well fitted and solid. The bed was massive, I am six foot and I got lost several times and had to call for assistance. The balcony was on one of the 'bulges' of the ship and I would recommend that as you looked right onto the sea rather than over a lifeboat which meant when the dolphins (yes) came really close you got a great view. (dolphins mainly in the bay of Biscay, watch out for them in the mornings... early). The TV also pulls out so you can watch it at the right angle from the bed. So stateroom excellent. Dining. I may not have cruised before but I have eaten at very good restaurants from New York to Athens and I can tell you, as a man for whom quality food is a delight, The Moonlight Sonata restaurant is brilliant. We took fixed dining at 8:45 so we were at the same table with my family each night and it worked very well for us. Gave us time for a drink before. Also there are always two shows on a night and if you have late dining you can usually choose which one you go to as the times work out well. The portions are perfect and we were always full but rarely uncomfortable. And if you want to have your main again or a second pudding all you need do is ask.... not me but my dad was known as 'two puds' by the end of the cruise. The same dining anywhere in the UK with white table cloths excellent service, wine waiter and four consistently delicious courses would cost £120 a couple every night. You can have breakfast lunch and dinner in the MSR but we had breakfast and lunch in the oceanview cafe mostly though there are other small eateries around the ship ranging from burger and chips or stir fry at the mast bar to light salads and snacks near the spa. If you were of such a mind you could eat yourself silly. Oceanview cafe breakfast was up to you. From blueberry pancakes with syrup to watermelon chunks. From a cardiac event enducing full English to museli followed by smoked salmon and cream cheese roll you are totally spoilt for choice. And here is my first crewmember mention, Donovan the coffee and Tea guy in a morning really puts a smile on everyone's face. Full marks that man. If you are waiting to go I will not spoil it for you, when it happens you will know. Our Moonlight Sonata Restaurant waiter was and Indian guy whose name is difficult but begins with A and he was brilliant, always happy and attentive and very very good at his work. His recommendations were always perfect and if you ordered something else apart from his recommendation he was always happy. One night I was ill and not at dinner and my family said he was very concerned and said he would bring me some food personally if I was up to it (I was not but you can't help feeling bowled over by that sort of service). Extra special mention for Zenyap our waitress who went above and beyond all the time. Small things like seeing what breads we were not eating on the first couple of nights and taking the time to prepare the bread basket before we arrived to what she knew we would prefer. Showing us some napkin folding and other little tricks that will make any dinner parties we throw just that little bit more special. The Maitre d' for our table (432) Akar I think his name was, was the definition of excellent. He ran a tight ship so to speak and always made sure we were happy. One night we could not have what we ordered for very understandable reasons and he was just fantastic. He made sure we could order that dish any time we wanted after that night and had a special plate of handmade chocolates sent to our room to apologise. The replacement dish was sirloin steak so good we all forgot about it very fast. Bars and clubs There are LOADS search them out and find your favourite. We ended up in the wine bar cellar master most nights before dinner. Dennis the Sommelier (wine waiter) in cellar masters was incredible. Friendly, knowledgeable and a genuinely excellent at what he did Dennis really made our cruise just that little bit more special. He took the time to get to know our preferences and would make little polite suggestions for things we might enjoy. If I am ever in a position serving people I want to be able to do it like Dennis, a gentleman. Gym and spa After all that food and drink you need to stay at your best. For this purpose there is a fantastic, modern and very well equipped gym which I used regularly. It is free, never full and there is a sauna waiting for you in the changing rooms with really posh showers after. The one stand out bad point for my girlfriend was the spa prices the equivalent of £200 for a 75 minute massage... £200! I want to write more on this and the spa prices and how much we wanted to use them but I do not have the heart. A massive shame. Destinations Gibraltar. A bit high street UK. You can walk off the ship into the town. Our tip is not to wait for the cable car up the rock but get a white but from one of the islanders. The saving is minimal but you get to see things better. Toulon We paid for the shuttle bus into Toulon at $15 euro each it was good value and air con. Toulon was nice and good for a walk round but you can also just get off the ship and walk around the little town where the dock is. Florence Beautiful Jewel of Tuscany. Pay for the bus ride from the port. It is about an hour and the Aussie guide Pete we had was funny, a resident, informative and let us nap on the way back rather than talk. A good guy. Florence it's self was gorgeous, historic and totally spoiled by sweating English and American cruise ship parties just like the one we were on. My BIG tip for Florence and Rome is to not go on a celebrity tour. Not that they don't look good tours. The guides we saw taking groups sounded great and very polite but the sight of 20-30 people in 100f heat having to walk around like a school party would bring the pity out of the hardest misanthrope. On your own with a book you can do as you please when you please and how. Celebrity are MASTERS however at organising the busses and embarkation/disembarkation. You book your tour before or during your cruise, then present yourself in the theatre at the time on your ticket, get a coloured sticker with your bus number on and leave within 5-10 minutes. No queues, no hassle. Rome Same bus transfer job. Same heat, less crowds, great fun. If you want to go into St Peters go first thing you do as you get off the bus. Otherwise the Q is too big... and I mean massive. Again Celebrity did a great job organising. Sardinia We were shattered after Rome and Florence so Sardinia... we are sorry. Cadiz Walk off the ship into the town, brilliant place, go see the fish market and Marks and Spencer will never look the same. Lisbon Shuttle again. Lisbon is beautiful and easy to walk round from the drop off point. If you go the hard rock cafe in Lisbon please frown at the lady waitress for me then withhold your custom. Lisbon has plenty of little cafes locally run which were good but open about eleven am. Vigo Again a walk off job. Vigo feels good. Like Cadiz it is a solid Spanish town with friendly locals good cafes etc. We were a but 'cathedraled out' by now though. Entertainment. The entertainment on board was great during the day and Amy who ran the quiz was a saint. Dru the Cruise Director tops my 'most likely to read Cruise Critic for his name' list and will be happy to find we thought he was great. Including the routine we got into of saying 'good morning Dru' when we switched on his cruise director channel in the mornings. The evening entertainment (the shows) were mixed. The Broadway type stuff and the circus one were brilliant and I have been to Broadway and West End stuff and I was more than happy. The rock and pop stuff was less so but the two don't really mix anyway. Stick to the glitzy musicals Celebrity that's what your stars do best! Disembarkation. So easy it makes my cry to think of ever having to go to an airport ever again. Overall this was an amazing holiday and if we can save up we would go celebrity again with no hesitation. I would say if you have kids most people said Royal Caribbean were more child orientated. There was plenty to do and a really good looking kids club but this really is an adult oriented ship. It was a shame the main pool was virtually off limits as families absolutely colonized the area and the pool was always full of kids unless you got up early. I have chickens at home, I would like to have brought them but they poo everywhere and I can't control them. So I did not bring them as I thought they would annoy other guests. Why can't people do this with children? However to Celebrity's eternal credit the enormous indoor solarium pool and Jacuzzis are adults only and we could always find space in there to relax. Those who wanted a sunbed on sea days when it was sunny have to be on deck before 8am to be sure and attendants are good enough to remove towels and books that are left for more than half an hour without use. We heard people complain that there were not enough sun beds but there are 2500 guests on board at 10am when they all want one. Get up early and you too can be smug and self satisfied knowing (watching them wander round like morons wondering why) having had a nice lie in they cannot find a prime spot. The early bird catches the worm. There is always somewhere to sit in the sun even if it is on the lawn at the back. Behaviour of other guests was generally good. The piercing and tattoo crowd have (of which I am a proud member) have largely been priced out and it is good to find yourself surrounded by people who behave better than you do and I consider myself quiet and considerate. Some of the moans are very funny if you can listen in. Some people are NEVER happy. I would ask those older couples who spend £5k plus on a holiday to do nothing but be moan why they don't go to Butlins where they can be PROPERLY miserable, have a REALLY good moan AND save themselves the price of a second hand Jaguar a tweed suit and a hearing aid. Even when pushed to the limit by these waddling clouds of perpetual despair the staff were relentlessly polite and friendly. Though I suspect anyone boarding who can offer cheap voodoo dolls of other guests would do a roaring trade with the pool staff and oceanview cafe waiters who often bore the brunt with class and grace. If you like a drink get the drinks package. The drinks are extortionate otherwise. We drink an average amount and if we hadn't have had the drinks package we would have spent about£1450 as it was we spent £980 for the two of us and had a great time. My brother who can drink quite a bit and his wife who also appreciates the odd tipple got through £2500 of drinks. The package saved them LOTS of money. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
This was our first time on Celebrity was we was a little unsure what to expect after reading so many reviews on cruise critic and other sites after reading review after review with people saying "It's full of old people" we ... Read More
This was our first time on Celebrity was we was a little unsure what to expect after reading so many reviews on cruise critic and other sites after reading review after review with people saying "It's full of old people" we are 38 & 43 and I would say the average age was 50-60 and we had more fun with the people we met on this cruise then any other we have ever taken. Embarkation was a dream we arrived at 10:20am and was on the ship at 11am what a great start to the cruise. We opted for Aqua-class and had cabin 1603 a hump cabin with balcony and boy was we pleased such a great location in the middle of the ship and right near the lifts and no we never heard any noise apart from one afternoon when getting changed we could hear the band playing at the poolside. Blu... we had read so much about Blu and was really looking forward to dining there however the first night was not good they had a very small selection of starters and nothing I liked :( so I ordered the steak for the main course that arrived cold so ended up ordering room service not good when you pawy the extra for Blu and end up with burger and frys in your cabin however the following night we was informed there had been alot of problems in Blu and this would not happen again,the food in Blu is good but only ever warm I made a point of telling them I liked my food piping hot and this was seen to with no problem another point worth mentioning was three times we was given a plate or saucer with a chip in it surely the kitchen should see this when plating up ? so for all of the above I would give Blu 3 out of 5 the main benefit for us was not having to dine in the main dining room that was very crowded and the tables and chairs far to close to one another. The brunch buffet was a total nightmare it was more like a bun fight :(( there was huge ques both sides of the dining room and you could not even see the food the chefs had prepared because of the amount of people so we left and had lunch in the ocean view cafe it was lovely and quiet bliss :)) I think Celebrity should address the brunch better in future so everyone gets to enjoy it. So overall for food I would again rate it 3 out of 5. The entertainment was brilliant and the best we we have seen so far in St-P they had some Russian dancers come aboard to do a show for us and this was great. The circus act was also very good and worth seeing again. Service was probably the best we have ever received on a cruise ship every member of staff smiled and said hello when walking past you from the cleaners to the captain and nothing was ever to much for the staff to ensure you was happy and enjoying your holiday. Shore Excursions.. next time I will do far more research on ports because like all cruise company's Celebrity love selling you there shuttle tickets and some points of interest was only 10-15 Min's walk from the ship and they charged you $10-15 a time. OK we had issues with the warm food and poor service in Blu the first night but would we book again ? you bet we have booked to return next year :)) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
We embarked on the 18th June in Southampton - very smooth process, everyone was helpful and we were parked and on the ship in less than half an hour. Basically a walk on. Our room was not ready till 1pm, so we headed for the ... Read More
We embarked on the 18th June in Southampton - very smooth process, everyone was helpful and we were parked and on the ship in less than half an hour. Basically a walk on. Our room was not ready till 1pm, so we headed for the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. Crowded but not overly so. We found a table easily and had a nice lunch. Our stateroom was on the 7th deck, in mid ship, starboard. It was very spacious, and we had enough room to unpack all our 6 suitcases. Managed to find room for everything. Suitcases fitted well inside one another under the bed. Some people complained that there was a lack of drawers, but we were ok with the storage provided. There are large storage cupboards above the bed (have to stand on the bed to get to your stuff, but that's ok). There was kettle and things to make tea and coffee with. I have heard that not all sailings have that facility but only those that sail from Southampton due to the large proportion of UK cruisers. The balcony was very private - noone can look from the top, bottom or side. The bathroom was amazingly large - biggest shower cubicle we've had in any cabin. Shower was very powerful, and there is a leg shaving rest for ladies!The toiletries supplied were of very superior quality so that I didn't feel a need to use my own as I have done on previous cruises. The dining was superb. We had freedom dining and could dine anytime between 6 - 930pm. The food was excellent and the service amazing. They couldn't do enough to please you. We were so pleased with it that we never felt a need to try any of the speciality restaurants. However, on the last night, we ventured into Qsine - amazing experience. Really good service and food. Breakfast and Lunch we had in the Aquaspa Cafe next to the Spa Fitness area. It served a variety of healthy options which we thought was excellent. Organic breads, homemade jams, lots of fruit, beautiful salads. The shows in the evening were top notch. Amazing shows from their own dancers and the celebrities they brought in were of very high quality as well, from comedian to violinist & hypnotist. The other guests on board were mostly able bodied over 50s. There were hardly any children (maybe we saw about 20). Apparently children are not common on this ship due to other ships providing more facilities and onboard entertainment for them. This factor was one of the things that made this cruise so enjoyable and relaxing. The pool area was very civilised. The sunbeds were plentiful, people didn't really hog them and were quite polite. The beds were padded and very comfortable. There were even double sunbeds and various interesting looking comfy chairs for sitting or lying on. The indoor pool area was useful on cool wet days at sea. We were not in Aquaspa class, but we were able to purchase use of the Persian Gardens for a fee (about $200 for 2 of us for the 14 days). We used it quite a lot for relaxing in, after a day touring, and on sea days. Well worth it if you like that kind of thing, and much cheaper than booking an aquaspa stateroom. There were heated stonebeds, mild sauna and steam room. All communal which was a plus for us. Otherwise there are separate saunas in the changing rooms for men and women. Altogether this was a wonderfully relaxing mostly adult cruise. People we met were really nice and the crew couldn't do enough. I made a complaint one day about some misinformation they gave us in Stockholm - the concierge sent us a bottle of wine, a glass of chocolates, 2 free shuttle tickets for Copenhagen, and refunded our shuttle for Stockholm that we'd purchased! Talk about trying their best. We would certainly cruise with Celebrity again. They are the fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
This was our second Celebrity cruise but the first on Eclipse Embarkation was so smooth, it really didn't take any time at all and Southampton is well organised for ships as large as the Eclipse. The room was ready and ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity cruise but the first on Eclipse Embarkation was so smooth, it really didn't take any time at all and Southampton is well organised for ships as large as the Eclipse. The room was ready and excellent;plenty of room, neat, clean with friendly staff meeting you. We really liked the design. We did Select Dining and didn't have to wait more than 15 mins on any night in the Moonlight Sonata dining room. We saw a variety of waiting staff who were all excellent and attentive, remembering you even if they did not serve you that night. At this point we must say how wonderful the staff were; they never failed to speak as you walked by them and could not do enough to please you. They were so patient with those who considered it was their place to criticise, far more than we could have been. How mealie-mouthed some people can be! We enjoyed the trip around the kitchens and the Head Chef proved very entertaining, as was Que. The entertainment was OK although we would personally have preferred more comedy.We enjoyed the Behind the Podium lectures We bought a Rick Steve's guide to use to walk around the ports on our own; our advice is that if you are fit do most of these ports on your own, language is not usually a barrier and the buses, trams and trains are reliable and cheaper. Disembarkation was excellent and slick yet we didn't feel they were in a hurry to get rid of us to clean the cabins for the next trip. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We liked the stateroom and the quality build of the ship. It certainly has a wow factor.iLounge was brilliant with really good staff - computer courses were good and entertaining too.Smoking - there is a no smoking policy which does not ... Read More
We liked the stateroom and the quality build of the ship. It certainly has a wow factor.iLounge was brilliant with really good staff - computer courses were good and entertaining too.Smoking - there is a no smoking policy which does not appear to be enforced. People were smoking on their balconies throughout the cruise. Smoking is permitted in the Sky Observation Lounge in a corner on the port side which makes the whole lounge unusable for non-smokers.Food - (in the main dining room)disappointing. One starter was just a wedge of iceberg lettuce with an ordinary tomato sliced over it - no other garnish. Lobster bisque tasted as though it came out of a packet. Did not dare to try the speciality restaurants.Oceanview cafe - beverage stations were badly laid out leading to queues of frustrated people. Supplies of teabags kept running out.Staff - not very motivated, some quite surly/miserable.Cruise Director - where did they get him from? I've seen amateur MCs do better.Entertainment - otherwise very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Celebrity Cruises, ship Eclipse, 14 days, Southampton return. The Eclipse is a new ship having been launched in April 2010 and it is amazing. It's huge, holds 2,800 passengers and was sold out on our trip. New ship, it gets a 10 out ... Read More
Celebrity Cruises, ship Eclipse, 14 days, Southampton return. The Eclipse is a new ship having been launched in April 2010 and it is amazing. It's huge, holds 2,800 passengers and was sold out on our trip. New ship, it gets a 10 out of 10. We had a balcony cabin and it was identical to every other cabin we have had while cruising. The only difference was the layout. Every second cabin the beds are reversed - near the window or near the washroom. As usual, great cabin staff. Dining was available in the Main dining room, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Main dining room food gets a 10 out of 10 for presentation but 7 out of 10 for quality. In other words, it looked better than it tasted. Our dinner on the final night was really bad - both my spouse and I spent a great deal of the late evening hours on the throne. Also had the "Lido" deck buffet style for three meals each day. The Lido gets a 6 out of 10 for food. The layout of this areas is confounding. People are going in every direction and a great number of them pay no attention. There were also three specialty dining rooms open for dinner - Qsine, Murano, and Tuscany. We tried Tuscany (Italian) and it gets a 7 out of 10 for both categories. The Murano (French) gets a solid 10 out of 10 for each. It was a wonderful experience. The service in all areas was at par but for the price I would have expected something a little better, especially since they had said to staff the new ship they took the best from the rest of the fleet. Ports of call - Zeebrugges Belgium, Warnemunde Germany, Stockholm Sweden, Helsinki Finland, St. Petersburg Russia, Tallin Estonia, and Rotterdam Netherlands. It was a part of the world we had never been to, so we really did not know what to expect. In a lot of ways it is not a lot different from parts of North America. Sailing into Stockholm reminded us all of the 1,000 islands in the St. Lawrence. The best stop for us was St. Petersburg. It's easy to understand why there was a revolution. The concentrated wealth that must have been in that city is incredible! All in all a nice cruise. It gets a 7 out of 10. Of our four cruises it rates behind the Eastern Med. and Alaska but above the Caribbean. Complaints? Too many kids on the ship left on their own, i,e. running up and own the halls at 2 in the morning. (that's a chance you take with a summer cruise which is about the only time you can get to this part of the world with any chance of good weather - which was sunny and high 70's every day. Only rained twice and that was overnight). This cruise had 5 of the 14 days at sea. With the great weather there was not enough outdoor space. It was also not necessary to have 5 sea days. The last day was a sea day and I could have rowed faster! They were just killing time as the second officer told me during our tour of the bridge. Only other complaint was just the size of the ship. While the ship itself was new and spectacular, I think size has an impact on the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen in the main dining room. By the way, they also ran out of stuff like skim milk, some types of soft drinks, and some brands of beer. Would I sail with Celebrity again? Maybe yes, maybe no. Given a choice between Holland America and Celebrity, I would likely select Holland America. 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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