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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to ... Read More
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to that one. This was a 7-day round trip Alaska cruise out of Vancouver. EMBARKATION - For the first time ever we spent time in town prior to the cruise and boarded on the latter end of the time window - just after 2:00. The luggage drop off, check-in and other areas felt like a ghost town. It was truly eerie, making us wonder if we were in the right place even though we went through here two years ago. There were zero waits except at customs where we waited 2-3 minutes. Other than this it was walk up, take care of business, walk to the next place. The entire process took about 20 minutes, with most of that time spent walking from one place to another. We walked slowly with elderly parents with us. While we love to board early and begin our cruise experience early, we also love avoiding lines. We may start boarding late for a better embarkation experience. PUBLIC AREAS - We walked the ship and got a feel for the layout, confirming it was exactly like the Equinox except we had Cellar Masters wine bar where they had the Gastropub, which we preferred with the TV and beer theme. Other than that, everything was clean, well maintained, very classy. FOOD - We thoroughly enjoyed the food on board. We dined in the "traditional" areas, Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and lunch, Moonlight Sonata for dinner. Food was very good in all areas, with lunch being especially nice with many choices and great quality throughout. My only complaint was the length of dinner. Service was good but a bit slow in the evening. I'm not sure if they waiters thought we would enjoy taking our time in a 2 hour dinner, or they were just so busy during the busy times we ate that they simply could not keep up. We had some slow eaters with us but dinners should have taken 90 minutes not two hours. We had any time dining and ate at all different times, from 6:30 to 8:00. Desserts in Oceanview were never as good as they looked - although ice cream was very good. Desserts in the sit down restaurants were all very good. We also had a meal in Tuscan Grill and one in Murano. Service and food were very good, but had a few minor service issues in Murano - including my wife with an allergy to shellfish had a minor reaction to the flambeed lobster from another table. She had to leave in the middle of the meal to make sure the reaction didn't become a major one. Had they asked about her allergy or mentioned this as a possible allergic reaction, we may have done things differently. We ate family style in Tuscan Grill and it was very enjoyable - highly recommended. BARS - We had a drinks package and enjoyed many of the bars. Service and drink quality was very good throughout. We discovered a few new drinks we had not had before. ENTERTAINMENT - I saw three shows and one comedian. The comedian was OK, the shows were good. Especially enjoyed the last show - Euphoria - but all three had some real high points. The musicians on board were good but not great. None stood out to us. We really enjoyed DJ Leo, especially on the first night. Loved his work on the "turntable". CABIN - see below. DEBARKATION - We had an 11:00 AM flight so we worked hard to make sure we made our flight. Here's what we did for the perfect early debarkation: - We met around 7:05 at Cafe al Bacio. We got in line soon after, with about 30 people in front of us. We schlepped our own bags - not an easy task with three elderly people in our party - but we did it without incident. - The line to debark started moving around 7:30. - Ship exit and customs was very fast. We probably got in our two cabs by 7:40. - I expect we arrived at the airport around 8:05. Cabs were $32 each Canadian. - All lines at the airport were short including flight check-in, bag drop, customs, and security. We were on our way to the gate by 8:35. So a process we expected would get us to the gate by 10:30 instead got us there almost two hours early. Lesson - if you plan to get off the ship early, even a 10:00 AM flight is possible unless there are unexpected delays. Our plane ride home was uneventful and we landed in Raleigh before 9:00 PM. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The first part of the critique here is about the Celebrity experience… This was our first time sailing with Celebrity. Overall it was excellent across the board, with a couple of notable exceptions. We were traveling with another ... Read More
The first part of the critique here is about the Celebrity experience… This was our first time sailing with Celebrity. Overall it was excellent across the board, with a couple of notable exceptions. We were traveling with another couple who have previously sailed several times on Celebrity and persuaded us to join them on this trip. POSITIVES: BY FAR, the biggest Celebrity Eclipse stand out experience for us, was the restaurant LUMINAE which is exclusive to suite guests. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The staff, service, and cuisine were virtually flawless the entire week. Meal after meal exceeded some of the more exceptional restaurant experiences we’ve had anywhere in the world. Personally, (and if you possibly can swing it and/or are considering a suite), LUMINAE alone would be worth the upgrade. Some of the other suite perks are worthwhile as well, the suite package included their “1-2-3” with fast unlimited internet, package, premium beverage package and the varying credits aboard”. The rest of the suite “perks” are more limited (at least at the Sky level and this class of ship). Although the butlers do a very good job, I believe they have too many guests to attend to at times, which is not their fault. The housekeeping staff were just great as well. Zero complaints. The ships interior (and this is pre-remodel coming in 2020/2021) are very very nice. The open atrium effect , the “Solarium” indoor adult pool area, spa, restaurants, etc etc. were all just fantastic. ______________ Daisy our butler was first rate all the way. Even when a couple of minor issues occurred she was able to more than compensate and/or resolve. We loved her and her smiling face every day. She's a very hard worker with great attention to detail and your customers' satisfaction. We were very very happy with her. Juan Pablo and Jose our servers every day at Luminae did a non-stop outstanding job. Quickly learned our likes, dislikes and accommodated us at every single opportunity. Smiles and friendliness as well as great attention to detail and professionalism were ever present. On one occasion that my husband left dinner to return to the suite not feeling well, Hugo quickly asked me how he could assist. He sent ginger ale, a bread basket and chicken soup to the room within minutes. Another outstanding interaction. Absolutely loved getting to chat with Bianca at Luminae. She is just awesome!!! _______________ The "suite" experience really made the trip for us. The benefits were well worth it to us. I've already recommended two friends to the Celebrity line and that they at least get a Sky Suite to enjoy the perks. On the negative side, I wanted to make a point of relaying that almost every interaction we had with staff members at Cafe al Bacio was bad! Between us and the other couple we were traveling with (also in a Sky Suite) we stopped by Cafe al Bacio every day. It wasn't just one or two people. It was daily, and not limited to anyone person, different people. I couldn't give you one good recommendation or come up with a name of one person there that even smiled or who wasn't looking and acting like they couldn't give a damn. Sometimes we were kept waiting while two or three were congregated chatting with one customer or each other. Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. And weren't going for complicated coffee drinks. It was for a couple of sweets, some tea, a coffee to go, etc. It was very unfortunate. Not even the Suite room card changed there attitude. I'm only speaking for the four of us in our traveling group. We talked about it daily, and tried each time we went back to smile ourselves and temper our requests. The Sunset Bar bartenders were also all and always unfriendly. No interaction or personality or smiles. In contrast all of the bartenders at Ocean, Mast and the other bars were great. The only other comment (negative) is about the room service. Which, food wise, was very unfortunate. The so-called extended menu I assume for suite guests, as you know, is only a few extra items. The one night we stayed in the suite and ordered from that portion of the menu, we got a filet (passable) and a ribeye (AWFUL), crab cakes. Gross. I'm sure we were spoiled with the great food at Luminae, but ... My suggestion would be to have a REAL expanded menu for suite guests that was actually above par. I'm sure the intent is to get guests to the restaurants for the best experience, but occasionally dining is preferred, and it shouldn't be such a sad experience. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We live in the State of Washington and it was about a 75 minute drive from our house, through Canadian Customs and parking in the lower levels at Canada Place, They took our luggage, then an elevator ride up and we were on our way through ... Read More
We live in the State of Washington and it was about a 75 minute drive from our house, through Canadian Customs and parking in the lower levels at Canada Place, They took our luggage, then an elevator ride up and we were on our way through check in, and customs. I think we might have waited 5 minutes, then onto the ship by 11:00. One of the most absolutely pain-less embarkations we have ever done in 25 cruises. Lunch in the Ocean View, along with visiting with a few people on this ever so friendly cruise, and our room was ready. The entire cruise was GREAT. The water was smooth the entire trip. My favorite part was the three hours at the Hubbard Glacier. The Captain got within a half mile, although the glacier is so huge, it seemed like we could almost touch it. The entertainment was quite good overall. Singers and Dancers did several shows that were all very good. A couple nights of comedians were so-so, Two highlight entertainment features were the A cappella group from Vox Audio, and The Not Really the Three Tenors. Both were fabulous!!!! We enjoy meeting new people each night at dinner, so we choose Select dining. Excellent service by Juan and his assistant. Food was also excellent, with a great variety on each and every menu. We had breakfast in the Ocean View Buffet and this was also a great experience. Overall, one of our very best cruises. We got off at each port but honestly we just enjoy the ship anymore. Although we were an hour late getting to Vancouver, disembarkation was just as easy as getting on the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because our extended family who live in Vancouver were already booked on it. We were a group of 11 and it was a very enjoyable time for all of us (ages 7 to 85). The food in the Oceanview Cafe and the Moonlight ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our extended family who live in Vancouver were already booked on it. We were a group of 11 and it was a very enjoyable time for all of us (ages 7 to 85). The food in the Oceanview Cafe and the Moonlight Sonata were outstanding and went above our expectations. The service overall was very good. The best part of the cruise was the Hubbard Glacier and dogsledding in Juneau. This was the first cruise for our immediate family and we quite enjoyed the experience of being somewhere different everyday. Our cabin with balcony was surprisingly spacious for the 4 of us - there was lots of storage space for our stuff too! The Alaska ports we stopped at made it very convenient and easy for young kids as well as the grandparents in our group to get off the ship and explore. We are looking forward to our next cruise! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise with Celebrity, and it certainly won’t be our last… In fact it was our second cruise on the Eclipse; we’d been around the Baltics and to St Petersburg (another superb itinerary) when she was newer and shone ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity, and it certainly won’t be our last… In fact it was our second cruise on the Eclipse; we’d been around the Baltics and to St Petersburg (another superb itinerary) when she was newer and shone a little bit more, but the slightly older lady definitely hasn’t lost her sparkle! This was one amazing itinerary- sailing out of Vancouver (spectacular in itself), on to Icy Strait Point, a trip to Hubbard Glacier, back to Juneau, Ketchikan and back down the Inside Passage towards home. The sights in the right weather, which we were lucky enough to have all week, are unsurpassed: snow-topped mountains, small islands dotted with pines, early morning mists, clear blue skies, humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, sea otters, sea lions, seals, bald headed eagles, bears, and a glacier which grew before our eyes in a glassy sea dotted with curiously shaped ice blocks, some the size of a iceberg… Celebrity looked after us, and very well we felt: our balcony stateroom was cleaned twice a day by Imade, the best cabin steward we’ve ever had in our six cruises to date. Yes, it’s knocked about a little bit since the last time we were on board, but we’re all a bit weathered with age… Food was exceptionally good in the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room where service was prompt and good humoured, thanks to Julius Caesar (minus his helmet), Santos and wine waiter, Rakman. We enjoyed the variety and quality of the buffet but found it difficult to get a table at times, one of the disadvantages of doing a cruise where many would otherwise stay outside on their sunbeds from dawn til dusk. On this cruise, we took to having lunch back in the main dining room, where we enjoyed all sorts of treats such as duck and steaks. Service in the bars was good although we felt that there should have been more staff on occasions. The main shows in the theatre were a little odd for our tastes at times- some strange song choices, and some weird concepts, one of which involved a top hat (!) but the singers and dancers were all well drilled and worked hard around the ship with their ad hoc shows to keep us entertained. Well sone to Simon, our Cruise Director. We particularly liked Savannah Smith, and knew that if ever the ship’s fog-horn lost its bellow, Savannah would step right in. What a pair of lungs! We enjoyed her so much, we ate lunch early one day just to attend her extra matinee show. With only three ports in the week we chose to book independent excursions at Icy Strait Point (whale watching) and Juneau (a city tour, a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier and another whale watch) which were cheaper than those on offer with the cruise company. We were also on smaller boats for the whale watching, an obvious plus. We chose the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles tour in Ketchikan and were glad we did. The added advantage of this particular itinerary was the fact that so much was seen from the ship itself- the scenery, the glacier and the wildlife were all completely unforgettable. This was the first cruise we’ve done which included a drinks package- and what a difference that made! And despite various crew members’ efforts to get us to upgrade from the Classic to the Premium, we felt our needs were more than catered for with the basic one on offer. Bottled water, coffees, hot chocolates, endless cocktails and glasses of wines from around the world kept us more than satisfied. In fact we’ve told ourselves that we’d have to think twice before booking another cruise without that particular offer… We were lucky enough to be invited onto the helipad for the Vancouver sailaway where we were treated to exceptional views of the disappearing city while drinking complimentary champagne. We also found ourselves invited to a lunchtime drinks and canapes party up in the Sky Observation lounge, our favourite bar- a generous gesture we felt. And we couldn’t believe our luck when we were sent a special invitation to dine with the Hotel and the Public Relations Directors in the Tuscan Grille one evening… all these little touches made it a holiday to remember. We’re particularly pleased that we’ve already got our next Celebrity cruise booked- to the far East at Christmas on the Millenium. We’re already considering the next, to Venice, and the next, to South America… Thanks to all the thoroughly nice people we met on board, crew and fellow travellers, who made our first trip to Alaska a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We cruised on the Eclipse to Alaska out of Vancouver, embarkation July 21, 2019. The Eclipse is very well maintained, with ongoing maintenance, both interior and exterior; exterior painting while in ports. The Eclipse is very easy to ... Read More
We cruised on the Eclipse to Alaska out of Vancouver, embarkation July 21, 2019. The Eclipse is very well maintained, with ongoing maintenance, both interior and exterior; exterior painting while in ports. The Eclipse is very easy to navigate and even with a full passenger sailing, you never felt crowded. Both embarkation and debarkation in Vancouver was smooth and very well organized. On embarkation day, we enjoyed the Concierge Lunch in the MDR. It was nice to have a relaxing lunch as there was a lot of activity in the Oceanview Café. Likewise, on debarkation day, we enjoyed the Concierge class breakfast, also in the MDR and then waited for our luggage tag numbers to be called for debarkation. There was a continental breakfast table with coffee, tea, juices, ice water and croissants. It was a nice way to end our cruise. We are residents of Vancouver and while we are very proud of our city, I will defer to our visitors to our beautiful city, to comment on their experiences. We opted for a Concierge Class stateroom, Deck 10, Cabin 1162. The location was close to the glass elevators and stairways. Our stateroom attendant, Cosmas, was outstanding. He was very pleasant, friendly and very accommodating. Our stateroom was cleaned on a very timely basis each day, as was nightly turndown service. Our Concierge attendant, Dana, assisted us with certain requests and it was so convenient to not have to stand in line at Guest Services. Our evening canapes were delivered at 5:00 p.m. and while many reviews have been negative, we found them to be fresh and quite tasty. The nachos were crisp as was the garlic toasted bread. The bruschetta was cold and vegetables crisp. The salmon/caviar rolls were fresh as was the brie cheese. The Oceanview Café was very busy, especially for breakfast and lunch. Because the weather was quite cool and we experienced a lot of rain, it was not possible to eat outside of the Oceanview Café or at the Mast Grill so we were confined to finding a table inside and it was quite congested but it’s a matter of being patient. Unfortunately, by the time you secured a table, your food was not hot….warm at best but that’s not the fault of Celebrity. You can’t control the weather. The service staff was accommodating, very helpful and very welcoming and friendly. We noticed that tables were cleaned immediately after a guest left. I have very severe food allergies, resulting in carrying an EpiPen everywhere I went. Prior to the cruise, a Cruisecritic post recommended that you call Celebrity and advise them of your food allergies, which I did. But to be extra cautious, I made business card size pieces of paper outlining my allergies and included my name and cabin number. We dined in the Moonlight Sonata, Murano & Tuscan Grille and every server had a small printout from the ship of the allergies I reported to Celebrity. If there were any questions by the Chef, both Chefs in Murano & Tuscan Grille came to our table to ensure that the ingredients were safe. I was so impressed and appreciative of their attention to detail. We had Anytime Dining in the Moonlight Sonata. Our experience with our servers, Elmer & Ryan was so pleasant and entertaining and while we had a table for 2, we met wonderful people on either side of us. Consequently, we asked for their section every night we ate there and we were seated immediately, with the exception of one night where we had to wait 30 minutes. We went to the Martini Bar until we were called. We dined in Murano and had the best experience. The quality of food was exceptional. The Sommelier was outstanding. His knowledge of wines and showing true interest in your taste, exceeded our expectations. Our server, Gael was also fantastic and provided outstanding service. As an aside, we attended the Food & Wine Pairing event, hosted by the Murano Sommelier. If you enjoy wines and wanting to understand how foods can be mirrored or contrasted with wines, this is a must event. He was very entertaining and shared very valuable information. We dined in Tuscan Grille as well. While it was a pleasant experience, it was not Murano. While our server was knowledgeable, his suggestions and recommendations were overwhelming, consequently, resulting in far too much food. My DH had the filet mignon (medium) and it was served closer to medium well…very well. I ordered the Ribeye (medium rare) and it arrived medium well. The Entertainment was very good in the Theatre. The production show ROCK was done very well. We especially enjoyed the 2 comedians, Randy Johnson and Kevin Jordan. The adult show by Randy Johnson was hilarious. The 60s performance in the Grand Lobby was packed and while the passengers were invited to dance with the performers, passengers on Decks 4 & 5 were also participating. It was a great evening. We met with Artur in Future Cruise Sales as we had a few questions regarding ‘booked’ cruises we have in 2020 & 2021. He clarified our inquiries and was very pleasant to deal with. We appreciated his efforts. I attended the Glass Blowing class and made a flower. It was an incredible experience and the result so rewarding. Having no experience, it was a bit daunting but the instructor was very encouraging and helpful. It was great fun! Onboard Shopping was good. As we all know, the best day is the last day at sea. There was good selection and the staff in all stores were helpful and pleasant and we never felt pressured to buy. There are lots of onboard activities and you’re never bored. We were always busy. Our Ports of Call were Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan and, of course, the Hubbard Glacier. The Hubbard Glacier was amazing to experience. Going through the ice flows to the Glacier was very exciting, hearing the ice rub against the side of the ship and seeing the calving were sights that no picture or video could do them justice. We attended the Park West Art Auction many years ago and decided to go again. The format certainly has changed. It’s hardly an ‘auction’ but an art ‘sale’. The price points were ridiculous. The first piece started at $15,000; saying the reserve was $13,500 and the ‘bidding’ started at $13,000. At an auction, you never divulge the ‘reserve’. All in all, not many pieces were sold and the 5 or 6 pieces that were sold were primarily purchased by one person. The format was basically to get you interested in pieces and then make appointments with you to get you to come back for the hard sell. It was disappointing. The Casino has the tightest slot machines we’ve ever encountered. Getting a bit of a return is fun but just feeding a machine helped us decide very quickly that we’d pass. Overall, this was an amazing cruise. The Eclipse is beautiful, the staff and service, the best! We met such wonderful people who made our cruise very memorable. Being Canadian, there were more Canadians than we have ever met on any other cruise – from our own city of Vancouver to the Prairies to the East Coast. Our neighbours to the South were fun and very entertaining and our friends from “Down Under” and the UK were very complimentary of Vancouver and, of course, Alaska. It truly was a once in a lifetime cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Great experience with Celebrity cruises ships before decided to vacation with them again Great service above and beyond expectations Melvin -room man amazing talents, had our room in tip top shape every morning and night. Making ... Read More
Great experience with Celebrity cruises ships before decided to vacation with them again Great service above and beyond expectations Melvin -room man amazing talents, had our room in tip top shape every morning and night. Making sure that we had everything in our room that we would need. Very friendly and outgoing. Khristopher our waiter in dinning room met all our needs remembering our likes and dislikes , very positive and outgoing attitude Ajit -wine Steward met all our needs and remembered what we liked,also suggesting new wines to try. Very positive and great energy Booked a transfer with Celebrity from airport to ship terminal this was very well organized, staff toke our luggage all we had to do was follow the celebrity rep and get on the bus. All amazing staff on this vessel in all areas that we were exposed to., The embarkation was busy the celebrity team made the line move quickly, disembark was very quick and well planned out Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Traveled with my wife, two daughters (in their 20s), their boyfriends and one of his daughters (9) on the Celebrity Eclipse departing July 7 returning July 14 round trip from Vancouver. We stayed in Vancouver at JW Marriott Parque for ... Read More
Traveled with my wife, two daughters (in their 20s), their boyfriends and one of his daughters (9) on the Celebrity Eclipse departing July 7 returning July 14 round trip from Vancouver. We stayed in Vancouver at JW Marriott Parque for three nights prior to the Sunday departure. We had two full days in Vancouver. I woke up first thing in the morning and walked to the Canada Place Cruise Terminal to watch a HAL ship dock, walked back to the hotel and met up with the family. We did the Capilano River Regional Park (recommended), and then Gas Town. Had lunch at a restaurant named Local-ok. My wife and I had dinner at Provence Marinaside-excellent and enjoyed tasting many different BC wines. They are able to draw a glass or taste out of any bottle with a syringe and nitrogen. Following day went to Granville Island by Ferry (recommended) and then the Science Place (I have aged out of this attraction but interesting and more suited for young children. Dinner with everyone at Floata in China Town-food was excellent but ambiance was like being in the twilight zone. It is on the third floor of a mostly empty shopping center and it appears more like a banquet hall than a restaurant. The food made up for the atmosphere. Great Dim Sum and Peking Duck. That night, hung out at a bar on a 6th floor terrace-Paul McCartney was in concert next door, so we listened to the end and the encore while we enjoyed our nigh caps. Embarkation day my wife and I went to Mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral and returned to the hotel to meet the kids et al and catch a private transfer to the terminal. I arranged the transfer through the concierge in a micro bus, rather than hail 3 cabs. There is no Uber et al in Vancouver. We arrived about 12:45 pm at the terminal and it was not too crowded. My wife and I were in a suite, so we all breezed through except for the bottleneck and US ICE. It took, about 30 minutes to clear. Once on the other side, we were met by a greeter and escorted on board and to our cabins. My wife and I were in RS 1612 and the children were in connecting Veranda staterooms 9233-9255. Suite was awesome, so was the butler and the steward. It was really nice to have the living area for congregations. First night we all dined at Luminae. Excellent food and service. Better quality wines than MDR. We did pay for our children to join us, but it was worth the price for the wines. There are higher quality wines not on the menu and you do not pay any up charges. First day at sea we explored and ate lunch at Sushi on 5-Lobster R amen highly recommended. Dinner at Muranos (excellent). Second day was Sitka. We watched the arrival from the Helicopter pad. I have been to Sitka many times before (cruises and fishing). So my wife and mostly walked, shopped, and did walk through the Historic Park. You now shuttle to town from a cruise dock located about 10 miles north. Last time I was in Sitka on a cruise, it was a tender. Kids did excursions. Third day was Hubbard Glacier-breathtaking. We catered a lunch in our cabin (sushi, salads, apps, and roast beef sandwiches). Very cool to entertain in your suite with a Glacier in the background. There was an excursion for an up and close view of the Glacier, in hindsight this would have been a very cool excursion. Next day was Junea. I hired a cab from the taxi line for a morning tour and we went to Mendenhal, the Arboretum and the Tram. Highly recommend all and the cab kept us away from the crowds. We had a late lunch of crab and Tracey's (recommended), shopped and then a drink at the Red Dog Saloon (must see). Dinner that night was MDR. Next day was Ketchikan were my wife and I went Zip lining. Good excursion but in hind sight on a short port day, I rather would have explored Ketchikan. My wife's advise is to book the excursions on longer port days, so you also have time to explore. Dinner was at Tuscan. Highlight was the appetizers. I order an upcharged NY Strip-flavor was good but the texture was mushy (think more short rib than steak). Stick to the apps and Italian offerings. Next day was at Sea with lunch at Sushi 5 and dinner at Luminae. We did the ship's tour which was very cool. My daughter won a bingo while playing our cards. I told her I would split the winnings, so I used my half to spread some love to the crew who had taken care of us so well the prior week. Embarkation is painless in suite class. My wife and I bar hopped the prior evening while our butler packed for us. So we just went to bed, woke up about 8:00, was at Michael's Club by 9:00, and hung out until after the last boarding group was called. We were escorted off the Ship through Customs. Two of our party disembarked first thing in the am to catch a flight home by 12:20 pm, they made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare in a cab. The remaining group needed a large Taxi, so we had to wait about 25 minutes for them to procure one. We stayed at the Westin Grand (JW was nicer but the service was very good). We went to church, had Pho and then went to the Maritime Museum with dinner at Granville Island. We walked home (doable but about an hour) and had Gelato as a reward. To bed for early return Passage home was unremarkable except for realizing we needed a duffel to fit our dirty clothes with the original space in our suitcases displaced by our purchases. Went downstairs at 6:30 am to inquire as to procuring luggage on an early Monday in downtown Vancouver from the bellman. The Concierge overheard my conversation, told me to sit tight, and procured me a large hard suit case from housekeeping that was left by another guest. Returned to my room, insured the lack of contraband in said suit case, and from leaving the hotel to sitting in the Maple Leaf Lounge was one hour. Every night was saw a show which we enjoyed. We also enjoyed Milos (a naturalist lector), the various live music and the silent disco. The ship is impeccable and so is the service. 95% of our food was delicious. I highly recommend the suite experience for two main reasons, first, you get to cut in line for everything and second you have free reign of the restaurants. My only expenses on the ship was inviting my kids plus to dinner, two excursions and the terrible steak. I did have some trepidation about a mass market ship but it exceeded my expectations and we reserved a cruise from Ireland to Iceland on Celebrity for next summer. The Ship itself is beautiful and well laid out. Time passed to quickly while on this cruise. I didn't even have time to visit the Casino other than 45 minutes of Blackjack showing my daughters how to play. My wife and I cruise with Crystal over Thanksgiving leaving from Miami. I will write a comparison then, but Celebrity is a great cruise for families in that my wife and I were abler to enjoy a Crystal like experience, while my kids enjoyed the plethora of activities available. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We enjoyed our 7 day Alaska cruise on the Eclipse. The Eclipse ship was comfortable, spacious , and clean. Everyone was so friendly and the service was wonderful. Our stateroom 8257 was very comfortable & clean, we had a great view ... Read More
We enjoyed our 7 day Alaska cruise on the Eclipse. The Eclipse ship was comfortable, spacious , and clean. Everyone was so friendly and the service was wonderful. Our stateroom 8257 was very comfortable & clean, we had a great view from our Balcony. Our housekeeper "Melvin" was so very cheerful and helpful. Melvin took care of all our needs every day, ie extra towels as many time that we needed them , he placed ice in the ice bucket every evening for me at 9 pm, brought personal items for our person care when needed, . Melvin always greeted us every day when he saw us with a warm & cheerful good morning (day) & have a wonderful time I hope Celebrity realizes they have a winner they have n Melvin I have some severe food allergies & was very concerned about the preparation of the food during my cruise. I am very allergic to MSG, raw Ginger, raw Garlic, spices like curry, turmeric, cumin so had to avoid them especially Indian & Asian dishes. Therefore, on the first day of the cruise I spoke to the Maitre d" in the the main dinning room and explained my concerns. He was really understanding and made special arrangements for me, he spoke personally with the chef about my dietary needs. Then he arranged for me to see the next days menu so I could select what I would like to eat and then checked with the chef to confirm that the meal was safe. By doing this I was able to relax and enjoy my dinner every evening without having to make it an issue. I would like to say thank you to our amazing and charming waiter, Vincent and the assistant Viviano. They took special attention to all our needs and made every evening very special. I extent my special thank you to the Maitre d, and the Chef for taking very good care of me. We ate at two of the Specialty Dinning Restaurants and enjoyed the meal, and attentive service. We selected the Tuscan Grille for a romantic Italian dinner & exceptional service (2 times) also the Qsine La Petite Chef because of the unique dinning experience show & gourmet dining (2 times) We enjoyed the 4 shore excursions that we took. Alaska is a beautiful place and make sure you go ashore or take am excursion to experience the place.The excursions are expensive but worth it, It was difficult so select which ones to take. My favorite was the Hubbard Glacier Inside Passage Cruise. Make sure you dress warmly for Alaska as it was very cold during the Alaska cruise. I, actually had to purchase a warm fleecy hoodie at one of the stores on the cruise to wear to keep warm . The entertainment shows in the Theater were amazing. The director of entertainment Lauren was very profession, funny and delightful to speak to when she was on board the cruise. I would recommend this cruise to my friends and family if they show any interest in going on an Alaska in the near future. In closing I wish to say thank you to all the staff/crew that made this cruise a wonderful memory. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Once in a lifetime cruise, what an amazing trip! Sailing the inside passage was beautiful and scenic. I sailed with my husband, son and sister with her family. We choose to sail from Vancouver to sail the inside passage and we have been on ... Read More
Once in a lifetime cruise, what an amazing trip! Sailing the inside passage was beautiful and scenic. I sailed with my husband, son and sister with her family. We choose to sail from Vancouver to sail the inside passage and we have been on the Eclipse before and loved it! Once again Celebrity delivered an amazing vacation for my family. Arrived in Vancouver the day before and used the Canada line train from airport to hotel near Canada Place. We stayed at the Auberge Hotel, its location was perfect. Close walk from train and to Canada Place, no need for taxi at all. We ate dinner at the Elephant bar and it was very good. I have heard mixed reviews on check in at the pier so my husband and I decided to go down there early and check things out. After speaking with a worker at the port he suggested to check in before noon. We decided to collect our luggage at the Hotel and checkout at 10:30am and walked over to the pier. We entered through the parking garage and were expedited through immediately. We dropped our luggage and went on through to check in. We were told we could get our sea pass cards and not go through customs if we wanted to still explore Vancouver , but we decided to go right on the ship. My sister and her family stayed at the Pan Pacific which is on the pier. She just took the elevator down from the lobby right to check in so it was easy as well. The ship was in great shape and very clean . This was our second time on Eclipse and our 8th Celebrity cruise. The Eclipse was the first celebrity cruise we did when she was new and we have been hooked ever since. We have sailed Royal, Carnival, and Disney and Celebrity is perfect for us. The main reason is the consistency in their customer service and quality for what you pay. Plenty of choices for dinning and the quality to me hasn't changed much, but to be fair we usually don't dine in the main dinning room. For this trip we used Tuscan as our main dinning room and dinned in Murano as well. We stayed in Concierge class for this trip . Our cabin was exactly as expected, very clean but a little tired. We knew she was due for refurbishment, only complaint was the bed. It was very worn and hard as a rock. Thankfully their was beautiful scenery the entire cruise since we didn't sleep much. Tuscan grill is our favorite place to eat every cruise, since this ship doesn't have Lawn Club and the original Quisine restaurant we decided to do a five night package with Tuscan and Murano. I understand changing to La Petite Chef but I had no desire to try it. Not really into gimmicks just good quality food. Tuscan has cut back on their menu choices over the years but the quality is still great. Murano's menu never changes and its always good . In my opinion sushi on five is a bust, its never busy like it was when it was crepes and soups. We always go to the mast grill at least once and its good old comfort food. The ocean view was a bit more crowded then I remembered but the quality of food was still good. We did dine in the main dinning room one night all due to Menino Fernandes the maître D. What amazing customer service he offered us. We decided last minute to line up on deck 4 for anytime dinning and the line wasn't moving and the girl at podium wasn't saying anything just typing away on the computer. We waited fifteen minutes and decided to leave and go to Buffett so we didn't miss the comedian that night. As we were walking away my son was upset and we couldn't understand the lack out communication we entered the elevator and in comes Menino the maître D. He had over heard us and followed us in the elevator took us down to level three and walked us right to an available table. Amazing customer service, thank you! We had a great meal and still managed to make the show that night. Jorge was our server he was wonderful. Our server at Tuscan we had three nights was Shankar and one night Joby they were both great and attentive. Vladan and Irena were there to greet us each time with a smile and a welcome back great to see you again. This is why we love Celebrity they are always consistent with their customer service, they work really hard and always smile. We frequent café al bacio every cruise and they never disappoint. They were a lot of fun and service was great! The entertainment they brought on board was excellent as always. Loved the comedians! By far the best was Milos! He was charismatic and very informative. We went to all his lectures and loved his science talk in sky lounge. He really made our cruise. Thank you Milos! My husband and son took Oasis fishing charter from Ketchikan and enjoyed it very much. All ports had good shopping and beautiful sites to see. All in all another amazing vacation with Celebrity! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We regularly cruise with Celebrity, and our Alaska cruise on Eclipse was one of our best! The entire staff was professional and friendly, and our dining experiences were consistently enjoyable. Gorgeous, sunny weather was a bonus! The ... Read More
We regularly cruise with Celebrity, and our Alaska cruise on Eclipse was one of our best! The entire staff was professional and friendly, and our dining experiences were consistently enjoyable. Gorgeous, sunny weather was a bonus! The embarkation team at the port in Vancouver was friendly and efficient. We were quickly on board after arrival, making a great start to our vacation. We sailed in Aqua Class, so we dined in Blu for breakfast and dinner. Our entire experience was excellent with delicious, well-presented meals and outstanding service from the entire restaurant staff. We have been in Suite Class on our previous two cruises and didn't feel Blu was a step down from Luminae. The view out the floor-to-ceiling windows was stunning! We ate one dinner in Murano, which was a special experience and well worth the upcharge. We ate lunch at the Oceanview Cafe, where we enjoyed the wide variety of offerings. Everyone we encountered on board was friendly and professional. Cruz, our cabin steward, amazed us with his almost stealth-like work keeping our cabin in tip-top shape. We felt so spoiled! The fitness center was large with ample cardio equipment and weights. It was especially enjoyable to workout while watching the beautiful Alaska coastline go by while at sea Entertainment was hit and miss on our cruise, but we found the acts with singers in the Ensemble Lounge to be very enjoyable. We love the layout of Celebrity's Solstice Class ships. We never felt crowded, and we enjoy the artwork around the ship. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Quick review of our Celebrity Eclipse Hubbard Glacier Cruise June 20-30 2019....not one drop of rain the entire 10 days! The ship was very clean, friendly staff, decent buffet dining and ok main dining. We never had to wait more than 5 ... Read More
Quick review of our Celebrity Eclipse Hubbard Glacier Cruise June 20-30 2019....not one drop of rain the entire 10 days! The ship was very clean, friendly staff, decent buffet dining and ok main dining. We never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated in the main dining hall as we didn't have an assigned dining time. The wait staff was very polite, they are only human when small things are forgotten, and very quick to correct any oversight. The food was somewhat average, and portions were good. The beef wellington and lobster were very good, probably the best meal that we had during the main dining experience. Drinks/alcohol were plentiful, and not watered down. Several meals we only had one cocktail, as they were quite potent! We were in Cabin 7292 midship. Very quiet room, centrally located near the elevators, very comfortable beds and large bathroom and balcony. We found it to have plenty of storage. The onboard Entertainment was not great, the best show was Rondell Sheridan comedian. The casino was nice, never very crowded, but that may be due to the age of fellow travelers on an Alaskan cruise. Overall we would be happy to travel with Celebrity. The excursions we took were made via the ships webpage, and they did not disappoint! We saw an abundance of wildlife, had a wonderful experience! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had a great trip to Alaska the last week of June 2019. The weather was superb, the food and entertainment on board was amazing. Service was very good and all excursions went as planned. We were a group of 10 cruising together and the ... Read More
We had a great trip to Alaska the last week of June 2019. The weather was superb, the food and entertainment on board was amazing. Service was very good and all excursions went as planned. We were a group of 10 cruising together and the main dining staff did a terrific job of seating us each evening. The ship itself was a little tired but I understand it is going in for refit in 2020. It’s time. Our only disappointment was self induced to some extent. Unfortunately I left my jewelry on board. I realized my mistake within hours and called Celebrity to make a report. I knew exactly where it was in the stateroom. Two weeks have gone by and nothing has turned up. This should not be rocket science. Either the room cleaner found it or the new residents did. A word of advice - do not take good jewelry with you! I hoped and expected people to be more honest. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Of 23 cruises on several cruise lines, the Celebrity Eclipse was the BEST ship ever. Great attention to detail. So many little things that were a cut above other ships; food, friendliness, bands, Persian Spa, dimmer switches in the ... Read More
Of 23 cruises on several cruise lines, the Celebrity Eclipse was the BEST ship ever. Great attention to detail. So many little things that were a cut above other ships; food, friendliness, bands, Persian Spa, dimmer switches in the stateroom, and even the TV programming. Food: Although we didn’t eat in the beautiful main dining room, we can vouch for the great food and selections in the Blu Restaurant and the Ocean View buffet. The maitre’d in the Blu ensured we ate well even though gluten and dairy-free, especially the fantastic flour-less chocolate cake. They even had quail legs for an hors d’oeuvre. The Ocean View buffet had so much variety (e.g., three different fish dishes almost every day), that it took extreme self-control to not overeat (too much). :)) They had one ‘island’ that was “Chef’s Specials” that changed every day; one day Cajun, another ‘Californian’, etc. The buffet is well spread out so you hardly ever experienced that ‘frantic-ness’ of overcrowding seen on other ships. Plus they kept the buffet open until midnight or 1 AM, making it easy to have a mid-night snack after dancing for two+ hours every night. Coffee: Deserves a special mention. FINALLY, a ship that has strong, flavorful coffee…everywhere! (buffet , dining rooms, etc). We have been accustomed to bringing our own, very good coffee crystals to mix with ship’s coffee because it is usually so bad/weak. [Maybe just this ship? The CruiseCritic blogs were very mixed on this topic re Celebrity ships.] Gluten-free Desserts: Also a special mention. They were great!, especially the macaroons and the flour-less chocolate cake. Itinerary: We’ve been on Alaska cruises 7 times. Although we didn’t put in to Skagway or Sitka this time, we much enjoyed the smoother ‘inside’ (hardly any ocean) passage. The art in Ketchikan shops (x-1900 brothels) is always worth a stroll-through, as is a tour of Dolly’s House and the Totem Pole Heritage Museum. The Alaska State Museum has reopened in Juneau and is a MUST for a cruiser’s itinerary; great breadth, design, and quality content. Worth two hours. But…watch out for the dinosaur!!! (great photo opportunity). Bands: Contrary to other blogs on cruise ‘rating’ web sites, this particular ship did NOT exemplify that “Celebrity is getting out of ballroom dancing.” The Eclipse had THREE dance bands, all playing almost every night. And that doesn’t even count the two Duo’s. Having a ‘silent’ disco [headphone music] was a hoot. They had numerous places to dance, and the music started early; mid-afternoon until midnight. Theater Entertainment: Wonderful, quality variety. Intricate singer/dancer shows (e.g., “Topper”), consistently funny comedians (without being off-color), and singing productions. You don’t want to miss any of them. Captain’s Club (loyalty club): Activities were extensive and quality. Have never seen this many-day plan/schedule on any other ship. The hors d’oeuvres, and drink & wine selections were wonderful. They were actually gluten-free! Plus the traditional opportunity to interact with the Officer’s. Television: Deserves a special mention. Large screen TV with FREE! on-demand movies, and the ability to ‘pause’ the movie for up to 48 hours! Smoke/Smoking: FINALLY, an almost smoke-free ship. We could actually walk through the casino (and in areas/passages around it) without holding our breath or drawing in second-hand smoke. 60’s Dance Party: Deserves a special mention. The Eclipse singers/dancers put on a fun show in the Grand Foyer, and then opened the floor to dancing. Could not believe how many people were out dancing late the last night of the cruise! Don’t miss this one. We have never seen so many people out and about every night. Persian Spa: Beautiful, and the temperatures were perfect every day on the thermal beds, steam rooms and saunas. Also LOVED that there were coed saunas and gender specific saunas in the changing rooms. Loved having water with immersed fruit slices. As a final note, the Eclipse has so many little details of extraordinary quality. Its clear Celebrity Cruise line is paying attention to feedback, implementing changes, and has a ‘woman’s touch’ from top to bottom; from the very entry (glasses of champagne), the comfortable sitting areas, the separate swimming and sunning areas, the fast elevators, the disembarkation efficient system, to the lack of line-ups in the Ocean View buffet. They deserve to be #1 of cruise lines. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Intro: I have to say so far for us Celebrity has been to date the best cruises my hubby and I have done. I don’t think that any Cruise line has lived up to my expectations 100% of the time, and yes even Celebrity has some faults, but ... Read More
Intro: I have to say so far for us Celebrity has been to date the best cruises my hubby and I have done. I don’t think that any Cruise line has lived up to my expectations 100% of the time, and yes even Celebrity has some faults, but when on board and talking to other avid cruisers, almost all say Celebrity beats any other cruise line they’ve been on. Embarkation: Three ships in port in Vancouver on June 2nd. The drop off area was changed so we had to go underground to do this. This incurred a lot of walking, we had to zig zag, go up then down, then up again, down again. It was the craziest embarkation we’ve done so far. Thank goodness for the porters who took our luggage right away. They can do this as we already printed and attached our boarding luggage tags, which cuts down on waiting in another line. So I definitely recommend doing this ahead of time. If you have a disability and need assistance let someone on staff know and they will help you directly onto the ship. 7/10 rating Sail Away: Live band playing on the upper deck, which I love. Really gets you into vacation mode, however they only played a few songs, packed up and left just as the party was getting started. Usually the band will do an exciting countdown as we sail under the Lion’s Gate Bridge, but this never took place. 7/10 rating Dining: Mast Grill -Lido deck 14, outside. Complimentary This was open on embarkation day, so if you don’t want to fight the lines in the buffet it was a nice, quiet spot to grab a burger & fries or a hot dog. Oceanview Cafe- Lido deck 14, inside. Complimentary This buffet area had an excellent assortment of delicious food. My favorites are the chicken & okra curries. Some of the best I’ve eaten. They featured items daily which is mentioned in your newsletter. I only ate here a couple of times as I’m not a big fan of overly crowded areas and don’t like searching for a place to sit. You can take your food outdoors, however need to go down a floor or flight of stairs if you want to eat on the outside pool deck. Aqua Spa Cafe- Resort deck 12, inside. We loved this little cafe by the indoor pool area which opts for healthier choices or light little dishes of food- complimentary, and smoothies (fee $). I kept on going back for the Chicken Salad. The Asian Noodle Salad with the spicy oriental dressing was delicious. The 1/2 Turkey Bacon Sandwich on pumpernickel bread was also a hit as a light bite. We also enjoyed the soup which you need to order. This cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. MDR-Moonlight Sonata- Promenade deck 4, inside The main dining room is open daily for lunch (and for Concierge guests on embarkation day) but I never had lunch there. This dining room is gorgeous, its white, bright monogrammatic decor gives a feeling of airiness & elegance in this large venue. We only ate here for breakfast one morning. Service felt a little slow and our breakfast was just o.k. Moreno- Entertainment deck 5 We booked this restaurant for our first night as Celebrity offers their specialty restaurants at a discount then, which is an excellent way to enjoy your first evening at sea and away from the crowds especially in the MDR. The dining venue is a bit dark, and if you’re looking for an ocean view you will not find it here. Our $35 discounted fee included an appetizer, main entree & dessert. The Diver Scallop Wellington Style Baked in Puff Pastry appetizer with Black Truffle Emulsion was definitely a favorite for our group of six. We all ordered double and they allowed us to do so. We were off to a good start, however when our friend ordered another scallop dish in lieu of dessert they seemed a little ‘put off’ by it but obliged. Sushi On Five- deck 5 Not much to write about. Ate at this restaurant on the Infinity, it was so good we so couldn’t wait to try it again on the Eclipse. Something didn’t feel right...the ambience was different, service not as attentive, we ordered the same food, but it just wasn’t as delicious as it was on Infinity. Blu- Specialty restaurant for Aqua class guests- Entertainment deck 5. Opened for breakfast & dinner - No reservations We were a little skeptical to book the Aqua class cabin, however for us it ended up being one of the highlights of our cruise & dining, that’s why we didn’t bother to venture much elsewhere. On this cruise the cost wasn’t much more but it was well worth the little extra $$ to book Aqua class. Blu’s food was exceptional for dinner, breakfast was good. There are still the daily feature items you can order from the MDR that’s not listed on Blu’s menu (appetizer: Caesar salad, Escargot, French onion soup, Shrimp cocktail & for dinner: chicken, steak & salmon). Blu has its own kitchen with about five chefs. The conception is to provide healthier meals, so the Calamari will be grilled not fried & sauces are made more like an au jus than thickened with flour. My favorite meal for dinner was the lamb shank, it was fall off the bone delicious served with a curried couscous, some ordered it with potato...I can’t say I’ve had better in any land restaurant. Also the freshly caught halibut in lobster broth, tender and moist, so good. The best desserts by far was the Creme Brûlée & Apple Pie. Don’t even bother with the Cherries Jubilee, it was just plain awful. Overall dining rating 9/10 Drink Package: We at first decided not to purchase the drink package on this cruise as it was costly and when pre-purchasing online each person in a cabin has to purchase the package which would of been about $950 USD for both of us for the seven nights. Since I hardly drink we felt this would not of been worth it for this cruise. Also the drink package option included in the fare price package that was offered worked out to be more expensive than purchasing it separately which seemed a little odd to me. We instead opted to gift ourselves a $450 onboard credit to cover the majority of our alcoholic beverages. You can pre-purchase this online which is a great way to budget your spending and not get hit with such a huge bill after cruising. Once onboard staff are always trying to get you to purchase dining, drink & other packages. We told the waiter trying to sell packages that we didn’t purchase the drink package as we had to buy two and I’m not an avid drinker so it’s not worth it for us. He told us that yes online you have to buy for each adult in the cabin, but when on the ship you only need to buy for one! WHAT?? My husband immediately purchased the package for himself which was well worth it for him. Entertainment: Excellent from the comedy to the shows we enjoyed them all, some a lot more than others. We were lucky enough to see Jeffery Allen performing as Elton John. Incredible! This was by far my absolute favorite and the comedy on board made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. 9/10 Rating Activities: Lots going on all over the ship from music, dancing, & mini performances by Celebrities onboard dance crew. Some things I wanted to do overlapped others. I really enjoyed the trivia in the observation lounge. Being an Aqua class guest also gave us privileges to use the Persian Gardens for free. The Roman beds (warm tiled beds) were a very relaxing way to spend a few hours in peace and quiet. You also had access to use the sauna and steam room. 10/10 rating Excursions: Didn’t do any booked excursions this trip. Juneau & Ketchikan have stores right off the peer so walking is easy. Go to an onboard seminar for information on the port and receive coupons for shopping and free gifts. If you need help going up the steep, long peer they will assist you. If you like to shop, go to Creek Street while in Ketchikan. It’s a lovely walk over wooden bridges and creeks with cute touristy shops in charming old buildings. Choose to shop or see Mendenhall Glacier while in Juneau or take a tour of the Alaskan Brewery. Shore excursions can be booked with many different tour operators. Just make sure they have a ‘back to ship on time’ guarantee. When booking third party excursions be very aware of the time the ship gets into port. This doesn’t mean you can get off at that time. It can take up to approximately 2 hrs from when a ship docks to when your able to disembark. Not to mention the crowds of other people also trying to disembark, so leave time for this. Service -Blu- Staff that served us here were exceptional! A big thank you to Dan, Maria Hugo & “Z” ( can’t recall his full name). Their personalized service goes beyond words. No matter where they were working on the ship they always spotted us and came over to assist since we were traveling with 2 people with slight disabilities. I was pushing my friend in his wheelchair to the cafeteria for lunch and never had to look for someone to help us carry plates etc., staff appeared from nowhere and insisted to help us each time without me ever asking. Another time our friend got lost in the cafeteria (yes it’s that large) and Maria (waitstaff at Blu) recognized her, helped her with her plate. Searched and found us and brought her over. So far the best service I’ve experienced on a cruise. Are there some areas on board that I felt service was lacking? Absolutely...The Sunset Bar. Two guys, rude to guests and each other. Arguing in front of us, one demanding an apology from the other. Time to get off the ship guys! -Pushing sales- You’re bombarded when you get onboard. They want you to purchase drink, dining & spa packages etc. I get it, sales are important to most business’ small & large, but it’s really overkill. We would just kindly say no thanks. Cruise director- Lauren was amazing...that’s one hard working lady. She was seen everywhere and always seemed to invest time interacting with passengers. On HAL cruise last fall we only saw our cruise director once, I was actually starting to think maybe there’s not even one on board and then there he was standing by the piano, having a drink wondering when the day was going to end. I’m not going to take away from those who went above and beyond in service, so I’m rating Service 10/10 Overall: Celebrity seems to have the right balance with things to do, dining and entertainment. No wonder it appeals to age groups in their late 20’s and up. If your looking for an elegant, upscale cruise that’s not too ostentatious then Celebrity’s for you. We love everything from the size, beauty and cleanliness of the ships, to the quality of food and service we receive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I chose Celebrity for our trip to Alaska because the itinerary and duration fit our needs. It was a round trip out of Vancouver, so getting to the ship was an easy bus trip on the ferry to the cruise ship terminal. ... Read More
My wife and I chose Celebrity for our trip to Alaska because the itinerary and duration fit our needs. It was a round trip out of Vancouver, so getting to the ship was an easy bus trip on the ferry to the cruise ship terminal. Embarkation seemed a little disorganized, from one level up to another and back again. We arrived on the bus with some friends, they were traveling concierge class; as such they were in a much shorter check in line, which gave them a head start to the customs check in line. Needless to say they were aboard long before we got half way through the customs line. I think they could figure out a better system that doesn't include changing levels twice. Also bring water because it is a long wait and we were getting pretty dehydrated. Once on board things were looking up, a welcome glass of sparkling rose. And we started to explore the ship that would be our new home for the next 7 days. Up to the cabin to drop our carry on luggage. The stateroom was spacious and well appointed. The balcony was a nice size with 2 chairs and a table. I use a CPAP machine and we had to request a power cable to reach the bedside, this arrived quickly and that issue was solved. Hopefully the poor placement and quantity of power outlets will be addressed during the upcoming "revolution" refit. The bathroom was a nice size and the shower was big enough for me (I'm a big man). I'm not a seasoned cruiser with 2 dozen cruises on 4 different lines so this is my impression of this cruise from the prespective of a first timer with an open mind. We saved up for this cruise and are well aware of the premium price we paid. Not knowing what to expect we just enjoyed our trip. The ship was lovely, large but not overpowering. There are so many choices for bars and meals. We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants, and there were some parts of the ship we didn't even get to. Our favourite place was Cafe el Baccio the treats were complimentary and the beverages were covered by our classic beverage package. We chose the classic beverage package as a perk when we booked, I understand this was not "free" but included in the price of our fare. It worked for us. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to be able to order a drink and not have to worry about the bill at the end of the cruise. We felt it was a good thing for us, others will have a different opinion. We had most of our breakfasts in the ocean view cafe which had a great variety, I especially enjoyed the "English Breakfast" station. My wife enjoyed the lighter fare of fresh fruit, yogurt and boiled eggs. We tried the main dining room for one breakfast and it was good but the buffet seemed a better choice for us. We are early risers so the buffet really wasn't very busy that early. We had open dining and enjoyed 2 lunches in the main dining room, where we shared a table with some other passengers we had never met. It was nice to enjoy a great meal with total strangers. We had our dinners in the main dining room where the service was outstanding and the food was tasty and well prepared. We didn't have a bad meal on board. We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants on this trip. Next cruise we will try them. Entertainmet, was perhaps the main area where celebrity needs some improvement. While the instumentalists were good for the most part, the singers were not all that good. We did go to several shows in the main theatre, Rondell Sheridan was great and we went to his general admission show as well as his "Adults only" show; he was funny without being offensive. Topper is a good production even if the premise is a little strange. More work needed on hiding the harnesses for the arial acts. Don't expext broadway shows, this is not going to be that. We did walk out on the last show, the comedian whose name I don't recall was rude and vulgar. I'm not a prude and I can handle raunchy, but a good comedian can read his audience and this guy failed miserably. We weren't the first out of the theatre and I'm sure we weren't the last. We were on vacation and our entertainment was people watching, relaxing and watching the scenery as we sailed by. We are from Vancouver Island and there is much of the same scenery at home. We have eagles around our home, whales in the local oceans and seals at the local beach. Still these things don't get boring or old. I wish we had seen some sea otters though. I have read many reviews about Eclipse not having this that or the next thing, that ship A,B or C has. Well I'm pretty sure that Celebrity never claimed to have a climbing wall or water slides or a go Kart track. If you need those things on your cruise you know where to find them and it's not on a Celebrity ship. My hometown is a tourist town so we have many souveneer shops that carry many of the same tourist trinkets that we found on our port visits, the only difference? Ours say Victoria BC and theirs say Alaska. In Juneau we did enjoy the stunning views from the Mount Roberts Tram and our little gold panning excursion. We came away with a little gold and the salmon barbeque was very tasty. Make sure you get the chowder I went back for seconds. We didn't explore Juneau very completely, by the time we finished the gold panning and salmon barbeque we chose to go back to the ship and relax at Cafe el Baccio for a treat and a beverage. Ketchikan is another tourist town, many of the shops are only open for the "season" and close the rest of the year. Creek street is a nice walk. We really enjoyed our King Crab dinner at Annabelle's, we had the chowder sampler, 3 cups of their different soups all were good. I ordered the King crab with a claw but they didn't have any claws so I got an extra leg. That was a little disappointing but I didn't make a big deal of it (unlike the guy at the next table). Good meal nice restaurant Every member of the crew was helpful, friendly and professional. When we had a small problem it was solved quickly and efficiently We truly enjoyed this adventure and look forward to sailing in Celebrity Eclipse for a New Zealand Cruise after she has her "Revolution" refit. This was our first cruise with Celebrity and won't be our last. Some day we will cruise on another line and I suspect my review may have comments about being great but Celebrity is better. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Everything from the staff made you feel like you were part of the family. I lost my Father while I was on the cruise and the staff were very kind to me. I had one breakfast in the main dining room and a few lunches while we were in ... Read More
Everything from the staff made you feel like you were part of the family. I lost my Father while I was on the cruise and the staff were very kind to me. I had one breakfast in the main dining room and a few lunches while we were in ports and the food was great. Eating in a suite guest private dining room and Michael's Club were a nice touch for suite guests. At anytime you could ask a crew member for advise and they were happy to answer you. Great comedians and other productions were spectacular. There is a lot of perks for suite guests which is the first time I have been a suite guest and hopefully not the last. The ship was very clean, the cabin was great, dining many options to dine at. I travelled with a friend. This was her first cruise and won't be her last. See Celebrity in 2020. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
To see Alaska. Embarkation was sweet as we were Elite members until we got to US Customs who had to cope with 3 ships Celebrity, HAL & Viking (?) all boarding at same time, about 6000 cruisers all up. Debarkation was not much ... Read More
To see Alaska. Embarkation was sweet as we were Elite members until we got to US Customs who had to cope with 3 ships Celebrity, HAL & Viking (?) all boarding at same time, about 6000 cruisers all up. Debarkation was not much better, lucky for us an attendant saw we were struggling & took us to the front of a long que to catch a cab. You could always use a wheelchair & go to the front of the que. Once on board all was well; Everything was great by my standards, the ship is in excellent condition, the decor is 5 stars; entertainment was very good with 2 Production Shows, a Mozart remake themed show with aerial gymnasts & a more modern themed show), also Elton John Tribute Show. A comedian was on hand; the music around the ship was great, loved the Argentinian 4 piece Latino combo & their music. Master Captain Michael & fellow officers were always around to say hello & mingle with guests; Enrichment guy Milos provided some interesting talks. Ports were great, especially Hubard, ship stayed there for about 2 hours close to the Glacier; feedback from whale watching guests was positive for whale watching. Dining was very very good by my standards, Eko & Cumic were very attentive to our requests, well done. Cabin Steward Norman was very good, quietly going about his job. Public rooms were kept very clean, always someone cleaning something, attention to detail very good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the cruise based on the itinerary, timing and the ship. Pleased with all 3. Dining in the Luminae was exquisite in terms of the food and wine pairings and the service. We did not dine in the main dining room On the two ... Read More
We chose the cruise based on the itinerary, timing and the ship. Pleased with all 3. Dining in the Luminae was exquisite in terms of the food and wine pairings and the service. We did not dine in the main dining room On the two occasions we visited the Ocean View the food and service was excellent and friendly. We only went during port days so crowds were not an issue. The cuisine and service in the Murano were excellent. We did however feel “ rushed” to eat and move on. Not the feeling one expects when enjoying “fine” dining. The service across the ship was excellent. We only attended the guest entertainer’s shows and they were very enjoyable. The main shows were not of interest to us. The band playing in the foyer in the evening was less than enjoyable and made having a quiet pre-dinner glass of champagne in the Cellar less than enjoyable. The jazz trio was quite good. As a rule we don’t take excursions but I can say that I overheard many positive comments from other passengers relative to their experiences. The ports were enjoyable as always and one of the key reasons we chose this cruise, particularly Sitka. Overall a happy ship that we will sail on again. There were a couple of small issues 1) embarkation, disembarkation, 2) shower and 3) noise in the room Regarding the embarkation process, it was without a doubt one of the worst processes we have encountered in years of Celebrity sailings out of Canada Place. Total disorganization featuring multiple circuitous paths including floor changes and poor directions. luggage drop off was not coordinated and to get back to underground parking required leaving the facility, driving around the block and reentering. Disembarkation was better but only 2 porters were on duty and finding their coordinator was not obvious. Having cleared customs ship wide in Victoria made the process much easier. The issue of the shower and the noise are addressed below in the cabin review. In therms of the ratings below, if a topic does not have a rating it is because it is not applicable to us and we can not offer a rating. This is a shortcoming of this survey design, NA should be an option on each field. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Selected it because it was a ten night with more ports! Sitka, ketchikan, juneau, skagway, icy strait point, victoria and Dawes glacier. Eclipse is a beautiful ship, the entertainment was excellent and of course luminae was great. Michaels ... Read More
Selected it because it was a ten night with more ports! Sitka, ketchikan, juneau, skagway, icy strait point, victoria and Dawes glacier. Eclipse is a beautiful ship, the entertainment was excellent and of course luminae was great. Michaels club on this ship has a small bar and lacked the interaction with the bartenders and other cruisers as compared to solstice and reflection. This particular cruise included longer times in each port which made the experience more relaxing. Alejandro the cruise director was funny and had the cruise packed with top notch entertainment in the theater. Also, the naturalist, Milos was a real treat and full of information about the geography and animals in the area. When we were finished shopping in juneau we stopped in the mini post office and packed everything in a if if fits it ships box. For twenty bucks we avoided the hassles of possibly having over weight luggage on the way home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our second cruise on the Eclipse having sailed from Dublin to Norway in May 2018 and were not disappointed. Our cabin was adequate size with a large balcony. Our room was quiet and had easy accessible to activities, pool deck, ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Eclipse having sailed from Dublin to Norway in May 2018 and were not disappointed. Our cabin was adequate size with a large balcony. Our room was quiet and had easy accessible to activities, pool deck, and restaurants. We love Blu . The food is excellent and seating allowed us to interact with a large number of people. I work out regularly and the area was superb. Open 24 hours (I found myself there one morning at 0430 following time change). The equipment was excellent and always available. The pool area was nearly empty due to it being Alaska in May, but a few brave souls including us frequented the hot tubs and made some great friends. We frequented all of the bar and settled most evenings at the Martini bar. Excellent drinks and entertaining bartenders. Last year we met up with some Irish friends at the third floor bar for dancing each night. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had done this cruise before on the Solstice three years ago, had seen all the sights, and stayed in Lahaina and Waikiki for several weeks some time ago. So we merely wanted some R&R, good food, originating in Vancouver, some ... Read More
We had done this cruise before on the Solstice three years ago, had seen all the sights, and stayed in Lahaina and Waikiki for several weeks some time ago. So we merely wanted some R&R, good food, originating in Vancouver, some sunshine, and were not interested in organised shore excursions. We got exactly what we paid for. Embarkation at Vancouver took much longer then we expected. Disembarkation at Honolulu was OK. I particularly enjoy Celebrity's English breakfasts and the variety in the buffet at other times, especially the cheese selection in the afternoons. The MDR - and the service there - was excellent, though one or two evenings we couldn't get the early time we preferred. One night in the buffet I complained about the poor quality of a prime rib, as did the passengers at the next table. Qsine was a gimmick and the food not particularly good. The ship's facilities, pools and public areas are excellent throughout. The entertainment in the theatre was excellent, as were the violin/cello couple from Ukraine(?) in one of the bars. I am no fan of Polynesian music but the group from Lahaina were very good. I asked for copies of the daily news summary Celebrity used to have available at the Guest Relations desk from Canada, UK and US. “Sorry sir, we don’t have them any more – gone paperless sir.” So I asked about the distribution of their daily on-board program on paper every day when they could just as easily be distributed to guests on the web or by email or posted on the in-room TV. Answer came there none. Not quite so paperless after all? The “James Bond style” safety video shown at the beginning of the cruise was ineffective and, even worse, insulting to many guests. They told me so because I asked them. Many people were little the wiser when it was all over. Two guests who had cruised in double figures with Celebrity and other lines told me they learned nothing and that it was pathetic compared with Celebrity’s competitors. I suggest that Celebrity change this program immediately, fire the producer responsible and the senior safety officer who approved it. Safety aboard is a serious matter. We are not particularly demanding of our stewards but our steward (Sijas, from India) was very attentive and looked after us very well. The lettering on the staff name/country badges is far too small to be legible by the guests. They are thus quite useless for the purpose intended. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise took us too Hawaii, of which we have not been. Also it gave us a taste of Celebrity as we have never sailed Celebrity before. And was not too pricey. Overall, seemed like the perfect cruise. For this cruise we booked an ... Read More
This cruise took us too Hawaii, of which we have not been. Also it gave us a taste of Celebrity as we have never sailed Celebrity before. And was not too pricey. Overall, seemed like the perfect cruise. For this cruise we booked an inside cabin. The stateroom was very large for an inside room. And had contemporary design with a wonderful stateroom attendant, Dragana. We were on deck 7, all the way forward. For two days when crossing the pacific we felt a little seasick, though for the rest of the cruise we did decent. As far as dining goes, we went to the main dining room twice (once for dinner, once for lunch), and the buffet for the rest of the cruise. As far as the buffet, the food was good with a large selection. However, breakfast was almost the same every day, it got a little monotonous. Regarding the main dining room, it as a bit of an experience. The one time we went for lunch the food was very delicious, we looked forward to our next visit to the main dining room. Dinner was where things took a turn. We went to dinner in the main dining room for the first time on the ninth night of the cruise (the 8:30 dining time got in the way of activities and was too late to eat for us). First, our waiter shamed us for not attending dinner service in the main dining room, alright...then, he said "I gave up your table because you didn't attended for so many nights." We felt shamed, though we sat with a wonderful couple. Furthermore, he begged us to give him and the assistant waiter a 10 as "it will lower their salaries." After this fiasco, we did not go back to the main dining room. Entertainment on the Eclipse was phenomenal, the best we've had on a cruise. The production shows blew us away, especially with the acrobatics. All of the guest entertainers were always entertaining, and interacted with the guests. Even the cruise director, Alejandro always entertaining, he was hilarious. There were enrichment activities regarding Hawaii every day, and always were appealing topics. Also, there were trivias every day, sometimes two a day. Great for those who enjoy trivia; most of it is more modern trivia. In our first port, Hilo, we did the most. In our first day in Hilo we booked rental car (of which I highly recommend). We first went to Punalu'u Black Sand beach. It as absolutely wonderful as there was a lot of wildlife and scenic areas. Soon after, we drove to the Papakolea Green Sand beach. To get to the actually beach after parking there were two options, by an hour hike, or by standing in a truckbed going 30+ mph through deep trenches and sharp hills. It was very rough and we sustained a few bruises when holding on to the bars. Though if you're lucky, you will be on of the select four who get to sit inside of the pickup. The fee was 10 dollars per person for both ways. Even so, the journey was worth it. The beach was absolutely stunning. To get down to the beach we had to hike down a very narrow corridor of sharp rocks...not very ideal. With this, we still find this our favorite journey ever. For the second day in Hilo, we took a Celebrity sponsored bus tour that took us to Akaka falls, a macadamia nut farm, and the tropical rainforest zoo. Our favorite was Akaka falls, absolutely gorgeous. The excursions was very worth it, I highly recommend it. Our next port, Kailua Kona was more modern and new compared to Hilo. We did not stray far from the port, we bought souvenirs and hanged around the beach at the port. Kailua Kona was very walkable. We also booked a glassbottom boat reef tour. We saw many fish and even a turtle, which was unexpected by the guides. It was a pretty good excursion. For our final port, Lahaina, we stayed for two days. On the first day, we booked a whale watching excursion. Of which we saw a mother humpback whale and her baby on a couple of occasions. Lahaina was also very wakable. On the second day we browsed around shops and walked pretty far. Overall, this cruise was the best cruise we have had yet. The itinerary, and the overnights. Not to mention the stateroom, ambiance, and overall atmosphere was a pleasure. We plan to sail Celebrity in the future and we strongly encourage you to book a Celebrity cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because I could get off at the end in Honolulu which would allow me to shorten the flight to Korea. This was my first time sailing with Celebrity and only my second cruise. I selected my cabin and Aqua class before I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I could get off at the end in Honolulu which would allow me to shorten the flight to Korea. This was my first time sailing with Celebrity and only my second cruise. I selected my cabin and Aqua class before I knew anything. After booking this cruise I began reading reviews here on cruise critic and on Ship Mate to learn what I was in for. Funny there were no reviews or pictures of the cabin 1544 I chose but lots of info on Aqua class. Aqua class turned out to be a great choice for me and my husband. Many reviews from those that were not Aqua class look at this as snobbish or at a way for this cruise line to make extra money. Yes mabe that is the case when comparing this line to other lines that I had no experience with. But for me and comparing it to the Princess cruise ship Star(my only other cruise) I found this to be a great option to have. Choosing this class gave me a great shower. Note I measured and took pictures which I will share. I am a large woman. Comparing the shower on the Star Craibe deck cabin C709 I would chose spending a little more to have this shower available to me. Another perk with Aqua class is the assigned restaurant Blu. I kept reading reviews about clean cuisine and thought it meant diet food, not so. Entrees were an array of meats and seafood with sauces artfully arranged on your plate. When the reviews spoke of intimate dinning it was not enough info that explained what it was like in the Blu. The tables in the Blu were grouped and arranged in several ways. Looking at the plan provided you will see an area near the windows with a row of tables perpendicular to the windows.these were tables not treated as a group but as individual tables for two. The space between was just enough for the waiter to squeeze through while servicing the table. Each perpendicular row was primarily serviced by a group of waiters for your morning and evening meals. The service was outstanding. My husband is a picky eater. He doesn't eat vegetables or any greens. They brought him the menu for the next day so he could choose what he would like that would be customized to his taste. The tables were close enough to have conversations with the couple next to you if you wanted but if you chose to not speak to your neighbors you didn't feel obligated. Now there were large round tables that could seat large groups of people that liked that. I thoroughly enjoyed the option of having our waiters just for us and we could enjoy the guest that would sit next to us that would rotate from time to time depending on what time they arrived. We met so many wonderful people. The room was a great location for attending the shows but not a good location for going to eat at the many restaurants on the ship, which was at the opposite end of the ship. The room was quite never heard any people noise nor any elevator noise. View from the balcony was great. Now what I found could use some improvements is the outlets. The only 110v outlet in this cabin was located desk level. I was told by Celebrity I could not bring an extension cord nor a multi plug adapter without surge protecter aboard the ship. However, spoke with fellow shipmates that have sailed with Celebrity that they brought adapters on board without surge protecter with problems. If you need a extension cord one will be provided. We were provide with two. One was for a C-Pap and the other was for a electric nasal flush. The downside to using extension cords is they were strung across our cabin. This is the only negative I have for this ship. I had the premium non-alcoholic beverage package. At dinner I could order special coffees, teas and other frozen non-alcoholic drinks. I could get bottled water where ever it was available all over the ship. At the Cafe Blanco I could get a large assortment of speciality coffees with the free assortment of pastries. When it came to water from this place. I could get more than one bottle at a time. Funny thing is is across from the Cafe Blanco was the icecream bar was not free. Also when at the shows you could order frozen virgin drinks like pinata colettas, strawberry daiquiris and the like non-alcoholic or bottled water. All and all I had a wonderful experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
CUSCO, SACRED VALLEY, MACHU PICCHU AND CELEBRITY ECLIPSE FROM CHILE TO SAN DIEGO We booked the Celebrity Eclipse from San Antonio, Chile to San Diego from 24 March 2019 until 8 April 2019 because some cruise friends that sailed with ... Read More
CUSCO, SACRED VALLEY, MACHU PICCHU AND CELEBRITY ECLIPSE FROM CHILE TO SAN DIEGO We booked the Celebrity Eclipse from San Antonio, Chile to San Diego from 24 March 2019 until 8 April 2019 because some cruise friends that sailed with us on that same ship in 2017. While some did cancel the cruise after booking, two couples were with us on that cruise, leading to great companionship and fun. Since we were booked on this cruise, we decided to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu prior to the cruise. I was a bit concerned about planning this trip in late March, since the rainy season for that area doesn’t end until the end of March. However, we had no rain while in Peru, except once at night. I selected a tour from PeruAgency Tours for our Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour. They had the best value and lowest priced offer. The tour provided 4 star hotels and a private guide for most of the trip. This describes our tour: DAY 19 MARCH. - ARRIVAL TO THE LAND OF THE INCAS - EXCURSION TO THE CITY Am Arrival to the city of Cusco. Reception at the airport and transfer to hotel. P.M. Guided tour of the city of Cusco and nearby Ruins. Visit to the Cathedral located in the Plaza Mayor. The Renaissance style predominates in the façade and in the interior, with an interior decoration very rich in cedar and alder carvings. Then you will visit the Temple and Convent of Santo Domingo (Dominico) and El Koricancha (Inca temple). We will continue towards the outskirts of the city, Sacsayhuaman, it would have been a construction of religious character, but because of its location and style it was considered by the Spaniards and chroniclers as a military building, Qenko continues or "labyrinth" is considered a sacred place in the Ceremonies were held in honor of the Sun, Moon and stars then Puka Pukara would have served as a tambo or resting place and accommodation and finally visit to the Fortress of Tambomachay that would have fulfilled an important religious function linked to water and regeneration from the earth. Return to Cusco and transfer to your hotel. Hotel accommodation in Cusco at Costa del sol Picoaga Ramada. DAY 20 MARCH. - SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS (overnight) Breakfast at the hotel. At 8:00 a.m. Approx., the pick-up of the passengers starts at your Hotel. Full day excursion to the Sacred Valley. Visit to the town of Pisac. Known for its handicraft market and Inca archaeological sites among which you can see an irrigation system, an astronomical observatory, a solar clock or Intiwatana and andenería. Lunch in Local Restaurant. Visit to the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo. Built during the Inca period as a fortified area that includes a temple, platforms and an urban sector. You can distinguish two sectors, one linked to worship and religion; and the second set dedicated to housing. It was an important administrative center that probably also fulfilled military functions, as its walls and turrets show. Transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station. After the visit to the archaeological complex transfer to the train station to take the train to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, arrival at the station of Aguas Calientes, transfer to your hotel. Accommodation at El Mapy. DAY 21 MARCH. - MACHU PICCHU, WONDERFUL CITY INCA Breakfast at the hotel. Very early in the morning I pick up from your hotel and transfer to the station to board the bus that will take you after 30 min., Approximately to the wonderful Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Passenger climbs on his own to the huaynapicchu mountain (1 hour of climb and another hour of descent) then you will have Start of the guided tour around 2:30 to 3 hrs. Bus to Aguas Calientes. Buffet lunch at the local restaurant. When returning, show up at the train station 30 minutes before the train leaves. Return to Cusco. Arrival, reception and transfer to your hotel. Accommodation in Cusco at Costa del sol Picoaga Ramada. DAY 22 MARCH - CUSCO DEPARTURE / ... (D) Breakfast at the hotel. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport, flight to Lima and then return to your country of origin. Our flight from Atlanta arrived in Lima on 18 March at 12:30pm. We had booked a room at the Holiday Inn Lima Airport Hotel close to that airport. It was walking distance from the hotel, but due to the orientation of the roads in front of the airport, walking to the hotel was not a safe option. The hotel did have a convenient taxi transport available at no charge, which we used. Our flight to Cusco departed at 8am the next morning, so we only managed about four hours of sleep. We arrived in Cusco about 10am and were picked up by Mercedes and our driver, taken to our hotel, the Costa del Sol that was a Ramada hotel. The hotel was very nice and situated in a historic home of a famous Cusco resident from the 18th Century. The hotel had preserved the historic building, while incorporating modern amenities. The restaurant was excellent with very reasonable prices for its meals. We checked into the hotel and were ready to explore the city. Ginny and I had started taking a medication for the prevention of altitude sickness prior to the trip, which worked pretty well during our tour that included altitudes of up to 12,000 feet. Mercedes was our tour coordinator during our stay in Cusco. After lunch, we had a walking tour of Cusco, followed by a tour of four Inca archeological sites surrounding the city. Our hotel was conveniently located close to the Plaza de Armas (historic center). The huge cathedral and Temple and Convent of Santo Domingo were the highlights of the tour. The Convent of Santo Domingo included Inca structures that were part of a temple. The structures demonstrated the amazing engineering of the Incas. The stones were cut without iron or bronze tools in a very precise manner with interlocking pieces that showed no gaps between stones. Also, the Inca structures proved to be earthquake resistant as opposed to the Spanish construction that followed. After our waking tour of Cusco, Ginny and I, as well as six other persons took a minibus up into the surrounding hills to visit the four Inca sites: Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Puka Pukara and the Fortress of Tambomachay. There was much climbing up and down hills with visiting these sites. Sacsayhuaman was the largest, with massive structures as well as many terraced fields, which the Incas were famous for building. These terraces were evident almost anywhere we visited in this part of Peru. The terraces allowed for agriculture and prevented erosion. During this part of the tour, we also visited a shop that sold alpaca clothing. There were numerous llamas alpacas and vicunas just outside this shop. We learned that the Peruvians eat alpaca meat as well as use their fur. We did not try alpaca meat. The next day, our guide Danny picked us up early at our hotel with the van for our trip to the Sacred Valley (on our way to Machu Picchu). He was our private guide, we had no others on the tour with us. The drive through the valley was very scenic as well as the two archaeological sites that we visited. We visited Pisac and Ollantaytambo on this day, with a very nice lunch that was included in the tour between the two sites. Both sites were extensive with much to see. Ollantaytambo was an ancient Inca city that had largely been preserved, with stone streets and buildings and drainage channels throughout the city. It was a bit like visiting a smaller version of Pompeii. We learned that the Inca engineering excelled at channeling water in its cities. At the end of the day, at Ollantaytambo, Danny left us at the rail station, where we picked up the vistadome train to Aguas Calientes, which was about 5 miles from Machu Picchu. The vistadome car is an option that we selected and worth the cost. The car had large windows with additional windows in the ceiling of the car. The train ran next to the river that was sometimes flowing heavily. Also, since we were in the mountains (this entire area of Peru is mountainous), the views were very scenic. Upon arrival at Aguas Calientes, our guide for Machu Picchu was there to take us to our hotel for the evening. The hotel was the El Mapy. The hotel was very nice, but rooms were a bit smaller than in Cusco. We were restricted to bringing luggage no heavier than 5 kg, therefore we didn’t need much room for storing clothing and luggage. Dinner that evening as well as breakfast the next day at the hotel was included in the tour. Our guide was Jay and he was, like Danny a great guide. We agreed to get an early start for Machu Picchu and meet at 6 am. The next day, we met Jay at 6 am and took the bus up (yes UP) to Machu Picchu. We saw many hikers that elected to skip the bus ride in favor of a hike. Most were people in their 20s. Jay took us through the gate at the site and explained that we had the option to come out and take a break for the toilet and/or refreshment before reentering the site later. Jay took us over about 90% of the key places identified in my guidebook. We entered about 6:30 and didn’t take a break until about 10 am. Still, our tour took us up and down the site, which has 500 year old stone construction with uneven steps that we took care not to fall. Machu Picchu is even more amazing in person than from the photos. We were told that the city was about 70% preserved of the original city. The city was the major Inca city that was not destroyed by the Spanish, since it had been abandoned by the Inca during the long war with the Spanish. Vegetation had grown, covering the city. The city was rediscovered in the early 20th Century by Yale Professor, Hiram Bingham III. Actually, he was not the first to discover the city, but he did make the most of the discovery. I recommend reading the book “Right Turn at Machu Picchu” for the details of this interesting history. Ginny and I did exit the city briefly for a break and returned to see the upper part of the city. That was a significant effort on our part, due to the altitude and again much climbing up and down the ancient stone steps. We visited the Caretaker’s Hut and the scenic vistas from up high. This was the best place to take photos of the city. We finished our visit of this wonderful city after noon and used the voucher for lunch at a nice restaurant overlooking the flowing river with scenic mountain views. Lunch was a buffet and excellent. We loved the Peruvian cuisine and mealtime was great while in Peru. Ginny and I felt that with all the climbing up and down hills that even with the good eating, we probably lost weight. After lunch, we picked up our small bags from the hotel and relaxed in the hotel bar for a couple of hours, waiting for our train back to Ollantaytambo. From that city, we picked up a bus that took us to Cusco. We arrived late in the evening; Mercedes and our driver were at the bus station to pick us up to take us to our hotel. Cusco was about 70 miles from Aguas Calientes. Most of the trip was on the bus and we found the highways to be a mixed blessing. We found that large speed bumps were very common in Peru on highways when inside a city or village. Also, the roads were good in some places, but in other areas filled with terrible potholes. The bus had to slow down to negotiate these potholes and speed bumps. With all the road traffic, we probably averaged 25-30 MPH along the entire route. Upon arrival at our hotel in Cusco, we received our stored luggage and were informed that our room was upgraded to a suite. The suite was huge and very nice. We had a huge spa in the large sitting room. I decided to use the spa and take a hot bath to soothe my tired muscles. The spa was so large, it took a very long time to fill, and I decided not to try to fill it completely, but I did have a nice warm bath for a change. It did help with the tired muscles. By the way, if you want to see Machu Picchu, I recommend not waiting until you are in your 70s. Our last day in Cusco, Ginny and I decided to visit some of it many museums. We slept a bit late, but then took in the Machu Picchu Museum as well as the Inca Museum. After those museums, we did a small amount of shopping, returned to our hotel and relaxed prior to Mercedes taking us to the airport for our 6 pm flight back to Lima and on to Santiago, Chile. We had a wonderful trip to Peru and were to return to that country on our cruise that stopped there in a few days. Our tour with PeruAgency was excellent and total cost was $799 per person. The roundtrip airfare from Lima to Cusco was $148 each. The modest admissions to two museum and about three meals added, our trip cost us about $1050 per person. Celebrity was selling an excursions from the ship for a three day tour that cost $3700 per person. SANTIAGO AIRPORT Ginny and I had been to Chile twice, in 2011 and 2014, in connection with cruises. We had spend several days in Santiago, Valparaiso and taken two wine tours as well. We elected to not try any touring of the area again. We arrived at the Santiago Airport after 4 am on 23 March. I had booked us for the remainder of the night and the next night at the Holiday Inn, Santiago Airport prior to our cruise on 24 March. The hotel was very nice and easy to access from the airport. It is just across the street from the airport and we simply dragged our luggage to the hotel. We slept late that day and didn’t leave the hotel at all. We relaxed and recuperated from our Peru tour. The hotel restaurant was great. It far exceeded our expectations. I had arranged for transport with SouthExcursions, a Chilean tour company that we had used successfully on our two previous trips to Chile. We had a group of 10 from the cruise critic roll call that shared the ride to the port of San Antonio for $60 per person. CELEBRITY ECLIPSE The 15 day cruise north to San Diego included seven ports: 25 MAR LA SERENA (COQUIMBO), CHILE 

28 MAR LIMA, (CALLAO) PERU 

30 MAR MANTA, ECUADOR 01 APR COSTA RICA 
03 APR HUATULCO, MEXICO 05 APR PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO 06 APR CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO 08 APR SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA We had visited Coquimbo, Lima and Manta on our December 2011 cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Chile. For this cruise we tried to visit places at those ports that we had not seen on the first cruise. LA SERENA (COQUIMBO), CHILE Last time, we took a walking tour of Coquimbo, which was the port city where we docked. This time, we didn’t take a tour, but hired a taxi to take us to La Serena, a larger city about 9 miles from the port. We spend about two hours walking around the small city. We had refreshments and a snack as well as a bit of shopping. Since the wrist band on my watch separated, I purchased a new watch for $23. The cost of the taxi each way was about $20. The most interesting thing about this city was that it was not a tourist destination at all. We were able to see a Chilean city without the flood of tourists that normally cover these ports. We didn’t see many from our ship in the city. This was a port that Celebrity probably could have skipped. LIMA, PERU Barb, our friend from the 2017 transatlantic booked this tour, as she did three other tours that we took on the cruise. I had recommended Monica’s Tours, since we had used them in 2011 and they were excellent. Our tour guide was good and advised us that we could see a number of places. Of course, we didn’t have time to do it all. The day we were in port turned out to be a local holiday, which meant heavier traffic than normal. That was unfortunate, since we probably could have seen more on a normal day. We were taken to two main squares in downtown Lima, the second being the Plaza de Armas. It was a huge square and the cathedral was on the square. Just prior to arriving at that square, we walked through a street with some interesting building frontages and balconies. The next place on the tour was a monastery with catacombs that we had seen in 2011, so Ginny and I asked to meet the group later, so we could visit the cathedral. We had not seen the cathedral. Pizarro, the Spanish conqueror of Peru was buried in the cathedral. The massive building was filled with valuable art. After spending about an hour at the cathedral, we walked to the Monastery to meet our tour. There was a huge long line of local people waiting to enter the Monastery, so we waited outside the entrance of the catacombs as instructed and ran into Monica, the owner of the tour company. She remembered Ginny and I from 2011. She gave us a couple of small gifts, as she did last time we were in Lima. Our next stop was to visit an ancient pyramid, predating the Incas. The pyramid grounds were in the direction of Miraflores, the more upscale area of Lima. Our group decided to skip lunch in order to spend more time touring. We walked up the pyramid while our guide explained details about the civilization that built it. There was a small museum that we visited as well. After the pyramid, we found a scenic seashore at Miraflores with a nice park. Driving around the city was slow due to the traffic and after the seashore, we heading back to the port to make the ship on time. It is worth mentioning that we found the cuisine in Peru to be absolutely fantastic. Peruvian food can match up to the best in the World, even French and Italian. MANTA, ECUADOR Barb has arranged for our private tour in Ecuador. The tour included a short hike through a “dry rain forest,” lunch at a restaurant on the beach and a visit to the city of Montecristi, Ecuador. Our guide at the rain forest told us that we might see howler monkeys. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, be we all enjoyed the walk through the forest. Despite being at the equator, it was not that hot in the forest. Our guide pointed out some wildlife, including large spiders. Lunch was very nice at a restaurant right on a scenic beach. Later, we visited the city of Montecristi and did some shopping, then back to the ship. COSTA RICA Ginny and I had not been to Costa Rica before and our tour there was a ship’s excursion called “Walk in the Clouds.” Our bus took us into the interior of the country that was up in altitude. This rain forest hike was more extensive and the path included several bridges, some suspended high above a flowing creek. Prior to beginning our hike, we entered a large butterfly enclosure, with hundreds of colorful butterflies. Everyone was trying to take photos of them, before the butterflies flew off once more. After the forest hike, we visited a humming bird station with many hummingbird feeders and small water sprinklers that attracted the birds. Scores of hummingbirds of different colors were feasting on the feed stations. The hummingbirds were more of a challenge to photograph than the butterflies. Finally, after leaving the forest, we came to a balcony were tropical birds were attracted. The birds were colorful, but not the large tropical birds. The birds were robin or cardinal sized, however there were many beautiful birds. On our bus trip out to the site and return, our guide schooled us in the history of Costa Rica and some facts about the country. The country has no army and a history of peace. Our guide told us that the country has no gold or silver that attracted attackers. The country has mandatory education for its youth and the elite students go on to a state university at no cost. Other universities are private and require payment. The country doesn’t seem to have the same problems as most of the other Central American countries and had a history of stability. As in nearly any tour from a cruise ship, we did stop at a large tourist oriented store for souvenirs. The store was huge and many purchased items there. HUATULCO, MEXICO This port was still a mystery to us, no one had ever heard of it before. The coastal city was about halfway between Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. The port and nearby area appeared to be under development. It didn’t seem that extensive development had take place. The small coastal town was rather new and tidy, clearly geared toward tourism. The coastal area was very scenic, and our tour with Enrique’s Tours focused on finding the most scenic places for us to visit. Barb had organized this tour for us. Our first stop was near a lighthouse (abandoned) at the top of the cliff overlooking the ocean and the port. Also, Enrique took us to visit to a nice beach, as well as his small village a few miles from Huatulco. We learned that Enrique had lived in Ohio for several years, saving his money to come home and start a business. He provided us with as good a tour as could be made for this area. Some people took tours that went into the interior, higher up into the mountains, as we had done in Ecuador and Costa Rica. PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO This port is a famous resort and has been for many years. It was well developed and we saw many US businesses there like Home Depot, Starbucks, Walmart, and more. The port city was fairly modern, prosperous and well maintained. Our tour was another Celebrity excursion called “Colonial San Sebastian.” As we left the port city into the interior, we passed through some small towns and farms that clearly were not part of the more prosperous resort. Our tour took us up into the Sierra Madre Mountains, with many scenic views, including a huge bridge that crossed a large gorge. I noted that some graffiti artist had bravely climbed under the highway span to paint his work on the underside of the bridge. Adolfo was our excellent tour guide on our excursion. The tour was provided by Vallarta Adventures. Adolfo provided us a detailed history of the local area, Puerto Vallarta and Colonial San Sebastian. San Sebastian was a former silver mining town. Mining ended after the 1910 Mexican revolution. The town shrunk in population, but preserved its colonial heritage. The town had its cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture. The bus took us about 1 hour and 45 minutes from the port, but we saw vistas of the mountains up to about 4700 feet. We had a very nice lunch and on our way back to the port, we had a fun tequila tasting. The tour guide was excellent and we enjoyed the tour very much. CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO This was our last port before arriving back in the USA. The port is situated very near land’s end of the Baja peninsula of Mexico. We saw the scenic land’s end from our cruise ship prior to tendering into the port. Barb had organized the tour with toursbylocals. Our local guide was Alejandro Olivares with amazingcabos. First, he took us to the harbor where our small group boarded a boat that included a large glass bottom for viewing sea life. The tour didn’t focus on sea life, but we did see some fish after some bread was handed out for us to throw into the water. The tour took us past a lot of scenic rock formations and around the end of land’s end into the Pacific Ocean. We saw beaches that apparently flood at high tide as well as some sea lions. Some were sunning themselves on the rocks. Our boat approached them fairly close, so we managed some nice photos. After the boat ride, we visited a nice restaurant on the shore opposite the land’s end. Then we visited a luxury hotel that was right on the beach. The hotel was a Sheraton. We had permission to walk through the hotel and pool area to the beach. It was very nice. Also, there was a golf course nearby. At the end of the tour, we visited a factory that turned recycled glass into glasses and other items. Phil, one of our friends on the cruise and tour did blow some glass. After the tour we did a little shopping and prior to returning to the ship stopped at Señor Frogs for a drink and snack. Eight of us endured the very loud music for a while, but prior to becoming deaf, I decided to relieve the pain in my head by returning to the ship. The others stayed for a while longer and I understand Ginny, Barb and Joyce did a dance for the crowd. After a sea day, we arrived at San Diego and prepared to depart for home. Celebrity had assigned us a time in groups to go through immigration. US citizens and residents had a separate line from non-citizens. We were told about when that would happen and that our number would be called. Celebrity decided to call numbers 3, 4 and 5 all at one time, then number 6 soon thereafter. The numbers only went to 7, so they called a very large portion of the ship at one time, flooding the elevators that we were told to use. Nearly everyone was climbing the stairs, including people with canes. It was not quite chaos, but it was crazy. We finally found the end of the line on deck 12 and waited almost an hour to go through immigration. This was totally unnecessary, since the groups could have been spread out evenly to avoid the mess. Still, we had a nice cruise and enjoyed our cruise friends. We hope to see them again on other cruises in the future. The dining was, as usual, excellent. However, my most favorite dessert from Celebrity is the crepe suzette that has been so downsized these days that it is nothing more than a sampler. We didn’t go to most of the evening shows, but thought the Argentinian show was excellent. The Rock show was glitzy and included some very good circ sole elements. However, the songs selected for the show were largely third rate songs. We missed what everyone acclaimed as an excellent comedy show, so we went to another afternoon comedy show that was excellent. Still, Celebrity’s entertainment could learn something from Royal Caribbean or NCL. Service was generally first rate and the two excursions that we took from Celebrity were excellent. 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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