Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by lucyliz
- Sail Date: May 2015
- Destination: Norwegian Fjords
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda
We drove to Southampton on the morning of the cruise and parked easily at the terminal (we had booked this in advance). We had to queue perhaps twenty minutes for security, but the line was always moving so it didn't seem like too long a wait. Check in was swift and friendly. The cabins were available at the time we boarded, around 1.30pm. We were very pleased with ours, which was spotless and more spacious than we had expected from pictures.
The ship has recently been refurbished, and they don't seem to have missed anything - everywhere was sparkling new. The change from the Passport Bar to Gastrobar doesn't seem to have been fully completed, but the Passport Bar serves a wide range of beers. One small disappointment was that Slush, the new frozen drinks bar, didn't appear to be open all week despite being times listed in the Celebrity Today.
We had planned to only try one of the speciality restaurants but we weren't too keen on the MDR menu the first night so we bought the three dinners package to try each restaurant once. We were very glad we did as Tuscan Grille, Qaine and Murano were all excellent. We ate in the MDR the other four evenings and it was always good and sometimes excellent. We did have to wait with a buzzer each evening to secure a table for two, but it was never more than twenty minutes.
We ate most breakfasts and lunches at the buffet and were pleased with the variety and quality of the food. I was particularly pleased by the healthy options including a lovely cucumber and tomato salad that was always available at breakfast.
The entertainment wasn't really our thing, but we hadn't expected it to be. The smaller events in Celebrity Central and the foyer tended to be better than the big shows on in the theatre. I went to a couple of gym classes and my partner used the equipment - we were both impressed with the fitness facilities. I would have gone to more classes had they not nearly always been on early in the morning - a few more afternoon sessions would be better. We used the pools on three or four days - and often had them almost to ourselves, as not many people wanted to be out in swimsuits in the Norwegian weather! I'm glad they didn't close the pools in the rain - it was lovely to swim in a warm pool with cool rain coming down.
The itinerary was good, though I'm not sure why it was chosen not to include Flam, which appears on most other Norwegian itineraries. We were able to dock at the Seawalk in Gieranger which meant we didn't need to tender all week. Unfortunately we were scheduled to be in Stavanger on a public holiday so everything was closed - disappointing, though not Celebrity's fault. We didn't try any of the ship's excursions as they were all incredibly expensive. In some ports we did more or less the same as the tours, for considerably less money.
The service was, with one or two small but notable exceptions, very good. Staff member always said hello. They did appear to be a bit short on staff in the bars, however, with often slightly too long waits at the Passport Bar in particular. How the Martini Bar staff manage to serve so many people with only two of them on, I have no idea!
Disembarkation was straightforward. We were in the last group to be called and so were able to enjoy a leisurely last breakfast before disembarking around 9am.
Overall, it was a great trip on a lovely ship with friendly staff - perfect!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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