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I booked this cruise in April 2015 on the first sea day of the same Southern Caribbean itinerary on the Celebrity Eclipse because I immediately liked the ship and the service. Several months after booking I received an e-mail from Celebrity informing me that the itinerary had changed, with an overnight in Aruba being added and the stop in Antigua being cancelled. We kept the booking because the cruise was the right length and all our previous trips that were to have gone to Bonaire ended up missing that port. Overall the cruise was good - both of us needed time away from home to relax and unwind. The ship was in good condition and the crew mostly attentive and friendly. I wasn't as impressed the second time around on the Eclipse; perhaps I was expecting too much or I forgot to pack the rose colored glasses from the first cruise.These are some random thoughts that may help you decide whether the extra money for a Celebrity Cruise is worth it or not. - Embarkation was easy with dedicated Concierge Class line. Didn’t get on until 11:30 am, possibly because the previous cruise was the repositioning from Southampton, England. Staterooms weren’t ready until after 1:30 pm. - Classic Alcohol beverage package was included as a booking perk, and we upgraded to Premium for $10/day/person (+18% gratuity). Unless you really need top shelf drinks, Classic is enough for most individuals (Absolut, Jim Beam, frozen daiquiris, etc.). When ordering a non-specialty cocktail, unless you specify what brand of liquor you want, you’ll get the call brand regardless of what package you have (even though it says right on your card what package you have). Martinis in the Martini Bar are $13 each, so you need the Premium package if you plan to have more than one a day. Evian, Perrier, and Pellagrino are considered "premium" waters. - Overnight in Aruba not necessary. Should have kept Antigua. - We were told the order of Barbados and St. Lucia would be reversed due to two other ships being in St. Lucia on our scheduled day, requiring us to anchor out. When we got to St. Lucia there were two ships already there anyway and we didn’t anchor out. We were berthed at the industrial pier (vice the cruise ship pier), resulting in a less than pleasant visit. - Buffet was good. Breakfast was our favorite meal. Could get a grilled steak or pork chop for dinner. Carving station was available. - Even with dinner reservations at the same time every night (made through the website), we only had the same water/assistant waiter once. - No discernible pattern for dinner menu other that of one from each category of fish/poultry/beef/lamb/vegetarian/pasta. - Entertainment: Sea Monkeys were very good. Dancing Town was an average soft-rock cover band. Jessica and Luke were an acoustic duo whose every song sounded like the one before it; they only played the pool once (thank goodness) and stayed mostly in the Ensemble Lounge. Didn’t go to any show, but heard through the grapevine they were good. - Pools are in rough shape. Bottoms very rough. Running rust in places. - Great stateroom attendant (Raymundo). - Usually there weren't enough towels at the pool on afternoons when passengers are returning from tours. - There weren't enough bartenders/servers/waiters poolside. - We were requested to vacate stateroom by 0700 on disembarkation day. Ship wasn’t event at the pier by 0700. Meeting time for last day time-killing tour was 7:30 am per the tour ticket, 8:00 am per instructions delivered to stateroom with baggage tickets; didn’t disembark until after 8:45 am because our baggage hadn’t been unloaded yet. - We could not check our luggage from room on last night through the airline to final destination. Princess and Royal Caribbean (at a minimum) already do this. - It goes without saying to check your portfolio often on the in-room system. Found two bogus charges that were quickly reversed by Guest Services. Did not get a final hard copy of bill on morning of final day. Tours: Big Bus Tour (Miami disembarkation 11/27): Alex/Mercy (South Beach route) and Ivory/ Ms. Yvonne (uptown or “cultural” route). Took last available transfer to MIA – 4:45 pm. You have to pick up your luggage at the central stop (Bayside Marketplace), so make sure you ask the tour guise if you will be back in time for your chosen shuttle (each tour route is about 90 minutes long if you ride it without getting off ant any of the stops). Sunset Catamaran Cruise (Aruba 11/18): Captain Richard, First Mate/Bartender Randy. Very good. Appeared overbooked, but once the forward part of the catamaran was open of people to sit on/around the netting it was okay. Drinks varied in amount of alcohol – read the menu behind the bar from left to right for increasing strength of the drinks. Red Sail Sports. Pre-booked at $59.75/pp, onboard price was $69.75/pp. Jolly Roger 1 Snorkeling and Pirate Cruise (Barbados 11/21): Very good, even in a torrential downpour. First snorkel spot was over a sunken tugboat (crowded area as every snorkeling outfit was there). Second “snorkel” spot was really a swimming spot with a rope swing and a gangplank off the side. Generous with the Mount Gay rum in the drinks. Lunch available for purchase (voucher bought at embarkation) - $5 burger or $15 buffet (chicken/beef); didn’t partake but looked like it was worth the cost. Pre-booked at $74/pp, onboard price was $74/pp. St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous (St. Maarten 11/24): Orient Bay beach at the Kakao Beach Restaurant and Bar. Good beach. Included lunch (mahi mahi, grilled chicken, or ribs with lettuce/Italian dressing salad and French fries). All beaches are public, so you have to fend off the people walking up and down the beach selling everything from massages to aloe to bags/wraps. Beach lounger provided, but use of the umbrella (recommended) is an additional $3 when you get there. Pre-booked for $64/pp, onboard was $64/pp. Rendezvous Tour Company Spice Beach Club (Bonaire 11/17): “Beach” is used generously. There is no walk-in sandy beach. You can swim from a pier from a sturdy ladder. Decent snorkeling for marine life. Swimming pool and showers available. Beach lounger provided. Snorkel rental available. Beach bar and bar food available for purchase. A water taxi back to the ship is available for $5/pp if you don’t want to stay the full 3 hours. Pre-booked for $39/pp, onboard was $44.75/pp. Website: www.spicebonaire.com. Both of us thought the experience was less than the first Celebrity Eclipse cruise. Considering all the small niggles, I think we'll go back to Princess for the next few cruises.

Overall Good Cruise Marred by Many Small Disappointments

Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by kelricalain

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
I booked this cruise in April 2015 on the first sea day of the same Southern Caribbean itinerary on the Celebrity Eclipse because I immediately liked the ship and the service. Several months after booking I received an e-mail from Celebrity informing me that the itinerary had changed, with an overnight in Aruba being added and the stop in Antigua being cancelled. We kept the booking because the cruise was the right length and all our previous trips that were to have gone to Bonaire ended up missing that port.

Overall the cruise was good - both of us needed time away from home to relax and unwind. The ship was in good condition and the crew mostly attentive and friendly. I wasn't as impressed the second time around on the Eclipse; perhaps I was expecting too much or I forgot to pack the rose colored glasses from the first cruise.These are some random thoughts that may help you decide whether the extra money for a Celebrity Cruise is worth it or not.

- Embarkation was easy with dedicated Concierge Class line. Didn’t get on until 11:30 am, possibly because the previous cruise was the repositioning from Southampton, England. Staterooms weren’t ready until after 1:30 pm.

- Classic Alcohol beverage package was included as a booking perk, and we upgraded to Premium for $10/day/person (+18% gratuity). Unless you really need top shelf drinks, Classic is enough for most individuals (Absolut, Jim Beam, frozen daiquiris, etc.). When ordering a non-specialty cocktail, unless you specify what brand of liquor you want, you’ll get the call brand regardless of what package you have (even though it says right on your card what package you have). Martinis in the Martini Bar are $13 each, so you need the Premium package if you plan to have more than one a day. Evian, Perrier, and Pellagrino are considered "premium" waters.

- Overnight in Aruba not necessary. Should have kept Antigua.

- We were told the order of Barbados and St. Lucia would be reversed due to two other ships being in St. Lucia on our scheduled day, requiring us to anchor out. When we got to St. Lucia there were two ships already there anyway and we didn’t anchor out. We were berthed at the industrial pier (vice the cruise ship pier), resulting in a less than pleasant visit.

- Buffet was good. Breakfast was our favorite meal. Could get a grilled steak or pork chop for dinner. Carving station was available.

- Even with dinner reservations at the same time every night (made through the website), we only had the same water/assistant waiter once.

- No discernible pattern for dinner menu other that of one from each category of fish/poultry/beef/lamb/vegetarian/pasta.

- Entertainment: Sea Monkeys were very good. Dancing Town was an average soft-rock cover band. Jessica and Luke were an acoustic duo whose every song sounded like the one before it; they only played the pool once (thank goodness) and stayed mostly in the Ensemble Lounge. Didn’t go to any show, but heard through the grapevine they were good.

- Pools are in rough shape. Bottoms very rough. Running rust in places.

- Great stateroom attendant (Raymundo).

- Usually there weren't enough towels at the pool on afternoons when passengers are returning from tours.

- There weren't enough bartenders/servers/waiters poolside.

- We were requested to vacate stateroom by 0700 on disembarkation day. Ship wasn’t event at the pier by 0700. Meeting time for last day time-killing tour was 7:30 am per the tour ticket, 8:00 am per instructions delivered to stateroom with baggage tickets; didn’t disembark until after 8:45 am because our baggage hadn’t been unloaded yet.

- We could not check our luggage from room on last night through the airline to final destination. Princess and Royal Caribbean (at a minimum) already do this.

- It goes without saying to check your portfolio often on the in-room system. Found two bogus charges that were quickly reversed by Guest Services. Did not get a final hard copy of bill on morning of final day.

Tours:

Big Bus Tour (Miami disembarkation 11/27): Alex/Mercy (South Beach route) and Ivory/ Ms. Yvonne (uptown or “cultural” route). Took last available transfer to MIA – 4:45 pm. You have to pick up your luggage at the central stop (Bayside Marketplace), so make sure you ask the tour guise if you will be back in time for your chosen shuttle (each tour route is about 90 minutes long if you ride it without getting off ant any of the stops).

Sunset Catamaran Cruise (Aruba 11/18): Captain Richard, First Mate/Bartender Randy. Very good. Appeared overbooked, but once the forward part of the catamaran was open of people to sit on/around the netting it was okay. Drinks varied in amount of alcohol – read the menu behind the bar from left to right for increasing strength of the drinks. Red Sail Sports. Pre-booked at $59.75/pp, onboard price was $69.75/pp.

Jolly Roger 1 Snorkeling and Pirate Cruise (Barbados 11/21): Very good, even in a torrential downpour. First snorkel spot was over a sunken tugboat (crowded area as every snorkeling outfit was there). Second “snorkel” spot was really a swimming spot with a rope swing and a gangplank off the side. Generous with the Mount Gay rum in the drinks. Lunch available for purchase (voucher bought at embarkation) - $5 burger or $15 buffet (chicken/beef); didn’t partake but looked like it was worth the cost. Pre-booked at $74/pp, onboard price was $74/pp.

St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous (St. Maarten 11/24): Orient Bay beach at the Kakao Beach Restaurant and Bar. Good beach. Included lunch (mahi mahi, grilled chicken, or ribs with lettuce/Italian dressing salad and French fries). All beaches are public, so you have to fend off the people walking up and down the beach selling everything from massages to aloe to bags/wraps. Beach lounger provided, but use of the umbrella (recommended) is an additional $3 when you get there. Pre-booked for $64/pp, onboard was $64/pp. Rendezvous Tour Company

Spice Beach Club (Bonaire 11/17): “Beach” is used generously. There is no walk-in sandy beach. You can swim from a pier from a sturdy ladder. Decent snorkeling for marine life. Swimming pool and showers available. Beach lounger provided. Snorkel rental available. Beach bar and bar food available for purchase. A water taxi back to the ship is available for $5/pp if you don’t want to stay the full 3 hours. Pre-booked for $39/pp, onboard was $44.75/pp. Website: www.spicebonaire.com.

Both of us thought the experience was less than the first Celebrity Eclipse cruise. Considering all the small niggles, I think we'll go back to Princess for the next few cruises.
kelricalain’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Concierge Class
Cabin C3 1020
Cabin was on forward starboard side on Sky Deck (Deck 10), two levels down from the pool deck. There were no inside staterooms opening into our hallway, which was nice. Seas were relatively calm except for the last two nights, but we always choose a cabin in the forward part of the ship when we can to get "the motion of the ocean." Average size with decent storage. There were two sets of life preservers under the bed which limited how many suitcases we could store there.
Sky Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catamaran Tour
    Sunset Catamaran Cruise (Aruba 11/18): Captain Richard, First Mate/Bartender Randy. Very good. Appeared overbooked, but once the forward part of the catamaran was open of people to sit on/around the netting it was okay. Drinks varied in amount of alcohol – read the menu behind the bar from left to right for increasing strength of the drinks. Red Sail Sports. Pre-booked at $59.75/pp, onboard price was $69.75/pp.
    View All 47 Catamaran Tour Reviews
  • Pirate Fun Cruise
    Jolly Roger 1 Snorkeling and Pirate Cruise (Barbados 11/21): Very good, even in a torrential downpour. First snorkel spot was over a sunken tugboat (crowded area as every snorkeling outfit was there). Second “snorkel” spot was really a swimming spot with a rope swing and a gangplank off the side. Generous with the Mount Gay rum in the drinks. Lunch available for purchase (voucher bought at embarkation) - $5 burger or $15 buffet (chicken/beef); didn’t partake but looked like it was worth the cost. Pre-booked at $74/pp, onboard price was $74/pp.
    View All 34 Pirate Fun Cruise Reviews
  • Bonaire
    Spice Beach Club (Bonaire 11/17): “Beach” is used generously. There is no walk-in sandy beach. You can swim from a pier from a sturdy ladder. Decent snorkeling for marine life. Swimming pool and showers available. Beach lounger provided. Snorkel rental available. Beach bar and bar food available for purchase. A water taxi back to the ship is available for $5/pp if you don’t want to stay the full 3 hours. Pre-booked for $39/pp, onboard was $44.75/pp. Website: www.spicebonaire.com.
    View All 12,453 Bonaire Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bonaire Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    Big Bus Tour (Miami disembarkation 11/27): Alex/Mercy (South Beach route) and Ivory/ Ms. Yvonne (uptown or “cultural” route). Took last available transfer to MIA – 4:45 pm. You have to pick up your luggage at the central stop (Bayside Marketplace), so make sure you ask the tour guise if you will be back in time for your chosen shuttle (each tour route is about 90 minutes long if you ride it without getting off ant any of the stops).
    View All 136 City Tour Reviews
  • Beach
    St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous (St. Maarten 11/24): Orient Bay beach at the Kakao Beach Restaurant and Bar. Good beach. Included lunch (mahi mahi, grilled chicken, or ribs with lettuce/Italian dressing salade and French fries). All beaches are public, so you have to fend off the people walkingup and down the beach selling everything from massages to aloe to bags/wraps. Beach lounger provided, but use of the umbrella (recommended) is an additional $3 when you get there. Pre-booked for $64/pp, onboard was $64/pp. Rendezvous Tour Company.
    View All 230 Beach Reviews