Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by papajimd
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: AquaClass
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.
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