Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review by SAT Spurs
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Royal Suite
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.
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