Celebrity Eclipse Review - May 2017
Ian Warren – 24/05/17
As it is a few years since I was onboard Celebrity Eclipse, this two night cruise from Southampton was a great way to see how she is looking these days. I wasn’t disappointed, as she is still a lovely ship, and I still believe the main restaurant is one of the best designed on an ocean going ship. Also the Lawn Club, a large area of real grass on deck 15, is still a pretty amazing feature for a cruise ship. Take a look at my review and video, then contact GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850 to book your cruise, or get further details. Click on the following link if you would like to see my album of more than 100 photos of Celebrity Eclipse on Facebook.
We arrived at City Terminal about 1.45pm, and went straight through security to check-in, where we waited for less than 5 minutes. We were then checked-in and boarded the ship, and went straight to our cabin. We had a balcony cabin forward on deck 6, and I have to say that the cabins and bathrooms are very spacious. We then went for a quick snack in the Oceanview Café, and went out on deck for a drink. I was somewhat surprised to see large queues at the bars, and subsequently found out that there had been a system error and drinks packages hadn’t been added to many key cards. This isn’t usual, so was causing confusion and delays. Added to this was the fact that being a 2 night cruise, a lot of passengers saw it as an opportunity for a Party Cruise, with a fair few stag and hen parties, and therefore the bars were going to be busy for the entire cruise. It was soon time for the lifeboat drill, so we headed off to our muster station, which was in the Eclipse Theatre. We didn’t need to take lifejackets with us, which made the whole thing run a lot smoother.
We went to first sitting dinner in the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room, where the food was very good. However, the way the menus were laid out, they inferred a 3-course meal, starter, main course and dessert. However, I have since been assured that you are still able to choose a starter and soup if you wish, although both are shown in the starter section. After dinner we had a wander around the ship, before going to the theatre to watch Mike Doyle, who is a comedian and also a very good singer. After that we spent some time watching the ‘Silent Disco’, which was fun. Everyone wears headphones, so the disco can be held anywhere, as opposed to a soundproofed room. What makes it fun to watch is that there are three different tunes being played, so all the dance moves don’t go together.
On day two we were in Le Havre, so some people went on excursions to Paris and the surrounding areas, but we decided to stay onboard. I spent a lot of time looking around the ship, taking video and photos, the results of which you can see on this page. The waiter-service dining rooms weren’t open for lunch, as it was a port day, so we went to the self-service Oceanview Café. There was also the option for freshly cooked burgers, hot dogs and chips on deck, which many people took advantage of, and ate on their sunbeds.
After dinner, the main show today was Topper, which was a colourful and musical show performed by the ship’s theatre company. Again, there were a lot of things going on around the ship, including musician’s playing, casino, Silent Disco, and much more. We didn’t stay up too late, as we needed to disembark very early the next morning in Southampton..
Celebrity Cruises has always been one of my preferred cruise lines, even before I started working in the industry, and Solstice Class ships are probably my favourite ships. I am always happy to recommend them to my customers, but I would say that the 2 night Party Cruises don’t give a true Celebrity Cruises experience.
The crew members offer great service and the food is always very good although, from a personal point of view, I am not a fan of having all the waiter-service restaurants closed on port days. Having said that, I would still be more than happy to cruise with Celebrity Cruises again, and look forward with interest to the ground-breaking Celebrity Edge which launches in 2018, with many industry firsts including the Magic Carpet, Infinite Veranda, Edge Villas and much more.
Ship Facts & Figures
Celebrity Eclipse entered service in 2010, and refurbished in 2015, and is 122,000 gross tons. She carries 2,850 passengers at double occupancy, although this figure is higher when 3rd and 4th passengers are booked in cabins. She was the third of five ships in the Solstice Class launched by Celebrity Cruises, and although very similar the latter ones are slightly larger. The Solstice Class ships are as follows.
- Celebrity Solstice – entered service in 2008, has a tonnage of 122,000, and carries 2,850 passengers
- Celebrity Equinox – entered service in 2009, has a tonnage of 122,000, and carries 2,850 passengers
- Celebrity Eclipse – entered service in 2010, has a tonnage of 122,000, and carries 2,850 passengers
- Celebrity Silhouette – entered service in 2011, has a tonnage of 122,400, and carries 2,886 passengers
- Celebrity Reflection – entered service in 2012, has a tonnage of 126,000, and carries 3,046 passengers
The other ships in the Celebrity Cruise fleet are: –
- Celebrity Constellation – entered service in 2002, has a tonnage of 90,940, and carries 2,170 passengers
- Celebrity Infinity – entered service in 2001, has a tonnage of 90,940, and carries 2,170 passengers
- Celebrity Millennium – entered service in 200, has a tonnage of 90,940, and carries 2,158 passengers
- Celebrity Summit – entered service in 2001, has a tonnage of 90,040, and carries 2,158 passengers
- Celebrity Edge – entering service in 2018 (with 4 sister ships to follow), has a tonnage of 117,000, and carries 2,900 passenger
They also have three very small ships, Celebrity Xploration (16 passengers), Celebrity Xperience (48 passengers) and Celebrity Xpedition (100 passengers) sailing in the Galapagos Islands
Celebrity Eclipse has 25 grades, ranging from a 174 sq ft category 12 inside cabin, right up to a 1,291 sq ft PS Penthouse Suite. Between those grades there are outside, balcony, Concierge Class, and Aqua Class cabins, as well as a range of different suites. There are 30 wheelchair accessible cabins and suites, complete with roll-in showers.
All grades are ensuite, and come with an interactive flat screen TV, safe, hair dryer, toiletries, use of bathrobes and more. Then as you move up through the grades of accommodation, there are additional things included and more premium brands used.
If you are considering a balcony cabin, then I would always suggest considering upgrading to an Aqua Class cabin. It generally isn’t a lot more expensive, yet as well as being larger, and having additional features, you also get to dine in the Blu restaurant. This is open seating, and serves amazing food.
Complimentary – your choices are the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room, Luminae (for suite guests), Blu (for AquaClass guests), Oceanview Café / Bar, Spa Café and the Mast Grill. For your evening meal, when booking your cruise you can opt for first sitting, second sitting or Celebrity Select for open dining.
Speciality (for a nominal charge) – Murano (Classic French cuisine with a modern twist), Tuscan Grille (Italian Steakhouse), Qsine (order amazing dishes from an iPad menu), Café al Bacio & Gelateria and ‘Sushi on Five’
Things to do Onboard
- Entertainment – Main Theatre, Celebrity Central Theatre / Cinema, Fortunes Casino, Hot Glass Show, and Card Room
- Bars & Lounges – Martini Bar & Crush, Cellar Masters, Gastrobar, Sky Observation Lounge, Ensemble Lounge, World Class Bar, Mast Bar, Slush, Sunset Bar, Pool Bar, Quasar Nightclub, and Michael’s Club (suite guests and Zenith Captain’s Club members only)
- Onboard Venues – Shops, Library, Celebrity iLounge, Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Hair Salon, Fitness Centre, Persian Garden, Adults-only Solarium, The Lawn Club, The Studio (family photography), Art Gallery, Conference Centre, and Future Cruise Sales Desk
- Onboard Activities – Jogging Track, Swimming Pools, Basketball Court and Whirlpool / Hot tubs
- Children’s Activities – all ages are catered for with Toddler Time for children aged under 3 (must be accompanied by a parent / guardian), Shipmates (Ages 3-5), Cadets (Ages 6-8), Ensigns (Ages 9-11), and X-Club Teen Entertainment for young adults. Babysitting services can be arranged, either in the Fun Factory or in your own accommodation. Children must be aged at least 12 months, and a charge is payable, and it is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Onboard Currency – everything onboard is priced in $US, and purchases are added to your onboard account
- Gratuities – you can choose to pay these in sterling when you book your cruises, and they cover tips to your cabin and dining room stewards. Alternatively they will be added to your onboard account in $US, at the rate of $13.50 per person per night ($14.00 for Concierge and AquaClass, or $17.00 for suites). You can ask for these amounts to be amended at customer services. Please note that a service charge of 18% is added to all drinks, and 15% is added to all beauty treatments
- Drinks prices – Although you can buy drinks as you go, you can also purchase drinks packages in advance or onboard, and the prices vary depending on what package you want. The Classic Drinks package is sometimes included in the price of your cruise when there is a special promotion on. The minimum age for drinking is usually 18, but if sailing from a North America port it is 21
- Smoking – there are designated smoking areas on the outside areas of the ship. Smoking is not allowed inside the ship, or on balconies, and this includes electronic cigarettes.
- Dress Code – during the daytime onboard dress casually to suit the weather, and shorts and t-shirts are acceptable. For the evening there are two dress codes, which are Evening Chic and Smart Casual and you can see more details here
- Wi-Fi – As with most ships in the fleet, Xcelerate high-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, and you can either purchase a package or pay as you go. Prices will vary depending on the package you choose, so let me know if you need details.
For any further information, or to book your Celebrity Cruises adventure, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850