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Review: Celebrity Eclipse

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Ship visit to Celebrity Eclipse

  • By SilverTraveller Holland

    35 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • May 2014
  • Solo
  • Special occasion
  • Day Visit

61 people found this review helpful

Accustomed as I am to very small cruise ships (maximum number of passengers 100) my first glimpse of Celebrity Cruises Eclipse (2,850 passengers) was, to say the least, somewhat overwhelming. She was moored in Southampton and I had been invited to pay her a visit. I had to surrender my passport on arrival before being placed in the very capable hands of the charming Jade from Celebrity head office who was to show me around. Once on board size did not seem to matter and we moved smoothly from one breathtaking amenity to the next.

We started at the top on the lawn – yes, a lawn; on a ship! Eclipse had just completed a trans-Atlantic crossing and the lawn was looking a little sad after its exposure to salt water and air. But even so, better than my own lawn in Sussex – no moles, rabbits or dogs to destroy the grass on the Eclipse and I was assured the gardener (probably called the Horticulture Executive …) would soon get the grass back to a verdant green ready for picnic time and croquet.

Down a couple of decks to the magnificent swimming pools, Pool Bar, AquaSpa and Fitness Centre, sorry, Center. American spelling, and prices! used throughout the ship. There seemed to be a good number of comfortable sunbeds and I was assured that putting towels and personal possessions on them to book places was not only frowned upon but sunbeds left unoccupied for over half an hour would have property removed. Good idea. Personally I would have to resist the temptation to chuck them overboard.

The Spa has a glossy brochure offering such treatments as an Ageless Oxygen Boost, a Peppermint Scalp Refresher, a Tropical Bamboo and Lime Ritual and a Seaweed Peat Wrap. I would have been very happy just to lounge on one of the heated beds in the Persian Garden and gaze out to sea. But probably indulge in a bit of pampering as well.

Eating and drinking is a principal activity on any cruise ship and the Eclipse certainly offers plenty of both. There are no fewer than 15 bars listed on the Services Guide so one could try a different one each day on a 14 day cruise. Or even a nightly pub crawl around the whole lot – if one’s wallet and liver were up to it. I was quite taken by the Molecular Bar where drinks appeared to be made with dry ice and the barmen wear white laboratory coats! However I would probably prefer the Sky Observation Lounge on Deck 14 with live music in the evenings. Or maybe the Martini Bar, or the Passport Bar, or the Sunset Bar, or the Casino Bar, or the Mast Bar … or … or … but I would not be allowed into Michael’s Club unless I had paid extra to stay in a Celebrity Suite. Incidentally what I would call a cabin on a ship is now called a stateroom by many cruise companies. I evidently have a lot of catching up to do.

Restaurants range from Qsine, – “Uniquely Unordinary” a kind of Heston Blumenthal experience with such things as Sushi Lollipops, Lobster & Escargot Fritters, or Unordinary Tacos; the Tuscan Grille with Italian specialities which definitely appealed to me; Murano (apparently no relation to Angela Hartnett’s Murano restaurant in London) offers a five course “Gastronomic and Vineyard Tour”, an A la Carte Lunch and a Champagne High Tea. No fewer than NINE restaurants/cafes are listed on the Services Guide.

The cabins, sorry, staterooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes starting with interior rooms. These, of course, would be the most economical option though personally I would find that somewhat claustrophobic and if I am going to sea I really would like to see the sea. Albeit from a porthole, window or balcony. Jade showed me one of the two penthouse suites. Wow!! A huge area about the size of my house with sleeping area, living area, dining area and even a grand piano, which plays itself! Not to mention one’s own private butler. And if I had upgraded to an Aquaclass stateroom I would also have complimentary access to my own private restaurant, Blu, plus the Persian Garden.

Retail therapy is well catered for in the many shops and boutiques on board and there is an opportunity to win, or lose, money in the casino. Evening entertainments appear to cater for all tastes and range from classical musicians to top class West End shows or discos and nightclubs. Again one would be spoilt for choice. Of course the whole point of a cruise is to visit places of interest at each port. When I visited the ship the Eclipse was preparing to set out on an eight night Norwegian Fjords Cruise and would have five days where passengers could go ashore and join excursions ranging in price from $39 for a panoramic tour of Bergen to $192 for a trip to Voss on the famous Flam railway. For an eye watering $599 the more adventurous could join the Ben Fogle Norwegian Salmon Snorkelling Safari where you dive into meters-deep pools of pitch-blackness. No mention of whether Ben Fogle would be there to fish you out.

Although there are extra charges for many drinks, meals, entertainments and shore excursions, it is possible to join a cruise and not spend any money. The Moonlight Sonata Dining Room is located over two decks and seats 1,400 guests. Light, bright and with an extensive menu there is no charge for meals. Nor is there a charge to eat at the self service area where I saw an incredible variety of food. Absolutely no chance of losing weight on the Eclipse, even if one ran round the Jogging Track, played Basketball or worked out in the Fitness Centre, oops, Center.

After an enjoyable lunch at the Bistro on Five it was time for me to leave. Passengers were coming on board for their Norwegian Fjords cruise and I was given back my passport so no chance of sneaking back on board as a stowaway. Maybe next time …

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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