Celebrity Eclipse Review
The Celebrity Eclipse is a beautifully designed vessel. However, the dining was a mixed bag.
The third of Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships to arrive on the scene, the Eclipse had a number of features we found quite appealing. A top-deck, half-acre lawn—yes, real grass—and a working glass-blowing studio were two neat aspects. Solid musical entertainment, a Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic show, and an expansive spa and fitness center were other assets. The Celebrity Eclipse is a beautifully designed vessel, and we discovered classy art and handsome hand-blown glass pieces throughout the ship’s common areas. One experience we looked forward to was the dining, and with relatively high surcharges at the specialty restaurants, we wanted to be wowed.
Overall, we enjoyed our experience on Celebrity Eclipse. The ship is beautifully designed, with a relatively sophisticated ambiance. But it’s not ostentatious or cold, as some modern design can become, allowing the environment to cater to a wide spectrum of cruise aficionados. That said, the ship is not for the tracksuit and T-shirt crowd, and couples who want to dress up a little will enjoy themselves.
For an inside stateroom, our cabin was a pretty fair hideaway save one main complaint: storage space was not great and the small closet was awkward to utilize. Beddings were of good quality, though we got annoyed receiving a couple of thin, frayed bathroom towels. The 32-inch TV was generous; if the pay-per-view had been a little cheaper (or if there had been a DVD library) we would have watched a couple movies.
Dining was a mixed bag. When the dishes were good, they were very good—but too often they were followed by something middling. Other than a solid experience at Murano, no venue was consistently great, and with surcharges running $30-$40 for specialty venues we can’t recommend the dining packages Celebrity pitched us at the start of the cruise.
Entertainment offerings were a highlight, both in terms of quality and variety. Every evening there were two or three live musical acts going, sometimes even four at once in various locations around the ship, and during sea days there was music in the afternoon by the main pool. The Hot Glass Show is a great offering, and while shows in Eclipse Theater were not all top-quality, the acrobatic show called Eclipse was pretty awesome.
Despite its size, the Celebrity Eclipse was easy to navigate, with location maps at all major intersections. The ship’s daily newsletter, Celebrity Today, was nicely detailed about the many activities on offer. We appreciated that smoking areas were kept to a minimum, though on a couple days decks 4 and 5 at mid-ship were plagued by a lingering stale cigarette smell (the adjacent casino is the only indoor area where smoking is allowed). And we liked that hand sanitizers were encouraged, especially when entering the two main restaurants, Moonlight Sonata and Oceanview Café.
And finally there was the Lawn Club, a somewhat heady name for a seemingly simple concept: a real half-acre of turf blanketing much of the top deck. We doubt this element is simple to maintain with all the spilled drinks and sea air, but we think it’s a terrific asset. We look forward to enjoying the grass again onboard the Eclipse or another of the ships in Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class.
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