Eclipse Review August/September 2010

Master : Captain Dimitrios Manetas

Hotel Director Simon Weir

Cruise Director : John Grantham

Executive Chef : Steve Van der Merwe

Captains' Club Hostess : Daniela Spirlac

 

Eclipse berthed in Cadiz, the best clear photo I was able to get as at most other ports

something blocked a clear view of the new ship

However world first  - Solstice; Equinox and Eclipse photographed together photo

Firstly there was on Thursday 31st August at midnight a toast by the Entertainment Director in the absence of the Captain [who could not leave ther bridge at that time whilst we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar] to celebrate Celebrity’s 20 years of cruising, plenty of cake and champagne to go around, but many were critical of the very small badge given out to all the guests as a momento. The party was held in the Atrium of the ship but I didn't find a great position to take 3/4 mins of the start of the maked ball but it can be seen here turn your sound on.

The Badge :

We travelled and stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn, beside berth 101 where Eclipse would leave from on the Saturday afternoon. The accommodation was booked on-line in January and including Dinner; Bed and Breakfast was £67 each including VAT . To get to the hotel once inside the termiminal building at Southampton there is a desk for Checker Cabs and the cost to our hotel was £16 [$25] and the return trip to the airport from the ship was £20.50 [$32]. Their telepone number is +44 (0)2380 627 100, we found them very efficient.

 

The check-in went very smoothly and we headed up to the Sky Lounge until the Staterooms were ready. Despite being advised boarding was not until 1.45 p.m we were able to board at 11.30, the staterooms being available from 1.15 p.m

 

Stateroom : Aida Nueva Assist: William Stateroom 1211 Sky Deck

Both Aida & William work excellently as a team and kept our stateroom ímmaculate.

 

Breakfast delivery around 8 a.m. every day we had Xiatoing and she was very effecient and never a wrong order, this is a service we are offered as we were in a concierge stateroom.

Stateroom 1211

Kettle and Electrical sockets

In the Stateroom two 115v and 1 230v sockets on the unit safe/mini bar unit

If you are staying in a balcony room there is a lock to secure your sliding door located top left or right depending on how your door opens

Aida on the right and my namesake William on the left

The safe 4 digit operation and underneath your fridge stocked with the items list below

Price examples for a miniature:

$6 dollar range Vodka; Tanqueray Gin; Dewars Bacardi Light rum;

$6.50 Jack Daniels;

$8.50 Bailey’s; Remy Martin VSOP; Beers: Coors Light;

$5 Red Bull Energy & Heinekin;

Diet Coke tin ; Sprite; Club Soda; Tonic Water all $2;

Water 1ltr Evian $4; 330mls $2.50;

plus 15% on all prices

The welcome bottle of champagne upon arrival in the stateroom

On both Solstice and Equinox the built in wardrobe did have a 4/5 drawer unit and it is not there on Eclipse, but we did manage to accommodate all we had brought with some odd items only used every now again kept in the suitcases we stored under the bed.

In the single drawer is a 1200w Aliseo Pro Vario hair dryer.

There is a low light on 24/7 should you get up during the night to go to the toilet, so you open the door not to a darkened room and a lot liked this idea. The bathroom was the same as on Solstice and Equinox, but still with a fixed pivotable shower head and no washing line.

 

The shower unit here shows the bar bottom right for ladies to rest their legs on whilst they shave them. Just in case you were not aware but all stateroom doors open outwards

Some of the flowers we had in the room/bathroom

The numbering on the Sky deck as the one above is still confusing, walk a few feet and the other rooms started with a 10 prefix number compared to our 12. We were on the Sky Deck Level 10 Rm 1211 and out on the balcony there was a support for the canopy that protrudes more so on Deck 11 than we did find on the Millennium class ships.

 

We had a support strut, so if we did have friends next door to us they would to have needed to be in Rm 1215 rather than 1209 so that the glass partition could be opened up giving us both a roomier balcony. However the balcony we did have was fine and suited all our needs.

A new technique to allow you to view onboard photographs taken by the cruise photographers and which has been fully pioneered on some Royal Caribbean ships has been introduced on Eclipse. When you switch on the TV and press M for menu a number of icons can be seen including the tv; binoculars; today magazine and another is a 35mm camera bring that into the bottom middle and the word Photo’s can be seen beneath the camera icon.. Now if you have had pictures taken by the ship’s photographers they can be seen here plus you can also order which you want without the need to go hunting the boards on Deck 5.

There was an option to but a Cd with all the photographs on it taken on the cruise by the Photo team but at almost $350 it might not be an offer many will take up.

Diningroom : Worly [right]    Assist :Kumar [left]    Table 272 by the wine stack containing approx 1200 bottles of red wine, pity as we are white wine drinkers and the red ones are almost in reach !!  As with Aida & William Worly and Kumar were a superb partnership and complimented the service we were given to one of the best we have had, well done. If anyone on Eclipse reads this page please convey our apologies yo Worly and Kumar as Christine whilst I was eating my sweet on the last night felt unwell and we darparted rather quickly upstairs without having to thank them both for looking after us so well, can't even do justice with the photograph.

 

Sommelier: Philip had just qualified and looked very smart in the full sommelier' s attire and whilst still on a learning curve he has the makings of being an excellent sommelier.

 

Sky Lounge:

 

Music : Bel Canto Singers; Pablo De Lucas Guitarist; Peter James Jazz Pianist; Lloyd Baskin Piano/Vocals; A Cappella Quartet; Frontliners Party Band; Les DeMerle Jazz Quartet

 

This lounge hosted a number of events I have opted for the 'Chocolate' evening which

commenced around 11.30 p.m.

The music                                               and not to miss the fantastic ice scluptures

the food                                                      and the chocolate fountains

and even more food

Quizzes : Name that Tune; Beatles; Trivia [daily at 09.30]

Karaoke; 70’music; Rock and Roll; Line Dancing; Dancing throught the Decades

 

Others events about the ship Bingo; Hot Glass show [loved it] Wellness Experience; Small Batch Bourbon Tasting; Table Tennis; Seminars various topics; Cooking demo; Brazilian Blowout to you how to improve the health of your hair; Camera demonstrations; Golf Putting practice; Giant Jenga; Poolside parties in the evening;

Most days Battle of the Brains Men vs Women. [P.S the men won by just 5 points !!]

Some of the sights in the Sky lounge:

This was the Blyth's corner as in Poet's Corner in Hyde Park

The ones she hated having difficulties to get out off

One of the semi-circular seating curtained off sections, of which there were two

The seats Chistine loved easy to get up from

The bar area of the Sky Lounge

Looking towards the main entrance to the Sky lounge masked by the fire place

The toilets were kept immaculate and no more paper towels. 

This toilet is located on the same level as the same level as the Sky Louge on Deck 14

Celebrity Theatre

Which hosted the following:

Ovations Music/Magic West End & Broadway

Variety Show with Adrian Walsh

Gary Arbuthnot, with the music from stage and screen

Neil Austin, Magician

Edge an evocative production spectacular Karen Grainger - Impressionist Extraordinaire

Hypnotist Chris Caress plus a few more I can't remember

 

In the Cinema:

Avatar; Disney Pixar’s Up; Slumdog Millionaire; Benjamin Button are a few of those shown on our cruise.

 

Competitions in the Casino included Texas Hold'Em; Blackjack and the Bandit challenge.

 

Captain’s Club:

 

Elite members Club Social Hour 4 to 6 p.m. being held in the Sky Lounge and not in Michael’s Club as there were well over 100 on the ship.

 

Dress code was 3 formal and 11 smart casual. On this cruise more guests did adhere to the formal attire than we found on Millennium in April month.

Restaurants:           

Gives you a perspective of all the speciality restaurants including the Murano

Access to the speciality restaurants is via the Ensemble Lounge with the Blu logo facing you as you exit at the far end of the room; Also off to the right off the Ensemble lounge is Michael's club and next to it the Murano restaurant

Michael's Club Deck 5 Starboard Elite member's breakfast 7.30 to 9.30 a.m. slightly later start on days at sea

Bistro on Five portside beside the lifts

Qsine: 6 to 10 p.m Cost $30 Int Ext 7000 plus TV image, the latest new dining experience only as yet available on Eclipse

The main central reception desk covering Tuscan Grille; Blu and the Qsine

Bistro on Five 6 a.m to 2 a.m. Cost $5 Ext 4657

Cafe al Bacio Geleteria 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tuscan Grille: 6 to 10 p.m Cost $30 Ext 7000

Murano: Grille all 6 to 10 p.m Cost $35 Ext 7000

Qsine: 6 to 10 p.m Cost $30 Ext 7000 

Blu:

Aqua Class breakfast 7.30 to 9 a.m.

Open Seating Dinner 6 to 9.30 p.m.

Moonlight Sonato Restaurant – Main Diningroom

1st 6.15 p.m. / 2nd 8.45 p.m. Select Dining 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Early /Tours / Express Breakfast 7.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Deck 3

its fast, tasty and convenient

On certain days the Sonato was available for lunches and cod/chips/mushie peas were a firm favourite

IT Unit Deck 6 & Apple Mac computers plus prcies to buy ---------- 8GB iPod Touch $199 or 32GB $299

 

Internet Costs:

Occasional $29.95 for 49 mins at $$0.61 per minute; Standard $49.95 for 90 mins at $0.55 per minute; Social $79.95 for 150 mins at $0.53 per minute and finally Power $99.95 for 237 mins at $0.42 per minute. My cheapest rate was the $0.42 rate or around 27p per minute, but the speed was much slower than we had found on Solstice and Equinox. There wasa a free 90 mins for Elite members and a small discount for Select members

 

A few images taken around the ship:

Aqua Spa

Aqua Spa facility

The tree in the centre of Atrium

The effect of opening up the balcony area if you have friends in next door to you

Special lift to allow disabled users access to the pool

One of the hundreds of paintings seen throughout the ship in corridors & rooms

View of the Library taken from the lift 

Martini Bar

Smoking

 

$50 you could buy 400 of most of the popular brands matching the price Morrison’s sold them for in Gibralter. Not so competitive was $30 for 200. The brands avaulable were Lambert & Butler; Benson & Hedges gold; Embassy Regal/Super KIngs and only in 200 size was Marlboro

 

 

Smoking was only permitted in the following areas:

 

Portside of Sky Lounge Deck 14

Portside Pool Deck 12

Starboard side Sun Deck 14

Deck 5 Portside, promenade, midship –where chairs, tables and astrays are provided Sunset Bar Starboard side Deck 15 aft. The is the recommended area for cigar and Pipe smoking. I have to say this is information for smokers, but I do not smoke but it is part of the infromation for the review of the Eclipse

 

Shuttle bus costs prices, quoted per person:

 

Vigo; Cadiz none required

 

Lisbon One Way $3 or $6 round trip

 

Gibraltar No shuttle bus taxi associations organize their own transportation £3 GBP return trip

 

Barcelona One Way $2 and here Day Pass $4

 

Toulon One Way $6 and again the Day Pass $12

 

Palma De Mallorca (Overnight stay) One way $5 Day Pass $10 and Two Day Pass $15

 

Shuttle bus there were many complaints that the never paid this fee on their last cruise company why do Celebrity charge, maybe an issue for 2011!!

 

There is an arrangement that if you go on an excursion then if you keep your bus number ticket safe and show it to the driver you will get a free return to the ship if you were dropped off to do some shopping and did not opt to return direct to the ship at the end of your excursion

 

Laundry Prices:

 

Jacket $5 Dress$7 Shorts $3 Pyjamas $3.50 Swimsuit $2 Pair socks $1

 

Dry Cleaning:

 

Suit $10 Jacket $6 Dress $9 Shorts $4 Skirt $5 Long sleeved shirt $5 and short $4

 

Pressing only:

 

Suit $5 Jacket $4 Long Sleeved shirt $3 short $2 Dress $5

 

Hours opening for various bars:

 

Cellar Masters Deck 4 12 noon to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Destinations bar Deck 14 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Ensemble Lounge Deck 5 5 p.m. until late

Martini & Crush Deck 4 4 p.m. to 12.30 a.m.

Mast bar Deck 14 weather permitting 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Michael’s Club Deck 5 5 p.m. to 1.00 a.m.

Molecular Bar & Tastings Deck 5 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Oceanview Bar weather permitting Deck 14 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Passport Bar Deck 3 11 a.m. to midnight

Pool Bar Deck 12 weather permitting 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Quasar Deck 4 10 p.m. until late

Sky Lounge Deck 14 4 p.m. until late

Sunset Bar Deck 15 weather permitting 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

 

The spirit prices on this cruise were the same as they were on Solstice in April, 2009 and bear in mind no optics are used just poured straight from the bottle into the glass, so at least a double would be the best way to describe. Our two drinks were $14.38 except when in Spanish ports when another 8% VAT is added. As this was a British 'themed' cruise the normal price lists were not on show in any bar, as some drinks were very different from the normal ones we are used to seeing listed, like some special beers and lagers being the most obvious ones.  The price list not seen on this trip click here to see.

 

We did thoroughly enjoy our cruise and of course meeting some new friends; the food was as usual as great as ever.