Eclipse Review September 2012
Eclipse berthed in Lisbon
Godmother of the ship Emma Pontin
Em's first book is a candid account of her recent battle against breast cancer from diagnosis and mastectomy through the harrowing nightmare of soul destroying chemo and radiotherapy to the final reconstruction.
This is a highly motivational and uplifting true story of a young woman’s battle against breast cancer.
Breast cancer is an insidious disease that attacks 44,000 women and in excess of 300 men every year in Britain alone
Quite simply we would like to do something about it !
The challenge involved a small group of experienced sailors combined with a crew of forty two selected members of the public, all of whom have had a very personal relationship with breast cancer. The team departed from London on their round the world sailing challenge in order to raise funds for, and global awareness of, breast cancer.
A carefully programmed selection of stopovers at which they acted as ambassadors to raise funds and awareness, not only of breast cancer but also of the fact that it can be beaten.
A very fitting person to be Eclipse's Godmother and seen here cutting the ribbon at the launch ceremony in 2010
and now for the main staff members' on Eclipse:
Captain, Panagiotis Skylogiannis, Born Athens, Greece
Joined Celebrity July 1988 as a 2nd officer. Past Port Captain in the Miami Office before being appointed Master on Zenith. He has served on Horizon; Century; Infinity; Summit and was the inaugural Master of the Solstice/Eclipse. He lives in Norwich, Norfolk, UK.
Staff Captain, Theocharis Charalampos
Joined Celebrity in 1999 and has served on Century; Summit; Constellation; Millennium; and Equinox after which he joined Eclipse.
Born on the island of Lesvos, Greece.
His early years spent on cargo and tanker ships and was an Engineer Officer in the Greek navy. He joined Celebrity in 1998 as 2nd Engineer and promoted to Chief Engineer in 2006. He currently lives with his wife and family in Athens.
Executive Chef, Johan Semmelink
He has always enjoyed cooking even from an early age of 12 initially he worked in the Family Restaurant in Holland. Come 2000 Johan decided to widen his horizons and he joined the most progressive cruise company, Celebrity.
Cruise Director, Stewart Turnbull
Stewart grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Before joining Celebrity he cruised in Europe then was appointed to the role of Team Activities Co-ordinator. After a year as Asst. Cruise Director and became a Cruise Director in 2004.
Hotel Director, Sue Richardson
Hails from Stanford, she joined RCI as Chief Purser in 1988. She managed a Boutique Hotel in Bermuda. Prior to joining Celebrity she spent 3 years as a Hotel Director with Silver Seas.
Food & Beverage Manager, Mark Tomley
Born in Manchester but now lives in Portsmouth. His first position with Celebrity was over seeing the Restaurants, Galley Bars on board.
Sorry this review has been badly delayed following a bad fall which injured my wife's back but off we go:
We flew down to Southampton from Edinburgh with Flybe and stayed at the Holiday Inn, Herbert Walker Avenue which is just a short distance from where berth 101 is located and where we would board Eclipse. We joined at the hotel by Colleen & Jim who we had met on Millennium and who like us were caught up in the volcanic ash episode. Unfotuntunately with Christine's sore back giving her problems we enjoyed a great meal while she rested in the room, but did eventually join us for a drink. With the problems with Christine's I had managed at the last minute to book her a wheelchair to making getting about the ship that little bit easier so before checking-in I went to the enquiry desk where they got a member of staff with a wheelchair so we could proceed to the check-in point, but that went very smoothly and when we arrived at 2102 the chair I had ordered was there. I would have preferred a soft tyre but it was a hard one, which meant every time we went over a joining strip on the floor she did feel the pain a bit more. Having been a last minute arrangement we had to go through Celebrity and Care Vacations to arrange for the chair to be on the ship and with such last minute arrangements it wasn't cheap at £167 for the 14 day cruise.
Prior to departure the normal safety drill took place details of where you should go is on the back of your bedroom door.
Every day from around 12 noon Britain Today was available covering UK/National news and it is available on a stand along with others in the area of the Guest Relations Desk.
It became clear vey early into the cruise the shops were not open, there had been a change in the frnchise and there was a complete overall of all units and this remained like his for the first 10 days of the cruise, those who were desperate for cigarettes had to wait 2 days until the ship arrived at its first port of call, Malaga. Can't quite remember but I think the shops opened the day before we arrived in Gibralter and you can see how busy the cigarette/spirits one was:
Our friends Tony and Carol on the right chating with another guest whist they waited for the tape to be removed
There were 2/3 shops on Deck 5 opened on day 5.
The accommodation was has always excellent but I have to say it was on the odd ocassion a bit noiser than 2101 which is the same room on the port side, we had on another Eclipse cruise however it didn't spoil our cruise. We were on Conceirge class which offers your breakfast in yourstateroom, brought at the time you requested a typical menu I have to say luggage delivery was the fastest ever, we had our cases by 3 p.m.
The winter edition  of the Captains' club magazine advised the breakfast menu was to be improved so looking forward to see what changes they have made.
Whether in the toilet or our room there were some great flowers on display
We were looked after by
Fevon and Ana his assistant, the first 48 hours we had D but but along with many others he was transferred to the new ship Reflection. I feel very sorry for those who remained behind as they must have felt like 2nd class citizens, I do understand the thinking of Celebrity for this action, which has happened prior to the launch of all the other new ships.
Every night Fevon or Ana would leave on our bed the Celebrity Today Newsletter telling you of the events for the following day.
There have been ocassions in the past when the breakfast tray delivered to our room, the food not as hot, but it looks as though the problem of the luke warm breakfast has been resolved.
We were on a cruise out of Southampton so the coffee and tea making facility, not sure why this can't be extended to the other ships.
You can also dial your stateroom using your mobile dial * then your state room number, unlikely to work unless close to the ship, but OK on the ship, this was a free service.
The interactive TV:
Apart from the many TV channels you could check up on what you are
spending; book an excursion etc
What TV channels you have
Bridge View/Weather Forecast
Again on other cruises these channels could be different
Whilst on about IT as on other ships it is on Deck 6 midship and Silhouette has the latest wi-fi fitted which gave very good/excellent signals anywhere I tested it. It is still the normal broadband speed you will have at home unless you have access to fibre services and this is 54 Mbps, the costs were again different from when we were on the Constellation cruise last September. The are no service charge and Captains' Club Elite member's get 90 FREE minutes each
In and Out
Prices on 2013 cruises may be different
We did have some visitors:
Swan Lake in your own room !!! Anyone for shopping !!!
and not forgetting the Captains' visit with his offering:
and now the excellent food, this is an image from Eclipse in 2010
We sat at Table 206 at the foot of the stairs and looked after by Gregory & Mendoza and for the first time we saw the new style plastic block with the names of your waiter/assistant waiter, very impressive. Our Sommelier was Luis and all three made our cruise so much more enjoyable helped out by Tony and Carol at Table 208. There was an incident on our 1st & 2nd nights with a Sommelier who was not meant to be looking after us, but the least said about this the better, be interested to see if he is still on Eclipse when we take our next cruise.
The popular eating/meeting place namely Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14 whether for breakfast; lunch; juices; ice or afternoon teas served from 4 p.m.with the scones/cream/strawberry jam plus many other tasty treats:
Salad bar just one of the feeding stations Coffee machine regular/decaf/hot water with all the coffee/juices/ice etc all available 24/7
Ice Machine; orange juice; fruit punch and iced tea and even more cakes !!
My 4 p.m. treat Many of the wonderful fruit carvings
you will see in the various eating places
around the ship
Entertainment despite some reviews I have read as good as ever with a wide range of musicians and these could be found:
Celebrity Theatre Decks 3/4
Siobhan Philips with a unique singing voice with a strong sense of humour, comedy plays its part of her presentation.
Taffy Spencer a top comedy speciality act
Mike Doyle British Comedy Award Winner
Nicola Loud Virtuso Instrumentalist
Sam Kane Versatille Entertainer
Gareth Oliver Ventriloquist
Ovations a dazzling productions featuring shows from Broadway and London
Sky Lounge Deck 14
Rock ‘n’ Roll party
Captains’ Club Celebration
Martini Night Formal Night Dance Party
Zumba Class both inside and out:
Glitter 70’s Night Interactive Theme Party 11.15 p.m. onwards
Select & Elite Senior Officer’s Cocktail party
Dancing with the Stripes Guests and Officers paired up
Sam Kane UK’s most versatile entertainer
Rock N’Roll Dance Party with Twist of 8 until 12.45 a.m.
Casino Deck 4
Some 278 slot machines plus 14 gaming tables await you to play
Blackjack; Poker; Craps and Roulette
Officers and Guests in a Complimentary Texas Hold ‘em Poker
Slot Frenzy Mania
Celebrity Central Deck 4
Steve Womack late night comedy
Global Flavours : Cooking Demonstration
Mr Mrs Gameshow
Ensemble Lounge Deck 5
4 Tune Jazz Group
Pablo DeLuca Guitar & vocals
John Winters Guitar & focals
Milan Jasek Pianist
Full Tilt A Cappella Group (4)
Michael’s Club Deck 5 off from Ensemble Lounge
Small Batch Bourbon Tasting
Eddie Covarubbias, pianist
Rum Tasting small fee applies
Late night pub Quiz
Martini Bar and Passport bars
Gran Volta Strings
Martini tasting small charge
Nearly all the musical acts do move around the various lounges as you will see from my listings.
Also on all Celebrity ships there is a cinema and these are some of the films showing during our cruise, one had subtitles
Real Steel Sci-Fi PG-13 127 Minutes Time 23.15
Retreat Thriller R 90 mins 6 p.m. / 8 p.m. / 12 Midnight
Bullhead Drama Crime R 124 mins 11.00 p.m.
A Dangerous Method Biography R 99 mins 6 p.m. / 9.15 p.m. / 11.30 p.m.
Journey 2 : The Mysterious Island Action PG – 94 mins 10 p.m.
The Vow Drama/Romance PG-13 104 mins 11 a.m. / 1.30 p.m. / 6.30 p.m.
Man on a Ledge PG-13 102 mins 10.30 a.m. & 1 p.m.
The Woman in Black Drama/Thriller PG-13 95mins 5.30 p.m.
Touchback (2011) Drama/Sport PG-13 118 mins 1.30 p.m.
John Carter Action PG-13 132 mins 1.30 p.m.
Blackthorn Western R 102 minutes 6.15 p.m.
There were also talks mainly held in the theatre but also elsewhere
Some of the talks that were available to attend
History of the Italian Renaissance; History of Spain; Olive oil : Liquid Gold of the Med; Portugal and the Age of Discovery; History of Viking England; Discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun; Master of the World the story of Alexander the Great; She who would be King; The Pyriamids The Long Sleep, Temples and Tombs.
There was even a small water colour group
but as busy Captains' Club Hostess Aurora Niebla organised all the following events:
Captain’s Club Celebration
One of the food specialities and always on show is the Celebrity Cross
Senior Officers Cocktail Party; Back sage tour;
Elegant Tea and Private Departure Lounge;
The Captain’s Club Breakfast 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuscan Grille Deck 5 and the Social
Hour 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sky Observation Lounge
Celebrity Life Activity Highlights, if you want to be more active
Early morning stretch; Facial Rejuvenation; Eat more to eat less; Go Smile Teeth Whitening; Dextox for Health, Energy and Weight Loss; Wrinkle Remedies; Pilates; Yoga; Complimentary Foot Analysis and Evening stretch; Reflexology; Happy Hands and Feet; Turn the Clock back on Ageing; Liquid Face Lift; Acupuncture a cure for Sea plus many more activities
The bad news for smokers no smoking anywhere inside the ship inluding your stateroom and balcony, but these are the areas where smoking was permitted
Deck 5 Port Side
Deck 12 Port Side just beside the pool
Deck 14 Mast Bar Starboard side
Deck 15 Sunset Bar Port Side
On deck 5 port side just out from the Captains' Club office/Cruise office
and further along just as you come out of the Celebrity theatre another one,
access just on the right after you pass the male toilets
A few shots of the art seen all around the corridors of all Celebrity ships
Then some views about and around Eclipse:
The famous real grass A quiet few moments by the pool on the
way home plus a bit on the cool side
The Mast Grill and the unit that washes your balcony glass but don't be caught out sitting when it passes you by !!!
Two ships in Genoa another excursion comes to an end
The flag flying in the port of Livorna Closed for now but open at night when
in port and usual mornings or
afternoons on days at sea
Some of the type of seats you will see in the Sky Lounge
Well my usual parting shot as the sun goes down on this cruise it will rise again in the lovely Caribbean our most popular destination.