Eclipse Review March 2016
One of our fellow guests spotted our little friend keeping an eye on Eclipse
whilst we were visiting Curacao, prior to our heading back to Miami
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 thousands women and hundreds men every year in Britain alone.
A born adventurer - an ocean-racing skipper and instructor for whom the world hasalways been a place of infinite possibilities.
The question of what it must feel like to have a life-limiting illness is one that few of us can bear to contemplate. "No one can tell how long I have got' she says. I would love another 20 more years, but I might only have two.
The plaque on Deck 3 states "Celebrated cruises is extremely honoured to have as Godmother of this stunning Celebrity Eclipse. Emma Pontin, a courageous woman has leveraged the challenges of sailing to foster a compelling career and to overcome adversity."
Normally I list the officers on this cruise but they can now be seen here.
CRUISE NEWS : 4 changes the Captain and other staff; No formal nights just 2 Evening 'chic' 2nd night on the ship and 2nd last night but the lobster was on the menu; many did dress up quite a few white tuxedos. The latest info is NO MORE formal nights. No demonstartion of ice sculping and none around the ship, in September they were in the Oceanview cafe on Deck 14.
The new deck plan from 2015 onwatds with the new restuarant on deck 3 for guests in suites.
Changes since our September cruise on Eclipse no formal evenings just 2
nights of Evening Chic but on the 2nd night most guests did dress up and
the usual menu including lobster was served. All the other night were smart casual. I have to say I don't like their baked Alaska in the new presentation.
We made our way over to Miama via stop over at the Hilton at Edinbugh then the mid morning to Heathrow and the early afternoon flight to Miami. The uplift to the hotel was fine. We stayed in the Hyatt Place East, looked as though it
had been renovated in the past 2 years. Access to check-in was one floor up and with no room key to access the lifts to the right it was the stairs or the one lift. The bar wasn't open late but we did manage one before it closed. The breakfast was very busy in the morning clearly quite a few if not all were vheading to join various cruise ships. We did have to chase staff to get variuos stuffs as with being busy no one appeared to be checking.
We arrived at the ship and straight to 2101 with the usual fire drill around 15.45 then back to wait for the delivery of our luggage. We were being looked after by Corazon and Antonio who did an excellent job. Our favourite meal served bang on time each day by Corazon and that is our breakfast. If possible I prefer to eat out on the balcony whilst Christine stays inside.
I always like to check we have got our allocted table for 2 but it was for 4 so a bit of a hassle. Unfortunately my wife likes in at 20.30 and out by 22.00 hrs but the waiter was very slow and others were on their main course and we hadn't even got our started so back to the Maitre'd and another table 207. Well it was a great choice our waiter was Michael and he gave a great resume, most nights we went his choice and all were excellent but we still had some of our own choices as well, but the overall experience was excellent. Michael was ably assisted by Arisai. We tried to confuse Kadek our Sommelier as we had some free options and the others we paid for, but his service was excellent.
Music as always all over the ship, whether in the Sky Lounge; the various bars and it was normally a very high standard. We like the Ensemble lounge on Deck 5 where we met Nitish in charge of the bar ably assisted by Rasul; Gregg and Rana. We liked all the entertainment Piano Bar with Jordan Peterson but he was a bit loud for us but he had a following, luckily he was on after the meal so we could take our drinks and head elsewhere. The other playing were Bello River Duo; O Duo Classical string favourites.
It is true what some say it gets quiet after midnight but there is the Quasar where there is music/dancing until late. On several nights weather permitting there were various musical nights by the pool until around 01.00
There were several nights where spectaular shows took place in the Atrium and they were something to see and hear.
On our ports of call same as in 2015 with the exception of Aruba where we saw tram cars.
Aruba a very friendly island, some overcast clouds
in the morning but they soon gave way to warm sunshine with a max 28 C.
We did our usual wander up the south side of the main street about 15 mins
from the ship. Wheelchair friendly 8/10 on south and lower with a 7/10 on
the north side as there were a few more difficult access points to go up
and then down at the crossings, but all drivers were very courteous and
waved us across. We have been here many times in the past and it still
remains one of our favourite Caribbean islands. Whilst 2016 saw an overnight stay in Barbados, in 2017 it will Aruba's turn and possibly again in 2018.
Curacao [Temp 30 C] another very colourful port with all the buildings/houses
all painted in different pastel colours. As with Aruba we have no planned
excursion and hope to go walkabout and explore the area round to the right
just off the ship. We decided to follow the route around to the right keeping
a reasonable distance from the sea wall as the spray can lead to a thorough
soaking. Just as you leave the gate where the security sit there is a road up
to the left and this is better for the wheelchairs rather than staying on the
track you were on. It leads to Rif Fort a lovely set of shops; places to eat
and drink plus some good shopping to be had. If you go through the west
gate more shops and the famous pontoon bridge which opens up to allow
the ferries past then closes to allow the pedestrians across. The temp was
32 C and wheelchair access wasn’t perfect but overall a score of 8/10.
Grenada [Temp 28 C] all the way up to the access for shops and picking up
your excursion or for shopping good it is a good 800yds maybe a little
bit more, scores 9/10 but internally many of the shops were all
reasonably placed to be able to get around inside.
Regrettably Grenada is not on the port of call for 2017.
Barbados [Temp 34 C] The ship was berthed over at the far left and buses were laid on to take you to the shopst. A disabled taxi was laid on for Christine. A wide range of goods from watches; cigarettes; alcohol and souvenirs etc. Access for all types of wheelchairs was better than last year, except the shop down on the left where cigarettes are sold cheaper than the one opposite, but they were sold out this year. Overall access to the shopping mall was good for all types of wheelchairs and despite being a Sunday.
Whilst taking a shower there was an almighty crash, I thought the roof had
caved in, but no, the balcony was covered in splinters of glass and it was still
coming down. I phoned to report the matter and staff arrived to investigate. A large sheet of glass that is fitted to all the hand rails around the ship had
shattered on Deck 15. It was reported due to the excess heat that day in Barbados was the cause, but we never thought it was that hot. The balcony was cleaned and when we came back midnight time this sign had appeared. In the
morning the balcony was cleaned again and later in the day we were told the
majority of the glass had landed on Deck 5 where the lifeboats are located.
St Lucia [Temp 30 C ] We were berthed in the usual spot so shopping was much
Antigua [Temp 29 C] I never took Christine ashore after the problems with using the wheelchair in previous years. My score is still low at 2/10. I have always wanted to see another port replace Antigua and on our 2017 cruise we visit Bonaire and Antigua is not listed, but it is for our 2018 cruise there is to be an overnight stop at Aruba, in both 2017 & 2018.
St Kitts [Temp 34 C] Another great place to wander around the shops and not far to walk. This is where you can go on the old sugar cane railway.This port of call replaced St Thomas which currently has been dropped. However it looks as though Bonaire will replace St.Kitts in 2017 ?.
St Maarten [Temp 35 C] As usual a wide selection of shops just a short walk
from where the ship is berthed and on the mound a great shop with a variety
of items including drink; cigarettes and some basic medical lotions etc. The
ferry links you with the north and east parts of the big shopping areas and 4
years on the fare is still only $7 for ALL DAY use..
My wife's hospitalisation means no more info on our 2016 cruise, we also
lost out on our Med cruise in 2016 and 2017.