Our July 2011 Baltic cruise (our 18th cruise todate) on the Eclipse was our 2nd with Celebrity and most probably our last! The trip was definitely spoilt by the large Spanish & Mexican contingent; who were loud, rude and ignorant throughout the trip. To summarise briefly: - The Good: The ship is fine and has potential to be a great cruise ship, plenty of open spaces. The glass blowing is a novelty, but does anyone go to more than one show? The staff were GREAT, friendly and professional (although a few of the Eastern European staff were a little surly!). The food was fine a little “nouvelle cuisine”, but it was well presented and we had no complaints. Also, as there wasn’t the vegetable overload you can get with other lines (P&O), there was a lot less waste. Didn’t try the alternative restaurants – couldn’t see the point the food didn’t look any better! The ports were as good as expected (but the cruise line can’t be held responsible if you don’t like a port, it was your choice when you booked!). The tours were well organised, if a little expensive. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were handled very smoothly, much better than P&O!
The Bad: The “innovative” design of the cabin simply just doesn’t work! Having bed being near the balcony doors and the HUGE settee in the middle of the cabin is a mistake. There isn’t really enough drawer space, even with the over-bed cupboards (which my wife couldn’t reach without balancing on the bed). The shower-room is ok and looks very contemporary. But, the sink is a major triumph for style over practicality; the tap is so big it’s difficult to use the sink (almost impossible to have a wet-shave!). No self-service laundry/ironing room; the stewards will press clothes (at a cost), but I’d be reluctant to send anything more delicate than shirts or suits. The dress code wan't adherred to, shorts in the dining room & theater on Formal nights! The entertainment was at best average (verging on poor); the dancers were trying their best, but the choreography was dire and the music tempo too fast; as it was all over the ship, from the use of recorded music through to the live groups & bands (only the jazz group were able to keep to reasonable timing – and I don’t like jazz!). Mike Doyle was his usual self and the other guest entertainers were ok. Drinks were expensive, $4.50 for a litre of bottled water! Alcoholic drinks started at $5.25 for a small bottle of beer, with wine at about $6.00 for a small glass. We don’t drink much so we paid for each drink, but the most suitable Beverage package for us would have cost $1400.00 for the two week cruise. The shuttle buses were extortionate at $15.00 each per day (we only used two, Helsinki & Stockholm). And that’s it, as I say, most likely won’t use Celebrity again, so its’ back to P&O (although they seem to be dumbing down the cruise experience, with the dress code not being upheld). So, it looks like its Cunard next! Cheers, Paul & Margaret
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Times cruised before: 10+ Sailed: July, 2011
Occasion: Annual/regular holiday
Quality of Food
Saw a few of the shows, poor! The guest entertainers were the best bit
St Petersburg, Peterhof Palace & Gardens was the best. The gardens are fantastic!
All were good, but as usual the waiters and cabin stewards were almost faultless.
Had free lesson on the Apple computer system in the ILounge. Nothing else looked too interesting really.
The “innovative” design of the cabin simply just doesn’t work! Having bed being near the balcony doors and the HUGE settee in the middle of the cabin is a mistake. There isn’t really enough drawer space, even with the over-bed cupboards (which my wife couldn’t reach without balancing on the bed)) The shower-room is ok and looks very contemporary. But, the sink is a major triumph for style over practicality; the tap is so big it’s difficult to use the sink (almost impossible to have a wet-shave!).