Have recently returned from a wonderful cruise to the Mediterranean onboard Celebrity Eclipse.
This was our third cruise on the Eclipse, and just as enjoyable as the previous two. Food in Moonlight Sonata was excellent (no need to use speciality restaurants) and staff were very helpful and attentive. As others have mentioned, one or two of the cabin staff seemed to be new to service, or even still in training and under supervision. The entertainment seemed better than on previous Celebrity cruises, but the shops seemed rather poorly stocked, with no evidence of stock rotation from the previous week's cruise, which judging by the number of Norwegian products on sale, was to the Fjords.
I would like to commend one group of the ship's workers who rarely get any recognition or praise, namely the tender and security staff working the gangways and tender boats, who are always extremely helpful to wheelchair users and those who require a little more help in disembarkation.
Although we were not personally affected, the presence of the Norovirus is always a worry. No matter how vigilant the cruise line is regarding hand sanitisation, changing serving utensils etc, the problem remains a simple one of basic hygiene and unfortunately those people who do not practise basic hygiene at home, are unlikely to change their behaviour just because they are on a cruise.
The only problem we encountered on the cruise was in Lisbon, where only one accessible shuttle bus, with one wheelchair space, was provided. Celebrity know how many guests travelling are wheelchair users, and should have had the foresight to hire sufficient vehicles to cope with the demand. Even if only half of the guests opted to go ashore, and with the round trip to the city taking upwards of 50 minutes, it must have been abundantly clear that more than one accessible vehicle would be required. Knowing that the only accessible bus would be in great demand for the return journey, we consequently had very little time in the city and did not have time to visit the monuments area, which was the other option on the shuttle ticket.
That aside, it was a most enjoyable cruise, the Eclipse is a lovely ship, and we look forward to sailing on her again. However, it looks as if next year's Mediterranean itinerary is identical to this year's, (and indeed last year's), so we may have to go back to P & O or try another line, perhaps Celebrity's sister company, Royal Caribbean, although I don't know how they compare with Celebrity.
I realise that there is a limited number of ports within the Mediterranean, but I do think that Celebrity should add a few different ones into the mix, maybe Valencia, Ajaccio or Monte Carlo.