It’s a rare ship that lives up to your initial expectations. From that first glance at the pretty pictures in the brochures (or online) to that moment you finally get on-board and go exploring around the ship. Somehow the reality never quite looks like the brochure does it?
That might seem like a strange thing for a company to say that’s in the business of selling cruises but…
- It’s true and
- The CRUISE.co.uk team has always tried to be as honest with you as possible.
That’s not to say you’ll ever be disappointed by a cruise holiday; it’s more that the images you tend to see in brochures are glossy, professionally taken (and if we’re really honest, probably photo-shopped as well!) These kind of glossy brochure shots aren’t unique to the cruising world though. All hotels and resorts do it (and we won’t even get started on the modelling industry).
The reason we’re talking about this today however is that the www.CRUISE.co.uk team recently spent a couple of nights on-board the Celebrity Eclipse and it was one of the few ships we’ve ever seen where the reality actually lived up to the glossy images. In fact on quite a few occasions we found that the reality of the ship actually looked better than the brochure had led us to believe!
We couldn’t believe it either but it’s true – Just take a look at some of these images from the Celebrity website and the reality of what being there was actually like…
If anything the food in the Ocean View Cafe (Celebrity’s buffet restaurant) is better in real life than they’ve ever shown us in the brochures… There’s dozens of different types of breads during the day, dishes from all over the globe and lets not forget the midnight buffet!
The Vodka and Martini bars definitely need to be one of your first ports of call when you get on-board. The martini bar is refrigerated from underneath, meaning all your drinks are resting on a thin rime of frost whilst the Vodka bar comes with all it’s bottles embedded in ice!
Talk about the wow factor!
We’ve always thought the pictures of Cellar Master (Celebrity’s wine bar) made it look a bit, well, ‘cheesy’ – Ssshhh, don’t tell Celebrity we said that! The reality though is that the bar is tastefully decorated, unbelievably comfortable and reminded us a lot of a 19th Century Victorian Gentleman’s club with lots of wooden furniture, leather seats and fireplaces – Well worth a drink or four!
Did You Know: The most expensive bottle of wine on-board is a Screaming Eagle cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley in California (1998 vintage) that sells for $5,130! – We’ll take three then, yes?
Celebrity like to say their ships are all about Modern Luxury and we have have to say we agree. The pictures of the main dining room on-board are almost as beautiful in the brochure as they are in real life!
Did You Know: The main chandelier was designed to look like champagne bubbles popping on the ceiling.
The Solstice class of cruise ships (of which the Eclipse is part) are designed to look like 5* boutique hotels at sea. That may be the case but it’s not until you get on-board that you can truly appreciate how stunning and awe-inspiring the main atrium truly is.
Qsine is one of the specialty restaurants on-board and is a mix of tapas (from all over the world) with a hefty mix of Heston Blumenthal and Alice in Wonderland thrown in. Quirky doesn’t even begin to cover it and whilst you really do need to pay the $40 cover charge to truly appreciate it we’re happy to report that all the yummy looking food Celebrity advertise in their brochures is available to eat in the restaurant itself!
The solarium, or indoor pool, on the Eclipse has to be seen to be believed. Neither our photo or the original brochure photo does it justice at all! In fact, we’d probably go so far as to say that the Eclipse’s indoor pool was our second favourite at sea ever (see if you can guess what our favourite is though…)
If any part of the ship has the wow factor it has to be the lawn club on deck 15.
We’re talking about that moment when you see something for the first time and your jaw literally drops.
You’ll be glad to know that the pictures you see of the lawn really do look like that in real life (and yes it is real grass!) Perfect for a picnic on a lazy sea day.
If anything the pool deck looks even more impressive in real life than the brochure makes it seem. In real life it’s full of little surprises like the fountain you never quite see in Celebrity’s official literature or the cabanas that are so useful for dodging that mid day sun!
The library, located just off the main atrium, is an oasis of calm for you to go and relax in during the day and yep, you’ve guessed it, the brochure shot really does do it justice!
So what do you think about brochures? Does reality ever live up to the hype? We certainly though the Eclipse did!
Have you been on-board the Celebrity eclipse? What did you think of Celebrity’s ‘modern-luxury’?
Let us know in the comments below…// END - About the Author ?>