I have just had a fantastic 2 night cruise on the wonderful Eclipse.
The mini cruise was part of my month long 40th Celebrations and was a little getaway for me and my partner. It is the first time in 14 years that we have been away without the children and although we missed them we had such a great few days.
We started the break by heading down to Southampton, which is a bit of a trek from Barrow-in-Furness but I find it no problem by rail. I would recommend staying over in Southampton the evening before your cruise and there are so many options for all budgets. I like to stay central and on this occasion chose a very budget friendly hotel – The Travelodge central. Yes its a very basic hotel but the hotel is in a wonderful locale. You have West Quay shopping Centre on your door step as well as High street and also not far from the front and City Cruise terminal. The deal was I went shopping with the better half and she would come to a few bars with me. I always like to stop off at the Red Lion for a drink and I also wanted to have a beer in The Dancing Man, this is a micro brewery and the offerings are fantastic – the Bar itself is very quirky…definitely worth a visit!
So on to the ship – We boarded around mid-day, checking in was quick and easy and even though there were a lot of people checking in at the same time , as usual there were many check in desks so no long wait times. Cabins were not ready as yet so we decided to go and get a bite to eat in the self service (buffet) restaurant called Oceanview Cafe. It was hectic in here which is always the case on the first day – but getting food was quick and painless. The selection of food was really great and Louise (my Partner) was very impressed with the salad selection. I opted for a carvery with some great beef and Roast potatoes…okay so I added some other meats and other veggies – we all pile our plates high on day one. I then went for a selection of cakes – which were all lovely. by the time I had eaten the cabin was ready so we headed down.
We had an outside cabin and I have to say they are a really good size with a nice big picture window and a good size sofa, which you dont always see in an outside cabin. there is enough storage and the bathroom is just the right size. Oh and the bed….so comfy!!.
We had the new ‘Standard’ drinks package which I think Celebrity is using mainly on the mini cruises but I had upgraded to the Classic package which meant that I had much more choice on drinks. One thing I noticed was that they were using cheap dark rum for many cocktails that would normally have Bacardi – im not sure if this was because many people were on the standard package and the Bacardi is on the Classic and above? But we made sure that we asked for white Rum or Bacardi, I mean who wants a strawberry Daquari with Dark rum? To upgrade the drinks package was around £9.08pp per day which I felt was worth it.
We had a good wander round the ship – I have been on this ship before and loved it, and my view has not changed. She has an elegance about her. Our favourite parts of the ship are the Lawn up on deck 15 – It is a great social area when the sun is shining, sitting on the real grass on a picnic blanket with a bottle of Dos Equis!!, The Observation Lounge forward on Deck 14 – great through the day looking out to sea (early evening is my favourite time), or of an evening when the house band are playing. Ensemble Lounge on deck 5 – this bar/;lounge has a great Ambience and some of the comfiest seats at sea, usually have a pianist playing. Martini Bar on deck 4 – this features a frozen wrap around bar perfect for keeping those Martinis cold, it is a real hub of an evening with a great atmosphere. Cafe Al Bacio on Deck 5 – Great coffees and cakes to have in the cafe or take away.
Our evening meals were taken in the Moonlight Sonata restaurant which is the main restaurant on Eclipse. We had chosen Celebrity Select Dining which is their any time dining option. You can pre book a particular timing each day on line before you cruise and I would suggest maybe doing this on a shorter cruise. I was able to secure 8.30pm dining each evening, on the second evening we went to see the receptionist at the restaurant as we were passing and just after 8pm to see if we could dine then and were able to. the Select dining area occupies the upper tier of the restaurant. As you would expect it is a very busy restaurant but I found the staff in there to be excellent. The food was very good and Louise enjoyed her vegetarian fayre very much – which is always praise enough. My food was excellent so top marks to the chef and his team.
I did manage to catch the show on the second evening which is well worth a watch. It is called Topper and is a modern show which features new pop songs which relate top the story. I was really impressed with the fact that the main cast consisted of around 7 very good singers joined by a back up team of dancers. I have to say it is one of the best shows I have seen on a ship for a while so do go and watch it if you get the chance. Also a big thanks to the cast for posing for photos afterwards, what a great bunch.
So overall we loved our couple of days on board Celerity Eclipse – she is a ship that ticks a lot of boxes – no she hasn’t got large slides and flow riders – but what she has got is a touch of class and luxury, with a great layout and some really superb venues – A must try ship!!