This is a Celebrity Eclipse Review of this amazing cruise ship. It is a tour of the ship, stateroom, dining and food. Many photos of the ship are available in the link to my Celebrity Eclipse album.
We were invited by my cruise travel agent (Go Cruise with Jane) to go on a tour of the relatively new (launched 2010) cruise ship called Celebrity Eclipse. The ship may be best known as being diverted to Spain during the Volcanic Ash Cloud drama when European air space was closed down. The ship, instead of being shown before being named officially, was sent to bring back stranded travellers. So we drove down to Southampton, where the ship was docked for the day on Halloween Day (31 October), before it set off on a transatlantic repositioning cruise to Miami for the Caribbean Winter Season.
Celebrity is part of the 2nd largest Cruise Group (Royal Caribbean) and is their more premium offer. The Celebrity brand has a number of ships of the same class, and are adding more over the coming years.
As the photos in this article, and the many that I have posted on Flickr (click here for the album), show you can see that the ship has style and class, and a high finish and specification. It feels classy and upmarket. They also focus a lot on small bars with themes, with a wide range of special dining restaurants across many styles of food and supplement charges (from about US$10 to US$30) although the main dining room is also very stylish and modern looking.
More like a hotel than a ship
Overall I think the ship did not feel like a ship, and more like a 5 star hotel that happened to go to sea. I am sure this will appeal to a lot of people, although think it is more targeted to the American than a British consumer. It does have a modern and well planned feel overall, but for me it lacked the tradition and sea-faring approach that Cunard has. I missed the sense of link to the sea and some touches like the open promenade deck that Cunard has all round the ship.
Plush cabins and suites
The cabins are probably more plush and have much more detail than Cunard cabins, and I think many first time cruisers would like the ship as feel more hotel like and more of a transition as one experiments with cruising. I would like to do a short few days and try it out, but I think for me Cunard is still Queen!
Whatever you chose, if you decide to book a cruise, I cannot recommend Jane Chadwick enough, and if you want to find out more about her: http://www.gocruisewithjane.co.uk/
Watch a slideshow video of the ship showing all the public rooms, many staterooms, dining venues and bars: