Cruise Critic contest winners and guests enjoying lunch in Tuscan Grille
Celebrity Cruises’ recently refurbished Celebrity Eclipse has won several Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice 2015 awards, including Best from the UK.
We recently ran a competition providing 14 of our lucky readers and their guest who had never cruised before, the opportunity to enjoy a ship tour onboard Celebrity Eclipse. Those lucky enough to win, and attend the visit have shared their pictures and thoughts about the day in our blog.
With the sun shining, and a cloudless sky, the day got off to a good start. But, most importantly, what were the guests’ first impressions of Eclipse?
One of our lucky winners, Steve, who had yet to experience Celebrity Eclipse, summed up his thoughts of the ship as being “magnificent in every way” and “stylish and sophisticated without being overdone.”
Impressed with the ship’s interiors, another winner Sarah commented on how the ship was “beautifully designed and very high quality”, while Jan first noticed how clean, modern and luxurious the ship appeared. Jan explained: “I have sailed on her before but my friend Janet hadn’t and was amazed at how elegant she is! I haven’t seen Eclipse since her makeover in May and my first impression was one of a much lighter airier ship.”
Just back from Celebrity Eclipse – Find out what’s new onboard.
During the tour guests were taken to view cabins, and Peter described the accommodation as being “great and very compact”.
Tija, who attended with mother-in-law Karen, and hadn’t yet cruised commented on how ship felt like a 5* hotel from the moment she got onboard “with every member of staff smiling and greeting us. Interior was first class and looked modern and stylish with a wow factor.”
Sarah liked the ship overall, but said it felt “showy and very large, although this is not a criticism, however I did think the pool area was crammed with beds.”
Elaine said: “I was very impressed. I have been on a cruise ship before but this was even better. It was great to look around the cabins. The facilities, the gym, the spa and pools were excellent.”
The service and food
We can try them all?! Wine tasting in Cellar Masters
Following the tour of the ship, guests enjoyed a wine tasting followed by a four-course meal in speciality restaurant Tuscan Grille, an Italian steakhouse. The feedback on the service and food was positive for most, and Jan couldn’t get over how nice the staff were – “right down to the cloakroom attendant.”
Sue enjoyed the wine tasting and described the food as “excellent,” while Sarah B enjoyed the “gorgeous meal, which was truly superb.”
Margaret commented on the “amazing” food and how “Celebrity really know how to look after their guests.” Steve concurred: “In the Tuscan grill, I dropped my knife below the table, I had barely reached down for it when the head-waiter noticed, and was immediately there with a replacement, I was impressed with that attention to customer service.
Room for dessert? Yum… Pistachio Creme Brulee
“The boat was amazing, and so completely ‘me’. Sarah and I had a great time, and it was really useful to see the boat ‘live’, and to get a feel for the lounges, bars, relaxation areas, outdoor areas, and obviously experience the different standards of room, and the faultless dining,” said Diana.
Overall impressions – would they recommend it?
Tija initially started the day with scepticism, and assumed that while the ship would be nice, a cruise wouldn’t suit her due to being in her early thirties, and therefore not something she’d consider in the next 20 years. However, she explained: “Coming off the ship I changed my opinion completely. I was pleasantly surprised that everything is up to a very high standard and spacious –even cabins. Restaurants and bars were Michelin star-like. Everything on this ship was designed for traveller’s comfort. The only thing you have to do is relax and enjoy the experience.”
Jan who has sailed on Celebrity Eclipse before successfully convinced friend Janet why she loves it so much, and commented: “I am sailing on Eclipse in January for four weeks and was wowed all over again by how lovely she is and how helpful the staff were when queried about arrangements. Janet is now hoping to join us with her partner – fingers crossed!”
Fiona’s overall impressions were that “the food was excellent, the ship was spotless and the staff very helpful and polite. The wine tasting was also a great experience and very informative. The only point I would make is that my guest would probably be a solo traveller so it would have been nice to have been shown an inside cabin as well. There is a good chance I may sail on Celebrity Eclipse and I have shared my photos and tales of the day with a colleague who is also keen.”
One of the most important considerations for Sarah is the kids club, and while she wasn’t sure this was quite right for her requirements, she explained: “I would definitely recommend it to others. It would suit my sister down to the ground, for example.”
“I would not hesitate to recommend celebrity to everyone. So many friends have asked me about it and are looking to book one up themselves,” concluded Margaret.
• To view further images of Celebrity’s ships, including Eclipse, please view our gallery.
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