Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 413 out of 500
Accommodation: 165 out of 200
Food: 297 out of 400
Service: 306 out of 400
Entertainment: 77 out of 100
Cruise: 299 out of 400
Overall Score: 1557 out of 2000
Celebrity Eclipse Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9404314
Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)
Original Cost: $641 million
Entered Service: Jun 2010
Length (ft/m): 1,033.4/315.0
Beam (ft/m): 120.7/36.8
Draft (ft/m): 27.2/8.3
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (67,200kW)/2 azimuthing pods
Passenger Decks: 14
Total Crew: 1,210
Passengers (lower beds): 2,852
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 42.7
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.3
Cabins (total): 1,426
Size Range (sq ft/m): 182.9-668.4/17.0-155.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 1,216
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 30
Wheelchair accessibility: Best
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 3
Hot Tubs (on deck): 6
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
A large, stylish, premium ship for family-friendly cruising
Overview. This slimline ship is a sister to Celebrity Equinox (2009), Celebrity Reflection (2012), Celebrity Silhouette (2011), and Celebrity Solstice (2008).
The Ship. Celebrity Eclipse has a steeply raked stern - which includes a mega-yacht-style ducktail platform above the ship’s propulsion pods; it is attractive, and nicely balances the ship’s contemporary profile.
Behind the two smallish funnels is a real grass outdoor area, the Lawn Club. This is the authentic stuff - not green fake turf - and it seems to like the salty air. The club is open to all, so you can putt, play croquet or bocce ball (like bowling or French boules), picnic on the grass, or perhaps sleep on it. Several pool and water-play areas are found on Resort Deck: one in a glass-roofed solarium, a sports pool, a family pool, and a wet zone. The deck space around the two pools, however, isn’t large enough for the number of passengers carried.
The interior spaces are well designed, with most of the entertainment rooms positioned forward, and dining venues located in the aft section. There’s a wine bar with a sommelier; a cocktail lounge that reflects the jazz age of the 1930s and ’40s; a bar with the look of an ocean-going yacht; Quasar, a bar with designs from the 1960s and ’70s and large screens that create a nightly light show synchronized to music; and an observation lounge with a dance floor.
Celebrity’s signature Martini Bar, with its frosted bar and more than 100 varieties of vodka as well as martinis, has a small alcove called Crush with an ice-filled table where you can participate in caviar and vodka tasting, or host a private party. It’s noisy and congested.
An innovative Hot Glass Show, housed in an outdoor studio on the open deck as part of the Lawn Club and created in collaboration with Corning Museum of Glass, includes demonstrations and a narrated performance of glass-blowing. Resident glass-blowing artists also host workshops.
One thing that’s cool is an Apple ‘iLounge’ equipped with 26 Apple MacBook Pro work stations. You can also buy Apple products. Also, the elevator call buttons are located in a floor-stand ‘pod’ and, when the elevator arrives, a glass panel above it turns from blue to pink.
Gratuities are automatically charged to your onboard account.
Families. Play areas include the Fun Factory (for 3-12-year-olds, featuring Leapfrog Schoolhouse’s educational programs); and ‘X Club’ - a high-tech teens-only chill-out room with coffee bar and a night-time dance club.
Accommodation. From suite-grade Penthouse Suites to non-suite-grade interior cabins, the accommodation is practical and comfortable. There are numerous price grades, depending on size and location. In non-suite-grade cabins there is little space between the bed and the wall, and usable drawer space is limited. So, if your budget allows, book a suite-category cabin for all the extra benefits - and a lot more drawer space.
About 90 percent of cabins have an outside view, and many have a balcony; due to the ship’s pencil-slim width, there are few interior cabins. The suite-grade categories are: Royal Suite, Celebrity Suite, Sky Suite, and Penthouse Suite.
All accommodation grades include: twin beds convertible to a queen- or king-size bed, sitting area, vanity desk with hairdryer, but there’s almost no drawer space. Also standard in all cabins: 32-inch flat-screen TVs (larger screens in suites), Wi-Fi Internet access (for a fee), premium bedding. However, although the closets have good hanging space, other storage space is limited. The bathroom has a shower enclosure, toilet, and tiny washbasin. Suites have more space, larger balconies with good-quality sunloungers, and more personal amenities.
Some 130 AquaSpa cabins incorporate select spa elements into the cabins, and allow for specialized access to the AquaSpa’s Thermal Relaxation Room and Persian Garden (with aromatherapy/steam rooms) on the same deck. Features include: a choice of four pillows (conformance, body, goose, Isotonic); express luggage delivery; shoeshine; Frette bathrobes; dining and seating preferences in other specialty dining venues; and early embarkation and disembarkation. Bathrooms have a decent amount of space, and a large shower enclosure. Occupants also get assigned seating at the exclusive 130-seat Restaurant Blu.
Other accommodation grades are named Veranda Class, Sunset Veranda Class, Concierge Class, Family Ocean View with veranda, Deluxe Ocean View with veranda, Standard Ocean View, and Standard Interior cabins.
Cabins 1551-1597 on the port side and 1556-1602 on the starboard side on Penthouse Deck (Deck 11) suffer from ‘aircraft carrier’ syndrome because they are directly under the huge overhanging Resort Deck. They have little exposure to sun or light, so sunbathing is out of the question. Many thick supporting struts ruin the view from these cabins, which are otherwise pleasantly fitted out.
Dining. Moonlight Sonata is the ship’s 1,430-seat two-deck main dining room, and is included in the cruise price. It has ocean views on the port and starboard sides, and to the stern (aft). The design is stunning and contemporary. At the forward end, a two-deck-high wine tower provides an eye-catching focal point.
Other dining options. The following dining spots provide an alternative to the main dining room, good for special occasions or just for something different.
Murano is an extra-cost, reservations-required venue offering high-quality traditional dining with a French flair and exquisite table settings, including large Reidel wine glasses. Food and service are very good.
Blu is a 130-seat specialty restaurant just for the occupants of AquaClass cabins. The room has a pleasing, but rather cool, blue decor.
The Tuscan Grille, an extra-cost venue, serves Kobe beef and premium quality steaks, and has beautifully curved archways - it’s like walking into a high-tech winery. There are great views from huge aft-view windows.
Qsine is an extra-cost, 90-seat reservations-required, tablecloth-less ‘fun-food’ restaurant, with trendy interactive iPad food and wine menus that include cute foodie video snaps. The food consists of multi-flavored, multi-colored, quirky small-bite items that provide you with a selection to tease your taste buds. The food is presented in many unusual ways - even on sticks. It’s a delightful experience that I can recommend.
For snacks and less ambitious meals, the options are:
Bistro on Five (Deck 5, that is) for coffee, cakes, crêpes, pastries, and more. It gets busy at times and the serving counter is small, so it’s a congested area.
Café al Bacio & Gelateria, a coffeehouse serving Lavazza Italian coffee. It is on one side of the main lobby, but it’s small and lines quickly form at peak times. The seating is mostly in large, very comfortable armchairs.
Oceanview Café and Grill, a large, tray-less, casual self-serve buffet venue that includes a number of food ‘islands,’ and good signage. However, it’s impossible to get a warm plate for so-called hot food items.
The AquaSpa Café for light, healthier options (solarium fare), but the selections are not exactly thrilling.
The Mast Bar Grill and Bar an outside venue offering fast food.
Entertainment. The 1,115-seat Eclipse Theater, the main showlounge, stages three circus-themed production shows featuring in-your-face, formulaic acrobatics.
Colorful theme nights are held in the Observation Lounge (whose bland daytime decor comes alive at night thanks to mood lighting effects). The 200-seat Celebrity Central, hosts stand-up comedy, cooking demonstrations, enrichment lectures, and feature films. Quasar is a high-pulse, high-volume nightclub.
An Entertainment Court showcases street performers, psychics, and caricaturists, and is in the center of the ship. There’s also a big-band-era cocktail lounge with live jazz-styled music, set adjacent to the Murano, the specialty restaurant.
Spa/Fitness. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub is laid out over two decks. A large fitness center includes kinesis (pulleys against gravity) workout equipment, plus all the familiar gym machinery.
An extra-cost, unisex thermal suite features several steam and shower mist rooms and a glacial ice fountain, plus a calming relaxation area with heated tiled beds, and an acupuncture center.