Celebrity Eclipse Caribbean Cruise
Check in at Miami Port was quick and very efficient: The lady who checked us in wanted to know all about the Royal Wedding arrangements!
The Celebrity Eclipse from Celebrity Cruises is a very beautiful and ultra modern ship. The public areas are vast, with bright airy rooms - full of comfortable furnishings and the happiest and most welcoming staff we have ever come across. Our stateroom - Aqua Class balcony - was beautifully fitted and, although smaller than we were expecting, had room for everything. The power shower with massage jets was particularly nice, as were the lovely shower gels etc. We could have as much bottled water as we liked and our attendant was charming and most helpful. The relaxation room was a very short walk and we quickly realised that this was the place to make morning tea! The sound proofing was excellent and we did not have disturbed sleep at any time.
We tried out everything we could on the ship and found the standards very high indeed. We did buy a beverage package beforehand and also pre-booked our shore excursions. We ate at the specialty Restaurants and they are all totally AMAZING and worth every penny. Just imagine ordering your dinner from a hand-held iPad menu!. The on-deck area is huge and there are lovely touches, such as double hammocks and cabanas - as well as shaded areas right on the upper deck. The adults only pool area is gorgeous and has it's own bistro, with tempting and healthy food alternatives - for breakfast and lunch.
The musical entertainment in various areas throughout the day was top class and diverse: There was something for all to enjoy. The shows were very good and well attended.
We particularly liked the coffee-shop and tea lounge, where we had a regular stop every afternoon.
The stars of the bars are definitely the juggling, smiling and huge personalities of the Martini bar servers! We very quickly discovered that this was THE place to be seated before dinner and were treated to almost circus standard entertainment every night, whilst enjoying an expertly shaken Martini. These people are world class and I hope they are very well paid.
The Miami Beach Hotel was very good and we had a huge suite with two bathrooms! There was an adults only pool, which was peaceful and not overly busy at any time. The area was safe to walk short distances and we were not bothered by street vendors or beggars.
We had dinner at a Cuban restaurant - from the Miami guide book you gave us (YUCA). We ate at a table in the street and watched fascinating people for a couple of hours and then went to a Salsa class on the top floor of the main restaurant. We had a great time and learned a lot! We can recommend the Last Paradise Resort in Roatan: This is a fabulous place and we had a fantastic day there, complete with a lobster lunch. My husband went on a $20 snorkelling trip from the resort and saw more than he has seen almost anywhere in the world: It is a completely unspoiled place and the locals are passionate about protecting the coral reef.
We particularly liked the itinerary of this cruise, having been to the larger and much more commercial Caribbean islands, on a number of occasions. The shore excursions - on the whole - were well worth the money. Not everyone wants to go shopping and go looking to buy diamonds and it was refreshing to go to places where this was not made a priority.
Finally, I must say a big THANK YOU to Cathy Chesman - whose calm patience and professionalism guided us through the collapse of our Nile Cruise holiday and helped us to choose one of the best vacations we have had in a long time.
Written by Dr Gordon Burton