Not 5 star!
Enid Ward | January 1, 2017 | Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Eclipse
There is certainly a wow factor when first embarking this magnificent ship. Our cabin though quite narrow was well appointed, clean, had a good -size shower, and an average- size balcony. The only minus point in the cabin was the tap over the washbasin which was literally ??over? the washbasin, making it quite difficult to use without banging your nose or forehead on the protruding tap. Certainly a case of design first function second.
Over all the ship is well laid out, the public areas have plenty of comfortable seating. First impressions of the Ocean View Cafe were also good, a wide variety of well presented food. The theatre is a good size and the entertainment on the whole was very good.
Cafe Al Bacio was a really nice area, the waiters were very attentive and the food excellently presented and a decent cup of coffee could be purchased. The desserts here were wonderful as were the complimentary chocolates.
Despite our first impressions however our experience aboard this ship was not particularly good when compared with other cruise lines we have sailed with (Princess and P&O). In our experience there were several negative points.
Firstly there was nowhere on the ship (apart from our balcony) where we could escape the awful, invasive, continual background ??music? ?? a howling, wailing diva squawking in the background is not something we want to listen to whilst trying to relax on the lawn, or on any of the sun decks, this for us, was a huge irritation. Even in the library we could not find peace and quiet. During the sailaways, we liked to sit at the back of the ship in the Sunset Bar and chat to friends, however, there was always a singer with his guitar strumming – meaning we could hardly hear each other speak. The guitarist was good, it??s just that he was in the wrong place. On board other ships this type of entertainment is usually confined to the poolside entertainment area where you can join in if you want or stay away if you want a quiet port departure.
We were sold the ??Persian Garden? in the Aqua Spa as the ultimate place to relax and unwind. We were not Aqua Class guests, so had to pay $284 to take advantage of this facility for the 2 weeks we were aboard (a daily rate for this facility was not available – it was pay for the full 14 days or nothing). Having bought this facility on other ships and really enjoyed it we decided to treat ourselves. In the afternoon of the second day we had our first experience of the Persian Garden; spa staff were still showing passengers around so every few minutes the door would open and in would come a few people to look round ?? so there was no peace and tranquiity. A lady in a wheelchair was also shown around and got her electric wheelchair stuck in the shower necessitating sever attempts to reverse out. We stayed about 15 minutes before giving up on the ??oasis of calm?. The following day we spent even less time there. Whilst in the steam room a bumping and thumping (disco sounds) were coming from somewhere nearby (I think from the floor above) completely overpowering the delicate spa sounds which were playing in the background. We walked out, dressed and went to the Customer Relations desk to complain. We did get our money back (less a charge of $92 – 2 days @ $23 per day each ?? even though we had been told that there was no daily charge only a 2 week charge???). I made further representation regarding the fact that we had been sold a service which had not been delivered and managed to get the $92 reduced to $52 ?? still a lot to pay for nothing!!! The Customer Relations officer was not really that bothered. I believe Aqua Class customers pay for use of these facilities up front, so if our experience is anything to go by I would not recommend Aqua Class. Indeed several Aqua class people we spoke to said it was not worth the extra money they paid, they would have been better to stick with an ordinary balcony cabin.
Over the two weeks we were on board the food became less appetising, it was repetitive and by the end of the cruise monotonous. This can be said for both the Moonlight Sonata Restaurant and the Ocean View Cafe. Although we were waited on in the Moonlight Sonata dining room there was no silver service ?? all meals were served ready plated. Vegetables were very limited and nearly the same every evening.
During our particular cruise the shops were closed for refurbishment for the first few days. They opened a few at a time right up until the last but two days. Despite the new franchises and refurbishment they offered nothing new, nor were of particularly good value. To say the goods offered were duty free, there were no bargains. (To be fair this could be said of other cruise ships too ).
I do not think we will be sailing with this cruise line again, in my opinion they are not as good as P&O or Princess. Overall, we did enjoy our holiday, most of the staff were great, the weather was fabulous and we enjoyed chatting with many fellow passengers, but to say this is a five star ship is exaggeration.
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