This is our latest cruise review from our Celebrity Eclipse 13 night Transatlantic crossing departing Miami on April 17th visiting Nassau (Bahamas), Kings Wharf (Bermuda), Lisbon (Portugal) and debarkation in Southampton (England) on the 30th April.
Some stats about the Eclipse
The Eclipse is one of the Celebrity Solstice class ships and can hold 2850 passengers and around 1246 crew. Built in 2010 puts her in the newer age of ships these days. And with a total occupancy of 4096 makes the Eclipse a mid to large size range cruise ship;
- Tonnage: 122,000
- Length: 1041 ft
- Beam: 121 ft
- Draught: 27 ft
- Cruising Speed: 24 kts
- 2850 Passengers
- 1246 Crew
Check-in and Boarding
Walking to the terminal entrance here we have a quick passport and express ticket printout check. Upstairs at the check-in desk passports, credit card for verification and the health questionnaire are processed and in return we receive our cruise cards. A very fast and smooth check-in procedure here at Miami cruise terminal. From here we continued directly to the ship, no need to take a number and wait in a lounge area.
To follow along with our cruise in great detail of what happened each day, I have written my daily cruise review with over 200 photos. In this post I’m going to take you on a walk around the Eclipse looking at each place onboard, with more photos and experiences. Get a cuppa and enjoy the tour.
First of all let me show you our balcony cabin.
Balcony Cabin #7204
This is how deck seven corridor looks. Our cabin category B2 was near to the front lifts which made it easy to get around, the aft lifts are not far away either.
The door to the cabin opens outwards which is nice and gives the feeling of an even bigger cabin. 7204 is a standard balcony cabin and the first one after the two angled balcony cabins on the front bubble (the bit that sticks out).
First impressions are great, very clean and neat and in good condition. The bed is two singles together that make up a queen bed, with four nice pillows.
A very small bedside table each side. The bed in our cabin is next to the wardrobe and there is enough room to get around without feeling cramped for space. Plenty of easy to use hangers and bathrobe’s. No drawers near or in the wardrobe, there are five of them built into the cabinet near the TV & desk.
The desk space and chair is great and a couple of plugs. The safe is also a good size and fits a 13″ laptop.
There is also a couch which would become the third bed if needed. The cabin is nice and bright and at night has good lighting.
The balcony itself was larger than many we’ve had before and two chairs that recline plus a good size table that you could actually enjoy room service on.
The bathroom has a good amount of space to store all that stuff we take with us. Celebrity have soap bars and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion in tubes for your use. A couple of ear buds and a shower cap.
The shower is a good size and has a sliding door (2 parts) which could be a pain at times, but rather that than the old style shower curtain.
All up, a very nice balcony cabin.
Now that we are all aboard the wonderful Celebrity Eclipse and you know where we’re staying, we will begin the tour of the Eclipse starting at the top and make our way down.
This is the highest point on the ship that is accessible to passengers. Situated at the front of the Eclipse you have great views left, right and in front out to sea, looking behind you look over the solar panels of the indoor pool area towards the rear of the ship.
On the Solstice deck you find sun loungers and some other comfy chairs. It’s basically a sun deck to lay and soak up the rays, the good thing here is that the glass panels protect you from most of the wind.
Outside on deck 15 you have a half-size basketball court (see above) and you can walk all around the front of this deck which allows for awesome views down to the helipad and out to see.
Inside at the front on this deck you’ll find the youth area; X Club, Video Arcade & Fun Factory, Shipmates on either side. I didn’t pay much attention to these places and while I think about it, there were actually very few children onboard.
At the rear lift or stair area you get access to the Lawn Club and just outside the lifts on deck 15 (both sides) are table tennis tables.
At the rear of the Eclipse on deck 15 you have the Lawn Club which is really special and sets it apart from most other ships. Roughly half an acre of real manicured lawn is here which requires care and attention.
Games can be played here such as Bocce or Boules and Croquet or you can just lay out a towel and relax. It wasn’t very busy on the lawn which was pleasant.
Under the shade cloths that span the area here you’ll find the Hot Glass show.
Corning Museum Hot Glass show
The team of Corning glass blowers host a 2 hour show on most sea days where they explain a bit about the art of working with glass while actually producing various pieces that are auctioned off at the end of the cruise.
For anybody interested in art and in particular pieces made from glass then you’re in for a treat. The glass artists answered questions and gave a running commentary while each of the three ladies worked with the glass.
Further to the rear on deck 15 you’ll walk around to the Sunset Bar.
This bar is facing out to see and has lots of tables and chairs to sit, relax and enjoy. A popular spot for sail away especially on sunny afternoons. Service was good from the bar, table service a bit slow.
Walking from the front to the back on deck 15 you actually need to go down to deck 14 and then up again each way.
On deck 14 you’ll find the Oceanview Bar which you can get to by walking down the stairs at the very back from the Sunset bar above.
Oceanview Cafe & Bar
Half way down or up is a single table (kinda special) which would be deck 13.
The Oceanview Bar serves the area all around the back of the ship outside of the Oceanview cafe. Plenty of tables and chairs here to eat and drink at, with table service. Ideal place to enjoy your meal when the weather is good. It’s not an ideal bar to sit up at unlike the Sunset Bar above.
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Moving inside from here is the Oceanview Cafe where you can have breakfast lunch and dinner as well as afternoon snacks and late night snacks. This place is closed between 1am and 6am for food but the self serve beverage section is open 24/7.
The Oceanview offers a self service buffet with many food options. The quality was very good and a good variety of choices at each meal time.
The buffet set up is spacious and very open this is achieved by having modular serving buffets and not a big closed in area which normally is built around the galley. The galley is actually further to the back and with a hot food cooking station around it.
To see a selection of breakfast items check out this part of my daily review, and here for a bit about lunch.
Walking towards the front of the ship we leave the Oceanview cafe, toilets are on either side. A bank of 8 lifts are here and you can see right the way down to deck 3. The lifts have glass backs and a small part of the floor is smokey glass, and the entire lift area is very bright being filled with natural daylight. One of the best ways to build in the lifts on any ship.
Mast Grill & Bar
Walking to the front takes you outside again and on either side and you walk past the deck chairs laid out and along the jogging track, looking down you can see the pools, whirlpools and more deck chairs. On the port side is the Mast Grill. Here you can get what I call fast food like burgers, hot dogs, chips, soft pull ice cream etc.
On the starboard side is the Mast Bar which is a smoking bar and has views down to the pool area.
Continuing along passing even more deck chairs you can eventually go up to deck 15 or go inside to the forward lift area. To the left of the lifts is the entrance to two conference rooms. On the righthand side is the Sky Lounge
Sky Observation Lounge
This is the only bar or lounge that has fantastic sea views. Floor to ceiling windows wrap around the Sky Lounge and here you have a variety of seats, day beds, stools, benches to sit around. During the day this is a quiet spot, however depending on activities and naturally what itinerary your cruise has it could be very busy.
As evening approaches the sky Lounge becomes a more popular bar area and later on even quite a lively entertainment area. With a stage and a dance floor and being a rather large room, it’s ideal for events like a Captain’s meet n greet etc.
Going down one flight of stairs you come to the Spa and Fitness Center.
Spa and Fitness Center
The Fitness Center has great sea views and plenty of gym equipment.
The Spa which uses the same main entrance is split over two levels. A hair salon on this level and the main spa reception, the Persian Garden area and other treatment rooms below.
Opposite the spa entrance on the other side of the lift area is the Aqua Spa Cafe where you can get a light breakfast and lunch.
Entering in to the AquaSpa cafe you are also walking into the indoor pool or solarium area. This is where you’ll find a few tables and chairs to enjoy your meals.
This area has great views as well and is often a lot quieter than the Oceanview Cafe for lunch & breakfast. On offer here are smoothies, special juices as well as basic beverages.
Indoor Pool – Solarium
As I mentioned this is also the indoor pool and whirlpool area, with deck chair or sun loungers lined up like soldiers on parade. A couple of groovy pods are here and also some hammocks in a square frames. This is definitely a quieter pool area and a decent sized pool.
Outside Pool Area
From here heading outside again we come to the pool area. First up is the Pool Bar which is right in front of the main pool. You can sit and drink and soak up the sun with the feeling that you’re in paradise.
The entire area here is very nicely laid out, there are two pools one deeper than the other with deck chairs all around. A very nice touch here is the addition of shade cloth covers, so you can be by the pool and absorb all the outdoor pool atmosphere without becoming a lobster (getting sunburnt) of course you’d need to move as the sun moves but there are plenty of spaces around the pool.
At the end in the direction of the rear of the is a stage where the live musicians play and an area in front of it for dancing and where the outdoor aerobics or fitness classes are. When the bands played the music was great, not too loud or did it feel that it took over the entire pool area, it was more of a background entertainment.
From here you can either go up to deck 14 or inside to the rear lift area, beyond this going further back are the deck 12 cabins.
Taking the aft stairs down one level to deck 11 you’ll face the Library.
Around the other side of the group of lifts is the split level Library with a selection of books and comfortable chairs to relax in.
Apart from the Library the rest of the deck is cabins apart from the very front where you find the lower level of the Spa which is some treatment rooms and the Spa Relaxation Lounge which has awesome views to the front.
These decks are all about cabins, from front to back. Walking down the aft stairs or taking the lifts you can see that on each level there is something special at each deck. On deck 10 we have the lower level of the Library which actually is the main part with most of the books.
On deck 9 is the Card Room with around 8 tables ideal for playing cards.
On deck 8 is open to deck 7 below.
Deck 7 is where the Concierge and Captain’s Club hosts are at certain times during the day.
This area is called Team Earth and there are comfortable chairs with low tables and even a computer that is directly linked to Google Earth (only) where you can check out destinations around the world, also here is a huge globe.
On deck 6 you can find the iLounge which is the Internet center and has a lot of Apple mac computers set up for use. They are also an Apple retail store and sell Apple products.
The Internet was unlimited for $199 USD. I didn’t notice if there were other smaller packages as we generally take the unlimited deal. And at this price for the 13 nights was quite reasonable. On the Infinity last time it was a lot more expensive.
As for the speed and stability of the brand new ‘Xcelerate’ high speed internet… let’s just say that it is better than before. We could connect anywhere on the ship and it was stable. The speed wasn’t real fast and I’m not sure if you could stream Netflix as Celebrity claim you can, however for all emails, social media and web searches it was good.
This is where you’ll begin to find a lot of ‘to see’ places on board. Let’s start at the front with the Eclipse Theatre. The theatre has three levels with 5 being the top-tier looking down at the stage.
Celebrity Eclipse theatre
The theatre is comfortable and has good viewing to the stage. The sound and lighting from what we experienced was very good.
The production shows were excellent and the rest of the entertainment that we saw was very good.
There was a bar service in the theatre and drinks were brought to your seats before the show started.
Leaving the theatre you move into the galleria boutiques area along the starboard side while on the port side we have the Photo Gallery.
From here you can look down to the Entertainment Court below, there are chairs and tables around the gallery as well.
The boutique shops along here are nice kind of what you’d expect to see in Bond st London. The staff from these stores often stand outside enticing you in.
The Photo Gallery area is slightly away from the main walkway on the other side. Photos line the walls here as well as a couple of digital machines that will display your photos after putting in your search. Just off from the gallery is also a studio.
Walking along past some boutiques next up is the Art Gallery. A few pieces of art hang on the wall just near and the rest are on the movable walls with the gallery area. It’s a very good way to display and then remove making a space for the Art Auction to take place.
The space may not be any where near as big as some ships dedicate to art auctions but it’s all neat and tidy in the one area, plus near here is the World Class Bar which serves as the bar when an Auction is on.
World Class Bar
The World Class Bar is a nice bar quiet bar however they only serve specific cocktails that have been created by master mixologists. This bar was by far the quietest of all on the ship, and that’s probably due to the limited beverage selection and where it’s situated.
Now we are able to walk on both sides heading towards the rear stairs, keeping to the left (starboard) the area opens up to the Café al Bacio. This is one of the busiest places on the ship for a coffee, most of the bars have a coffee machine but here is where you’ll get your speciality coffees.
Café al Bacio & Gelateria
The al Bacio has a relaxing feel to it and you can enjoy a coffee with cake or pastries depending on time of day. At the far end of the café is the Gelateria where you can choose from a variety of flavours for a small fee.
I did notice that they have small notices on the tables kindly asking card and games players to refrain from playing here and rather use the designated card room. This seems to have worked well as I do recall it being a huge problem on the Infinity during our cruise.
The other side of this area is the Bistro on Five speciality venue.
Bistro on Five Celebrity Eclipse
It’s open for lunch and dinner and offers a variety of items and has a $10 cover charge. As always (when I cared to look) it was never very busy. We tried it and enjoyed our experience and would dine there again.
Right here are the aft lifts and stairs and the walkway ends after the Bistro, but continues along from the cafe into the Ensemble Lounge.
The Ensemble Lounge encompasses a few places, but first and foremost it’s a sophisticated bar. Because of its location it’s ideal for pre and after dinner drinks and people watching. Live music is played here and it is very comfortable with nice colours and dim lighting.
Directly off from this bar is the Murano Restaurant another speciality venue. Murano looks very nice and has the feel of a very fine restaurant and suits its French fine dining menu. There is a charge to dine here at $50 per person.
Next door is Michael’s Club, the exclusive club for Zenith level Captain’s Club members and suite guests. It’s a decent enough place and as not suite or Zenith class it would be hard to critic it, saying that, I’m not sure I like it more over some other parts of the ship.
At the end of the Ensemble Lounge you come to an area where the other dining venues are. Here we have Qsine which is a very modern approach to food and service and has a charge of $45 per person.
Next up is the Tuscan Grille which is titled an Italian Steak House.
The Tuscan grill is at the very back of the ship with huge windows and the tables along here are the most popular.
The last venue located here is Blu and this restaurant is for Aqua class guests only.
Moonlight Sonata dining room
Staying at the rear of the ship and having come back out of the Ensemble Lounge we’ve taken the stairs down a level. Here we find the entrance to Moonlight Sonata, the main dining room of the Eclipse. The two tiered dining room with glass wine cellar and large chandelier clean white finish and polished chrome features give the venue a smart finish.
It’s not a wow, oh my gosh kind of restaurant, yet subtle and elegant. The upstairs seating is for the anytime dining guests (they have prepaid the gratuities), the lower level is for fixed first and second seating dinner.
Walking forward from here on the starboard side (now the right) you have Cellar Masters.
This is a sophisticated wine bar, mood lighting (dimly lit) with nice quiet seating areas, large tables to sit around and discuss wine. It’s not a bar as such and table service is good. You can also self-serve from the wine dispensers.
On the other side of the ship is the Martini Bar & Crush. This place is totally the opposite to the quiet ambiance of Cellar Masters, the Martini bar is busy lively bright and modern looking, it is by far the busiest bar onboard.
All sorts of drinks are served here, not just Martinis, but this is what the bartenders do enjoy showing off their skills. There is also plenty of seating around the bar or in booths by the windows as well as spread around this open bar area, it doesn’t have a closed in feel to it as it’s an open flow through bar.
From here we have a choice of ways to turn, we are at the hub of the ship. We can go up a level to the Café al Bacio and the Bistro on Five, we can go down a level to the Lobby where we find the Guest Relations desk and the Passport Bar incorporating the Gastro Bar.
We will continue walking forward from the Martini Bar staying on deck 4 and here we pass the Boulevard Shops. These are what I’d call the more normal shops, and duty free stuff.
On the right of the shops is the Fortunes Casino and the casino bar.
The Casino is not huge as casino’s come on ships nevertheless it has all the classic casino games, blackjack, roulette, baccarat not forgetting all the slot machines. The nicest thing about this casino is that it’s smoke free.
Keeping to the left and moving forward we find the Future Cruise Sales area.
Future Cruise Sales office on Celebrity Eclipse
This is a room dedicated solely for discussing and booking future cruises. This is a large area and was quite busy when open for service.
Now we walk into the Entertainment Court which we first saw from above on deck 5. Walking from the Cellar Masters though the Casino you come out here too.
The Entertainment Court is where some activities, game shows, sales from the shops take place and at times it can become crowded, especially before and after shows in the theater.
Quasar on Celebrity Eclipse
On the left is Quasar the night club with bar dance floor and quirky style.
On the right is Celebrity Central which is another mini theater in a half-moon shape used for presentations, movie screening and other Celebrity Life events.
From here we walk to the main entrance of the theatre in the theater you can walk down to an even lower level which is basically deck 3 level.
This is where we find the main Lobby and the staircase that connects decks 3,4 & 5 it’s basically the hub of the Eclipse. At the front of the ship are only cabins and they start just forward from the lobby.
Outside of the lift area are these ship plans for each deck.
Looking up between the lifts here you can see the suspended real tree that sits in a ball about half way up.
Either side of the lobby you find the Guest Relations desk which is very light and welcoming. Here you can also pick up copies of the daily mini newspapers as well as the Celebrity Today.
On the other side of the lobby is the Passport Bar, which also hosts the Gastro Bar, confused? Yeah I was too.
The place is officially the Passport Bar where you can enjoy drinks and also some food items. The typical British fare as described by Celebrity is available lunch and dinner at an extra fee (individually priced).
This bar area is very open, a bit like the Martini bar on the level above, the main difference here is the atmosphere. Low ceiling and darker colours give the Passport bar a more subdued feel to it, a couple of TV’s on the wall showing sports make it feel a bit like a sports bar, but then not.
In between these you have the Lobby, where lots of activities take place and also a variety of live music and dancing if you wish.
The main stairs in the lobby are not the most extravagant by a long distance but it doesn’t take anything away from the elegant class of the Eclipse
The nice thing here is that the bar is open to the Lobby and the dance floor area at the foot of the stairs, and sandwiched between the base of the eight lifts is where the live entertainment takes place, be it the house band or Celebrity Life activities. It’s quite a good place for all these things as guests can view from not just the lobby, but the decks above 4 & 5.
Taking a few steps away from the Passport bar towards the rear on the left is the Shore Excursions desk. This is where you can ask about and book any tours with the ship.
Beyond this you come to the lower level of the Moonlight Sonata dining room.
Luminae on Celebrity Eclipse
The main entrance to the Moonlight Sonata is to the right, the left side entrance is where you find Luminae, another restaurant. This is for suite class passengers and has a different menu than in the main dining room.
This is a photo of the Luminae menu from a couple of the evenings during the Transatlantic cruise.
Let me tell you a bit about a few other things.
Music Around the Ship
There was a mixed amount of live music around the ship each doing a 45-50 minute set, we both enjoyed the music. The house band “Solitaire” were the best of the bunch for us followed by “Bella River duo”. The house band played more well known hits and in a upbeat style (yet not over the top) opposed to the quieter Bella River duo guitar and singer. The Yantra Quartet were probably our least favourite not that they weren’t good, and the Piano man Jordan Peterson was excellent and had his own shows in the theatre, otherwise, each of the artists featured in various venues at different times.
The officers could be seen around the ship and especially at designated times in certain areas like the Entertainment court after a show for example. We never made a point of speaking to any one particular officer, but we did get to see the Bridge of the Celebrity Eclipse which you can read about.
Having had the UK customs board in Lisbon, we had our passports checked a couple of days before arriving in Southampton which really helps with speeding up the disembarkation process. We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast and coffee while waiting for our chosen debarkation time to be called and then made our way off the ship with all luggage, all very smooth and organised.
What can I say… This was an awesome cruise, and when you consider the lack of ports we had tells you that the ship was special. Many first time cruisers would be looking for a lot more destinations on a cruise and base their experience on it. For Moni & I, we love the ships themselves and all that they offer, the Eclipse and Celebrity in general really did a great job.
We can highly recommend Celebrity cruises and especially the Eclipse. and wouldn’t hesitate in booking another Celebrity cruise in the future. Actually, our next booked cruise is in October with MSC on the Poesia sailing in the Mediterranean which is a first for us. On that cruise we will share the company of Moni’s family.
And that brings us to the end of this tour around the Celebrity Eclipse. Now that you know a bit more about the Eclipse why not take a look in more detail at what unfolded each day, including the Celebrity Today program, menus from various restaurants, Celebrity Life activities and lots more photos.
You can read those daily reports from this 13 night Transatlantic crossing also titled Celebrity Eclipse cruise review.