Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

towel-animal

Members
  • Content Count

    471
  • Joined

About towel-animal

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Miami, FL

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Our final glimpse of the Eclipse as we took the skies from Lima Disembarkation and Scenic's transfer to the airport was a totally different and far better experience the the embarkation transfer. They couldn't have made it easier, and Scenic representatives handled luggage all the way through your airline check-in, and escorted you all the way until security. Our last night of the cruise included the farewell recap, and the Captain's remarks before a fantastic dinner at Elements. Luggage was requested to be place outside your stateroom by 11:00PM that evening. It all feels like a dream and I'm sad it's over now. There were some quirks for sure, but overall we were impressed and I do feel it was worth the year's wait and all the hassles. I'll wrap up with some final thoughts. What we loved: The service — some we spoke to mentioned having a different experience than us, but from our experience, the staff onboard could not have been more attentive, friendly and found ways to create magic moments throughout. The food (Dinner) — We found it to be some of the best cuisine at sea. Lumiere was superb, and on a good menu Koko's was absolutely fantastic. Elements too was outstanding. And of course the Chef's Table was in a class of its own. Bar service never waited more than a minute for a drink. Whatever we wanted was always available and drinks were expertly prepared. Delayed refilling of your wine glass is something we've noticed on nearly all cruises, but that was totally a non-issue on the Eclipse. Social atmosphere — You'll have to go out of your way not to make new friends on this ship. We can attest to the Captain's comment that tables for 2 quickly became tables for four, and then to 6 and 8 throughout the cruise. I'm so thankful to have met such wonderful people and look forward to staying in touch. Tours — while we were surprised by there not being much choice in shore excursions, we found the ones offered were so much fun. Others were not prepared for this part of the experience to be as "expedition-like" as it was, but I loved it. We we didn't love — Some design elements of the ship — This has been mentioned by other posters and we agree — the main pool inside the buffet restaurant is simply weird (I think I may have been the only one who used it on our trip). Lack of storage in the Spa Suite. Some sightline issues in the theater. Hot tubs are definitely not "hot". And the color palate throughout nearly exclusively of grey and black is a bit dull — a little color would make a world of difference. Lunch — selections were limited and during "in between" hours, your only option beyond room service is really the tiny selection at Azure. Other — No voicemail or inbox functionality yet on the phones or tv. No reminder cards about dinner reservations. Steamroom did not work for most of the voyage. No logo items in the boutique. Pizza only available at lunch. And finally while I understand completely the guest safety must be the top priority, I can't help but wonder if the ship is a bit too overly cautious when it comes to cancelling the submarine tours. This was a major blow to not be able to experience this, and I know many felt the same. Some advice: Do your research — especially on the itinerary and tours to be offered so you're aware of the expedition nature of many of the itineraries. Once onboard — don't delay in making dinner reservations for Lumiere and Teppanyaki. You should have no trouble securing the times you want if you do so on the first day. I recommend asking how many menus will be served at Lumber and making one reservation for each. I also recommend inquiring which day will start the Chef's Table rotation so you can make sure your dinner reservations are made on days that will not conflict with any potential Chef's Table invitation. Speaking of, also head to Guest Reception to make your interest in attending this dinner known. They can add you to a list to pull from if any guests cancel. Also be sure to sign up for your interest in the helicopter and sub tours on the first day. Pack things you aren't afraid to get dirty. This is an expedition ship and the tours often reflect that. I wish I had brought some more outdoorsy clothes and will know better for next time.
  2. Here are some photos from the horse and dancing show as part of the Enriching activity arranged by Scenic. It was a very lovely evening.
  3. Some photos of our Spa Suite — apologies for not photographing until after it was "lived in" with our things strewn about.
  4. Days 6 & 7 at sea were very nice, but perhaps made evident there is a bit a lack of programming onboard by way of activities and entertainment. We did participate in a wine tasting (sign up was required) which was wonderful, another Epicure cooking class, and attended several lectures. There was also a Name that Tune session, trivia and evening karaoke. Plus another vocal performance by Grace. Beyond that, there really is nothing else going on. But quite enjoyable days nonetheless. The Spa area is excellent and our massages and pedicures were great. Also took the opportunity to attend the Body Conditioning class and Pilates with the fitness instructor (signup required). These were great. Koko's has been open twice for lunch, offering a Bento Box which is delicious. Definitely don't miss this. Day 8 at Salaverry was our first port where we were docked at a pier. Three tours were on offer and we elected for a 4 hour city tour which was nice. During the evening, our Scenic Enrich event was a horse show at a local luxury hotel which was so much fun. We had an impromptu dinner at Lumiere last night and enjoyed their new menu which included the best lamb I have ever tasted, and an unforgettable rum cake dessert. Day 9 at Islas Guanape has seen a bit of rough swells. As such, the submarine tours were cancelled which has led to quite a bit of disappointment as this was the only day sub tours were scheduled for our voyage. I'm feeling the pain as I had a dive confirmed, so was gutted when we heard the cancellation announcement. Helicopter tours were also scrapped today because of the swells. Zodiac tours of the island commenced (Although with some difficulty boarding the boats), and we had a lovely cruise taking in breathtaking wildlife — definitely an experience to remember. We are sad this is our last day, but have had a tremendous time. I will try to post more photos later. I hope this trip report has been helpful and enjoyable. Please let me know if any more questions arise while we are still onboard.
  5. Here is the Spa menu you requested. We are booked for treatments today so I can give a report later of the experience.
  6. Day 5- Utria National Park, Colombia This was the earliest starting day yet. Guests in the first group disembarking for the mangrove boadwalk tour, as well as guests participating in the strenuous hike were required to attend a briefing in the theater at 7:00 AM before leaving the ship at 7:30. I did the hike, so I was part of the early group. To save some time in the morning, I'd placed my room service breakfast card out the night prior for a 6:30 AM delivery. At 6:45, with no breakfast, I called and was told the kitchen was backed up (apparently many others shared my idea) and it would be up in 5 minutes. With only 10 minutes to eat, my plan backfired. Guests were warned how strenuous the hike would be if they chose this option — they were right. From start to finish, the tour was extreme. From the moment we stepped into the zodiac, the rain poured on us the whole way. The path we hiked was largely overgrown as it only receives visitors maybe twice on a good year. It was muddy, slippery, steep and of course beautiful. The risks are real, however. Two women got injured on our tour, one resulting in a broken arm. Most however had no trouble keeping up despite the advanced age of many of the participants. Several members of the discovery team were present to assist us during the hard bits and provide medical care to the two who were hurt. The hike was about 3 hours in length, after which we still had the opportunity to see the mangrove/boardwalk if we wished before returning to the ship. We enjoyed lunch at the Yacht Club, but did have to wait in line a bit for a table to open up (this happens frequently as seating is not adequate enough to meet the demand here during peak breakfast and lunch times). After lunch, Scenic brought some local singers and musicians to give a cultural performance which was lovely. A tip about the theater — only the seats in the center section recline. However, only the seats on the left and right hand sections swivel. So keep that in mind if you have a preferred configuration. The rest of the day was spent lounging around the pools and rooftop Jacuzzis. For dinner, we headed to Lumiere to try the new menu, which was fabulous. I tried frog legs for the first time (and yes, they actually do taste like chicken). After dinner, we socialized at the Whiskey Bar until we were among the last to stay up. The venue closed as we left around 11:30 PM.
  7. Here are some photos of Veranda Suite 617 that we were able to tour. \
  8. Well, the rumors are true. The Chef's Table is indeed an unparalleled culinary experience, and for sure one of the highlights of our voyage thus far. Chef Bert did tell us the menu for this does not change often, so if you prefer to keep the experience a surprise, I suggest you skip the rest of this post, as the photos will be a bit of a spoiler. Guests are asked to congregate in the Discovery Lounge for drinks until the Chef is ready to collect you. The dinner is held in a private room in the Elements restaurant, at a long stone table with panoramic views into kitchen. Each participant receives a "toolbox" with different instruments, as some of the courses are interactive. The meal tells the journey of the Eclipse from its beginnings in the shipyard til today. Each of the 10 courses is paired with a carefully selected wine. The dinner took our group just over three hours, and has been known to run longer or shorter depending on the chemistry and conversation of the guests. Luckily our group got along great and it was wonderful to share this experience with newly made friends. I definitely recommend making your interest known in participating in this experience. As mentioned previously, the invitation system seems to work first in order of Diamond and Emerald members of Scenic's loyalty program, then works its way down the top suites and guests chosen from the head office, and then the rest remains a mystery. There is a wait list available to get signed up on, so if a guest cancels they have a bank of interested parties to fill the vacated slots. On longer sailings, I think most guests will have the opportunity to participate. It seems to be mainly the shorter cruises where space is truly too exclusive to meet demand, as this dinner is only held every two days (the Chef says it takes 8 hour of preparation time).
  9. Day 4 — Darien National Park, Panama The adventure started from the moment you entered the launch bay of the zodiacs, as members of the local tribe adorned in body paint had been shuttled to the ship to join our zodiac transfers. Once we reached the landing site on the beach, we were greeted by many more locals who performed a welcome dance for us. We were given the history of the area and the locals by a Park guide, who took us deeper into the park. We had two options for places to tour — either the top of a steep hill overlooking the beach area, or to a waterfall and spring area where you could take a dip. There was plenty of time to do both, and the local people were very attentive and quick to help people if they were about to slip or fall. The waterfall hike was beautiful. Initially I wasn't going to get in the water, but Lou, one of the Discovery Team members, urged me in and said "When it comes to experiences, never say no." She's absolutely right. It was FREEZING but so much fun. I'd have regretted it if I hadn't done it. Yes, it was COLD! After the hikes, we gathered for a cultural performance. Several of us were pulled into the dance and had such a great time. They then set up a marketplace for us to browse and purchase their handmade crafts. We were then free to return to the zodiacs and head back to the ship at our leisure. Back onboard, I had a shower, when was the the phone rang — our butler was calling to tell us about our invitation to the evening's Chef's Table. We confirmed our RSVP. As we have another booking for the Eclipse next year, we were granted our request to tour a standard Veranda Suite and went to meet the Head Butler at 12:00 PM for the tour. This is the entry level accommodations onboard, which are lovely. There's no walk-in closet here, but there are plenty of drawers and storage areas (something lacking in our Spa Suite). I will find and upload these pictures soon, as well as pictures of our Spa Suite. We had a tasty lunch at the Yacht Club and enjoyed the rest of the day leisurely lounging and reading until the evening's recap. It's quite important to attend these briefings as it when you learn the important details for what is to happen the following day with meeting times, etc... After the briefing concluded, it was time to attend the Chef's Table. I'll be covering this in the next post.
  10. The Sushi Bar at Koko's: Koko's Asian Fusion: Teppanyaki at Koko's: The Discovery Lounge and Whiskey Bar:
  11. As a preview for my upcoming report of today's adventures on shore and onboard while at Darien National Park, I'm excited to say that we received an invitation this morning to tonight's Chef's Table — an experience I hope will be appropriate to take photos during as from all the rave reviews I've heard, words alone will not be able to do this meal justice!
×
×
  • Create New...