My husband and I just returned from a 7 day Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse Sept 1-8 2019. It was one of my best cruises, and probably the most relaxing one. Since I was on a brand new ship, the Norwegian Bliss last January, I will be doing some comparisons.
On the Eclipse I was able to relax more, and it was less crowded than on the Bliss. The Eclipse has 1426 staterooms with 2850 passengers. The Bliss is much larger with 2043 staterooms and 4004 passengers. The Eclipse was more quiet and relaxing than the busy energy on the Bliss. Since I wanted peace and quiet on this cruise, the Eclipse was the better one for that.
When it comes to the embarcation lunch, the Bliss did much better for it’s passengers. The main dining room was open for ALL passengers as well as the buffet and the Local. With the stress of travelling, standing in line, checking in, customs etc. I like to sit down in a peaceful setting for lunch, and that was not available for me on the Eclipse. My options was Sushi on Five or the buffet. The buffet was crowded and busy, and not a good start on the cruise. I definitely had better options on the Bliss.
We enjoyed the dining on Eclipse better than the Bliss. The Manhattan room on the Bliss was extremely noisy, while the Midnight Sonata on the Eclipse was quiet and calm. The service was much better on the Eclipse, and the food was better. The one negative on the Eclipse was that the 2 person dining tables were extremely close together, so it was like we were on a table for 4. On the Bliss we did not have that problem. We had Select Dining and it worked very well.
Our cabin was 8279 which is one of the large balcony cabins on the bump. I spent most of my time on the balcony with my book, Diet Coke, Hot tea and blankets. This balcony, and a large balcony I had on Norwegian's Pride of America are the best balconies I have had. I am grateful to all the contributors on this forum who was able to help me find the perfect balcony for me.
Since spending my day on the balcony is so important to me, and I don’t want to run to a bar whenever I want my Diet Coke, I brought my own 12 pack onboard. For others being able to bring some soda onboard is not important, but for me it is. It was an irritant for me that I had to go to the bar on the Bliss every time I wanted to drink some Diet Coke on my balcony. Norwegian’s ban on bringing soda onboard may be why I won’t choose them again. For others not a big deal, for me it is.
One place where Norwegian did better on the Bliss, than what Celebrity does is the bathroom. Here is a picture of the spacious bathroom, with a fantastic shower on the Bliss.
I think the entertainment was good on both the Eclipse and the Bliss. I especially like the Paul McCartney tribute band on the Eclipse as well as their production shows. The singers were better on the Eclipse.
The observation lounge on the Eclipse was forgettable. I didn’t even remember to take a picture of it. I will never forget the one on the Bliss with its 5 food stations and bar. Lots of loungers and places to sit or lay down. Here are some pictures.
Bliss observation lounge
The last portion of my review is where Eclipse wins. It is not even a competition the Eclipse is so much better than the Bliss. Service. On Norwegian Bliss you could feel the crew did not want to be there. They did the minimum they could get away with, and hardly ever smiled. On the Eclipse I was always greeted warmly with a smile. The servers knew our names. The bartenders knew our names, Our stateroom attendant, Menino, was amazing, and the service was excellent wherever we went. It was the best service I have experienced on all my cruises. This is the reason I will continue to cruise with Celebrity.
So in summary: If you don’t mind being nicled and dimed, and If you want lots of activities (co-carts, lazer tag, bowling etc.) and you have young adults, teens and kids in your party, then the Norwegian Bliss is the ship to go on. If on the other hand you want peace and quiet, wonderful music everywhere, great food and a more elegant setting, and fantastic service, then the Eclipse is the way to go.