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  1. I thought I would start a new thread for the Scenic Eclipse. The other thread is filled with so much negativity and naysayers. Scenic just named a captain for the ship. We are booked July, 2021 for the Arctic. Based on everything I have read, I am hopeful that the Eclipse will launch this August as planned. https://www.scenicusa.com/ocean-cruises/introducing-captain-james-griffiths?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Eclipse_Captain Announcement 043019_Consumer (1)&utm_content=&spMailingID=21419598&spUserID=NTA5ODUzMzg2MzI5S0&spJobID=1481949235&spReportId=MTQ4MTk0OTIzNQS2
  2. Hi Jim, I feel like I'm spamming you with off topic Qs 😂 We have booked a B2B - Singapore to Japan and then Japan to Vancouver on the Eclipse in April 2021 (immediately post revolution 🤞unless they change the date again) . Interested in your comment about being unsure on doing the Japan crossing again? Would you still recommend a one-time experience? I know you had a lot of weather issues. Many thanks, Kym.
  3. A few months back I posted my comparison of HAL with Royal. You can read that [here]. I noted that we would be sailing with Celebrity in October. And so we did. I have a review of the cruise pending (I will update this post when it publishes) but I wanted to get my thoughts down on the differences while my memories of the cruise are still fresh. This was only our second Celebrity cruise. Our first, on Century, was pretty dreary. She was sold within a year of our cruise so that might have had something to do with it. This time we got a good deal through my spouse's connection with MLife, and his parents have status with Royal so Celebrity was a good compromise for a family cruise. The Ship Celebrity Eclipse is a beautiful ship in great shape. At 2852 passengers, she is larger than any HAL ship. She will be “Edgified” next year and more suites and cabins will be added. I hate it when they do this. We found the ship to be a bit more crowded at peak times than Vista or Signature Class ships of the HAL line. Yet there were plenty of places to go to have a quieter experience. We almost always found a table to play cards when we wanted to. There were open chairs on the decks. No squabbling over deck chairs like you read all the time on the Celebrity forums.. The ship was very quiet early in the morning. We like to get up early and get coffee, head to the gym, then have breakfast. We had the ship almost to ourselves from, say, 5 am to 7 am. I don’t typically swim in a cruise ship pool, but the adults only Solarium pool at 7 am was usually empty, and I think if we go again I will try it. The gym was great. Lots of room. We had a small group of regulars early in the morning and save for one day there were plenty of machines for everyone. I enjoyed the daily stretch classes (which were free) and they had a variety of classes for a $18 fee. It seems like the classes were pretty well attended. Sometimes the HAL classes only have one or two people in them. Very comparable. The Food I would say the HAL Lido Market Buffet is definitely better than the buffet on the Eclipse, both in terms of variety and quality. There were “daily specials” on both lines but the Celebrity specials, well, weren’t very special. We were always able to find a table for 4 in the Oceans Buffet, whereas we did have some waiting at times on Oosterdam. If the Buffet is better on HAL, I think the Main Dining Room experience is pretty much even. Some hits, some misses. The Celebrity Chic Night menu was good, and the Beef Wellington was tasty. One of our party had the lobster and it was “okay.” Service Both lines have good service. I have an impression that the ships owned by RCI have more service issues but that was not apparent on the Eclipse. We had perhaps the best main dining room service we’ve ever had on any cruise line. That is high praise. Service at the Cafe al Bacio was excellent. As were the drinks and pastries. I'd say coffee drinks similar to Explorers Cafe, but treats much more diverse at Bacio. The room attendant was very efficient. We follow a pretty set schedule and he worked with it almost exactly and we never came back to an unmade bed. Officers were very visible throughout the ship. Captain Leo is a real professional. Very engaging. He was on the gangway at departure saying goodbye to the passengers. Persian Garden vs Thalassotherapy I bought the PG pass ($149 for 10 days the day of sailing) partly because we had onboard credit to spend. There is no pool. The steam and dry aromatherapy rooms were much larger than on HAL ships, and both worked! (My last two cruises on HAL one or the other was out of order for the duration). The heated loungers were nearly identical. Where HAL gets the nod is the therapy pool. There is no equivalent on Eclipse. In my opinion, if you like the water, the HAL spa pass is a much better deal. Also note, steam and dry sauna are available for adults in the spa changing rooms on Eclipse. You don’t need a special pass to use them. So unless you like the heated loungers, you really don't need to buy a PG pass. Perks I don’t really care about perks, but my inlaws do. They have status on Royal which is reciprocated (minus one level) on Celebrity. They get free drinks at “happy hour” and some other perks that they enjoy and that is what keeps them loyal to Royal. They keep telling us the HAL perks are pretty skimpy and their Carnival status doesn’t get reciprocated. This matters to some people and probably should be looked at. Passengers Celebrity passengers are a pretty diverse cross section of people. We heard multiple languages being spoken. All ages. There were kids, but not many of them. The passengers seem to stay up later and get up later. They seem to drink more alcohol and the bars are pretty busy. There were tons of activities on the sea days. They had a passenger choir! Lots to do. Much more than HAL. So something to consider if you like to be entertained. It did seem as though the Eclipse passengers were, overall, somewhat younger than on the typical 10 day plus HAL sailing. Perhaps a bit pushier than your typical HAL passengers. Entertainment Well, what can I say? Of course entertainment on Eclipse was much more a focus than on any HAL ship I’ve been on. It really is no contest. The live music nightly in the Atrium is also a nice plus. It was somewhat uneven quality wise, but it was nice to have that going on. It brought life to the center of the ship. Summary I would sail Celebrity again. Their boards are full of people bemoaning the cutbacks, complaining about Edgification, cutting up the ships into classes, etc. But from my perspective, the Eclipse offered a nice cruise. I still look at itinerary first. HAL continues to have better itineraries. For example, January 2021 we are considering Antarctica. I would not sail Eclipse to Antarctica. For one, the bow is only open to Suite passengers. But besides that, the HAL Santiago to BA itinerary is just better. Value. HAL provides some great value for the money. We got a good deal on our Celebrity Hawaii cruise. But if we allow our MLife status to lapse by not going to Las Vegas this year, that value will be gone. Overall, prices are higher on Celebrity. Our next cruise will be Westerdam Japan Transpacific 2020. We will probably look for a Celebrity cruise to appease the inlaws. Maybe New England in the fall.
  4. Suite looks great Jim. How's the sliding door between the bedroom and lounge? Be nice if they did that on the Solstice class refit. Btw, did you say you are on the Eclipse late 2020? Did you know that the Dry dock has been pushed out to 2021? Thought I'd let you know.
  5. We are a gay couple on this cruise travelling from London - any others on this trip?
  6. There is an airport issue for cruisers in that many flights have been delayed or cancelled because the flight crews are not able to get to the airport. For airlines, the solution might be as simple as using hotels at the airport instead of in the city. We're on Eclipse starting January 5th but we also have a flight in November that has a layover in Santiago. Past two days, that flight has been delayed 18 hours and cancelled. We'll see how it looks tonight. I'm checking alternative itineraries to get us to where we want to go - just in case.
  7. First unrest across Equador, now Significant rioting in Santiago Chile..... on 10/20 16 day sailing of Eclipse..... LA/Santiago. Not good.... whatcha all hearing?
  8. Cheers Cruise Critic! It is thankfully that time again for another Live cruise blog! Edward and I are leaving Chicago for Vancouver to join the Celebrity Eclipse on Sunday the 19th for our first Alaskan Cruise! Not only have we never been to Alaska before but we have not been to Vancouver either, so this will be a cruise with many firsts for us and we are very much looking forward to it. If you don’t feel like reading this first post (I know it might be a bit boring with lots of details) feel free to skip to the bottom of this post to see my youtube video with a quick introduction to our trip. For those of you who have not followed us before I will give you a quick rundown of ourselves. I am Paul and my partner is Edward. We live in Chicago (yes in the actual city, right downtown) and are 32 and 36. We try to cruise at least a few times a year and typically on longer itineraries when our schedule allows. This will mark our 18th cruise on Celebrity. As always I will take you along with us on our journey and let you know what is going on every step of the way. You can follow me on social media, specifically on Instagram - PaulKBlackburn You can also follow the hashtag #CruisingOnCelebrity I’ll be posting photos on Instagram but also a lot of short videos on my instagram stories since that seems to upload very easily even if the internet is not 100%. As always I will post at least 10 photos per day on here including the “Dailys” for you to review. I also will let you know any and all costs incurred, whether we are talking about flights, taxis, meals out, ubers, etc. I know many times the talk of money can be “taboo” but at the end of the day none of these wonderful things are free so I think it is important to mention the costs to help everyone plan better. I also encourage you all to ask questions about any topics cruise or travel related. Whether you want to know my thoughts on the food or who is working on the ship or how busy the ports are…just ask and I’ll do my best to answer them. The more interactive I am with all of you the more I enjoy writing so do not feel bad about asking questions. I also want to take a moment to thank all of you who commented on a posting of mine over a month ago asking for suggestions for this trip. We read through all of your comments, tips and tricks and it helped greatly in determining what we are doing and what to pack! Our highlight excursion this trip will be the helicopter tour which stops on two glaciers and the glacier walk. Hoping for good weather! Below are all the pricing details of our cruise, including everything from travel insurance to the cruise itself. It may be a bit boring so don’t feel like you need to read it! Let’s take a look at the cruise itinerary Celebrity Eclipse May 19th - 7 Nights Day 1 - Vancouver Day 2 - Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage Day 3 - Icy Strait Point Day 4 - Cruising Hubbard Glacier Day 5 - Juneau Day 6 - Ketchikan Day 7 - Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage Day 8 - Vancouver We are arriving in Vancouver on the evening of Friday May 17th. After the cruise we are also spending one day and night in Vancouver and flying back to Chicago on memorial day morning. Cruise Pricing OK, let’s talk about money! We booked this cruise a couple months ago. It was a last minute thought. When we were on the Edge in February we booked an August Equinox cruise as a place holder to have an on board booking that we could transfer to another cruise. We used that onboard booking for this cruise so we were able to get a little extra OBC. Celebrity Suite: Originally we booked a Celebrity Suite for this cruise, including the Go BEST package, which came to $2,689.33 per person or $5,378.66 in total. Move Up Bid: Not too long after booking we received the opportunity for a move up bid. The options were to bid on the Royal Suite and the Penthouse Suite. We originally bid only on the Penthouse. The minimum bid was $800 per person so we bid $850pp. We ended up canceling out that bid and only bidding on the Royal. The minimum bid for the Royal was $400pp, we ended up bidding $405pp. Total Cruise Pricing We won our move up bid and therefore incurred the extra cost of $810 bringing our new total to $6,188.66 for the Royal Suite. In addition we have $975 onboard credit (combination of credit from booking on board, go best, and our TA). Airfare We are flying non-stop from Chicago (ORD) to Vancouver (YVR) on Air Canada. We booked through Choice Air. The pricing through Choice Air was a little cheaper than going direct through Air Canada or other online travel websites and we get the additional comfort of their protection. The timing on these flights was perfect for us. 5:05pm leaving ORD and we’re leaving YVR at 10:15am on Memorial Day. We are on a CRJ900 which is a regional jet. I’m surprised it has the range to make that long of a flight. Here is hoping for light headwinds! Total Airfare Cost: $867.74 Round Trip for 2. I’ll update this later after we incur baggage costs. Hotels On Friday and Saturday (May 17th and 18th) before the cruise we are staying at the Shangri-La which looks to be in a great location. We used around 45,000 chase points for this. At the time it was a decent redemption on points but since then it looks like pricing has dropped a bit so the redemption wasn’t the greatest for us at the end of the day. On the Sunday night after the cruise we are staying at the Grand Hyatt and only used 12,000 Hyatt points, transferred from Chase. This was a phenomenal redemption. Since we’re using hotel points (as opposed to booking through the Chase portal) we’re not incurring any taxes either. We would have loved to have booked this hotel at this rate for our first two nights but it wasn’t available for booking. In addition we have Explorist status with Hyatt due to our MLife (MGM Hotel & Casino rewards program) Platinum status we have which is only because of our Elite Plus status with Celebrity since Captain’s Club has a reciprocity status with MLife. Credit Card used for booking I’m not going to turn this into a points blog but I cannot stress enough how important it is to use a quality card for booking travel. Not only can you earn points but the basic travel protection on some cards is phenomenal. We booked everything (that we had to pay for in cash) with our Chase Sapphire Reserve. This does a couple things. Travel Insurance - Automatic travel protection built in which would cover us in the event we had a major issue and had to cancel the cruise last minute (keep in mind this does not necessarily apply to pre-existing conditions) or if we have any major delays, lost luggage, etc. Points! 3x points on travel. In total we spent $7,056, so this equated to 21,169 chase ultimate rewards points. Tavel Insurance We do not purchase regular travel insurance since we have the protection through the card (protection is up to $10,000 in value and you must use the card to pay for your trip!) but we still purchase a separate medical plan. While we would get medical coverage through the Chase Reserve card, it is not that great of coverage. We purchased the GeoBlue Voyager Choice plan through InsureMyTrip. The total cost for two was $35.86. This covers $100,000 in medical per person, $50,000 in accidental death, and $500,000 in medical evacuation. Please note this is only for medical, no trip cancellation, etc. It also requires that you have primary insurance as well. OK, look at that, we made it through all those details! As I go through each day, whether it is our hotel before the cruise, embarkation, nightly dinners, etc. I will do my best to be as critical as possible I am very much a glass half full type of person, especially when I’m traveling. With this being said, sometimes I think I should be a little more critical when reviewing certain aspects. At the same time I find myself so lucky to be able to live the life that I do, that it is sometimes difficult to be negative when the situation calls for it. So at the end of the day I will do my best to be impartial, objective, informative, but most importantly entertaining. Thank you again for following along and coming with us on another amazing trip!
  9. We also much prefer S-Class. Our next two cruises are on Eclipse and Reflection. Looking for an opportunity to try the revolutionized M-Class too.
  10. I just noticed that the Revolution date for the Celebrity Eclipse was changed on the Revolution Schedule webpage https://www.celebritycruises.com/revolution/schedule/ from November 24, 2020 to April 4, 2021. I haven’t seen the change reflected on other webpages yet, but the 4/4/21 sailing of the Eclipse is currently scheduled as a 19 night trip from Melbourne, Australia to Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii. Is Melbourne a port with the facilities capable of completing the Revolution upgrades? She was originally going to be upgraded in Singapore in November 2020, which I believe is where the Millenium was done.
  11. And now for the most important topic of all😉...We will be on the Celebrity Eclipse on November 24, the day of CFL Grey Cup game. We will be at sea, having left Puerto Vallarta and headed for Huatalco. Any Canadians out there every been on a cruise during Grey Cup? Could you watch it on the ship? We've been on many cruises but never during this important (to Canadians) game. We will have the surf internet which doesn't allow video streaming, so we will have to depend on the ship for access to the game. Thanks for any feedback.
  12. I quite enjoyed seeing SCENIC ECLIPSE at Port Miami today (Sunday). She is stunning. Really stands out in a crowd.
  13. Yes it certainly seems so . We really did enjoy our SA experience and hope that you do as well . Is this your first trip there ? We also have Ireland scheduled as the second part of a TA but on a different cruise line . Our previous TA's were on the Eclipse and the Connie . We also enjoyed a Baltic trip and a trip to the ABC islands for an anniversary on the Eclipse .
  14. Greetings to All This will be my attempt to post live on a regular basis while enjoying a seven day cruise on the Eclipse. We embark Sunday here in Vancouver. This is a “round trip,” so disembarkation will also be in Vancouver on the following Sunday. Arrived in Vancouver Friday evening on a non-stop Air Canada flight Phoenix to Vancouver. We took the Sky Train from the airport to the Waterfront station. This was easy easy. Thanks to all previous posters on the Cruise Critic boards for comments/recommendations on using the Sky Train. From the Waterfront Station we walked to our hotel. Staying at the Marriott Pinnacle. So exactly who are “We”? There are four of us on this journey: DW, DD, and DD’s SO (soon to be my son-in-law based on upcoming wedding in February). The four of us are regular cruisers. Of late, we have been cruising with Oceania. We also have one Celebrity cruise in the recent mix when we cruised with fifteen family members over three generations traveling on the Millennium. That was a great cruise with ports in England, Ireland, and Scotland. We also had a stop in Le Havre to do the Normandy beaches. Very memorable for my mother and mother-in-law as well as the rest of the family. This will be my first cruise on an S Class ship. Also my first cruise on what would be considered a larger ship. Although by comparison to some of the behemoths plying the seas, I guess you can’t say the Eclipse is truly large with “only” just over 2800 passengers. Signing off for now. I will try to be diligent in posting. I leave you with a photo taken from the Marriott’s Concierge lounge of a HAL ship arriving at Canada Place this morning.
  15. Hello has anyone who has re-booked after their eclipse cancellations received any other perks other than the 25% discount?
  16. YIKES! I hope you're mistaken on the no 15 day cruises - we leave a week from today for a 15 Hawaii from LA on the Eclipse 😉 They used to do these regularly, but it has been a while and this is just a one of -- we're looking forward to doing it on Celebrity again
  17. I was down at PortMiami today to check out the new Scenic Eclipse. An absolute stunner, more yacht than cruise ship. Anyway I also saw the new NCL terminal. It’s coming along, and looks really really impressive. I hope it will be a wonderful way to start and end a cruise. Hopefully they get traffic patterns resolved. Right now it’s a huge mess around the terminal.
  18. Note: all prices below are in Canadian dollars. We just returned from a 10 night Celebrity Hawaiian Cruise on board the Eclipse on October 13th, 2019 (it was excellent by the way). Concierge Class - Balcony Room 1038 Classic Beverage Package Prepaid Tips for 2 Total Price: $4,092 (taxes, fees included) (Price Per Person: $2,046) We had such a great time that we were thinking of going again in the Spring, so I went ahead and logged on to Celebrity to do up a mock booking. This is for same amount of nights, same itinerary but just opposite start and end points Here are the results.... Concierge Class - Balcony Room 1036 Classic Beverage Package Prepaid Tips for 2 Total Price: $7,690.00 (this comes with a $200 OBC) Celebrity! This to me is a complete joke. Same product. Same experience. $3,600 difference in price!!! And to boot....this is with the "weekend sale". Just thought I would share real numbers for those who are contemplating booking. When we initially booked our prior cruise we did so 9 months out. During those 9 months we were able to take advantage of price drops numerous times and our price dropped from $5,300 to final payment amount of $4,092. I'm sure there will be price drops along with way with the cruise I am looking at but it is starting out almost $2,400 more than our cruise last week. We are not willing to pay substantially more for the same project we just enjoyed a week ago. Cheers,
  19. That interesting, I wasn’t aware Carnivals own fleet used azipods. I’ve been a fan of them since travelling on Celebrity Eclipse some years ago, as they seem to result in much less vibration when travelling at speed (though this doesn’t seem to happen on Arcadia!). I wonder why azipods weren’t used for the Royal Class ships?
  20. This may or may not be helpful as we’ve not been on Equinox but when we sailed Eclipse we had drinks at the martini bar every night with the classic package and never ordered a martini- for 12 nights. I see where you’d be angered by what you’ve heard but wanted to hopefully offer comfort in that was NOT the case on another ship. Edited to add that I drank other vodka drinks with Tito’s at the martini bar with no upcharge or issue.
  21. I don't think FOD is used any more by ANY line! The Eclipse used to have a LGBT meeting on the activity board near guest services. It was NEVER in the daily news sheet. The meetings were always poorly attended. I mean Cunard was loud & proud & posted it daily in the paper. You'd think Celebrity, which kind of "brags" how Gay supportive they are, could do better. We did 2 cruises on Oceania & they are pretty awful about posting it as well. We still saw plenty of family on board, however.
  22. I feel the same way. Ive made 3 pieces on the cruise ship and one piece on land. It is great fun. They seem to let me do quite a lot. Maybe it is my skill or the pieces I pick. Here are some of the display items and the last piece I made earlier this month on Eclipse.
  23. Here’s some more Hawaii. The views looking down are from our hotel room in Honolulu at the Hale Koa, we scored an ocean front room on the corner on the top floor! The ship picture is the Celebrity Eclipse at anchor in Kona. Melody
  24. They are different ships and have a different look. However both ships have the crowded feel. For example on Oasis we would wait in a long line for the bumper cars or the other attractions. On Edge the spa is packed and difficult to find a recliner on sea days. Fine Cuts and Eden are packed. Buffet is packed. Again too many people on the ship. We found the bars and entertainment venues to be loud and shouty. The older Celebrity ships are much quieter and less crowded. We love Solstice, Reflection, and Eclipse. If they built a 1000 or 2000 passenger ship we would be one of the first to book. I definitely want to go on one of the Galapagos ships. I would view that as an upgrade and not a downgrade.
  25. Booking your last cruise 9 months out offered the advantage of the fares being lower. It was also for a different season (Fall). The more cabins are sold, the higher the pricing goes. Right now you have, I'm guessing, about 6 months before the spring cruise and the fares have risen. A spring cruise to Hawaii, IMO, would probably be very popular. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any more price drops, but only time will tell. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time on the Eclipse. Our cruise to Hawaii on Eclipse is coming up!
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