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Found 3,101 results

  1. I searched but I could not find .. On one of the news sites there is a snippet on Australia’s own Scenic Eclipse about to go to sea trials. Will make its way south and float around for a while. Includes Antarctica, $$$$$. https://www.escape.com.au/holiday-ideas/cruises/aussie-ship-the-worlds-been-waiting-for/image-gallery/a301d1e94b7b2af1fb7897fc752aea88 More details on the ship from the Scenic website https://www.scenic.com.au/eclipse
  2. 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!
  3. Hi, we're hoping for some advice from you more experienced cruisers! We'll be on the Eclipse in April, 2020 and want to go to the Old Lahaina Luau, which finishes at 8:45pm. We've chosen this one based on the reviews and on the menu, which accommodates the taste/dietary requirements of our little group. According to them it's 5 minute drive back to the tender so we'd need to pre-book a taxi/Uber/Lyft. Our ship, the Eclipse, sails at 10pm. So we'd need to be back on board at what time? I always make sure to give myself at least an hour when I can but what's the official back on board time according to the ship - is it half an hour prior to sailing? Anyone know what time the last tender will go? Is this doable at all or are we courting disaster here? My sister really wants to go to a luau and this is the only night/port feasible. If we book one through the ship it's quite a bit more money.
  4. Generally I think we all are much more Celebrity Critics than we are Celebrity Compliments, so thought I would share this. To me it's one of the reasons why Celebrity keeps my loyalty. It shows me again and again that sometimes it's the things you DON'T see/affect you that matter the most Celebrity Eclipse March 24th Sailing Day 3 of a 15 night cruise (next port Lima Peru ~.1.5 days out)) about 10-12 of us had gotten together in a smallish conference room for a small celebration. During the get together one in our group started convulsing and stopped breathing & he turned blue. Luckily no one panicked and we took the right steps We called the emergency number on the phone We flagged down a nearby ships officer who used his mobile to alert everyone that needed to be notified We cleared the room of chairs and got the man on the floor and started cpr, and after about a minute he started breathing again Within about 2-2.5 minutes, about a half dozen senior officers , a doctor, and a nurse arrived on the scene with a gurney to move the man to medical. We would find out that the plan was to move him off in Lima, Peru. Until then he would be kept stable and monitored in the ships hospital. We were just glad he was breathing and even making jokes the next day, even though he realized how serious it was. Celebrity has a policy of "No one is left behind" so a member of the specially trained "care team" was left with the afflicted gentleman and wife in Peru. She arranged for a hotel for the wife (The care team member stayed in an adjoining room at the hotel), and stayed with her for the next three days, providing comfort and translating everything since not a lot of the people in the hospital spoke English, and neither of the couple spoke Spanish. She would tell us later on that Erica (the Guest Relations Care Team Member) was their "true angel", and they really don't know what they would have done without her. The human resources manager on Eclipse (Kathleen I think her name was) also checked in with all of us individually to see how we all were doing after it all happened, and to see if we needed anything. The couple was medevaced home and Erica returned to Guest Relations after 4 days in Peru. He still has some medical battles ahead at home, but the whole team both onboard and shoreside showed genuine compassion, and really treated them both like they were family members, not just cruisers. When I returned home I was recounting the story to a friend, and she said "when I hear of a company go above and beyond obligations, and treat people like that it restores my faith"
  5. I’m setting up my Trip Report a couple weeks in advance. I hope to provide information that will help other cruisers. My mom (early 50s) and I (30 years old) are taking a Girls Trip on the Celebrity Eclipse out of Vancouver, BC for a 10-Night Ultimate Alaska cruise. This will be the Eclipse's inaugural Alaska season. If it wasn’t for this long itinerary (I think anything below 10-nights is too short!), we were going to do the 7-Night Northern Glacier cruise aboard the recently revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, plus add the Denali Express land tour. I wanted to bring my mom on this sailing as she doesn’t travel much, and I want to celebrate Mother’s Day onboard with her. Also, we don’t see each other that often, as she lives in South Carolina and I live in Miami, so this will be a great mother-daughter trip. I booked this trip about 1.5 years ago and cannot believe that in 16 days, our trip of a lifetime will begin! Side note is that my mom wasn’t so eager to go on this cruise. She has been on two cruises, one with Princess and the other with NCL, both to the Caribbean. I told her that this trip will not even compare to the Caribbean and to give Celebrity a try. I am happy to say she is finally getting more excited with each day that we are nearing the cruise. We decided to sail AquaClass and had a wonderful A1 mid-ship location on Deck 11. Just the other day, though, I was given the amazing opportunity to upgrade to a Sky Suite S1 category. For those that are not sure where these are located, they are the corner aft units. I cannot believe we scored one of these suites. I feel like any aft facing stateroom is one of the best to have onboard an Alaskan sailing, as you will have 180-degree views of the stunning scenery. My mom has no idea we have been upgraded from an A1 to a S1, and it is so hard to keep it a secret! We will be traveling to Vancouver on May 7th, spending a full day in the city on May 8th, and embarking on May 9th. For those who have never been to Vancouver, I suggest you spend a few days here. It’s a gorgeous city! We scored an Airbnb condo near Stanley Park for 2 nights at a great price. I know some may be weary of staying in an Airbnb, but we made sure we rented the entire place and we are also used to these types of accommodations, as this will be our 5th Airbnb. The following is our itinerary and what we plan on doing in each port: Day 1: Embarkation Day in Vancouver! Day 2: Cruising the Inside Passage! Day 3: Ketchikan: We will be doing this port on our own. We will be heading out to Totem Bight State Historical Park and will also check out Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. Afterwards, we will be checking out Creek Street Day 4: Sitka: This is the other port we are doing on our own. We are still deciding whether to walk or take a cab to the Raptor Center. Afterwards, we will take a bus/cab to Fortress of the Bears and then head over to Sitka National Historic Park. Depending on time, we may check out some Russian landmarks in town. Day 5: Skagway: My mom and I will be splitting up in the morning to do our own excursions. My mom will be doing the “Sled Dog and Musher’s Camp” excursion, while I will be flying with TEMSCO to do the Dogsledding and Glacier tour. I couldn’t get my mom to fly in a heli, but this is a huge personal bucket list experience to check off. Later, we will meetup and explore Skagway together. Day 6: Icy Strait Point: Another port where my mom and I will split up for a couple hours. I will be doing ZipRider (SUPER excited!) and my mom will be relaxing in town until I’m done. After the excursion, we will meetup and explore the town. Day 7: Juneau: My mom and I have elected to do the “Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures: Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforests” excursion with Gastineau Guiding. This is a 5-hour tour that must be arranged with the cruise line. Afterward, depending on weather, we plan on going to Mount Roberts Tramway. Day 8: Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – Cruising! Day 9: Sea Day Day 10: Victoria, BC – We have a full day here! We booked via CVS Tours to take us to Butchart Gardens. While there, we will be going to The Dining Room to have afternoon tea. Both my mom and I love the Victoria era, so we thought this experience will be unique! Day 11: Debarkation Day in Vancouver, BC 😞 Since our flights don’t leave until 10:30pm, we found a great tour with Landsea Tours and Adventures called Vancouver Delights. It is a 7-hour tour that visits all the main sightseeing spots in Vancouver and takes us to The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The awesome part of all this is that Landsea will store our luggage AND take us to the airport! *If anyone has any other recommendations on places to see in these ports, please let me know!* I am still researching the top restaurants and stores to check out in each port, and will add those to the trip report.
  6. As far as I remember, it's only on the Solstice, Equinox, and the Eclipse. It used to be on a couple of the other Solstice class ships but they took them out and put in a specialty steak restaurant.
  7. I have read quite a few places that there is an issue with vibration in some of the cabins. I have searched this forum for any information on cabin 8281, but can't find any. The reason I chose this cabin is to get a larger balcony, but I don't want to have issues with vibrations the entire cruise. Has anyone on this forum stayed in cabin 8281, and were there any problems with it? Thank you
  8. Only available on the Equinox, Eclipse and Solstice.
  9. Returned to Celebrity(Eclipse) after a ten year absence....what happened to the food! The dining room food could only be described as poor. Poor selection, overcooked vegetables, watery soup and on and on. We noticed that as the cruise went on, fewer people were in the dining room and more in the buffet. I wonder if Celebrity is doing what Norwegian started long ago....poor dining room food to encourage you to shell out for the specialty venues. I was also surprised at some of the on board charges... 6$ for a specialty coffee or tea, a charge for orange juice (really?) did enjoy the excellent entertainment and beauty of the ship but the poor food and constant pushing to specialty resteraunts is off putting and I doubt we will return.
  10. On the Eclipse Alaska cruise that ended on 19 May there were definitely times when people were in the main pool and/or sunbathing. We were lucky, but it was a similar story the last time we cruised Alaska in May four years ago, so I’d pack one and hope for the best.
  11. Hi Paul, We will be on the Eclipse, boarding on June 2, less than 2 weeks to go. Have been reading your write-ups since yesterday, thanks for all the info. Looking forward to reading more. Appreciate all you put into your info. Char
  12. Can’t find many reviews on this cabin! Can anyone help? Eclipse 2148. We are concerned that there may be too much noise from the bar above. Thanks for any advise
  13. So the ship isn't being launched until 2018, but have put down a deposit on an Antarctica cruise for Jan 2019. Any one else booked on this ship yet?
  14. I totally agree about the Eclipse food. We were on it for 30 days this spring I ended up ordering the kids filet and veggies as it beat out all the other cuts of meat. I did discuss this with the executive chef who we got to know. I complimented the buffet and it’s themed offerings but the MDR was not good. He was gracious with our comments and stated he was working on it. I have decided I cruise for all the other fun things and not the food. I have been on several different lines and they all have problems but this was by far the worst.
  15. I’m really going to enjoy this as we got off the Eclipse as you got on yesterday! We are currently marking time in our Vancouver hotel, Marriott’s Delta close to the port and a Sky Train station. Flying home with BA tonight and came out with them to Calgary and then took a 9 day driving tour (arranged ourselves) to enjoy the Rockies and Vancouver before our 10 night cruise which began on 9th May. We used Alamo and were delighted that the drop-off location for the car was under the Pan Pacific hotel, right at the cruise port. I added those details for the other Brits who may be interested. We very much enjoyed the nature guy, Milos - entertaining as well as smart - and you have my favourite CD, Alejandro, whose humour I love. I even watch his morning ‘infomercials’ on channel 2 he’s that funny. We did not get to see Hubbard glacier and had to turn back. The good weather had resulted in huge chunks of ice in the water and it was deemed too dangerous. On the plus side, we had lots of good weather. Enjoy. I’ll be following your every word, so thanks for taking the time to do it.
  16. Ariyel, I think on the Eclipse that will be the old style of Chef’s table as i think they are only having the new one on the newly revolutionised ships. I am indeed intrigued to hear back from warmwinds. My TA is actually on the Edge at the moment and she is going to ask about it. Wendy
  17. Posting from experience, but not specifically port to airport. We sailed RT Dublin on the Celebrity Eclipse last May but stayed several days prior in Ireland and one day after. However, I booked a private car for 3 local transports 1) Dublin Airport to Hilton Kilmainham 2)Hilton Kilmainham to Dublin Port 3)Dublin Port to Grand Hotel Malahide (small beach area north of city proper.) We used LFL Chauffeur services for all 3 and the service was great! Fare was rather expensive, but for us worth every euro. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to clear Immigration upon arrival at Dublin airport (several overseas flights arriving at once) but our driver patiently waited with no overcharge. Would highly recommend their company. https://www.lflcs.com/
  18. I'm super curious to hear back from warmwinds if their Chef's Table was indeed on the first night. I agree with you that a first night scheduling seems tough all around for this event. Seems more suited to a Sea Day scheduling. I got this email back from Celebrity today about the subject: "For "Chef's Table by Daniel Boulud" You can pre book it only on day 1 at 5:30 but you will be contacted on board and tell you the day and time you will be accommodated. If you have something else going on at the time you are confirm you can ask to be changed." And I happened to notice on ChicagoPaul's Live thread (currently going right now on the Celebrity boards) that his Eclipse Cruise to Alaska seems to have actually scheduled the Chef's Table on Day 2 (which makes more sense to me). You can see it listed in the dailies he posted pictures of at post 111.
  19. Hi, I'm looking for the current MDR menus for Eclipse and Solstice (we have upcoming cruises on both) and also the drinks and room service menu, both regular and CC. I'm sure they must be available on here somewhere but I've been scrolling through the threads and can't find any links. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
  20. And because of their ignorance, your survival is in jeopardy as well. Some cruise lines/ships do a better job than others in conducting their Muster Drills. HAL expects guests to be quiet (and if they are not, a PA demand from the Captain: Silence on Deck! will be heard). Often, one of the Deck Officers monitoring that Muster Station will reprimand a talkative guest. No food, no drink is allowed during Muster. Princess does a very good job as well. I've only sailed on one ship that had the video/audio screening at the Muster Station: Celebrity Eclipse. I agree with you: that's very ineffective for the reasons you stated.
  21. Hi Davie, would that hat have been Putu with bald head and from Bali? We’re on eclipse 11th August and love Putu. I drink like a fish but my wife is teetotal. Every day he would make her a different “special” non-alcoholic cocktail. And it made her feel special!! He’d gauge her arrival from me turning up (early!) and present her each night!! Top bloke!! Phil
  22. Are you taking the Hubbard Glacier and Wilderness Excursion? Trying to decide whether it will be worthwhile for our upcoming June 30 Celebrity Eclipse cruise.
  23. We don't have a blog or website so we use this site . We don't do our travelogues until we return home and we may do our review on the cruise lines site like HAL or on the destination site like South America or Baltic . It will more than a month before we review our next cruise . If you would like to see our previous Baltic cruise that we took in 2016 with our grandson use can click on this link . Here's a few photos from that trip Copenhagen London Berlin Stockholm Tallin Saint Petersburg The Eclipse We liked London and St. Petersburg the best .
  24. Hi Paul, we were on the Eclipse doing the transatlantic in November and Ade and Imade were in the Martini Bar on that crossing along with Donny and Putu, they were all great Martini barmen who made our cruise very enjoyable, we are big fans of that bar but like you we did notice that it could be on some nights very quiet which was a first for us, however say hallo to them all from us Davie and Christine from Scotland.
  25. Fly to Buenos Aires then cruise south around the horn & view Antarctica, scenery spectacular. Is a 14 night cruise & we did last year on Eclipse in January.
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