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  1. 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!
  2. Hullo! I originally posted this question over on the Hawaii board but someone suggested that I might get a more definitive answer here from Celebrity cruisers who have done this port... 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? This is what concerns me the most! 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.
  3. "It's going to rain be prepared". That is all we heard for a year leading up to our 10 night Eclipse Alaskan cruise. Sometimes mother nature shines on you and leaves you in awe. I am doing this review as a record for myself. It will be long and picture heavy so that the unbelievable experience my wife and I had will be kept on the interwebs for all eternity. A little background. My wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary and wanted to do something different. We are experienced Caribbean cruisers. Having cruised with Carnival, Royal, NCL and HAL in the past. So I will also try to compare the lines a little bit and rank some of things they each do well and not so well. Since we have cruised the Caribbean so many times in the past at first we tossed around the idea of doing a land based vacation in Tahiti or Fiji. While we discussed this option my wife blurted out "Alaska". I said "hmmmm. Let me think about it". Not that I was against the idea. But we are beach lovers. And spending two weeks in the cold rain was not really my idea of a vacation. As it turned out we saw not one single drop of rain in any port we went to on this trip. I know that is ridiculously rare. But it is true. The only rain we saw was on our sea day back to Victoria Canada. The weather was simply perfect. And made the entire trip stunning to say the least. Our plan evolved to include 3 nights pre cruise in Vancouver. What a gorgeous city Vancouver is. Truly a gem. And if you like Asian food like we do it is the place for you. One other point about just how perfect this trip was. 10 minutes through security at Dulles airport on the day we left. Two of the smoothest flights I have ever been on from Washington DC to Seattle and Seattle to Vancouver. No line at Canadian customs where I declared some extra tobacco I brought along and the border agent simply said "have a great vacation". No tax. No duty. NOTHING. An amazing 5 star hotel that I bid on on one of the online sites (more on that later). Three perfect days in Vancouver. From the hotel to on the ship in 45 minutes on embarkation day. An incredible 10 night Alaskan itinerary. Walked immediately off of the ship on disembarkation day....The list goes on and on. Here was our Itinerary: May 6th: Depart Washington DC arrive Vancouver at 2:45 PM for a three night stay May 9th: Embarkation day May 10th: Cruise the Inside Passage May 11th: Ketchikan May 12th: Sitka May 13th: Skagway May 14th: Icy Strait Point May 15th: Juneau May 16th: Endicott Arm May 17th: Sea Day May 18th: Victoria Canada May 19: Disembark
  4. The Eclipse is blocking our view of the Noordam. Wishing all the passengers a wonderful day in Juneau.
  5. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. Also in port are Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2100, Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100, and Queen Elizabeth at the FKL dock from 1400-2200. The nice weather is taking a break on Thursday. There is a 60% chance of rain with light rain in the morning and a cloudy afternoon with showers. High will only be 53F/12C and the low 44F/7C. Sunrise is at 4:17 am and sunset at 9:32 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  6. She is slowly moving to her dock in front of the Eclipse.
  7. Looking at a Panama Canal cruise in 2020 on the Summit. Have sailed on Silhouette a few times, the Reflection and the Eclipse. What is the Summit like? Thanks so much... Is there a bar on deck 3 by the Grand Foyer like on Silhouette? (Passport bar I think it was)
  8. 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
  9. I wonder if any of you cruise experts can give me some advice? :) Last year we sailed on Eclipse and had a great time. :cool: We did have a lot of noise in our cabin all night for the first few nights from the Buffet kitchen, which was right above our cabin. We talked to guest services and the noise eventually stopped after a couple of sleepless nights. Guest services gave us future cruise certificates for £700 as compensation. Fast forward a year and we've chosen this year's 14 night cruise with Celebrity. I've negotiated a good price,with some perks thrown in (OBC and drinks), having consulted a few agents. As soon as I mentioned the certificates, the agents I had been talking to said they could no longer honour the deal I had negotiated. I'm now talking to Celebrity directly. I have a good deal with them and they say that they will probably honour the certificates, but that it's a different dept and the discount wouldn't be applied until after we've booked and made a deposit. I'm feeling a bit concerned about booking without knowing for sure that these certificates will be honoured. Call me a cynic, but I'm wondering if these certificates are worth anything at all? :confused: Does anyone else have any similar experience of using these compensation certificates on a Celebrity cruise? Thanks for reading....I'd appreciate your opinions.
  10. We have a webcam person, but since the cam is focussing on Eclipse, I doubt if we'll see Noordam much before she enters the harbor area.
  11. Celebrity Eclipse getting near. Noordam not too far behind her.
  12. Here are the excluded sailings. Listed as Sailing number, Ship, # Days, Sail Date, Name: 3022A Crown Princess 22, 7/11/2020 0:00 2020 Baltic & Norwegian Fjords Medley 2006 Island Princess 28 4/11/2020 2020 Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa E004 Emerald Princess 28 2/1/2020 2020 Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa M104B Diamond Princess 8 1/30/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Kobe) M106A Diamond Princess 8 2/15/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Kobe) M106B Diamond Princess 8 2/18/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Taipei) M104 Diamond Princess 8 1/28/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Tokyo) M107A Diamond Princess 8 2/23/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Kobe) M105 Diamond Princess 8 2/5/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Tokyo) M108 Diamond Princess 8 3/1/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Tokyo) M105C Diamond Princess 8 2/10/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Taipei) M105B Diamond Princess 8 2/7/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Kobe) M106 Diamond Princess 8 2/13/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Tokyo) M107 Diamond Princess 8 2/21/2021 0:00 2021 Japan & Taiwan (from Tokyo) S004 Sun Princess 46 1/24/2020 0:00 2020 Indian Ocean & South Africa Odyssey 6033A Coral princess 48 10/31/2020 0:00 2020 Panama Canal, Andes & Cape Horn (with Total Eclipse) C107B Sea Princess 11 2/21/2021 0:00 2021 Southern Australia Explorer C107C Sea Princess 17 3/4/2021 0:00 2021 Northern Explorer S015D Sea Princess 11 10/23/2020 0:00 2020 Southern Australia Explorer S015B Sea Princess 17 10/6/2020 0:00 2020 Northern Explorer 2104 Island Princess 10 2/9/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Segment - New Zealand & Australia 2106 Island Princess 11 3/4/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Segment - Malaysian Peninsula & Indian Ocean 2105 Island Princess 13 2/19/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Segment - Asia &Australia 2102 Island Princess 14 1/3/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Segment - PanamaCanal (Connoisseur) 2107 Island Princess 17 3/15/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Segment - Holy Land, Turkey & Aegean Sea 2104A Island Princess 23 2/9/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Segment - New Zealand, Australia & Asia 2106C Island Princess 28 3/4/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Liner - Indian Ocean & Mediterranean Sea 2108A Island Princess 38 4/1/2021 0:00 2021 WC Liner-Mediterranean, Transatlantic Crossing, Panama Canal 2107B Island Princess 41 3/15/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Liner - Mediterranean & Transatlantic Crossing 2103E Island Princess 45 1/17/2021 0:00 2021 World Cruise Liner - South Pacific & Asia K004 Pacific Princess 45 2/19/2020 0:00 2020 World Cruise Segment - IndianOcean & Africa C010E Sea Princess 49 5/14/2020 0:00 2020 World Cruise Liner - Brisbaneto London (Dover) A110A Grand Princess 38 3/23/2021 0:00 2021 Indian Ocean & Europe Grand Adventure G032B Regal Princess 44 10/17/2020 0:00 2020 Four Continents Grand Adventure G032A Regal Princess 46 10/17/2020 0:00 2020 Four Continents Grand Adventure A035A Grand Princess 46 10/24/2020 0:00 2020 Pacific Crossing & Asia S008C Sea Princess 49 4/15/2020 0:00 2020 Circle Pacific Liner Sydney toSan Francisco
  13. 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"
  14. I am currently onboard the Millennium in a C2 concierge cabin. Beds are VERY narrow. If anything they feel narrower than the concierge C2 cabins we were in last month onboard Eclipse.
  15. I saw it happen on the Eclipse last week in Tuscan. Just saying.
  16. 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.
  17. Enjoying your postings. Glad to see that you are enjoying Muranos, although your pictures are making me hungry!!!! We are Darry and Tena from the Chicago area, yes, the burbs, we meet on the Eclipse 14 day in December 2016. Enjoyed World Class Bar, thanks to Edward for the Oban recommendation!!! We had a great time and spent most nights at Muranos followed by World Class Bar. If Daniel is still in Muranos please tell him we say hi and hope to cross paths with him soon. The sommelier was great pairing each course. Hope you and Edward have a great time on your helicopter tour. We did that last year, unfortunately we were on a Princess cruise-choice of family we traveled with- it was great- helicoptered to glacier with a 2 hour hike- probably the highlight of the cruise!! Enjoy!!!
  18. I've been reading so much advice here on CC about how an aft cabin is best for Alaska cruises, especially inside passage and glacier cruises. In 2020 we're doing sort of a B2B. One round trip out of Seattle, followed a couple of days later by a round trip out of Vancouver. We generally book only midship cabins and have never booked aft before. I understand that because the Vancouver round trip route doesn't go out into the open ocean much, movement should be less on that cruise aft than say a Caribbean voyage. Sound like a good way to test out aft to see how well it works for us. Currently have cabin #8252 hump balcony booked and am considering moving to #7364 SV. Cost difference right now would be about $400 or so more for SV. I checked on some of the higher decks for aft that aren't adjoining cabins, but they are concierge and seem to have more reports of soot and pool noise than decks 7 & 8, which are not concierge priced. Also... I figure for Alaska the closer you are to the water the better, as you can more easily spot wildlife, whales, etc. Advice? EDIT: This is for S-class, Eclipse
  19. So as promised here are some pics from the balcony of 8252 on Eclipse. It only rained on our sea day. And we were in some decent seas that day as well. Maybe 15 feet? The balcony is very sheltered from the wind and rain. And the balcony itself is huge. It is located 20 feet from the elevators in the center of the ship. We were very happy with our choice. And didnt feel like we missed anything by not getting an aft.
  20. Moment of reflection on the Eclipse This is more personal related, but I think it may be a reminder we all need at times. Yesterday we were in Le Petite Chef for dinner. We had a wonderful private table for 2 (I think our RS room number helped with this). Last night I was a little tired, just wasn't feeling all that great. I think it was a combination of a little excess drinking the previous night and my sleep clock being off. In any event, we were waiting for the 3rd course to come (the filet) and I found myself thinking "I wish the food would just hurry up so we can go." As soon as I had that thought I had to mentally slap myself in the head. Here I am in a wonderful restaurant with Edward, a great table for 2, having very good service (and what ended up being a very nice steak) and all I want to do is hurry up and go? Next week when I'm back at home I'm going to be wishing that I could be back on the ship. So like I said, I mentally slapped myself for thinking that thought. I enjoyed my steak, enjoyed the dessert with some coffee and remainder of the meal. We even got to meet the chef for Qsine (well Le Petite) toward the end of the meal. We're all guilty of sometimes wanting to rush through things because maybe we're not feeling well, maybe we're a little tired, or maybe we're a bit anxious. I can definitely speak to the anxious part as I've had anxiety issues for years and they're not always easy to deal with. But despite any of these personal tribulations it is so important for us to still live in the moment. Enjoy that moment, don't rush it, don't wish for it to pass quicker. Thanks for letting me share that with you and lets get on with the cruise! I will post photos of yesterday's lunch and dinner as the internet improves. Tonight we are eating earlier than normal (7:30 tonight) in Tuscan since we have the early helicopter tour tomorrow (well what I hope is a helicopter tour tomorrow!).
  21. Good afternoon / evening everyone. Seeing as we are in the half way point of our cruise I thought I would take the time to do a little mid cruise review and let you know my thoughts on the ship, staff, and trip thus far. Today the internet is a little spotty so I figured this will help suffice until I can get more photos posted. A little over a month ago there were a few reviews on the Eclipse that were….lets just say less than ideal? There were complaints about some of the staff, some of the food, etc. My no means do I want to diminish any of those complaints. Those complaints are just as valid as anyones. However, I want to explain what I’ve noticed on this sailing and give you my thoughts. Decoy - The decoy is back! I have not personally been ordering it but I did speak with Star (the head sommelier) about this issue and it is now fully stocked as it was once and the disruption should not happen again. Bar Staff - I know a few people wrote about how they were disappointed with some of the staff. Overall we’ve been very happy with the bar staff on this ship. From Sunset Bar to Mast Bar, Michaels Club, Martini Bar and World Class. All have been extremely fun and engaging. I have been talking to some of the bartenders at the outside bars for instance, Sunset and Mast. Several of them just joined the ship in the last month. These people have been extremely friendly and definitely have good experience. I think there has been a good amount of recent turnover which has impacted my sailing positively. We’ve only eaten in specialty restaurants so far and once for lunch in the buffet. Today was the Indian themed lunch in Ocean View which we very much enjoyed. Murano has been truly stellar this cruise. From the front of the house staff to the Murano head chef coming out to check on meals, the service has really been incredible and the food is typical Murano top notch as always. Fredrice, the sommelier, has been most excellent. Extremely engaging and loves to talk about wine. The Internet has been decent. It has been a bit spotty here and there, but overall I can’t complain too much and I of course realize where we are in the world. Royal Suite 1609 - Our suite appears to be in very good condition. It was sparkling clean upon arrival. The only negative is I wish the railings on the balcony were in a bit better shape. They’re fully glazed (so no chipping or anything like that) but the coloration has seen better days. I noticed this throughout the ship as we were looking at the ship from the Vancouver port. Cruz is our room attendant and Hilario is our butler. Both have been great. Cruz is very friendly, but also to the point and gives us our space. Hilario has been very friendly as we remember him. He knows we like to be left alone, but he has pushed a bit to take care of small things for us. Coffee in the morning, some candy and snacks to have on hand. We had a cheese plate the other night before dinner. We’ve been sending out laundry here and there, including some dry cleaning and shoes to be shined. They’ve been coming back in 24hrs looking great, shirts hung up and pressed properly, etc. Michaels Club - We haven’t been there much. Only a couple times, but the staff we have met, Dimen and Arelene have been especially friendly and outgoing. They’ve also made a point to ask what we normally drink, etc. and checked to make sure they had what they needed. This is not really necessary since we’re not there, but I appreciate it being asked. I’ll leave it there for my mid cruise review regarding the staff and ship. We’ve been very pleased overall. The majority of passengers seem to be very pleased. I only heard one complaint (someone complaining about drink prices at World Class bar) but besides that everyone on this ship has been in a very pleasant mood. The weather has been pretty good. It definitely has been colder up here in Alaska than what we thought when looking at weather reports. As some of you have mentioned to us, layers helps! Especially with the wind, since when the wind blows it makes a huge different up here. With all this being said, even today in the mist by the glacier it has never been unbearable. For the majority of the time it has been completely dry and sunny.The landscape views here are stunning to say the least. As I mentioned the other day; I understand why so many people have been telling us to go to Alaska on a cruise. Tomorrow we are in Juneau and have an 8am helicopter tour booked. We’re hoping for good weather but right now its looking like it will be 50 degrees and rain. I hope the weather is good enough to make the tour worth it so we can visit a couple glaciers and actually walk on them. Fingers crossed! Also if any of you have any additional questions or anything you want me to research while on board let me know! If I missed any of your questions or haven't gotten back to you regarding something please do ask again!
  22. 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
  23. I think you will be fine. We were just on the Eclipse a few weeks ago and went to the Old Lahainia Luau. We were back to the ship in plenty of time. We used Lyft to get from the Luau back to the tender spot. No timing problem at all.
  24. 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.
  25. Thanks for all the great pictures and information. If possible, please let us know if you hear anything about the Hubbard Glacier Wilderness Excursion boat. We booked that excursion for our similar Celebrity Eclipse cruise starting June 30, but no one has ever given any feedback reporting on that.
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