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Just back from the Eclipse !!


Lolotte

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I wrote a review, it was a satisfying cruise but a few issues, here are my general thoughts ( I have been on 15 celebrity cruises):

 

  • Fellow passengers were classy, nice to be with.
  • food was excellent, so was the service, the best ever
  • Embarcation and disembarcation went very smoothtly
  • Escargots were available twice, not on menu. Replacement crab and mushroom were not good.
  • Coupons were used for Elite members but servers would ignore us.
  • Captain was never seen and hard to understand.
  • Cruise Director, Patti Honacki, was ok but never seen except on stage.
  • Music throughout the ship was awful particularly Fully Functionnal band, no ballroom dancing on the Eclipse. A capella group Top Shelf was fine but not featured enough, Perry Grant was his usual funny self even if the Sky Lounge lacked atmosphere.
  • Not enough activities on the 5 sea days, always the same, even if there was a lot of repeat guests, no talent show ( crew or passengers) which at least would be different from one cruise to the next.
  • Guest speaker Lisa Didier was exceptionnal and she drew enormous crowds.
  • On the whole the guest entertainers were very good and the production shows exceptionnal.
  • I also wish the itinerary would be a bit different from year to year. We will have to look elsewhere next year.

I think the Eclipse lacks a soul ( contrary to the Equinox and Silhouette), but I think the change of cruise Director , Sue Denning is now on board, should remedy to that !

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Everything went smoothly from ship tp ports even in st Thomas when we boarded tenders. We rarely do ship excursions and we had no problem at all. In Antigua and Aruba we used the city buses to get to wonderful beaches.

We kept our luggages on the last day, our letter said to meet at 7h45, we got to the meeting point at 7h30 and we immediately were directed to the exit. The walk is long ( 10 minutes) but when we got to the Customs there was no wait at all.

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Sue Denning is a trip! She has so much energy that, hopefully, when we board Eclipse in 2 weeks it will have turned around.

 

Who is the Captain? It would be so horrible if he had no personality. Celebrity Captains (and we've been on 20 cruises) have always been out and about and very friendly. I hope they aren't changing their ways since we have always seen the entire crew very accessible to the passengers.

 

Thanks for the post and update.

 

Pat

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Hi Lalotte,

 

Thanks for your update. Sorry to hear about Eclipse lacking a soul. That's a very interesting choice of words, as we had a disappointing experience on Eclipse in November. We had a Cruise director and Hotel Director who were both very invisible and forgettable, and I felt that was likely a major factor in why things went wrong.

 

I absolutely agree that Sue Denning is one of Celebrity's very best, and will do whatever she can, to improve areas under her control. Knowing her energy, I wouldn't be surprised if it's already turned around :)

 

Thank you for sharing your insights, and welcome home !

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My daughter went on a RCCL ship a few years ago--all she could talk about was how great the captain was, how funny, personable, etc. He gave talks, walked around the ship engaging passengers and so on. I have been on many Celebrity ships, and don't recall ever even SEEING the captain, unless we go to the reception, which we normally don't.

 

On our Eclipse TA last year, he made his noon announcement (at 10AM) and ended it with a joke, but after 12 days at sea I still had no idea what he looked like. I hear lots of people make positive comments about their captain, maybe it's just the luck of the draw? Hoping for a good one on our Silhouette TA.

 

BTW we have had Lisa as our cruise director both on Eclipse and on Solstice--is she still around?

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The captain on the Silhouette in November(I don't remember his name) was a hoot. But I really only want the captain to get us there and back safely.

 

I totally agree - look what happened on Costa when the Captain was (allegedly) busy socializing. I would rather the Captain focus on safety and commanding the officers and crew than gladhandling Elites and participating in CelebritynLife activities.

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My daughter went on a RCCL ship a few years ago--all she could talk about was how great the captain was, how funny, personable, etc. He gave talks, walked around the ship engaging passengers and so on. I have been on many Celebrity ships, and don't recall ever even SEEING the captain, unless we go to the reception, which we normally don't.

 

On our Eclipse TA last year, he made his noon announcement (at 10AM) and ended it with a joke, but after 12 days at sea I still had no idea what he looked like. I hear lots of people make positive comments about their captain, maybe it's just the luck of the draw? Hoping for a good one on our Silhouette TA.

 

BTW we have had Lisa as our cruise director both on Eclipse and on Solstice--is she still around?

 

We had Lisa on the Silhouette on our 10/23/12 sailing. Don't know if she is still there though.

Gail

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Thanks for your update. Sorry to hear about Eclipse lacking a soul. That's a very interesting choice of words, as we had a disappointing experience on Eclipse in November. We had a Cruise director and Hotel Director who were both very invisible and forgettable, and I felt that was likely a major factor in why things went wrong.

 

Host Andy, over the years, DH and I have encountered an occasional "soul-less" ship (on both X and RC). The common denominator I've identified is the Captain. Seems like, when the Master of the ship is highly visible, and involved in the day-to-day operations all over the ship, then everyone (from the CD to the room stewards) is more likely to be "on their toes".

 

I've also observed that the "best ships" are often raided for crew members to float-out the new-builds. That has to be demoralizing for a tight, well-trained crew, that has worked together for a long time.

 

One of the things that I've been looking forward to on Equinox is her reputation for having a stellar crew. I'll find out in a few short weeks -- will try to report back with a review! :cool:

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The Captain on the Silhoutte for the Nov 30, 2011 was the Master, Captain Nicholas Pagonis and the CD was Paul Baya.

 

I thought is was 2012 but I guess time really flies. Didn't see that long ago

.

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Everything went smoothly from ship tp ports even in st Thomas when we boarded tenders....

 

Wow - you had to tender in St. Thomas? I've never been on a ship that had to tender there. Was that a surprise or part of the initial itinerary? We're on the Eclipse on the March 9th sailing and our itinerary says it is scheduled to dock.

 

...But I really only want the captain to get us there and back safely.

 

I was going to post something along these lines. But after thinking about this a bit I'm not really so sure. While a safe journey would always be the number one priority, a cruise is not at all just about transport. The one thing I don't know is the extent, if any, that the Captain is actively involved in the management of non-navigational aspects of the ship. For example, on a good number of Celebrity cruises we've seen the Captain and one or two fellow officers making the rounds at least once a day - walking the upper deck and through one of the mid-level public areas as well. This is very nice for a visibility standpoint but it also might help seeing operations during the day if the Captain is active at all in the day to day management of either the "hotel" operations or maintenance throughout the ship. The socializing that goes on during these walks must also allow the Captain to get a fair amount of feedback from passengers in addition to the enjoyment some passengers get from it.

 

I think wwcruisers might have a pretty good point with their comment about this in the post two above this.

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On our last Celebrity cruise (June) we had Captain Theo and Sue Demming. What a combo. Each one had a terrific personality and sense of humor. The think the cruise director and secondly, the captain help create the atmosphere on the ship.

 

Sue was amazing at getting people involved and you felt she really knew each and everyone of the passengers. I've never had a bad cruise director just a few I can't really remember.

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Wow - you had to tender in St. Thomas? I've never been on a ship that had to tender there. Was that a surprise or part of the initial itinerary? We're on the Eclipse on the March 9th sailing and our itinerary says it is scheduled to dock.

 

We had to tender in St. Thomas in November on the Eclipse. Most of the shore excursions were cancelled, because we were scheduled to dock. Rumor has it there is some screwup with the port agent not booking a sufficiently large docking space (the Connie used to do this run). Things seem to go OK when the ship docks in Crown Bay (not my preferred location) but Havensight seems to be an issue.

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The first formal night is on the second sea day ( the Monday).

Lisa Didier<s topic were the following : pirates of the carribeans, indegenous tribes in the carribeans, the first female CEOs in the US ( the madams).

Unfortunately she was leaving for the Solstice in Australia shortly.

 

Yes I want a captain who takes us there safely but he his the CEO and should oversee everything, great captains were Nicolas pagonis, Emmanoil... and Dimitri on the Silhouette and Theo on the Constellation.

 

Yes the tendering was scheduled and was really well done, but get your tickets as soon as the booth opens and it is interesting to know no priority for Elite !

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The first formal night is on the second sea day ( the Monday).

Lisa Didier<s topic were the following : pirates of the carribeans, indegenous tribes in the carribeans, the first female CEOs in the US ( the madams).

Unfortunately she was leaving for the Solstice in Australia shortly.

 

Yes I want a captain who takes us there safely but he his the CEO and should oversee everything, great captains were Nicolas pagonis, Emmanoil... and Dimitri on the Silhouette and Theo on the Constellation.

 

Yes the tendering was scheduled and was really well done, but get your tickets as soon as the booth opens and it is interesting to know no priority for Elite !

We're also on Eclipse 3/9. Question regarding St. Thomas: What tickets are you referring to? We're on the shore excursion to St. John that leaves at 8:30. And we're Elite, which USED to mean we had priority boarding for tendering.

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We're also on Eclipse 3/9. Question regarding St. Thomas: What tickets are you referring to? We're on the shore excursion to St. John that leaves at 8:30. And we're Elite, which USED to mean we had priority boarding for tendering.

If they tender then they'll pass out tender tickets.

 

Elite usually get priority tickets and a separate waiting area but I heard on the OP's cruise that there were around 600 to 800 Elites on board which is why they didn't have the Elite social hour in the sky lounge and just passed out vouchers to be used at most bars on the ship instead. If they had that many people having priority it would have been unworkable.

 

I have no idea how many Elites will be on our cruise so I don't know if we'll have the same issues or not.

 

Since you're on our cruise why don't you stop by the roll call and say hello: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1407623&page=111

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...Yes the tendering was scheduled ...

 

So just to make sure I understand: Did everyone know well in advance of sailing that you'd be tendering - for example was tender listed in the itinerary included in the advance cruise documents?

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Eclipse on Jan 12 sailing squeezed into Havensight, while the NCL Gem was in the harbor.

 

We're on next year as well, and the itinerary already anticipates a tender in St. Thomas. Bummer.

 

Sorry we missed Sue Denning. We had her on Connie in 2012 and she was visible and outstanding.

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