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Andy

Host Andy - Almost Live from Eclipse

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Hi Everyone,

 

Hello from Eclipse ! I'm happy to report that we are off to a great start. The Officers and crew are extremely friendly. Everywhere you go, there are smiling happy crew saying "Good Morning" and so on. It's always great to see a happy crew, which IMO, adds to your cruise experience. Eclipse is spotless, and in beautiful condition. The seas are calm, which is always a plus !

 

The Embarkation was fairly smooth, other than one Port individual who was rude to My Mom. Eclipse departed from Port Everglades about 90 minutes late, due to reports of Gangway issues (seems they had it set up incorrectly). As Mom was in a wheelchair, we were one of the first to board, and went directly from the pier, up a small ramp, to Deck 2. The whole process was ok, but fairly unorganized. To be fair, I'm giving Celebrity a pass for the embarkation, as it was good enough, and was the first sailing of the season. Stuff always seems to happen then. I also heard about delays in loading the luggage onto the ship. Our luggage arrived after we left for dinner at 6 pm, though it was in our cabin by the time we returned. Better late than never ! :)

 

Cuisine : all meals have been outstanding. I ordered the Prime Rib on Saturday night, and it was perfect - large size, soft as butter, and absolutely delicious. Our Dining Room Waiter & Assistant (Norman & Sarah) are fantastic - very attentive and friendly. It certainly seems that Celebrity has bumped up the cuisine, as we've been quite happy. Kudos to Executive Chef Paul Carroll & Restaurant Manager Srdjan, who is one of Celebrity's very best.

 

In addition to the Captains Club happy hour, Elite members are given 3 vouchers daily, which have your last name, cabin number and date printed on them. The custom printed vouchers are new, but it makes sense. The vouchers are for beverages up to $8.00 (beer up to $6) to be used between 5-7 pm. It states on the vouchers "For use in bars or lounges excluding Martini Bar, Michael's Club, Specialty Dining, Main Dining Room, and Molecular Bar". I must say that I love this new system, and IMO, it's extremely generous of Celebrity, as it's the best of both worlds. I hope Celebrity continues with the voucher system.

 

We had a wonderful time at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle. I'd say at least 100 members attended. Several Celebrity officers visited with us, including Captain Manetas (he's incredibly gracious & personable), Hotel Director Raffaelle Bernardini, and Cruise Director Sue Denning. It's always wonderful to meet our Cruise Critic members in person. They are so appreciative of my efforts, which means everything to me.

 

As many of our community members are aware, I've been quite vocal about the loud music at the pool and in other public venues, as observed in recent sailings. I'm extremely happy to report that in the first 4 days of our cruise, the situation appears to be resolved. The constant loud techno is thankfully gone. They were playing a very nice selection of inviting music this morning, and early afternoon... and at reasonable levels - not too loud, not too low. Just right IMO. This is all I ever asked/hoped for, in that it be a varied selection. I truly hope this continues, and I'd like to say... Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, to Celebrity for listening, and making the most welcome adjustments. I truly hope we can put this item to rest, once and for all.

 

I'm working on answering your questions, and taking photos of the ship. Due to the weak internet condtions, I'm currently unable to post them on my Twitter feed. If all else fails, I will post photos when I return home. That's about it for my first installment. As long as the internet cooperates, I hope to post again in the next day or two. Bye for now !

Edited by Host Andy

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Thanks for today's report! Good to hear that you are off to a great start.

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Hi Andy - we'll miss you this year, but will wave when you disembark and we embark on Nov 30th. Have a great cruise. Barb and Elliot

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Hi Andy! You got onboard as we got off... our 13 night transatlantic on Eclipse was awesome and I can echo the positive comments that you are making... we enjoyed the martini bar each night for the first time in a couple of cruises as the music was never overpowering!

 

If you get a chance to say hello to our favorite sommelier, Claudia, please tell her Joe & Kirk say hi!

 

Enjoy your cruise Andy!

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Thanks for the very positive report.

 

q: was there any sign of a VIP entrance (or was that a trial that went nowhere)?

 

q: is Michael's club reserved all day as a VIP lounge or private lounge?

 

q: The coupons on the infinity had the same restriction on bars, but the martini bar took them anyway....just served drinks in smaller ($8 size) glasses. Is your martini bar taking the coupons?

 

q: Are they serving food/snacks in the sky lounge and is it restricted to elite's or open to anyone?

 

q: Have they introduced craft drinks?

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In addition to the Captains Club happy hour, Elite members are given 3 vouchers daily, which have your last name, cabin number and date printed on them. The custom printed vouchers are new, but it makes sense. The vouchers are for beverages up to $8.00 (beer up to $6) to be used between 5-7 pm. It states on the vouchers "For use in bars or lounges excluding Martini Bar, Michael's Club, Specialty Dining, Main Dining Room, and Molecular Bar". I must say that I love this new system, and IMO, it's extremely generous of Celebrity, as it's the best of both worlds. I hope Celebrity continues with the voucher system.

 

 

Hi Andy, hope your having a great cruise. Could you clarify the above - is the CC happy hour still an open bar from the Elite drinks menu with the vouchers as an add on to use elsewhere, or do you have to exchange a voucher per drink at the function if you should choose to attend rather than have your drinks in another bar?

 

Hope that makes sense!

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Hi Andy, hope your having a great cruise. Could you clarify the above - is the CC happy hour still an open bar from the Elite drinks menu with the vouchers as an add on to use elsewhere, or do you have to exchange a voucher per drink at the function if you should choose to attend rather than have your drinks in another bar?

 

Hope that makes sense!

 

Andy, thanks for posting and glad you are having a great time. Yes, if you could please clarify the voucher system vs the Elite event.

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Host Andy: looking forward to your reports. Have a great cruise!:)

 

 

Hi Andy! You got onboard as we got off... our 13 night transatlantic on Eclipse was awesome and I can echo the positive comments that you are making... we enjoyed the martini bar each night for the first time in a couple of cruises as the music was never overpowering!

 

If you get a chance to say hello to our favorite sommelier, Claudia, please tell her Joe & Kirk say hi!

 

Enjoy your cruise Andy!

 

Host Joe: we also had Claudia as our sommelier and she was great!!:):)

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Hi, Andy,

 

Thanks for a wonderful first installment! Glad you are enjoying the cruise so far. I'll also be interested in your clarification regarding the vouchers, too. We look forward to your future reports :) !!

 

Happy cruising,

 

Jill

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Could you order two drinks at once with your vouchers or is it one at a time? Glad you are enjoying these vouchers, I am looking forward to using mine on my next cruise if they use vouchers.

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Andy,

 

Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative report. I hope you and your mother have a great trip. Do you happen to know who the captain's club hostess is on your trip?

 

Thanks again!

 

PJ

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Andy,

 

Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative report. I hope you and your mother have a great trip. Do you happen to know who the captain's club hostess is on your trip?

 

Thanks again!

 

PJ

 

Hi PJ,

 

The Hostess is actually a Host :) - It's Graeme Kelleher. We've sailed with him several times, and he's an outstanding host.

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Hi Andy! You got onboard as we got off... our 13 night transatlantic on Eclipse was awesome and I can echo the positive comments that you are making... we enjoyed the martini bar each night for the first time in a couple of cruises as the music was never overpowering!

 

If you get a chance to say hello to our favorite sommelier, Claudia, please tell her Joe & Kirk say hi!

 

Enjoy your cruise Andy!

 

Thank you Joe. I will be sure to pass along your "hi" to Claudia.

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Hi Everyone,

 

Regarding the Captains Club lounge & voucher questions... being we are enjoying the vouchers so much, we have not visited the lounge as of yet, but I will check it out tomorrow, and report my findings. Please stay tuned !

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Hey Andy, glad to hear things are going great on your cruise, keep enjoying your vaca and your time with your mom.

 

K

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Thanks for the very positive report.

 

q: was there any sign of a VIP entrance (or was that a trial that went nowhere)?

 

q: is Michael's club reserved all day as a VIP lounge or private lounge?

 

q: The coupons on the infinity had the same restriction on bars, but the martini bar took them anyway....just served drinks in smaller ($8 size) glasses. Is your martini bar taking the coupons?

 

q: Are they serving food/snacks in the sky lounge and is it restricted to elite's or open to anyone?

 

q: Have they introduced craft drinks?

 

Hi Ghstudio,

 

Here's what I know so far (in order of your questions),

 

1 & 2 - not that I'm aware of, or maybe I'm not VIP enough to have obtained an invite. Nothing mentioned in the Captains Club letter received on Day 1. I will check out Michael's tomorrow, and see what's going on.

 

3. Will ask the Martini Bar tomorrow, if they are taking the coupons.

 

4. Have not been to the Sky Lounge yet. I will answer this tomorrow.

 

5. No craft beers available in Michael's Club. According to Bar personnel, there's no current plans to add craft beers at Michael's on Eclipse.

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Could you order two drinks at once with your vouchers or is it one at a time? Glad you are enjoying these vouchers, I am looking forward to using mine on my next cruise if they use vouchers.

 

Hi Cruzsnooze,

 

I've had no issues presenting 2 coupons at the same time, for 2 drinks. The bar personnel is extremely friendly on this sailing - but then again - so is everyone on the ship. Seriously, it's wonderful to see so many happy crew and smiling faces eager to assist the guests. The ships officers & management deserve major kudos for what's going on here.... it's special.

 

For those sailing on Eclipse in the next few weeks... two words : lucky you ! :) If I weren't committed to Century in February, I'd cancel and book again... but we hope to return to Eclipse in April 2014.

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Craft drinks...not craft beers. We had them on the infinity, I was wondering if they were now available on all ships.

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Will Sue Denning be the CD for our February 22 departure? We met her in 2012 and she was great.

 

Thanks

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Hi PJ,

 

The Hostess is actually a Host :) - It's Graeme Kelleher. We've sailed with him several times, and he's an outstanding host.

 

Oh My! That is the 2nd piece of good news from you (the noise issue was the first good news). We have met and chatted with Graeme on a previous cruise (think it was the Mercury or Summit), and he is a fascinating guy and a great host. DW just reminded me that Graeme invited us to the Captain's table (always fun) and knowing he is on the ship gives us a reason to visit the Elite party even though we have the drink package on the cruise.

 

Hank:)

Edited by Hlitner

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Hi Host Andy,

 

Not sure whether the news of the new tiers of the Captain's Club has filtered through to the ship yet:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1946983

 

Would be interested to hear of any additional information, i.e

 

On our recent T.A. on Infinity, Michael's Club was almost always closed, due to a 'PRIVATE PARTY' but most times I passed by it was empty.

 

However, the bottles of Craft beers was displayed in the window of the Club. This indicates to me that they are not available for the non Elite Plus or Zenith passenger.

Any comments from Graeme Kelleher on this?

Edited by upwarduk

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