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Host Andy - Live From Celebrity Eclipse


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Thanks for your update Andy.

I hope you and your mother recover quickly and I am looking forward to your review of the cruise.

I know how important the internet has become over the last few years and how difficult life can become when you are not able to respond to urgent messages. We ourselves had to forego Rome due to an work emergency when on the Eclipse in August. Civitavecchia's McDonald's wifi situated by the best Gelateria and soul soothing chocolate ice cream saved the day.

I hope you were similarly lucky.

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Please allow me to catch up with work stuff, and I will provide some insights from our cruise, later this evening. I also have answers to your questions, and will post them on the "Have Eclipse questions" thread.

 

Great to have our "leader" back, mostly safe and sound, recovering and catching up. Appreciate your efforts with the bad Internet service. When handy, will be looking forward to what you most enjoyed about these various islands, on the ship, etc. Know it takes time. We're patient!!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day Celebrity Solstice, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 88,030 views for this posting.

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We just got off of the Eclipse, too. We had a cabin on Deck 6 and I never experienced a problem with the Internet. I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and signed in at least 2 times a day to check emails, stock, Facebook, etc. I did not generate any emails while on the Internet. I would generate my emails off line, then copy, sign in, paste and send. So, my time on line was sort of limited to 7 - 10 minutes max. I also used the Internet while on Deck 12 daily.

One thing that a group of us (4 couples) did not really like was the use of 3 coupons per night per person from 5 - 7PM. For those of us who had early dining (6PM) you could not use your coupon in the MDR. The Sky Lounge was open to anyone and not as it was before when only Elite and above were allowed to the selected area.

Suggestions:

1. Put the coupons on the card instead of paper.

2. Allow the use of the 3 drinks anytime from 5 - 8 or 9pm. What difference does it make if you are authorized 3 drinks per night? Some people do not drink a lot in an hour. Others do. LOL

3. Allow you to use a coupon(s) from the previous night(s), if you still have them left. Why had a specific date to be used on each coupon?

4. Allow the use of coupons on Sr. Officer Party night since they only were open for Early Seating from 5:15 - 6PM. Late seating from 7:45 - 8:30PM. In fact, some people were asked to leave the Sky Lounge at 6:15 so they could clean the area before Late Seating arrived.

 

Elite breakfast was in Tuscon Grill using the old buffet service rather than the new menu selection or 3 tier plate. When asked about this return to the old way, we were told that with over 500 Elite, Elite + and Zenith, they could not accommodate the menu service. Under 500 they would have used the menu service.

Please, Celebrity, get your story straight. Was it the carpet, glass or ????? that made you change.

 

Brunch on last day was in the Ocean View Cafe and it is nowhere near what it was when it was in the MDR. Too many people, smaller food selection, etc.

 

Food in the MDR is very subjective, however, many who we talked to were not pleased with the quality of the food. We don't cruise for the food so it didn't bother us. However, it is apparent that the food is not the quality of the past 5 years. Selections are more basic and soups were very poor. Food in the Ocean View Cafe was not prepared upon request on port days, such as Stir Fry. Instead of grilled chicken breasts, chicken thighs were used.

Just a few examples.

 

Yes, we did enjoy the cruise and will go back on X within a couple of months. Still cannot beat the 'bang for the buck.'

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Welcome back, Andy and all others!

 

I hope they get that WiFi / internet problem fixed until January :eek:!! My DH is self employed and needs to check his mail and work...

 

On the Oasis TA RCI used the coupon system but times were 5 to 8 pm which allowed us to have a drink before and after early/main seating. And they had the coupons uploaded on the card. Wonder why that is not working with X.

 

steamboats

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We just got off of the Eclipse, too. We had a cabin on Deck 6 and I never experienced a problem with the Internet. I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and signed in at least 2 times a day to check emails, stock, Facebook, etc.[/Quote]

 

Oxo,

Were you near the iLounge, which I believe is on deck 6?

I have booked 6214 & I seem to remember seeing the iLounge was nearby.

I remember having to go close to the iLounge when we were on Infinity TA in '13 to obtain a connection, as we were in a FV in the aft, which I was told by one iLounge assistant was,"being in a metal box."

Edited by upwarduk
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We also just got off the Eclipse on Sunday. I posted on this thread earlier from the ship or port when I was able; I will now share a few more observations and experiences.

 

Yes, the iLounge is on deck 6 mid-ship.

 

Like Andy posted yesterday and as I posted on this thread earlier, dh and I experienced constant onboard Internet-access problems. Dh and I both used our iPad minis, most of the time at the same time but sometimes at different times. Generally we had the best access in our aft cabin before 7:30am and service deteriorated during the day, many times to non-existence. We did not try late at night, but only in the morning through afternoon and usually in the cabin or Cafe al Bacio (+ couple attempts in iLounge). I will post more on this later wherever and whenever Andy posts his experiences.

 

I talked to Bruce (former Captain's Club host) of Future Cruises again. He said he will be on the Eclipse until mid-January and then will be going on vacation. He did not know his next ship assignment yet. He seems very nice; I'm sure he was a wonderful Captain's Club host.

 

In an earlier post, I listed some changes from previous cruises. Another change was that the Attention to Detail (ATD) cards were not available from Guest Relations. We had to get the cards from the cabin attendant and then turn them in to Guest Relations. I always try to fill out at least one ATD card to commend an area including specific people in that area.

 

We thought the MDR food was excellent. Not so much the soups as Oxo mentioned, but the entrees were very good, especially the beef and our Thanksgiving day turkey. We are not much on eating beef (never eat lamb or pork) in our home life, except beef on cruises 2-3x each cruise. On this cruise, the Steak Diane, Beef Tournedos, and Chateaubriand were all tender and deliciously prepared. The lobster was also excellent. They did overuse green beans and carrots with the entrees, which became a joke between the waiter and me as I will only eat a few green beans unless picked fresh (same way with some other vegetables too). When I chose an applicable entree, he said, "That one is good. No green beans." One thing we always do is ask the waiter for his/her recommendations. They have received guest feedback and know the food quality and how well the food items are prepared enough to make valuable recommendations. Our service in Select dining was excellent. Lunch service in the MDR was slower and less impressive.

 

We did not go to the Oceanview Cafe (we don't like to "fight" for our food - too many people), except on port days when we were able to get the made-to-order pasta (available on all days). I didn't check about the stir fry.

 

Other than the Internet problems, one of our main disappointments was Cafe al Bacio. Cafe al Bacio was often overrun possibly because of drink packages and the number of Elite Plus members who get specialty teas and coffee. On the second last sea day, people were in there sleeping, playing cards, reading, doing Internet (or attempting Internet access), taking up a table for four with one person seated, and general lounging and chatting -- many without having anything to eat or drink or well past the time they finished their refreshments. There must have been numerous complains since, on the last sea day, the tables had card-stock notices asking people to "refrain from playing cards" in Cafe al Bacio and "kindly to vacate" the area when through with refreshment. Tables were often dirty and not cleared and it was sometimes difficult to get service without getting the attention of a server. I am not faulting the bar servers. They were gracious and hard working; it was just that they were overworked and the lounge was understaffed. I'm not sure why they did not extend to the nearby and under-utilized Bistro on Five and have more servers to help in there (probably a shortage of servers).

 

We received 3 paper vouchers each per day (delivered to cabin 1st night), which were coded by date and with our names & cabin #; exclusions were first night (embarkation) and the night of the Senior Officer's Party; however, the Senior Officer's Party was just like another Elite happy hour with more officers present and without the need to use vouchers. Unlike other ships we were on, the three Elite drink vouchers per night were not to be used in Cafe al Bacio, per a decision by the Captain's Club hostess and possibly in agreement with the Bar Manager. We did not receive a voucher letter (supposedly there was one, but we didn't receive it) stating in which lounges the vouchers could or could not be used; however, the acceptable lounges were listed on the back of the vouchers; Cafe al Bacio was not listed and the hostess verbally clarified to us they could not be used there when we asked. The Cafe al Bacio bar servers were not all aware of that though, and some Elite/Elite+ members successfully used their vouchers there. We were quite content with the Elite Sky lounge, which was one of the highlights of our onboard cruise experience. The drinks were the typical ones under a certain $ amount, and the appetizers were very good including calamari on a couple evenings. The servers were outstanding, efficient, gracious, and a real delight.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed Shane Dallas' talks on Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. At first, I was hesitant to go since we will never visit those countries. When we went to his talks, I realized more and more that it was precisely the reason I should be going to his fascinating talks to understand more fully the people and the cultures and to see wonderful pictures of places I will never visit.

 

Overall another excellent cruise.

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Oxo,

Were you near the iLounge, which I believe is on deck 6?

I have booked 6214 & I seem to remember seeing the iLounge was nearby.

I remember having to go close to the iLounge when we were on Infinity TA in '13 to obtain a connection, as we were in a FV in the aft, which I was told by one iLounge assistant was,"being in a metal box."

 

Yes, we were on Deck 6 Cabin 6279. However, I used the Internet in the Tuscan Grill in the morning, Deck 12 in the afternoon and Cabin at night. Really, never had a problem with Internet. Could it be device related?

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Spirits: Absolut Vodka, Seagrams VO, Beefeater Gin, Bacardi Rum, Jim Beam Bourbon , Dewar's White Label Scotch, Courvoisier VS Cognac.

 

Beer: Heineken, Bud Light and O'Coul's

 

Non-Alcholic: Sodas, Juices and 33 Ml. Bottled Water (Evian)

 

Wine: Celebrity Vintages Sparkling Wine, Beringer White Zinfandel, Santa Helena Chardonnay, Anakena Cabernet Sauvignon, Wairav Sauvignon Blanc, Lights Out Shiraz

 

Cocktails: Kir Royal, Cosmopolitan, Mimosa, Manhattan, Vodka or Gin Martini, Screwdriver, Apple Martini, Sidecar.

 

Note: Kindly refrain from taking beverages out of the Lounge. Only beverages on this menu are complimentary. Other beverges requested will be charge to your account. Please display your card for your Server.

 

People were taking beverages out of the Lounge. What difference does it make since you are limited to 3 drinks per evening? You can order from other bars>

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Valid from 5 - 7PM daily, excluding evening of Embarkation and Senior Officer's Cocktail party.

 

Only for use in: Casino, Destination, Ensemble, Mast, Oceanview, Passport, Pool and Sunset bars and Sky Lounge.

 

Valid for beverages on the Captain's Club Menu

 

Vouchers must be redeemed on the date provided.

 

Vouchers cannot be replaced if lost.

 

Vouchers are not transferable or redeemable for cash.

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TourDeCruise. I am curious as to why you had vouchers AND seemingly a Sky Lounge event with canapés etc. Were there very high numbers of Elite and above members on your cruise, or was the room not available?

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Forums mobile app

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TourDeCruise. I am curious as to why you had vouchers AND seemingly a Sky Lounge event with canapés etc. Were there very high numbers of Elite and above members on your cruise, or was the room not available?

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Forums mobile app

 

We were on the Silhouette TA this past April & also had vouchers combined with the Sky Lounge with canapés due to the huge amount of Eleite & above CC members. You chose to use your vouchers either at the bars that accept them, or use them in the Sky Lounge, which was packed to the point of no seats available. It was the best of both worlds really. We went to the Sky Lounge every day & met tons of great people on that sailing!

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TourDeCruise. I am curious as to why you had vouchers AND seemingly a Sky Lounge event with canapés etc. Were there very high numbers of Elite and above members on your cruise, or was the room not available?

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Forums mobile app

 

Personally, I believe that X is going to the voucher system to reduce the amount of drinks they provide. Yes, the Sky Lounge event was open from 5-7PM with canapés. However, you could only order 3 drinks per evening with the 3 coupons provided. The Sky Lounge was open to all passengers regardless of dress/status. There was no section that was for Elite and above. You had to provide the waiter a coupon for each drink requested.

There were a high number of Elite and above on this cruise. However, there was never a crowd compare to previous cruises in the Sky Lounge. In fact, even on Sr. Officer Cocktail Party night they split that into two separate events. One at 5:15 - 6PM and the other at 7:45 - 8:30PM. Our friends was asked to leave at 6:15pm so they could clean the Sky Lounge. They wee not very happy when told to leave.

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Did you see many of Perry's shows?

 

Perry substituted for a person who was scheduled to entertain one night who didn't make the cruise. Perry performed in the Theater. He puts on a fab show. Other nights he was in the Cellar Masters which was way too small to accommodate passengers sitting on folding chairs and standing. They should put him in the Sky Lounge at night.

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Perry substituted for a person who was scheduled to entertain one night who didn't make the cruise. Perry performed in the Theater. He puts on a fab show. They should put him in the Sky Lounge at night.

 

On our Southern Caribbean in March 2013, Perry performed in the Sky Lounge late every night. He also performed in the Theatre when entertainers didn't arrive due to us not docking in Curacao due to high winds.

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Perry substituted for a person who was scheduled to entertain one night who didn't make the cruise. Perry performed in the Theater. He puts on a fab show. Other nights he was in the Cellar Masters which was way too small to accommodate passengers sitting on folding chairs and standing. They should put him in the Sky Lounge at night.

 

Perry performed one night in the theater on our Eclipse cruise last month. I had never been a fan of Perry; but I also haven't spent much time watching him perform. In the theater show he was really a pleasure to watch and most entertaining. I now understand his appeal and will have to start going to his other shows in the future.

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Oxo did a fabulous job of providing information and answering questions about the Elite lounge and vouchers. Thank you. I meant to take a picture of the Elite drink menu and forgot to do so (see what a couple of glasses of wine will do :rolleyes: ). I did find that although I don't particularly like the Celebrity Vintages sparkling wine, I did like the Kir Royal and convinced myself maybe it had less alcohol and was healthier with the black currant liqueur. :D

 

Getting canapés, the pleasant ambience, and the fantastic Elite lounge service, along with the chance to talk with other Elite members, are the reasons we chose to use our vouchers at the Sky lounge. Three vouchers each are plenty for us, and some evenings we used a coupon for ginger ale or bottled water or gave the servers two coupons for a larger glass of wine. I am all in favor of vouchers for reasons of flexibility in choosing a lounge versus unlimited drinks - that better suits our preferences even though we usually choose the Elite lounge anyway; I recognize that many will feel differently about that.

 

We asked Deborah, the Captain's Club Hostess, how many Elites and above and she responded over 500, which is the threshold for getting drink vouchers to be used in most lounges versus just the Elite lounge.

 

We did not go to Perry's 9:30pm shows in Cellar Masters, but we did rush to the theater to see his last-minute show scheduled when the originally scheduled entertainer did not board in Bonaire or wherever he was due to board. Perry's show was very enjoyable. It was the second time for our seeing his show in the theater and we made sure to get ourselves out of the MDR and down to the theater in time for the 7:00pm show. We walked in a few minutes late and thankfully, he did not call us out on that!

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Personally, I believe that X is going to the voucher system to reduce the amount of drinks they provide. Yes, the Sky Lounge event was open from 5-7PM with canapés. However, you could only order 3 drinks per evening with the 3 coupons provided. The Sky Lounge was open to all passengers regardless of dress/status. There was no section that was for Elite and above. You had to provide the waiter a coupon for each drink requested.

There were a high number of Elite and above on this cruise. However, there was never a crowd compare to previous cruises in the Sky Lounge..

 

I suspect that the voucher system costs Celebrity significantly more when utilized because of the numerous bar options. Of course the impact of the 123 Promo in its various forms would certainly reduce the number of vouchers used. I also suspect that the Sky Lounge is not as crowded because the Elites are drinking in other locations.

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I suspect that the voucher system costs Celebrity significantly more when utilized because of the numerous bar options. Of course the impact of the 123 Promo in its various forms would certainly reduce the number of vouchers used. I also suspect that the Sky Lounge is not as crowded because the Elites are drinking in other locations.

 

I don't think that the voucher system costs Celebrity significantly more. Before we would see many people drinking more than 3 drinks in 2 hours. Regardless, why not allow passengers to use their 3 drink limit during the evening hours instead of only from 5-7pm?

I returned with unused coupons and I know our friends did, too.

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I don't think that the voucher system costs Celebrity significantly more. Before we would see many people drinking more than 3 drinks in 2 hours. Regardless, why not allow passengers to use their 3 drink limit during the evening hours instead of only from 5-7pm?

I returned with unused coupons and I know our friends did, too.

 

Yes, i realize that you actually think the use of vouchers are a cost reduction attempt. IMO the vouchers are a service/necessity because of a large number of Elite and above cruisers on some cruises. I believe that it is a small number of the total number of eligible cruisers that drink more than three drinks in the Sky Lounge during the 2 hours. I would guess that less than 10% (probably even less) of the Elite status and above even go to the Sky Lounge on a regular basis. A lot more people pick up bottled water, sodas, and beers to save for drinking later using the coupons. And also take a free drink to dinner and enjoy free cocktails at other more enjoyable locations like the Sunset bar. I am one of those that appreciate the vouchers and consider it an improvement when used. It will be even better when the vouchers are put of our cards. I have seen the bartenders after 7 PM counting hundreds of coupons in other bars.

 

Certainly it does not mean that you are wrong, but I just think that you are in this case.

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Yes, i realize that you actually think the use of vouchers are a cost reduction attempt. IMO the vouchers are a service/necessity because of a large number of Elite and above cruisers on some cruises. I believe that it is a small number of the total number of eligible cruisers that drink more than three drinks in the Sky Lounge during the 2 hours. I would guess that less than 10% (probably even less) of the Elite status and above even go to the Sky Lounge on a regular basis. A lot more people pick up bottled water, sodas, and beers to save for drinking later using the coupons. And also take a free drink to dinner and enjoy free cocktails at other more enjoyable locations like the Sunset bar. I am one of those that appreciate the vouchers and consider it an improvement when used. It will be even better when the vouchers are put of our cards. I have seen the bartenders after 7 PM counting hundreds of coupons in other bars.

 

Certainly it does not mean that you are wrong, but I just think that you are in this case.

Glad to hear your opinion. LOL That is mine of you, too. LOL

I agree that on some cruises when there are a large number of Elite. However, if they continue on all cruises with the 3 coupons per night: Why not allow them to be used

1. after 7PM?

2. on Sr. Officer Cocktail Party night?

3. on any night if you have the coupon, regardless of the date?

There were some people who could use their coupons in the MDR. Their Wine Steward would allow them to use a coupon for a glass of wine while other Wine Stewards would not? I know you don't know the answer to this one, however, that just show the nonresistances. What difference does it make if I use a coupon anywhere on the ship?

JMHO!

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