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nekzaadvakil

Photo Review: Celebrity Eclipse - 12N British Isles & French Open Cruise - 7 June 201

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Hi everyone. Ok, so this is a delayed photo review of our recently concluded cruise on the amazing Celebrity Eclipse.

 

I’ve been struggling to find time to start this review, and was sorely disappointed with my previous cruise reviews relegated to being without pictures thanks to photobucket.

 

Anyway, in the interest of sharing our experiences, pictures and great time aboard this fabulous ship, it’s time to get down to doing a review!

 

Our cruise holiday is pretty much the highlight of our vacations for the year. This year, it was kind of last minute but it ended up being our favourite cruise vacation of all time.

 

DW and I decided to take this cruise less than 3 months prior to sailing. Here’s our itinerary

 

6th June - Mumbai to Dubai to London

7th June - London to Dublin (cruise starts)

8th June - At sea

9th June - Le Havre (Paris)

10th June - Le Havre (Paris)

11th June - At sea

12th June - Liverpool

13th June - Liverpool

14th June - Belfast

15th June - Waterford

16th June - Cobh/ Cork

17th June - St Peter Port

18th June - At Sea

19th June - Amsterdam (cruise ends)

19th June - Amsterdam to London

20th June - London

21st June - London

22nd June - London to Dubai

23rd June - Dubai to Mumbai

 

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Nick

 

 

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For those who have read my previous cruise reviews, you will know that we pretty much book our cruises 8-9 months prior to sailing.

 

This was unlike any other cruise which we had planned. We were not too thrilled with the itinerary, especially since we had visited Paris & Amsterdam earlier, but we just could not resist the temptation of being on yet another S class ship for 12 nights! Plus the last time I had been to London was over 20 years ago, so I was quite excited to visit GB again.

 

We booked what was the last available veranda stateroom, a guarantee balcony room. I told DW that we shouldn’t have any expectations of a great view, we’d probably get a obstructed view balcony, since it was the last balcony room available.

 

Imagine our surprise when we saw that we were assigned a SUNSET VERANDA at the back of the ship! This was like winning the lottery! We’ve always had either an interior or a standard balcony cabin on all our previous ships, and i was thrilled to bits to finally have a sunset veranda balcony, especially on a cruise that has 3 days at sea! Woohoo!

 

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We also lucked out on a great business class fare to London (we nearly always travel economy!) so we were set for a lavish summer vacation!

 

We left from Mumbai on the 6th of June to Dubai and onwards to London Gatwick.

 

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Here’s the awesome lounge at Mumbai airport where the pampering began!

 

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We boarded our flight to Dubai and our fabulous vacation was officially underway!

 

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We had a quick stopover in Dubai airport, where we changed planes and got onto the fabulous A380 double decker! I’m a bit of an aviation geek and the A380 is my favourite aircraft, especially on Emirates!

 

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The flight from Dubai to London was very comfortable and time just flew by! The same flight seems pretty long when we’re travelling economy/coach.

 

In London, we stayed close to Gatwick airport, at the Holiday inn, since we were just transiting. It didn’t make sense to travel all the way into the city, since our flight to Dublin was early the next morning.

 

7th June:

 

The next morning, the hotel arranged for a drop to Gatwick airport. Very reasonable, it cost us £12 plus tip for the drop to the airport.

 

We boarded our Aer Lingus flight from London to Dublin which was a smooth 60-70 minute flight.

 

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We collected our bags and walked towards the taxi stand where we took a short cab ride from the airport to the cruise port. Our cab driver was very friendly, welcoming and asked us tons of questions about our previous cruises!

 

In less than 15 mins, we were done with our baggage drop, security, and check in formalities. With our sea pass cards in hand, we were driven towards the amazing celebrity Eclipse!

 

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Ideally we would have liked to have spent a couple of nights before the cruise in Dublin, but we couldn’t manage enough time off work. So we quickly boarded the ship, grabbed a quick bite to eat and went to check out our room. We wanted to just drop off our carry on bags and head out and spend half the day in Dublin.

 

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Let the gorging begin!

 

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We headed back out to get just a taste of Dublin!

 

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Dublin is a really pretty city and we definitely should have stayed a couple of days pre-cruise!

 

 

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I will be on the Eclipse Nov 10 and am hanging on every word you have to say about the Eclipse. Love your pics.

Norma

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After a quick tour around the wonderful city of Dublin, it was time to head back to the ship and enjoy a day and a half cruising.

 

I absolutely love sea days, it’s a great way to explore the ship, unwind and generally laze around.

 

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After a quick muster drill, we got ready to catch the show in the Theatre and grab dinner.

 

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The martini bar was always buzzing. Great place to grab a drink or two. We had the drinks package, we usually tried only 1 new drink a day and a couple of cans of coke, so we could have done without it as well.

 

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Check out the gorgeous sunset view from our balcony! No wonder these cabins are priced at a premium. We were very very lucky to be assigned this cabin!

 

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Really enjoying your British Isles travelogue Nekzaadvakil. Been dreaming of cruising this region. Great pictures! What photo sharing did you use? Looking forward to future installments.

 

Jonathan

 

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Day 2: At Sea

 

Did I mention earlier how much I love Sea days? Maybe I haven’t. I LOVE Sea days! DW and I are very competitive table tennis / ping pong players and we play a lot of it on Sea days. We met up with some amazing people as well.

 

Celebrity Eclipse kept 2 tables on Deck 15, which was much better than what they did on the Reflection and Silhouette. On those ships it was only brought out for some time on Deck 4 in the entertainment court.

 

There’s just so much to do on a sea day!

 

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We usually start with a nice breakfast at the Oceanview cafe. Even though the cruise was sold out, we never had a problem getting a table at the buffet. This is one of the reasons why Celebrity’s S class ships remain our favourite ships to cruise on.

 

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I love the breakfast on Celebrity in the oceanview. The spread is huge and there’s always something new. My breakfast is pretty standard, scrambled eggs (or an omelette), hash browns, crispy bacon, cheese, chocolate croissants. All the healthy stuff.

 

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We then went off exploring the ship, playing bingo, some table tennis. We spent some time in the casino on the slots where DW made $50 and I lost around $100 in roulette.

 

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We tried some drinks at the casino bar which was our favourite. During the cruise, all the football World Cup matches were screened here and it was a great atmosphere!

 

We both had the classic alcohol package which was perfect for us. DW usually sips on Italian wine, they had some Pinot Grigio which was included in the package. I like a glass of Baileys Irish Cream which was $10 so I usually had to sign for the additional $1 plus tip.

 

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This was also our first Evening Chic (formal night) and people were pretty well dressed. This was our fifth cruise on celebrity in the last 6 years and we definitely saw some change in the way people dressed for formal night. On our first cruise, 99% were in gowns and tuxedos, this time there were quite a few people not as formally dressed but yet very chic.

 

We decided to go to the MDR for dinner, DW and I usually prefer the Oceanview since DW is a vegetarian and the choices are pretty limited in the MDR. Thank God we did, coz we met some of the nicest people at our table, who today we can honestly call our friends. We met an awesome couple from NY - Amy & Elliot and a couple who were just moving to SanDiego - Weiyi & Adam.

 

Over the course of the cruise, we actually used to look forward to dinner at the MDR to meet them. Each dinner was awesome fun and the reason that this cruise ranks right up there was largely also due to these 2 couples.

 

After an awesome meal and some good dessert, we retired for the night, since we knew we had 2 long days coming up in France.

 

Next up:

Day 3: Mont St. Michel

Day 4: Walking 20 kms in Wonderful Paris!

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

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Great review - photos are fantastic! Looking forward to the rest.

 

Thank you :-) Plenty more on the way. The ports were amazing!

 

Really enjoying your British Isles travelogue Nekzaadvakil. Been dreaming of cruising this region. Great pictures! What photo sharing did you use? Looking forward to future installments.

 

Jonathan

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Forums mobile app

 

Thanks Jonathan. All pictures were taken on the iphone X. I'm using the tapatalk app from which its pretty easy to post images right off the phone.

 

Nick

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I will be on the Eclipse Nov 10 and am hanging on every word you have to say about the Eclipse. Love your pics.

Norma

 

Hi Norma,

The Eclipse is absolutely GORGEOUS! The crew is fantastic and Celebrity continues to be our favorite cruise liner. I'll post tons of pictures to get you even more excited for your upcoming cruise. Cheers! Nick

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Day3: Le Havre, France

 

Before the cruise, DW and I were in 2 minds as to what to do for our 2 days in Le Havre, France. Both of us are pretty confident exploring on our own and that’s what we usually do.

 

Option 1 was to travel to Paris by train, stay at a hotel overnight, in Paris, and explore the city for 2 days. We weren’t entirely sold on this idea since it would include spending more for a hotel and more importantly, we had done 4 nights in Paris on our honeymoon in 2010. We really wanted to see/ do some new places.

 

After a bit of research, we read about Mont St Michel. Actually we just looked at some pictures and we were convinced that we have to do it.

 

Since the celebrity excursion wasn’t too expensive, we decided to book it via the cruise. So off we went. It included the usual steps, we met in the Eclipse Theatre at the time printed on our tour tickets, and they led us to our bus. It was a pretty long drive, nearly 2.5 hours each way.

 

The weather was horrible, it was raining heavily and we wondered how we were going to ever enjoy something which is supposed to be so scenic in this weather.

 

What’s worse, we forgot to carry our jackets and umbrella. Luckily we had a comfort stop mid way, and the gas station were selling jackets for around €50.

 

As we got closer to our destination, the weather eased up quite a bit, but was yet overcast and gloomy.

 

Driving up to Mont St Michel was surreal. It really looked even better in person than it did in our pictures!

 

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The tour was not easy for a few senior citizens. It was a bit of a climb and most of our tour struggled getting up. Our guide was really good and patiently waited for everyone.

 

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The views from the top were worth the trek all the way up. Since it has just stopped raining, it was humid and hot, not ideal weather, but one really can’t complain.

 

After spending some time at the top, we had some free time so DW and I wandered back down on our own.

 

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We walked back to the bus since we had time and nearly everyone was back on time, all looking exhausted.

 

We headed back towards the ship, another 2.5 hour drive back, but it was definitely worth a visit.

 

Nick

 

 

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After getting back to the ship, we grabbed some dinner. The ship was pretty full, we expected a lot more people to stay back in Paris, maybe they had similar plans like us.

 

We headed to the Oceanview cafe for some dinner. I had the best chicken a la king (baked chicken) and chicken liver pate!

 

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We then turned in early as we had an early morning start the next day.

 

Coming up: Day 4: Paris!

 

 

 

 

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Day 4: Paris

 

We woke up early to catch our train to Paris. A word of caution, it’s better to leave slightly earlier since the train station is atleast a 5-7 minute drive away and there are very few cabs.

 

There was a gentleman who was kind enough to call us a cab. There was another group of 4 people who also were waiting for a cab after us. The cab that came to get us was pretty large so we managed to squeeze in.

 

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We took the 7:55 am train from Le Havre to Paris St Lazare. The train journey was a little more than 2 hours (2:15) and we were in Paris by 10:30.

 

Having visited Paris a few years earlier, we were quite confident of commuting on our own and decided to walk around all the major spots at our leisure.

 

Again, the weather wasn’t ideal, very overcast and dull throughout, but we really can’t complain when we’re in Paris on holiday!

 

We walked from the station to Place de la Concorde.

 

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From there, on foot on the avenue de Champs Elysees, right upto the Arc du Triomphe. Plenty of shops on the way where DW got some much needed retail therapy!

 

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After some shopping and some eating along the way, we headed south towards the Jardins du Trocadero. We had read that this is an awesome place to get some good pictures of the Eiffel Tower. And it really was! I just wish we had some better weather.

 

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To be continued...

 

 

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The gardens were amazing! On a clear day, you can really get an awesome view of Eiffel Tower from here! Lots of tourists here as well, so it does get crowded.

 

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We then walked along the River Sienne on the Quai D’Orsay all the way back to Place de Clichy. It was a pretty long walk but we enjoyed ourselves.

 

We had stayed in this area during our honeymoon so it was good to come back here. We then walked up to Montmartre where we spent some time in one of the road side cafes.

 

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Montmartre and Sacre Coeur are always crowded and buzzing!

 

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We finally took the 19:30 train back to Le Havre. We had walked well over 20 kms and were totally pooped! The trains were on time and reached Le Havre at 22:00. Our ship was scheduled to leave at 23:55, and we had to be back on the ship by 23:00. So we literally took the last train out. And it’s a good thing we had an hour to spare, since there were no cabs at all and ended up having to walk around 1.5 kms more to the ship. There was literally no one on the row at that time, but we yet felt pretty safe.

 

It was really a tiring but wonderful day in Paris and we can’t wait to get back and spend some more time in this amazing city.

 

 

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Great review! We will spend 1 day in Paris before our Nov TA. Taking the Eurostar from London. Do you recommend taking a hop on hop off bus in Paris?

Thanks

 

 

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Day 2: At Sea

I usually prefer the Oceanview since DW is a vegetarian and the choices are pretty limited in the MDR.

 

MANY thanks for your review! I'm loving reading it!! Just in case you didn't know about it, there is a separate Vegetarian menu in the MDR. Just like the main menu, it changes daily. Wait staff does not always seem to know it exists--took me 2 trips always ordering limited veggie dishes from reg menu before a waiter mentioned it-- I really enjoy it. But also agree that the buffet is amazing in both breadth and quality!!

 

Apologies if the Vegetarian menu is redundant info!

thanks again for your posts!

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Day 5: Sea Day (our 2nd sea day)

 

After 2 tiring days visiting ports, our second sea day could not have been timed any better.

 

First, some of that good old breakfast...

 

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We then spent the day in the casino bar, playing some table tennis, and some fun activities with celebrity life activities. How could I forget!

 

On the cruise, we had an absolutely brilliant team of a cruise director and his celebrity life activity managers.

 

We yet remember our first celebrity cruise on the celebrity Silhouette in 2013, where we had the BEST team - cruise director Alejandro and his activity managers - Maarten and Manuel. I remember telling DW even then that Maarten will make an absolutely brilliant cruise director himself. On our last cruise on the Celebrity Reflection (in 2017) we met up with Maarten who was the cruise director and he was brilliant. He’s now going to be the cruise director on the brand new Celebrity Edge.

 

The reason I brought up this, was because I felt the same thing about this team. Our cruise director Chris was good, but his team was absolutely outstanding. Nick, Giuseppe & Florijan were absolutely hilarious and entertained us every single time. We didn’t want to miss out on any celebrity life activities.

 

Nick has a brilliant sense of humour and his comic timing was awesome. He also managed bingo and had us in splits every single time.

 

Giuseppe also was hilarious and it’s only a matter of time till he and Nick become cruise directors. Both were better than some cruise directors that we’ve cruises with on RoyalCaribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

 

Here are some more pictures of our gorgeous ship!

 

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My favourite drink on every cruise is a blue lagoon (blue curaçao, sprite and lots of ice) the original one includes vodka but I prefer it without vodka. DW had her favourite cocktail, the classic cosmopolitan!

 

To be continued...

 

 

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Sea Day (contd.)

 

After grabbing a late lunch, we just had a drink in our balcony. The views from the room were just outstanding. I now realise why people would pay more money for these exclusive sunset veranda balconies!

 

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I added a pillow to the seats and it was one of the most comfortable seats on the ship with the best views! This is what cruising is all about. Disconnecting from your daily routines, your deadlines, your mundane job. I love the ocean!

 

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After an awesome afternoon, we got ready and caught the 7PM show in the Eclipse Theatre. It was a guy called Jon Courtenay and he was absolutely brilliant. Very very glad we didn’t miss the show.

 

As soon as the 7 PM show concluded at 8 PM, we used to exit the theatre and watch the celebrity life activities till 8:30 PM, when it was time for dinner.

 

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After dinner with our friends in the MDR, we headed up to the sky lounge for a drink and some music. There are just so many venues onboard the ship and each one is brilliant in its own unique way!

 

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We had a really good relaxing and memorable sea day. A good reminder why I absolutely love cruising and why I’m a die hard fan of celebrity’s S class ships.

 

We were now totally relaxed and raring to go and enjoy a couple of days in Liverpool.

 

Up next: 2 days in Liverpool.

 

 

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Loving this review! We will be on the Eclipse for the first time next month out of Barcelona.

 

I could never have coped with cutting it so fine time-wise getting back to the ship after Paris, but you certainly made the most of your day. Good for you :D.

 

Alejandro remains my favourite CD of all time and I also like Maarten too. Normally I’m not too bothered about who fills what position but we’ve done three cruises with Alejandro as CD and he definitely added to the overall experience.

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Days 6 & 7: Liverpool

 

Here’s our first glimpse of Liverpool, just as we docked. This is from our balcony.

 

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We had decided to explore the city on foot and just go with the flow. We were not interested in the Beatles tour, which many of our fellow cruisers did.

 

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We grabbed an early lunch at this place called Byron’s Burgers which was right in the centre of the square surrounded by tons of shops. The weather was perfect, sunny but cool. Our first good day in terms of weather on the cruise.

 

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