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CHICAGOPAUL LIVE!!!! Our First ALASKA CRUISE on the ECLIPSE!!! May 19th Sailing

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1 hour ago, h20cruzer said:

Paul did you mention you were doing the TP this Sept on the Millie? Just thinking about there not being a Murano on the ship, only Tuscan, Qzine and Sushi on 5.

Norma

 

Thanks for the reminder Norma. We made sure to book Aqua at least for that cruise so we could dine in Blu. Fingers crossed for some more price drops so we can get into a suite but don’t think that will happen. 

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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! 

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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!). 

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Today was Hubbard Glacier. Let’s hope these upload! It was cold and chilly today but the decks were still busy with people anticipating a view most have never witnessed before. We headed to the top deck with our warm Canada Goose coats on and gloves. We sat at Sunset bar just after 10am and had a drink and waited to see some ice through the fog. Slowly small pieces started to appear in the water. At first I wasn’t sure what they were, but after some time more and more ice chunks started to appear. We finally reached the glacier around 11:30am. I think we were about 7/10ths or 6/10ths of a mile away. At first the fog was very thick but then the fog lifted as we got closer and the glacier was in full sight. 

 

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Fingers crossed for you that your helicopter tour takes place.  And we've all had "those moments" that you described in your above post.  But luckily we snap out of it and realize how truly lucky we are to be doing all the wonderful things we get to do when we cruise and travel.

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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!!!

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You're going to love the helicopter tour! We did one in Juneau last week where we landed on the Mendenhall glacier and spent about a half hour up there - it was the highlight of our trip. If that's the one you're doing, I hope you have smartphone friendly gloves (assuming you use your phone for pictures) because it is COLD up there! I had to keep taking my gloves off to take pictures and it took forever for my hands to warm up. 

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Have loved following your blog ... thank you.  Is it possible for you to post the room service menu please?  Thanks!

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Enjoying your review! It's fun to see what you think of my home city! If you are looking for a swanky lounge to visit next time, try Bacchus lounge on Hornby street. Its in the Wedgewood hotel. It's absolutely  stunning! One of my most favorite places to enjoy a drink and live piano music. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

 

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Internet seems to be working perfect right now so let’s try and get some more photos up! Here is last nights menu and food from Le Petite Chef. BB0B3B49-819A-4D25-9294-2F1443233CFF.thumb.jpeg.248180bf01bf180d6b7fe763c8fa4d84.jpeg

 

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Thanks for posting room service menu! ... is it true you can order whatever is on the menu in MDR each night also?  What about what is on the menu in Luminare since you are suite class?

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You are making me excited for my Azamara Alaska cruise in July. Alaska is a very different type of cruise. It is over 100 degrees in the summer at our home so Alaska cruise is just what is needed. 

 

Thank you for sharing about your anxiety. I also get it and it is no joke ! I get it when I travel and it can spoil a vacation. Thankful that the med`s do help.

Cheers, Heather

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Good morning. 7:45am here. Weather looks decent. Just a light mist if anything so hoping it stays that way! 

 

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15 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

I couldn't agree more. I'm guilty of forgetting too smell the roses while they are still in front of me, and instead reflecting on their beauty after they bloomed. Caught my self twice (once on a excursion, once while dining) on my last cruise. Thanks for sharing that!!😁

 

 

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!). 

 

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So jealous. We were getting off of Eclipse while you were getting on. It was an incredible cruise with an amazing ship and crew. I am home now making my own bed and cooking my own food. It is awful 🙂

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12 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Internet seems to be working perfect right now so let’s try and get some more photos up! Here is last nights menu and food from Le Petite Chef. BB0B3B49-819A-4D25-9294-2F1443233CFF.thumb.jpeg.248180bf01bf180d6b7fe763c8fa4d84.jpeg

 

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Thank you for sharing Paul.  My husband and I are sailing on the Equinox in a couple of weeks and we are considering the Qsine Le Petite Chef experience (being added as part of the Revolution).  We are hesitant for $55 each but it looks like a lot of fun and the food doesn't look half bad either (we aren't picky eaters).  Would you recommend it to other cruisers or is this a pass for the cost?  Thanks for your beautiful posts and always helpful information.  Happy Sailing!

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16 minutes ago, lojax said:

Thank you for sharing Paul.  My husband and I are sailing on the Equinox in a couple of weeks and we are considering the Qsine Le Petite Chef experience (being added as part of the Revolution).  We are hesitant for $55 each but it looks like a lot of fun and the food doesn't look half bad either (we aren't picky eaters).  Would you recommend it to other cruisers or is this a pass for the cost?  Thanks for your beautiful posts and always helpful information.  Happy Sailing!

 

I am just going to be honest with you. We thought it was the worst of the Specialty Restaurants. And we ate at all of them. The food was OK. The service was excellent.  The show was entertaining but very long with long wait times between courses. We wouldnt do it again. But that may be just us. 

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Hello Everyone! I see there are a good handful of questions and comments above. Before I address those let me talk about the helicopter tour. 

 

We booked this tour through Celebrity. It was the Pilots choice glacier tour which took us to two glaciers where we could walk around. The pilot also acted as our guide and definitely knew his stuff. 

 

We had a meeting time of 8am. So we were up early, showered, made sure we were dressed appropriately and went to meet at 8am in the theater. By around 8:07 we were told to follow someone along with a bunch of others off the ship. Once off the ship we had to wait a bit to find someone with our number but it wasn’t too bad. All the excursion staff working on land were extremely friendly and enthusiastic. 

 

By 8:30 we were on a bus headed about 15 minutes away to a building next to the main airport. After a short safety video we put on our show covers they gave us for the glacier. Us and 4 others plus the pilot got in the helicopter and we were off. This was my first helicopter flight and Edward and I were thrilled to be in the front row next to the pilot. So cool to see all the controls and what he was doing, plus the front view as we flew over the airport and up into the hills and mountains was outstanding. 

 

Even though it was a little rainy and foggy in certain areas the views were incredible. The fact the pilot got to choose definitely made it all that better and he was definitely someone who cared about showing us as much as he could. 

 

In total the trip in the helicopter plus glacier walk lasted around an hour and a half. Plus the commute time back and forth from the airport to the ship. We paid $798 which was after a 20% discount we got due to a sale they were having a few months ago. I’ll post some pictures below! 

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Thanks so much for talking about this tour! I was hoping you would do this one as we have signed up for the same tour on Celebrity in August. It sounds like you guys enjoyed it! I love your review and your photos.

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After the glacier tour we walked around town and did some window shopping. We stopped and bought some fudge. We then took Norma’s recommendation and went to Tracy’s King Crab Shack. It’s located just off the pier. It is touristy and has a touristy vibe but the food is awesome and the place is just a lot of fun and staff is very friendly. 

 

Edward and I both got a 12oz serving of king crab bisque and some of their crab cakes. Both were delicious but the bisque especially so! Here is a picture of their menu below with some pricing. Plus it even lists gluten free options too for those who need to be concerned. 

 

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7 hours ago, annm351 said:

Thanks for posting room service menu! ... is it true you can order whatever is on the menu in MDR each night also?  What about what is on the menu in Luminare since you are suite class?

 

For room service yes you can order from MDR. If you are in a suite your butler will serve it course by course if you wish. Technically you’re not suppose to be able to order from the Luminae menu into your suite. But it depends on a case by case basis and which suite your in. My guess is in the Royal we could arrange it (or any specialty fir that matter) into our room. 

 

We had had yet to go to Luminae for dinner on this cruise but we will on the last formal night which will be tomorrow. Tonight we are back in Murano. 

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