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excitedofharpenden

Just back from Eclipse to Hawaii. My faith in Celebrity restored.

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Those of you who know me here from when I first started cruising on Celebrity will appreciate how enthusiastic I was about the cruiseline, but that latterly over the past five years or so the X experience has not been so rosy for me.  I have favoured Azamara since 2011 and apart from the occasional venture onto Royal, Windstar and back to Celebrity have cruised exclusively with the smaller ships of the sister company.

 

i had the opportunity to cruise to Hawaii on Eclipse to celebrate a significant milestone of friends of mine and this celebration was the main reason for trying Celebrity again.  I am pleased to report that I had a fabulous time with great service from all over the ship, not just pockets of it in the suite areas.  

 

This seemed like a very happy ship.  I know some don’t share my opinion of the importance of the top team on the ship (Captain and senior officers), but I really believe that their attitude filters down.  Happy Captain and officers = happy crew.  And this has a knock on effect with the guests onboard.  The whole ship was happy and I don’t think I experienced so many greetings of good morning/afternoon from other cheerful guests on any Celebrity cruise.  Captain Leo is really such a nice guy and an absolute laugh in Liars Club.

 

A special mention to a wonderful team in Luminae who provided excellent service at all times.  Marjan, Lorendo, Sintu and Nertela were all fantastic.  The breakfasts served there were so good that I went every day.  It is cooked perfectly.  Ask for eggs over medium and that’s what you get.  Beautifully presented and it’s detail like this that makes a huge difference. I would say that the evening meals are still a bit limited in their offerings and the one day when I ordered from the MDR wasn’t great, but also I shout out to the buffet for lunch.  I really enjoyed it.  I had an evening meal there once when I didn’t feel like dressing up and it was very good.

 

My bugbear in recent years has been the terrible music around the ship.  I was very happy to hear some very good tracks played over the public system rather than incessant beat music I’d heard before. Way better.  I will admit that I never ventured to the martini bar this cruise.  I used to love it, but maybe I wanted to preserve my good thoughts of the lack of loud music and either went to Michael’s or Ensemble.  Perhaps also those martinis at the bar are getting a bit large for me these days.

 

So overall i had a wonderful time and am very pleased to report that my faith has been restored.

 

Phil

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Phil, so pleased you enjoyed your cruise!

 

We did three Eclipse cruises at a rather difficult time  and like you found Eclipse to be a ‘happy ship’...Captain Leo is wonderful....He has time for everyone and a fantastic sense of humour.

 

We agree with you re Luminae. A slightly enlarged menu or even a ‘dish of the day’ would make a difference.

 

Oceanview on a Eclipse was a real eye opener to us. The ‘daily themes’ and fresh sardines from Lisbon really added to the experience. Pleased to report the daily theme idea was working well on Equinox last month, looks like it is becoming standard...

 

Thanks for your review.

Edited by chemmo

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Were you on the 15nt RT from LA/San Pedro?  We were on that cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was indeed a happy ship.  We also liked the music played over the music system as well as the music in the lounges and public areas.  Glad your faith has been restored.

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37 minutes ago, Lin336 said:

Were you on the 15nt RT from LA/San Pedro?  We were on that cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was indeed a happy ship.  We also liked the music played over the music system as well as the music in the lounges and public areas.  Glad your faith has been restored.

Yes, that's the one. 

 

Phil 

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YES YES YES...and I'm so happy you had a great time...because you are now on board with us next year!!!!...could not have had better news...and so happy you had a wonderful time!!! LuAnn

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12 hours ago, LuAnn said:

YES YES YES...and I'm so happy you had a great time...because you are now on board with us next year!!!!...could not have had better news...and so happy you had a wonderful time!!! LuAnn

Yes indeed!  Can’t wait!

 

Phil

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I am in complete agreement with the comments regarding how important it is to have strong leadership and a happy crew.  I just got off an Azamara cruise and while there was nothing I could point to that was exactly wrong, it just didn’t have the same atmosphere I got from my recent X cruises.  Remember how the boss of “Fantasy Island” used to say to the staff as the new planeload of guests was arriving “Smiles, everybody, smiles!”  That must be what Capt. Leo does, too.

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I should add that other captains also run contented ships, but this discussion focused on Capt. Leo.  I would not want one to think he is the only one who exhibits strong leadership.

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22 minutes ago, cruisestitch said:

I am in complete agreement with the comments regarding how important it is to have strong leadership and a happy crew.  I just got off an Azamara cruise and while there was nothing I could point to that was exactly wrong, it just didn’t have the same atmosphere I got from my recent X cruises.  Remember how the boss of “Fantasy Island” used to say to the staff as the new planeload of guests was arriving “Smiles, everybody, smiles!”  That must be what Capt. Leo does, too.

 

The best cruises we have had (and hotel stays too) have happened when we have genuinely felt that the smiles have ‘come from the heart’...

 

There are definitely managers, including Captains,  who never forget that every cruise for every passenger is an opportunity to make memories that will last forever.....They don’t forget the anticipation, the saving up (and doing without other things to afford), the fact that for some guests it is a ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure, they are honoured that guests have chosen to celebrate a special event with them...For others I guess it is just a job.

 

Cruisestitch, I totally understand what you are saying, often it is hard to identify when a cruise or hotel stay ‘misses the mark’. Perhaps the staff just aren’t as focused on the ‘little things’ that turn service from good to special...Like bar staff remembering your favourite drink and your name, you room attendant rushing to open your door for you, your waiter bringing you an extra ‘something to try’...

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Phil,

 

So nice to see you posting again.  So glad you had a great cruise.  🙂

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Welcome back Phil.  I am so happy to read your post as we are booked on a B2B2B on Eclipse in March.  This is quite timely too, as we have been looking at a long Princess sailing starting in Singapore.  I'm so sorry Celebrity has pulled Connie out of the Asia/Middle East sailings.  Maybe they'll put another ship in there someday.

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On 11/17/2019 at 11:08 AM, cruisestitch said:

I am in complete agreement with the comments regarding how important it is to have strong leadership and a happy crew.  I just got off an Azamara cruise and while there was nothing I could point to that was exactly wrong, it just didn’t have the same atmosphere I got from my recent X cruises.  Remember how the boss of “Fantasy Island” used to say to the staff as the new planeload of guests was arriving “Smiles, everybody, smiles!”  That must be what Capt. Leo does, too.

That’s a pity and from my experience on Azamara not typical, but sometimes it happens.  I did Antarctica on Pursuit in January and can honestly say they were the most miserable and rude guests I have ever encountered with just a strange atmosphere.  Hardly saw the Captain or Officers. Not helped by being cold weather that made the inside of the ship very busy.  The Azamara ships don’t deal well with that.

 

Phil

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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I'm glad you had a good time, but I have to say, my Eclipse cruise last month was my worst on Celebrity thus far. Maybe things were off for my sailing, but I went in with high expectations since Eclipse had always been so highly reviewed in the past; however was quite disappointed.

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Appreciate the review of this cruise.  We just booked Vancouver>Honolulu for April and are eagerly following trip reports. 

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