Many people would like to try a cruise but are not sure if they would enjoy it so what better way to find out than a day visit to a cruise ship operated by one of the many cruise lines. Celebrity Cruises is one such company who offered a day visit to their very popular ship Celebrity Eclipse when in Southampton. Having checked in, it’s through security and onto the ship. The first thing that strikes you is the beauty of the atrium where glass lifts glide silently between decks. Up to the Sky Observation Lounge for Coffee/Tea and delicious Pastries where we are split into small groups and the tour begins.
Out onto the open deck, past the Mast Bar where you can relax in the sun with a cool drink or if energetic, make use of the jogging track that circumnavigates this deck, also home to the large buffet, Oceanview Café displaying a wonderful selection of dishes together with cakes and ice creams, its own bar and Al Fresco eating area at the rear of the ship, one thing this ship does not skimp on is food. In addition to the 1,430 seat two deck Moonlight Sonata restaurant there are another 11 specialising in foods from around the world, some are free, some carry a cover charge. To assist in washing down all this food are numerous bars including Celebrity’s signature Martini Bar featuring an ice bar top, select a Martini made from one of over a hundred different Vodkas.
Entertainment is well catered for with the main 1,115 seat Eclipse Theatre show lounge providing quality displays of stage shows, dancing and even acrobats with high wire acts, the 200 seat Celebrity Central, ideal size for cabaret acts, demonstrations and guest lecturers, for those wanting to party into the night you are not forgotten with the Quasar Night Club. Add to this the bars and lounges with individual acts and musical groups and your spoilt for choice.
Staterooms, all 1,426 of them, including 30 which are wheelchair accessible, are very well equipped with beds as either two singles or turned into a king-sized doubles, dressing table area, settee, lots of storage space. The entry grade, no view staterooms, measure a large 175 to 200 sq. ft. providing dressing gowns, safes, minibars, hair dryers, interactive flat-screen TV and when based in the UK, tea/coffee making facilities. Bathrooms have done away with shower curtains and now provide proper glass shower doors, good quality toiletries in the form of shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser are all there. Move up through the various grades and the amenities get better and better, try one of the 1,291 sq. ft. Penthouses Suites with 389 sq. ft. balcony featuring twin Jacuzzis, separate living, sleeping and dressing areas, showers with twin shower heads, double wash basins, bars, grand piano and a host of additions reminiscent of a land based penthouse with sea views.
A feature of modern cruise ships is the Spa area and Eclipse is no different with the Canyon Ranch Spa Club spread over 2 decks. The fitness centre with modern running and multi gym machines to burn off those calories which seem to appear from nowhere on cruises, a unisex thermal suite with sauna, steam and shower mist room whilst at the other end of the scale is a glacial ice fountain. Enjoy a massage or just relax and dream on the heated tile beds.
Children are not forgotten with the Fun Factory for 3-12 year olds and more sophisticated entertainment for those in their teens.
Features that include The Lawn Club, an area of real grass tendered by the gardener where bowls can be played, the Hot Glass Show for a glass blowing demonstration, stylish Library overlooking the Atrium, Basketball Court, Areas for Acupuncture and Hair Dressing, 3 Swimming Pools, Casino and much more set this ship apart from many of it competitors. Eclipse fits into the category of large resort but at the same time it is stylish, modern and exudes quality for which Celebrity Cruises have become known and earned them a loyal following from all over the world, why not try it, you may become one of them.