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    Celebrity Eclipse
    Eclipse is the third vessel in Celebrity's much-acclaimed Solstice class, boasting an eclectic, contemporary design, ...

Celebrity Eclipse

By:
Joanna Hall
 

Eclipse is the third vessel in Celebrity's much-acclaimed Solstice class, boasting an eclectic, contemporary design, and some minor differences from her two older sisters. Packed with facilities, dining options and more, she is clearly a ship which brings a new level of style and elegance to big ship cruising.

Fast Facts

Launched: April 2010.

Tonnage: 122,000.

Cruising speed: 24 knots.

Number of passengers: 2,850 at double occupancy.

Crew: 1,246-1,255.

Staterooms: 1,426. Eighty-five per cent have verandas, 90 per cent have ocean views, there are 121 connecting staterooms and 418 can accommodate 3-4 people. This ship also has 130 dedicated AquaSpa staterooms on deck 11 forward and aft, and 30 wheelchair accessible rooms across a variety of accommodation types.

Where she cruises: The Mediterranean, Baltics and the Caribbean.

Who Should Go?

People who enjoy luxury at a more affordable price, also plenty of flexibility and choice with dining, people with older kids, younger couples who want a boutique hotel experience at sea, rather than a traditional cruise holiday.

Things You Might Not Know

Eclipse was due to have her formal media and trade launch in April, however, the famous volcano in Iceland with the unpronounceable name forced it to be abandoned as most of the guests couldn't get to Europe. Instead, the ship went on a philanthropic voyage, being deployed to Bilbao to pick up a large group of stranded and extremely weary British travellers, and return them home.

Staterooms

Eclipse has a wide variety of accommodation choices, from basic inside double staterooms to very elaborate suites.

For the media launch, I was allocated a sunset veranda stateroom, number 1531 on deck 11. Although quite narrow, the room was also long affording it a reasonable sense of spaciousness. The door also opens outwards, which takes a bit of getting used to! The overall decor is simple and elegant; cream fabric walls, use of blonde wood with dark wood accents, plenty of mirrors creating a sense of light and space, a large cream leather sofa and desk chair, and an entertainment/vanity area constructed of blonde wood and topped with speckled, biscuit coloured marble.

There is a large, flat screen television, powered by Apple, where do you could do a variety of things including watch a good selection of TV channels, access the internet via a wireless mini keyboard, order room service and more. Other facilities include a freestyle hairdryer and an illuminated magnifying mirror, a mini bar, plenty of power outlets for electrical items, and plush bathrobes. The ship is entirely Wi Fi enabled, so you can use your laptop from your stateroom. Storage is a little limited, with only a double closet and some drawer space in the entertainment/vanity area.

The bathroom is a good size, however, with a decent corner shower, boasting a large shower head, various settings for body jets and good water pressure. The vanity is a bit on the narrow side, however, and the sink a mounted bowl style with a long water spout which is awkward and gets in the way. But there is plenty of shelf space for storing toiletries and so on.

The veranda is 4.9 square metres, and large enough to accommodate two loungers with foot rests and a good sized table.

Facilities and Entertainment

When it comes to keeping busy on this ship, the problem is more finding time to do everything rather than something to keep you occupied. There are two pools to cool off in, one on the open deck for everyone, and a gorgeous solarium pool towards the rear, enclosed and for adults only.

On the very top of the ship, deck 15, there is the unique Lawn Club, occupying an area of just over half an acre in size, and boasting real grass lawns with a patio and the uber cool Sunset Bar. There is also a fitness centre which in an innovative move is a separate facility from the spa, with a large range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment and a studio for classes such as yoga and spin tucked away in a quiet corner.

There is a live glass-blowing show, an elegant two-story library, interactive themed parties, three new show venues including the expansive Eclipse Theatre, and the more intimate Celebrity Central, and an iLounge devoted to communications and all things Mac.

In terms of shopping ops there are 18 retail stores on board in various locations. The primary ones include Shops on the Boulevard on deck 4, with seven outlets including fashion jewellery and custom logo wear. High end cosmetics - including Chanel and Estee Lauder - also fragrances and jewellery can be found in the Galleria Boutiques on deck 5, a stylish collection of outlets reminiscent of London's Knightsbridge.

For your daily tipple there are plenty of bars to choose from, but a top pick for fun lovers is the Martini Bar, which instead of being tucked away has a central location screaming "look at me!". It also has an enthusiastic team of bartenders who are more than willing to put on a Tom Cruise style mixology show.

Dining

This is an area where Eclipse comes into its own, with a choice of no less than 10 venues. The traditional ship's dining room, Moonlight Sonata, spans two levels, seats 1,402 and has an eye-catching centrepiece of a two story glass wine tower. Guests can choose between fixed seating dining, or open seating, and the cuisine is quality international. It's a bit of everything done very well, and beautifully presented. The ship's casual option, Oceanview Café and Bar, is the place for breakfast, lunch or an easy dinner, with seating for over 760 people and stations with a variety of hot and cold offerings.

When it comes to alternatives, pick of the crop is Qsine, a blend of nostalgic and contemporary dishes from around the world. Besides a gorgeous setting, it also boasts innovative presentation, and use of gadgets such as a iPad for ordering main meals, and a gizmo similar to a Rubik's cube for dessert. It also doesn't have waiters, but gourmet guides. There's also the Italian steakhouse called Tuscan Grille, Blu for AquaSpa guests serving healthy cuisine, Murano and a creperie called Bistro on Five. For a caffeine hit, head to Caé al Bacio and Gelateria.

The Spa

This is an elegant facility at the front of the ship spread across two decks. Facilities include a large number of treatment rooms, a relaxation room with a view, and the primary spa brand is the quality Elemis, which has a cult following, and the funky bliss. There is a gorgeous salon for hair, nails and pedicures, and medispa treatments are available from Botox to injectable fillers - knock years off your face while having fun holiday! A centrepiece of the spa is the Persian Garden, which differs from the same on other Celebrity ships as it takes pride of place at the front of the ship with a view. Day or cruise passes can be purchased to use its heated loungers and steam rooms.

The Low Down

There is really not a lot to dislike about this stunning new ship. Its gloss and glamour won't suit everyone, but it's likely to set a new standard for Celebrity in general as well as attract a new generation of cruisers.

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