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Charlene

Age: 53

Occupation:RN

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Sailing Date: 2012-01-7

Itinerary: Carribean

After deciding again to take a cruise in January, we tried booking a Holland America cruise. The dates we needed were full, so we started considering other cruise lines. We found a cruise on Celebrity that fit our needs as far as times and destinations, so we booked a seven day cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse heading for the Carribean. It was going to San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Although we had already been to two out of three of these ports, we had enjoyed them previously and decided to not to book any excursions.

When we arrived at the ship in the Port of Miami the Ecipse had a buffet available in the Oceanview Cafe. This was our first experience with the cuisine on the ship. I tried the salad items shrimp salad and tuna salad. Both were at room temperature. So I decided to have some of their sliced lunch meats and cheeses. Again, the lunch meats were warm. I finally decided to try the pasta bar, figuring you can't get sick from tepid pasta.

After making a conscious decision to stick to pasta and breads so as not to get sickened by warm salads with mayonnaise in them, I witnessed something that turned my stomach. I was in line once again at the pasta bar at lunch time. A man ahead of me was reaching under the "sneeze glass" to point out to the chef what he wanted cooked up in his pasta. His fingers were almost in the different bowls of cut vegetables and I noticed he was wearing a sleeveless top. He was leaning so far under the glass that his under arm hair was IN the bowls closest to him. This sealed my decision to order only what was so far behind the glass, that only the chef served it to you! Yuck!

The rooms on board were ok. Nothing new for a cruise ship. My husband did pick up on the towels in our bathroom. They were threadbare. One of our dining partners at evening dinner actually complained about them. They were towels I would of used as rags at home. Frayed or even ripped around the edges and so thin they could hardly dry you. Our stateroom attendant was very nice and accommodating. He was working hard with what he had to work with. The rooms were kept clean.

The Ecipse did offer a lot of activities but once again disappointed. On other cruise lines, the activities were free and included in the price of the cruise. This one was offering iPad classes.....for a fee. I was very disappointed because on the previous Holland America cruises we had taken, they had classes on the Windows 7 pictures, movie making, etc. all free, or included in the price of the cruise.

The one interesting show they did offer that was different and fascinating was the Hot Glass Blowing. They had two shows a day and one show a day when you were in a port. This one activity somewhat redeemed the cruise for me. The artists were engaging, interesting and made beautiful works in glass. I'm only sorry they're on this cruise line as I won't be seeing them again. Maybe Holland America will take note.

All in all, I'd rate this cruise a 5 out of 10. We actually felt sorry for the people working aboard. They kept asking if we were happy, or if everything was alright. We got the distinct impression they knew it wasn't.

One other thing that made us sit up and take note. On all the 5 previous cruises we've been on, they have been very, very serious about the Emergency drill when you are first on board. It was MANDATORY!! On the Ecipse, you were asked to all go to the theater for Emergency drill instruction. To be fair, it was stated over the speaker system that attendance was mandatory. When we got there, we realized that it was a movie on planned evacuations and emergency procedure. No one from the ship was checking room cards to make sure everyone attended. And it was taken as seriously as a rock concert. It was so loud from people talking, you couldn't hear a thing! We disembarked to the news of the Italian cruise liners disaster. I really feel Celebrity should take the safety of their passengers more seriously. With their lack of a real safety drill, that could have been them.

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