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G Kennedy

Age: 55

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 1st

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Sailing Date: 2012-03-17

Itinerary: Caribean

This was our first cruise; we have had many a 5 star land resort all inclusive vacations and have stayed away from cruising because of the 'pay for everything else' approach. All in all I will say that the Celebrity Eclipse was cleaner than any 5 star resort that we have stayed at, the staff was terrific: friendly and engaging. It was a resort on the water. We stayed away from the pricy add ons such as the drinking water package, wine package ( worked out to 33.00$ a bottle), etc., which made our vacation very affordable. We compensated by carrying our own insulated water bottles and enjoying 6 beer for 10.00$ in port. We took 2 bottles of wine with us and kept them in the stateroom. My wife and I agreed that excluding the 'pay for extras' we really couldn't complain about anything -- if you are into cruising the Eclipse is a good choice. I spoke to some seniors and wheelchair folk and they had similar stories. Our only major disappointment was that the hot tub was luke warm and it as well as the pools were chlorinated versus salt water. Considering how new the ship was (2010), the toxicity of chlorine on clothing and skin this was rather surprising.

Breakfast/lunch buffet & dinning room food was very good. Dinner buffet terrible. Grill food by the pool was not bad.

We had a veranda on the 9th deck, it's size (194 sq.ft) was very acceptable; it was clean, not worn and the bed was very comfortable. We were located about a 1/3rd of the way a stern from the bridge, just where the bow wake rolled off the hull, this provided a crashing wave sonata which we enjoyed. We were able to leave the patio door open all night so we could enjoy the sea sounds and fragrance, this was nice.

The professional comedian was excellent, some of the singers and musicians were good, but most of the entertainment was just basic. We made good use of the fitness centre which was terrific, it was busy at times but there was loads of equipment and machines. There was a charge for fitness classes (?). On board activities were available but from what I saw there was not a lot of participation. Sun bathing was a challenge as the folks were packed like sardines around the pool and lounging decks.

Ship specific information sessions were great but there was not enough of them as I noted many folk like to know about how the ship functions - an engine tour was 150.00$ !!!

If you are into paying premium prices for activities, there were some interesting excursions to be found. We simply did a little research and walked off the ship and did our own site seeing, shopping, chatting with the locals and other tourists.

In my view cruising from port to port and spending a few days at sea is better than lying on a beach, you get to travel in comfort, experience different places but the add ons can add up easily; don't be fooled by the cheap base price for the cruise and cruising is not an adventure or mind stimulating experience. Not being able to enjoy a bottle of water, a beer or a glass of wine without a hefty price made me feel like I was in a cinema buying candy - too bad for the industry.

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