Cruising Mates Forum: Cruise reviews, chat, answers and information. cruisingmates.co.uk • View topic - To The Baltic on Celebrity Eclipse - June 2012

To The Baltic on Celebrity Eclipse - June 2012

To The Baltic on Celebrity Eclipse - June 2012

Postby bobbyboy » 05 Mar 2013 02:34

I could have sworn I put this review here many months ago but I now see I didn't. Apologies for the delay but here is my review of our Baltic cruise on Celebrity Eclipse taken in June 2012...................

Well, I’ve done a week back at work, the washing and ironing are nearly done, the garden is nearly tidy again and the euphoria has nearly gone. So, I now feel nearly ready to give what I hope will be a balanced account of our two week cruise to The Baltic on Celebrity Eclipse.

IT WAS WONDERFUL!

My fiancée and I have been engaged for many years and never quite get around to setting a date to get married. I thought I’d take the bull by the horns and get the ball rolling so 11 months ago I booked a surprise cruise on the ship of her dreams, heading to the places she longed to visit. This was to be our honeymoon. The problem is, we still didn’t get around to the actual wedding bit so I still can’t refer to her as my wife. For the purpose of this review I shall refer to her as W, for no other reason than it’s the first letter of wife.

We got our first view of the rear end of the ship when we entered Dock Gate 10 at Southampton. The man on the gate said we should be at Dock Gate 8 so off we went to the right entrance to City Terminal. We dropped the luggage with a stevedore and went off to park the car in the adjacent car park from where we walked back to the terminal building. Check-in and security took about 30 minutes and we boarded the ship sometime around noon.

We were greeted with a glass of bubbly each and left to our own devices. There are very few tannoy announcements on the ship so it’s advisable to read the daily news sheet carefully so you’re au fait with everything you need to be aware of. We wandered through to The Molecular Bar and sat down for a minute to drink our wine and pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming. The cabins were due to be ready at 1pm and all doors to the corridors with cabins in are locked until then…….yes we tried.

Thanks to info picked up on this site and the forum, we headed to Bistro on Five for lunch. Rather than struggle with the crowds in the self-service Ocean View Café we were seated at a table for two where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch of soup and panini washed down with a glass of Pinot Grigio…….well, we had to make sure our drinks package was working ok (more on that later). We used the Bistro quite a lot for lunch and found it very relaxing, in fact we didn’t use the self-service at all (except for my breakfast). A $5pp cover charge allows you to choose from many soups, crepes, paninis and deserts, and it’s worth every penny (sorry, cent) in my view.

So, off to the cabin to see what we’ve got. We booked a fully obstructed balcony room on Deck 6 which meant we looked out over the top of a tender whose roof was several inches below the balcony rail. We never found this a problem although on exiting the shower once and walking out on to the balcony W said I might like to go back in as a man was doing some maintenance on the tender roof……..oops. The room was lovely, if a little cramped. We seemed to be weaving around the dressing table chair, coffee table and bed a lot. After W had unpacked, I was left with half of the wardrobe and half of the thing above the bed for my stuff. Not a big problem really and all five suitcases fitted under the mammoth bed. The en-suite was great and the shower had real sliding doors but the shower head was fixed so can be a problem for ladies wishing to wash their own hair without ruining their make-up……..apparently. The cabin was well attended to by our steward and assistant steward

The ship itself was spacious, modern, clean and bright. Tasteful and a bit sophisticated, I would say……..and we loved it. We like variety and choice, particularly when it comes to bars and restaurants, and we weren’t disappointed. Perhaps I should split things into sections for ease of reading. I’ll start with bars…….

Having read about the high-end drinks prices, I purchased two Premium Drinks Packages on-line at approximately $60pppd (although there was a 10% discount offer at the time so I paid a bit less). This gave us the run of the ship on all drinks up to $13.75. There is no 15% gratuity added to drinks prices when sailing from Southampton as it’s already added in, so the price you see on the menus is the price you pay. The premium package is good for drinks at the Molecular Bar and the Martini bar so if you like a bit of fun before dinner (or after) then this package is worth considering.

The Martini Bar was our favourite. There were many different types and flavours to choose from and plenty of flairing from the bartenders……..like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. The beauty of a drinks package is that you can ask for weaker versions and so increase your ability to try more drinks without the effect of the alcohol. The spirits used are premium brands like Grey Goose Vodka and Bombay sapphire Gin etc. and the drinks here were $11.50 each I believe. The top of the bar is frosted so people write their names in it for a bit more fun. A brilliant bar for us kids.

I also enjoyed a pre-pre-dinner drink or two in the Molecular Bar where cocktails are mixed using fresh and unusual ingredients. Sage, rose petals, toasted pineapple juice, peppercorns, coconut, nitro-something and a dead scorpion in a bottle of tequila spring to mind here. Only molecular cocktails are sold here and they all cost $13.75……..good old premium package was good for here.

We also used Michael’s Club for after dinner liqueurs to soothing piano or guitar music. Her I discovered my new favourite liqueur……..Frangelico. I didn’t try the cognac in the nice bottle though. The package didn’t stretch to $530 a shot. Other bars we tried as a one-off were the Ensemble Lounge which was handy for the speciality restaurants, The Passport Bar near reception and the Observation Lounge with its stunning views, depending on where in the world you are of course. Great place to be when sailing out of Stockholm. Now to food……….

We booked Select Dining as we like to eat later at a table for two. We dined upstairs in the magnificent Moonlight Sonata main dining room and never once had to wait more than a minute or two for our table. We dined there at around 9pm on the nights we visited and spent alternate nights in the speciality restaurants. Food in the Moonlight Sonata was generally very good and the odd dish that wasn’t quite as good or hot as we would have liked didn’t detract from our enjoyment.

We tried all the speciality restaurants. Two dinners and a lunch in Murano, three dinners in Tuscan Grille and one night in Qsine. I thought that Tuscan Grille was my favourite as the rare filet mignon on my second visit was the best steak I had ever had. Sadly, the same dish on my third visit was so dry that I thought it was over-cooked. Just a poor bit of beef I think. Murano came out top for me in the end. Tuscan was a bit more easy going but nevertheless I enjoyed the formality of Murano as well as all the food I consumed there. Qsine was not for me, all the messing around only served to wind me up a bit. I think I was tired that night. Cover charges were $40pp for Murano and Qsine and $30pp for Tuscan. Discounts were offered sometimes if they needed to fill the restaurants. We got 30% off Tuscan one night as we were on our ‘honeymoon’.

The premium drinks package covered all our wine by the glass in all restaurants. The good thing was that we could change wine to suit each course. We were drinking wines that would cost in excess of $50 a bottle. In Tuscan Grille, we were told that the wine we were drinking that night sold at $75 per bottle.

I breakfasted in the self-service which had a vast array of food. I avoided the bacon and chose freshly carved honey glaze ham or Canadian bacon instead. I’ve never seen garlic beef stew before at breakfast either. W always had room service breakfast. Room service is complimentary at all times.

A quick mention of the lovely Café Bacio where we enjoyed orange juice in the morning and speciality coffees and teas throughout the day. All covered by the package of course.

We don’t really sample the entertainment on ships so can’t comment much there. I didn’t hear any bad reports, only good ones. I enjoyed the string trio, accappello (can’t spell it) singers, guitarists and pianists that played around the ship and didn’t find the piped music a problem as some reviewers have commented. We tried to attend a couple of talks but they were in a venue called Celebrity Central which was nowhere near big enough to cope so never actually got to attend.

Wow, this is going on longer than I expected and I haven’t even started on the itinerary yet. I’ll be brief……….

We visited Bruges where it rained all day. As the ship was sailing at 3pm that day we decided to take the ship’s excursion (so we got back on time) into the old town where we wandered around for a few hours and got soaked. I was happy anyway as I had moules frites and a beer for lunch in the main square. It never rained again throughout our cruise.

Warnemunde, we took the train to Rostock where we had lunch prior to taking a boat back to Warnemunde which was a lovely little place to wander around and have a coffee.

Stockholm, sun at last, hooray. Took a HOHO boat around the islands and wandered around. Stopped for coffee and had lunch prior to visiting the Vasa Museum. This port has a spectacular approach through lots of islands and takes about three hours. This is the night to dine in Tuscan Grille as we did to enjoy the views over the stern on the way out.

Helsinki, we took the shuttle into town and again wandered around and had lunch near the market square.

St Petersburg, we didn’t want to try to do too much so took a half day ship’s excursion each day. Basically we had a bus tour on day 1 and a trip around Yusapov Palace and a canal boat trip on day 2. It’s a vast city with vast buildings.

Tallinn, walked into the old city from the ship where we wandered around and had lunch. That probably sounds familiar by now. This is a lovely little place.

Copenhagen, took shuttle bus into town where we took a canal boat trip prior to lunch outside a restaurant on Nyhavn. Walked back to the ship past the Little Mermaid

The penultimate day at sea was beautiful and most of it was spent up on deck (with everyone else).

Apart from rain in Bruges and a blustery day in Warnemunde, we had a good deal of sunny weather and I managed to get my knees brown at most ports of call.

In summary, The Celebrity Eclipse is our new favourite ship and we enjoyed a fantastic itinerary. Sorry my review was so short but I’m more than happy to try to answer any questions anyone may have about the ship or the itinerary.

Thanks for reading and I hope you managed to stay with it.

Bob
bobbyboy
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 1703
Joined: 02 Mar 2011 01:41
Location: Peterborough

To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby Dave » 05 Mar 2013 07:53

I managed to stay with it easily Bob, and I'm glad you and W had a great time. As you might have guessed, Celebrity doesn't appeal to me very much (I prefer meals to be included in the fare ;) ) but I can imagine that it's all very plush.

Did you take any photos?...
Dave
Image
Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
Booked walking holidays: Easter: Cotswolds; Summer: Kintyre & Islay
User avatar
Dave
Mutineer
Mutineer
 
Posts: 12580
Joined: 24 Feb 2011 15:25
Location: Whitstable
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Re: To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby JollyJill » 05 Mar 2013 08:53

Loved the reiew Bob. Having sampled the Eclipse for a couple of days (a freebie), P and I have said that one day we would like to book a cruise on here as we think she is a classy ship.

The problem for us is that the itinerary is key and she hasn't visited anywhere that we haen't already been ot would want to go.
We live in hope.

Here are a few photos that I've found

Image

Image

Image

Image

I love the plaster drape here

Image

Our cabin

Image
Image

36 cruises on 26 ships.







Image
User avatar
JollyJill
Deck Hand
Deck Hand
 
Posts: 17491
Joined: 26 Feb 2011 13:26
Location: Hampshire
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Re: To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby pisces55 » 05 Mar 2013 13:24

Thanks Bob really enjoyed reading your review. Sounds like you both had a fab time.
Diane

Image
User avatar
pisces55
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 2081
Joined: 30 Aug 2012 21:44
Location: Edinburgh
National Flag:
Scotland

To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby Dave » 05 Mar 2013 13:52

Perhaps I'm imagining it, but isn't there a book called 'To the Baltic with Bob'? :D
Dave
Image
Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
Booked walking holidays: Easter: Cotswolds; Summer: Kintyre & Islay
User avatar
Dave
Mutineer
Mutineer
 
Posts: 12580
Joined: 24 Feb 2011 15:25
Location: Whitstable
National Flag:
United Kingdom

To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby bobbyboy » 05 Mar 2013 13:53

Dave wrote:I managed to stay with it easily Bob, and I'm glad you and W had a great time. As you might have guessed, Celebrity doesn't appeal to me very much (I prefer meals to be included in the fare ;) ) but I can imagine that it's all very plush.

Did you take any photos?...

Hi Dave,

I'm always in a rush due to work, DIY, decorating, gardening, sleep....................so when I manage to log-on I post in a hurry.

I've posted port reviews, with pictures, for each of the ports here.....

http://www.cruisingmates.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?f=31&start=25

....and of course my drinks package review here....

http://www.cruisingmates.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3963

Here's the view when standing on the balcony of our 2D grade 'fully obstructed view' balcony cabin on Deck 6. The obstructed view was downwards as the tender roof was below the balcony rail...........

Image

Afternoon tea in Cafe al bacio....

Image

Here's my best ever filet mignon that I had in Tuscan Grille.......

Image

Desert in Murano..............

Image

Cheese dome in Murano............

Image

Preparing my crepe in Murano.........

Image

Ok...........time for work................whoooooooooooosh..................I'm gone!

Bob :D
bobbyboy
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 1703
Joined: 02 Mar 2011 01:41
Location: Peterborough

To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby Dave » 05 Mar 2013 13:56

Dave wrote:Perhaps I'm imagining it, but isn't there a book called 'To the Baltic with Bob'? :D


Yes, there is!
Image
Dave
Image
Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
Booked walking holidays: Easter: Cotswolds; Summer: Kintyre & Islay
User avatar
Dave
Mutineer
Mutineer
 
Posts: 12580
Joined: 24 Feb 2011 15:25
Location: Whitstable
National Flag:
United Kingdom

To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby Mungo » 05 Mar 2013 20:21

Same ships and itinerary that I did but I went in July. :D
Image
User avatar
Mungo
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
 
Posts: 6855
Joined: 28 Feb 2011 17:41

Re: To The Baltic on Eclipse - June 2012

Postby sevenseascoaster » 07 Mar 2013 15:18

Loved reading your review Bob, about one of my favourite ships, hope its not too long before we are back on board again :)
Wen

Image

Tried 19 different Ships and many many cruises, and hopefully more to come!
I haven't been everywhere, but its on my list!
User avatar
sevenseascoaster
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
 
Posts: 5482
Joined: 18 Apr 2011 22:18
Location: Hampshire
National Flag:
England


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Celebrity



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests