Eclipse Gallery
Celebrity Eclipse ("Solstice-class") << Back Ship Gallery Index

Ship Gallery & Report

NB The complete collection of photographs of Celebrity Eclipse can be viewed on my account here at Captain Martini >>

Since the foundation of Celebrity Cruises in 1989 by the Greek family-owned Chandris Line, its ships have grown from the modest 1,350 passengers of Horizon and Zenith (1990-92 46,811grt), through the 1,750 passenger "Century-class" (1995-97 70,606grt) to the spacious "Millennium-class" of 2000-2002 (90,228grt), 4 ships (Millennium, Infinity, Summit & Constellation), each with 1,950 passengers.

Now part of Royal Caribbean International, ever-increasing demands for variety and quality, coupled with economy and efficiency, resulted in 2008 in the new "Solstice-class" of 122,000grt and 2,850 passengers, their largest and most advanced ships ever, offering sophisticated, stunning interiors and a previously unmatched selection of superb alternative dining choices.

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The Solstice class (2008- )
122,000 grt; length 1,033 ft; 2,850 passengers

The largest ship ever to be built in Germany, Celebrity Solstice entered service in late 2008 to great acclaim. The second ship in the class, Celebrity Equinox entered service in July 2009, followed by Celebrity Eclipse in April 2010, just a few weeks before our planned cruise on her!

(left) Celebrity Solstice had to be delivered backwards from her Meyer-Werft builders at Papenburg, Germany

The "Solstice-class" is uniquely characterised by its two small funnels and by its unusual "ducktail" stern, which improves not only stability & fuel efficiency but also her rather boxey modern design.

Celebrity Eclipse - Southampton 2010
Fresh from her trials, she arrived in Southampton on 24th April 2010 to a UK in chaos, with airports closed as a result of volcanic ash-clouds from the Icelandic volcano eruption.

Show Picture Full Size In a stroke of PR genius, Celebrity Cruises cancelled the next few days of celebrations and despatched their brand-new ship to Bilbao, Spain to rescue 2,000 stranded holidaymakers, not only earning valuable publicity for the new ship but also providing an unexpected silver lining to the cloud that had ruined so many holidays! Show Picture Full Size

Madeira & the Canaries
21st May - 1st June 2010

View the complete Log of this cruise >>

NB The complete collection of photographs of Celebrity Eclipse can be viewed on my account here at Captain Martini >>

Show Picture Full Size Midships Atrium
On boarding the ship for the first time at deck 3 or 4 close to the main lifts, you may not fully appreciate the impressive scale of this vast central space, unless you are fortunate enough to find yourself at the back of one of its 8 glass-walled scenic lifts as they glide silently past its 12 decks.

Not unlike a theme-park ride, each time I travelled in one of these lifts, I was fascinated by the view; and each time, there seemed to be something new and interesting to discover. Show YouTube video-clip
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Open Decks
(decks 12, 14 & 15)
(decks 10 & 11)
Team Earth
(decks 7 & 8)
Grand Foyer
(decks 3-5)

There is an extensive use of modern art throughout the ship; not as many large sculptural items as on the "Millennium-class" ships, but more pictures, murals, and interesting "quirky" pieces dotted around the ship. The layout is uncomplicated, logical and well sign-posted and passenger flow is excellent. Also, considering the number of decks open to the Atrium, there is very little noise transmission between the levels, which did surprise me. (right) Eclectic sculptures in the Ensemble-Restaurant Lobby Show Picture Full Size

Show Picture Full Size The Library on Decks 10 & 11 makes an impressive sight, with its 2-deck high wall of bookshelves, although if you want to read about American Jurisprudence, you'll need a very long ladder!

Equivalent spaces off the Atrium on Decks 9 and 6 are used as the Card Room and Internet Centre respectively, while on Deck 7/8 is Team Earth, an interactive "Green Lounge", a nice quiet retreat where, if you wish, you can discover all that is green about Celebrity and the Solstice-class ships.

The eye-catching centre-piece of the Atrium, however, is its "flying tree". Called "Pearl Eclipse" by Robert Chambers, this is a suspended fibre-glass ball from which sprouts a tree; is it real?

On-Board Accommodation
Passenger accommodation for 2,850 occupies all of 6 and-a-half decks and 85% of the cabins have balconies. The Standard Outside Cabins are of course modular and similar to those on the "Millennium-class" ships. However, on this occasion, we were fortunate enough to be in one of the Sky Suites on Resort Deck 12, which are even more spacious and well-appointed, with good quality fabrics, attractive wood finishes, a 42-inch plasma TV and heaps of storage space. Other extras include Champagne, a fully-stocked fridge, umbrellas, robes & slippers, and your own coffee maker!

Show Picture Full Size The bathroom (see below) is also spacious, with lots of storage space and a full-size bath incorporating a very respectable shower see additional photo >>
Show Picture Full Size Our Sky Suite also boasted a substantial balcony with a table and 2 loungers; for me, this was ideally sheltered by the overhang from the deck above. see right >>
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A few words about beds
There is a developing fashion for rounding-off the ends of beds; I came across this on Constellation & Millennium but I had a single cabin on both of those ships and when put together as a "King Size" bed, they were fine, especially for one person; they also look stylish and there are probably fewer shins cracked on them in the night! However, we also found them on QM2 earlier this year and when split into single beds, they are too short down one side. I'm only 5ft 7in tall, so goodness knows how a 6ft guy copes!

The main difference in the Suites however, is the provision of Butler Service and I am ashamed to say that we became addicted to having breakfast served in our Suite by our Butler John, as well as his trolley-service "Afternoon Tea" and the regular delivery of canapes before dinner each evening!

One Black Mark for Celebrity!
The one draw-back of being on Deck 12, however, was the Oceanview Cafe directly above. Every night, we were disturbed at one point or another by the sound of trolleys being rolled back and forth, the banging of servery doors and even the occasional dropped bucket! The pity is that better soundproofing of the deck-head could have prevented this problem and on this, the third ship of the class, there is no excuse not to have done something about it. As it is, it is left to the crew to exercise "special measures" in their nightly routines, so as to minimise this problem and I must say that, once we complained about it, the staff and crew tried hard to reduce the problem. Unfortunately, it now means that I will not book a suite or cabin beneath the cafe again!

Decks 12, 14 & 15 (there is no Deck 13!)
Self-service cafeterias on most ships have a tendency to be something of a "bun-fight" and, given my comments above, you might expect my report of the Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14 to be a critical one. Far from it; with its vast open servery and 6 generous seating areas, each decorated slightly differently, it is the best I have experienced and it was a pleasure to enjoy this excellent "food court". The food was fresh, inviting, beautifully presented and with its seperate serveries for Pizza & Pasta, Chinese Stir-Fry, a Carvery, Salads and Desserts, an Ice-Cream/Yoghurt counter and plenty of tea/coffee stations, queues were seldom long and there was always somewhere to sit.

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The Entrance off the Deck The vast Servery Just one of the
6 seating areas

Interestingly, Celebrity seem to have abandoned the idea of trays; this takes a bit of getting used to but it is undoubtedly more hygeinic, saves on cost and probably discourages food waste by reducing portion sizes - no bad thing, judging by the size of many cruise passengers!

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The Sunset Bar &
The Oceanview Bar
Mowing the grass at
The Lawn Club (Deck 15)
Looking down onto
Poolside (Deck 12)
The Jogging Track
Lido Deck (Deck 14)

Show Picture Full Size The Lawn Club (Deck 15)
Every new ship must have its gimmick it seems but here, on real grass, you can play Boules, Croquet or just sit and have a picnic! Mind you, it can be quite windy up here but on a still day in port, the smell of freshly-mown grass is lovely!

The other distraction here is the Hot Glass Show (see left), a display of coloured glass blown & beautifully shaped into vases (some are later sold in the shop).

Show Picture Full Size The Solarium (Deck 12)
There's no "Thallassatherapy Pool" like on the Millennium-class ships but the small pool was ideal for my morning swim. They could do with a clock though! It gets busy here during the day but noise absorption seems better than on Constellation.

My favourite feature was the "Sleep Pods" (see right)
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Dressing Ship Solstice Deck (Deck 16)
Sumptuous "Rattan" furniture and "Real" Sun-beds!
Health Spa Verandah
(Deck 12 Forward)

Up on Solstice Deck, forward on Deck 16, there is a quieter open sun-deck with "real" sunbeds and deliciously comfy rattan-style furniture. Along with some exercise bikes, they also put similar furniture out on the hard-to-find Health Spa Verandah on Deck 12 forward, when the ship was in port and the weather good. No shade, but a great spot for sun-bathing or exercising with a view!

Show Picture Full Size Sky Observation Lounge (Deck 14 Forward)
This is where the "Captains Club" Party was held and it is a stunning and versatile lounge, with a dance floor as well as seating areas arranged in zones, each with their own character and with spectacular views all round.

A 2-room conference suite is on the port side.
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Plaza, Promenade & Entertainment Decks (Decks 3-5)
With passenger accommodation on more than 6 decks from Deck 12 down to Deck 6, and connected by the magnificent Midships Atrium with its 8 glass-walled scenic lifts (detailed above), the main public lounges, bars and restaurants are all situated on the lowers decks.

The Eclipse Theatre occupies 3 decks forward. Sight-lines are quite good, although I was disappointed at the number of annoying columns. The shows were colourful and elaborate but the content still follows the old format of a "mish-mash" of songs from stage and screen. The exception was the last night show which was an extravaganza in trapeze, aerial ballet and speciality acts.

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Eclipse Theatre
Occupying 3 Decks
Spectacular Shows The Theatre Lobby
Entertainment Court
(left) by day and (right (by night)
The Disco Night Club

The main exits from the Theatre converge in the Entertainment Court, a lobby that would be considered "Grand" on any ship 25 years ago. It's a little like "Covent Garden at Sea"; to a casual standing audience, here there are often short recitals or informal performances by some of the featured Acts on board. However, the congestion from the outflow of people from the Theatre can spoil the atmosphere and be a little annoying. Hidden to one side, there's a small lecture-studio called Celebrity Central and on the other side is the futuristic disco/night club Quasar.

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Shops on the Boulevard
Casino off to the right
Fortunes Casino The Art Gallery
& Molecular Bar
Cellar Masters
The Wine Bar

Light floods in above the Shops on the Boulevard from the open Promenade, which is regrettably not "wrap-around" and also largely obscured by life-boats, which makes it is less pleasant to "promenade" along. Evidently, the more lucrative "promenading" is what Celebrity is after, Fortunes Casino being aptly-named, more for those lost than those won!

Above is the Art Gallery which, I was pleased to see, did not overflow into other public rooms when conducting the now-customary "art auctions" one finds on so many ships these days. Also up here is the Molecular Bar and more shops in the Galleria Boutiques, as well as the usual Photo Gallery.

Cellar Masters on Deck 4 is a wine-bar furnished like a Gentlemen's Club where, in 21st Century fashion, you can sample premium wines by the glass at all hours from automatic dispensers. Charged direct to your ship-board account, there's even no need for a Wine-Steward! See Photo >>

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The Martini Bar
& its frosted bar-counter
"Crush" A 5 o'clock Tradition! Cafe al Bacio The Bistro
& Patisseria

Show Picture Full Size The Martini Bar, with its extensive menu of Gin & Vodka-based Martinis, has for us become something of a 5 o'clock tradition on Celebrity ships in recent years but here we had the added attraction of a frosted bar-counter and the Bartender's well-practiced theatrical performance! Show YouTube video-clip
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On Deck 5 overlooking the Atrium, is the Cafe al Bacio & Gelateria, a congenial space but it is rather small and predictably popular; it is useful to know that you can get speciality coffees also in the lesser-used Passport Bar, off the Grand Foyer on Deck 3, opposite Reception.

Also on Deck 5 off the Atrium is the Bistro, just one of the ship's casual eateries, where you can get light snacks of surprisingly high quality, as well as excellent crepes & pastries.

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Artwork in the
Speciality Restaurant Lobby
Ensemble Lounge Michael's Club The Bistro

Further aft on Deck 5 is the Ensemble Lounge, sumptuously decorated in rich dark colours, while leading off this is Michael's Club, another of Celebrity's "signature-lounges". Further aft are the ship's 4 main Speciality Restaurants but below them on Decks 3 & 4, is the ship's main Restuarant.

Show Picture Full Size Moonlight Sonata Dining Room (Decks 3/4)
With its grand glass staircase and an imaginative sculptural bottle-tower in the shape of a ship's bow, this is another stunning room. Even the ceiling columns almost seem to fly!

Service from our two female stewards, Karolina and Zuzanne, was impeccable and yet friendly.
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Open Daily Classics Menu on Flickr Open Main First Night Menu on Flickr Open Main Last Night Menu on Flickr Souvenir Menus: Classics Menu >>, First Night Menu >>, Last Night Menu >>
Including the daily repeated "Classics Menu", there were usually 7 Appetizers, 5 Soups and 9 Entrees to choose from; these were truly incredible menus and the plated quality was seldom disappointing.

Just one slight abberation...!
Strangely, our second night in the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room turned into something of a disaster. For some reason, our main steward, Karolina, was off "poorly" and our section was assigned a temporary steward from another restaurant. Unfortunately, he was clearly out of his depth and my innocently asking him to light the table candle probably didn't help!

Slow, with mixed-up orders, we were on our 2nd bottle of wine before our Appetizers arrived and Andrew skipped his main course after 2 wrong orders were delivered. Evidently aware of the problem, the Assistant Maitre d' apologised and things should have improved; but they got worse, with more delays. Eventually, we all decided to skip dessert but the coffees were poured and we were left without milk or sugar! Poor Zuzanne was doing her best but she wasn't in charge, so was obliged to keep her peace.

I couldn't stand it any more and at 10.50 I left for the Show in disgust. I had words with the Assistant Maitre D' on the way out!

But the one thing about Celebrity you can be sure of is that, if you justly complain about something, they will not rest until they know you are happy again. It was two nights before we returned to the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room, by which time it seemed that everyone below decks knew of the disaster! Karolina was back (thank goodness!) and the Maitre d' & Assistant Maitre d' were both profuse in their apologies, giving us complimentary wine as a consolation. We never had cause to repeat our complaint!

Speciality Dining aboard Celebrity Eclipse
On Constellation there was just one main "alternative dining experience", the gourmet standard "Ocean Liners Restaurant". On board the Solstice-class, there are four main alternatives, in addition to the less formal options of the Bistro and the Oceanview Cafe. There is an additional cover charge of $25-30 but travelling in a Suite entitles you to two free reservations per voyage.

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Beyond its wine-cellar entrance, the Italian-style menu is served with exceptional flair in a spacious restaurant with a spectacular sea-view.
Souvenir Menus: Starters, Soups & Salads >>, Pasta & Entrees >>
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A mouth-watering gourmet experience with a Mediterranean-style menu served in an exclusive and sumptuous setting.
Souvenir Menu: Murano Restaurant Menu >>
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Here a "pan-world" menu is chosen, not from a printed menu but from an iPad, assisted not by a waiter but by your own "culinary tour-guide". The food is presented with flair and imagination and there is a sense of fun as many conventions are challenged on your "culinary journey".
(Left) Two of the i-Pad Menu selections - and what they look like!
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Here the Lobster Escargot was divine and the Filet Mignon simply melted on the tongue but the desserts didn't seem as exciting and choosing them from a kind of "Rubik's Cube" was just silly!

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This restaurant is exclusively for passengers in Aqua-class staterooms, although passengers in suites may also book for Dinner. The menu is geared more towards the health-conscious but the room itself appears somewhat cold and austere.
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Upon the debut of Celebrity Solstice in 2008, there were reports that the cuisine aboard was something of a "let-down". I cannot say if that was true but if so, then Celebrity have resolved the issue quickly, because this was not my impression and I have never found a more sensational range of restaurant and menu choices, nor had a more colourful and rewarding dining experience at sea!

NB The complete collection of photographs of Celebrity Eclipse can be viewed on my account here at Captain Martini >>

There is no doubting that, externally at least, Celebrity Eclipse will win no prizes for grace or elegance. However, her interiors are simply stunning and yet practical, and while her layout remains fairly traditional, the quality and care that has gone into her uncompromisingly modern styling and the standard of service from her staff have resulted in a ship that exudes quality and elegance from within - which produces contented passengers who will want to return!
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In the 1990's, advertising itself as a "Premium Line", Celebrity Cruises established an outstanding reputation for its cuisine, particularly in the main dining rooms, with its formal presentation and service. However, the Chandris family sold its interests in 1997 to Royal Caribbean and there were rationalisations and economies which were not well received. Happily, these and other concerns were successfully addressed with its 4 "Millennium-class" ships and now, with the introduction of the new 5-ship "Solstice-class", it seems that Celebrity Cruises continues from strength to strength.

We were so impressed, we booked on her sister ship, Celebrity Equinox in 2011! see Page 2 - Equinox >> Indeed, we returned to Celebrity Eclipse in 2012 for a cruise to Norway.

The Norwegian Fjords
4th - 12th May 2012

View the complete Log of this cruise >>

The photos of Celebrity Eclipse & all the ports visited on this cruise can be found on my account at Captain Martini >>

Then in 2014, we had a less-than-successful return to Celebrity Eclipse....

Transatlantic, Broadway & Beaches
9th - 23rd November 2014

View the complete Log of this cruise >>

The photos of Celebrity Eclipse & all the ports visited on this cruise can be found on my account at Captain Martini >>

But in 2015, a surprise upgrade to a Royal Suite added a completely new dimension to Celebrity for Andrew & me....

Iceland & the Fjords
27th June - 11th July 2015

View the complete Log of this cruise >>

The photos of Celebrity Eclipse & all the ports visited on this cruise can be found on my account at Captain Martini >>

Total Mileage aboard
Celebrity Eclipse: 14,168 n miles

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