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Found 211 results

  1. Cheers Cruise Critic! It is thankfully that time again for another Live cruise blog! Edward and I are leaving Chicago for Vancouver to join the Celebrity Eclipse on Sunday the 19th for our first Alaskan Cruise! Not only have we never been to Alaska before but we have not been to Vancouver either, so this will be a cruise with many firsts for us and we are very much looking forward to it. If you don’t feel like reading this first post (I know it might be a bit boring with lots of details) feel free to skip to the bottom of this post to see my youtube video with a quick introduction to our trip. For those of you who have not followed us before I will give you a quick rundown of ourselves. I am Paul and my partner is Edward. We live in Chicago (yes in the actual city, right downtown) and are 32 and 36. We try to cruise at least a few times a year and typically on longer itineraries when our schedule allows. This will mark our 18th cruise on Celebrity. As always I will take you along with us on our journey and let you know what is going on every step of the way. You can follow me on social media, specifically on Instagram - PaulKBlackburn You can also follow the hashtag #CruisingOnCelebrity I’ll be posting photos on Instagram but also a lot of short videos on my instagram stories since that seems to upload very easily even if the internet is not 100%. As always I will post at least 10 photos per day on here including the “Dailys” for you to review. I also will let you know any and all costs incurred, whether we are talking about flights, taxis, meals out, ubers, etc. I know many times the talk of money can be “taboo” but at the end of the day none of these wonderful things are free so I think it is important to mention the costs to help everyone plan better. I also encourage you all to ask questions about any topics cruise or travel related. Whether you want to know my thoughts on the food or who is working on the ship or how busy the ports are…just ask and I’ll do my best to answer them. The more interactive I am with all of you the more I enjoy writing so do not feel bad about asking questions. I also want to take a moment to thank all of you who commented on a posting of mine over a month ago asking for suggestions for this trip. We read through all of your comments, tips and tricks and it helped greatly in determining what we are doing and what to pack! Our highlight excursion this trip will be the helicopter tour which stops on two glaciers and the glacier walk. Hoping for good weather! Below are all the pricing details of our cruise, including everything from travel insurance to the cruise itself. It may be a bit boring so don’t feel like you need to read it! Let’s take a look at the cruise itinerary Celebrity Eclipse May 19th - 7 Nights Day 1 - Vancouver Day 2 - Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage Day 3 - Icy Strait Point Day 4 - Cruising Hubbard Glacier Day 5 - Juneau Day 6 - Ketchikan Day 7 - Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage Day 8 - Vancouver We are arriving in Vancouver on the evening of Friday May 17th. After the cruise we are also spending one day and night in Vancouver and flying back to Chicago on memorial day morning. Cruise Pricing OK, let’s talk about money! We booked this cruise a couple months ago. It was a last minute thought. When we were on the Edge in February we booked an August Equinox cruise as a place holder to have an on board booking that we could transfer to another cruise. We used that onboard booking for this cruise so we were able to get a little extra OBC. Celebrity Suite: Originally we booked a Celebrity Suite for this cruise, including the Go BEST package, which came to $2,689.33 per person or $5,378.66 in total. Move Up Bid: Not too long after booking we received the opportunity for a move up bid. The options were to bid on the Royal Suite and the Penthouse Suite. We originally bid only on the Penthouse. The minimum bid was $800 per person so we bid $850pp. We ended up canceling out that bid and only bidding on the Royal. The minimum bid for the Royal was $400pp, we ended up bidding $405pp. Total Cruise Pricing We won our move up bid and therefore incurred the extra cost of $810 bringing our new total to $6,188.66 for the Royal Suite. In addition we have $975 onboard credit (combination of credit from booking on board, go best, and our TA). Airfare We are flying non-stop from Chicago (ORD) to Vancouver (YVR) on Air Canada. We booked through Choice Air. The pricing through Choice Air was a little cheaper than going direct through Air Canada or other online travel websites and we get the additional comfort of their protection. The timing on these flights was perfect for us. 5:05pm leaving ORD and we’re leaving YVR at 10:15am on Memorial Day. We are on a CRJ900 which is a regional jet. I’m surprised it has the range to make that long of a flight. Here is hoping for light headwinds! Total Airfare Cost: $867.74 Round Trip for 2. I’ll update this later after we incur baggage costs. Hotels On Friday and Saturday (May 17th and 18th) before the cruise we are staying at the Shangri-La which looks to be in a great location. We used around 45,000 chase points for this. At the time it was a decent redemption on points but since then it looks like pricing has dropped a bit so the redemption wasn’t the greatest for us at the end of the day. On the Sunday night after the cruise we are staying at the Grand Hyatt and only used 12,000 Hyatt points, transferred from Chase. This was a phenomenal redemption. Since we’re using hotel points (as opposed to booking through the Chase portal) we’re not incurring any taxes either. We would have loved to have booked this hotel at this rate for our first two nights but it wasn’t available for booking. In addition we have Explorist status with Hyatt due to our MLife (MGM Hotel & Casino rewards program) Platinum status we have which is only because of our Elite Plus status with Celebrity since Captain’s Club has a reciprocity status with MLife. Credit Card used for booking I’m not going to turn this into a points blog but I cannot stress enough how important it is to use a quality card for booking travel. Not only can you earn points but the basic travel protection on some cards is phenomenal. We booked everything (that we had to pay for in cash) with our Chase Sapphire Reserve. This does a couple things. Travel Insurance - Automatic travel protection built in which would cover us in the event we had a major issue and had to cancel the cruise last minute (keep in mind this does not necessarily apply to pre-existing conditions) or if we have any major delays, lost luggage, etc. Points! 3x points on travel. In total we spent $7,056, so this equated to 21,169 chase ultimate rewards points. Tavel Insurance We do not purchase regular travel insurance since we have the protection through the card (protection is up to $10,000 in value and you must use the card to pay for your trip!) but we still purchase a separate medical plan. While we would get medical coverage through the Chase Reserve card, it is not that great of coverage. We purchased the GeoBlue Voyager Choice plan through InsureMyTrip. The total cost for two was $35.86. This covers $100,000 in medical per person, $50,000 in accidental death, and $500,000 in medical evacuation. Please note this is only for medical, no trip cancellation, etc. It also requires that you have primary insurance as well. OK, look at that, we made it through all those details! As I go through each day, whether it is our hotel before the cruise, embarkation, nightly dinners, etc. I will do my best to be as critical as possible I am very much a glass half full type of person, especially when I’m traveling. With this being said, sometimes I think I should be a little more critical when reviewing certain aspects. At the same time I find myself so lucky to be able to live the life that I do, that it is sometimes difficult to be negative when the situation calls for it. So at the end of the day I will do my best to be impartial, objective, informative, but most importantly entertaining. Thank you again for following along and coming with us on another amazing trip!
  2. I just noticed that the Revolution date for the Celebrity Eclipse was changed on the Revolution Schedule webpage https://www.celebritycruises.com/revolution/schedule/ from November 24, 2020 to April 4, 2021. I haven’t seen the change reflected on other webpages yet, but the 4/4/21 sailing of the Eclipse is currently scheduled as a 19 night trip from Melbourne, Australia to Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii. Is Melbourne a port with the facilities capable of completing the Revolution upgrades? She was originally going to be upgraded in Singapore in November 2020, which I believe is where the Millenium was done.
  3. Greetings to All This will be my attempt to post live on a regular basis while enjoying a seven day cruise on the Eclipse. We embark Sunday here in Vancouver. This is a “round trip,” so disembarkation will also be in Vancouver on the following Sunday. Arrived in Vancouver Friday evening on a non-stop Air Canada flight Phoenix to Vancouver. We took the Sky Train from the airport to the Waterfront station. This was easy easy. Thanks to all previous posters on the Cruise Critic boards for comments/recommendations on using the Sky Train. From the Waterfront Station we walked to our hotel. Staying at the Marriott Pinnacle. So exactly who are “We”? There are four of us on this journey: DW, DD, and DD’s SO (soon to be my son-in-law based on upcoming wedding in February). The four of us are regular cruisers. Of late, we have been cruising with Oceania. We also have one Celebrity cruise in the recent mix when we cruised with fifteen family members over three generations traveling on the Millennium. That was a great cruise with ports in England, Ireland, and Scotland. We also had a stop in Le Havre to do the Normandy beaches. Very memorable for my mother and mother-in-law as well as the rest of the family. This will be my first cruise on an S Class ship. Also my first cruise on what would be considered a larger ship. Although by comparison to some of the behemoths plying the seas, I guess you can’t say the Eclipse is truly large with “only” just over 2800 passengers. Signing off for now. I will try to be diligent in posting. I leave you with a photo taken from the Marriott’s Concierge lounge of a HAL ship arriving at Canada Place this morning.
  4. I have been following posts, news concerning unrest in Equador.... its not subsiding. Holland has canceled it's Manta stop. Any celebrity news, update on itinerary would be helpful.
  5. I've seen people talking about the Celebrity App which I think lists onboard activities? Not sure what exactly it does. But I also thought I read that you don't use the App on the Eclipse. Is this correct?
  6. OMG they changed the name of the ship
  7. Which location or room do you think is better and why: Ocean View Stateroom on Deck 3-3116 Veranda Stateroom-unknown deck or location. Thanks for your help! Have never cruised Celebrity before so I am clueless!
  8. My husband and I just returned from a 7 day Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse Sept 1-8 2019. It was one of my best cruises, and probably the most relaxing one. Since I was on a brand new ship, the Norwegian Bliss last January, I will be doing some comparisons. On the Eclipse I was able to relax more, and it was less crowded than on the Bliss. The Eclipse has 1426 staterooms with 2850 passengers. The Bliss is much larger with 2043 staterooms and 4004 passengers. The Eclipse was more quiet and relaxing than the busy energy on the Bliss. Since I wanted peace and quiet on this cruise, the Eclipse was the better one for that. When it comes to the embarcation lunch, the Bliss did much better for it’s passengers. The main dining room was open for ALL passengers as well as the buffet and the Local. With the stress of travelling, standing in line, checking in, customs etc. I like to sit down in a peaceful setting for lunch, and that was not available for me on the Eclipse. My options was Sushi on Five or the buffet. The buffet was crowded and busy, and not a good start on the cruise. I definitely had better options on the Bliss. We enjoyed the dining on Eclipse better than the Bliss. The Manhattan room on the Bliss was extremely noisy, while the Midnight Sonata on the Eclipse was quiet and calm. The service was much better on the Eclipse, and the food was better. The one negative on the Eclipse was that the 2 person dining tables were extremely close together, so it was like we were on a table for 4. On the Bliss we did not have that problem. We had Select Dining and it worked very well. Our cabin was 8279 which is one of the large balcony cabins on the bump. I spent most of my time on the balcony with my book, Diet Coke, Hot tea and blankets. This balcony, and a large balcony I had on Norwegian's Pride of America are the best balconies I have had. I am grateful to all the contributors on this forum who was able to help me find the perfect balcony for me. Since spending my day on the balcony is so important to me, and I don’t want to run to a bar whenever I want my Diet Coke, I brought my own 12 pack onboard. For others being able to bring some soda onboard is not important, but for me it is. It was an irritant for me that I had to go to the bar on the Bliss every time I wanted to drink some Diet Coke on my balcony. Norwegian’s ban on bringing soda onboard may be why I won’t choose them again. For others not a big deal, for me it is. One place where Norwegian did better on the Bliss, than what Celebrity does is the bathroom. Here is a picture of the spacious bathroom, with a fantastic shower on the Bliss. n I think the entertainment was good on both the Eclipse and the Bliss. I especially like the Paul McCartney tribute band on the Eclipse as well as their production shows. The singers were better on the Eclipse. The observation lounge on the Eclipse was forgettable. I didn’t even remember to take a picture of it. I will never forget the one on the Bliss with its 5 food stations and bar. Lots of loungers and places to sit or lay down. Here are some pictures. Bliss observation lounge The last portion of my review is where Eclipse wins. It is not even a competition the Eclipse is so much better than the Bliss. Service. On Norwegian Bliss you could feel the crew did not want to be there. They did the minimum they could get away with, and hardly ever smiled. On the Eclipse I was always greeted warmly with a smile. The servers knew our names. The bartenders knew our names, Our stateroom attendant, Menino, was amazing, and the service was excellent wherever we went. It was the best service I have experienced on all my cruises. This is the reason I will continue to cruise with Celebrity. So in summary: If you don’t mind being nicled and dimed, and If you want lots of activities (co-carts, lazer tag, bowling etc.) and you have young adults, teens and kids in your party, then the Norwegian Bliss is the ship to go on. If on the other hand you want peace and quiet, wonderful music everywhere, great food and a more elegant setting, and fantastic service, then the Eclipse is the way to go.
  9. Does anyone know if the NFL games are televised on the ship on Sunday and Monday, especially sea day? Thank you.
  10. I can’t seem to find info on what meet n greet or other activities for this cruise it’s akways so much fun to meet other cruisers please give me an update thanks margoe7762@gmail.com
  11. I'm looking forward to scheduling flights for our cruise to Alaska out of Vancouver in September on the Eclipse. Disembarkation day flight selections from VYR to Arizona are not so great. The one non-stop flight leaves at 11:40am and gets us home around 3:00pm, which at least gives us a few hours to settle back in before heading to work the next day. All of the other options leave VYR from 2:00 - 6:00pm, have connections, and would get us home after 9:00pm. The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00am and we are planning on taking the SkyTrain to the airport. There is one other ship in Canada Place that day. We don't have global entry, but would get it if it made this flight more possible - first time cruising with an added layer of airport customs which I hear is done in VYR, not when we land in the US. Would we be crazy to schedule the 11:40am flight knowing there aren't many remaining options if we miss it, or is this doable?
  12. Hello All, Our family of six just finished a round-trip cruise to Alaska out of Vancouver on the Celebrity Eclipse. I have enjoyed reading others' trip reports so I thought I would share my own. I'm no Jack London, but I hope you'll get something out of this. Our family is me 49, wife 51, my dad 78, her parents 83 and 88, and my son 18. We have been on 8-10 cruises, her parents have been on just one to the Caribbean last December. CRUISE DAY -1 - We picked up mom and met her parents at the airport. We got there early and had issues checking in because we were taking a different airline out versus the one back. They were concerned we were going to Vancouver and not ever coming back, so that delayed our check-in. By the time we finished check-in the security line had grown to epic proportions. We didn't originally ask for a wheelchair for mom who walks with a walker since security line was so short. However, we were able to get one for her later so half of us were able to zoom through the long line. Anyway, we boarded the 7:25 AM flight as soon as we got to the gate. A little more stress than we needed to start our day, but we didn't let it get us down. The flight to LA with Delta was great. Love the seat back entertainment with TV, movies, and music. Made the 5 hour flight feel much shorter. When we got to LA we met my brother in law who planned to spen the next 30 hours with us - all our time just prior to the cruise. He hoped to cruise with us but things didn't work out work-wise. Our flight to Vancouver left about an hour late because of various issues, but that didn't get us down. Love the Vancouver airport. Very organized and efficient. BIL went to get our rental car - a huge SUV - and we made our way through customs and baggage claim with help of a cart to get the parents through the airport without too much walking. We underestimated how much space we would need for the 7 of us plus our luggage. It took some packing miracles including me and son in the 3rd row seat with 4-5 bags on top of us and mom's walker across the second row passengers. It looked like a real CF in the pick-up area as we wedged all our people and things in the SUV - but we did it. We went to our B&B, Windsor House, and dropped everyone except BIL who went to his B&B nearby. We unloaded then found a place downtown for dinner recommended by a friend of BIL - Moxies. Service and food were great except for the first 10 minutes when they completely ignored us despite not being too busy. Once we got their attention they gave us some free apps and great food and service the rest of the evening. After that we were tired and went to bed after a long day of travel. Windsor House was very nice. We had a third-floor room. There was no AC but with the window open it was completely fine. The street was very quiet and we slept well. Next is Day 0 - highlights of Vancouver and late embarkation!
  13. Can you board Eclipse with your bags and drop them in your room and then go around the ship befor the rooms are ready?? Just off Equinox 2 weeks ago and they allowed bag drop off in your room before it was 100 % ready and it was GREAT!!
  14. Thanks to this cruise forum I was able to enjoy an extra large cabin on my cruise to Alaska Sept 1-Sept 8 on the Eclipse. No issues at all with the cabin, and balcony was amazing. Here is a picture for anyone else who is researching the large balconies.
  15. We are leaving from Honolulu Oct 3. My Xpress pass says check in from 12p-6p. The ship doesn’t leave until 11:59p. Can we check in and then get back off for a few hours? Thanks
  16. Hey everyone, I'm looking into booking our first Celebrity cruise, cruising Alaska next year! We live in Vancouver so currently there's Millenium and Eclipse on the table. In addition to ports, food is also really important to us. I was under the impression the S class ships would have better food and more options in Oceanview Cafe as an example, but since Millenium just went through the revolution, things might have changed. Has anyone experienced these two ships (or their equivalents)? Their pricing is roughly the same so it makes it a tough pick. Thanks!
  17. My husband and I just got home from our first ever Celebrity Cruise (first cruise at all in ten years), which was also our first trip to Alaska. We booked last October, and over the last several months I have done most of my research right here on Cruise Critic. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading every review I could of Celebrity Eclipse, as well as other Celebrity sailings to Alaska. That being the case, I wanted to submit my own review/trip report here. I will probably be repeating a lot of what others have said, but maybe some of you will enjoy reading it anyway, or maybe it will be of some benefit to someone else who is planning a similar cruise. Fair warning...this will be a long and detailed trip report! 😁 PRE-CRUISE TRAVEL TO VANCOUVER: We woke up at 3:00 am Saturday morning and went to the Nashville airport for our 7:00 am flight. They say to arrive 3 hours early for international flights, but that early in the morning, we breezed right through checking our luggage, security, etc., and ended up sitting at our gate for quite some time. That was OK, though, because we were finally on vacation! We flew from Nashville to Los Angeles, where we had some delays before we finally set off for Vancouver. Once we landed, we had to go through customs & immigration, which wasn't too bad. Then, we hauled all our luggage to the Skytrain station. (Which I knew about thanks to you all here!) We took the Canada Line all the way to Waterfront Station and then walked a couple more blocks to our hotel. It was easy enough, even with too much luggage! 😂 We had originally booked a different hotel further from the waterfront, but a month or two ago I found a 30% off deal at Pan Pacific Hotel. I had checked there originally and remembered what the rooms were going for at the time. At 30% off, however, we were perfectly willing to pay for the convenience and peace of mind of being right at the port. Thankfully, our original reservation was refundable, so we switched. We figured we'd be saving taxi fare by being able to use Skytrain to get there and walking to the ship the next morning, so we justified the extra expense of the hotel itself. We were so happy we did! Pan Pacific is a beautiful hotel with beautiful views. When I booked, I reserved the least expensive room that they had at the time, which was a city view room. At check-in, however, we were given an upgraded room with harbor views and free wifi. Score! The vacation was starting out great!! Here are a few pictures of our room and the views we had:
  18. Just wondering if there are any Zumba classes on the Eclipse (sailing to Alaska in September)? Does anyone have a copy of the activity sheet you get each morning? Thanks
  19. We’ve been on the ship since Sunday and have so far stopped at Icy Strait Point and cruised the Hubbard glacier. Tomorrow will be Juneau and then on Friday, we’re in Ketchikan. happy to answer any questions. Before anyone asks, she’ In great shape and it’s comfortable weather wise here!
  20. Any one have information on the above cabin on the Eclipse? We were assigned to the cabin, not our first choice. Good, bad, noise level? Would appreciate any info so we will know what to plan for on our November 2019 cruise.
  21. My wife and I will be sailing to Hawaii on Eclipse in late October. Depending on how the games go, the World Series may still be going on after we sail. If you have been on a cruise when the World Series was on, did the ship provide the broadcast? We have watched the Super Bowl on a cruise, but we have never been onnoard during the World Series.
  22. We are boarding Sept 8 for Alaska. I am curious as who the house band is and the cruise director. Anyone happen to know. thanks Brockmom 😀
  23. Greetings from the lovely Celebrity Eclipse! Around noon ship time (US Pacific), Captain Leo announced that due to trouble with engine at full speed, our arrival into Sitka on Tuesday, 8/20 will be delayed for at least 1 1/2 hours with an update expected this evening around 6:30pm. We'll let y'all know how it shakes out 😉 First 24 hours have been awesome ... enjoying very cool temperatures and fantastic shipboard crew & staff. Also, even though we only had 15 people sign up for a Cruise Critic Connections party, they arranged for a get-together in Masters Cellar, deck 4 at 10:15 today. Wonderful table set up with juices, coffee, tea, water and pastries. Simon the CD, Clint the HD, and Erika the event coordinator all attended. Unfortunately only 10 of us showed up ... please folks, support these events and show Celebrity how awesome we Cruise Critic passengers are! Thanks!
  24. What's the Eclipse looking like these days? I know it is scheduled for dry dock in Nov 2020 and I am looking at a cruise on it in April. Is it still kept up or are there signs of deferred maintenance. It's been awhile since I was on the S class but in general I love them. Thanks.
  25. Morning everyone, apologies if this question has been asked before but I couldn't find the answer. I've never sailed Celebrity before and I'd like to know if there are any balcony's that are half shaded. I'm a pale skinned Scot, married to an Aussie who tans, so the balcony cabins that have a bit of shade suit us both. I've looked through the cabin information spreadsheet, but any pictures I see appear to have fully covered balconys. Thanks in advance. Trish
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