Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Honeymoon Diaries - All Aboard Celebrity Eclipse

Tell people that you're booking a cruise and most will try and tell you that cruising is for the older generation. We never let this put us off when we were booking our dream trip, Simon and I aren't the kind of people who are bothered about spending all our time with people our own age and we knew we'd have a great Honeymoon regardless. In the end we met people of all ages and nationalities on our Honeymoon Cruise so it goes to show you should never let other people ruin your travel dreams.

Celebrity Eclipse


With so many cruise companies to choose from it was a personal recommendation that eventually helped us come to a decision. Our friends Rachel and Rich did a cruise with Celebrity for their Honeymoon and their enthusiasm easily convinced us. It's thanks to them that we now have so many brilliant stories and memories of our own.

Once we'd decided which company to go with there were so many itineraries to choose from and for a good while we thought we'd head to the Med. It was the promise of exploring somewhere new, guaranteed hot weather and ticking off some dream destinations that made us book an Exotic Southern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, the fact it left Miami on my birthday was the extra cherry on top.

The Honeymoon Diaries - Celebrity Eclipse


All Aboard Celebrity Eclipse

As someone who can't help but stress a little when I'm travelling I'm pretty used to worrying about my documents, itineraries and luggage and will never relax until I reach my destination. Celebrity took away all of that, the check in process was so well organised and I've never experienced such a high level of organisation.

The Honeymoon Diaries - All Aboard Celebrity Eclipse


We were on the ship within moments of check in with a glass of fizz in our hands and headed straight to one of the upper decks to take in the views of Miami.

Celebrity Eclipse leaving Miami
We had been allowed to board several hours before we were due to depart and we were glad we'd got ourselves on the boat early, it gave us plenty of opportunity to explore our surroundings.  We left Miami at 4:00 pm with the first "Sail Away" of our trip, we soon learnt that every port we left involved a Sail Away and we always tried to go on an upper deck to enjoy the views as we left port, usually with a cocktail in our hands.

Our Cabin

Cruising is a pretty expensive way to see the world, however costs can be dramatically reduced depending on the type of stateroom that you choose.  Choosing an inside cabin with no window can knock a hefty chunk of money off your balance however as we were on Honeymoon we didn't want to worry about being thrifty.

Celebrity Eclipse Ocean View Stateroom with VerandaWe decided to book an Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda, a decision that we were so happy with as we had our own outside balcony complete with furniture. It was so fun waking up in the morning and pulling back the curtains to see where we were.

Our Stateroom was surprisingly roomy and the space was so well planned out that there was plenty of storage space for our luggage. So surprising when we both had four suitcases between us.

Celebrity Eclipse Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda


The bed was huge, the bathroom had ample space, we had loads of places to hang our clothes and even had a little lounge area to chill out in. Our Cabin was cleaned twice a day by our Stateroom attendant who kept our place spotless.

It really was a home away from home.

The Ship

Being on board Celebrity Eclipse was like being in a luxury hotel on water. The ship was just the right size - huge with plenty of places to go without being too ridiculous.

Celebrity Eclipse
As well as plenty of restaurants and bars there was also a gym (that we did use a couple of times in the earlier days of the cruise), a spa, library, swimming pools, hot tubs, a casino and even a Michael Kors shop. During our trip I heard plenty of stories about some of the larger ships belonging to other cruise liners that featured dodgem cars and water slides but for us Celebrity Eclipse was perfect - luxurious with plenty to do without any gimmicks. It was the perfect ship to relax.

Celebrity Eclipse


Food on Celebrity Eclipse

It's no surprise that I put on a stone whilst we were away on Celebrity Eclipse, everyone had warned me that you eat a lot when you're cruising but I had no idea that it was possible to eat all day every day.  If you wanted to indulge in 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, dinner and a midnight snack you could!

We enjoyed most of our breakfasts and lunches at the Ocean View Bar Cafe, a buffet open all day with a constant supply of food. Lunch was a never ending choice of breads, meats, cheeses, salads, pizzas and pastas as well as daily changing specials that covered everything from Indian food to fish and chips.

It took us a few days to discover but we soon realised that with our package we could enjoy mugs of creamy coffees at Cafe al Bacio, a cosy coffee and cake shop on the Fifth deck.  We ordered Caramel Macchiatos most days and when I could find the room in my tummy we enjoyed it with huge slabs of cake.

Celebrity Eclipse Cafe al Bacio


We ate most of our evening meals at the main restaurant Moonlight Sonata which was included in our package. We sat at the same table every night, in between two other small tables where we were always joined by other couples that we could chat to. We often got to eat with the same couples and met some fantastic people during our meals and loved exchanging life stories and travel tales. The menu changed each night and there was always a great variety of dishes.

There were three speciality restaurants on Celebrity Eclipse that you could pay extra to dine in. Our favourite was Qsine where we celebrated our six month wedding anniversary. The concept was like nothing else I'd ever experienced - food from around the world, ordered on an ipad and presented in a variety of creative ways. We were encouraged to order four to five dishes to share and enjoyed Sushi lollipops, popcorn fish and chips as well as sliders we built ourselves and tacos that saw Simon mixing up our own guacamole.

Celebrity Eclipse Qsine


If all that wasn't enough there was also a speciality gelato shop, a poolside grill that served hot dogs and burgers and a sushi restaurant.  It's no wonder we were struggling to fit into our clothes a few days in.

Celebrity Cocktails 

Neither Simon or I are big drinkers but we still managed to indulge in a mammoth amount of cocktails while we were away.  There were a variety of drinks packages available on the cruise ship, we opted for the Classic Package which meant we could enjoy Prosecco, our favourite wines and most things off the cocktail menu.

Celebrity Eclipse Cocktails


It took us a few days to work out which drinks we loved the most and we soon realised that each bar made them a little differently. After a while we had fallen into a routine of ordering certain cocktails in certain bars to get the best drinks.

During the day we favoured Mudslides, Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris at the Ocean View Cafe bar. They were ice cold and so refreshing to enjoy out in the hot sunshine whilst we enjoyed staring out at the miles of blue sea behind us.

Celebrity Eclipse Cocktails


In the evening time Simon loved to indulge in an Old Fashioned. He tried them all over the ship before finding his favourite at the Grand Foyer where the barman took the time to teach him the perfect way to create an Old Fashioned.

Celebrity Eclipse Cocktails


My favourite evening tipple was a Pink Lady, I'd never tried one before but I think I'll be indulging in more back at home.

Celebrity Eclipse Cocktails
Official Photographs

Our first few days on board we stumbled across the Photography Studio and signed up for a full package of photographs. As it was our Honeymoon we thought that we'd appreciate having plenty of photographs of the two of us to look back on.  The full package cost us $250 and gave us a print out of every photograph we had taken as well as a disc containing all of the images.

Celebrity Eclipse Cocktails
The official photographers had four little studios set up round the ship each evening as well as doing the rounds during Sail Away, the bar areas and restaurants and being out to greet us at every port.
Finding the photographers each day became a bit of a fun challenge and we got to know the whole team during our trip which was lovely.

Days on Board

We had four days at sea during our Caribbean cruise and quickly fell into a ship routine. Never setting an alarm we'd roll out of bed and head to the Ocean View Bar Cafe after breakfast for a peaceful few hours reading in the comfy chairs. We realised pretty early that being away from the swimming pools this was the quiet end of the ship and the perfect place to get lost in a book - I rediscovered my love of reading during our trip and worked my way through five books!

One day we were extremely lucky and managed to spot some whales swimming pretty close to the ship, those of us who were on deck got to enjoy some brilliant whale watching and seeing them jump about in the water is something we'll remember forever.

Celebrity Eclipse
After eating too much lunch we often returned to our cabin for a few hours in the afternoon for a siesta. Sitting in the sun, drinking cocktails and eating tends to make you sleepy and a few hours nap in the afternoon was the only way to keep ourselves feeling fresh for the evening. Cruising life is hard work you know!

We booked all of our evening meals in advance and usually ate between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm, we always made sure that we got changed for the evening and if we had enough time we'd try and make it up to one of the outside decks at the top of the ship to watch the sunset with a quick pre dinner cocktail.

Celebrity Eclipse Sunset
After our evening meal we'd usually head to the Eclipse Theatre to see the show. Each day was completely different and we'd only discover from our newsletter the night before what was on the following night. Most of the shows were fantastic, and there were only a couple of overly produced cheesy shows that made us cringe. We saw magicians, comedians and singers during our time onboard and always left with a smile on our faces.

The rest of our evening was usually spent watching the ship's house band who we grew to love during our time onboard. The Sound Stars were a young British band who did fantastic soul sets in the Grand Foyer as well as party tunes later in the evening - dancing to a fantastic live version of "Uptown Funk" underneath the stars on the pool deck is a memory I will cherish forever.

Celebrity Eclipse


I hope this gives you a little taster of what life was like on board Celebrity Eclipse. If anyone is thinking of booking a cruise I'd highly recommend it. Your first experience of Cruising is exciting and rather overwhelming. There are so many things you learn as you go along and I'd highly recommend checking out Cruise Critic to get a good understanding of how things work.

Let me know if you've been cruising and what your experience was like!

18 comments:

  1. I love cruises, I'm taking Abigail on one next year to celebrate finishing her GCSE's. I know what you mean about the food and drink though, you can actually eat your way around the clock. Funnily enough, one of the companies I'm looking at is Celebrity as they now do Newcastle departures so thanks for all of the hints and tips, it does look a little more formal than cruising with NCL but who doesn't love to dress up in the evenings!

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    1. Oh wow, you get Mum of the Year for that! Celebrity actually do "smart chic" nights rather than formal, we dressed up a little but some people were wandering about in their day clothes so you can get away with being a little more relaxed if you want.

      OMG, they have Newcastle departures? I didn't know that, will definitely investigate!

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  2. What an amazing honeymoon! I've never been had n a cruise before though am really keen, what were the places like you stopped at?

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    1. It was a real mixed bag, some we loved and some we weren't so keen on! We'd definitely go back to St Lucia and St Marteen and I have some blogs coming up on those later in the week - watch this space!

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  3. Aaaah I love this post, it's making me ever so nostalgic for our cruise, I'm desperate to go on another one this year, but our time off doesn't line up with any cruises aside from going to the Carribean again. D'oh! I love that although we went on a very similar honeymoon we had slightly different experiences, we never set foot in the gym, and never discovered the cocktails from the deck. Those mudslides look amazing, I'm totally jealous!
    So glad you had an amazing time, and our recommendation wasn't a dud :-)

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

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    1. Ah no! We almost booked another while we were onboard, there was a great Greek Island/Dubrovnik 9 day cruise that we loved the look of. It starts in Venice so we could have a few days there too. We didn't end up booking and we're now actually thinking of maybe doing Vegas/San Francisco instead ... we clearly don't know what we want!

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  4. This sounds amazing and looks like you had a brilliant time, I love my family holidays but afternoon siestas are truly my most missed thing about holidays now!

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    1. I've never been to keen on siestas before, I love to always be on the go, but this time I really needed them ... must be old age!

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  5. Oh wow, Chloe! I absolutely adore your pictures.

    There's a cruise out there to suit everyone, but I really think Celebrity was perfect for you - young, vibrant and enjoy the modern luxury they offer.

    Once you have your frequent guest number after travelling once, we can look at future cruises with extra on board spend or stateroom/cabin upgrades. There's always options.

    Although not cheap, we did a price comparison of visiting the number of ports you do on a cruise, the travel in between etc, all inclusive service and they're really cost effective - and you only have to unpack once! That's why it's the fastest growing sector of the travel industry.

    With your permission, I'd love to share your photos with my Cruise and Celebrity colleagues. They're fab.

    xxxx

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    1. Thank you! Of course, please do share! I'm very proud of them!

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  6. 6 months already Chloe!!!! Wow.

    Your cruise looks amazing, so lovely to have it all documented to look back on in years to come and the lovely photos of course!! Cxx

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    1. I shall enjoy looking at our photos when I'm old and grey for sure!

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  7. Wowser! It looks amazing...I knew you would love cruising!! Would love to go back on the disney one but could be tempted by that liner-fab!

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    1. As much as we loved Celebrity I would quite fancy switching liners just to see the difference!

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  8. I've always dreamed of going on a luxury cruise and this looks right up my street! Those sunsets, those cocktails - everything looks so lovely! Sounds like you had an amazing honeymoon :) x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

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  9. Ah it sounds so interesting! I've always considered cruising but was never sure, I'd definitely be keen to give it a go. Glad you had a great time!

    Jasmin Charlotte

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  10. This looks SO amazing - I'd definitely love to go on this kind of cruise! x

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  11. Looks fabulous! How amazing being able to spot wild whales! I'd love to try a family cruise with the kids

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