Celebrity Eclipse: What a wonderful selection of endless choices!

Here’s more of what they offer on the new Solstice-class Celebrity Eclipse:

Dining

What a wonderful selection of endless choices! If only our 20-something sons, Will and Alexander, would have been with us – the unlimited food options might have sent them over the edge! (Last time we went to the Ritz Carlton South Beach, our room service bill was over $3,000…this seems a much better value.)

Dinner followed shortly after our arrival on the Eclipse. On our first evening onboard, we dined in the Blu – the name alone inspires thoughts of peace and tranquility (we were fortunate to have priority seating due to our room class). Blu is a lovely specialty restaurant with an extensive menu that impresses: I opted for the Blue Cheese soufflé, Sweet Corn soup and Alaskan Salmon. The accompanying red wines were superb and a dessert of Coconut Crème Brulee – with cups of Caramel Marachita coffee – rounded out an exquisite dinner.

We were invited to sit with the VP of Environmental Protection for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara Club Cruises, which made for intriguing dinner conversation. We learned much about how the company strives to be on the cutting edge of keeping the planet and oceans as pristine as possible, while allowing people like us to share the joys of the ocean and the beloved environment.

Breakfast

A wonderful place for your first meal of the day is the Oceanview Café. Located on the 14th deck, it affords a memorable view of the ocean and (for our voyage) a view of the Miami skyline, as well. This was an inaugural of sorts, thus not cruising too far from home. Virtually any breakfast offering one could conceive of was available – we particularly liked the pairing of vegetable omelets (made while we watched) with fresh-squeezed orange juice, also prepared on the spot.

We elected to forgo coffee in the Oceanview Café one morning and went instead to the Café al Bacio coffee bar on the 5th deck. We were obliged to “get in line” with numerous fellow cruisers who clearly had the same inspiration; however, the coffee was worth the wait – our double espressos were world-class.

While shopping, we passed the Creperie Bistro (deck 5) and – viewing their delectable offerings through the glass – decided this would make for a unique lunch offering. (Our selection was the Spanish crepe with caramel glaze and, like everything else we had enjoyed thus far, it was perfect.)

For dinner, we dined in the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room – a two-story contemporary restaurant that featured chandeliers and chromed artistry throughout, amidst a color pattern of soft pastels that truly evoked a moonlight theme.

Other Culinary “Contenders”

The Murano Restaurant features a blend of Classic and Modern French continental cuisines…superb.

My husband loved the Tuscan Grille Restaurant…the Eclipse’s steakhouse a la an Italian theme.

The QSine restaurant has a truly avant garde venue. You place your order via an iPad (something my 20-somethings Will and Alexander would love). Culinary options range from sushi to cheeseburgers, or “make your own” cupcake… it has a very fun element.

The Bistro on Five is tucked behind glass walls in the public areas of deck five. The menu features crepes of all kinds… from breakfast to lunch, with beef or chicken, and desserts (of course).

AquaSpa Café: This restaurant is inside the Solarium and is for the health conscious – think salads, fresh vegetables and small sandwiches.

When you don’t want to leave the pool area, the Mast Bar and Grill is the go-to spot for hamburgers, fries, tacos, chicken wings, bratwurst, gyros, Ruebens and onion rings. This would be a perfect, casual spot for my young nieces, Molly and Allison, to take time out from play for a quick bite.

Bars, Clubs and Lounges:

There’s an amazing array of these facilities and they range from the sedate to the hip and trendy, and everything in between…

The Sky Observation Lounge has a live band and large dance floor… and a glass ceiling lets you dance under the stars throughout the evening.

The Quasar Dance Club is the ship’s late night hot spot. It’s geared toward a younger crowd (think retro-chic), featuring a music and light show.

The Martini Bar has over 100 varieties of vodka and can prepare anything from a shaken – not stirred – classic to a trendier “Chocolate Kiss.” The bar has a “cool” vibe with a chic ice-frosted countertop.

If you are a wine aficionado, Cellarmasters presents a “global wine tour,” where passengers can learn about and taste a variety of wines from around the world. It’s a wonderful way to discover a vintage that will make for an exquisite pairing with your favorite cuisine. The room conveys a sense of “masculine coziness” – my husband has decided to redecorate his own “Man” room which will soon reflect some luxurious leather couches

Galleria Tastings allows you to sample malt-based scotches, brandies and other spirits.

Michael’s Club is the “Gentlemen’s Club” where one can sip a brandy and smoke a cigar. Definitely masculine – the club features cushy recliners and huntsman’s paintings.

The Passport Bar is a casual nightclub. Quiet enough for conversation, it draws a mix of guests.

The Ensemble Lounge features late night live music- a jazz trio plays every night.

The Internet, Communications and E-mail

The Celebrity iLounge is an Internet café that gives the Eclipse’s guest’s access to the Internet, as well as the latest tech gadgets; they also do onboard classes. It’s great for people who travel without their laptops…but the entire ship does have wireless access. Critical for people like me, whose work requires them to be accessible.

The Shops:

The “Shops on the Boulevard” (4th deck) and “Galleria Boutiques” (5th deck) were some of the loveliest I have seen on any cruise vessel. There are stores exclusively for women and for men, as well as jewelry (including the 86-facet diamond-pattern round cut Eclipse Diamonds), clothing and souvenir shops.

Next: Entertainment and the Spa

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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