Friday, March 25, 2016

February 7, 2016 - Fourteen Nights on Celebrity Eclipse - All Aboard!!

We started the day early at 7 am. We had breakfast and debarked the Azamara Journey about 9 am after gathering our luggage. We had to move our vehicle from parking garage "J" to parking garage "F" to board the Celebrity Eclipse. We were so excited that our vacation was not ending! We have done back to back cruises before but never changed ships midstream. We passed several passengers who were headed to their cars to go home and we both commented being glad we were going toward the ship, not away from it! We gave our luggage to the porters, went through security and were in the first group to board! 
We were greeted with a big Celebrity smile and a choice of champagne or a mimosa! We have sailed Celebrity before and we  are looking so forward to their excellent service and food which we both dearly love!
We stopped for a minute to look out at Miami from the solarium pool area on the ship. Note my blue Azamara tote bag that came with me alongside my portable fan in its own carrying case! A fan is mandatory at bedtime. I don't want to feel the breeze but the fan noise is our sleeping pill! lol
 The Solarium pool area had lots of padded comfort and plenty of   towels. 

No solarium is complete without a jacuzzi looking out at Miami!

We chose the option to eat dinner between the hours of 6:30 - 9:30 nightly. By the third night, the hostess always called us by our names as we approached the podium, quite impressive considering there were 2900+ passengers. We ate here all fourteen nights and the menu never repeated itself and we were always pleased with the food and service. We were given a choice of a table for two or a choice to share a table with others. We always chose to share with others and never regretted it. We made new friends, mostly couples, each night from many different places and countries. We almost always had someone from Canada at our table. We always looked forward to going to dinner and the great conversations we had with so many different people from so many different places.
We had cabin number 1534, a nice quiet cabin on deck eleven. We loved the location and our room steward kept it spotless and supplied us with lots of soap, shampoo and hair conditioner.
He also supplied us with flowers, fresh fruit, ice and flavored teas daily, raspberry being our favorite flavor! Boy do I miss him!
We are "elite" with Celebrity so one of the many perks is some free laundry. We sent out two bags of dirty laundry on day one. 
This was Super Bowl Sunday so we went down to the Eclipse Theatre to take pictures, eat and watch the game on the big screen, happy to sit on the Panthers side!
This was a "first" for us to be at sea for the Super Bowl and everything was so festive and so much fun! Kudos to the crew for all of their hard work with the food and the decorations! 
 We ended our first night ordering room service and watching the last half of the game in our cabin. It was such a fun day!
We made it upstairs to the Oceanview Cafe for the late breakfast which allowed us to sleep in and not be rushed to get there. We have always loved Celebrity's waffles! They are always freshly cooked and never soggy! We ate lots of fruit this cruise too! Shortly after we sat down, another couple sat down beside of us with their breakfast. I immediately noticed two fresh bandages on the gentleman's left forearm. I knew there were eleven dialysis patients on this cruise but what was the likelihood of him and his wife sitting down next to us for breakfast on the very first morning? I immediately struck up a "renal" conversation with them. They were a lovely couple from England and he had been on dialysis for two years. They were both 79 years old traveling from England to Miami, Florida to board a ship and he would be dialyzed every other day during the fourteen day cruise! I admired them so much for their bravery and traveling alone without family or friends! We sat and talked for an hour or so, enjoying them so much! I gladly gave them our cabin number just in case they needed something  during the next fourteen days. They were so appreciative and we had just made the first of many friends to come on this cruise!
 We always drank our post breakfast coffee outside on the open deck with feet up just watching the sky go by and soaking in every breath of sea air!
Our first port stop was Aruba and the wonderful white sandy beaches! We had been to Aruba before so we planned to get off the ship and just "wing" it. We had not been off the ship long before we were approached by a tour operator offering us a three hour tour for $20.00 per person. There were eight other cruise passengers already in the van so we felt very comfortable joining in especially at that price! He showed us all around his "happy" island, allowing us to stop and buy souvenirs and explore on our own.
Ricky and I decided to climb over and through some rocks, big rocks! He told me to just follow his red backpack! It was a lot of fun and beautiful scenery with a tad of exercise thrown in! 
We then stopped to take pictures at a beachside restaurant with a gorgeous view and then onto Eagle Beach!
It was a beautiful day with a constant breeze, great beach day!
We enjoyed so many fish entrees this cruise and loved the spinach that was included in so many dishes!
We shared a slice of caramel cheesecake with iced tea before heading to the Eclipse Theatre for some comedy and juggling with Pete Matthews. It was funny and a great show!
Greetings from Curacao! We walked around and explored the town before heading to the beach.
It was a beautiful and windy day making it perfect for walking!
We spent today in paradise at the nearest resort to the ship. We purchased a day pass for thirty dollars and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The five minute walk "home" made it even better!
 Dinner tonight was fish, beef and a delicious spinach pie, my favorite followed by yummy desserts!
We ended tonight, as always, in the Eclipse Theatre being entertained by a great illusionist and his show!
We started Valentine's Day on a lovely beach in Barbados! The water was so clear and refreshing and the oranges were the perfect snack for a perfect day! 

 All females were presented with a rose for "V" Day at dinner!
The beef entree was so tender and juicy and was a great selection for dinner!
The dessert speaks for itself! Our new sweet friend from Canada, Nancy, brought her dessert to our table so I could get a picture! It was such a pretty dessert for a pretty night!
Tonight's Celebrity's showtime was "Chandelier" and was a  fantastic production! 
This has been a perfect Valentine's Day at sea - another first for us!
 Our beautiful ship in beautiful St. Lucia! Water meeting sky!

We rode by taxi over to Marigot Bay, the location of the 1967 filming of Doctor Doolittle. We then caught a ferry to the actual island! What a fun day this was!
It was a great visit with lots of shade and a small sandy beach. It was a gorgeous area surrounded by beautiful bluish green colored water and such a great place to visit while in St. Lucia!
 We stopped on the way back to the ship and had our usual snack of oranges while listening to the local musician, thanked him with a tip and headed to the ship to find they had rolled out the red carpet for us, just us! lol.

 Ricky had the fish tonight and I had the potato pot pie, my favorite vegetarian dish on Celebrity!
We skipped dessert in the dining room to go upstairs and get cookies and gummy bears to take to the theatre with us! Why not?
We ended the night being entertained by Gareth Oliver, one of the funniest comedians on the open seas. We were still laughing when we went to bed!
Antigua is our beautiful port of call today! There's lots of color here! Wow! wow! wow!
  Mesmerizing to say the least!
I love the color "red" and I love it even more on a catamaran!

Ricky always has to stop and look for fish before getting back on board. I guess it is his way of stopping to smell the roses!
This is a nice deck for reading and napping or napping as we read! 
I have been waiting all day to capture this rippling of the water as the sun waves goodbye for the day!
This was another night for fish and no cruise is complete without baked Alaska! We are definitely eating our way through the Caribbean!
Bridge to bridge in St. Kitts today and our ship is bigger! lol.

St. Kitts port had a nice hillside village with boats and catamarans scattered around in the water. 
This was another day of "walk perfect" weather. This is day 22 of absolutely perfect weather while on this journey!
We made our way back to the ship after walking for a couple of hours, getting some much needed exercise!
We decided to go back early enough to grab one of Celebrity's delicious sandwiches topped with tomatoes and onions! Yummy!
Dinner was almond crusted fish and fresh vegetables!
Gelato and ice cream (all flavors) were available around the clock and sooo good! 
Celebrity showtime was an amazingly talented violinist! He really put on a great and entertaining performance!

Our last port stop was the beautiful St. Maarten! Beach time!
We rode the water taxi across the bay to Holland House. They provide two padded loungers, umbrella, two towels and four drinks for $25.00 - not a bad price at all!

There were several big ships in paradise today, St. Maarten!
The Holland House is a big white colored resort with all white colored umbrellas that look very pretty on the beach!
It was a beautiful beach day in a beautiful place with a great footbath! 

No cruise is complete without prime rib and lobster tail and two desserts!
As I look down below at the waiting luggage, I realize what a marvelous 25 days at sea we have had! We have enjoyed every second of every minute of every hour of every day! We went into it thinking it was going to last forever but it passed so quickly, kind of like life. It was like a magical tonic and we can't wait to do it all over again! We highly recommend taking a thirty day trip! Go ahead - buy the ticket - take the ride!!