Entertainment and the spa are both very special on the new Celebrity Eclipse

Entertainment is a high point on this ship ÔÇö there are lots of options for passengers of all ages here, ranging from live entertainment to fitness activities to swim and spa facilities-

You can catch a late night comedy show, live musical performances, or a movie in a cozy, casual atmosphere at Celebrity Central.

The Eclipse Theater features three different shows with a full cast of singers and dancers on every seven-night cruise. These are highly entertaining shows with an across-the-board appeal.

While I personally prefer a quiet vacation, there is something to be said for a little excitement- and if you are a gambler, Fortunes Casino, deck four mid-ship, is quite large and features a variety of table games; craps, roulette, Let It Ride and a Texas Hold ÔÇÿEm poker table. (For the less adventurous, there are a number of slot machines, which include two-cent and nickel slots.) George and Barbara (my in-laws) would adore this casino.

A feature that’s sure to be popular with passengers of all ages: the Eclipse has multiple swimming pools (and hot tubs) located on the upper decks. Depending on your mood, desire for music or quietude, etc. – one of them will surely be for you. Following a swim in the warm (82 degrees or so) pool water, we headed for the AquaSpa.

The AquaSpa

The AquaSpa offers tiled, warm stone beds in full view of the ocean through enormous panes of glass. This thermal lounge is complementary for AquaClass guests. Then – right next door – the waterfall showers and herbal hot room completed the ultimate in sensory relaxation. I enjoy the pleasure of the spa’s 24-Karat Gold Facial, using Rose Quartz and a pure 24-Karat Gold Leaf mask. You cannot imagine how this treatment actually greatly minimized my fine lines and made my skin glow.

The spa is very nice, quite busy and offers the usual array of services, plus some of the more interesting ones such as a cheek lift, quite a bit of acupuncture, Restylane, Perlane and Botox treatments and teeth whitening. Even tanless tanning, which is hard to find. For the men, there is an old-fashioned shave with hot towels.

The Gym is fully equipped with the normal machines and weights. We tried the personal training and it was top notch. The Gravity reformer was interesting. If only it had been a one- week cruise it would have been nice to join the “Boot Camp,”

The Lawn Club is an area featuring real grass where cruisers can play croquet, bocce or mini-golf. There are very few vessels that can claim this kind of amenity. This is also the location of the glass-blowing studio, very popular with guests.

Children’s Programs

My nieces, Molly and Allison, will be sure to join in on this amenity and their parents will appreciate their own alone-time, secure in the knowledge that their angels are in good hands. The Children’s Programs aboard the Eclipse entertainment are for all ages. Their youth counselors hold certifications in CPR and have a formal education in Recreation, Education, Child Development or related fields.

What do these children’s programs offer? A better question would be, what don’t they offer?

To ensure an age appropriate experience, Celebrity Eclipse breaks down their youth program (Deck 15) into four categories: Ship Mates (ages 3-5), Celebrity Cadets (ages 6-8), Ensigns (ages 9-11) and Admiral (ages 12-17 during regular season / 12-14 & 15-17 during peak season). A note: There is not an official children’s program for kids under three. However, toddler time allows parents and toddlers to interact with other children their age, and the ship provides suitable toys for this age group.

My young nieces (ages 8 and 12) would adore the program’s pizza and ice cream parties and the pool Olympics-and would not be able to resist the dancing and musical games. Adding to the fun factor, the program also conducts relay races, arts and crafts, tours of the ship, and more!

Teens and tweens, sometimes the hardest group to please, will have a blast with theme parties, scavenger hunts, late night dancing, and sports tournaments. If they are the performing type, older kids will enjoy karaoke and a talent show; or perhaps they will choose the movies and play stations. The hip VIP (X-Club) area is geared specifically for teens and is their ultimate hangout place -very cool.

AND, on the last evening of the cruise, the Celebrity Youth Program hosts a “Parent’s Night Out.” Kids participate in a Pizza Party, activities, and complimentary Slumber Party, while their parents enjoy one last night of dining and entertainment.

Celebrity also offers babysitting services. For a fee of $8 per hour for up to two children within the same family, parents can arrange for a private, in-stateroom babysitter. (Children must be 12 months or older to be eligible for in-stateroom babysitting- arrangements should be made 24 hours in advance.)

The Captain’s Club

This was my first cruise on Celebrity and what a lovely experience that I will always hold near and dear to my heart. It just takes one sailing and now we are member of the Captain’s Club, the loyalty program offered by Celebrity Cruises to frequent cruisers. The amenities range from special cocktail parties, upgrades, pre cruise restaurant reservations, a special loyalty desk to assist with whatever, onboard discount offers, priority embarkation, wine seminars, internet packages complimentary, elegant tea services and so much more. We certainly will cruise again and are sincerely planning a family reunion on the Eclipse.

One last item: I forgot to mention the artwork on board. The theme is taken from “The Phenomenon of an Eclipse.” The rare and unexpected caused us to stop and simply breathe in the beauty of many of the pieces. My favorite was Pond, Bed Garden (1989) Seton Smith Photography in Michaels Club.