Duncan Writes

Adventures of a part-time traveller.

Celebrity Eclipse: Disembarkation

13 May 2013

I’ll keep this one brief, as I’m in the post-cruise blues: back to work on Monday to a nice full inbox is always good fun! I wanted to talk about Celebrity’s disembarkation process, which actually started a few days before the end of the cruise.

I think about 3-4 days before the end of the cruise Celebrity delivered a form to our stateroom asking us about our disembarkation preferences, and claiming that nobody will experience the typical disembarkation troubles on Celebrity. Because we were cruising for only 8 nights, it felt somewhat like we’d only just got on, and they were already trying to get rid of us. Not something I was particularly keen to think about half way through our cruise.

When we sailed with Cunard, we were given a disembarkation time, and told we could opt for self disembarkation to leave early but carry our own luggage off. This worked very well for us. This time, however, we thought it would be nice to relax with a bit of a lie in, and have a leisurely breakfast in the buffet before getting off. Celebrity allow you to select your preferred time, up to 09:00. So we chose the latest we could.

Our luggage tags arrived a couple of days later, and instructions to meet in the Eclipse Theatre at 09:15 to disembark. We could still use our room until that point (which I was surprised at) so we looked forward to a relaxed morning in the buffet.

Fast forward to final sea day, and our evening delivery of Celebrity Today, and we discovered that the Oceanview Cafe is only open for breakfast from 06:00 to 08:00, meaning we’d have more than an hour to kill before we could leave the ship. I really wish Celebrity had told us that, and we would have opted for much earlier disembarkation time. That, or have Oceanview Cafe open for longer.

The other issue with the limited opening times for Oceanview Cafe is that it was incredibly busy in the morning with everyone looking to enjoy their last meal on board, and fill up for their onward travel from Southampton.

Upon arrival at the theatre, we were told at almost exactly 09:15 that we could now disembark from the gangway on deck 5; the same deck that welcomed us on to Eclipse just 8 short days ago. It was certainly sad to be leaving Eclipse, and we look forward to returning to Celebrity, probably next year.

We eventually decided to abandon our Manchester Premier Inn booking, and drove straight home. It was good to get back, and we arrived back in Falkirk at 18:30, making fairly good time, and including a lunch stop at the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Overall I think the Celebrity Disembarkation process was fairly smooth, although being able-bodied I would probably opt for self disembarkation in the future. There doesn’t seem to be anything stopping those passengers who opted for self-disembarkation from leaving at their leisure, as the gangway seems open to anyone who wants to leave.

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Final Day at Sea

12 May 2013

We knew that this day had to come – the last full day on Celebrity Eclipse. Nonetheless we were determined to enjoy ourselves and managed to have as relaxing and fun a day as we could, while finishing off our packing and getting ready for the next days disembarkation in Southampton.

Waking up on a sea day is fabulous; I love reaching out from bed and drawing the curtains to ease myself into the day with sea stretching endlessly into the distance.


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Stavanger, Norway

10 May 2013

Another early morning, we were keen to explore Stavanger despite having no real inclination of what we wanted to do. Also in today’s blog: fun in Moonlight Sonata and a west end medley!


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Bergen, Norway

09 May 2013

Arriving in Bergen was quite different from our previous port in tranquil Flåm. Bergen is a huge city, both in comparison and objectively. We were very lucky with the weather in Bergen, as we arrived in glorious 17°C heat – definitely short sleeve weather, especially for a couple of guys used to the inclement Scottish weather. This was especially lucky given the fact that Bergen has rain for about 250 days per year!

On arrival in Bergen we were shuttled to a square in town that feature the most hilarious fountain I’ve ever seen.


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Flåm, Norway

08 May 2013

It was an early start yesterday as we were on the only Celebrity tour we’d booked: The Flåm Railway.

We woke up early to the most stunning part of our cruise so far: sailing through the Aurlandsfjord arm of the Sognefjord. At the end of this arm lies Flåm, a tiny port completely enclosed by the terrain.


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Ålesund, Norway

07 May 2013

Yesterday we were scheduled to dock in Ålesund, Norway. Some other firsts yesterday included breakfast in Moonlight Sonata and dinner in Oceanview Cafe (the buffet restaurant). We also enjoyed one of the guest performers that Celebrity had booked, a comedy magician called Neal Austin. Read all about it in today’s post!


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