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  1. Shrimper

    Britannia or Azura?

    We have just returned from a Caribbean cruise on Britannia, our first such trip on P&O, and absolutely loved it. Previously, we travelled on Celebrity via Florida and to fly direct to Barbados was just perfect. Britannia is a big ship and after two weeks we were still trying to find our way around. The lack of staircases and lifts which didn't reach all floors made it frustrating to get around the ship. We were on the rear Deck 15 and the quickest way to walk to the Lido Deck was to walk up one deck and then walk through the buffet restaurant. Washing hands each time on entry, we must have had the cleanest on the ship. This was a minor inconvenience as it was a great cruise but we have booked for the same time next year - on Azura, as we hope the slightly smaller ship and more traditional lay-out may be easier to negotiate..
  2. We've just come back from a P&O cruise, enjoyed the tea making facilities and didn't hear anything about them being removed. I hope they're not.
  3. Shrimper


    Aruba restaurant - we stayed overnight on Eclipse in Jan this year and went to Madame Janette's for dinner. A 10 minute taxi ride from the ship inland, an excellent restaurant with the best steaks and you can kick your shoes off and relax your feet in the sand under the table. Book in advance. Only suitable for overnight stop or late sailing as it opens at 5.30pm.
  4. Shrimper


    Bonaire - get off the ship and just to the right is Divi resort. At Reception pay $20 a couple for use of sun beds, bar etc. Aruba - across the road from ship is the bus station. Pay a couple of $ and get a bus towards the High Rise hotels. Get off anywhere along the coast for beaches, restaurants etc. St Maarten - get off ship and either get water taxi or walk to nearby beach where you can get 2 sun beds, food, toilets and a bucket of beers for about $20. Antigua - a beach for every day of the year so lot of choice. Just ask a taxi driver to take you to a good beach (we like Dark Wood, it's quiet), plenty of taxis to bring you back.
  5. Having travelled with Celebrity every year since 2004, we felt disappointed last year (January on the Eclipse) with various changes including the dispensing with formal nights and charging for previous free activities and there was a perception that staff morale and food quality had declined. However, we had previously booked a further sailing two years ago for the Eclipse this January in the Caribbean and fully expected this to be our last with this line. I am delighted to say we had an excellent time. Our booking included a drinks package and as I often prefer the taste of British ale to lager, I upgraded to a Premium package at a cost of $10 per day. This is the first time we have had a drinks package as I previously felt that the cost only encouraged us to drink more. The convenience of just showing your card to have any drink you wish was a real bonus and I must admit I'm a convert to that package now. Additionally, for the first time ever, we were looking around the shops to find things on which to to spend our OBC, as normally the 'beverages' took care of that. We prefer the traditional cruising and were pleased to see an increased number of people dressing formally on the new 'Evening Chic' nights. Staff morale seemed much improved and the food in the Main Dining Room was excellent. We went to the Murano Specialty Restaurant one evening and although it was enjoyable, it wasn't markedly better than the MDR and we wouldn't pay the extra again. The Eclipse has a new Captain, Leo, who is only in his late 30's and is a real comedian. None of the stuffy formal positioning announced at 10 am each day. The 'Voice from above" informs you how far you are from Sydney Opera House, the Great Wall of China etc. We enjoyed ourselves so much we have booked for Jan 19 to the Caribbean with the Reflection (Britannia Jan 18). Incidentally, our sailing on 4/1/19, is currently the only 14 day cruise to the Caribbean with Celebrity that year as they are changing to 7 and 10 day cruises. The Eclipse will be switching to South America. Celebrity is back in our good books.