Get Away With Fran

March 11, 2010

Conveying the Eclipse

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:30 pm

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When a new cruise ship leaves the shipyard and heads into service for the first time, it is always cause for celebration. And no one does it quite like the Germans.

When the Celebrity Eclipse left Meyer Werft in Papenburg today, thousands lined the banks of Germany’s River Ems to witness the event. They were bundled up too due to chilly temperatures, but what’s a little shiver when you can witness a moment in history?

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The Eclipse is the third of five in Celebrity’s $3.7 billion Solstice-class fleet, which also includes the Solstice and Equinox. And you’ve probably heard me rant before about how and why these are some of my favorite ships afloat. A brief synopsis – they are very stylish, affordable, feature the best in cuisine (for premium ships), and have grass – yup, a half-acre of green stuff up on top.

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As you can see by the photos, the official “conveyance” of a ship can be a challenge – there isn’t all that much room to manuveur – only two feet on either side of the river at some points.

But less challenging for this ship, I suspect, will be keeping her full of passengers - the Solstice-class ships have proven to be the most sucesssful in the Celebrity fleet. I am not the only one who likes them.

How does Eclipse differ from her sisters? She adds a “Celebrity iLounge,” featuring Apple products (including for sale); and adds “Qsine,” a new dining venue that promises an interactive experience complete with menus on a personal touchscreen  and dishes like sushi lollipops (it’s one of 10 restaurants on the ship).

And of course, as a third sibling, she’ll be making her own stylish fashion statement.

I plan to report on all that at her official debut party at the end of April in Southampton, U.K. Meanwhile, the Eclipse is off for her sea trials – where the captain will get even more insight into how she handles.

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