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Currently viewing the category: "2013 – Celebrity Eclipse – Southern Caribbean, 14 Dec to 28 Dec"

You have to laugh….. I received this e-mail earlier today from Ideal Cruising!  [customerservices@idealcruising.com]. Note the e-mail address!

 

Dear Sir / Madam,

This is a courtesy reminder regarding your advanced passenger information for your forthcoming cruise holiday:-

If you have not yet completed the  (API) and/or Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) for your party travelling on your forthcoming booking, please log on to your cruise lines website (and airline if applicable) and action this as soon as possible. You will need your passport and holiday insurance details to hand.

As part of on-going security measures, it is a legal requirement that all passengers travelling abroad provide their Advance Passenger Information (APIS) or Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) before your UK departure. Failure to complete your API/SFPD will delay the release of your tickets and may result in delays at embarkation/check-in or even result in additional charges or denial of boarding.

You will have received a letter detailing how to action your APIS online at the time you confirmed your booking but if you require an additional copy of this or help in navigating the suppliers websites, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 296 1320.

If you have already actioned this, thank you and please ignore this courtesy reminder.

Tickets are issued 7-10 days prior to your UK departure.

If we can be of any further support prior to your UK departure, please do not hesitate to contact us. If not, have a wonderful holiday.

Best regards

When you book a cruise so far in advance you always take the chance that nothing will happen in between when you book and before you leave and everything will go the way it was intended to go. Well after a series of varied circumstances we have today eventually decided to cancel the cruise.

You could say this cruise was doomed from day one when the travel agent with whom we made the booking with (Ideal Cruises) was suddenly sold without notice on the 13 July 2012, the lady at the travel agents that we had built up a fantastic relationship was made redundant and we were left without a direct point of contact. In the ensuing weeks the company now dealing with the booking became increasing difficult to liaise with which was all very frustrating and unnecessary.

In a statement received via e-mail, I was informed that Lowcost Holidays were taking over the booking and everything would continue as planned with the balance payment now being made to them.  OK, no problem with that set up until we needed to adjust the booking because one of our party were no longer cruising with us. The plan was to drop one of the cabins and move the lone member of our party into one of the other cabins.

I was initially told that  lowcostholidays.com could not make any administrative changes to my booking and they recommended that I transfer the whole package directly to Celebrity who would be able to make the adjustments and after several letters and many phone calls I actually believed that this was what was going to happen. However at the last minute something happened behind the scenes and I was told that lowcostholidays.com would now be able to adjust it and the booking would remain with them. This was then swiftly dealt with but I did experience some difficulty getting a booking confirmation which laid out all the changes correctly.

The next thing that started to make us think perhaps its was not to be was when my father in law was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the early prognosis estimating he would sadly only be around for only 9 months and we straight away started to consider what would happen should we be away and things took a turn for the worse. Would we be able go away knowing he could be very ill at the time and leave the family without our support? I don’t think there is any way we would get the full enjoyment of the cruise knowing family back home were having to cope on their own during this trying time.

Then to add to all the above, a relationship breakup and all of a sudden we were now down to six.

The final straw came when another member of our party recently found out they are needing to go in for some surgery which would leave them laid up for many weeks. The timings all coincided with final payment dates and the cruise itself and so the final decision sort of made itself in the end.

The job of cancelling proved to be another ordeal and despite my best endeavours in contacting Lowcost Holidays to try and cancel everything, it became a fruitless exercise.  Nobody answered the phone number I had been supplied and I kept getting an automated response via e-mail say someone will respond in 72 hours. I had already e-mailed them some three weeks previous to adjust the booking when our party was reduced to six but I never received a response and even to this day I still haven’t!

In an attempt to move things along I contacted Celebrity Cruises directly who eventually managed to contact the Lowcost Holidays on my behalf, this finally resulted in a call from one of their agents and at long last I was able to speak with someone about cancelling the bookings. However one final obstacle had to overcome, I needed to obtain written consent from the lead name in each cabin to say that I had authorisation to cancel everything even though they had nothing to do with the original booking process.

As a small consolation I  received this message by e-mail which to me was all too late.

“I understand that you had difficulties in reaching us to discuss your bookings with a member of our Customer Services team. I do apologise for this and can confirm this matter is being looked into by our Group Operations Director to understand what happened and where this issue occurred and to ensure this does not happen again. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention as this will enable us to rectify the course. As as gesture of our goodwill and thanks in this matter, I have raised a holiday voucher for £20.00 which will follow shortly.”

So was this was the cruise that really wasn’t meant to be……..

 

Sadly I have just learnt that there has been an itinerary change to our Celebrity Eclipse Christmas cruise. St. Thomas has been substituted with Labadee which means that Christmas day is now going to be a sea day and Boxing day will be at the revised port.
I am not too surprised that this has happened given the amount of ships that were due to be in St. Thomas on Christmas day but do admit to being disappointed at the decision to go to Labadee. We were last there in November 2010 and were not too impressed with the beaches, I know there has been a lot of work done since and hopefully it will all be for the good.

Celebrity Eclipse Revised Itinerary 2013

Celebrity Eclipse Revised Itinerary

The updated itinerary now reads like this.

DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE DEPART
Sat Dec 14 Fort Lauderdale, USA 4:30pm
Sun Dec 15 At Sea
Mon Dec 16 At Sea
Tue Dec 17 Oranjestad, Aruba 8:00am 8:00pm
Wed Dec 18 Willemstad, Curacao 7:00am 5:00pm
Thur Dec 19 At Sea
Fri Dec 20 St. George’s, Grenada 8:00am 5:00pm
Sat Dec 21 Bridgetown, Barbados 8:00am 5:00pm
Sun Dec 22 Castries, St. Lucia 8:00am 5:00pm
Mon Dec 23 St. Johns, Antigua 8:00am 5:00pm
Tue Dec 24 Philipsburg, St. Maarten 8:00am 5:00pm
Wed Dec 25 At Sea
Thur Dec 26 Labadee, Haiti 8:00am 5:00pm
Fri Dec 27 At Sea
Sat Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, USA 7:00am
Labadee November 2010 - 1 of 2

Labadee November 2010 – Just above the Zip line landing area

Labadee November 2010 - 2 of 2

Labadee November 2010 viewed from the ship

Having booked our transatlantic flights earlier this week due to the 330 day window opening for flights within our required dates, my thoughts soon turned to booking the over night accommodation in Fort Lauderdale. I had spent many hours researching different alternatives and eventually decided upon the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina.

Waterfront Setting

Waterfront Setting

Guest Rooms

Tower Water 1 with King size Bed and Intracoastal View

Tower Waterway View King

Tower Waterway View King

Photos from http://www.fortlauderdalemarinahotel.com

It is close to Port Everglades and has rooms facing the Intracoastal Waterway so we will hopefully be able to watch the ships coming in on the day of our departure.

We have also taken advantage of the hotels cruise package which includes in the price

  • Transportation to Pt. Everglades one way for two guests per room from hotel to port
  • Continental breakfast for two in the restaurant

Looks like its going to be a very busy port on Christmas Day at the moment with potentially 7 ships in.

Edit and update.

There has been an itinerary change since first making this post and St Thomas has now been substituted with Labadee, Haiti. Christmas day will now be a sea day.

Date Port Other Ships in Port
14/12/2013 Fort Lauderdale – Port Everglades, Florida Celebrity Eclipse Depart: 04:30 PM
Crown Princess 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ruby Princess 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Carnival Freedom 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Celebrity Constellation 7:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Dock)
Oasis Of The Seas 6:15 AM – 5:00 PM (Dock)
15/12/2013 At Sea
16/12/2013 At Sea
17/12/2013 Oranjestad, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 08:00 PM
18/12/2013 Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles Celebrity Eclipse 07:00 AM – 05:00 PMPrinsendam 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
19/12/2013 At Sea
20/12/2013 St. Georges, Grenada, West Indies Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
21/12/2013 Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
22/12/2013 Castries, St. Lucia, West Indies Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
23/12/2013 St. Johns, Antigua, British West Indies Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
24/12/2013 Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles (St. Martin) Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Zuiderdam 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Norwegian Epic 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Dock)
Independence Of The Seas 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Dock)
25/12/2013 At Sea
26/12/2013 Ladadee, Haiti Celebrity Eclipse 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
27/12/2013 At Sea
28/12/2013 Fort Lauderdale – Port Everglades, Florida Celebrity Eclipse Arrive: 07:00 AM
Coral Princess 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Crown Princess 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Westerdam 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Carnival Freedom 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Celebrity Constellation 7:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Dock)
Oasis Of The Seas 6:15 AM – 5:00 PM (Dock)

** This data is for planning purposes only. All schedules are subject to change **

Celebrity Eclipse

On the 24 April 2012, we finally took the plunge and booked a dream cruise for the family. It is something that we have wanted to do for a long time and although it is some time away we are all very excited about the prospect of a family Caribbean Christmas cruise. While we were on the Celebrity Silhouette we purchased some cruise deposits, the incentive being that they would provide us with some on board credit when we eventually booked our next cruise. Because we had purchased two of these deposits, the offer could be extended to provide credit to one additional cabin per deposit. This means that we could book four cabins and each cabin would receive the same onboard credit. We have also been lucky enough to get 4 hump cabins in a row on Deck 7, 7266, 7268, 7270 & 7272. See photo below for the location of the cabins.

Our Cabins on the Celebrity Eclipse

 

Below you will find a list of our itinerary along with a map. For us it will mean Christmas day 2013 will be spent in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and most probably on the beach at Magen’s Bay

Celebrity Eclipse Itinerary

 

DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE DEPART
Sat Dec 14 Fort Lauderdale, USA 4:30pm
Sun Dec 15 At Sea
Mon Dec 16 At Sea
Tue Dec 17 Oranjestad, Aruba 8:00am 8:00pm
Wed Dec 18 Willemstad, Curacao 7:00am 5:00pm
Thur Dec 19 At Sea
Fri Dec 20 St. George’s, Grenada 8:00am 5:00pm
Sat Dec 21 Bridgetown, Barbados 8:00am 5:00pm
Sun Dec 22 Castries, St. Lucia 8:00am 5:00pm
Mon Dec 23 St. Johns, Antigua 8:00am 5:00pm
Tue Dec 24 Philipsburg, St. Maarten 8:00am 5:00pm
Wed Dec 25 At Sea
Thur Dec 26 Labadee, Haiti 8:00am 5:00pm
Fri Dec 27 At Sea
Sat Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, USA 7:00am

 

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