Eclipse gets off to an early start

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When Celebrity Equinox was launched in Southampton in July there were 10 days of inaugural events during which the ship was shown off to the cruising public, travel agents and the media.
The cost of flying over a substantial posse of American journalists, providing free food and drink for thousands of guests all day, every day, and taking the ship out to sea every night must have been astronomical.
I tried to get the figures, but Celebrity Cruises’ president Dan Hanrahan was reluctant to go into detail and his boss, Royal Caribbean’s chairman Richard Fain, would say only that it was “an unconscionable amount.”
He even joked that the longer he could keep us in a Press conference, the more he would save on the bar tab, although we did our best to catch up afterwards.
Sister ship Celebrity Eclipse will be launched at Southampton next April and will sail out of the UK for the rest of 2010. Construction at the Meyer-Werft yard in Papenburg, Germany, is ahead of schedule and the ship is going to be delivered early. So to help recover some of those “unconscionable” costs an extra cruise for paying passengers is to be squeezed in ahead of the official April 29 maiden voyage.
The “pre-maiden,” announced today by Royal Caribbean’s UK managing director Jo Rzymowska, sails to Le Havre in France and is billed as a “Paris short break” – although with the caveat that the drive to Paris by coach is two-and-a-half hours each way.
I hope the switchboard is ready for the protests from passengers who have already booked to sail on the real maiden.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:38+00:00 7 September 2009|Cruise news, New ships|5 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

5 Comments

  1. David W 8 September 2009 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    The Celebrity Eclipse doesnt actually sail out of Southampton for the rest of 2010 after her April debut. She does a TransAtlantic in early November and then sails out of Miami for the rest year.

  2. Karen 13 December 2009 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Well I’m booked on it to leave Southampton in May, so I am hoping it does !

  3. Liz 14 March 2010 at 9:17 am - Reply

    I hope so too Karen, we’re booked to sail from Southampton in June!

  4. John Honeywell 15 March 2010 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Celebrity Eclipse will be sailing from Southampton throughout the summer, following her naming ceremony in April. She leaves Southampton on October 31 and crosses the Atlantic to start a winter season from Miami. Karen and Liz – your cruises in May and June are safe !

  5. Liz 15 March 2010 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks Captain Greybeard, nice to have it confirmed, lol. We’ve taken several cruises with Celebrity, every one of them fantastic and have no doubts this will be equally wonderful.

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