I got on board Scenic Eclipse, the ultra-luxury cruise ship and felt like I was on a big yacht.
The wooden decks are tan in color, just like those on a yacht. The eating areas are small and there’s even a restaurant called the Yacht Club. Beyond the fact that the cruises – ranging roughly in price from $8,000-20,000 and up, depending on the trip and level of your suite (all the rooms are suites, by the way) – is not exactly the typical PubClub.com travel budget, I felt comfortable on board.
That’s because I have been on a few yachts and several boats and sailboats. They are more in my wheelhouse than large ships with so many people it’s like being in a Las Vegas hotel.
Now it is important to note that even tho I was on Scenic Eclipse, I did not go anywhere. The ship was securely tied up to the dock at Broadway Pier in San Diego. I was invited for an afternoon on a press tour. So my experience was only a peek behind the curtain. But it did provide enough of a look for me to imagine what it would be like to be on a trip.
Therefore, I can offer these observations.
The dress code is certainly my style. Shorts are okay. Dinner is golf club casual.
One important thing (for me) I found out is that I would not have to worry about getting a good rum drink. The bartender in the forward lounge made me an excellent Mai Tai, on par with some of the finest I’ve had, and since the staff can do that with rum then you can be assured they do the same with other cocktails. It’s a fine art to making a really great drink, to make it strong without tasting strong. When you get one, you don’t pound it, you savor it. That lounge, by the way, has more than 100 whiskies on its multi-level shelf.
When people think of cruise ships one of the first things that comes to mind is “food!” Buffets, all-you-can-eat, over-indulge food because, well, you’re on a cruise, that kind of thing. Scenic Eclipse is not that way. First of all, people who can afford to go on this ship don’t feel the need to stuff themselves silly like a starving actress at a Hollywood party (and oh, they do, let me tell you). They prefer high-quality meals in small restaurant settings and that is exactly what they get with Scenic Eclipse.
Scenic Eclipse passengers also like excursions and being active. Me too. There’s two helicopters on board for sightseeing tours plus Zodiacs, kayaks and snorkeling gear. Destinations are rivers in Europe and Southeast Asia and oceans in Asia, North America, Polynesia and the Pacific Islands, Scotland and South America. It even goes to Antarctica.
Polynesia and the Pacific Islands sounds ideal. European rivers are also appealing. I certainly would not be interested in Alaska or Antarctica. I like warm weather. Sunshine. Sit out on that pool deck in flip flops and a bathing suit is my style, not shivering while wrapped in a blanket.
I could also not go on a cruise during football season. You see, there are no TVs on board other than in the rooms and in the fall, I am obsessed with watching college football to the point I should probably seek psychiatric help. So I would find it hard to relax on Saturdays now matter how much I was getting pampered.
Tho if pressed, I would certainly find a way to manage. Bartender, another Mai Tai please!
Scenic Eclipse is part of Australian-owned Scenic Cruises. The website is ScenicCruises.com.