Celebrity Eclipse  at Sydney.

Our cruise was a nine day cruise based around wine – Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and for the overseas passengers it also included New South Wales.

First impressions of our Celebrity Eclipse cabin.

Majestic Princess at Sydney

First impressions of our Majestic Princess cabin.

The cabins were similar in size Eclipse 23 sq mtrs (248 sq ft) and the Majestic was 28 sq mtrs, (300 sq ft) including the balcony in both cases for a similar cost. 
Overall, the Majestic Princess was better designed for stowage and cabin space, but Eclipse had a slightly bigger bathroom and a better shower, but the Majestic Princess shower was over a full size-bath.
At a flick of a switch the Eclipse shower allowed the water to spray one all over rather than just the traditional rose-head shower.

The Majestic had two large TVs, one facing the bed and the other in the sitting area. Eclipse only had one TV in the sitting area.
Majestic’s choice of films was far greater than the limited choice for the Eclipse

Majestic’s library was very limited, but the Eclipse’s library was magnificent with a dedicated lounge area for a quiet read.

If you get tired of reading you could always watch the silent lifts move up and down the heart of the Eclipse.

The Majestic carried 3560 passengers and the Eclipse carried 2852 passengers.

The Majestic is 330 mtr. (1083 ft) in length, and the Eclipse is 317 mtrs (1040 ft) long.
Majestic 143,700 gt and the Eclipse 122,00 gt.

When cruising with Majestic Princess we booked a mini-suite at a cost of AUD $264/night for eleven nights.
When cruising with Celebrity Eclipse we booked Aqua Class, which is the next one down from a full suite (similar ranking to the mini-suite of Majestic Princess) at a cost of $343/ night for nine nights.

On Majestic we ate each evening in the Symphony dining room and we were always asked if we wished to share a table. We were happy to do so up to a total of six people, and we met some very interesting people from the USA, Canada as well as Australia.

The Eclipse was different because we were Aqua Class, which entitled us to eat in a dedicated restaurant called Blu.

BLU Restaurant

We had the choice of eating in the main dining room or in Blu.
On our first night at Blu we expected to be given a choice of a table for two or sharing.
We were not given a choice but shown directly to a table for two in an area which had several tables for two. The tables where close enough that we did not have to shout or strain to speak to our neighbours.
The system worked well, and one could tell if a neighbour did not wish to join in a conversation – there was always other tables near.
The advantage of Blu was that we had the same staff every night and they soon got know our preferences, whether it be a particular wine for me or the sugar free tonic water for Maureen.
Maureen had never been able to obtain this type of tonic water on the Majestic. Eating in Blu for breakfast (when at sea) and dinner added that little extra to the cruise, plus the food was good. 


The above pictures show the Eclipse Ocean View Cafe, which is open for early to very late. On port days we would have our breakfast in this area.
The different types of food were spread over a large area but over each food location was a large sign indicating the type of food on offer. 
For example, they had an American Breakfast unit, muesli and fruit unit, Cheese, Lettice and cold meat unit if this was your breakfast taste, and a toast area that had various types of bread black, brown, white, crumpets, croissant, plus a range of marmaladed, various jams and savoury spreads.

The big plus for Maureen was the large choice of gluten free desserts at the Ocean View Cafe.
In the above picture is a just a few of the puddings/cake’s choice of gluten free items. Celebrity had a much larger choice of gluten free cakes, tarts, puddings as well as jellies.
Majestic offered a limited number of individual GF cakes or tarts and a few different jellies.  

To the right of the person in the white shirt is an area which is a self-serve if you wish for tea, coffee, ice water, iced tea and various juices. Staff wandered around with insulated jugs of coffee, tea, water if you did not wish to DIY. 
 Majestic had a similar system for tea or coffee, but not for juices, because they were available during your stroll    


The big difference for me was that with the Eclipse Ocean View I had to stand in the middle and scan all the notices indicating the type of food on offer, whereas Majestic World Fresh Market consisted of a number of walkways that allowed you to stroll down and scan the daily choice.

The crew in attendance on both vessels served the passenger once the food had been chosen.
I think the Majestic system was easier, but it was all a matter of personal choice.       Moonlight Sonata Restaurant.

When at sea we had lunch in this restaurant. Only the balcony area was open for lunch, the main area opened for dinner. 

Majestic Princess had the Allegro restaurant for lunch at sea.

Majestic Princess Allegro Dining room, which had a much warmer atmosphere than Moonlight Sonata on Eclipse.

Overall to choose one vessel over another comes down to personnel choice and ‘atmosphere’. We enjoyed our time in both vessels, so it comes down to a few specific items.

On both vessels the cost per night included gratuities, drink package, and wi-fi.

The wi-fi was very good on both vessels and as cruise lines are required to sell their cruises inclusive of gratuities if the cruise starts and ends in Australia – they were equal.
If a cruise starts in Australia and ends in Singapore the gratuities are shown separate, and you can have certain amount, or all of the gratuities removed if you wish once you are on the ship. Some people prefer to tip individuals for good service.   

The drinks package is a problem for me – I am happy to pay for my drink package, by doing so I am required to pay the same amount for Maureen who does not drink alcohol. 
In both recent cruises the drink package was included in the cost and both cruises had a maximum cost of $12 per drink.
People could pay more to have access to more expensive drinks – the next level on Majestic would increase the $12 value to $22 AUD per drink. 
The Majestic Princess charged any excess over the $12 value in Australian dollars, but Celebrity Eclipse charged the excess in US dollars.
I was asked by a friend for the cost of a bottle of beer on Majestic Princess if I wished to forgo the drinks package and pay for individual drinks – on the Majestic it was AUD $ 8.75, (listed on the Majestic bar menu) I then compared this to the Celebrity Eclipse bar menu 

the picture is not very clear but for the same beer Little Creatures Pale Ale, was $15, but not AUD but USD, which at today’s rate of exchange equals  AUD $22.30 a bottle.
The same beer when bought in Sydney costs me $2.75 each if I buy by a case of twenty-four.

Excuse the pun but this leaves a bad taste in the mouth- but it does encourage people to buy the drinks package.
Both vessels had a maximum of 15 alcoholic drinks in a 24 hour period (midnight to midnight) – which is not a worry because I could not drink that amount even when I was younger.

Once we booked Celebrity Eclipse, we were allocated USD $200 per cabin, which could be spent on anything onboard or excursions, but if not used would be lost. It is not difficult to spend USD$200 even though we could not buy duty free because we were on a domestic cruise.  

In conclusion I think I would pick Princess Cruises over Celebrity Cruises due to the cabin size, the overall ambiance, and that everything is priced in Australian dollars, particularly when on a domestic Australian cruise.

But – there is always a but, – in April we will be cruising in Celebrity Eclipse for a thirteen-night cruise to Fiji & Tong, so much for my conclusion.      


Author: 1944april

Traveled a great deal - about 80 countries - first foreign country I suppose was Wales, which was only 80 miles away from where I was born. Visited each Continent, except Antarctica, and I doubt that it is on my bucket list - too cold. I love Asian food, Australian wine & British beer & trying to entertain by writing.

4 thoughts on “Comparison”

  1. Liked your comments – Not for us – we do not like the big cruise ships, we have cruised with P & O once on a biggish ship 2000 passengers. Since then we have cruised with Regent & Saga both less than 1000 passengers, next cruise is in June on a relatively new Saga ship “Spirit of Adventure” balcony suite 450 sq. ft. All drinks, gratuities & speciality dining included + free pick up & return home from cruise port. More expensive but exceptional quality

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morning Mike, we have sailed with P&O Australia and to be honest if that had been our first experience at cruising we would not have carried on cruising (sounds like a film) – we also like the smaller ship having sailed with Azamara a couple of times, (700 pax), but the problem is that many of the smaller cruise ships are single voyages – e.g SYD to AKL which requires us to fly back to SYD (I have tried to plan a return by cruise ship but it just didn’t work out – flying is no longer on our travel plans for various reasons (mainly health) which is why we aim for SYD/SYD cruises – later in the year we have a booking with Coral Princes (2000 pax) for a circumnavigation of Oz, 28 days, we have sailed SYD/PER via the Great Oz Bite and SYD/DWN but we have not yet joined the two :- o) via Broome.
      The other problem is that Saga do not sail in Oz waters & Regent offers one way to AKL for $18,000/ person (cheapest cabin) and we would have to fly back :- o)
      Thanks for reading and your feedback, cheers Woody


      1. Likewise – we tried P & O Arcadia about 15 years ago – not impressed except for the entertainment, had it been our first experience it would have been our last – no longer the Pacific & Orient, now a bucket shop cruise line. Also as my wife suffered a DVT issue we cannot fly at present hence Saga suits us as all cruises start & end in the U.K. we head to Norway & up to the North Cape in June, almost £1000.00 a day for a suite 😢 cheers Mike


  2. Morning Mike, friends of ours (we met on a Jap cruise some years ago and keep in touch via e-mail) are about to sail with Saga in the next day or so to see the Northern Lights. Odd that I hear about Saga from two different sources in such a short time :- o)
    Maybe you should start a blog about your upmarket travels :o)
    I have heard that P&O UK is much better than P&O Oz – the competition in Europe would have to make P&O UK pull their finger out if they wish to stay in business. Our competition amongst cruise companies is limited due to our small market in comparison. Many cruise companies just pass through (all one way cruises) rather than offering SYD to SYD or MEL to MEL -SYD, MEL, BNE, PER have ships using that State capital as their base.
    Maureen & I have thought of sailing to PER and coming home via train – only a thought at the moment :- o) cheers Woody


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