On Site: Our Deluxe Veranda Suite Onboard Scenic Eclipse II

If clients are expecting pampering service, modern ship decor and amenity-laden perks in a luxury expedition ship experience, that's likely what they'll find in the new 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse II. 

Operated by Scenic Group, this new oceangoing Discovery Yacht, a sister to Scenic Eclipse, debuted earlier this spring. Luxury Travel Advisor is among the first publications to see and experience the new ship; we're sailing this week on the ship in the Mediterranean.

While the two yachts are essentially identical, there are several major enhancements or changes. We'll detail those in the next few days. First, though, as we're still aboard, let's look at our suite accommodations: No. 712, a Deluxe Veranda Suite. Here are our tidbits about what's in the suite, what we liked or didn't, and photos that illustrate the spaces. 

Deluxe Veranda Suite, No. 712

Living room area of Scenic Eclipse II's #712, Veranda Suite
The bedroom area of Scenic Eclipse II's Deluxe Veranda Suite leads to the living room and exterior balcony. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Overall, our perspective is that this suite is quite wide for a Deluxe Veranda Suite. It offers some 340-plus square feet of space for guests to spread out. The "feel" of the suite is also calming. We'd attribute that to its spaciousness, clean lines, white linens, light and dark gray soft goods and natural light streaming through the wider-than-usual sliding glass doors. 

Walking through the door, the guest will walk along a short corridor (storage on one side, the bathroom on the other). That leads to the suite space which opens up on one side with a king bed and beyond to the living room area. Within that living room, guests will find a small couch, a large, round, black-glass table, and two fabric-covered stools—one is small, the other much larger. (The larger stool actually can be positioned right up to the couch to create an interior lounger of sorts. So, one guest seated on the couch can put up his or her feet and stretch out while "soaking in" scenic views, reading or watching TV.)

Speaking of the TV, this Deluxe Veranda Suite has a massive, wall-mounted HDTV directly across from the couch (see photo below). It's also viewable from the bed, as the TV pivots slightly to face inward if so desired. 

Massive wall-mounted HDTV system and elongated desk/counter on Scenic Eclipse II's #712, a Veranda Suite.
The massive HDTV screen graces a living room wall. It's adjacent to the suite's workspace. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

The infotainment system offers guests a slew of movies, TV shows and documentaries, all complimentary to view. Guests will also find the daily program, messages, their account information and more here. 

As for the veranda itself, you won't find a slew of vertical bars as on many cruise ship balconies. Instead there is a solid, low barrier across the length of the veranda, plus a plexiglass wall that extends upward to the main horizontal bar across the balcony. We liked that there is some open viewing (again, no vertical bars) beneath that horizontal bar, not just what's expected above it. The entire veranda, thus, seemed more open than many we've experienced in the past few years. 

The wider-than-typical balcony and sliding glass doors in #712 on Scenic Eclipse II.
The spacioius veranda of No. 712, a Deluxe Veranda Suite on Scenic Eclipse II.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

One of our favorite things? A button on the wall adjacent to the sliding glass doors lowers a privacy shade down a wall track. Yes, there are sheer drapes that can be pulled—but we enjoyed the feature. These blackout curtains have helped us sleep in on certain days. (Not having a slew of announcements over the hall PA system helps in that regard, too.)

Good to know: The suites on this ship are designed with more acoustical protection/noise control than on many ships. Thus, we never heard people in other suites. It was a very cocooning, private suite experience. 

Multipurpose Space

Partially within the living area but mostly in the bedroom area is an elongated table-like surface. On one side, it can serve as a makeup table, given that a vertical mirror rises on the wall here (see photo below). The rest of the surface makes a roomy writing or computer work space. The phone is also located here; buttons are easily identifiable for everything from room service to guest services, housekeeping and so on. 

Just behind the flat tabletop surface, guests will find a shallow, elongated drop-down space. It’s home to a box of tissues, as well as binoculars and Quietvox tour equipment for guest use on the cruise. In addition, the drop-down space has multiple types of ports—one USB, one 110-volt port for U.S. plugs and two 220-volt ports for E.U./international plugs.

Desk/workspace/make-up surface in #712, Scenic Eclipse II.
The multipurpose workspace (writing/computer desk, makeup area) in Suite No. 712. Three drawers provide storage space. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

We liked the three desk-style drawers directly under the work surface. One we used for makeup and personal items, another for computer cords and adapters storage, and the third for personal papers. 

Bedroom Area

Opposite the writing/work surface area is the king-sized bed, which has two, small end tables on both sides. Above those are wall-mounted USB ports; so, we were nicely able to plug in our phone at night here. There is also one port for a U.S. three-pronged plug. Plus, there are many switches for lighting, including a master switch to shut them all off once you're in bed. 

Storage-wise, those end tables have two drawers and the table's top surface is the spot to position a glass of water or phone at night. Guests also can pull over a personal reading light. One nice design element? Two elongated lights rise from the end tables to the ceiling (as seen in the photo below).

Scenic Eclipse II's #712, Veranda Suite, has a king-sized bed with plush bedding.
The bedroom area of No. 712, Deluxe Veranda Suite, Scenic Eclipse II (Photo by Susan J. Young)

The bed itself has a sumptuous mattress, and, as a result, we slept exceptionally well. Four pillows (one softer than the other) also grace the bed, along with a plush duvet and soft cotton linens. That said, the duvet proved too hot for us the first night aboard, so we asked our cabin stewardess to remove it; she did and positioned the suite's living room throw (a blanket) and a sheet on the bed instead. That was a perfect solution.

A nice touch? We moved two of the bed pillows to the couch to provide more back support. Talk about proactive service. We went out to breakfast, returned later in the afternoon and, presto, the team had brought in two more pillows for the bed, so we didn't have to keep moving them back and forth.

Amenities Cabinet

Adjacent to the desk area is a tall cabinet, which has a front that's a full-length mirror. Coincidentally, there are many other mirrors in various spots around this suite, too.

The long cabinet door opens to reveal a number of creature comforts. First is the mini-fridge stocked with favorite items. We asked for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for our cruise, and the butler brought and uncorked it, tucking it away in the mini-fridge. It was relaxing to enjoy a glass of wine pre-dinner on our veranda while admiring the Spanish port views. 

Light colored couch, round black table and two upholstered stools in the living area of #712, Scenic Eclipse II.
The souch and coffee table in the living area portion of the suite. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

In this same tall cabinet, guests will also find a small Illy coffee machine, coffee pods and tea bags (English Breakfast, Earl Gray, and 1837 TWG Tea). In a adjacent drawer are two cups and saucers.

One couple sailing on our cruise told us that they found the coffee set-up a challenge to access. Yes, pouring water into the rear of the machine essentially required pulling the tray with the coffee maker out beyond the cabinet. So, we see their point. Perhaps the line might consider adding a slide-out shelf for easier access to the machine.   

This closet also has two bottles of drinking water (nicely refilled daily by the butler) and also a selection of glassware. 

Storage and Closet Space

This suite does not have a walk-in closet, so here’s the lineup of what you will find:

Moving toward the door is a large vertical section of five open shelves. Next, guests will discover a large, vertical cabinet door (narrow width inside, though, so there's little storage). It holds two life jackets, plus two cloth survival-kit bags. Thus, the storage available to guests in this one cabinet is limited to small, vertical cubby holes for storing small items.

Directly across from the bathroom, however, are two tall vertical cabinet doors. Here's where guests will discover their “hanging” storage space for clothes. One door opens to reveal a closet for long clothing items. Inside here, too, are two fluffy robes for guest use, slippers, an umbrella, laundry bags and more. The other door opens to space for some shorter hanging items, plus three large drawers and a large, personal safe.The safe is easy to operate and capable of handling a tablet or small laptop. 

From our perspective, the overall storage space in  No. 712 was acceptable, but, at the same time, not over-the-top roomy.

Suite Bathroom

Scenic Eclipse II bathroom in #712, Veranda Suite.
(Photo by Susan J. Young)

Guests step up (one step) into the bathroom, which includes an elongated single sink, toilet and large walk-in shower. That shower has a large rainforest fixture in the ceiling, plus a hand-held spray option, too. 

There's also a sitting stool in this bathroom. It's attractive as a decor/style element with the bath mat draped across its top. Better yet, it's useful, too—doubling as a waterproof, shower-chair seat.

In addition, large mirrored doors over the sink open to reveal a good amount of storage for toiletries, makeup, shaving supplies and so on.

The sink itself has a small removable slab (just under the rolled up washcloths seen in the accompanying photo) elevated from the sink surface a tad by its lower structure. Frankly, we couldn’t figure it out on our own but the housekeeper and butler said it was for use as a shelf. So, it seems it's can be a slightly elevated surface within the sink itself—perhaps to put make-up or shaving supplies on—while the guest is using the sink.

Parting Thoughts

We liked our Deluxe Veranda Suite, No. 712, very much. We found it quite livable, well-appointed and large in feel (given the openness and wide sliding glass doors). If you like modern decor with clean lines in suite design, you'll likely enjoy this suite.

Plus, it was well-appointed with a good range of plugs and amenities. And the bedding was exceptional, from our anecdotal perspective. 

Could it be improved? Yes, in two small ways.

We'd like to see a slide-out shelf for that coffeemaker. Most of all, though, we'd like to see one additional upholstered chair in the living room, positioned across from the couch. Right now, there are two upholstered stools with no backs, plus the one chair that we'd describe as more of a desk chair than a comfortable living area chair. Plus, when a guest is using that chair at the elongated desk/make-up surface, then it has to be continually moved back and forth to position it as a living room seat. Since there is a ton of space within the area near the TV, an extra chair could be easily accommodated.

Overall, we are truly enjoying this attractive suite—a spacious enclave with good amenities. Again, the lack of noise from suite-to-suite is noticeable and a big plus. We truly do feel that we're sailing in a luxurious, private yacht accommodation.

Even better: We've had excellent housekeeping and butler services, provided by lovely, eager-to-please crew members from South Africa and the Philippines. 

Stay tuned for our look at Scenic Eclipse II's new spaces later this week. 

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