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Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by Demelzabunny: Excellent overview of Baltic cities and St. Petersburg


Demelzabunny
1 Review
Member Since 2012
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 5.0
Service 5.5
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

Compare Prices on Celebrity Constellation Baltic & Northern Europe Cruises

Excellent overview of Baltic cities and St. Petersburg

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Baltic & Northern Europe
Embarkation: Amsterdam

My husband and I took this cruise to Scandinavia this past August 12 - 24. It was our first cruise, and generally, we enjoyed it very much. The accommodations were excellent, as well as the service. The entertainment was generally very good, and we especially appreciated the pre-disembarkation prep talks given by Linda; she was excellent! We personally could have done w/out the "Staffs' Got Talent" show, which I understand is a fixture on cruises; they didn't! Tops in the entertainment for us was the indomitable Perry Grant. Don't pay attention to those naysayers; they don't know what they're talking about. This guy's humor is a mite sophisticated, so if you don't get it...all I can say is, after my husband and I discovered his show in Michael's Club, we made sure to return for almost ALL of his shows. He is very talented and absolutely hysterical. When we disembarked in Amsterdam, and I spent 3 days listening to people speaking Dutch, I must have looked like a nut, because I kept More cracking up remembering Perry's rendition of "speaking Dutch" (the Dutch passengers aboard were hysterical, too!).

The only thing I was surprised about and disappointed with was the uneven quality of the food. I know the staff is preparing food for thousands of people, but I still expected the buffet to have better-tasting food. I mean, how difficult is it to make good-tasting bread? Or decent tuna fish salad? The food in the dining room and Tuscan Grille specialty restaurant was generally very good, but here again, I was disappointed with the desserts. They were generally just "OK," and sometimes not good at all. Really awful we're the chocolate chip cookies (the REAL ones), also not something you need Michelin stars to be able to execute well. And I was particularly disappointed w/some of the food prepared on Russian Night. While the coulibiac and Russian-style potato salad were pretty good, the hot borscht and beef stroganoff were inedible. I actually offered my easy and delicious hot borscht recipe to the head chef; he said he wanted it and his asst chef said they'd come to the dining room that night (the last) to look for me and get it, but they didn't. I felt bad that all those people had had such a wonderful time in St. Petersburg, but then weren't able to experience the simple but delicious pleasure of these Russian classics.

The other thing I'd probably wish for is more shopping time (at least 2 hours) built into the tours. I also very much enjoyed Karen Dodd's nature presentations, but would have preferred the trivia sessions to be more general (geography, history, maybe about the ports of call), and they would have been more enjoyable if small prizes were given out after each session. And come on, it was SO ANNOYING that they kept trying to sell us stuff and that we didn't have free wi-FI, but from what I understand, this is typical of a cruise at this price range.


I liked this port of call because it really looks like a medieval town (I'm a history buff; this may not be everyone's cup off tea), and the shopping is fabulous! A tour really isn't necessary; it's small enough for a self-guided tour. Ate lunch at Olde Hanse, where the servers wear medieval garb, and the place is only lit w/candles! The food was very good, too. Buy sweaters, natively-made linen wraps, etc. The prices are fair. And we were able to return to the ship when we were finished (well, if the truth be told, I wasn't finished, but would I ever have been?!) by shuttle bus.
Tour guide was fabulous, saw the important sites, palaces, etc., and had oodles of time for shopping! The idea of see stuff, then hang out in the city center for a few hours and return on a shuttle bus is a terrific way to combine sightseeing and shopping; I would have liked ALL the tours to be this way. Tried traditional Danish smorgasbord; expensive but delicious! Talk about wonderful bread! Danish people exceptionally nice (pretty much everyone in every port of call was nice). Less


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Cabin review: Celebrity Constellation 9812

Plenty of closet space, comfy bed, nice terrace, quiet, but could have been a foot or so wider.

Port and Shore Excursions


City Tour

(4)
This tour is very long, of course, because one has to ride from Warnemunde, the port on the Baltic where the ship docks, all the way to Berlin. The ride was over 3 hours each way, but it was pretty comfortable and pleasant, and we were provided w/snacks both ways. This is a good overview of the city and one sees the main sights, but we didn't see the Reichstag as promised; that was a little disappointing. In addition, one doesn't get much time at each stop to see stuff; it's more like, get off the bus (excuse me, I mean "coach"), take a picture or 2 and hop back on or we'll leave you there! We did have some time at the end of the tour to shop (my passion), but we were pretty hungry at that point - it was like 4 in the afternoon - so we wasted time eating (couldn't find my favorite German dish, sauerbraten; German tourism, are you listening?), and then had very little time for shopping. What we saw of Berlin just didn't meet my expectations. It was interesting to a point. Most disappointing was our tour guide, Berndt, who thought he was funny (he wasn't); he was kind of smarmy. Of special mention was our tour escort, the young man, Tomas, who accompanied us from Warnemunde and hung w/us all day, then returned w/us. He was very nice and concerned w/our comfort.

Tour guide was fabulous, and had oodles of time for shopping! The idea of see stuff, then hang out in the city center for a few hours and return on a shuttle bus is a terrific way to combine sightseeing and shopping; I would have liked ALL the tours to be this way. Tried traditional Danish smorgasbord; expensive but delicious! Talk about wonderful bread! Danish people exceptionally nice (pretty much everyone in every port of call was nice). Saw the palaces, harbor, city center, only entrance to Tivoli (one doesn't have enough time to see the important stuff and do Tivoli, unfortunately, if one only has one day in Copenhagen)and canals.

Excellent tour guide; her English was amazing, and she knew a lot of interesting stuff. We had a good overview of the city, but didn't see the inside of the Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox church (one of the main sites of Helsinki). The Rock Church was interesting, and we saw a museum/park made up of historical dwellings of different types from all over Finland (I thought it was interesting, 'cause I'm a history buff; my husband found it less so). Hardly had any shopping time - very upsetting in this stylish and beautiful city, that had lots of interesting stuff in the shop windows!
Read 334 Helsinki Reviews

This is a beautiful historical city. We went on our own 'cause we speak the lingo; don't do it if you don't. This city is not so easy to navigate for people who are not on a tour or don't speak Russian. We saw the Church on the Spilled Blood (overrated), Nikolskaya Church (very beautiful and a real, functioning church), walked around on the Nevsky Prospect, shopped (I was happy again), ate lunch at the cafe at the Yevropeyskaya Hotel (expensive but good), took a canal ride (de rigueur), and visited the Yusupov Palace (very interesting, but went as "Russians," and got yelled at by the old lady police who prowl the place, for talking pictures and not having paid for the privilege; we didn't know we were supposed to!). We'd seen the Hermitage, Peterhof, St. Isaac's, before; go on a tour to see these, they're amazing. Don't buy amber here: the amber in Tallinn is cheaper and nicer (get a certificate of authenticity if you buy any, in Tallinn, too). The amber in St. Petersburg is WAY overpriced. By the way: don't expect to be able to see the Mariinsky Theater any time soon; the theater is all boarded up and undergoing renovations, but it's THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THEATER I'VE EVER SEEN, so try and visit St. Petersburg in the winter (that's when the Kirov Ballet is there performing; in the summer, they're always away on tour) after the theater's been refurbished. The Russians always take forever to renovate: the Church on the Spilled Blood took 20 years!

This tour was a good overview: we saw the City Hall (site of the Nobel Prize ceremony and dinner), the Vasa Museum (17th cen. warship) and Gamla Stan (the Old Town). Our tour guide was excellent and we had some shopping time at the end of the tour, so I was happy.

(5.5)
I liked this port of call because it really looks like a medieval town (I'm a history buff; this may not be everyone's cup off tea), and the shopping is fabulous! A tour really isn't necessary; it's small enough for a self-guided tour. Ate lunch at Olde Hanse, where the servers wear medieval garb, and the place is only lit w/candles! The food was very good, too. Buy amber, sweaters, hats, natively-made linen garments, etc. The prices are fair. And we were able to return to the ship when we were finished (well, if the truth be told, I wasn't finished, but would I ever have been?!) by shuttle bus.
Read 350 Tallinn Reviews

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