Embarkation and debarkation in Southampton were excellent. Could not ask for better.
The ports were great although the weather was poor in Stockholm and Helsinki. Berlin and St Petersburg were our favourites. Weather is beyond anyone's control so you take what you get without complaint.
We did a 5 city package with Alla Tours. It included Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn. Alla Tours were excellent and I highly recommend them to anyone. From the time of booking in October 2013 until the actual taking of the tours all of my interaction with them by e mail was top notch, very professional and helpful. Also, they did not ask for any money until the third tour, which was in St. Petersburg. It is indeed rare to get such exceptional service. So, if anyone is thinking of booking with them, go ahead, and do it in full confidence.
Now to the experience on the ship. My biggest complaint was constant noise. On deck 3 mid ship there was almost always something going on, often as not it was a band or singer, and it was just too loud. The sound carries all the way up the open centre portion to the 14th floor and it was still too loud even there. On each deck, there is seating around this open area and on the upper decks it looks like it was meant for quiet reading etc. Not a chance, it is just too loud. They have moved the Captain's Club representative to the 7th floor just by the elevators. That poor man has my sympathy having to sit there hour after hour enduring the racket from deck 3. How he can conduct business there is beyond me. Because of the cold weather, seeking a quiet spot on deck was not on, and of course it was too cold to spend any time on our balcony.
The food in the main dining room was certainly good but it was not the culinary experience one is led to believe it will be. In fact, some nights it was quite ordinary. The Tuscan grill was excellent, Murano had good food but it was a bit too pretentious for me, and Qsine, well we had been there once before on a previous cruise and I guess the novelty has worn off.
The entertainment was sometimes excellent and sometimes quite poor to the point where many were walking out. My first Celebrity cruise was in January 2011 on the Constellation and there, the entertainment was superb every night (it was 14 day as well). Since then we have been back on the Constellation once, on the Infinity once and on the Eclipse twice and i think in those 4 cruises we have witnessed a steady decline in the quality of the entertainment.
And for the third time in 5 Celebrity cruises we experienced the Norovirus - not personally, it was on the ship. While everyone appreciates the extraordinary efforts the crew makes to keep passengers healthy, it does make for long lineups in the buffet area and elsewhere. It seems to me that Norovirus is something that cruise ships will continue to experience regularly, and that being the case, maybe they should be looking at ways to deal with it without such inconvenience to the passengers. It was very noticeable this time as it struck on day 3 and the heightened alert continued until the end of the cruise.
My wife had need of the medical centre due to excruciating pain in her arm and shoulder. They were very reluctant to prescribe anything stronger than ibuprofen, although after 3 visits, each time with a long wait, they did prescribe something stronger. She had a rash on her arm, and the pain, but they were unable to diagnose and treat the problem. One visit to a doctor upon arrival home produced a diagnosis of shingles. Seems to me that any doctor should have been able to figure that out. It causes me to wonder about the quality of medical treatment on the ship. Best advise I can give is don't get sick on a ship.
So that's it. Great itinerary, great ports, superb service by Alla tours, experience on the ship not so good. We will probably look at another cruise line next time.