WE traveled on the Eclipse on the June 22 sailing. Prior to departing we spent 4 days in London and then used Mega train for our trip from Victoria Station to Southampton. The cruise port is a 10 minute walk from the train station but we found another couple on the train to share the cab to the port. As we travel with just a carry on suitcase transporting our cases is not an issue.
Embarkation: We had not been checking our e-mail so we missed the notification from Celebrity that the ship would be undergoing a deep cleaning to eliminate the "Bug" that had plagues the earlier sailing. They were so efficient and greeted us telling us they could take our bags and would provide a shuttle to the West Quay Shopping center where we could spend some time prior to boarding later in the afternoon. The return coach was at 3 p.m. and we had a quick processing and were on the ship at 4:00 and unpacking our things and stowing our small suitcases under the bed! Well done Celebrity for handling what could have been a difficult situation.
Cabin: This was our first time in Aqua Class and it was lovely. WE really enjoyed dining in Blu! The Balcony stateroom was just like all our other balcony's on past sailings. WE had just been on the Eclipse in the fall so we were quite familiar with her layout. WE really do love the Solstice class ships.
Bruges, Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallin, Copenhagen
Bruges: A lovely city and I am glad it is on the itinerary. WE took the ships transport into town "Bruges on Your Own" which provided a brief walking tour where we were left off to meet our guide later in the day. Celebrity does a great job on their tours the only down side is the number of people. WE prefer small groups or independent tours. Since it was a Sunday and there was limited taxi availability we chose this excursion.
Warnemunde/Berlin: WE chose to take an excursion through Alla Tours for the 12 hour trip to Berlin and Back. This was a very long day but worth it as we don't know when we will ever be back. If you go with the mindset that it will be a long day you can just go with the flow. The one exception is that the rest stops along the highway are long due to having to queue. Advice: get of the bus fast to get in line! or wait till you get back to the ship! In spite of a day full of rain it was a great tour.
Stockholm: WE chose to use the Hop on Hop off bus as our transportation in Stockholm which gave us time to see the sights on our own and stop for lunch with friends from Cruise Critic.
Helsinki: WE used the public tram which runs very close to the pier . The Tram took us into central Helsinki where we spent the rest of the day following a walking tour we found on Trip Advisor. Of course we got a little lost but had fun in the meantime.
St. Petersburg, We booked the 2 day grand tour through Alla Tours as it seemed to be a very comprehensive tour of the city. Indeed it was! Our guide was great and we must have walked 6 miles on the first and 8 miles on the second day!
Tallin: Again we used Alla Tours but could have easily done the tour on our own. Our guide was great.
Copenhagen: WE walked 11 miles that day exploring the city on our own with another couple from our Cruise Critic group! It was a great day and we were really happy to have a few days at sea before heading back to Southampton.
All in all it was a great cruise with excellent Cabin Stewards and the attention we received in Blu was spectacular!