We live just outside Southampton so it was really easy for us. No limit on the luggage and easy check in at Southampton Cruise Terminal. 1st cruise for us aside from a Nile cruise and decided to go with Celebrity for convenience. We purchased the all inclusive package and paid the tips upfront, tips £220 or thereabouts for 2 persons - the all inclusive package is limited to certain drinks but so long as you only choose from the options in the package you will not have a large bill at the end of your holiday.
Our room 6303 had a balcony which was really nice, and as at the back bigger than the standard balcony. Lovely decoration, comfortable bed and we had plenty of storage space.
Main restaurant Moonlight Sonata - if you elect to pay gratuities up front you can have flexible dining option which means you can eat when you like, - if you do not you and elect to have fixed dining you will have to choose an early dining option or a late dining option. If you are flexible you can sit at different tables if you are fixed you will likely dine at the same table at a fixed time. Waiter service and you can have anything from Snails and frog legs to fillet steak.
The Oceanview Cafe is the main daytime restaurant and is self service - the food is very varied and very good.
Large indoor swimming pool, gym and two outdoor pools - bowling green on the top deck and glass blowing on top deck which is really fun to watch.
Great entertainment in the Theatre, lots of shops and art gallery, Casino for those who fancy a flutter.
Ports of call were Brugge - bus to town, Warnemunde lovely sea front town, (tour from here to Berlin) St Petersburg, Tallin - city of two halves - old and new, Stockholm,- (you need Krona here) take the bus into the city it is a very long walk, Helsinki - bus into city - lots to see , Copenhagen - little mermaid statue is within walking distance of cruise ship, and home.
Would recommend the trips as they are very reasonable - you can't go to Russia without a visa but don't need one if you go on a cruise excursion. We did our own thing aside from Helsinki bus cost approx $12 return each and St Petersburg. For St Petersburg you can get a 2 day block trip, but they are long days and you do spend time eating and drinking as part of the trip. We took 3 half day excursions to The Hermitage Museum, Catherine Palace, and the Cathedral tour, visiting the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood,St Isaacs, and St Nicholas Naval, each Cathedral different and included travel and entry. The of our 3 tours was about £240 for both of us. A safe option and we have returned with some fantastic pictures as well as the memory.
Plenty of bars on board and you can be as busy or as relaxed as you wish, we had a wonderful time, saw some fantastic places and would have no hesitation in recommending Celebrity Cruises. We will deffinately go on the ship again - we loved it - worth the money.