We have just completed the Baltic Sea cruise aboard the beautiful Celebrity Eclipse. This was another amazing cruise destination highly recommended to everyone.This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity and we are still big fans of this company.
We arrived at Southampton port around 11AM and were seated at the Ocean View buffet at noon. Boarding was smooth and painless. We appreciate the two lines upon boarding for those who wish to have pictures taken and those who don`t. This is an improvement, thank you. We were again greeted with champagne, -a nice touch- and Welcomes from the numerous staff members.
Our room was ready shortly after lunch. We loved our room- a spacious balcony stateroom, with a sofa, comfortable balcony, large bathroom with glass door shower. They provide body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, cotton balls hairdryer and lots of storage.The bed and pillows were very comfortable. Everything for a lovely stay.
The staff was truly amazing- friendly, hardworking, helpful and courteous. We loved them all and appreciated their attentive service.
We ate breakfast in the Ocean View buffet every morning- great selection of fruits, cereals, eggs to order and so much more. We did however did not wish to pay extra for tomato juice or fresh-squeezed orange juice. This should be included.
We ate dinner in the beautiful Sonata Dining Room- the menu was always fabulous-something for everyone. Nothing negative to say about this fabulous venue. We did not go to any specialty dining venues as we felt the main dining room already provided us with extraordinary dining pleasure. We enjoyed our dining experience so much the first evening that we asked to keep the same table and waiters for the entire cruise. We would like to highlight the outstanding service of Suliana and his assistant Ghosh.(table 436) They were both very professional, competent, caring, always with a great sense of humour. We had a great time with them.
Entertainment: this is where we felt was hit and miss. The orchestra was outstanding as well as the singers and dancers. First show Edge was too long and mediocre choreography. Less is best in this case. The dancers seemed out of breath near the end- one solid hour of dancing is way too long. The musical venues on board were all fine except for the Spitfires- This band needs serious practicing. We enjoyed most of the shows except for a few Guests jugglers/comedians. And Sorry but Sinan the cruise director was a pain to listen to. Too much giggling and crazy talking on stage. This mature audience did not care much for him. Maybe with a younger crowd….. However the other guests were amazing: Peng Fei Su, Mike Doyle, Kateryna Sychva, Jane Curry, Jon Courtenay and many more. Bravo Celebrity for bringing these great talents on board.
Note: the audio volume in the theatre was often much too loud- many guests commented on this- please bring the volume down, especially during the pre-show time.
The ship was very beautiful-the grand foyer was truly something to behold- everything was clean, sparkling, and well maintained. We enjoyed the Solarium on cooler days. We never felt crowded, even on sea days- guests spread out to various lounges etc…
The pools and hot tubs were always very clean and of perfect temperature. So much fun!!!!
PORTS: a very short review of our days at port. We usually visit on our own. Here goes:
Copenhagen: there is a new dock where large ships now anchor- about 6 km from city center. You must reserve shuttles or HOHO from the ship. We were not prepared for this- in the end we did a Highlight tour of the City. What a beautiful large city! A mix of old and new. Walkable but spread out city. Great port!
Stockholm: one of our favorite ports. We walked 25 min to the town center, and from there at least 4 hours checking out all the narrow side streets and the various areas. Royal Palace, Parliament Blgs, bridges etc. Everything was beautiful, clean, with so much character. We took a HOHO boat, which dropped us later back to the ship. A super enjoyable port.
St Petersburg: A Jewel of a City-literally- Gold everywhere, it seemed. We booked a 2 day Highlight tour with SPB. The best idea ever! They take care of Passports. Look at their website for the tour description. We were amazed at this city, so many gold filled churches and museums, statues, parks, bridges, gorgeous buildings along the canal. A city rich in history. We so appreciated the opportunity to visit St Pete. Highly recommended port.
Tallin, Estonia: One of our favorite ports. (it rained all day). We walked to Ganla Stan -Old Town- and visited all recommended attractions. It was like going back in time. This medieval town is easily walkable and super enjoyable. Wear comfortable shoes.
Other ports: Not too much there.
We are totally pleased with this cruise and Celebrity. We usually choose our cruises according to the itinerary and hopefully the next one will be with this company again. Kudos to Celebrity!