First time on Celebrity. I thought it was a step up from RCCL, but was proved wrong. I will start with the good. The ports were great and so was the weather. Boarding was very smooth and organized. Our flight got in early in the morning but we were allowed to board at 11 am. The service was cold and indifferent. It was the 3rd day before someone besides our stateroom attendant said hello. At times I think I was just being ignored. The food was very hit or miss. There were 3 nights were the main course was very good. 2 nights where at least 2 main courses were inedible. 3 nights the menu was uninspiring and we did not dine in the main dinning room. Sunday Brunches were very disappointing. Sushi was offered on certain nights but it was large chunks of rice with paper thin fish on top. I wish they would make good sushi and have it only 1 or 2 times than bad sushi every night.
Shopping on board is never a bargain but they set a new standard. I saw a nice russian box at their sale. It was very nice and $1400. Same box was for sale at the Hermitage for less than 800. I bought it and compared them, thought they are hand painted and had minor differences they were of the same quality. Also for sale were the Sarah Faberge eggs at $3500. Same exact egg was noticed at the Tower of London gift shop for 1550 pounds or around $2300.
Information on ports for independent travels was often wrong. Shopping recommendations were also very misleading. I found advertised specials at shops were often higher than other stores. In fact at the highly recommended crystal shop in Stockholm prices listed in dollars where 10-15% higher than the Swedish prices underneath. Supposedly these prices included no VAT but were still higher than the price for the locals.
While the stops at Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, Oslo and St Petersburg where wonderful and the weather great we had a good time. However, I can not believe Celebrity receives the marks it does. It was not nearly as nice as any of the 4 RCCL ships I have sailed.