After landing in Amsterdam, we took the train (15 minute ride)which conveniently took us right to the port and after a few minutes walk we arrived at the Constellation's berth. We were expeditiously processed through check-in and shown to our ocean-view stateroom. My husband was extremely concerned that he'd get seasick since this was our first cruise so we ordered a stateroom on the second deck. When we put out to sea, neither my husband nor I realized we had left shore until only after I had opened the curtains and saw open sea! Happily, throughout the whole cruise neither one of us felt a thing and our cruise was seasick-free.
Our stateroom attendant catered to our desires including extra towels and maintaining the room expeditiously. We were definitely pampered in a way we could really get used to!
The sea days were filled with all sorts of activities and we were rarely in the room, from lectures on the boat's navigational systems and ecology to the fitness center and spa we were kept happily busy all day long. Although one could just hang out with a good book next to the pool and relax without doing a thing.
The ports of Stockholm, Helsinki, Talinn and Copenhagen were quite interesting but we felt didn't need any organized tours since it was possible to see the important places by ourselves. The only port we did feel it was necessary to book an organized tour was in St. Petersburg. Since the Russians are known for their bureaucracy we needed someone to organize our visa and other necessities. We didn't take the ship's port excursions since we felt they were overpriced and didn't cover many of the places we could see with an independent tour company. Also the ship's excursions covered only half-days for both days we were in port and the independent company took us for a full day excursion on both days for much cheaper. We also went to see the ballet, Swan Lake, at the famous Alexandrinsky Theater which was of a very high quality, although the Bolshoi didn't perform it. They were away on tour at the time. This the indepenent company also organized for us.
Of course, the dining experience was something we had never encountered and the quality of the food was very high, although the chicken and fish dishes I found to be quite dry. The rest of the cuisine, especially in the Seaside Cafe, catered to our preferences of salads and healthy eating, although we couldn't pass up the desserts and visits to the ice cream bar!
As we pulled into Amsterdam we realized that our dream vacation was coming to an end, so I ran up and got a brochure featuring other cruises offered by Celebrity so we could get a head start in planning our next cruise!
The disembarkation process was very smooth and we were able to carry our own luggage off the ship and take the short walk back down to the train station and on to the airport for our flight home.