Just arrived back from the Baltic Cruise with Celebrity Eclipse.
The ship was excellent, we had a 2B balcony stateroom on deck 7 the stateroom was a good size with excellent facilities which included a safe and a 32" interactive TV.The stateroom had both US and European electricity points. The bathroom was a descent size and the shower was easily accessible.
The cabin and restaurant staff were very good and were always polite and helpful.
The standard of food in the main restaurants and the buffet was of a very high standard. The only problem with the buffet was that at certain times the choice was very limited due to menu changes e.g. Changing from Lunch to High Tea.
The Entertainment and activity programmes were well organised and the Theatre shows were very professional.
The ship itself was awesome and lived up to all our expectations.
We did not do any excursions with the ship. We did the 2 day St Petersburg Excursion independently with the Russian company Alla we booked this on-line the cost was 300 Dollars each. They did not require any deposit and you do not pay a penny until the second day of the excursion in Russia . The 2 day excursion was the highlight of the holiday and went without a hitch. I would recommend anyone going to St Petersburg to use Alla.
Overall the Cruise was fantastic but I do have one issue with Celebrity.
The Guest relations officer held a meeting for those passengers going on independent St Petersburg Tours (not booked with the ship). The meeting was totally negative, we were told that no independent tourist would be allowed to leave the ship before all the ships excursions had disembarked even though we had a specific meeting time with our tour operator. We were given horror stories about the problems caused by Russian immigration. Rather than helping the situation the meeting created anxiety and caused a great deal of stress. It is my opinion that the purpose of the exercise was to scare people into switching to a ships excursion rather than going independently.
In reality we had no problems at all, we disembarked on time to meet our tour representative and Russian Immigration is no different from that at any airport.
Please do not be put of doing an independent tour