Embarkation at Southampton was very well organised and we were on board before midday.
We stayed in Aqua Class accommodation which was of a reasonable size, the best feature being the shower which I would love to have brought home with me. My wife loved the choice of pillows and the comfortable bed. On the downside the majority of Aqua Class cabins are situated beneath the substantial overhang of Deck 14. It is difficult to understand why Celebrity would locate the premium cabins where the balconies receive no sunshine. We did however know this before we sailed.
The staff were excellent and provided good, friendly service everywhere. For the most part we dined in Blu, the restaurant exclusively for Aqua Class passengers and this was of a good standard. The restaurant is very well managed by the Assistant Maître D. We opted one evening for Q’sine and thoroughly enjoyed this unique experience and would like to compliment the staff on the way in which they promote the “culinary journey”.
The ports of call were all very interesting, with most exceeding expectations. In Germany we chose to stay in Warnemunde rather than take the 3 hour coach trip to Berlin. What a lovely town this is with an attractive waterfront and centre. Listening to other passengers it would seem that the trip to Berlin was very tiring and that we made the right choice. In St Petersburg one of the excursions we selected was a boat trip on the river and canals and would recommend this to anyone.
Disembarkation was as smooth as boarding. Our time was 8:00 am and Blu opened early so we had a leisurely breakfast and had loaded the car and set off home by 8:30 am.
Do I have any complaints? Yes, the price of drinks is extortionate. A bottle of British beer is $8 and a glass of decent wine is over $9, all plus the 15% service charge. We chose to buy the premium drink package and therefore didn’t have to worry. Excursion prices seem very high for what they are and if Celebrity want to be a 5 star cruise line then why do they charge for shuttle buses?