We just arrived from a 12 day cruise from the Baltics and it was such a wonderful experience. I would have rated it a perfect 5 except for the fiasco at the airport in claiming our luggage at the Schipole sidewalk.
First let me say that the Cruise Director, Sue Denning, is perfect for her job. Her entire staff were truly professionals. Ms Denning is the Star of Constellation! She loves her job and that joy emanates in everything she does. The moment we boarded our planes for the good ole USA, we already miss her. Another person we love is Guess Relation Manager Jann Ramos. She must have a magic wand in her hand as problems get resolved the moment she hears about it. Of coarse, the entertainers on board were world class! I say this of Perry who had us laughing at the edge of our seats with various renditions of Judy Garland songs, etc. I say this of our favorite country singer, Jeffrey Ang whose young voice echo the voices of Johnny Cash and other great country singers and I say this to the great dance band of Filipino Musicians embodied in "Great Ideas" that played daily at the Rendezvous Lounge. We always had something to do and the entire staff were simply professional in every way. Our Cabin Stewart, Simon, was always there when we needed him. Kudos to our Waiter, Sweetash for India and his assistant Michael from the Philippines. Our dining experience was always an event due to the experienced international staff of our Executive Chef Paulus from Greece. We already booked our next cruise on Celebrity next year!
We were glad we read the reviews in Cruise Critic on outside tour companies. We chose Denrus here and also for St. Petersburg. They were excellent. Our professional tour guide in Berlin, Peter, was extremely knowledgeable. The included lunch with all kinds of German Sausages was an experience as well as the local bear. Berlin in a beautiful city. Too bad it takes 3 1/2 hours from the ship to the city via Bus one way. It can be tiring. There were brief showers on the day of the tour but we did not mind it as all. Each of the 24 passengers had a completely satisfying and educational day. The Germans were very hospitable.
DENRUS again provided us with excellent service. Our professional tour guide, Anna, provided enough humor in her explanations that took us go back to the age of Catherine the Great. The lunch provided us at the palace took us back to the era before the revolution where our waiters dressed the part and had our pictures taken with a lovely lady resembling a young Catherine. The menu was Beef Stroganoff and it was delicious. Do not miss the Peterhoff gardens with its magnificent fountains as the images in your head will make you compare it with Versailles in France. On the 2nd day, we had a boat cruise, a subway ride and the highlight, the Hermitage! Like the Louve in Paris, it will take you years to truly appreciate the treasures within. Thanks to Anna, the treasures were discovered in a day. We also loved the Cathedral of Our Savior (Spilled Blood) and the burial cathedral of the Romanofs. What a beautiful yet tragic story. Hollywood was right to glamorize the era.