This was a second cruise for us on Celebrity to Baltic capitals. We chose to repeat as there is so much to see and do in every port of call that one visit was not enough in many places. Added to that this particular sailing had a 2 night stop in St. Petersburg giving 3 full days for excursions in this amazing city. We had been contacted both by our travel agent and Celebrity(several notitfications) that the previous cruise had suffered from an outbreak of norovirus and therefore boarding would be delayed to allow a full fumigation process of not only the ship but the cruise terminal in Southampton. This was carried out in Celebrity's usual high hygenic standard and never at any time during the next 14 days could we fault this company in trying to ensure that no further outbreak occurred. This of course did not always meet with the wishes of the 'moaners' as they seemed to find the constant cleaning and vigilance an intrusion!!!???
We had a Skysuite on deck 12 - beautifully kept and maintained by our 2 cabin stewards. Our butler was also very attentive although we did not make excessive demands of him. Previous reviews have mentioned the noise from Oceanview cafe above these suites. The trolley noise was there, but never enough to disturb our sleep in our fabulously comfortable bed! The only drawback was the overhang of the Oceanview cafe meaning that no balcony got sun(when it shone!) at any time of the day so would not choose these cabins if you enjoy relaxing on your balcony.
We ate in the Suite restaurant Luminae which was sublime. The food, service, maitre d', waiters made every meal a joy - they are truly a credit to Celebrity. We also ate in Blu, also available to suite guests, still an amazing experience which we would not hesitate to repeat.
We also used Michael's Club, an oasis of calm with lovely bar staff. The hostess didn't exactly have 'the mostest' but had as few dealings as necessary with her.
Entertainment was of quite the poorest standard we have ever had on our many Celebrity cruises. The 'big' theatre shows were at best, well dressed, but the cast lacked talent in all departments. There was a Beatles tribute band - we lasted 10 minutes at that-it was like a karaoke at the local pub with people who could not sing. A highlight was a wonderful magician and a talented Russian violinist. These were the only redeeming features in the theatre. Look out Celebrity, there is a lot of competition out there with glowing reports of their on-board entertainment. Your standard of singers and dancers needs an urgent review.
Much has been said about the new Evening Chic instead of formal nights but although we felt that having only 2 of such evenings on a 14 night cruise was yet another'cut-back' it did not prevent people who wanted to make an effort with their evening attire from doing so as there were just a s many dinner suits and tuxedos as in previous times.
Shore excursions desk had the most inefficient staff on board. They had wrong information about ports (For example, one trip was headed 'Stockholm, NORWAY????' Since when? They got times of trips wrong, did not know about their own excursions although they were advertised, and gave the impression they had all just started work there that week (with no training) People on board missed out on some fabulous trips because they were not aware they were available.
Despite all the above snags, we had a lovely trip, great itinerary and were very pleased we had chosen our favourite cruise line once again.
A word must also be said about one of the friendliest Captains aboard. He mingled constantly with guests, was helpful and even gave an hour long talk on navigation which he infused with humour and interestig facts. Well done to the Master and all of his officers on board Eclipse.
Beautiful old city, excellent guide and chololate shop experience was a delight - just like the chocolates themselves!!View All undefined undefined Reviews
Ok if you like amber - not as expected but the history of it was interestingView All 114 Amber Room Reviews
Excellent tour, 10 hours was long, but stop for lunch (mediocre at best) took quite a time. Palace and Amber room were a delight. Due to wet weather we did not get so much time in the gardens.View All 226 Catherine Palace Reviews
History was interesting.View All 210 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Reviews
This was a bonus tour with the Faberge Museum tour. This tour was NOT highlighted by shore excursions but is a must as you will see so many treasures of Faberge you will not believe your eyes.View All 378 City Tour Reviews
Wonderful guide (as all of these young russian ladies were) who made the story and history of this beautiful building alive and enjoyable.View All 114 Peter & Paul Fortress Reviews
Swan Lake in the Alexandrinski theatre was like a dream experince. The theatre was quite magnificent and had a huge auditorium and stage befitting Swan lake (Guess the Hermitage theatre is much smaller) The young ballet company was very talented and the whole experience was magical. Spoilt by the insensitive audience who defied all instructions not to photograph with flash and even videoed the performance on mobile devices. Theatre heathens!! Don't let them put you off, this was an experience of a lifetime.View All 99 Russian Ballet Show Reviews
Absolutely fabulous. Only 16 people from 2500 passengers did this tour as it was not highlighted by shore excursions. Make the effort to get on it as you will never get an opportunity like this again.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Very 'walkable' city, easy to see all the Royal households in the main square, amble by the canal and take a lovely ' fishy' lunch enjoying the culture and flavour of this beautiful city.
Did not take the long trip to Berlin, took the train to Rostock, a pleasant town to visit.
Very wet weather which flavoured the visit to this wonderful old city. Easily walkable and with many interest little handcraft stalls and shops. Nice town square for a coffee or a glass of wine.