Celebrity features a lot of sales of tee shirts, junk merchandise with their logo, a "Russian Bazaar" sale and costume jewelry while the ship is at sea. Celebrity's motivation seems to be one of greed, not one that features the passenger's enjoyment of their ship.
Overall I found the ship to have a rather difficult layout. There is no main entrance to the main dining room from the lobby or from the cabins. It is necessary to walk through the casino or shops to get to the dining room. The first few days I was convinced I was headed in the wrong direction because the layout is so illogical. The emphasis is on spending money in the shops or casino. There are no direct through passageways on the cabin decks. The promenade deck does not go completely around the ship. In all I think the ship is awkward and illogical in its layout.
The Edge of the Earth lounge, forward on deck 11 would or should present magnificent views of the sea except for the odd curtained cubicles at the center just in front of the windows to the sea. The entire room is draped in what is one would assume to be undersea kelp. It is particularly odd in the daytime and the chiffon netting is torn and worn in many places. I thought perhaps at night this unusual decor would be lit to look like an undersea atmosphere but in fact that is not the case. It is just strange and rather like Halloween decor. Unfortunately the floor is sticky, dirty, covered in black marks and is absolutely revolting.
8028 should not be sold as a passenger cabin. It is directly beneath a pantry on deck 9. Crew uses the pantry to clean up dishes in a very noisy dishwasher. There is constant coming and going with a door slamming until after 1:30 in the morning. The noise commences again before 6:00 am. The pantry was locked and closed after 3 nights of my calling the front desk multiple times. Somehow the pantry was re-opened and the noise started up again so I was moved halfway through the cruise to 9065. Finally I was able to sleep. But there needs to be a system to keep kids and teens from shouting and running up and down the hallways at anytime but especially late at night and early in the morning. Celebrity was not responsive to complaints from many passengers about these obnoxious teens.
Copenhagen was pretty but very expensive. Service in the street cafes was not friendly. Walking along the waterfront in front of the royal palace is very nice. Make sure to walk through the old fort near the pier.
We did not spend any time in Warnemunde. We boarded our tour bus for the tour to Berlin. It is a very long drive of 2 plus hours each way to Berlin. Berlin was interesting but extremely crowded in early August. A sporting event was just starting so streets were closed off and traffic was difficult. Glad I went on the tour but certainly would not plan my cruise just because it included the port for Berlin. Other members of our group went to Rostock from Warnemunde and enjoyed it.
Beautiful, historic, fascinating. Extremely crowded in August. We had rain both days. The tour guide will make all the difference in experiencing St. Petersburg. Fortunately our guide was excellent. So many stairs in almost all places visited were difficult for members of our group with knee problems. When planning a tour to St. Petersburg, make sure you are prepared to walk and climb stairs, there are no elevators.
It is a once in a lifetime experience. Don't miss it.
Helsinki was a surprise. It is beautiful, historic, friendly. The market at the waterfront was as charming as all the travel brochures claim. To see fish sellers on their boats gave a true sense of the place.
We rode the hop-on-hop-off tram from the city center to the Sibelius monument and around the historical sites. This hilly city with its many parks and lakes is wonderful. I would like to have stayed a week. Would love to return.
Picturesque, friendly, historical, convenient for touring, Stockholm is a magnificent port where one could spend days exploring. Don't miss the changing of the guard at the palace. Make sure you have a Swedish luncheon in the old town near the Palace. The hop-on-hop-off boats make exploring easy and inexpensive. Stockholm and Oslo were my two favorite ports on this 14-night Baltic cruise.
Sailing into Oslo is magical. So many green islands, beautiful homes, yacht harbor and ferry landings. The city itself is so clean, architecturally interesting with a vibrant downtown area. The tour up the mountain to Holmenkollen provides exceptional panoramic views of the fjord and city below. A trip to the Viking museum is a must. The living history museum with its UNESCO heritage site at the wooden stave church is a highlight of the tour. Of course the sculpture park is monumental. The memory of those larger-than-life figures depicting the circle of life will remain with me forever.
Oslo is high on my list of places to which I hope to return.