This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having previously cruised with Holland America. Embarkation at Harwich was smooth and well organised within a few minutes we were welcomed on the ship and presented with a glass of Champagne. We were immediately taken to our cabin which was somewhat of a disappointment. We had booked a 2A cabin but Celebrity have recategorised their cabins and our was originally a 2B so had a fairly small balcony. We have been used to a bath/shower on previous cruises so were disappointed to find a small bathroom with just a shower cubicle. Storage space was ok and the bed was comfortable. There was a good variety of food available at all times and the ship organised 2 Brunches which were amazing! Dress code for formal nights was not enforced and people went into the main dining room on these nights in jeans and trainers which seems a shame when most people took the trouble to dress appropriately. Entertainment was mostly excellent and the resident Band were very versatile. We had a husband and wife team of dance/acrobatics who were truly fantastic, but never more than on our last night crossing the North Sea in a Force 10 when we could hardly keep our balance on two feet they gave a magnificent and faultless performance and received a standing ovation for their bravery! We did have a problem with the costs on this ship. A glass of fresh orange juice at breakfast was $2.50 + 15%service charge. Glasses of wine (half full)in the bars were $8.00 +15% service charge and when the bill arrived there was space for an additional tip which we found insulting (no service was THAT good) Wine in the dining room was also very expensive considering they were not premium wines. We had an excellent series of lectures by Dr Mark Holder about Happiness and The Amazing Brain which were fascinating. The Port lecturer was very boring and the shopping Advisor was just interested in promoting a chosen few shops! The Arcade shops on board were very expensive, also the Photographic Dept where a mini DV tape was double the amount we were charged in Tallin.
Disembarkation was straightforward and well organised and all staff with whom we came into contact were friendly and helpful, but taking the experience as a whole we do not think Celebrity warrants the 5 star rating they claim as we have had better service and accommodation with HAL.
Cabin originally designated 2B but prior to Cruise was changed to 2A! We had a smaller balcony than most and looked down on awnings over lower cabins. Seemed rather cramped in the cabin and we were disappointed there was no bath just a shower cubicle. Convenient for the Seaside grill jjust 2 decks up when we needed extra ice!
Ship docks a short walk from the town centre. Pretty town with bars and interesting shops, good train links and jump off point to see total exposure!
Picturesque journey through the many islands on approach to the port, which is easy walking distance to the Old Town or buses are available for those with mobility problems, Changing of the guard at the Royal Palace enjoyable to watch and the band plays Abba!! Hop on Hop off buses with multilingual audio guide were great value. Pretty architecture with interesting gables on the buildings. Vasa Museum well worth a visit.
This we found the least interesting of the ports we visited, but the buses were frequent and available a short distance from where the ship docked. Some of the buildings in the main square were interesting but we found this quite a dull city compared to Stockholm. We did take the local buses to go and visit the Olympic stadium and other city landmarks.
The ship docks in an area of reclaimed land and the surroundings do not prepare one for the amazing buildings just a short drive away in the City itself. We did not book our tour through the Ship but organised it privately on line with Alla tours.(you do NOT need a visa if you book an organised tour privately) We had a wonderful guide(a Professor of English at the University) called Marina there were just 15 of us in the minibus, she equipped us with earpieces so when we visited the various places we could hear what she was telling us even if we moved a little away. We seemed to arrive ahead of the crowds and she was a fount of knowledge. We had a great 2 days and saw so much of the Churches, Palaces and sights of St Petersburg and Peterhof. Alla herself joined the bus on one of the days with Champagne and chocolates to share as one of our number was celebrating a birthday. We took a Ship's tour of an Evening at the Hermitage and a Ballet Performance but this seemed very expensive as it cost more than our 2 day tour. We arrived back at the port on the second day in pouring rain and it was quite a walk to the ship, a nice touch was to be met by the crew with umbrellas so we didn't get soaked before going onboard!
This resembles a Bavarian town with cobbled streets and city walls dating back to the Middle Ages. Easy access from the Port with Hop On Hop Off Buses that cover 3 different routes to cover the outskirts and points of interest again with multilingual audio guide. Pleasant place to wander the Old Town have a drink and people watch. Well made and good value knitwear on sale in the town and near where the ship docks. People seem friendly and helpful.
We had 2 days in Copenhagen, which seemed too long. The Port is well served with Buses and we took these to go around the City. A 2 day pass is very good value as it is a Hop On Hop Off - again with audioguide. The Little Mermaid may be a disappointment, but the city and surrounds are quite interesting and there is always a tour of the Carlsberg Brewery (accessible on the bus route)if you are thirsty (although not brewed here now the samples are very welcome). The two Royal Palaces are worth a visit and the grounds of the Winter Palace make a pleasant walk if the weather is kind to you.