This was our fourth cruise on Celebrity, first on Reflection. Neither my wife nor I had been to Scotland or Ireland so we booked this British Isles cruise, sailing out of and ending in Amsterdam.
We did a 5 day precruise stay in the Netherlands on our own. We arrived at Schiphol Airport on Aug 8th. Stayed in Delft 1 night, Bergen 2 nights, and Amsterdam 2 nights. Got a rental car at Schiphol Airport and drove straight to Delft. When we got to Amsterdam we checked into the hotel (Apollofirst Boutique, nice place) and then returned the rental car to a location near Vondelpark. On the morning of the 13th we took an Uber from the hotel to the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.
I have to comment on our experience at the PTA with Celebrity. Sorry to say, but it was very poor. We booked a Sky Suite. We had completed the online boarding forms before we left home and had the boarding passes on our phones. We did not have much of a wait to talk to a check-in agent, but when he got our names he started to ask us questions that we already had answered in the online boarding forms. He had to call somebody to have our SeaPass cards made and we stood there for about three more minutes doing nothing until the cards arrived. Nobody asked to scan the boarding passes on our phones. And the SeaPass cards that this guy had made for us indicated that we had no perks at all. We discovered this about 20 minutes after we boarded the ship, we went to Luminae for lunch and the waiter pointed this out to us when he asked to see our SeaPass cards. It was very unsettling. We went straight from lunch to Michael's club where they immediately printed us correct SeaPass cards. But to summarize, Celebrity's boarding process in Amsterdam is a VERY poorly run operation. I'm not going to use Amsterdam as a departure port any more.
We booked this cabin mostly because of its balcony, which wraps around the back corner of the ship a little bit so it has probably the largest balcony of the Sky Suite cabins.
On the bright side the cabin was roomy, storage was good, and it was well maintained. The cabin butler, Jesus, was attentive and never said no to anything we asked of him.
But - and this is a big but - the ship has automatic window washing machines that run on tracks on the outside of the ship, and one of these machines parks itself beside the cabin 1688 balcony when it is not washing. This is almost all the time. The machine is about 4 feet tall and it obstructs the side view off 1688's balcony when you look to the side of the ship. We could have reached out and touched the machine had we wanted to (which we did not). We had a talk with the Reflection's suites manager about this machine next to our balcony. The suites manager admitted that there is not a way to find out about this balcony obstruction on their web site. She offered us a credit on a future Celebrity cruise for the disappointment the obstruction caused.
Now here is the real problem. The price that Celebrity charges for their Sky Suites is premium. When you pay that price you expect a balcony with an unobstructed view. Celebrity should put a disclaimer online about Cabin 1688 and the handful of other suite cabins with views that are obstructed by their window washing machines. And they should decrease the price of these cabins compared to other Celebrity Sky Suites. Of course if they did that they would have a hard time selling those cabins. Celebrity is not disclosing the obstruction information and hoping that people who get these cabins will not complain. Pretty much like a used car dealer tactic if you ask me.
We took the ship's tour to Edinburgh. This was a good tour. They took us to Edinburgh Castle on a walking tour with some time on your own in there. We found a cafe at the very top of the hill and had tea and scones for lunch up there. Very good scones there - not dry like those we had elsewhere. Then we drove around town and stopped for about an hour of free time, which my wife and I used to walk to the Miracle Mile and browse around. It was a Saturday and there were lots of street performers, very crowded and very "happening".