Celebrity Cruises, ship Eclipse, 14 days, Southampton return. The Eclipse is a new ship having been launched in April 2010 and it is amazing. It's huge, holds 2,800 passengers and was sold out on our trip. New ship, it gets a 10 out of 10. We had a balcony cabin and it was identical to every other cabin we have had while cruising. The only difference was the layout. Every second cabin the beds are reversed - near the window or near the washroom. As usual, great cabin staff.
Dining was available in the Main dining room, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Main dining room food gets a 10 out of 10 for presentation but 7 out of 10 for quality. In other words, it looked better than it tasted. Our dinner on the final night was really bad - both my spouse and I spent a great deal of the late evening hours on the throne. Also had the "Lido" deck buffet style for three meals each day. The Lido gets a 6 out of 10 for food. The layout of this areas is confounding. People are going in every direction and a great number of them pay no attention. There were also three specialty dining rooms open for dinner - Qsine, Murano, and Tuscany. We tried Tuscany (Italian) and it gets a 7 out of 10 for both categories. The Murano (French) gets a solid 10 out of 10 for each. It was a wonderful experience. The service in all areas was at par but for the price I would have expected something a little better, especially since they had said to staff the new ship they took the best from the rest of the fleet.
Ports of call - Zeebrugges Belgium, Warnemunde Germany, Stockholm Sweden, Helsinki Finland, St. Petersburg Russia, Tallin Estonia, and Rotterdam Netherlands. It was a part of the world we had never been to, so we really did not know what to expect. In a lot of ways it is not a lot different from parts of North America. Sailing into Stockholm reminded us all of the 1,000 islands in the St. Lawrence. The best stop for us was St. Petersburg. It's easy to understand why there was a revolution. The concentrated wealth that must have been in that city is incredible!