My favorite port of call was St Petersburg. I have enjoyed traveling on Celebrity again. The food and friendliness of the staff was terrific. My only regret was that we had trouble getting into Stockholm. The weather was the culprit. Since this was our only day in Sweden it was disappointing to have only two-three hours to walk around. Other that that my family and I had a great trip!
Because the CEO was on board, special cocktail parties for Captain's Club members, and free ballet, just for Celebrity CC passengers, at the Maryinski Theater in St Petersburg. Food overall was great, especially Blu and Tuscan Grille. Our cabin and all common areas were spotless. Employees cannot do enough for you, and when my luggage took 5-1/2 days to reach us, it was due to the Celebrity staff working behind the scenes to get it on an express train from Berlin. Gave me free, same-day laundry service until I got my bag,
a toiletry kit and t-shirts.
We had sunny weather until we got to Helsinki, then a bit of rain. Disappointed that due to weather, could not dock in Stockholm until night, so missed excursions. Celebrity did order buses to take us into town that night if we wanted, starting at 8:30pm, and had lots of entertainment on our unexpected extra day at sea. Sihlouette was very smooth ride, hardly felt like the ship was moving.
All Celebrity tours were excellent, it was great to have 3 full days in St Petersburg. After visiting Peterhoff, Catherine's Palace, Hermitage, give your feet a break and take a canal tour - beautiful. Some passengers took the day-long tours to Berlin (at Rostock dock) and Moscow (St Pete) but we were not interested in a 15-hour marathon of train and bus. Rostock and Talinn were surprises, both well worth seeing. Had wonderful lunch at Carlsburg Brewery in Copenhagen, would recommend the tour that includes Dragor village.
Some countries took Euros or dollars, all take credit cards, some only their own currency when in town.
Biggest disappoint was entertainment. Had a couple of small bands or duos that made wonderful music, but the big stage productions looked canned, the dance routines uninspired, costumes simply butt-ugly. Rap? Really? On a cruise with 90% older than 60 years? The best night was the Russian dancers and singers who came on board. Best ship entertainment is the martini bar.
Big change - no more formal night, now "casual chic" but most got dressed up anyhow. They are putting the squeeze on regular drink package, no longer can get martinis at the Martini bar without the premium package. But will serve you other vodka or gin drinks!
The destinations and excursions on this cruise were wonderful. We were, however, disappointed in the mediocre quality of entertainment on the ship. The canned music was terrible and most of the live music was not as good as we remembered from a previous cruise. There was one excellent vocalist, Jane Curry, who performed only once although she was on the ship for 5 days.
Specialty restaurant that was outstanding was Murano.
Everything on board the ship was excellent. We would have liked to see new items added to the shops during the cruise. All of the shops had the same inventory at the end of the cruise that was there at the beginning. We were happy with everything except the excursions.
The service provided by the stateroom attendants was very good. The room was clean on a timely base. The main dining room service was excellent, provided by our waiter. He did an excellent job, was knowledgeable of the daily menu and provided excellent information. The menu selection was changed almost daily; the quality of food was unsurpassed.
Our only complaint was on a three excursion. The first problem was the Guernsey Military Occupation. The young guide either didn't get the proper information or was not planned very well by the excursion staff. We arrived early an hour before the scheduled museum opening. So we loaded back on the bus and proceeded to the next attraction. That was closed as well, so time had passed with all the driving, the driver decided to return to the first museum.
The second excursion was Blarney Castle & Woolen Mill Shop. Once we arrived at Blarney Castle we walked over to the Castle. There was such a long queue line to climb the steps to the stone; it would have taken two (2) hours. Our guide said we did not have enough time. So we never had a chance to go into the Castle or to kiss the Blarney Stone.
The third excursion we had a problem was Leeds Castle, Canterbury & Kent Scenic Drive. We spent so much time on the scenic drive we only had fifteen (15) minutes to tour Leeds Castle. There were at least six or seven buses leaving from the ship at the same time, plus school kids and other visitors. There just were too many people arriving at the same time in addition to spending too much time getting to the Castle. I will say the Celebrity did refunded 30% of the excursion cost. I thought the refund should have been more. .
The excursions mentioned above were not very well planned and there was not sufficient time given to see all of the attractions. All in the entire cruise on Celebrity Silhouette was very good and we would cruise Celebrity again.
The excursions during the cruise were informative, enjoyable and will be remembered for a long, long time. Cruising AQUACLASS, the food at the BLU restaurant was delicious. The additional cost to eat at other specialty restaurants was not worth the additional upcharge. Cabin service was excellent. The basic beverage package should be more inclusive, i.e. typical sized martinis at all bars and lounges. Being repeatedly asked to upgrade the beverage package seems "nickel and diming." The onboard entertainment was not on par with what we had come to expect on a Celebrity cruise. It seemed amateurish rather than polished and coordinated. The BEATLES tribute was most enjoyable and one female singer (name forgotten) was good.
We enjoyed the ports and itinerary. Ship is attractive and easy to navigate. Entertainment was very good. The two tours we booked through ship was very good. Had problems with embarkation and room location was not good. Very noisy and far away from everything. We would recommend the cruise. Biggest problem is that you never have enough time in port!
If you enjoy your drinks, upgrade to Premium Package, you won't regret it.
Research all ports and plan ahead. This saves time, and you can be on your way instead of trying to decide once you have disembarked.
Get the drink package you will use it. For the ports get out of the cruise shopping areas and see the islands. For PR see old city, For St Martin see the whole island, for St Thomas (SEE ST JOHN). If you bring kids they have plenty to do too so you can enjoy your cruise.
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