We sailed on the June 30, 14 day Northern Europe cruise from Amsterdam to Stockholm. Embarkation went smoothly -- a 30 minute wait for our number to be called, 15 minutes of processing and we were promptly in our cabin. We found that the intinerary had been changed, swapping days in Helsinki and St. Petersburg, eliminating a sea day in this already port-intensive cruise.This change had been planned for more than a month, yet Celebrity made no attempt to notify anyone until we were on board.Celebrity apparently is developing a track record of such poor communication as we met passengers who had booked a later cruise, but had switched to our cruise because Germany had been eliminated from their original itinerary. Celebrity had made no attempt to inform them of this; they discovered the change because they found credits on their charge card statements for shore excursions prveviously booked on the internet; when they called Celebrity to ask the reason,they were told of the itinerary change. Our cabin was roomy, very clean, except for one large stain on the carpet. The air conditioning worked very well--was a little noisy, but this "white noise" added to the sound proof nature of the rooms..we heard almost no noise from neighboring rooms or hallways for the 14 day cruise.We went immediately to the spa to book massage appointments We found the spa staff to be helpful,if a little too sales-oriented. The workout area, which we used a lot, is large and quite nice, although they could use some additional aerobic machines.Upon arrival for our first evening meal we were pleased to find that our faxed-in request for a table for 2 was honored. Celebrity food is supposed to be among he best of the large cruise lines..we found it to be good, not great. My wife was especially disappointed that vegetables tended to be overcooked--she quickly learned to ask for steamed vegetables, but communication issues with the waiters seemed to often come up..so we didn't get them all the time. We often found that waiters were often unable to describe the entre items on the menu in the main dining room and sometimes those serving food in the buffet lines were unable to tell us what they were dishing out. Written signs would have helped. Alternative buffets available for breakfast/lunch are designed well. Very little waiting in line. Variety of food was very good. Entertainment quality varied. Individual guest performers were outstanding. However the Broadway/movie style reviews by the ship's performing company were fair to good. We were disappointed that Celebity provided no enrichment lecturers to offer background for the fascinating itinerary we traveled through numerous historic northern european ports such as St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland, Copenhagen and Finland. Shore excursions are an important part of a cruise with such a port-intensive itinerary and Celebrity did not disappoint. There were a good variety of excursions which were well run and capacity seemed nearly unlimited if you booked a few days in advance. Debarkation went smoothly,however we were forced us off the ship many hours ahead of our flight which meant a long wait at the airport.A final word about crew attitude. At times it seemed like the ship was run more for the convenience of the crew than the passengers.2 examples: One evening the purser screamed at passengers to hurry up get their money out for exchange--he was closing the bank in 5 minutes. When my wife asked for pretzels to be delivered to the room she was told this was impossible... on the 3rd try she was successful.Overall, this cruise was a good value on an immaculate and well-run ship. But this crew needs basic training in "people skills." Efficiency isn't everything. Would I recommend this cruise to others? Definitely yes. Do I feel a loyalty for this cruise line such that I would choose them over others--all else being equal? Definitely no.
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