Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: August 14th, 2004
Itinerary: Best of Europe
My husband and I decided to take this cruise with our 2 teenage sons. Everyone had a WONDERFUL time! It was an ideal vacation -- some time together, some time apart, lots of sightseeing, time for resting, activities for everyone and great food.
The ship is beautiful. The rooms are nice (small, as on other ships). The food was great -- nice variety, presentation, tasty, etc. The service was wonderful, too.
About the ports....
We really enjoyed St. Petersburg. There was so much to see. The Hermitage was wonderful -- it's huge --- 5 buildings containing 3 million works of art. We had a guided tour (3 hours) which only touched on part of it. They say that you could spend years there looking at the paintings. Actually, the buildings are fascinating too. One major part is the Winter Palace of Catherine the Great. Peterhof (inside and gardens) was also a major highlight of the trip. We were in St Petersburg for 2 days and took 2 full days of excursions. They were expensive, but well worth the money. St Petersburg is NOT a city that you can do on your own. We saw beautiful cathedrals, palaces, castles, gardens, etc. It was quite interesting AND exhausting.
The other cities were very easy to do on our own. We only had one day in each of the other cities and tried to squeeze in as much as possible.
Oslo had beautiful buildings, palace, an interesting fortress, and a nice National museum.
Helsinki was small. One day was enough. It was also a nice clean city with interesting architecture, cathedrals, harbor, etc.
I really thought that Stockholm was beautiful. It has a lot of interesting museums, which we didn't have time to see. I could go back there and spend another few days. We did go to the Vasa Museum, which showcases a sunken warship from the 1300's. Sounds boring but was really wonderful and well done (including how they found it, brought it up and restored it). We zoomed thru the old town because we didn't have a lot of time. The Palace there was nice, too. We could have skipped the changing of the guard (boring, a lot of standing around, and we left as it was beginning).
Copenhagen was our last stop. We took the kids to Tivoli for a treat because they were getting tired of palaces and castles. Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Supposedly, it gave Walt Disney the idea for Disneyland. It was nice but not as large as the amusement parks in the US (and was expensive). We also saw the Carlsburg Museum and some interesting ruins beneath Christenborg Castle.
Overall, this was a great vacation -- nice itinerary, beautiful cities, great ship, etc.