A little about us. For my wife and I this would be our 20th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity. 3rd on an S Class ship. Prior ones being Solstice and Silhouette.
We flew into Amsterdam 2 days early using Celebrity Air. Since we were flying out of Phoenix we did not have an option of a direct flight. I searched air fare weekly and was coming up with around $1450 per person RT, connecting through varies cities. Sometime in January a rate of $711 RT popped up on Celebrity air and I booked it asap. Going we flew to Salt lake with an 1hr and 25 minute connection then non-stop to Amsterdam. Our return we changed planes in MN St Paul. Both flights worked out perfect and were through Delta/KLM.
When we landed at Schipol we collected our bags, went down the escalator to the trains and found a train to Centraal. As we landed early we dropped our bags off at the Luxor hotel and headed out to explore. The Luxor hotel wasa only a 10 minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Train station. We would stay there again. Very clean and great location.
Embarkation: The morning of the cruise we snagged an Uber near our hotel and were at the port within about 15 minutes. We had a boarding slot for 10:30-11:00 am. It took us about 20 minutes from getting out of the Uber to being on the ship. So smooth!!
Cabin: We originally had a basic balcony on deck 8. About 3 weeks before the cruise I was hunting for a suite or some sort of upgrade. I was able to upgrade to Aqua class deck 11 for an additional $780 for the cabin. Celebrity added all gratuities paid and $200 on board so it only ended costing about $70 per person for the upgrade. Our first time in Aqua. Our cabin steward was Steve ( real name?). He was fantastic. Every time we left the room when we came back it was all spiffed up.
Aqua: Loved it. I pretty much used Persian garden every day. I loved the steam room and cold room. I also took most of my showers there too.
Food: Lido food. We thought the was really good. So many selections all day long we never went hungry. Blu…was fantastic. Rambo was our head waiter and we requested him every night. He was over the top fun and good at his job. The food was really good too! We rarely had to wait for a table. Some nights they gave us a pager and we went and had a cocktail while we waited for our requested table. We did eat breakfast in Blu a number of times but also ate in the Lido area too.
Coffees: Loved going to deck 5 sitting down and ordering a coffee. They even waited on you and the snacks and coffee were included in the Classic package.
Bars: We tried every one of them out. Love the Sunset bar, but we had several cold days and you just didn’t want to be there. Martini bar awesome as always.
Entertainment: We don’t do the shows much on cruises. We did see one comedian pre-dinner and he was pretty good. The atrium bands and music were really good and we enjoyed listening to them pre-dinner time.
Days at Sea: We pretty much hung out at the Solarium pool. As I mentioned there were several really cool days and being at the main pool was too cold. But, a welcome relief for us as we were escaping the desert heat anyway. The water temp in the solarium pool was nice.
Excursions: With the exception of St Pete, Russia we created our own walking tours. Prior to the cruise we mapped out on google maps what we wanted to see at each port. If the ship was close to the town we walked from the ship, if not we grabbed a cab. In St Pete we found 3 other couples and we shared a 2 day tour through SPB tours. Thank you Bruin Steve for putting that together. The other 3 couples were from Cruise Critic.
Debarkation: Super easy. We walked off the ship at about 7:45, walked our bags over to Amsterdam Centraal(about a 12 minute walk) and grabbed our train to Belgium.
Post Cruise: We stayed 3 extra days and took the high speed train to Brussel’s. From there we took trains and visited Bruge and Antwerp. So much fun.
The last day in Europe we took a train back to Schipol early in the morning and checked into the Sheraton right on the airport. From there we headed out to Volendam. Such a pretty part of Netherlands. After hanging out in Volendam for a while we headed back to Amsterdam for some more shopping and dinner. From there a train back to the Sheraton and then back to the USA the next morning.
We love Celebrity. Staff is so friendly, food really good. They do a great job. Feel free to ask questions and I will answer.