Silhouette looks like she is at anchor and not docked at St Petersburg?

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#81
UK
826 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by NCHPcruiser
We were credited onboard about $25 each for SP port fees. We also booked through a TA.


I believe if you booked direct with Celebrity the fees were refunded there and then . If you booked through a TA you need to sort it with them


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#82
Long Island, New York
5,013 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
[quote=tommy921;56475868]I've just returned today from this cruise.

What slightly annoyed us and some other passengers was that there was no Celebrity contingency plan. To sit at anchor for about 30 hours was no fun in cloudy/cold skies! Helsinki was fairly closeby and perhaps we could have gone there?


In a perfect world it would have been great had the Captain been able to decide STP is too dangerous, we'll just hop over to Helsinki....but the truth is the port schedules are set up a year or more in advance and you can't just drop in! Fees have to be paid, space has to be provided, people have to be available to provide services on land, etc., etc. I do share your frustration as it happened to us on our Canadian cruise....hurricane caused us to spend an extra 24 hours in the St Lawrence River, missing the scheduled port in Bar Harbor Maine. I really, really wanted to stop at Bar Harbor because Acadia National Park is there, but when you travel, whether it's by plane, or boat, or car....stuff happens and you just have to lick your wounds and move on.
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#83
30 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Like many other posters, we have just returned from this cruise which was massively disappointing because we were not able to visit St Petersburg, which was to have been the highlight of the cruise. On both days, the captain deemed the wind speeds to be too great to attempt a safe transit into St Petersburg harbour. We do of course accept that safety is absolutely paramount and we also acknowledge the captain's expertise and experience in these matters, and the responsibilities attached to his position. However, whilst at anchor off St Petersburg, at approximately 9.00pm on the first day of our scheduled visit, we witnessed the P&O ship Britannia (a bigger ship than ours) sail out of the harbour. We were all left wondering why it was apparently 'safe' for Britannia to leave the harbour yet it was not safe for us to enter. No explanation was offered.

In addition to the massive disappointment of not visiting St Petersburg, the consequence was an additional two days at sea, making 9 in total, which on a 14 day cruise is far too many. The additional two days were in poor weather so the entertainment programme for those days was very important, and VERY disappointing! Yes, there were Celebrity Life Activities arranged such as throwing bean bags at a hole in a target board, and paper aeroplane making completions, and many others of a similar ilk, but these are not of interest to many on the ship. It was disappointing that no additional performances were staged by the many professional entertainers on board. In addition to the resident acts, these included at least two visiting acts who were not scheduled to leave the ship until the port after St Petersburg. Why were there no matinee performances for example? This would have been very much appreciated. In conversation with one of these acts, we learned that they would have been delighted to have been asked to put on an extra performance, but we're not asked to do so. Was this because Celebrity did not want to spend the money?

All this said, we have to say that Sue Denning is a brilliant Cruise Director, by far the best we have sailed with. We presume that the inadequate entertainment programme on the two days in question was due to budgetary constraints rather than a failing in her part, but whatever the reason, inadequate it certainly was.
#84
Germany
14,123 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by djo53
However, whilst at anchor off St Petersburg, at approximately 9.00pm on the first day of our scheduled visit, we witnessed the P&O ship Britannia (a bigger ship than ours) sail out of the harbour. We were all left wondering why it was apparently 'safe' for Britannia to leave the harbour yet it was not safe for us to enter. No explanation was offered.
There might have been a gap regarding the wind speed by that time. BTW it´s more than an hour from the port to the anchorage outside. I think it´s reasonable to get the trapped ship out first and then let another one in. The ship anchoring can turn away and continue the cruise. The trapped ship in port can´t go anyway...

steamboats
#85
N Ireland
326 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
While I know absolutely nothing about the handling of large cruise ships, a ship entering a port is slowing down and is probably more susceptible to side winds and currents, a ship leaving is accelerating up to speed .and can probably maintain its course with greater predicability.

Put it this way, the persons who do know how to handle such situations, made their professional decisions based on their experience. I've been on several flights where the pilot decided to abandon a final approach and go around, I'm not going to criticise his choice.

I'm sorry to hear that the ship couldn't make it into St P, it would be the highlight of my Baltic cruise too, but you'd be a whole lot unhappier if the ship got stranded or damaged trying to get in and your cruise ended there.
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Michael
#86
Thornton-Cleveleys UK
416 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
We were on Britannia, docked 30 June, sailed 1 July 9pm. Second day it was very windy in the city and when we arrived at Tallinn on 2nd July the Captain announced we were only able to get into the port by the skin of our teeth due to very high winds.

So sorry for you guys who missed out on St Petersburg, you have to try again, it really is the most amazing place.
#87
3,635 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Was on a cruise around south America a few years ago. When it came time to leave, the winds were two strong for the side thrusters to move use away from the dock. As soon as the winds dropped just below the strength of the thrusters the captain undocked and was able to leave. When he announced that we were now able to leave he commented that the windspeed would have had to be substantially lower to dock. In leaving all he needed was for it to be low enough to get away from the pier and then let the main engines and rudder take over. Coming in he needs enough spare capacity in the thruster for very detailed work and cannot risk a gust high enough to over power them.
#88
London
64 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
Originally posted by Alushar
We are on the 7/7 sailing so fingers crossed as St Petersburg is a bucket list visit for me. safety first though. We were on the eclipse last September that docked in Citvitavechia in a mssive thunder storm which wasn't fun and many of the tours didn't get into Rome due to flooding. X imediately reimbursed our tour costs.
We were on that sailing too Alushar. Our tour made it in to Rome. It was so terribly dangerous and the celebrity tour opperator left us stranded in rome. They took us to an underground bus station and asked us to walk to the vatican city as this was the only place that wasn't closed. It was a joke the water was passed peoples knees. Everyone was soaked to the skin
Celebrity eventually refunded everyone after some time when they saw the footage of what we had been through and left to deal with
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#89
1,393 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by djo53
On both days, the captain deemed the wind speeds to be too great to attempt a safe transit into St Petersburg harbour. We do of course accept that safety is absolutely paramount and we also acknowledge the captain's expertise and experience in these matters, and the responsibilities attached to his position. However, whilst at anchor off St Petersburg, at approximately 9.00pm on the first day of our scheduled visit, we witnessed the P&O ship Britannia (a bigger ship than ours) sail out of the harbour. We were all left wondering why it was apparently 'safe' for Britannia to leave the harbour yet it was not safe for us to enter. No explanation was offered.

In addition to the massive disappointment of not visiting St Petersburg, the consequence was an additional two days at sea, making 9 in total, which on a 14 day cruise is far too many.
During his broadcasts the Captain stated that, due to high winds, the St. Petersburg port authority would not allow him to dock. He did not say that he himself made the decision not to make the attempt, so we cannot know what his decision would have been. (Regarding the Britannia, once again, it was the port authority that gave her permission to leave.) The Captain clearly put our safety first, and I appreciate and respect his efforts on our behalf. He also had to decide whether to abandon St. Petersburg on day one (and try to get permission to dock at a nearby city such as Helsinki) or remain at anchor to make the attempt to salvage day two at SPB. He chose the latter, and I think most of us would have concurred. Unfortunately, day two didn’t work out.

There were 5 sea days originally scheduled, and we ended up having 7 total sea days.