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14 N Scandinavia and St.Petersburg $$$

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Are these cruises always so expensive? Next summer balcony running about $7500 - $10000 with the various included options/ Reg Verandah/ Concierge Class/ Aqua Class. Seems so expensive. Are they cheaper if you book as soon as they come out?

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16 minutes ago, Gishua_ said:

Are these cruises always so expensive? Next summer balcony running about $7500 - $10000 with the various included options/ Reg Verandah/ Concierge Class/ Aqua Class. Seems so expensive. Are they cheaper if you book as soon as they come out?


We didn’t book this one but for reference we booked a 12 night British Isles cruise in Aug 2020 on Reflection the day it was released last December. Since then our Aqua room has gone up almost $4k total. Conversely we did a 12 night Med cruise last year on Eclipse and got about 10 price drops and saved about $3k. The Northern Europe cruises definitely command higher pricing for the most part in my opinion.

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For that kind of money, take a look at the Azamara options for next Summer.  We chose them for our Baltics cruise over Celebrity for the docking locations as well as the itinerary.  In several cities (like Helsinki) we were the only ship in the city center while all the others were docked outside somewhere.  In St. Petersburg we sailed up the river and docked in the middle of the city, which saved a lot of travel time for excursions.  A balcony cabin for their July cruise is running about $4,699 per person.  You earn status on Celebrity and Azamara concurrently, so it can be a really nice option when looking at cruises. 


Below are our docking locations in SPB and Helsinki: 


Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.51.33 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.54.08 AM.png

Edited by amyr
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An itinerary like this with limited cruises per year is best booked right when released. We're booked on the 12 night option on Reflection in August 2020, booked right when released. We got 2 perks and book onboard OBC in a CC class cabin for $6700 including tax for the 2 of us, we had one small price reduction that brought our cruise plus tax to just over $6K. Now it looks like the same is over $10K for cruise and tax with 3 perks. 

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we did 12 night out of Amsterdam in 2016.  We got Veranda on Deck 6 at the back half of ship.  Cost was $2100 pp, received drink package and little OBC.  We had booked this about 1 year ahead with higher price, but got price drops during the course of the year.  it is a great cruise, loved all the stops, but we got a great price.

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My observation is that Baltic cruises are generally much more expensive than Mediterranean cruises. I was hoping to go on a Baltic cruise next year (2020) on my favorite cruise line - Azamara. But I got an email about 2 months ago with an "Exciting Deals" last-minute special on a Celebrity Reflection August 25 Baltic Cruise out of Amsterdam. I paid $5,186 USD (grand total with taxes) for two people in an A2 Aqua Class. This included $300 OBC from the TA, which pretty much covered tips. This was the first time in Aqua Class. I loved the open seating dining in Blu. 


Another way to save money on a Baltic cruise is to get a window instead of a balcony. It's mostly too cold to spend much time on a balcony in the Baltic. Conversely, it's easy to get space by the pool on a cool weather cruise. I would have booked a window, but they were sold out and the Aqua Class wasn't much more the the inside cabin on the "Exciting Deals".


My only dissatisfaction with this cruise was the port times were too short, especially compared to Azamara. To add insult to injury, Celebrity's "ARRIVAL" times were basically when the ship was approaching the pier. It was another 30 minutes after that when you could get off the ship. In contrast, Azamara (owned by the same parent company) arrives early enough so that you can cross the gangway at the published ARRIVAL time (that has been my experience on 3 Azamara cruises).


Itinerary for Celebrity Reflection Aug 25 2019 Baltic cruise

Sun, Aug 25, 2019 AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS -- 5:00 pm
Mon, Aug 26, 2019 AT SEA -- --
Tue, Aug 27, 2019 BERLIN (WARNEMUNDE), GERMANY 9:00 am 11:00 pm
Wed, Aug 28, 2019 AT SEA -- --
Thu, Aug 29, 2019 HELSINKI, FINLAND 10:00 am 6:00 pm
Fri, Aug 30, 2019 ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA 7:00 am --
Sat, Aug 31, 2019 ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- 6:00 pm
Sun, Sep 01, 2019 TALLINN, ESTONIA 7:00 am 4:00 pm
Mon, Sep 02, 2019 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN 9:30 am 4:00 pm
Tue, Sep 03, 2019 AT SEA -- --
Wed, Sep 04, 2019 COPENHAGEN, DENMARK 10:00 am 6:00 pm
Thu, Sep 05, 2019 AT SEA -- --
Fri, Sep 06, 2019 AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS 6:00 am --
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The Baltic cruises are generally very expensive. We were on the same cruise as Mercruiser (8/25) on the Reflection. We booked it when we were on board a cruise in February 2018 (18 months in advance). We booked a C3 cabin for $7473.64. Celebrity was giving 1 perk on their web site but for booking on board we got an additional perk (we took Beverages and gratuities) and $200 OBC. Fortunately our usual TA had a group rate of $6569.12 which we were able to combine with the on board offer so that was our final price. The TA also gave us an additional $50 OBC and a cash card. I believe Mercruiser actually booked after final payment.

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8 hours ago, Virgo61 said:

I believe Mercruiser actually booked after final payment.

Correct. We are living in the Netherlands temporarily. So Amsterdam is my "local" port, making it easy to take advantage of last-minute deals. 


That would be another way to save money on a Baltic cruise: don't book until after final payment. This is a speculative strategy for the Baltic - only some of the cruises have cabin sales after final payment.

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5 hours ago, roxievegas said:

I would get a balcony unless you enjoy standing on the upper deck coming into the ports.  The arrival into Sweden is over 2 hours - cruising by tiny islands and lush views.  We loved having the balcony.

No doubt, balconies are nice. I enjoy them too. But people with smaller budgets make due by camping out in the solarium, forward facing lounge, or even the buffet. All of these locations have good views and no weather exposure. I've done this myself on two of my three Alaska cruises.

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