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Sail Date: April 2016
The entire trip was AWESOME Stayed 3 night at the Hotel Vondel in Amsterdam..Boutique hotel..very small rooms and bathroom tiny..but incredibly clean..wonderful towels..restaurant in hotel..walking distance to canal..Anne Frank house ... Read More
The entire trip was AWESOME Stayed 3 night at the Hotel Vondel in Amsterdam..Boutique hotel..very small rooms and bathroom tiny..but incredibly clean..wonderful towels..restaurant in hotel..walking distance to canal..Anne Frank house Van Gogh museum..Perfect Cruise was great..Amsterdam, Estonia, Germany, overnight in Russia..St Petersburg, Finland Copenhagen and Denmark..not in that order but wonderful..wonderful..wonderful We used Alla tours for Jewish Heritage tour in Germany and Alla Tours for two ..10 hour tours in St Petersburg..Natala was wonderfulStayed overnight at Crown Plaza in Amsterdam before we flew home..Very nice clean hotel..Paid an extra $18.00 pp for breakfast and no one was there to make pancakes or eggs..so it cost 36.00 for cold cereal I would recommend the cruise we went on..It was awesome..Little mermaid..wood shoe factory and of course the TULIPS..that was incredible..also you must be careful of the bike paths..they do not have many cars and all age people even in their 80's are on bikes..Canal boat ride was cool..too much to see and i will never forget it Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We were on the Celebrity Constellation for 14 nights. We found it a really good mid sized ship. The crew were all fantastic and we enjoyed all the entertainment. l liked the swimming pool which was quite a good size.There was enough on ... Read More
We were on the Celebrity Constellation for 14 nights. We found it a really good mid sized ship. The crew were all fantastic and we enjoyed all the entertainment. l liked the swimming pool which was quite a good size.There was enough on board activities to keep us amused as well. We ate in the dining room for most meals and enjoyed the food. We sometimes ate in the buffet but did not like this as much because of the crowds and sometimes there was not enough variety of food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Where to start? Lets begin at the beginning, embarkation, Amsterdam's port facilities are quite good, but there was a large queue and the time it took them to process people was annoying, it seemed to take significantly longer than ... Read More
Where to start? Lets begin at the beginning, embarkation, Amsterdam's port facilities are quite good, but there was a large queue and the time it took them to process people was annoying, it seemed to take significantly longer than other cruises I have taken and seemed to be due to the speed at which they were checking people in, it seemed disorganized, a theme that continued through the cruise. This then lead to the next issue which was the original stateroom they gave us had an overwhelming odor of bleach, which seemed to be covering a sour odor and an overwhelming cigarette smell in the hallway, this seemed to be a problem in the front of the boat. They gave us a room that clearly had an issue and then gave us a song and dance when we requested to be moved about the boat being full, eventually they moved us, but not without some vociferous complaining and first telling us repeatedly it's not possible. If there was a problem with a stateroom they need to fix it properly and not attempt to put someone in the room until it is fixed. I'm sure the oder has something to do with the showers which really could use a mildew and mold cleaning as I'm sure that is the source of the fowl odor and seemed to be in most staterooms. Staterooms are also a little small compared to other ships we've been on but nice nonetheless, the ship itself is in good shape and has nice spaces. There are a few things key about a cruise, one is ports, one is at sea activities, and finally the food. First the disembarkation process and the excursions, the excursions offered tended to be not great and they are very forceful in their sales pitch, trying to scare people into taking there excursions instead of offering something people want. They seemed to miss attractions in port and we had multiple trips I call restroom trips, where they load you in a bus and drive from rest stop to rest stop for 3 hours while you see almost nothing. Port time seemed too limited on our itinerary in general. On sea days I felt like they used it as a time to try to sell you stuff, which to some extent is understandable but the activities are far too limited on board, no attempt to keep the passengers occupied, in port or at sea they seemed to have the same lack of activities, no additional classes or entertainment on sea days. Now onto the food, I'd say the San Marco(main dining room) was fair it wasn't great, but also not bad, quality ingredients were used but the preparation was not wonderful. Specifically they could not deliver steaks properly prepared, and fish was not prepared well it always tasted baked. Service in the main dinning room was very good, waitstaff goes out of their way to get the passengers what ever they want. Ocean Liners was actually quite good, a shining star on a boat of mediocre or downright bad food, service was also very good and attentive. We went to Tuscan grille once found the Italian food to be very disappointing(Lasagna was bad and the lobster pasta was bland) and the service to be downright inattentive, pleasant enough but we felt ignored, it took 2.5 hours to eat and it was 45 minutes before we got any food. The buffet was not very good, quite limited most times and the quality of the breakfast food was subpar, it was almost exactly the same everyday. The staff did not do a good job of keeping passengers from violating all kinds of sanitary rules, and it seems like food safety was not taken too seriously which is disconcerting. I could accept the main dining room issues, the meat and fish served was good quality and on formal nights it was good(steak, fish, lobster), options were weirder on other nights but that is consistent with other cruises. The poor quality breakfast in all venues(main dining and buffet), bad buffet, questionable food safety practices and downright awful specialty restaurant(Tuscan Grille) make me give this cruise a D+ for food. Really not enough in the way of choices, the buffet was a non-option at mealtimes based on what was served, which leaves main dining and ocean liners, which we did 5 times but it gets old fast. So in summary, the boat was nice enough, but they need to address the bathroom issues. The food needs some help they need to revamp this. The entertainment options on sea days need to be revamped. Besides the waitstaff and the cabin stewards who were excellent, the rest of the staff treated you like a dollar sign only interested in what they could sell you. We would probably not go with Celebrity after this trip and would likely not recommend this ship to our friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Long lineup when embarking. Room service only 2 towel animation for the whole trip. HAL room service adorable, they have more confidence and self respect. Food on the 10th deck - no strawberry, grapes and papaya are scanty and available ... Read More
Long lineup when embarking. Room service only 2 towel animation for the whole trip. HAL room service adorable, they have more confidence and self respect. Food on the 10th deck - no strawberry, grapes and papaya are scanty and available few days only. Night time your lemon drink will be with water but no honey. (They say running out of honey??) San Marco dining is quite an experience, the steak is tough, pork is dry, side dish sometimes non-existent. Maybe this style suits his fellow countrymen from the Australian Chef. Shows were from the same crew member. HAL have variety shows from different troupe. Safety box opened 3 or 4 times by itself.(Scary to think of). Told by the front desk probably run out of battery. ( I don't think safety box will be designed as such). They say will replace the battery, but for 2 days they do nothing and that is end of my cruise. Jogging track small, 6 rounds to a km. Computers need to create an account to use. No tutoring. HAL tutor on video editing and movie making. On board future-cruise staff don't know how to apply credit if you are a shareholder of them. Shame on her and the liner. HAL will give u a definitive answer. Excursion director not present at the disembarkation site at some of the ports of call. HAL had free DVD rental. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Constellation is recently refurbished, so no problems there. Like most cruise ships it is impeccably maintained. The size of the Connie was just right for my wife and I and the cabin was fine. If you are looking for a skating rink or ... Read More
Constellation is recently refurbished, so no problems there. Like most cruise ships it is impeccably maintained. The size of the Connie was just right for my wife and I and the cabin was fine. If you are looking for a skating rink or central park or have young kids the Connie probably doesn't offer enough. My critiques mostly lie with Celebrity. First the good: I don't confuse a lot to mean good food, the food onboard was better than Princess and we were very pleased there. The service each and every night was SLOW, not because your servers weren't trying, they just had too many tables. The entertainment including the ships troop was above average.Martini bar was a blast. Indoor therapy pool was something we loved. The BAD: Celebrity's fees are out of line. $37/person for the speciality restaurants was ridiculous. Every day they had someone outside the buffet hawking the speciality restaurants, you would think a "no thank you" would suffice. Nope. They would follow you in offering "special deals for tonight". THIS IS AN ANNOYING PRACTICE AND CELEBRITY MUST STOP IT! Celebrity also needs to get with the program with onboard laundry. Every Princess ship has a laundry and ironing facility on each floor. Celebrity wants $5 for a shirt or $5 to just iron a shirt. On a 14 day cruise we just wound up rinsing clothes in the shower and hanging to dry on the balcony, if we didn't have the balcony it would be a problem. Good luck trying to sneak a travel iron on, ours got confiscated....it's enough for me to go back to Princess. That's the good and bad as we see it after 15 cruises on 5 different lines....   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
After a terrible Pacific cruise on Celebrity Century in March, I was very concerned about our Sept cruise on the Constellation but stayed with it due to the fabulous itinerary. I am delighted (and relieved) to say that everything that had ... Read More
After a terrible Pacific cruise on Celebrity Century in March, I was very concerned about our Sept cruise on the Constellation but stayed with it due to the fabulous itinerary. I am delighted (and relieved) to say that everything that had been why we sailed with Celebrity was present on the Constellation--good food, great service, clean and well maintained ship and generally sophisticated atmosphere. We had sailed on Constellation previously and this trip was even better than the first due to much lower key sales efforts. The port "specialists" were typically poor with the focus on scaring passengers into taking only their excursions and directing folks to the stores that rebate back to the boat but that is standard practice so no real surprises there. We were elite passengers for the first time on this cruise and all the benefits were wonderful. Internet was miserably slow--worse than ever before. There are many more users now and no increase in capacity. We went through 180 minutes to send and receive at most 40 emails over a 14 day period--no web browsing at all. We're looking for an alternative for sure. All in all, it was a fabulous trip. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
This is our third cruise with Celebrity and our first in the Connie. Other than a bad Cappuccino at Café Baccio, everything was Perfect! Embarkation was a breeze at the Amsterdam Port. Our cabin was ready for us as soon as we boarded, ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Celebrity and our first in the Connie. Other than a bad Cappuccino at Café Baccio, everything was Perfect! Embarkation was a breeze at the Amsterdam Port. Our cabin was ready for us as soon as we boarded, around 1:30PM. The cabin was comfortable 7106 starboard, I love to spend time at the balcony looking at the sea and relaxing. Our cabin stewards were fantastic, our room was always ready and welcoming. We are late risers so they gave us our time without knocking on our door to get us out. Our repositioning cruise had great ports of calls and enough sea days to relax and enjoy the ocean views. The port arrivals where comfortable, no rushing for us. Most of the ports we had already visited so we did a lot of walking tours on our own. The seas were calm, beautiful days with great weather followed us throughout our journey. I must say that the mix of passengers was great on this ship, It had the right amount of every age bracket making it very enjoyable. All the passengers we met were very friendly and eager to share stories of their past voyages and life at home. We were select dining so whenever we dined at San Marco we chose to seat with other passengers, the conversations were always very interesting and allowed us to learn more about other countries and their people. Funny, how we all want the same thing, Peace, Well-being for our families and time to enjoy life. If only our government leaders would follow our lead, the world would be a better place. Send them all on the same Cruise for 14 days, maybe then we will fix our differences. We enjoyed the buffet breakfasts and lunches, specially at the Ocean View bar AFT, the view is absolutely breath taking. When you consider that they are cooking four thousand meals a day, you realize how good the food was. The buffet was a good buffet and the MDR was better than most. We had a five specialty restaurant package so we enjoyed our dinners at Tuscan Grill were Alex took excellent care of us as well as Carlos at the Ocean Liners Restaurant. The food, service and wine selections were only comparable to a high end restaurant back home. We were invited to the Chef's table for dinner, not only the food and wine pairing were excellent but our other dinner companions made it a night to remember with a good mix of people from different parts of the world. The Tuscan restaurant manager and the head chef of the ship kept us animated during the meal. They were so proud of the ship, the staff and mostly of the food they were presenting to us, and we were all as excited as them. They have reasons to be proud! The conversations were delightful. What a great experience! The entertainment was enjoyable, with great guest entertainers throughout our voyage. We missed a couple of shows that we heard were outstanding, "White Magic", but the ones that we saw were excellent. Our nights were mostly spent at the Rendezvous Lounge listening to the sounds of Ocean Band from Colombia. Excellent music and great dancers, I guess we are going to have to learn Ball Room dancing if we are going to continue cruising. We did not take any ship sponsored tours so I cannot comment on them. The ports of calls were very easy to walk on our own. In Lisbon we took a private tour to Estoril, Sintra and Cascais beautiful and well worth visiting. In Athens we took a Taxi driver guided tour that was very enjoyable. All other ports Bruges's, Cherbourg, Vigo, Malta and Istanbul we were able to visit on our own. We stayed in the ship for Kusadasi as we had already visited the sights before. Overall a great Cruise with beautiful ports of calls and great company during our voyage. I would only improve the quality of the coffees at Café Baccio. I have read other passengers reviews and some are very demanding and complain about the smallest, insignificant things. Sometimes I wonder, where they in the same ship? This was a memorable Cruise and definitely one to recommend. I hope they keep this itinerary in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This is our sixth time with Celebrity, but the first time on the Constellation. Embarkation was a breeze, took less than 20 minutes from leaving the hotel room to boarding the ship. If you are departing from Amsterdam I would recommend the ... Read More
This is our sixth time with Celebrity, but the first time on the Constellation. Embarkation was a breeze, took less than 20 minutes from leaving the hotel room to boarding the ship. If you are departing from Amsterdam I would recommend the Movenpick Hotel, it's right next to the cruise terminal. The ship looks a little dated, but it was clean and overall pretty good. The food and service in the Ocean Liner restaurant was very good, the Tuscan Grill was so-so. We were on Select Dining option and had no problem getting seated whenever we wanted, food in the main dining room was good, but nothing special. Breakfast buffet was good, with lots of fresh fruit and stations for poached eggs and omelets. Lunch and dinner buffets also had good choices, fresh sushi in the evenings, and a good selection of choices, (pasta bar, curries, Asian stir fry's etc.) The ports of call were ok, with St Petersburg being the highlight. We booked a tour through Alla Tours, and were delighted with the itinery, guide and driver. We had the Classic berevage package and made good use of it in the Martini Bar and Reflections Lounge. Bar staff were always ready to refill the glass, and not having to sign for drinks everytime was a bonus. In summary the cruise was as good as we expected, but was not outstanding. We'll cruise on Celebrity again, but maybe not on the Constellation. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We have cruised the Celebrity Cruise Lines last year aboard of the “Reflection” and it was a wonderful experience…..this year we selected the “Beautiful Celebrity” for our vacation in August ……WOW, What a flop!!! ... Read More
We have cruised the Celebrity Cruise Lines last year aboard of the “Reflection” and it was a wonderful experience…..this year we selected the “Beautiful Celebrity” for our vacation in August ……WOW, What a flop!!! “Beautiful Celebrity” in general is okay, although it needs a lot of improvements to be rated as 5 star ship. The food was definitively terrible regardless where you went on board….Ocean View – San Marcos – Blu..etc.. Each day the food choices were the same, but were given different names depending which restaurant you dined at. (e.g. Minestrone , was Vegetable soup, which magically turned into Cream of Vegetable etc..)and the chicken noodle soup was really an embarrassment for the chef. We were not pleased with the service at the Blu restaurant, the sommelier after serving our first glass of wine didn’t come back to refill our glasses until the end of the dinner, even though we called him several times. The entertainment was fine, except for the music at the Café Al Bacio, in particular DJ Denkoff and Lady Sax of which the music selection was the same each night… Cleanliness was just fine except for the sticky tables at the Ocean Grill (Breakfast and lunch) and the overpowering smell of disinfectant in our bathroom (shower). We booked our excursion to St. Petersburg with Celebrity , the experience was really bad……the service was very unprofessional, and the food was very repulsive and disgusting, on a 90 degree day they didn’t have air conditioning or enough water for the tourists!!! After such an awful experience this year, Celebrity Cruise Lines will no longer be a choice for our future vacations, and we will also give this opinion to friends when we are asked “What did you think of cruising with Celebrity?”   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We are a married couple, early 50’s / 60’s, currently living in Maryland. We have cruised a fair bit, but this was the first time we had cruised the Baltic. Constellation is one of our favourite ships and we last sailed her in the ... Read More
We are a married couple, early 50’s / 60’s, currently living in Maryland. We have cruised a fair bit, but this was the first time we had cruised the Baltic. Constellation is one of our favourite ships and we last sailed her in the Black Sea September 2013, so were hoping to see some familiar faces among the crew. We were in an A2 cabin, had the drinks package and a generous OBC to blow, thanks to the 123GO promotion, and were cruising as Elite Plus for the first time. I also have a feather and flower allergy, which can be challenging when travelling. I am an introvert and we are quiet people who aren’t much into on board activities, we prefer to read, write and do photos to keep ourselves busy, when we aren’t chilling and just staring at the sea. I will try and offer some tips for future cruisers, but probably by the time I get this finished the Baltic season will be over! Did I mention we had a great trip? Here is my (tongue in cheek) account of it, and let me once again say we really enjoyed ourselves in our understated way. Flight We flew United non-stop from IAD to Amsterdam. For some reason DH has been elevated to one level above pleb on the United frequent flier programme so our bags were not only tagged “heavy” they got a priority sticker too. Unfortunately his status isn’t lofty enough for 2 free bags, so bag number 3 cost us $100 each way. We paid extra for the Economy Plus extra legroom, and Economy Minus food. If you tell yourself that a good flight gets you and your bags from A to B pretty much on time and in one piece, then this was a good flight. Tip 1, the window seat is very chilly, bring a jacket and gloves. You will be grateful for them! Tip 2, if you are leaving from IAD do yourself a favour and stop at Vino Volo for a few nice tapas and a wine flight before your flight. You won’t regret it when “chicken or pasta” is delivered over Newfoundland. Likewise on the return flight when all they are offering is “chicken”, you will be glad that you ate breakfast at the airport, (no matter how awful it was), and picked up a sandwich to eat on board later. Amsterdam Schiphol What a great airport. No lines at immigration, no waiting for bags, and no lines at customs. It was easy to get a taxi too, a nice Mercedes one, with a careful driver. Amsterdam Marriott I wish I was one of those travellers who appreciated twee boutique hotels, with lovely (but uncomfortable) antique furniture and four sets of stairs to drag your luggage up to the canal view room in the attic… but I’m not. I like a comfy bed, a proper bath, a good shower and air-conditioning, and I want an elevator. As I also need a feather-free room, I find it best to stick with a major chain, this time Marriott. We booked the room from the night before to make sure we could get into it and get some sleep immediately we arrived, as I am a grump when I get off a transatlantic flight. The Marriott is situated near the Rijksmuseum and Vondelpark in a quiet area, but just a few minutes walk from the restaurants and bars in the Leidseplein. I thought the staff here were excellent and the hotel was very comfortable. The bar is nice and modern and the asian dishes they serve are superb! Tip 1: It costs more to book a hypoallergenic room than a regular room online, however if you book a regular room you can request hypoallergenic bedding and they will often upgrade you to the hypoallergenic room at no charge if it is available. Tip 2: Get yourself a nice drink and a window seat in the hotel bar and watch the cars, trams and bicycles whizz by. It’s like a mesmerising choreographed dance. Tip 3: I find the best way of getting over jetlag is to get 3 or 4 hours sleep as soon as you arrive at your destination, and then stay up as late after 10pm as you can manage. Embarkation As easy as Schiphol was to arrive at, the Amsterdam cruise port rivalled it for ease of embarkation. We arrived at about 11am, dropped our bags inside the terminal, (that’s a new one!), then went upstairs to check in. We already had our Edocs and check in was really quick in the priority (Suites, Aqua and Elite) line. ID photos are taken on the ship when you board for the first time, which is probably why check-in at the terminal was so fast. We were on board with our champagne by 11:15. Tip: They will try to herd you up to the buffet until cabins are ready at 1:30ish. If you don’t mind paying for a quiet civilised lunch, Bistro on Five opens at noon, and Cafe al Bacio will already be open when you board, and offers pastries and drinks. It’s a great place to test out your drink package! Cabin We were in an A2 cabin, 9104 which is near the aft stairwell on deck 9 and under the loos at the entrance to the buffet. This is a nice quiet area, whereas some of the other A2s are under the pool or the gym and have the potential to be noisy. The A1 cabins are new and are located high and aft on deck 11. As soon as I walked in there were no flowers and as I didn’t start sneezing, no feathers. Our steward Bengit stopped by and said he got the request ahead of time, (first time ever!), and had put hypoallergenic bedding in the cabin already. There was tea in the room, but as we never drink it, I said there was no need for him to bring it, but it still came every day. Aqua Class comes with lots of perks that I don’t really use, but what I do like about it is the free water, improved shower and meals in Blu. The toiletries have changed recently. Instead of helpfully saying “Shampoo”, “Conditioner” or “Body Wash” in big letters, they say “Cleanse”, “Hydrate”, “Revitalise” , and the translation is in writing way too small to read in the shower without your glasses on!!!! The first night I had trouble sleeping, as the mattress was so uncomfortable that I ended up sleeping on the sofa under a mound of towels and bathrobes. The next day Bengit managed to get me a different mattress and I slept very well after that. Tip: if there is a problem, mention it as soon as you can and give the steward the opportunity to fix it. There is no point saying nothing and then whingeing about it when you get home. Blu Meals Blu is open for breakfast and dinner for Aquaclass guests and on a space available basis for suite guests. This was our 4th time in Blu and I think this was the first time I have really seen it at it’s best, well staffed with waiters, a good sommelier and an excellent bar waitress. We never had to wait for drinks or a second glass of wine, nor did we have to go to another bar for a drink during dinner like we had to in the past! This time the service was spot on. We tended to eat around 7:30, and at that time Blu always seemed almost but not quite full, so we always got a table straight away. We never asked for a specific waiter, or a table by the window, we just sat where they had space, and found all the waitstaff to all be equally as good. One thing I will mention, as an introvert, is that I prefer to eat at a table for two, not a table for eight. The tables are very close together so even the table for two sometimes seems like a table for four or eight, which means you feel obliged to say hello to people next to you out of politeness. I loved being seated next to europeans who would just say hello and then either go back to conversing in their native tongue, or looking at the menu, rather than my nightmare scenario of being seated next to someone who just won’t shut up, especially at breakfast. You know who you are ;) Tip 1: the “always available” dishes from the main dining room (shrimp cocktail, escargots, caesar salad, onion soup, chicken, steak and salmon) are also available every day in Blu. I also recommend the frogs legs, smoked trout, the filet mignon and the entree salads, which were usually lean grilled, steak, pork or other protein along with really good leaves. Tip 2: dress code in Blu is always “smart casual”. On formal night some people dress up formally in Blu, some don’t, and you will look just fine whatever you wear. Buffet Every cruise has a “sick of it” night, when you just can’t face one more four course sit down dinner. That’s the night we head to the buffet for a good stir fry for him, and a good curry for her, and both were pretty decent. That was the only time we ventured into the buffet this cruise. Perhaps it had something to do with a man sitting with his feet up on one of the tables near us….yuk. Bistro on Five On Silhouette I loved Bistro on Five as even though it was a creperie and I am not a crepe fan, it had lots of really good entree salads on the menu too. On Constellation it was a bit disappointing as they only had a chopped salad and a chicken caesar salad, and I am a real leafy spinachy and arugula loving girl. I tried both salads, but the chopped salad was bland and the chicken caesar had slivers of chicken that were so thin and crispy it was hard to tell them from the croutons, so both were disappointing. I really missed the steak, tomato and arugula salad from Silhouette. What irked though was that the crepe garnish was arugula and tomatoes, and people invariably left it uneaten on their plates. The chicken soup and garlic bread was good, but it wasn’t worth it for me to pay $7 (yes the price has gone up from $5) just for soup. I’m not quite sure what they were thinking with dessert, but this english person has never before been served a trifle with the sponge used as a garnish on top of the cream! Did they forget to put it in with the jelly layer? It was truly bizarre. So the disappointing food and the price increase, coupled with show tunes played so loudly that it was hard to hear what anyone said, made Bistro on Five a miss this time round. Cafe al Bacio My home from home. The big yellow chairs by the window are my favourite place to sit and veg and drink endless lattes and perriers! The staff in here are always excellent, and it was a pleasure to see Zora working there again. Tip: Although you have to pay for drinks here the pastries are free and can also be packed to go. Also they have a box of chocolates on the counter that you can choose from, a sort of DIY pillow chocolate! Speciality restaurants On this cruise I don’t think the speciality restaurants were selling well as we seemed to be continually hassled, while we were trying to have a quiet drink, by waiters and maitre d’s trying to get us to eat in either the Tuscan Grill or Ocean Liners. The truth is they are way overpriced now at $45 and $50 respectively, and I find the food there is too heavy, and the portions are so large that I can only manage one or two courses, so even with a 20 or 30% discount it just isn’t value for money for me. Also this cruise was probably my 15th on Celebrity, so it’s a case of “been there, done that”, and unless the prices are halved or they create an interesting new dining venue for me to try, I probably won’t bother with speciality restaurants again. Room Service We only used room service for breakfast, and it was usually on time, ok early. (Note to Celebrity… we really didn’t appreciate it arriving at 5:40am when we had ordered it for 6am, the first St Petersburg day, nor the second St Petersburg day when we ordered it for 7am and it never appeared at all!). Live Music They still have live music on board! Yay! We had Mickey Illardi, a guitarist singer, a really good string trio Gran Volta, Emily and the Nightcaps, the party band and what I presume is meant to define “modern luxury”, a “DJ Duo”, DJ Denkoff and Lady Sax, basically a Miami DJs but with sax not drummers, or sax karaoke with a flat sax playing over a tedious techno sort of drum beat if you will. DJ D and LS were predominantly anchored in either the Martini Bar or up in the sky lounge, but occasionally they played in the atrium and the noise was impossible to avoid. The Martini Bar seemed to thrive on it, Cafe al Bacio did not. Entertainment and Activities I didn’t go to many shows and the ones I went to I never stayed beyond a few minutes, it’s not that they were necessarily bad, just not my thing. There were late night parties in the sky lounge and occasionally on the pool deck, but again this was a port intensive itinerary and we were tired. We did enjoy some of the lectures on the history of the Baltic by Lisa Didier. Other activities either had a fee (wine tasting, malt tasting, tequila tasting and some fitness activities) or ended up with a selling opportunity, galley tours finishing in Ocean Liners with a hard sell on speciality restaurants, a faberge egg lecture that ended with, surprise, surprise a faberge egg sale! They were promoting shopping sales, unveilings and extavaganzas, health and beauty lectures with product sales at the end, and of course Park West was on board. Tip: Back row on the aisle is a great seat for sneaking out of the theatre, unnoticed, after 10 minutes, even if it’s a comedy show! Spa We had lots of on board credit to burn so decided to book some massages. The new spa services provider is Canyon Ranch and the prices have gone up. I had two massages, the husband had three, as they were offering a fifth one free if you booked four. They no longer offer couples massages as they said they didn’t have rooms large enough, so the treatment space must have had a total redesign, (or Elemis had “tardis" rooms before!) as we have had them on Constellation before. The massages were nice, and yes there were annoying product pitches at the end, but a polite “No thank you” ended it quickly, for the first massage although the second needed a snappy retort to “These massage balls won’t take up much space in your suitcase”, of “They wont be taking up any space at all as I don’t want them” to cut that short! Elite Plus Benefits We really liked having 200 free internet minutes each and 2 free loads of laundry each. We didn’t use any of the other coupons.The free teas and coffees in Cafe al Bacio were already covered with our drinks package. We never made it to the Elite breakfast as we either ate in Blu or got room service, but we did enjoy a couple of evenings in the sky lounge at the Elite cocktail hour. The Elite afternoon tea held one day in Blu was also very nice. Excellent scones! Cruisecritic Party Our roll call was a little quiet and used more for the planning of private tours than for chit-chat. There were not a large number of participants online, so it was nice to see so many of them actually come to the Connections party, which was hosted by the Captain and his Activities Manager, and held in the Tuscan Grill on the morning of the first sea day. Celebrity provided drinks and pastries and everyone seemed to have a nice time getting to meet each other in person. I think this was one of the best attended and most successful Connections parties I’ve been to. 123 Go Package We had booked this cruise on board a previous cruise and had received on board credit and a classic alcohol beverage package, which we paid to upgrade to the premium package. I was happy with the choice of drinks that were covered and liked not having to sign for every drink I ordered. Was it worth it? For me yes as I drink a lot of Perrier and lattes, and have usually got more than half my monies worth before I touch a drop of alcohol :) I think I beat the package 10 out of 12 days, the exceptions being the long day at Warnemunde and the first day in St Petersburg which was a long day of touring followed by dinner off the ship, LOL. Cutbacks? Here’s what I noticed… Pillow chocolates have gone, replaced by a single foil-wrapped chocolate covered oreo cookie that appeared only once, on the first formal night. DIY pillow chocolates available at Cafe al Bacio :) I am allergic to flowers, but the steward said it wasn’t a problem as they no longer put flowers in the cabins as they “have had trouble finding a reliable supplier in Europe”. The Captain’s Club did still send a vase of roses, which I donated to another cabin. What is and isn’t included in the beverage package has changed. I drink a Pouille Fuisse in Blu with dinner. Previously (as recently as February) it was right on the $11 limit for wine by the glass in the premium package. Now the limit has been raised to $13 but that particular wine is now priced at $13.50, so I had to pay a surcharge of 50c a glass. Speciality restaurant prices are extremely high now. Ports We did tours in every port and booked them through SPB tours online. Overall we found them to be very well organised, the guides were excellent, the drivers safe and the vehicles modern and clean, and would not hesitate to recommend SPB. Vika, the owner of the company, made a point of trying to greet each person booked with SPB in St Petersburg, which I thought was a nice touch. With hindsight some ports we could have easily done ourselves using the hop on hop off bus, instead of taking a tour. Here’s what we did. Fairytale Schwerin. This was advertised as “an easier alternative to Berlin”, and was definitely billed as a walking tour that used public transport, but I think some people read “easy” and stopped there. We had people on the tour who were unable to walk quickly or for long distances, and younger people who wanted to walk faster, so it made it difficult for the guide to keep everyone together. The day we took this tour there was a severe weather warning for Warnemunde, so our itinerary was rearranged with the intention of keeping us safe and dry on a train until the weather improved, and I have to say it worked. We had a quick look at Warnemunde, had lunch arranged in a restaurant, saw the inside and the grounds of Schwerin castle and then a walk around Rostock. The champagne at the end of the tour was a nice touch. Tip: Read the literature. It says public transport and walking so don’t complain when that’s what you get! Old Town Tallinn and Kadriorg-Pirita. We loved Tallinn and our tour included the old town, a palace and it’s grounds, and pies for lunch. I hadn’t realised lunch was included, so that was a nice surprise! St Petersburg Deluxe 2 Day Tour. St Petersburg is pretty much the main reason people take a Baltic cruise. We had a private tour for 6 version of the Deluxe 2 day tour. I had hoped we could customise it on the day, staying longer at places that interested us more, shorter at places that didn’t, but we couldn’t, as we had timed admission tickets, but at least we walked straight into places. We saw pretty much everything that’s on a “must see in St Petersburg” list. Day 1 we rode on the metro, saw the Peter and Paul Fortress, Peterhof and the Catherine Palace. We didn’t have lunch until 2pm which was way too late as we had breakfast at 6am that morning to ensure we were near the front of the disembarkation line. We were served a 4 course lunch at a new place SPB was trying. It was OK but we didn’t want to eat too much as it was late and we had 7:15 dinner reservations at Sadko that night using their “Night on the Town” option. Despite initially thinking we were crazy for making evening plans after such a hectic day, we gritted our teeth, showered, changed in 30 minutes and headed back out. We really enjoyed our evening and had the restaurant to ourselves, (watched over by our taxi driver to make sure we didn’t sneak out the back door unaccompanied!), and had the best Chicken Kiev and Beef Stroganoff ever!! Day 2 started with a scenic boat ride followed by a visit to the Hermitage. We had lunch in a pie shop which was good, followed by visits to the Church On The Spilled Blood, St Isaacs Cathedral and the Yusupov Palace. We like to wander off and take photos but it was impossible to do that in St Petersburg, probably because we were on the blanket tourist visa and they wanted to keep us on a tight rein. Tip 1: Much has been said about whether private tours disembark after Celebrity tours in St Petersburg. They don’t. The Celebrity tours meet at the theatre and disembark through the deck 1 forward gangway, other passengers disembark through the deck 1 midships gangway. The official time for the ship to clear is 8am, people started queueing at the midships deck 2 stairwell (as low as we could go) at 7am. We were able to disembark around 7:30, and were cleared through immigration by 8am. The only advantage the ship tours had was that the immigration hall was slightly closer the the forward gangway than the midships one, after that it was pretty much the luck of the draw as to whether you picked a slow line or a fast one. Tip 2: Bathroom stops are often in souvenir shops, but you are not required to pay to use them or to buy anything. Tip 3: It never hurts to have local currency. The pie shop in St Petersburg didn’t accept credit cards or Euros as some other tourists unfortunately discovered. We had local currency and were also able to buy an ice cream at Peterhof from the kiosk that only accepted rubles! Tip 4: The Cappuccino ice cream on a stick at the ice cream kiosk at Peterhof is delicious! 5 Hour Panoramic Helsinki and Seurasaari Island SPB offered two tours here, a 3 hour Helsinki tour and this, the 3 hour Helsinki tour plus a walking tour of Seeurasaari island which was a living history museum. Unfortunately some people on our tour booked it at the last minute in St Petersburg and unbelievably thought they were getting a 5 hour Helsinki tour… Some came in unsuitable shoes for walking, others were incapable of walking long distances, and when we got to the island said they didn’t want to walk in a forest, they wanted to go back and see Helsinki. I booked the tour because I wanted to see both. I felt the guide was put in a very difficult position because I was not prepared to forgo walking around the forest because other people didn’t want to. Our guide compromised and left them in a tearoom while my husband and I and one other gentleman did the forest walk and saw the historic buildings, which were really interesting. Perhaps the description should have be more specific “3 hours in Helsinki, plus 2 hour walking tour around museum in forest”. Tip: Wear walking shoes for a walking tour and do your homework and read what tour you are actually taking! Panoramic Tour Stockholm This was a great tour with a brilliant guide, Elisabeth. The City Hall and the Vasa Museum were amazing. I liked that there was 1 hour free time at the end, so we could shop, eat lunch locally or go in the museum. Tip 1: Don’t miss the Vasa museum! Tip 2: The elk burger at The Black Sheep restaurant is highly recommended. Panoramic Copenhagen This was the only tour that I felt was disorganised. The port was chaotic when we arrived, as a lot of us disembarked earlier than we needed to, and the disembarkation instructions were vague and it was hard to know where exactly to meet the guide.When we finally did find our bus and guide, we had to drive over to the Volendam to pick up 3 passengers from that ship. We waited for about half an hour but they never appeared. It was very irritating. The tour started late, but finished at the advertised time, so we lost about 20 minutes of what would have been free time. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see the famous street with the canal. We drove by it quickly but didn’t get chance to take the photos I wanted to.  Tour Tip 1: I know none of us like to admit that we are getting older and perhaps can’t walk as far as we used to, or stand for a long time, but to be fair to other people we really should accept our limitations and only book tours that we are physically able to fully participate in. If you are no longer able to walk for long distances, please don’t book a walking tour that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, it’s not fair on you and not fair on other people on the tour. Instead check out the “panoramic” bus tours the cruise line offers that cater to people with mobility issues and will allow you to see sights at a slower pace with more time on the bus to get you closer to the points of interest and less time spent walking to them. Tip 2: Read the description of the tour you are booking so you know what to expect! Disembarkation There is no room service on the last morning so options were the buffet (zoo), dining room (zoo with assigned seating), or in our case Blu. Cabins have to be vacated by 8am. We had a disembarkation time of 8:30 but were called at 8am. Bags were easy to find and there was an abundance of taxis waiting outside the terminal. Amsterdam is a really well organised port. Post-Cruise Survey On this cruise we never got a mid-cruise “tell us how we’re doing” survey. To be honest the answer would have been “Very well, thanks for asking”. We were told that the end of cruise paper survey had been discontinued and that we would receive a link to an online survey once we were back home. I made a note of crew members I wanted to single out for praise for exceptional service, but neither myself or my husband ever received a survey in our email. (Celebrity advertising materials have no problems finding our inbox though!). Checking back on our roll call some people received them, others didn’t. I found it very disappointing at how hit and miss this was, and that mine never materialised. Post Cruise We spent 4 days post-cruise in Amsterdam, staying again at the Marriott. We decided that we would have 4 days of down time, and enjoyed a daily walk in the Vondelpark, an excellent guided tour of the Rijksmuseum, a canal boat ride, a visit to the Westerkerk with a climb up the bell tower and a lovely free organ concert, a lot of wandering around and some fabulous ethnic food. Conclusion This is a fantastic itinerary but very tiring. There are two one hour time change between Germany and Russia, which felt exhausting after still trying to acclimatise to the 6 hour time difference between the USA and Amsterdam. We forfeited nightlife for getting a good night’s sleep so we could get the most out of our port visits. We were very fortunate to have excellent weather for the whole cruise, and in St Petersburg and Tallinn, the “hottest weather in 30 years”. We found the Constellation to be in excellent condition, her crew were friendly and helpful, the food was excellent and there were plenty of activities and entertainment if you were interested in it. All in all an excellent cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
The bottom line: my 6 years old daughter was crying when we were leaving the ship - and asked me to promise her that the next cruise will be at least twice longer... Now to details. We were warned upfront (including by Cruise Critics ... Read More
The bottom line: my 6 years old daughter was crying when we were leaving the ship - and asked me to promise her that the next cruise will be at least twice longer... Now to details. We were warned upfront (including by Cruise Critics reviews) that Celebrity cruises is positioned more to elder people - but it should be less relevant for European cruises especially during the summer school vacations. Indeed, the majority - over 70% to my assessment - of passengers of our cruise were closer to our parents' ages rather to ours (early 40s), and number of kids of our kids' ages (6 and 12) was counted in just few tens. I realize that cruises which are more family and kids oriented would offer even more activities and attractions appealing for us, and probably next time we will be looking for these more - but this does not mean that we didn't enjoy our cruise! Including kids clubs' activities. We chose this specific cruise mainly because of its itinerary and timing - and we enjoyed each and every moment! Especially we enjoyed the following aspects of our cruise: (a) embarcation and disembarcation processess at each and every port were extremely efficient (b) very friendly and helpful staff, giving a pleasant feeling at every corner of the ship (c) excellent food both at Oceanview Cafe and especially at San Marco restaurant (d) Gym and spa are excellent, especially helpful on see days but also good after busy port days. Couple of minor drawbacks: (a) Stockholm deserves much more than 7 hours we were given (b) Major activities and shows are too much oriented for the elder croud... Again, we didn't feel bored - but we were expecting for more... Details about the stateroom are given separately. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. Here is what we loved: 1. the ship itself. Beautiful, and clean. We had an inside stateroom, # 9006, and really liked it. I think if you could book 9010 that would be perfect, as it's a little ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. Here is what we loved: 1. the ship itself. Beautiful, and clean. We had an inside stateroom, # 9006, and really liked it. I think if you could book 9010 that would be perfect, as it's a little further away from the staff's entrance (and that door closes loudly sometimes). Tons of seating on multiple decks at the pool, including some plush chairs and lounges. The theatre is very nice, as is the dining room (San Marco). We also loved Reflections at the top of the ship. Crush, the martini bar, is cool if you like a loud, club-like atmosphere. We had a martini flight ($12) and this came with a very impressive presentation by the bartender. 2. - the entertainment. We saw one of the typical song/dance shows, and it was pretty good (although that's generally not our type of thing.) One male performer who sung a little opera was especially impressive. Two of the special acts - White Magic and the violinist Greg Scott - were excellent. These were performances we would have gladly paid to see while on land/at home. There was a string trio called Grand Volta that played every night in places like the wine bar or cafe, and they were excellent. 3. - the wine bar, Cellarmasters. Elvis was a gem - always at the bar ready with a smile, a great attitude and suggestions. There were new selections every night as well as some of our go-to wines. The ambiance here is perfect. 4. - this itinerary. The best we've ever had on any cruise. The only thing I would have changed was to do away with Helsinki and add a 2nd day in either Rostock, Stockholm or Denmark, or even a 3rd day in St. Petersburg. There's so much to do there, you just can't get enough time, especially if you plan to visit the Hermitage. 5. - Lots of nice little touches. When you return to the ship at the end of the day at port, servers are outside with cold towels, cups of hot chicken soup, ice water, fruit punch - very thoughtful. Although your stateroom attendant won't make the towel animals for you every day (I wish they would! Everyone loves those.), they will do it on formal nights, and on the last day of the cruise the pool attendants at the solarium made wonderful ones all around the pool. It was adorable. 6. - the service. Typical Celebrity. Employees going out of their way to help with you with anything. The waitstaff remembering what you like and when you like it. Now for the dislikes: 1. - the constant efforts by the cruise line of getting more of our money. Everything on the ship that's really fun to do isn't included, it's extra. Wine tastings, fitness classes, (of course) anything at the spa, internet usage - you have to buy a package, Al Bacio cafe, the gelato bar, the list goes on and on. I'm surprised they didn't charge us to play trivia! Any time you go to the Oceanview Cafe, waiters are outside trying to sell you beverage packages and book your reservation at a specialty restaurant. At the ports like Helsinki and Rostock where the ship docks outside the city, there were shuttle buses - but the cost between $10-$15 each way. We thought this was terrible. 2. - photographers at every turn. I know, this seems to be typical of most cruise lines, and I wish they would all stop because everyone seems to hate it. You can't get off the ship at any port without them trying to take your picture, and the pics cost between $20 and $30 each if you want to buy them. Four times at dinner, and not just on the formal nights. The worst is at embarkation: who wants to fly 12 hours, get yourself from the airport to the pier and have the ship's photographers trying to get your jet-lagged, dirty and crumpled self in front of the camera? No one. 3. - the rooms weren't ready once we got on the ship. This was my 7th cruise, and the 1st time I've ever experienced this. They kept everyone in the main areas for hours after embarkation. No explanation provided. 4. - the library. I love that Celebrity ships always have a library that's open 24 hours. But this one was pitiful. The smallest selection of books I've ever seen on a ship. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Overall, I would take this cruise again for the service, the ship itself and the amazing itinerary. However, we probably won't be booking Celebrity for our next cruise. We'll likely go with a pricier cruise line because we'd rather just pay more money up front and know how much we'll be spending them be solicited for extras every step of the way like we were on this cruise. For example, the cruise messed up our dinner reservation (again, 1st time this has ever happened to me on a cruise, and they messed it up for lots of people on this one) so we ended up making a reservation at Oceanliners, one of the specialty restaurants one night. The meal and the service were amazing, but we spent $130 to do this, and this took way from our port budget. Ugh. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My husband and I and another couple just returned from the 12 day cruise of the Baltic ports. We had a great time and very much enjoyed our cruise and Celebrity. By way of background, we last cruised on Celebrity Equinox in the ... Read More
My husband and I and another couple just returned from the 12 day cruise of the Baltic ports. We had a great time and very much enjoyed our cruise and Celebrity. By way of background, we last cruised on Celebrity Equinox in the Mediterranean. In researching for the Baltic tour, we chose Celebrity over other premium lines like Oceana and Seaborne primarily based on itinerary (Celebrity went to exactly the ports we wanted to go to) and price. We also were upgraded to Aqua Class, which we found to be very worthwhile. Our room was a little more spacious and we had a fantastic shower. And the balcony was perfect. Celebrity generally does the logistics well, particularly for such a large ship. It was very easy to get on and off the ship at the ports and the initial embarkation process was easy and quick. Our only gripe -- elevators were slow and erratic at times. The Constellation is not as deluxe and beautiful as the Equinox, and doesn't have some of the very nice spaces we loved in the Equinox, like the large sunset cafe. However, it was comfortable and well maintained. In Aqua class, we had access to the Blu private restaurant, which was excellent. We could eat at our convenience ( on 2 occasions we had to wait -- we had drinks nearby and they came and to us when a table was ready) and the food was generally very good. The appetizers and salads were outstanding -- main courses were a little more uneven but generally very good. And the service was generally attentive. On the whole, we thought Aqua Class was worthwhile for the upgraded room and the access to BLu. As for the other food choices, I agree with some reviewers that the Oceanside Grill could be crowded and unpleasant at times. We agree with some if these observations, but think that Oceanside is not much different from any high volume buffet in any cruise line and we thought the food was generally good. During port days we generally ate lunch on shore, so we really only used Oceanside for breakfast. I highly recommend the poached egg station -- I only found it on the last few days! The egg florentine was excellent. I have read other negative reviews of things like shows, etc. Let me say from the outset -- we did not go to the shows, we did not shop in the onboard boutiques, go to casinos etc. etc. What was important to us was the ports. We loved the ports. The time spent is generally adequate, though I would have liked more time in Stockholm (and Berlin -- (this is by no mean a sufficient time to visit a city like Berlin, but it is not intended to be) For the most part we did not use the Celebrity tours. In St Petersburg, we arranged a private tour for 4 people through a Alla Travel. We had a minivan with a driver and a guide for two days. It was excellent and the fee we paid for our very private tour was just slightly more than the two day tour offered by Celebrity (where we would have been stuck on a bus with a large group ). Russian passport control was -- shall we say- thorough. But we were treated no differently than those taking the Celebrity tours. We also took the Alla bus tour to Berlin. I had mixed feelings about taking the Berlin tour but in the end I think it was worthwhile. But I truly believe that if you want to visit a city like Berlin! this isn't the best way to see it. In Tallinn, we took the free " student" tour recommended by Rick Steves. It was completely adequate and our student guide was charming and informative. Tallinn is very manageable and there is no néed to take a Celebity tour. Shopping hint -- if you want to buy amber jewelry, Tallinn May be your best bet. The prices and choices were better than I saw elsewhere -- but since Tallinn was the first stop I didn't realize that. People in Helsinki told us that they went shopping in Tallinn! Otherwise, we thought the Hop on hOp off buses were very adequate for all of the ports. We took them in Helsinki and Copenhagen. Also, we arrived in Amsterdam early and took the hop on, hop off canal tour there -- also worthwhile. In Stockholm, we took the tour offered by Celebrity and wished we had taken the Hop on Hop Off bus there as well. However, the Celebrity tour in Stockholm was handled well from a logistically sense. Back on the ship, we did enjoy the martini bar and the amazing bartenders! and the entertainer named Lady Sax! But our main focus was the fabulous ports. Bottom line - ports are great, Aqua Class was great, Blu was great. An enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My wife and I sailed on Celebrity for a second time, the first was 2002 during its inaugural season. This time we decided to go 1st class for our 32nd wedding anniversary by upgrading to a Royal Suite! What a mistake. The cabin itself was ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Celebrity for a second time, the first was 2002 during its inaugural season. This time we decided to go 1st class for our 32nd wedding anniversary by upgrading to a Royal Suite! What a mistake. The cabin itself was dark and furniture was of the 1950's hotel room variety. The room entry had a huge stain and the furniture was dirty and stained. As I mentioned before, we had sailed Celebrity several years ago with a Celebrity Suite (our traveling companions had that suite class on this current cruise). I can say that Constellation must have redone the Celebrity Suite as the bathroom was tiny and cramped. Even in our own Royal Suite, the bathroom was small and cramped...and not nearly as nice as the prior Celebrity Suite we had enjoyed in 2002! Celebrity touted the hottub that we would enjoy on our oversized balcony. In reality, it is basically a jetted tub that was showing its age. The glass divider between our balcony and the suite next door was cracked in about 3 places (basically shattered). Food services on board were awful...both in the Main Dining Room and the buffet line on deck 10. As an example....mash potatoes reminded me of grade school cafeteria dining.....scooped with an ice cream scoop and pasty/dry/lumpy. It may sound minor, but when you consider that to be across the board relating to other food items, it was disappointing. We did try the Tuscan Grille (specialty restaurant). The food was excellent here...however, it comes with an additional cost for most guests. I also tried to have some special items delivered to our room in observance of our anniversary. The cheese/fruit platter ordered for sailing date never did show up and trying to get credit was a nightmare. The roses I ordered for our anniversary showed up on sailing date...a full six days before our anniversary and not in accordance with our order! The ship overall is showing its age. We were told that the cabins had been refurbished....clearly not the case with our suite. Our travel companions Celebrity Suite had been refurbished/redesigned...but not for the better (less space and cheaper looking furnishings). There are many other examples of poor customer service from shore excursion issues to simply getting on board. The only thing that I can say from a positive is that the cruise staff really did try and assist with our issues. However, their hands are tied by a cruise company that is clearly trying to save money and have, as a result, cheapened the whole experience. Never again will I sail on Celebrity. My mistake was thinking that I'd spend more money on a suite and get better service and amenities to create a memorable experience. I couldn't have been more wrong. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We knew before the cruise this ship should not be compared to our previous sailing on the Solstice but after all it is Celebrity and it is the Baltic. Despite the solsticization of the Constellation the old girl really shows her age. ... Read More
We knew before the cruise this ship should not be compared to our previous sailing on the Solstice but after all it is Celebrity and it is the Baltic. Despite the solsticization of the Constellation the old girl really shows her age. Overall, we enjoyed the trip and friends met but not a typical Celebrity experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Decided to upgrade to Aqua Class (AQ) so priority line helped expedite boarding. Immediately went to crowded buffet and room ready at about 1:30. Room was clean and enough storage. We all noticed the food was rather plain but only first day on board. Excited about our eating in BLU....what a major disappointment. As we met others on the cruise we found out several other AQ members started going to the main dining room because variety and entrees superior to BLU. Only real advantage to BLU we observed was fewer tables and less noise. Otherwise, we alternated dining rooms to take advantage of better entrees served in MDR. Overall buffet was boring all week. Never understood why all buffet stations not open for lunch, especially on sea days. Entertainment was amateurish and redundant. Two piano players simply lack effort in booking a variety of talent. Magician and singing and dancing shows were entertaining. Martina Bar bartender entertainment was a blast. The bartenders were great and enjoyed their mix drinking juggling. Had the premium beverage package and never had a problem getting drink service. The ports were all interesting and educational. The highlight was St Petersburg. One tip for future passengers. Best desserts located at Cafe al Bacio where you can get specialty coffees and teas. Even those there is a fee for the specialty beverages the desserts are free. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
The itinerary of Celebrity's Baltic & Northern Europe cruise on Constellation is excellent with a good ratio of sea and port days. The cruising experience on the Constellation itself was mediocre for a number of reasons: - The ... Read More
The itinerary of Celebrity's Baltic & Northern Europe cruise on Constellation is excellent with a good ratio of sea and port days. The cruising experience on the Constellation itself was mediocre for a number of reasons: - The ship has received a "facelift" but you can tell that it is an older vessel missing many of the amenities and the "flashiness" of newer cruise ships. - We did not book any shore excursions with Celebrity. In some ports a free shuttle bus (like offered by other companies) would have been nice. - The entertainment program left much to be desired. The quality of the life music and evening shows (if any) were very mixed and most of the so called "lectures" turned out to be sales pitches for port excursion or advertisement for on-board shopping. The sport program is not up to standard; Yoga and Pilates are not worth the fee. - We were very unhappy with the food. The quality in the main dining room was "hit and miss"; there were a few delicious items but in general the meals did not hold up to the flamboyant description in the menu. Salads looked and tasted tired and especially fish dishes were very disappointing. There was no lobster day as common on other cruises. Most of the food at the Ocean Grill (buffet restaurant) was of very low quality, boring and basically the same throughout the cruise. - We were in "Select Dining" and were asked to make dinner reservations. Be advised that a reservation makes no difference where and when you will be seated. We asked for a window table several times (and would have accepted to wait for one) but were assigned noisy tables at the rail although several window tables were available. Until the end of the cruise we were not able to find out what gets you on a preferred table - it is clearly not the "first come first serve" rule. - In general the dining room staff is very friendly and one of the Sommeliers was outstanding. Expect that your left over wine from the day before might get missing. Once a waiter spilled champagne over my pants, offered an apology but did not even refill the glass. - Specialty Dining: The Ocean Liner Restaurant is excellent and worth the fee but we had a much below average experience at the Tuscan Grill. Neither the food nor the service were convincing and worth the additional cost. - Upon embarkation we deposited 2 bottles of liquor with the Constellation staff and were promised to get them delivered to our stateroom the night before disembarkation. We never saw the 2 bottles (which were a pricy souvenir from a micro distillery in Amsterdam) again. Guest relations was less than helpful in locating our liquor and gave us conflicting answers - first they could not find it, after we presented the claim check they told us that it was found and will be delivered, then we were informed that it was delivered to the wrong stateroom, etc. etc. (recently we learnt that friends had a similar experience on a Celebrity ship). This experience thoroughly spoilt our last evening on the Constellation and convinced us to make cruising plans with other companies in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Norway and Baltics back to back. Celebrity has a priced options approach with a constant on board up sell which can be aggressive at times. When booking, spend time figuring out what’s important and whether it’s included in your ... Read More
Norway and Baltics back to back. Celebrity has a priced options approach with a constant on board up sell which can be aggressive at times. When booking, spend time figuring out what’s important and whether it’s included in your package. One gets what they pay for. Evaluate the drink package when offered the first day, how much & what you expect to consume and whether the specific beverage or brand will be included in the package. Perhaps wander the bars and venues to look at menus in deciding. Alternately, pay as you go. Either way, check your bill daily to make sure charges are correctly directed. We were not unique in having to challenge charges misdirected to our account, the explanation given was some cruisers do not sign receipts or cabin numbers are entered in error. I was impressed with the Oceanview Café staffs' ability to remain calm, provide a high level of service and a wide ranging selection. This is a heavily used venue as it becomes the common space and day dining area for many. As early risers, we shared the space with a handful of people anytime between 5:30am and 8:00, then the ship wakes up and the space becomes frantic. Ship day lunches are a similar experience. At noon one can find a table and by 1pm, the space is crowded. Any chaos is generally the result of passenger behavior. We used select seated dining room for most dinners and were pleased with the choices and service. On those nights when the menu or a 90 minute meal didn’t appeal, we moved upstairs. Others routinely do. Sushi is extremely popular. At the stern end of the café, a grill offers fish, beef or chicken to order and does a fine job. Loved the croissants, disliked the repeating café easy listening r&b music. (early morning fjord sail ins and luther vandross.) Formal night is dressier at late seating with a few tuxes. Early formal seating is generally men in suits although some men did not bring jackets and defined formal as a colored shirt & tie. Women varied from sparkly scarf to cocktail dress, many opting for sea-worthy dressy sandals. The July 8-20, 2014 baltic trip passenger list including quite a few kids. Summer schedules invite families that have the time and budget to spend two weeks in an expensive area of Europe and chose Celebrity over Disney. The kid zone programs were popular. The abrasive cruise director stated the Baltic trip had more “energy” than the June 20-July 8 (cruise director’s description) “rocks and bird poop” Norway trip. Given that one itinerary is cities and the other fjords, isn't it reasonable the groups would have different personalities? The cultural mix was distinctly different on each trip. As “line up” US Americans, we had a problem with the push style queuing in the common areas of the Norway cruise. The Baltic cultural mix was more relaxed and genial. Norway was gorgeous and we had long days to view sail in / out & enjoy port life. The Baltics, with excellent port choices, was shared with multiple ships which was workable. We enjoyed watching the world cup with an international audience when the satellite signal permitted, would have enjoyed a larger venue and other activities related to the cup and re-play of late night games the next day….bet bar sales would have benefited too. The directors of hospitality, housekeeping and food service each do a fine job of directing the layers of staff. Public areas are cleaned constantly. Internet is slow , unreliable and expensive, cruisers line up with staff at port wi-fi hot spots. The constellation is emphasizing accessibility of senior staff with a reoccurring theme of “young!” implying fresh and energetic but also meant “inexperienced!” at times. The Captain is a highly visible extrovert appearing in comedy skits, talks and picture ops, all popular. While safety is mentioned, given the Costa and Celebration fiascos, I prefer experienced and skilled. The hard working behind the scenes navigator and staff captain are earning their pay. Entertainment is mixed and appropriate for this size ship. A few talented choreographed splashy shows, cruise-ship single acts and young performers early in their careers. The June 20 embark was poorly organized with under-trained clerks, but the July 8 on and off and July 20 end of sail went well. Cabins are to be cleared by 8am the final day and public bathrooms closed shortly after. Early breakfast is available. Daily port on and off is run smoothly and the security group do a fine job. We booked three shore excursions with both good and bad experiences. An older bus in poor mechanical shape in Russia should not have been used for an all day tour. St. Petersburg day 2 was a completely different experience, good bus, guide & group. Celebrity must accept the well prepared traveler and the internet are here to stay. Even the concierge uses internet sourced materials. Perhaps a program or package for the active and independent traveler? Celebrity is a mid-priced cruise line, the constellation a smaller ship in today’s market with good port choices which is the reason we booked a cruise. Overall we are satisfied.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
I have made 117 cruises on most of the ships of the world, the small and large. I went on this cruise to just enjoy the ship as I had been to the various ports many times.My son and I were in a Royal suite and the balcony had a Jacuzzi on ... Read More
I have made 117 cruises on most of the ships of the world, the small and large. I went on this cruise to just enjoy the ship as I had been to the various ports many times.My son and I were in a Royal suite and the balcony had a Jacuzzi on the deck where I went every day that we were at sea as I enjoyed the privacy of my own "hot tub" and watching the world or sea go by. Our butler was outstanding and served very nice breakfast on the white table clothed table. We had access to Michael's Club which was only for suite guests and there was champagne, wine or anything you wanted free throughout the day. Also enjoyed the happy hours particularly on formal night. Most people respected formal night and dressed appropriately. By going to the select dining room early, we never had to wait for a table and with the suite we were allowed in the Aqua Blu restaurant. We enjoyed the crepes in the Bistro on occasion as well. With the suite we got free dinners at both of the special restaurants. The walk-in closet was big enough to handle all of our clothes and was very easy to access. The TV screens in the living room and the bed room were nice to have for keeping up with the news and on occasion seeing a movie. For St. Petersburg I hired a car and guide on the internet for two days and visited Peterhof and did a tour of the city by car and then a boat trip through the canals. I had been to this port several times before and was happy to avoid the crowds on the buses. Did also have a brief visit the new Faberge Museum. Copenhagen is my favorite city and we were close in enough to walk to Tivoli where we decided to enjoy the park and the restaurants there and wonder around a bit. We had lived in Denmark and were very familiar with all the sites. And we had a hotdog at the hotdog stand which I recommend as the Danes have the best hotdogs in the world. The only entertainment I went to was the Russian folkloric dancers. I don't really care for going into a crowded lounge unless the entertainment is very special and it was not really great on this cruise. In Estonia, we did the hop on hop off bus which is a good way to see the city when you don't have much time. We didn't go into Berlin but just visited Rostock, one of the ports. The cruise lived up to all of my expectations and everything went almost perfectly from the time we left our hotel in Amsterdam which was just above the cruise terminal until we returned to Amsterdam and got off the ship and just went upstairs to our hotel room. I have been on many Celebrity cruises and this one that was almost perfect in everyway. A trans-Atlantic cruise for me is a way to relax and enjoy the ship and if you time things right you can avoid the crowds and rush times on a big ship. My advise is if you depart from Amsterdam stay in the hotel that is just about the port. If you stay in the Execute suites, breakfast and happy hour are free and very nice. The Constellation is a lovely ship and it was refurbished a couple of years ago and you would never know that it is one of Celebrity's older ships. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We were sold this cruise at a local cruise fair in September 2013 at the price of £3000 per person. We believed we had been sold a 5 star experience and had previously cruised with Royal Caribbean and P+O with great success. We obviously ... Read More
We were sold this cruise at a local cruise fair in September 2013 at the price of £3000 per person. We believed we had been sold a 5 star experience and had previously cruised with Royal Caribbean and P+O with great success. We obviously had great expectations due to the high cost and the so called 5 star experience we were promised. What a huge disappointment , The entire cruise was rubbish. Food was terrible particularly in the buffet - what a bun fight with barely an empty table to be found. I can truthfully say we did not receive a good meal the entire cruise. The entertainment was very disappointing - the twice nightly theatre shows were amateur and the other evening music offerings were repetitive . During the day the majority of the entertainment centred around you spending money . The off shore trip we did in St Petersburg was overpriced . The onboard shops were a ripoff with very rude and pushy salespeople. We found the pool areas very overcrowded on sea days and no staff to get you a drink. The only redeeming feature of the trip was the destinations. However we were surprised to say the least to discover that shuttle buses had to be paid for - this had never happened to us before. The entire ship was shabby - dusty windows in the dining room and cutlery often dirty. The Constellation should be renamed the Con. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
We have cruised on various occasions with different cruise lines but over the past 3 years have had the pleasure of cruising with Celebrity Cruise lines specifically on both Reflection (once) & Silhouette (3 times). On all these ... Read More
We have cruised on various occasions with different cruise lines but over the past 3 years have had the pleasure of cruising with Celebrity Cruise lines specifically on both Reflection (once) & Silhouette (3 times). On all these vacations we opted for the higher priced Aqua Class which we continued to book due to the perfect vacation experiences we had had in the past on both the Reflection & Silhouette. This does not however factor on the Constellation on this last trip. Our travelling companions (3 additional rooms) also booked Aqua Class due to our beaming reviews of previous cruises and were sadly let down and may never book Aqua Class again due to this below expectation experience. The little perks have "been eliminated" for some reason:.....ie - small stem flower arrangement in the stateroom - evening chocolate on your pillow - amusing towel animals on your bed - Aqua class dining - left much to be desired in both service and quality of food.... more so on the first 4 to 5 days ( both for breakfast & dinner). - Embarkation went extremely smooth with little waiting time and no line ups. Our state room was ready early enough and it was roomy and clean. Our balcony on the 11th deck was perfect and allowed for fabulous un-obstructed views. The Constellation is obviously a much older ship and even if it received a facelift, it is noticeably run down in comparison to other larger more luxurious ships under the Celebrity umbrella. We were disappointed with several aspects of this cruise on Constellation. the follows briefly outlines a listing : - the Pool deck had piles of used dinnerware all over the place that was not being picked up - If a drink was needed, you had to go to a bar yourself as the pool waiters were scarce. - food in the Ocean Cafe was not always appealing of tasty - but on certain days it was abundant and varied. -The shops on deck 5 were far from appealing. I had high expectations for the much advertised "Russian Souvenir Event". What a “Hot Mess” that was. A gauntlet of people and items that were nice but way overpriced. There were some items that I had actually purchased in St Petersburg for less than half the price that this event was selling at. - we had purchased excursions in most of the ports with the exception of Copenhagen whereby we wanted to purchase a one way shuttle bus ticket for 8 people - we were told that it was $18 per person and that one way was not available. The shuttle ride took all of 10 minutes to be dropped off in a downtown city center whereby the pickup was to be in the same spot which was inconvenient if you wanted to walk around anywhere in the area to see anything .. ie Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid. we ended up walking back to the ship as it was closer than having to get back to the pickup location. Another example of Celebrity gouging it's passengers. - Although in Aqua class and having access to BLU we opted to give Ocean Liners (for Fee) restaurant a try. The food was excellent but service left much to be desired. We had 6:30 reservations as we wanted to catch the 9PM show. This didn't happen as service was at a turtle's pace. It took over 3 hours for dinner and that was with us constantly checking with waiter as to what was happening. Our main meal had not yet arrived by 8:45 and we had finished just past 9:30. Once an issue was brought to someone's attention - only then would Staff bent over backwards to help resolve the issue on hand. The Entertainment was as you would expect on a 12 night cruise some great, some acceptable / some walk outs Thankfully the ports on the northern European were spectacular. In summary, Celebrity needs to improve its overall offering. This trip was expensive for what we got. They are skimping where they should not be skimping and need to work extremely diligently to truly come thru to deliver on what is expected from a “LUXURY CRUISE EXPERIENCE" We will never again get on the Constellation and will reconsider travelling with Celebrity Cruise Lines for future trips..   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
A little background. I've cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival and by far this was the most mismanaged and disappointing cruise I have been on. As with anything the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As such, my ... Read More
A little background. I've cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival and by far this was the most mismanaged and disappointing cruise I have been on. As with anything the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As such, my discontent with respect to the Constellation is more than a reaction to dissatisfactory service or food (my complaints have been listed   below). To use the car manufacturing sector to analogize my feelings about this cruise: We certainly did not pay for a Rolls Royce but we paid for a cruise with a company that is considered by many to be the Mercedez of cruising (reliable, luxurious, high end). This level of service is not what we experienced onboard (as mentioned above). My memories of my experience in Europe is clouded by this dissatisfaction with our cruise ship. When I was asked how my holiday had been I was forced to admit that I wasn’t all too pleased, which is rather unfortunate. The truth is that by day 4 (Estonia) I was wishing I could transfer to one of the other ships docked at the pier, but I knew this was impossible. Food/Dining: • Great variation in quality of dishes offered. • Most dishes were tasteless and poorly executed in the main dining room/Buffet offerings were repetitive and equally poorly executed. • Resembled “rest stop diner food” (low quality/unskillfully prepared) as opposed to that of a 4-star restaurant (as previously experienced onboard the RCC Adventure of the Seas) • Deserts were tasteless, unimaginative or poorly executed (my “soufflé” which tasted much like microwaved egg whites was left barely touched). • The coffee was awful. The overpriced “café” coffee resembled the free coffee offered onboard the Adventure of the Seas and Carnival Imagination. Although I did not try the espressos onboard I also heard from an acquaintance that these were equally disappointing. • The food during our excursion to St. Petersburg was unpalatable. The same acquaintance remarked on Day 1 ashore that she wasn’t quite sure of what the Beef Stroganoff consisted of (it didn’t taste of anything). Day 2’s meal was equally disappointing and reminded me of canned cream of chicken soup served atop white rice. Certainly not what anyone expected given the pricing of the excursions. • A couple sitting in front of us while awaiting the departure of one of our tours commented that they had ordered room service and that it never came. • The attitude of the waiters towards guests was rather surprising. We found the waiters on the RCC Adventure of the Seas welcoming and quite helpful. Our waiters onboard the Celebrity were, in general, the types of waiters you would chose not to tip – absent, unfriendly, etc • On the last night of the cruise I was struck by how rude one of the ushers had been to the hostess. The Ship: • Badly in need of updates, upgrades and repair. • Maintenance and painting undertaken during the day, at many times with guests present or rather in the way • Major deck cleaning undertaken during pool opening hours on deck 10 This occurred twice to my knowledge. The second time people were still in the pool or hot tub when crew proceeded to move chairs to the side in order to hose down the deck. • Outdoor furniture in need or repair or replacement • Coffee table in our stateroom was rusted, scratched and scuffed • Although cleaning was undertaken in view of guests the ship certainly was not clean. Windows and exterior of ship was grimy throughout our trip. There were also a large amount of insects which made the Constellation their home (so much so that an acquaintance was unable to make use of their balcony throughout the trip). • It was apparent that the back patio area of deck 10 was never cleaned during our trip: juice, stains, and grime stained the floors. • After undertaking what appeared to be maintenance of the lifeboats on deck 4 (on day 1 in St. Petersburgh) the deck was not cleaned by the time passengers reboarded the ship. Rust and dust covered the majority of the deck. The following day I noticed a crew member mopping up the debris • The light coming from underneath the door in our stateroom was terribly bothersome (even for someone who typically does not have a problem sleeping with some light present). General • Favours were given on days 1 and 2 of the cruise. On our previous sailings favours (chocolates) were always placed on our pillows. We then overheard another guest mention that favours were only given on days 1 and 2 with Celebrity. This is a little bit incomprehensible to me. Royal is generally seen as the lower quality brand yet it offers much more in terms of service, personalization, and small touches which make guests feel welcome. • Crew members seemed to have a bad attitude and acted as though they were bothered by the presence of guests. • Our sail-way cards kept getting demagnetized despite not carrying electronic devices with us while out on tour. When sailing with Carnival I had kept my card with my cell phone (behind the phone under the gel case) and it had never gotten demagnetized. • Cleaning and repairs to my knowledge and confirmed with 2 other cruisers had always been undertaken during the night hours on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. The cleaning and repairs on the Constellation are undertaken during the day with guests present. The result was that often we felt we were in the way. Most of this should have been done at night (as it is done on other ships). • I often saw crew members not acting professionally in the presence of guests (fooling around on the patio, holding hands on the last day while walking by the pool – the place was filled to the brim with guests). • I often had the sense that I was in the crew’s way. Housekeeping often acted bothered about the prospect of having to come back later to do a room. • The attitude onboard was a serious problem. Many of the crew members were disgruntled or cold while others acted arrogant or snobbish. This was certainly not the welcoming atmosphere we expected to feel onboard. My main issue, again, is that this was not a 5-star cruise as it is often advertised. When compared to the Constellation this constitutes serious false advertising. Had I known how things would be onboard the Constellation I would not have paid for the cruise – quite simply, I would have waited a month and cruised with Royal. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Just returned from the 12 night r/t amsterdam Norway cruise. Overall a very nice cruise experience---first time as Elite member so we enjoyed the laundry, internet and happy hour (although we upgraded our 123 promotion to premium ... Read More
Just returned from the 12 night r/t amsterdam Norway cruise. Overall a very nice cruise experience---first time as Elite member so we enjoyed the laundry, internet and happy hour (although we upgraded our 123 promotion to premium beverage). This was a very well run cruise from embarkation to disembarkation. Without a doubt the most visible and communicative officers of any previous cruises. Capt. Tasos has a great sense of humor and was frequently the "foil" for the CD "JC" and his activity partner in crime "Mark". He gave great daily updates and 2 lectures that were well attended. FOOD: Always subjective IMHO, however on this cruise I think it was good to very good overall. The main DR was efficient--we did Select Dining. Had good waiters--"Favian" was our favorite but all were good. Food was warm/cold as needed. We did 1x Tuscan that was also good--with the best service of any prior Tuscan experiences. Crab cake was unremarkable FYI (again imho). Food portions have been adjusted since our last cruise (2013) and were somewhat smaller but thought the overall presentation was quite good. Only 1 meal in the MDR missed the mark but we were so far into the cruise we didn't need to get another plate! The Lideo buffet was always busy--in particular we LOVED the indian curries and I advised Exec Chef Gavin of our appreciation. The Elite breakfast was never very busy but the fresh fruit and other goodies were fantastic. The Al Bacio crew on 5 were excellent. SHIP: Older ship but we liked the level of care being shown. It's smaller and we like that. This crew was outstanding. Our stateroom attendant ("Mario") on 2nd level was super. Never a problem with the room or anything requested was not an issue. PORTS: Fantastic 8 ports never had to tender. I am surprised that Celebrity is dropping this from their 2015 schedule. If you have not seen this part of the world--it is beautiful! GRIPES: Actually very few. Celebrity seems to be even more aggressive around pushing constantly for dining packages, beverage packages, etc. During our CC get together, the CD actually suggested if we organized independent tours we would be "putting the ship out of existence." I thought the pushing of all the upcharging was rather shameless but I guess you get thick skin after a few days. Bottom line was we met many wonderful people, and had a great experience. Looking forward to our next cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our 5th cruise, first on Celebrity. We previously cruised on Regent, Oceania and Viking. Norway is an extremely expensive destination, hence our decision to give Celebrity a try since their prices are much lower and they were ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, first on Celebrity. We previously cruised on Regent, Oceania and Viking. Norway is an extremely expensive destination, hence our decision to give Celebrity a try since their prices are much lower and they were offering the 123 special. We stayed in Aqua Class, which we thought might give us a reprieve from crowding that we expected, since this ship is more than twice the size and occupancy of any ship we had ever cruised on. Our perception of Constellation compared to smaller, luxury class ships: Lots of overcrowding at buffet during lunch and dinner. We wish they would have had more restaurant choices during the day to relieve the seating issues (lack of adequate tables for everyone). It wasn't a problem at dinner. A lot of pushing, shoving and cutting in line: for food, to get on shuttles, to get on elevators and an overall rudeness on the part of many passengers in the bar areas. There was quite a blend of nationalities on this particular cruise and I understand that there are different cultural mores when it comes to personal space and the like, but this was over the top for us. We had upgraded to the premium drinks package because we like to drink good wine. There were many times we had a decent glass of wine in one of the restaurants or bars and could never get it again. The craft beer lounge would have been awesome if they had not changed it to a (completely underutilized) VIP lounge. They did have a nice wine focused lounge on board, Cellarmasters, however, we had the bad luck to be cruising during the World Cup games and Cellarmasters became "all World Cup, all the time" something we have no interest in. One final comment about wine, is that we would have dearly loved to have been able to order glasses of wine from room service to enjoy on our veranda (without paying extra of course!) This is first cruise we have taken where we could not do this. The entertainment options were more plentiful than the smaller ships. Our favorite by far was the Russian Violin Trio. Gorgeous and talented. We wish the Saxophonist could have gotten rid of the guy with the synthesizer and we might have enjoyed her music. The shows were okay. I usually find them pretty cheesy and I hate medleys and variety shows. The violin guy from England was awesome, the best by far, the poor juggler's performance was cringe-worthy, I only can hope it was due to pitchy seas that night. Dining at Blu was pretty good, and we ate all dinners there except the 4 nights we did the specialty restaurants. The service was good and food acceptable. I wish their breakfast hours could have been extended until at least 9:30 because we are not early risers most of the time. Lunch in Blu would be a godsend too, as we hated the Oceanview buffet so much (we renamed it the "Push and Shove Cafe") We ate lunch on shore every port and tried the hamburgers a few times to avoid the Oceanview. We ate at the Oceanliners restaurant twice, once we had the multi course with matching wines, and the second time we did ala carte and had wines that were included on our package. It was pretty good, nice presentation, very ambitious tableside service which could benefit from further staff training. The Tuscan Grill however, was excellent. We thought the food, service and ambiance there was much better both times we ate there. The sommelier in Tuscan was the best on the ship as well, kudos to her! One of the "benefits" we thought we were going to receive as Aqua Class guests was exclusive access to thalassotherapy pool, jacuzzis and the Persian Garden area. We enjoyed the pool for a sum total of an hour until a woman brought her diapered infant into the pool with her. Disgusting. Even though there were signs stating adults only, children were jumping in and splashing around. So that was that. There was a pool guy there, but he did not enforce the rules. We used the jacuzzis once or twice, but a combination of children and extreme over-chlorination put an end to that as well. I never did use the Persian Garden for some reason...... My husband enjoyed the steam room. We did not get any spa treatments. The fitness room was fine, it had everything we needed, I only wish I had thought to bring an iPod for music. The only other things I can think of to mention are that we liked the Reflections Lounge, great views, the martini bar was fun one evening to try a few interesting drinks, the coffee shop was very good, the public areas nice enough. We weren't big fans of the artwork, and don't do art auctions, casinos and onboard shopping. The itinerary was good. It was nice to start in Amsterdam so we had an opportunity to spend a few nights in that beautiful city before boarding. The highlights of the actual cruise were the fjords of Geiranger and the sail out of Molde which was beautiful. The city of Bergen was terrific. I almost wish they hadn't bothered going all the way up to Honnigsvag and instead had gone to Oslo and hit another fjord area. The further north we went the colder and grimmer the weather got. I guess a month later when all the snow had finished melting would have helped, but then we wouldn't have had all those awesome waterfalls. All in all I'm glad we finally got to see Norway! We did know that it was going to be expensive, but I have to say it exceeded even my expectations. Be prepared to pay triple what you are used to at home for similar meals and/or goods. Overall, the cruise was good. We booked Celebrity's Xplorer for the Galapagos next April, and it being a smaller more rustic ship, we have our expectations in full check. Again, Celebrity offers a great value in the uber-expensive Galapagos, so we will go with them. Other than that, on future cruises, we will probably go back to Oceania. It's more expensive, but we think for us it is worth it.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation in June, destination Baltic/Northern Europe. There were five of us total, including my 3-year-old daughter. It was our second cruise, second with Celebrity -- first cruise was a Mediterranean cruise ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation in June, destination Baltic/Northern Europe. There were five of us total, including my 3-year-old daughter. It was our second cruise, second with Celebrity -- first cruise was a Mediterranean cruise last summer on the Silhouette. Embarkation was a breeze, much faster than last summer in Venice. The ship is a little older and smaller than the Silhouette, but we were very pleased overall. The ship was clean and the staff was very friendly, and very accommodating of my daughter. We dined in the buffet most mornings and ate in the MDR every night except the first night in St. Petersburg. I thought the food in the MDR was even better than Silhouette's, and the service was excellent. Buffet was very good also -- no complaints. We enjoyed the poolside burgers and dogs frequently, also. We did not have a drink package but did frequent the martini and reflections lounge. Recommend avoiding the happy hour specials as the drinks are weak and overly sweet. Our favorite part of Constellation was the adults-only pool with the bubble seats. We did not use the spa but did use the fitness facility, which wasn't as spacious as Silhouette's and did get very crowded at times. We appreciated that the adults-only pool was open to children at a couple points during the day since the outdoor pools could not be used with the cold temperatures. Our daughter went to the kids club a couple of sea day mornings and she had a really good time -- the kids club staff was great. Ports: We used SPR for Germany and St. Petersburg and were very happy with both tours. We skipped Berlin and toured Rostock and Warnemunde instead and found those tours interesting. Sweden we went with a Celebrity tour that was a bit of a mess due to our inability to hear the guide 75% of the time. They really need the whisper devices for tours with large numbers of people. For Helsinki and Copenhagen we did the hop-on bus tours and while expensive we felt that we got a good overview of those cities from the bus tours. Be sure to wake up early for the sail-in to Stockholm, it was one of the highlights of the trip. Disembarkation was a good process, although we were kind of annoyed that Celebrity pushed the bus transfer to the airport so hard. Despite their doom and gloom predictions, there were tons of cabs available at the port and we could have saved a lot of money.   Read Less
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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