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Sail Date: July 2009
We are from Hong Kong and we cruised before on Princess and NCL America before. We are Chinese, I am 37, my wife is same age, my sister is 49 and my father is 73. Well, this could get long so I will say it here, we really enjoyed this ... Read More
We are from Hong Kong and we cruised before on Princess and NCL America before. We are Chinese, I am 37, my wife is same age, my sister is 49 and my father is 73. Well, this could get long so I will say it here, we really enjoyed this cruise. We loved the food, the ports and the staff were excellent. We do recommend this cruise to our friends. The ship's shuttle buses were expensive though, but if you can find your own way to get around the ports (just do a little more research before you go) you should have no problem. For example, Celebrity charges US$100 per person for the transfer from Harwich to Heathrow. We spent just GBP21 each using train and tube. We had to haul our own luggage along but we were up to it so no problem. We also wish there was a self-service launderette on the ship for us to use, like they have on Princess or NCL, since we had to fly such a long way we could carry only so much clothing. Fortunately this was summer so we didn't have to worry about jumpers or coats. Food Dinner in San Marco is excellent. Our waiter Cyrel was very professional and very helpful. The menu changes everyday for 14 days and it was just so good. We are so happy we didn't even try Ocean Liners. On the day we left Copenhagen at the formal dinner, the entire kitchen staff and the waiters came out in a parade with the ships's captain, so remember to bring your cameras. On two of the sea days the San Marco also served brunch from 10am, so that gave us the chance to have a good sleep-in. Seaside Cafe was where we had our breakfasts and lunches. There was a lot of variety and the quality is good. But strangely there were not many soup options. Coffee is bad both in San Marco and Seaside Cafe. Probably served from the same coffee machine. Celebrity really needs to look into it. I resorted to drinking teas. When we left Amsterdam at 2pm, the Seaside Cafe was totally packed as everyone returned to the ship for lunch. I think Constellation should have opened San Marco till a later time to serve lunches that day. Cova Cafe Milano - the only place to get a decent cup of coffee onboard. Prices are alright at $3 for expresso and $4 for cappuccino. We tried AquaSpa Cafe once and enjoyed its lighter offerings and friendly staff. Entertainment If you are expecting the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and Lang Lang, then I think you will be disappointed. But we did not because we knew it was unrealistic and honestly, which cruise line features these artists? Annette Wardell, Nicola Loud, Jordan Bennett, Mario D'Andrea, Perry Grant, Naki Ataman were what we got and we felt they did well. David Deeble, the juggler, was very good one night but not so good the other and I think he knew it himself. Performers sometimes have off days/nights. We understand that and we did not let it ruined our holiday. Embarkation We took the train from Liverpool Street. We pre-booked tickets on the internet and I just printed them out at one of the station's ticket machines. Unfortunately the Cruise Train failed to start so we took a regular train. It was quite easy at the cruise terminal, but we didn't realize we had to check our luggage first before checking in ourselves. But it all went very smoothly. Surprisingly there was no immigration or customs. Ports Amsterdam - We lost one hour's sleep at night as we arrived in Amsterdam. We went to Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. The walk from the pier to Amsterdam train station is a 15 min walk. Zaanse Schans is just 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam and very doable. On our return we took the tram back to the pier and the driver actually told us to forget the fare as it was just one stop away! The Dutch are very friendly and we hope to return one day. As the ship sail from Amsterdam to the North Sea it sailed through the North Sea Canal. The scenery was good and was very interesting. Later we learnt that some guests left the ship at Amsterdam to re-join it in Warnemunde. That is quite an interesting option and I wish I had thought of it. Warnemunde - we took the train from Warnemunde and went to Wismar and Schwerin. At Schwerin we went to BUGA, the national flower show. My father cannot walk far and the good people at BUGA lent him a electric wheelchair so he could drive it around the park. We had a very good time there and Schwerin is just so beautiful. At night when the ship departed, many small boats were around and gave us a very big send off. It was so amazing. Stockholm - we took the HOHO bus, which turned out to be a mistake in terms of costs. For 4 of us it costed 120 Euros (30 each) and we reckon that we could have just gone around in a taxi and saved a lot of it. We stopped at the Palace and the Town Hall, then went to the interesting Vasa Museum. Stockholm is beautiful and we hope to visit again. Also, the ship opened its helipad at the front to allow guests to view the fantastic sail out of the Stockholm archipelago. Helsinki - We lost another hour's sleep as we arrived in Helsinki. After Stockholm my wife said no more HOHO. This time we took a taxi to the Market Place and it costed us 15 Euros only, that's about 3.75 Euros per person, that's cheaper than either the ship's shuttle or HOHO. With the Lutheran Church and Upensky Cathedral right in the town centre, we spent the entire morning there. We bought our day pass at 7.8 Euros each and went to see the Rock Church and the Sibelius Memorial. After that it began to rain and we took another taxi back to the ship (15 Euros again). Celebrity had umbrellas at the gate for its guests to use for the short uncovered walk back to the ship. In the end we only spent about 10 Euros per head on transport, what a contrast to Stockholm. St. Petersburg - Again we move another hour forward for St. Petersburg. This is important if you have a pre-booked tour because you must be careful to reset your watches and alarm clocks. My father and sister almost missed it because they woke up an hour late. By now we are just four hours behind Hong Kong! We didn't expect the time change throughout the cruise. We joined a SPB tour organized on the cruise critic roll call board. We had a Mercedes van to our group with driver and guide. The organization was first rate but the guide sighed quite a lot as she went through some of the stories of the city, particularly the story about Rasputin. But still we saw some great sights, including Catherine Palace, Peterhof, Yusopov Palace, Church on the Spilled Blood and were very happy. One interesting story on the canal boat tour. We saw a little Russian boy wearing a red t-shirt waving at us at every bridge that we went pass. He actually chased our boat all the way round the tour. When we finally came back to the pier he was right there and I think most of us tipped him a dollar or two. Tallinn - Taxi to the old town (15 Euros) for 4 of us and we then walked our way downhill. Tallinn is a lovely little city. The old town is so nice to walk around. While we were there we saw two men rushing around with backpacks, an envelope in one of their hands, looking for a taxi with a television crew running behind them. It was "The Amazing Race"! We returned to the ship at about 1pm and we had lunch on the ship. Just as we were returning the Costa Mediterreanea docked alongside us. The two big ships docked side by side at the pier looks quite stunning. Copenhagen - We took bus no. 26 at the pier. Then we went to the central train station to change Danish Krone and bought two 10 trip 2 zone bus tickets. This ticket costs 130 Krone for 10 trips so each trip is 13 krone, which works out at less than 2 Euros per trip. We went to visit Rosenborg Castle. The treasury there is a must see. Then we went to Nyhavn for the DFDS canal tour. Nyhavn is very pretty and a tourist attraction by itself. It was such a hot day we all came back with sun burns. Celebrity had cold towels for guests returning to the ship, nice touch. The next day we took no. 26 all the way to Carlsberg's visitor centre. It was a 30 minute ride. The entrance to the visitor centre cost 60 Krone but you do get a decent sample of the company's best product at the end of the visit. There is a small replica of the Little Mermaid in the yard, too. Before we returned to the ship we went off to take pictures at the Little Mermaid proper, which is about 10 min walk from the ship. Harwich - disembarkation was easy. We went to the theater at 7:30, got our luggage back in the cruise terminal, again no immigration or customs. We were on the platform of the train station by 7:55, just nice for the 8:06 train to Liverpool Street. Others Thalassotherapy pool - Very enjoyable, the water was warmer than I thought. Emporium shopping - Almost everyday they try to layout something different there so we walk around there after dinner quite often. There was a $10 sale one night and on the day we left Copenhagen there was another sale, 3 t-shirts for $20. Bridge - We signed up for the Cruise Critics Connections Party but we missed it because something else was happening (I don't remember what though). But we were also invited for a tour of the bridge. Celebrity had an officer there explaining to us how the ship works. This was very interesting. Medical Facility - unfortunately I got cough in the middle of the cruise and I went to see the onboard doctor. He gave me a good check-up then gave me antibiotics, cough syrup and lozenges. The bill is $121.5, a little bit on the high side but I did get 5 days of medicine. 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Sail Date: July 2009
A little bit of background info. Family of four - 2 adults and 2 teenage boys (16 & 15) Previously on Princess Emerald and RCI Independence of the Seas. Travelled from North Wales to Harwich (staying one night in Cambridge ... Read More
A little bit of background info. Family of four - 2 adults and 2 teenage boys (16 & 15) Previously on Princess Emerald and RCI Independence of the Seas. Travelled from North Wales to Harwich (staying one night in Cambridge pre-cruise) EMBARKATION This was a breeze - mentioned numerous times on this board! SHIP I had been worried about the 'state' of the ship following many reviews of the ship. Here are my thoughts. * Not as glitzy as our previous cruise ships....but more stately and refined. * Maintenance going on all the time. Spotlessly clean at all times. * Some areas showing signs of wear and tear (thread-bare chairs, rusty verandas etc) BUT soon to be rectified in her April 2010 refurb. Did not detract from our enjoyment - and should not detract from yours! FOOD Subjective.....extremely subjective!!!! SAN MARCO RESTAURANT: * Food always hot. * Portions small, but 4 or 5 course available, so plenty of food - best described as proportinate. * Good variety. * Steak hit and miss. * Better than RCL food, but not quite hitting Princess quality. SEASIDE CAFE (BUFFET) * Always busy - no defined areas, so no one quite sure where to line up. * Good variey of food. * Best food - various curries!! ENTERTAINMENT * Good variety for most tastes. * Good string quartet and American juggler/comedian. * Entertaiment not as good as RCL. It could be improved. * Trivia - most days (sea days) very entertaining and competitive!! PORTS Amsterdam Not a lot of time in port - so we did our only ship tour. Comprehensive tour of Amsterdam with Anne Frank house. Recommended. Amsterdam was surprisingly impressive. Berlin Did a private tour from Waramunde with 21 others from the CC roll call with SPB tours (spb-tours.com) An absolutely fantastic day with the most wonderful guide (Sarah) Bus picked us up for the drive to Berlin. Visited all the 'must sees'sights. Only cost 85 Euro per person (as opposed to £200pp ship's tour)!!! Berlin, whilst a long trip from Waramunde, and if you haven't been to Berlin is highly recommended. Stockholm Did the Ho Ho buses (with boat ride) - not recommended, Too infrequent to make full use of them. Stockholm was 'pretty' and had lots of character. St Petersburg Again, we did a private 2 day tour with SPB, arranged through the roll call. It was so popular, we ended up with three tour groups! We had two fantastic days (very active days) with Elena our guide. She was incredibly knowledgeable and fun too! I would highly recommend SPB, especially if you want to book private tours in Berlin and St Petersburg. St Petersburg is a special place. Tallinn We took the Official Tallinn Sightseeing tour (free if you had a 24hr Tallinn card)....well, don't bother! A bus trip took us out of Tallinn and along the coast line before returning back to the centre for a walking guided tour. The whole trip was in English and Finish...which made it very tedious. You only need walk off the ship to Old Tallin.......no need for tours! Tallinn old town is beautiful. Helsinki We did a bus and boat tour via the helsinki expert website. The bus tour was quite enjoyable, but the sunlines CANAL tour was anything but.....no canal involved?!!!! Helsinki was quaint. We had afternoon rain. Copenhagen We bought the Ho HO bus with DFDS canal tour ticket...AGAIN....big mistake! The DFDS canal tour was fine, but the Ho HO was so infrequest...2 lines were once every hour only. Not worth the money. CONCLUSION An absolutley wonderful trip - the itinerary was perfect, a cultural delight. The weather was perfect....just a coupe of showers during the whole 2 weeks. The ship was delightful and the eclectic mix of people was fascinating - all people we met were VERY friendly. Our two teenage boys had a wonderful time on this trip....a smallish group of well behaved teenagers made for a wonderful group of friends for them. I highly recommend for families with older children. Would I sail again with Celebrity? Absolutely!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
I got back this week from my wonderful journey to Paris and London and my 14-day Baltic cruise on the Constellation (June 27th to July 11th).Am still getting back to real life, but thought I'd start my review, as things are still ... Read More
I got back this week from my wonderful journey to Paris and London and my 14-day Baltic cruise on the Constellation (June 27th to July 11th).Am still getting back to real life, but thought I'd start my review, as things are still fresh in my mind.This was our second Celebrity cruise (the other being Barcelona to Venice last May on the Summit).We cruised with our 3 kids , ages 5 , 9 and 12 (12 year old is a daughter , other are sons).We left on a Monday night from Sao Paulo-a direct flight on TAM airlines to Paris. I was very impressed-new airbus (much newer than the United airplanes I have been on recently), on time, no glitches. We had turbulence through the intertropical convergence zone (right over where the AF flight went down) but it wasn't too bad.WE arrived at noon in Paris and got a our pre-arranged shuttle to our hotel. Driver not too great or friendly. Our hotel was in Saint Germain, a small family run hotel with a cool cat named Sputnik (my kids loved him). The hotel was very well located and charming , with a very old , neat basement to have breakfast in. Yummy food!We met some friends in Paris and visited the Notre Dame , the Louvre , Musee d'Orsay , Jardin du Luxomberg, a Seine river cruise, the Eiffel Tower and a bus tour to see the general sights. We had lovely weather and a very nice time. Friday at noon we caught the Eurostar to London . Nice way to travel. Our shuttle was late picking us up because of bad traffic. We proceeded to our little B&B in a tiny town in the countryside called Mistley (the B&B is called The Mistley Thorn). LOVED it. This was one of our favorite experiences and places. The town is Georgian and it was where the Witchmaster General hung out (Vincent Price played him in a movie). There is a swan reserve there and the children loved the swans. The food at the inn was amazing and I discovered my favorite new drink-Pimm´s Lemonade-so refreshing-cheers!!Saturday at lunch time we left for Harwich-a very pretty drive . I fell in love with the English countryside and want to go back and explore more.  We arrived at the port around 1:30 and got our seapasses. Easy process , no long wait.We boarded and went to our stateroom-number 7199 , FOV , corner with it's huge balcony. Everyone here is right - can't get better than this!  Amazing stateroom , lots of storage space, very well kept. And the huge balcony ...no words can describe how it added to the pleasure of our cruising experience. The five of us were very comfortable and we created a routine in which we had no issues with only one bathroom. Our stateroom attendant, Sim from the Philippines, was efficient and did a nice job.The ship itself was in lovely shape -elegant and understated and easy to manage. We were on the Mariner of the Seas in December and I prefer the size of the M class ships. More manageable IMHO. The first night we relaxed and ate at the buffet. Because of the 3 kids , we don't eat at the MDR all the time-we find it easier and less rushed to alternate dining venues. The food at the buffet is quite nice , lots of variety and a good salad bar , as well as stir fry , sushi , a pasta station (which didn't impress me)and other options.If you'd like you can accompany our journey through our photos at www.picasaweb.google.com.br/brazilgirl1987. Our first port was Amsterdam. It is a really neat city , however I felt the stop we made there didn't even come close to doing it justice. I think Celebrity should rethink the schedule - we arrived at 8 and had to be on board at 1:45.I had booked Anne Frank at 9:00 and a canal tour for the rest of our time. Anne Frank was extremely moving. Just entering the museum brought me to tears. My two older children had studied about Anne and it was very significant for them. The youngest got a bit whiny (on the trip we had almost no whining from him-yeah!) and I thought he was bored. But later that evening, while taking a shower he stated talking about Anne Frank and saying that we all had to be quiet and that he thought she would be happy if we ordered her a pizza (he is 5). I think the whole experience brought out strong feelings that he then dealt with through his play.The canal ride was a good way to get an overview of the city. We also stopped at a sidewalk cafe and had a snack and enjoyed people watching. We had a mad dash back to the ship, which was stressful. We walked and had been told it was close and it really wasn't. The kid's club was fabulous. Lots of neat activities and a very competent staff. My 5 yr old made a best friend from Guatemala and my 9 yr old loved the scavenger hunts. My 12 yr old daughter made 2 inseparable friends who she hung out the whole cruise. I was very, very pleased with the program. My kids always wanted to be there and went with great enthusiasm.I asked about the CC breakfast in a very nice manner. Our stateroom attendant didn't seem to excited about the request, so I just let it go. The lounge chairs were very nice. Maybe someone else asked about the lounge chairs? I was worried about breakfast in my robe...lol.Our second port was Warnemunde , Germany. I had pre-booked a car and we had a lovely day. We drove to Lubeck and went to the most amazing puppet museum. The kids went wild. The owner has been collecting theater items (puppets/marionettes)since the 70s and has traveled all over the world to get them. Truly a magical place. Then we hung out near the water and had some food and ice cream. The drive to Lubeck and back was very easy and very pretty.I think when traveling with kids, car rental is a very nice option. No waiting involved, as well as the flexibility to modify schedule if needed. We also rented a car in Denmark and on our other cruise in Santorini. I like the change it gives us in pace on these longer itineraries.After arriving back, we hung out in Warnemunde , which is cool and loved the neat send off there.On our sea days, the kiddos stayed at the Fun Factory and we enjoyed our adult time reading and relaxing.The food in the MDR was quite good. On of my favorite things were an appetizer with goat cheese and salmon and a very nice penne with pancetta. Our waiter was fantastic (Cyrel) and we had a great table next to a window (524).I think they need additional staff for drink orders ,as I think in all venues it is hard to get a coke sometimes.Our kids really held up well (yeah!!!). Lots of time changes and heavy sightseeing. Some observations-planning is fundamental. I tried to mix things up, so we'd be doing lots of different kinds of things , not just museums and churches. Pre-buying tickets and such really cut down on lines and waits (I pre-booked almost everything). Lastly-give them a few breaks-in Tallinn and Helsinki we left them on the ship because they were tired and we were going to walk a lot.   We had a table for 6, which was nice. I met so many wonderful people on this cruise. A really great group. We had lovely neighbors from the Carolinas and our fellow CC members were very friendly. The members of the roll call were invited to the traditional party and also to a bridge tour, which my kids really enjoyed (as did I). As a Captain's Club member, we were invited to a cocktail party to meet the captain -we had a great time. One of my favorite things was the brunch they had twice on sea days. What a spread! I'd love it if they had it on every sea day. We also enjoyed a wine pairing seminar-informative and fun.We dined twice at Ocean Liners (on our other cruise we dined twice at the Normandie). I had read about lots of changes, but quite frankly, I didn't really observe any at all. The service continues to be impeccable and the food is first class. The goat cheese soufflE is still mouth-watering, as all other items on the menu. Everyone should go at least once on their cruise.Our next port: Stockholm!!When asked what my favorite things on the trip were, I'd be hard-pressed to answer. But I'd have to say Mistley (England) , Stockholm and Denmark. Stockholm is a dream-gorgeous! We had our hottest day (we wore shorts). I'd purchased Stockholm passes online. We caught the bus from the pier (easy) and arrived right by the Vasa Museum. It was crowded, but still comfortable. What an amazing feat...it is hard to believe the whole store of salvaging the ship. The restoration process is beautiful to see. We all loved it.We then walked to Skansen-enchanting. People in period costumes , quaint buildings and the zoo with Nordic animals. You get so close to the animals. We even got to pet reindeer!!! We had a Swedish lunch at Skansen, then caught a tram back to the bridge. We still had time and our Stockholm cards , so we decided to stop at the Pippi Longstocking Museum. Loved, loved, loved it. What a magical place for kids. My 3 kids had the best time (even the 12 year old).She was by far the oldest there , but she really played a lot. There were almost no tourists-just Swedish kids (all cute and blond-my daughter kept saying she wanted to be blonde and blue-eyed too! Ha!)We went back to the ship, tired and happy.This was the day we most enjoyed our balcony-we sat out and had dinner delivered from the MDR (drunken shrimp linguini) and watched the ship go through the archipelago. Absolutely stunning.The next day we were in Helsinki - I'd planned to go to the fort and have a picnic, but when we got up the weather was ugly. So we decided to leave the kids on board and just explore (if we just walk around with no destination, they tend to complain!).We got the Celebrity shuttle downtown and decided to go shopping at the huge Stockman dept. store. We did some damage then had a cocktail at a sidewalk cafe. We walked around, saw some other sights and went back. Nice low-key day. The weather turned out to be great (big change from the morning). Now we are in St. Petersburg!I had really studied up on this port and read lots and lots of reviews. I decided the best option for our family would be to go through one of the many approved agencies (Denrus, Alla, Anastasia, Red October etc...). I opted for Anastasia, as I had read many positive reviews. I also sent many e-mails asking for estimates to all the different agencies and Anastasia was very prompt and flexible.I was not disappointed!We arrived on a rather rainy morning and I did not follow the little letter asking the people one non-Celebrity tour to gather at the Bar of the Edge of the Earth. I just went down to disembarkation and got in the huge line (full of people on Celebrity tours). My DH didn't want to disobey the ship , but I told him that it was o.k, and that he had to trust me. He was convinced after everything went fine.We went through Russian immigration, got our red visitors passes and were off on our adventure. We had found another family on our roll call to share the tour with-a couple and their 11 yr old daughter. Our girls became inseparable and the tour was so nice with these new friends.We started the day at Peterhof, which is gorgeous. We had lunch at one of the cafes, then went to St. Petes by hydrofoil. We then went on to Yusopov´s Palace , where we had a tour given by Anastasia herself. The palace is smaller than all the others and was easier to get around. Our kids loved the story of Rasputin. We watches a small men's choir perform-haunting.We ended our first day with a private canal tour -the boat was only for our small group of 8, which was special.Our guide was Elena, a 23 yr old woman full of culture and sweetness. She was very thoughtful and attentive and paid special attention to the kids needs. She gave us so much history and perspective on Russian life. Truly wonderful.Our second day was a bit shorter. We started out at the Hermitage. It is overwhelming and amazing. Such a wealth of culture and beauty and history in one place. The kids did well the first hour , then the 5 yr got a bit whiny. Elena immediately changed the pace, taking us to a room full of medieval armor and weapons , which he loved.The Impressionist collection is gorgeous - I couldn't believe the Matisses....We then went on a city van tour and stopped at this wonderful pie restaurant which was full of atmosphere and delicious food (at great prices!) We continued on our tour and visited the battleship Aurora (not scheduled-again thinking of the kids). We stopped at a shop for great souvenirs and then finished our day at the exquisite Church of Spilled Blood.   The ship provided the immigration forms. Anastasia had sent us (online) travel tickets before hand. The forms, tickets, your passport and a copy of the main picture page of your passport is all that was needed.We paid for almost everything with a credit card-our lunch the first day at Peterhof, our souvenirs ...we paid for our lunch the 2nd day with rubles we took from the ATM, because our guide, Elena said the restaurant didn't accept cc. She said we could pay at the end too, but we were near an ATM , so we took out around $50 American dollars, which covered our family of 5, as well as lunch for Elena (we treated her on both days).We bought the following at the souvenir shop:a tacky fake fur soviet hat (my middle son loved it!)Some nesting dollsa ship (clipper)a beautiful, hand painted lacquer box for me , as well as some lovely boxes made of birchThe boxes were pricey, but the rest was pretty inexpensive ($10 for a nice nesting doll , $12 for the ship...)As far as how long to allow to get off the ship, it is hard to say...I think 8:30 is a time which might be more crowded as more people get off early.I would consider changing your tour time and leave a bit later to avoid the lines (9ish seems to be a good time). You'll have plenty of time and even if you get back later, it is still light out!We got back tired and very pleased with our option of Anastasia. More comments on the ship...We really don't go to bars, so I can't really say much about them. The Martini Bar is very pretty and we went to the Captain's Club party at the Bar of the Edge of the Earth, which has lovely windows.We went to 4 shows, all of which focused on Broadway type music. And there was a fun "music from around the world production. My favorite show was a singer named Jordan , who starred in the LA production of Les Mis..his rendition of "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues made me cry (I know-corny, huh!)Almost at the end of the cruise, we wandered into Michael's Bar to hear Perry Grant. I must admit, I had read about him and peeked into the lounge and didn't think he was my cup of tea. Boy was I wrong!!!  My husband and I laughed sooooo much and we had such a good time. I am sorry I didn't give him a chance sooner. What a talented man!We didn't use the pool area, which is great , very much as it was cold for us Brazilians! Lots of people from England out and about!Currency is a bit complicated....Amsterdam, Germany , Finland- all use Euros. However, many places do not use credit cards!! Ex: In Lubeck, 3 separate places we visited did not accept cc. Same in many other countries!!! Take cash too!Estonia , Denmark and Sweden all have their own currency (kroners)...Rubles in Russia- again restaurant did not accept cc-we withdrew cash from ATM at the Hermitage.    Tallinn, Estonia - A real gem. The Old Town is easy to navigate and full of charm. We visited the Fat Tower , the Russian Church ,and peeked into lots of quaint shops. It was a sunny, clear day , so we had lunch in the square. We had a marvelous seafood platter and Estonian beer. Really delicious. There were many people dressed up in period costumes, which was fun.Copenhagen , Denmark - Again , we opted to rent a car. We drove up the coast towards Kronborg Slot (the "Hamlet " Castle). The drive was stunning. Tones of blues, greens and yellows dotted with majestic mansions and manicured yards. Once at the castle, we had a bit of rain, which gave it atmosphere. we explored the dank casemates-they sell flashlights in a vending machine, which is fun.Then we had a "car" picnic. We laughed a lot, because the Danish cheese we had purchased at the market was quite stinky!We then drove to the Frederiksborg Castle. this was voted the best place of our trip. Simply gorgeous and so , so peaceful. No crowds, just sheer beauty. Our favorite part was the abandoned bathhouse with a lake full of swans and their babies swimming around.The drive back to Copenhagen was easy (driving in Denmark is very nice-no traffic, good signage ...).We went back to the ship and got ready for a night at Tivoli. We had a wonderful time in this magical park. it is transformed at night. Our daughter met up with her friend (we went on the St. Pete´s tour) and the rode all the scary rides.The next day , my DH and I went on an ambitious walking tour. We hit the Rosenborg Castle, St.Peter´s Church, the Danish Army barracks, Nyhaven and other sights. I loved Denmark. We headed back to the ship and I shopped a bit at the nice outlet area at the pier (Copenhagen has by far the best docking area).Next was our last sea day...sad. Rough seas - my middle son got sick, which is a first.  Lots of packing.Disembarkation was a breeze-so fast and efficient. We took a shuttle (we shared with some nice roll call members) back to London.We stayed in London Saturday, Sunday and Monday, leaving Monday night at 10. We stayed at the Hilton on Park Lane, which was very nice. It was a real cultural experience, since half of the guests were Muslims and many of the women were wearing burkas-the kids were curious and it opened some interesting discussions.We went on a fun Duck Tour, visited the Natural History Museum , explored the Tower of London and chased squirrels in Hyde Park. On our last day we went to Madame Trussard´s and saw Buckingham palace. We had our last picnic in St. James Park, which is exquisite.Caught our direct flight back with no problem...back to reality!Our trip was wonderful and we all loved the Constellation. A majestic ship with a caring, attentive crew.I highly recommend this ship and this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
There was a lot of good and some bad to this cruise. First the good: a fortnight of great ports and great weather. And the bad ? ... something has happened to "Connie". Harwich was its useful efficient self for embarkation and ... Read More
There was a lot of good and some bad to this cruise. First the good: a fortnight of great ports and great weather. And the bad ? ... something has happened to "Connie". Harwich was its useful efficient self for embarkation and we were on board within an hour of driving through the port gates. Cabins were ready on time and she still looked stunning. Entertainment was more silver than golden. The same production shows as last year, but with a much inferior cast. Also the cruise director, Jeff Potts, was nothing special. He just didn't compare to stunt-man John last cruise. Service just seemed to have gone down a notch somewhere in 12 months. Whether it was in the main dining room, food quality or the state room service. When once nothing was too much trouble, now it seems to be. One of the bar service waiters summed this up as "many of the top people have been reassigned to the new Solstice class ships". I don't know if that is true, but it want the same happy and attentive crew. There is a much more evident hard-sell push on board this time. Whether its the soda package, the spa package, the camera shop or the excursions, Celebrity need to harvest your money somehow. The "Russian Bazaar" was heavily sold prior to St Petersberg and advice given to wait and buy your souvenirs there. When you did they were much more expensive than the official gift shops in Russia. Main dining room food was often hit and miss. You didn't always get what you ordered and sometimes the rendering of classic dishes was a little odd. There was also a tendency to finish all the savory dishes with a drizzle of olive oil. Just too much. That said, the short order evening restaurant in the Seaview was still great and dinner in Ocean Liners was a delight of cooking, service, theatre and even ballet. Well worth the surcharge to experience. It was still a great cruise experience, but this year Constellation is starting to show some signs of tiredness. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Our 10 night ultimate caribbean cruise started out of Ft.Lauderdale FL on March 27th and lasted til April the 6th. We had a great time on this cruise. Along with my self was my husband Rich and daughter Cayley age 5. My dad and his ... Read More
Our 10 night ultimate caribbean cruise started out of Ft.Lauderdale FL on March 27th and lasted til April the 6th. We had a great time on this cruise. Along with my self was my husband Rich and daughter Cayley age 5. My dad and his girlfriend were also travelling with us. Getting on board was easy breezy! I wish we would have already had our ship baggage tags (had to get them from porter) would have liked to have already had them filled out..but no big deal. Our room was ready when we got on the ship by noon. Which is always nice to be able to drop your carry on things off before you go have lunch and explore the ship. The Constellation was a beautiful ship, really liked the layout of the buffet area, nice and open. The art on the ship was nice, nothing to really complain about. Our inside cabin (our very 1st inside cabin) was really great! Nice and roomy and since we're always on the go we didn't miss the window or balcony. The bathroom was a nice size and in wayyy better condition then on the newly refurbished Century! Our room attendant Paulwin was excellent, very nice and accommodating. The crew itself was alot friendlier then on the Century, though our little girl really loved the fun factory kids club, we thought the childrens staffon the Century was a bit more sincere about working with the kids then onthe Constellation..but still they were good. The food on the constellation was a step up from the quality and quantity of the Century. We found every meal fantastic on this cruise, except the scrambled eggs in the morning I just don't know why they cant fully cook them I cant stand runny scrambled eggs! The coffee was decent..better in the dining room then at the seaside cafe though. Ocean liners didn't disappoint but thought the staff presented the food and was alot more welcoming at Muranos on the Century. Just my opinion..but the food was excellent. In the alternative dining in the seaside cafe. Igor the head man there, whom we've met on the Century, had joined the Constellation and we were glad for it! Such a nice guy to talk with and seems truly genuine with his kindness. The food there was excellent and the service was prompt and pleasant. Overall we had a fabulous time on this cruise and recommend the ship and all the port of calls. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Once boarding the ship, the first thing we did was check it out. We were disappointed, it needed updating! Some of the carpet showed wear badly. One of the bars had a tile floor entry, some of the tile was missing. One lounge had ... Read More
Once boarding the ship, the first thing we did was check it out. We were disappointed, it needed updating! Some of the carpet showed wear badly. One of the bars had a tile floor entry, some of the tile was missing. One lounge had mismatched chairs. When we first started cruising, 15 years ago, the ships were beautiful, they had lots of photo opportunities. On this ship I can honestly say that there was not one place that I thought was pretty enough to take a picture of. The ship was our greats disappointment of the cruise. I will say that by the end of the cruise, some of the ship repairs had been made (missing tile at the one bar) The crew was friendly and attentive. They were not pushy. The food in the dining room was delicious. The selection was good. They offered beef every evening and when we ordered it, it was prepared exactly as ordered, tender, oh my goodness was it ever! The buffet closed every evening at 6:00PM. If you didn't want to go to the dining room you were nearly out of luck. The only other option we had was a casual dining room, you had to make reservation ahead of time, or ordering room service. We did order room service and that turned out much better than expected. The selection was very good. When we received it, it also was prepared perfectly and delivered hot! The buffet was nothing to brag about, and difficult to reach. Often we felt it difficult to find anything we wanted. Many times we had to resort to pizza or hamburgers and hot dog. They did make ice cream every day which was wonderful. They had probably 6 different flavors to select from. We enjoyed this very much. Entertainment.. average. Perhaps other loved it. We prefer adult comedy. This ship had mostly music and a lot of it was by the ships entertainers. They offered a movie every day. I would say approx.7 out of the 11 days had a movie we enjoyed. The ship did have a thalassotherapy pool which we enjoyed nearly every day. A couple of days it was so hot we couldn't get in. Perhaps that was because we had gotten too much sun the day before! Then some days it was barely warm! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
Embarkation and General appearance: EVERYTHING went wonderfully! Was on the boat in no time at all. Was treated to a nice buffet. Got right into the room. Could tell that the boat was aging. No problem. I kind of expected this. Stains on ... Read More
Embarkation and General appearance: EVERYTHING went wonderfully! Was on the boat in no time at all. Was treated to a nice buffet. Got right into the room. Could tell that the boat was aging. No problem. I kind of expected this. Stains on the couch and signage in bathroom getting hard to read etc. Otherwise, everything looked clean. Steward was "polite" but nothing extraordinary. Probably saw him 3 other times entire cruise. Just seemed awkward remembering my past experiences and expecting much more from this particular member of the cruise team. Food: Breakfast is great. The sushi bar is good. Don't do hot buffets in the middle of the day. Salad bar is fine. The evening meal in the San Marco dining room was about 180 degrees from what I remembered. First night I was at my table I ordered a 45 dollar bottle of wine. The Sommolier...lol..put it in a nice metal pour basket and began pouring my wine in a water glass that I guess substituted for a wine glass. I objected and asked for real wine glass... he left for a couple of minutes and returned telling me that this "water glass" was all I could have. So remember to take your own wine glasses if you eat in the San Marco. On 2 separate nights the entree was not eatable. I filled up on bread and cheese. I guess I am saying, don't expect much and you won't be disappointed as I was. I really wanted to cry. However, thank goodness for the Ocean Liner restaurant. At $30.00/person WHAT A DEAL!! Worth every penny. Ate there on BOTH formal nights. Service, food, ambiance. WONDERFUL.!! But, both nights, was only half full of patrons. Service: Just not like I remembered. Had a problem with my credit card on third night. Got a note from "guest relations" and called immediately. Got NO answer. Had to GO to desk and the lady told me that she didn't hear the phone "ring"? Turns out they had lost my credit card number. Just a pain you don't need. Overall, staff was friendly and did all they could. But just doesn't have the electricity of the staff seeming to really want you to be there like in cruises past. Probably everybody feeling the economy? Port of Calls: All went off as planned. No problems here. Entertainment: Brooks Aheron one night .. Great pianist. 2 Broadway type shows..nothing special. 2 comedians...ok Took Perry Grant from the piano bar and made him the headliner for the 2 shows one night.(not a fan) Hypnotist didn't show ..comedian took her place. Overall: Use to BRAG about Celebrity being a 10. Now...the best I can give it is a 6. This is because I take a very inexpensive NCL cruise out of the Charleston Harbor. I would compare the Celebrity "big ship" "big service" with this little NCL cheap cruise..use to be NO COMPARISON. NOW I can't tell them apart! Going on a BIG NCL ship cruise next week for 12 days..Hopefully this downswing isn't bothering Carnival..will let you know. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
Myself and DH decided to give Celebrity a go since they had the most ideal itinerary for us. We are both mid 40's and this was our fourth cruise. Having been on Royal twice we thought that we would see what her sister line had to ... Read More
Myself and DH decided to give Celebrity a go since they had the most ideal itinerary for us. We are both mid 40's and this was our fourth cruise. Having been on Royal twice we thought that we would see what her sister line had to offer. Embarkation should have been a breeze as we were number 3 and 4 checked in at the port. One would think that the staff had never done this before. After being informed (read told) where to sit in order for them to "load" passengers in the order they arrived the RCI representative opened the doors and announced that they would board passengers in the order that they arrived. No problem! Except that they started from the farthest point in the room meaning passengers who just finished arriving boarded first. The RCI rep was quickly informed that she started from the wrong end of the room! Once on board we quickly dropped off our carry on luggage despite the room not being ready. Met with our room attendant who was most courteous and helpful while we were there, thanks to Willy! Off to get our champagne and a bit to eat. After our initial bad start we shook it off and explored our "home". Constellation is fairly well laid out and the map provided was quickly put to use. Despite other postings, we found her to be quite clean and very well maintained. Sure there are the occasional items that should be attended to but just think of how many people sit, touch,and walk up and down those chairs and halls each and every day! We truly enjoyed the offerings in the buffet area for both breakfast and lunch. Having the ability to have my omelette made fresh with what I wanted everyday was a treat! My DH really enjoyed the waffles. Lunch was great as the options were endless as long as your imagination allowed you to explore the oriental food, sandwich/panini bar, or even the pasta bar. Our only disappointment was the coffee! Being used to Tim Horton's coffee we struggled to drink one cup a day. (Usually have three!) The main dining room experience was fabulous! Thank you to both Loredana and Julio who more than made the grade! Thanks as well to Celebrity as we had great table mates and we spent many hours both at our dining room table as well as in the lounges before and after dinner! The food was sometimes good, sometimes great and occasionally passable. I learned quickly to ask our waitress for her recommendation and she never led me astray! The ports were wonderful and each traveler will look for something different so I won't cast my judgement here. We chose things we would like and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The entertainment was geared for the "older" crowd who graced this fine ship. Most of the shows were not to our liking but we tried to keep an open mind. We did leave two shows as the hypnotist was a flop and we didn't really care for the singing during the "Broadway" show. I truly enjoyed Doug Cameron and Perry Grant wasn't my cup of tea. Perry did seem to have almost a cult following but count me out! We would have liked to have had a comedian on our cruise as we have enjoyed them on other cruises more than the singing and dancing. I would have to say that Royal Caribbean shows certainly outdid the ones on this ship. All in all we had a wonderful cruise, mostly thanks to our table mates, but would I pay extra for it. In one word, NO. Would I go again, yes if it was the right price and it was going where I wanted to go! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
My wife Carol and I are both classed as Seniors (people tend to tell us so, anyway) and though we had been on four cruises this calendar year, the one we were looking forward to the most was the Celebrity Constellation, for one very good ... Read More
My wife Carol and I are both classed as Seniors (people tend to tell us so, anyway) and though we had been on four cruises this calendar year, the one we were looking forward to the most was the Celebrity Constellation, for one very good reason. It is considered the highest rated line in its class, (So, we are told, says the well regarded Conde Nast Traveler's magazine) and everyone we had queried over the years had told us that Yes, indeed, it deserved the title, with superior food and service. To our mutual regret, and stating right up front in no uncertain terms that we are positive people and look for the best in all things, Darn...unfortunately, we did not find much to rave about here; we wondered if our expectations were set too high. Let me first comment on the good. Embarkation from our S.Fl. area of Ft. Lauderdale was as rapid and smooth as any we have ever experienced. Greetings both at the service counters, as well as by staff helping people entering the embarkation area, could not have been more gracious and helpful, as was agent service once reaching the counters to present necessary paperwork before boarding. Reception on board was also friendly and efficient and we found our cabin, an oceanview on Deck 2 in the forward section, to be clean and functional. Storage was more than adequate for a ten day or somewhat longer voyage. There was a small desk with a chair and a small sofa as well. The steward appeared quickly and introduced himself politely and offered to be of any needed present or future assistance. We entered the drawing for free services at the spacious and well laid out spa and (Surprise) found ourselves passing through the gauntlet of smiling young faces offering numerous services, requiring us (Surprise 2) to pass through all the "stations of opportunity" to reach the location to deposit our drawing entry. BW (Need I translate: Beautiful Wife) and I were assigned Table 489, lower floor (of 2)in the attractive San Marco Dining Room. We always look forward to meeting our new tablemates and request a table for 6; we find this the ideal size for conversation. We could not have been more delighted with our new friends, two couples of similar age, lovely sisters and their husbands. The usual first night jamup with people being met and escorted to their seats was handled well and with good grace. So, Dean and Carol, was the food all that you had looked forward to? Was it? Tell us...tell us NOW! NO. I am subject to a life long dairy allergy, to my regret, and as usual had notified the line well ahead of time as had our local travel agent. To our interest, one of the delightful sisters also had the same problem, and we were both greeted with understanding by the personable Ass't Maitre d', "Christian" from Romania. All wait staff was exceptional but the table agreed had too many tables to handle. Christian brought our tablemate "Iris" and myself the next night's menu at the end of the meal so that we could place an advance order to be handled without any dairy of any kind. Problem in main? Every night the vegetables (usually broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and/or string beans) were so undercooked as to be nearly or completely inedible. We applaud short-cooked vegetables, but never ever those that taste barely warm and are so hard as to be left uneaten after a worthwhile try. Despite mention to appropriate staff, PLUS three handwritten notes to the Hotel Manager hand delivered to Customer Service, this continued except for one night when it seemed as if notice had been taken. After that? The parade of the hard and inedible food continued, and the final night was the worst of all. There is, in our opinion, no excuse for this and certainly no reason for a line supposedly noted for superior food. Credit where due, two meals featured excellent palate cleansing sorbets, a special delight to BW Carol. To their favor, special dairy free desserts were made for what was, Christian told us, the complete list of passengers requesting dairy free meals. Unfortunately, there is, I suppose, only so much one can do. Regrettably, after a few nights, desserts were placed in front of both Iris and I with a flourish and the announcement: "Lactose free!", as were some entree items. I seemed unable to convince that Lactose intolerance and dairy allergic are two vastly different things. We do and must give them a resounding "A" for effort, if not for execution. Ex.: On the third night I ordered decaf tea at the end of the meal and it was subsequently brought every night without request. Well done. (The tea service, not the vegetables) The far too underdone vegetable concept appeared to overflow to the cafeteria service on Deck 10, the "Seaside Cafe." One day we had Butternut Squash chunks in wild rice; the few chunks of squash were hard and undercooked, and even the rice had hard undercooked kernels appearing in it. A major plus, in the service line, dispenser containers of various nuts and dried fruit, and by the hot cereal section, serve yourself small bins of flax seed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Well done with a view toward healthful eating. Now if I could just chew those errant vegetables.... Staff here on two occasions were above and beyond with special help and are to be well applauded. There were two excellent open station brunches served in the San Marco, with special displays of ice carvings et al, and numerous open small stations for convenience, serving/ carving stations of broiled meats, to-order eggs, waffles etc. Table service at of course open seating tables did fall short with refills of drinks hard to come by. This was served on the first Sunday and the last Saturday. To work off all the attendant calories BW and I made several trips to the well equipped gym. Again, here we found a major and inexplicable flaw. Piped in music was so obnoxious that my wife and I were near incredulous as to what the thinking was when the demographics of the ship were, and may well usually be, a mature clientele. We were treated to what BW described as "War Music" and consisted of what I can only describe as a veritable cacophony of sound consisting of screaming, pounding and screeching. One rap segment featured a female-decorum prevents my describing in exact detail-rapping in full detail the woes of her female cycle...there is NO reason for this "musical" assault, and we notified spa staff at the entrance desk. Both young ladies said that they did not know what the music consisted of and they did not hear it from their station, but that they were told to play it "for aerobics". Really? At no time when we were in the gym was there any aerobic activity of any kind. My wife resorted to doing her exercise sets and running outside in the interim. Oddly, the background the young ladies were listening to was quite lovely and soothing, consisting of soft Eastern chimes and bells...This was (the "War Music") subsequently moderated, but one must ask, why was it there in the first place? Does no one in authority pay attention? An odd cabin noise in an otherwise satisfactory cabin surfaced the second night out; one of tablemate couples reported the same in their cabin. It sounded as if someone were tapping constantly on the wall of the other cabin. This was of course more noticeable at bedtime and so loud that it interfered with both falling asleep and staying asleep in extreme instances. My BW finally decided it was the ship's construction creaking. We have never heard such noises on any ship we have sailed on. I must mention several issues of general housekeeping which we found highly disappointing. Ship's clocks, visible at key points throughout the ship, usually at stair tops, were universally and without fail, never correct and ran from five minutes to as much as twenty minutes off. On at least one floor, elevator call button parts were missing, and in at least one restroom, a coat hanger was missing from the wall. Two notes were written to the Hotel Manager; neither situation was addressed. Now really, how hard can it be to tell someone: "Hey, the clocks are off all over the ship; please tend to that." Oh, that hard? Apparently so. And the photo department...dear me.The usual picture taking and display of course is hard to mess up, but other things may not be. In one daily bulletin entry, an announcement was printed of a session dealing with interests in using and setting your digital camera. I attended in the photo department section as noted, expecting to see chairs set up for a speaker and attendees. Alas...utter confusion. I went to the desk to inquire, stating the bulletin entry and advised that I wished advice on how to access a certain setting. I was looked at oddly and asked: "What's wrong with it?". Well, there was nothing "wrong with it" nor was there any discussion or group that I could find or the counter person knew about. A second entry noted a discussion on the Nikon L18. As I was interested in a small point and shoot camera for my wife, I "attended." Attended...what? Again, I asked at the counter where the demonstration was and a photographer demonstrating a full size SLR was pointed out as "the happening"...this to one older gentleman all alone standing in the open space with a staff member. I said, I thought humorously, to the person telling me this, "That's an L18?" It was of course, not. "Yes". He responded. My feet and I departed, the part not my feet shaking its head in wonder. More wonder is still to come. We have never yet been on a ship that did not provide, for most ports with rare exception, postal services with stamps for mailing from the various ports visited. On calling the desk to inquire the price of mailings at our first port, I was told: "Are you mailing to the U.S.?" "Yes", I responded. Subsequent response? "We hold those and mail them when we get back to Ft. Lauderdale"...Hm. We carried our mail off ship and found a local P.O. to mail at. Ports visited were: St.Thomas, St.Kitts, Barbados, St.Lucia and St.Maartin. Having been to all before more than once, we simply left the ship briefly to visit the everpresent dockside shopping areas. I must make note of the extraordinarily courteous and helpful Barbados Tourist Police, who, as we were looking for a certain dockside building without immediate success, followed us and dismounted from their vehicle to see if they could be of any help. Gracious and commendable indeed. Entertainment: A few bright spots: Production shows well rehearsed and presented, but with all due respect to the sincere and talented young performers, we found nothing surpassing other ships of lesser reputation. Comedian "Noodles" exceptional and a bright spot. An act I can only describe as "Extreme Aerial Dexterity" by a young lady working without any safety device whatsoever, breathtaking and heavily applauded. Two solo songster acts, one male and one female, a matter of individual choice. There were several deck parties with food at various points, one a featured Fruit Buffet. On entering the area our ears were blasted nearly to oblivion by a sound system turned up so high that we had to literally cover our ears with our hands and retreat to the furthest available point, where it was still impossible to carry on a conversation without shouting into each other's ears. The "Fruit Buffet"? as with all fruit served in the entire 10 days, all melons were cut while far from ripe and generally uneaten and wasted. I do not exaggerate-I had three bites of ripe melon the entire cruise. Is it not possible to time fruit and open it when ripe and only ripe? Apparently not on the Constellation. Orange slices and bananas served at breakfast were, to the contrary, spot on and sweet. Based on these myriad points and problems, I found our anticipated superior experience to be anything but, and, sadly, to be a major disappointment and would not sail this ship again. BW agrees and feels that only if it were a bargain in the extreme would she care to go, and then only for the experience of being on a cruise per se. We have earlier in the year been on RCCL's Freedom of the Seas (as the reader no doubt knows, The Constellation is part of the stated upscale line of RCCL, excluding the much smaller sized Azamara subsidiary) but we found The Freedom to be vastly superior in every detail and would book it again in a minute. Oops...final noted incompetency de jour, the Constellation is of course in the trade simply known as and referred to as "The Connie". At the BW's request, I called the line before departure to inquire if there were bathrobes furnished in our room, so that BW Carol did not have to pack one. When I was asked what ship I was on and replied: "The Connie", I was advised that Celebrity had no ship by that name. Dear me. I was then advised that there were no bathrobes in our room. Can you guess? Scene; Closet door opened...hanging inside closet, two bathrobes. It's another'Dear me"...and I was expecting SO much more. Dean M. 30 __________________ Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
We are a family with 2 girls aged 9 and 4. We also took our two sets of parents and a sister and her husband, so 10 of us in total. One set of parents had not cruised before. We expected a lot as it is supposed to be the premium brand but ... Read More
We are a family with 2 girls aged 9 and 4. We also took our two sets of parents and a sister and her husband, so 10 of us in total. One set of parents had not cruised before. We expected a lot as it is supposed to be the premium brand but we were a little disappointed in certain areas. We are undecided whether we would go Celebrity again.Pre-cruise hotel: We were put in the marriott north, fort lauderdale for the night before the cruise. The hotel was most acceptable but was 25 minutes from the cruise terminal. We understand the Hilton is only 5 mins away so it may be best to book in there. Embarkation: This was very smooth as we had a Concierge Class cabin and therefore had priority embarkation bypassing the very long queue. Well worth the extra cost! Public rooms: There are many of these but they all seemed very dark compared with the light in the rooms on RCI. Cabin: We had 2 interconnecting cabins. There are very few of these so you have to book early to secure them. The CC cabins are spacious with lots of cupboards and drawers. There is a large shower but I would have preferred a bath with a shower. The balcony is big enough for 2 but if there are 3 of you in the room (by using the sofa bed) then space would be tight. Dining: The buffet on Deck 10 for breakfast and lunch was good although the layout made it difficult to reach the food. There was lots of queuing and plates were hard to find. Dinner in the San Marco restaurant was again good but we did think it could have been better for the premium brand. Some people raved about Ocean Liners dining experience but it was another $30 plus 15% service per person. Entertainment: The quality of the shows were mixed. Sometimes great, sometimes awful. The highlight for us was finding Perry Grant in Michael's bar. This entertainer was fantastic although I'm not sure he's to everyone's taste. He had a big following and we didn't miss a night of him. He made our cruise every evening. Service: Our stateroom attendant was probably the least attentive we have had. He really made no effort at all. We always had to ask for replacement shower gel and beach towels. My sister asked for the binoculars that should have been in her room, 3 times and never did get them. Again our waiter was not the best. He did not refer to us by name in all the 11 days and bearing in mind he only had one table with 8 people on it we didn't think it too much to expect. Never before have we had this. His spoken English was also poor making him difficult to have any decent conversation with. In comparison, the assistant waiter was fantastic (promotion surely needed!) as was the sommelier Agnes who knew our names and tastes very quickly. The other staff were just really doing their jobs. No-one made any extra effort. Was this because they knew they'd get their tips anyway? Rumors surfaced that Constellation's best staff had been moved to the Solstice. Shore excursions: On the whole, too expensive, too long and poor value for money. Overall: This was the first time we had been away for Christmas and New Year. We were disappointed with the Christmas celebrations. They were poor. There were very little decorations, "carol singing" was more festive pop songs than carols and lasted 30 minutes on the staircase. Christmas service was diabolical - lasted 20 minutes and performed by a priest who had as much enthusiasm as someone in mourning rather than in celebration. The children did get presents from Santa and had their picture taken. A nice touch would have been to give us the photo rather than expect us to pay $10 for it. Christmas dinner was okay but more research could have been done into what different countries eat ie. how much research is needed to find out that the English eat their Christmas pudding hot and not chilled! (A return to the kitchen and microwave put this right!) Once the fiasco of Christmas was over we settled down to a lovely cruise seeing parts of Central America that were interesting. The kids club was fantastic too and our children enjoyed going there which again was a first. Would we cruise with Celebrity again? Maybe but we think we prefer RCI. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
My wife and I have been on 3 previous cruises, one with Celebrity on the Millennium, and two with Royal Caribbean. We had a chance to finally take our two sons, who are in there 20's, on a nice vacation so they came too. We arrived ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 3 previous cruises, one with Celebrity on the Millennium, and two with Royal Caribbean. We had a chance to finally take our two sons, who are in there 20's, on a nice vacation so they came too. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale two days early and stayed at the Marriott Courtyard. They sent the shuttle to pick us up at the airport and then took us to the cruise ship on Monday Nov. 11th for our 11 night cruise on the Constellation. We arrived at the terminal at 12:30 and waited about 30 min. to board. It seems more people are arriving early to take advantage of the first day. A nice buffet was waiting for us after we dropped off our carry on bags in our inside cabin 8105. Our sons were just down the hall. We have always booked inside rooms to save money for other parts of the cruise and because we know if we do get a veranda we probably won't go back. My wife and I like a glass or two of wine before dinner so we packed four large bottles in our checked baggage. When that ran out we picked up another bottle or two in ports and brought them aboard in our carry on with no problem. Our stateroom attendant Vivi (short for Vivian)introduced herself and looked after our every need for the rest of the cruise and was just great. Our Waiter was Favian from India and he too was great. The meals were very good with a nice variety each night in each coarse. You could always get shrimp cocktail and Caesar salad for appetizers, and steak for your main coarse. My wife and another lady at our table particularly liked the cream brulee for dessert so Favian offered it to them every night. The four of us dined at Oceanliner, the specialty restaurant, one night and found it very elegant with good food but probably would not spend the extra again. Our first day was a sea day which is nice to relax and enjoy the ship. Our first stop was Grand Cayman. The four of us booked the trip to Sting Ray City to swim with the stingrays. Even my wife, who was very apprehensive, enjoyed the experience and held one. They are very friendly and not a dangerous creature unless you do something silly. We were then taken to seven mile beach to a resort with the most beautiful beach and water. Grand Cayman is quite expensive so all I bought was a bottle of Tortuga rum from the duty free shop. It was held until our last night on the ship. We then had another two days at sea to enjoy the great pool. My sons got to know some of the staff, almost the only other people their age, and we had volleyball tournaments on all the sea days. Our next stop was Cartegena Columbia. We booked a city tour that was very informative but found the people selling things on the streets to be excessively aggressive. If you just looked at there product they would follow you for blocks. The next day we were in Cristobal Pier Panama. My wife and I cruised through the Panama Canal two years ago so we just went to a mall. My sons hired a cab who took them to Gaten Locks and back for $60. Prices are excellent in this area and they use US money. I bought a nice bottle of red wine for $2.65. Puerto Limon Costa Rica was our next stop and we went zip lining at the tropical breezes canopy tour. We had a blast. Our guide ,Rudy, showed us the sites and the zip line part was great. Everyone on the tour wanted to go again. Another sea day on rough seas but the boat handled it well. The second of two formal nights and diner was lobster with shrimp and scallops followed by the traditional baked alaska parade. Great food. Cozumel was our final stop. My wife and I did the jeep and snorkel tour the last time we were here so we just shopped but our sons did the tour and loved it. We went to a show every night and found the entertainment to be very good. The singers and dancers were always great as was the house band. The comedian Fred Klett was so funny that my wife had to re-apply her makeup after laughing so hard it brought tears to her eyes. They also had a fabulous pianist named Elliott Finkel. My sons were going to skip this show but when he started to play my wife phoned them in their room and told them they had to see his show and they thoroughly enjoyed him. We heard reports of some people who were sick so the ship took every precaution possible to make sure it did not spread. We were staying in Fort Lauderdale for a week after the cruise so we were not in a rush to get off the ship. We were assigned 10:00 to disembark. We left our room at 8:45, had our last buffet breakfast and were off the ship by 10:00. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise and I would not hesitate to travel with Celebrity again. The only complaint is the cost of internet onboard,but you can always find cheap internet cafes at ports. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2008
Constellation 10/30/08 - 11/10/08 Vista Deck Balcony #7171 This was a family cruise (sisters, brothers, cousins) of 13 adults. We took the Celebrity bus from Boston to Bayonne. A great way to go to New York, the only ... Read More
Constellation 10/30/08 - 11/10/08 Vista Deck Balcony #7171 This was a family cruise (sisters, brothers, cousins) of 13 adults. We took the Celebrity bus from Boston to Bayonne. A great way to go to New York, the only disappointment was that bus driver was over 2 hours late (which made for a somewhat upsetting start, (seeing that we were told to be at South Station by 7:am, and the bus would leave at 7:30am.)It didn't show up till 9:30am. The only thing that kept us feeling "safe" is that Celebrity HAS to wait for you if they are the ones who booked the bus. When we called Celebrity at 8:am they told us not to worry, the bus was on it's way. Good news was we had the whole bus to ourselves. Embarkation: We arrived in Bayonne ~2:45pm, and there were NO lines at all. We were on board in 15 minutes. We immediately went to our rooms. I had room 7171 Aft. balcony. I picked this room after reviewing the layout of the ship, this balcony was a larger one and we loved it. The room was a great location, near the aft elevators. (Always a short wait for the elevators) We found the room to be very clean, and a comfortable size. Bathroom was your typical ship size w/a small shower. Lots of closet space and our luggage fit perfectly under the beds. Ship: The Connie is a very clean ship, with a great crew. Not as pretty as the Millennium, but a nice ship. Service & Crew: Perfect! Every day my room was cleaned twice, nice fresh towels, ice in the bucket, bed made before I came back from breakfast, no matter where you go the ship is sparkling clean. A perfect 10! Thank you all for a wonderful cruise! Entertainment: Perry, Perry, Perry! We just loved Perry Grant. I'm so happy he was on our cruise. We heard lots about him, (from Cruise Critic) and especially the ladies in our group found him to be a GREAT entertainer. I love the songs he sings, (the real oldies) and in-between songs, he's hysterical! We laughed so much, he brought tears to our eyes! WE LOVE YOU PERRY! I only hope we can join you again someday! Itinerary: We stopped in Bermuda for 2 days. HEAVEN!!!! I love stopping in Bermuda. The weather was perfect and we went to our favorite beach (Horseshoe Bay) The water temperature was just right! Next stop was St. Maarten, and took a taxi to Orient Beach, another perfect day. Aruba was our 3rd stop and we booked a snorkeling trip thru Celebrity. Our last stop was suppose to be Labadee, but due to problems there, we went to Nassau instead. Although it rained, we hopped into a van and went to Atlantis. That is one grand hotel, if you've never been there, it's worth the cab ride. Food: The food at the buffet and dining room was excellent. We ate one night at the specialty restaurant and were disappointed. Several of us had the lobster, and each one complained that it was too salty...I mean so salty the lobster was tasteless. Others had the steak and it was good but nothing to rave about. All 13 of us all shared the same somewhat disappointed feelings about the food there. I will say that the service was excellent though. Coffee: I still haven't found a cruise line that makes a good cup of coffee! I brought my plastic melitta cone w/filters, along with a fresh bag of my favorite coffee, and was glad I did! Disembarkation: Very organized. Once our color code was called we were off the ship, grabbing our luggage, and in the taxi within 1/2 hr. Nice trip! Celebrity is still a great line. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2008
It might seem a little strange for a Brit to want to cruise round their own country, but this was an extra cruise (not in the original brochure, went to places I love and the price was great. Constellation is a really classy ship and it ... Read More
It might seem a little strange for a Brit to want to cruise round their own country, but this was an extra cruise (not in the original brochure, went to places I love and the price was great. Constellation is a really classy ship and it was easy to see why Celebrity have won so many awards for their Millennium class vessels. You don't get all the glitz and colour that RCL offer (previously cruised on Navigator), instead there is an understated air of refinement and quality, but not in any way stuffy. This is an ideal size for a cruise ship. 90,000 tonnes buys you a vast range of amenities and dining options, but without feeling crowded or herded. There are very few lines to wait in and even tendered ports are stress free for getting on and off. Embarkation at Harwich was flawless. Very little waiting. Parking was efficient and we were on board in less than 30 minutes. Harwich is just less hassle than Southampton for some reason. The public areas on Constellation are simply beautiful. They really spent some money fitting this ship out and even after six years, so wasn't showing much sign of wear. The only exception was the "Bar at the edge". This should have promised the comfort of RCL's Viking Crown, but an abandoned partnership with Cirque Du Soleil, the main observation/entertainment lounge has been left with some very strange decor and chairs built for looks not sitting in. Cabins were first class. The bathrooms are small, but the best design I've seen anywhere. Beds very comfortable and just the right number of cupboards, nooks and crannies to stow your belongings. Our stateroom attendant, Lourdes, couldn't do enough to help. The only downside was the air con: Crucial in an inside cabin, it just wouldn't produce enough cold air and certain times it did feel a little stuffy inside. The production shows in the theatre was brilliant. The cast was sensation and the main male singer, Gabriel, had a fabulous voice. Other cabaret nights were a bit more hit and miss, but you can't please everybody all the time. John the ex-stunt-man-cum-cruise director was great throughout, bringing fun and confidence with just a shade of quiet authority. He was a star from end to end. All in all a terrific cruise from Brits as well as Americans. If only the weather had decided to play ball. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2008
A cruise round Britain and Ireland. This one was never in the brochure, but a ten day trip somehow squeezed in between relocation and Constellation's summer itinerary of the Baltic voyages. Family and friends raised an eyebrow that ... Read More
A cruise round Britain and Ireland. This one was never in the brochure, but a ten day trip somehow squeezed in between relocation and Constellation's summer itinerary of the Baltic voyages. Family and friends raised an eyebrow that we'd even want to cruise our own Islands, but this holiday was not just one for the Americans. Smaller ports and different places certainly gave this unusual sailing a nice clubby atmosphere. Frankly nobody was on board for the weather, which was just as well, it was typical late spring in the British Isles, so kinda rainy. Connie was everything they tell you she should have been. From the moment you embark you can see why she was the Celebrity flagship and why she consistently delivered the top Conde Naste ratings. Elegant, oppulent and understated, with a level of crew service to match. A former Hollywood stunt-man as cruise director and a theatre cast that was truly superb. You trade the bright colours and street parades of Royal Caribbean ships for something satisfyingly refined. The coffee mugs are ceramic, not plastic, the ice-cream is homemade not soft whip and the ambient entertainment is more cocktail lounge than holiday camp chic. But it comes with a price tag. Celebrity is RCL's premium band and the onboard prices come with a premium tag to them. Even beer and soda is rated above Royal Caribbean's prices. Then there are the excursions. They can be eye-wateringly expensive, even by cruise standards, but there are a couple of dodges that Celebrity won't ever tell you about, so read on. Read Less
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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