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Sail Date: September 2009
I had been anxiously awaiting the transatlantic cruise for months and it was finally here! We spent 3 amazing days in Paris, no snobby or unfriendly Parisians were encountered, and 2 in London. Even though the itinerary of the ... Read More
I had been anxiously awaiting the transatlantic cruise for months and it was finally here! We spent 3 amazing days in Paris, no snobby or unfriendly Parisians were encountered, and 2 in London. Even though the itinerary of the transatlantic cruise said Paris (Le Havre), the city of Paris is 2 1/2 hours away by train or bus! No way was I not seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night! We arranged for our own transportation to the Harwich Terminal and it took a good 2 hours from London. The train stops right at the Terminal so next time that will be the method. The check in was a breeze and we were off! I was disappointed by the cabin, so small, and it was a balcony on the 6th deck. The beds are horrible!! Those egg crates for padding that they try and appease you with are just as bad. Room service was punctual but was never hot when it got to our room. Our attendant was exceptional as was all the service throughout the trip. The crew make the experience since you're spending practically 24/7 together. The ship is showing its' age. I was disappointed with the entire cruise. Amazing with the 3 other reviews on the same ship, we could have such different experiences. The food was ok at best and the only good meal was the Parade dinner. The entertainment was ok, the activities were the same. The bingo king was obnoxious while he took he was being cute. The shore excursions were varied and well organized. I'm not sure if the excursions at St. John, NF were cancelled because of the bumpy ride or the fact that we left Reykjavik 3-4 hours late! We were on board before departure time (remember they'll leave you behind) and we saw bus after bus pull up and watch as it snaked through the port building to get everyone back on board! What a joke! The sea were high between Scotland and Reykjavik and then onto Canada. The dining was sparse a couple of nights and the entertainment cancelled. I felt that the quality of the Celebrity cruise had slipped since our last cruise. While you think you'd be treated differently, the specials offered on board were better than what they offered their repeat customers. Shame! Some cabins lost their luggage for the entire trip from the Celebrity transfers out of Heathrow airport. We had to lend them some of our clothes because Celebrity had only given them complimentary laundry services at the time. Can you imagine a 2 week cruise with the clothes you wore on the plane? Yikes!! I chose this cruise because of the Celebrity name, the ports and because it was my husbands' first trip to Europe. However, it will probably be my last cruise with Celebrity. Outside of the amazing service and crew it was just an ok ship with ok food and entertainment.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
We flew from San Diego to DC and then to London. Two hour bus ride to the ship. Checkin was very smooth, took only minutes. We were on the Sky Deck, category CC. Room was very nice and the cabin service during the total cruise was ... Read More
We flew from San Diego to DC and then to London. Two hour bus ride to the ship. Checkin was very smooth, took only minutes. We were on the Sky Deck, category CC. Room was very nice and the cabin service during the total cruise was excellent. We asked for extra wash clothes and tissue and every day we had the addition wash clothes and we also received enough tissues for the entire cruise. Everytime we left the room it was made up when we returned. The location of our room was very good, midship and on deck 9. We only had to walk up one level to be in the cafe. The food in both the cafe and main dining room was very good with a good variety to choose from. The service in the main dining for dinner was also very good. The ship had a nice wine selection and we had wine almost every night. The cruise was port intensive the first week and most of the second week was at sea, which was very rough. The North Atlantic can be rough and was during our crossing. There were a few nights with many empty seats in the dining room and show room. The main shows had to be cancelled on a couple of occasions do to the rough seas. The onboard ship activities were a little weak during the days at sea. Because of the weather it was impossible to have any outside activities. Spent time playing Bingo, with an entertaining lead that was name 'Captain Bingo' (Alfredo from Argentina). Most of the tours were well organized and we enjoyed the tours that we took. The weather for most of the first week was very nice fall weather, sunny but cool. We had only 1 day of rain the first week. The tours in St. John's, Newfoundland were cancelled because we were almost 5 hours late arriving due to the storms at sea. We chose this cruise for two reasons, the ports of call and Celebrity Cruise Lines. The ports for the most part were very interesting and we enjoyed the tours we took in the ports. Celebrity did not disappoint. This was our fifth cruise with them and we have always enjoyed our experience with them. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
This was our first 14 day cruise and our first Transatlantic. It was like two cruises in one. The first part of the cruise we did the British Isles and we hit a port just about everyday. We had beautiful but cool weather and rain only on ... Read More
This was our first 14 day cruise and our first Transatlantic. It was like two cruises in one. The first part of the cruise we did the British Isles and we hit a port just about everyday. We had beautiful but cool weather and rain only on one day. Our pictures came out great. The tours were ok but there was a lot of busride time. The sites we went to were in France, including the US World War II Cemetary and some small towns along the Normandy area. All of our tours went well except the one in Scotland when we went to Edinburg. The tour guide was very disorganized and we lost two people. It included lunch but that was in a hotel and the food was hotel fare. As far as the ship was concerned, the food was outstanding, the service outstanding, the ship was clean, and we absolutely enjoyed Perry Grant each night after the main show. The entertainment for the most part was very good but there were a few nights where the main entertainment was filler, if you get my drift. So we always went back to Perry Grant and we assured of a fabulous show with him as well as great music. Couple 69 danced and Joyce, as always, was there. He also had a number of other groupies and although he repeats his jokes (he yelled about Cruise Critics.com one night) he is always a hoot. We got his DVD but it does not do justice to his in person talent. Anyway, the downside to the Constellation we thought was that the rooms are a bit dowdy. They need new carpet and the storage space is pretty minimal. Bathrooms are nice and the cabin service is excellent. We had a Ocean View with balacony but used the balcony infrequently on this cruise. Room service was excellent and very punctual. They really tried to pull out all the stops for this group of passengers as we have been on other cruises on Princess and Holland where the service was terrible. No so on this cruise. They knew they had an audience with some means and they intended to make us happy. Another downside I thought were daily activities. There were not as many activities as we had experienced on other lines like Princess. This could have been because the pool area was too cold to use so everything had to be inside. I accidentally happend upon the Bridge Tour and that was excellent. If you can get a Bridge Tour I highly recommend it. No other cruise that I know of has allowed a Bridge Tour. We met with the Captain several times and he was very personable. I thought the stores were low on merchandise but they did have some sea day sales. The transatlantic crossing from Scotland to Iceland is not for the faint of heart. The seas were rocking and rolling and while I found that really cool, others on board were not as amused as I was. The crossing from Iceland to Canada, at times, was also a tad bumpy. There were some general updates but the info was few and far between. Also we had no CNN or other news contact via TV and the internet was really slow and quite expensive. So be prepared to be cut off from the outside world. In any event, I would highly recommend the Constellation, she is a beautiful and fine vessel and she is going into dry dock next year, I believe for a makeover. In many public areas, however, it looked like she had had a makeover recently since that carpet looked great. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Onboard life-I like the less announcements policy a lot. Rarely do you hear announcements exception being the Captains noon update. Staff knows your name, drink, food preferences within a few day of boarding, which is a miracle in itself ... Read More
Onboard life-I like the less announcements policy a lot. Rarely do you hear announcements exception being the Captains noon update. Staff knows your name, drink, food preferences within a few day of boarding, which is a miracle in itself to me, since I rarely remembered even my table mates' names until after the first week. One of the things that was quite impressive that I never noticed before was Celebrity's attention to people with disabilities. We had a nice couple onboard who were deaf, Celebrity made available to them interpreters anytime they needed it for shows, excursions, etc. People who had a physical disability that confined them to a wheelchair were treated like the VIP's that they should. We did have a day or two of rough seas, which wasn't totally expected since it was a transatlantic cruise in September. The ship obviously tried its best to minimize the rocking, was really impressed though how the crew/staff handled the passengers concerns. They tried to keep people from focusing on the movement and suggested simple but effective solutions to make it as smooth/comfortable as possible. One suggestion for cruise travelers. Find a cruise line you like and stay with it. These was my 10th cruise with Celebrity, and appreciate the perks they offer repeat visitors. Galley tours, backstage tours and even a bridge tour as well as meeting the senior members on the staff, really make you feel like they value your business, and I appreciate that. Crew-Seems genuinely happy and integrated- From talking to various members, found that ~ two weeks they have a get together in the lounges for crew only, really sense that this helps to bond them. Master and Hotel Director are respected and admired for their work, they talk the talk but more importantly they walk the walk, and lead by example and this same spirit flows to the rest of the crew. The hotel director Christian was astounding with his attention to detail, personality, and recall. He's a great asset to the Constellation, Celebrity and RCL shareholders. One thing also I thought worth mentioning, the crew seemed to genuinely respect the leadership of Celebrity up on the corporate level as well. One of the singers was telling me during a backstage tour that they appreciated that the fleet wide recycling effort (Save the Waves) they did onboard, any profits generated went to the crew recreation fund, and heard on several occasion from more than one staff member that "they take good care of us here". Spa-Went for a few massages while onboard and all where quite good. Found though was better booking the day I needed them rather then in advance as usually could save 30% off listed prices. When I tried to negotiate a deal upfront for package of 10 best they could do is 20% off, so glad I waited and got the 30% off almost daily special. It is riskier as they generally don't offer the larger discount on sea days, but on this cruise they did several times. Was happy too that after telling the first "therapist" that I wasn't interested in creams, lotions, products they sell, they left me alone and stopped recommending Excursions- Thought they were good, and used the time well. Think I took four or five while onboard. All I thought had a good host, well versed in the local history of the spot visited. I was glad also that they weren't trying to point you to a store for shopping. Always been a pet peeve of mine to pay for a tour and have them spend the time bringing you to their colleagues shop instead of concentrating the focus on the local sights (unless of course it's a shopping tour). Dining-Overall give it 4.5 stars out of 5. The buffets are good and plentiful. San Marco dining staff attentive. Absolutely love their presentation and attention to detail on every plate. I don't think I eve r waited for a course in 14 days, always served promptly. I also-liked that the waiter Justo suggested his favorite choices from the nightly menu, as well as desert. If he noticed you didn't seem to be enjoying you're entree, he would suggest a different entrEe, as he wanted to genuinely see you go away happy. Only complaint I guess I had was the NY strip steak, at our table of 12 at least a dozen were ordered over the course of the two weeks, but all were tough and stringy. Maybe it was just a bad batch we had. -Soups were delicious, our table devoured the fresh bread every night, and deserts were excellent and original. Enjoyed the Michelin type service of the specialty restaurant as well, food there was EXCELLENT, service EXCELLENT, atmosphere and attention to detail EXCELLENT. Reminded me of a two star Michelin restaurant I visited in Toulouse a few years back. Most cruise ships know how to dress up an entrEe, but Celebrity takes it a step farther and has a great way of turning even something as simple as a salad or bread course into a culinary treat for the eyes and the palette. That takes some finesse that they pull off. Embarkation: Took the bus option from Celebrity to Harwich and arrived at approx 2PM, embarkation was a breeze and was on the boat by 3PMs. This was my second time at Harwich and both times embarkation was easy and stress free. Noticed though that the train stopped right at the Harwich terminal, so next time I might try that from London instead of the 2.5 hour coach ride, since I heard they have non-stop trains from London on cruise days. Cabins- Are what I've grown to expect for Celebrity. Clean, Smart Design, and well maintained. Towels changed out twice a day as needed. Beds generally made up promptly in the mornings after you leave and turned down at night while at dinner. Always a few chocolates on the pillow and fresh flower bud or two in the room as well. Had the greatest stateroom attendant for my cabin, a nice man named Newton. His smile and attention to even the smallest detail was there every single moment I was onboard it felt. I always look at miniscule details like the paint on the railing and deck chairs even though on this cruise it wasn't used much, but you could see that things were maintained even in parts that might not be seen or used all that much. I admire that attention to detail, as I think it reflects back on the bigger picture. Price- ROI (return on investment) EXTRAORDINARY. I don't see how Celebrity does it, provide top notch service, food, ships and still works out to about $100/day, which in most cities, you would be lucky to find a moderate at best motel room for with no food or entertainment included. Entertainment: Overall pretty good,. On a positive note, the Voicemales which were an A cappella group were quite good and personable. The voices were good. Movies onboard were recent first runs. The shows by the Celebrity singers/dancers in the Celebrity Theatre were good as well as the young talent has a lot of enthusiasm and spirit and put on a full enjoyable show. You could tell they worked well together. Did try the comedy show, but came across as bland and a bit too bland for my taste. Perry Grant's, performances in Michaels lounge were enjoyable to his audience, but was really just wasn't to my tastes. Was really surprised though what a big following he has. Onboard. Thought the entertainment staff was excellent, full of energy, funny and they obvious enjoy there work. Disembarkation : Easy, quick and organized. Ship arrived well before our scheduled 7AM arrival and was on the pier, cleared from customs with my luggage before 9:30. Overall-5+ stars out of 5+. You see what you get, an unforgettable first class vacation where you really are treated like an honored guest on the ship. The negatives were inconsequential compared to the positives compared to other cruise lines I've experienced, and will sail again with Celebrity without a doubt. In my experience the difference with Celebrity is they are a learning organization, that strives to continually improve. They experiment and learn and grow. To me it's not all about who has the newest/fastest /largest ship or the latest bells and whistles of the day onboard, it's about quality, and Celebrity is quality. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
Celebrity features a lot of sales of tee shirts, junk merchandise with their logo, a "Russian Bazaar" sale and costume jewelry while the ship is at sea. Celebrity's motivation seems to be one of greed, not one that features ... Read More
Celebrity features a lot of sales of tee shirts, junk merchandise with their logo, a "Russian Bazaar" sale and costume jewelry while the ship is at sea. Celebrity's motivation seems to be one of greed, not one that features the passenger's enjoyment of their ship. Overall I found the ship to have a rather difficult layout. There is no main entrance to the main dining room from the lobby or from the cabins. It is necessary to walk through the casino or shops to get to the dining room. The first few days I was convinced I was headed in the wrong direction because the layout is so illogical. The emphasis is on spending money in the shops or casino. There are no direct through passageways on the cabin decks. The promenade deck does not go completely around the ship. In all I think the ship is awkward and illogical in its layout. The Edge of the Earth lounge, forward on deck 11 would or should present magnificent views of the sea except for the odd curtained cubicles at the center just in front of the windows to the sea. The entire room is draped in what is one would assume to be undersea kelp. It is particularly odd in the daytime and the chiffon netting is torn and worn in many places. I thought perhaps at night this unusual decor would be lit to look like an undersea atmosphere but in fact that is not the case. It is just strange and rather like Halloween decor. Unfortunately the floor is sticky, dirty, covered in black marks and is absolutely revolting. The onboard "expert" on port destinations is very self serving. He is an older man with a remarkable reputation but his lecture was wandering, boring and always reverts to his latest book on South America, a book with no connection to the Baltic even though he tried very hard to make a connection. Sadly the entertainment was extremely poor in quality with the exception of the string quartet, the classical guitarist and the one comedian. The singers in the night lounge and at the pool sang off key and many people covered their ears to keep from cringing when the singers attempted to hit high notes. In the dining room their is scratchy Muzak-type recorded music that only adds to the noise level. We requested that they turn down the audio in the dining room but unfortunately that was not possible. The first cabin in which I sailed was beneath a pantry where the noise from a dishwasher continued until past 1:30 am and started up again very early in the morning. After several nights of not sleeping the guest relations office moved me to another cabin. There was a sewer-like odor that came up the stairwells. Toward the end of the cruise the odor wafted into the Lido Cafe/food court on deck 10. It was a great aid in curbing appetite. The discounting of fares is attracting a group of people who don't care about their fellow passengers. On several occasions, people came into the Lido Cafe to dine while wearing wet swimsuits, sometimes covered by a bathrobe from their cabin, other times just their swimsuits. Equally odd was finding women eating breakfast in their robes with rollers in their hair. Celebrity needs to enforce the dress code. The passengers I refer to as the feral-type allowed their kids to run up and down the hallways outside of cabins until 1:00 a.m. The same kids were seen charging around the ship, through the shops, lounges and Lido Cafe as though they were on a playing field. Obviously the parents were oblivious to their children's behavior. One child brought chicken to her mom in the library where they had a little picnic. Of course they left the chicken bones and dishes in the library after their meal. Celebrity's handling of disembarkation in St. Petersburg was clearly selective in allowing the passenger who had purchased shore excursions from the cruise line to have favorable position in clearing immigration before going to their tour buses. The individuals and groups with shore excursions arranged privately were required to stand in line for more than an hour while the cruise line passenger were processed quickly by 3-4 agents vs. the 1 agent for the private payors. Even though the cabins are all non-smoking, there were still passengers smoking on their balconies. Smoking is allowed in the entertainment theater and in The Edge of the Earth lounge. As a non-smoker I think allowing smoking on one side of a room is a joke! Celebrity needs to confine smoking to outdoor areas only. On the favorable side, the room stewards were courteous, friendly and efficient. Our dining room waiters were superb! The food for the most part in the dining room was quite good. This was my first experience on Celebrity. In comparing Celebrity to Princess, Crystal, Holland America, Cunard, P&O and the now retired Royal Viking Line, I can't say I would rate it the 4 stars that they claim. Would I sail again on Celebrity? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
we sailed on the constellation to the baltics. our first time in europe. we took the shore excursions for every port and very happy with most of them. stockholm sweden we took a highlight tour on land and water nice but better off doing ... Read More
we sailed on the constellation to the baltics. our first time in europe. we took the shore excursions for every port and very happy with most of them. stockholm sweden we took a highlight tour on land and water nice but better off doing the hop on and off shuttle to see the sights inside the places of interest.st petersburg don't waste your time doing the metro station not a very good tour not worth the money. we loved the ports and the cruise. food was good as always and the service excellent. our aecond or third time on this ship and we are booked in feb 2010 again on this ship for 14 days. we came in 3 days early and stayed in london at the amelia whitehouse very nice clean well located. we took two all day tours one highlights of london and the other the country side warrick castle etc. suggest to do this excellent and we also took the excersion from the ship to the airport constable countryside one excellent. getting on and off the ship very well done. entertainment was very good on the ship. we sat with 3 other couples first seating and had a great time. we met wonderful people on the ship. the whole experience on this cruise overall was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
After reading previous reviews, we were worried about embarking on a 14 day cruise of the Baltics, however our concerns were groundless. We had a fabulous time and would definitely go cruising again. The Constellation is a lovely ship ... Read More
After reading previous reviews, we were worried about embarking on a 14 day cruise of the Baltics, however our concerns were groundless. We had a fabulous time and would definitely go cruising again. The Constellation is a lovely ship and the service was outstanding. We were very pleased with our accommodations and were happy to have a balcony. While all of the services were good, the guest services desk could have been a little more friendly. The were competent and professional, but were not as helpful or anxious to please as other personnel. The dining room staff was excellent and always ready to accommodate special requests. The food was great....the prime rib with Yorkshire pudding was probably the best I've ever had anywhere. There was lots of choice! Our butler was great, always ready to be of assistance without being intrusive. We took the ship's excursions and found they were great. Celebrity made it easy for us to enjoy our holiday and see the sights. We liked the automatic tipping and were happy not to have to worry about saving up money and hunting down people we wanted to tip. It's a great improvement over previous trips. It is nice to have the option to discontinue the auto tipping if you aren't receiving good service; but, that was certainly not the case for us. Our accommodations were lovely. The room was a good size, the bed was comfortable, the washroom was large enough and there was lots of storage space. We enjoyed the quiet of our room, and on a particularly rough sea day were were happy to just relax in our room, which was situated mid-ship so we didn't feel the rough seas as much there as we did in other parts of the ship. The ports of call were fantastic. St Petersburg is a must! We took 2 all day ship's excursions in St Petersburg, which were informative and included interesting sites, and really good lunches! Copenhagen and Tallinn are beautiful. Also, the ship had fantastic shore excursions into the countryside outside of Helsinki and Stockholm. We went to 3 variety shows featuring the Celebrity entertainers and we thought they were great. We also enjoyed the ship's enrichment series on Happiness which was offered by a University of British Columbia professor. We knew about the sales pitches going in, and for the most part, having expected it, it wasn't a problem for us. The only glitch was the gym which charged $50 (per couple) to basically sell you on their products for what was billed to be part of an enrichment program. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having previously cruised with Holland America. Embarkation at Harwich was smooth and well organised within a few minutes we were welcomed on the ship and presented with a glass of Champagne. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having previously cruised with Holland America. Embarkation at Harwich was smooth and well organised within a few minutes we were welcomed on the ship and presented with a glass of Champagne. We were immediately taken to our cabin which was somewhat of a disappointment. We had booked a 2A cabin but Celebrity have recategorised their cabins and our was originally a 2B so had a fairly small balcony. We have been used to a bath/shower on previous cruises so were disappointed to find a small bathroom with just a shower cubicle. Storage space was ok and the bed was comfortable. There was a good variety of food available at all times and the ship organised 2 Brunches which were amazing! Dress code for formal nights was not enforced and people went into the main dining room on these nights in jeans and trainers which seems a shame when most people took the trouble to dress appropriately. Entertainment was mostly excellent and the resident Band were very versatile. We had a husband and wife team of dance/acrobatics who were truly fantastic, but never more than on our last night crossing the North Sea in a Force 10 when we could hardly keep our balance on two feet they gave a magnificent and faultless performance and received a standing ovation for their bravery! We did have a problem with the costs on this ship. A glass of fresh orange juice at breakfast was $2.50 + 15%service charge. Glasses of wine (half full)in the bars were $8.00 +15% service charge and when the bill arrived there was space for an additional tip which we found insulting (no service was THAT good) Wine in the dining room was also very expensive considering they were not premium wines. We had an excellent series of lectures by Dr Mark Holder about Happiness and The Amazing Brain which were fascinating. The Port lecturer was very boring and the shopping Advisor was just interested in promoting a chosen few shops! The Arcade shops on board were very expensive, also the Photographic Dept where a mini DV tape was double the amount we were charged in Tallin. Disembarkation was straightforward and well organised and all staff with whom we came into contact were friendly and helpful, but taking the experience as a whole we do not think Celebrity warrants the 5 star rating they claim as we have had better service and accommodation with HAL. Read Less
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
We are a fun loving couple, early 60's and this was our first cruise with Celebrity,having taken 2 other cruises with their sister company, Royal Caribbean. Like some of your other reviewers, we were rather concerned with the ... Read More
We are a fun loving couple, early 60's and this was our first cruise with Celebrity,having taken 2 other cruises with their sister company, Royal Caribbean. Like some of your other reviewers, we were rather concerned with the negative comments about 'Connie' but delighted to find that most of the criticism was unfounded, in our opinion. Although not the most attractive looking cruise liner on the exterior, the interior is classy and understated with contemporary works of art, beautiful wood everywhere and the most wonderful orchids in all the public washrooms. Our Concierge Cabin was small but well laid out with a balcony - but beware if you like to see the sky & sunshine from your balcony, which we do, - there is a very wide canopy above Deck 9 which obliterates any sunshine and makes the balcony rather claustrophobic. Our cabin attendant Thomas & his assistant Mauricio were very efficient and friendly and did everything in their power to spoil us. We were on second seating in San Marco for dinner and, although the food is not fantastic, it is on the whole very good and as there are also other options to the menu choices, even the fussiest of diners should find something to satisfy. Our waiter Remy & assistant waiter Rony were excellent and always made sure our table of six was enjoying our food, going out of their way to exchange a dish if it was not satisfactory. We dined twice in Ocean Liners Specialty restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience - the ambiance, the food, the service were all fantastic and well worth paying $30 for. We, unlike some, enjoyed the shows, particularly the guest artists, but felt the Celebrity singer/dancer shows lacked the 'Wow' factor of the Royal Caribbean shows. Cova Cafe was one of my favourite venues as a dedicated coffee lover. It is the only place on board to get a 'proper'coffee as the coffee everywhere else was dreadful. The staff here were great also and very friendly, always remembering your name and what you usually liked to drink, it is also a very restful place to relax with gentle background music. Although we did not make our fortune in the casino, we thoroughly enjoyed playing roulette every evening into the wee small hours and befriended many like-minded and fun individuals. As other reviewers have said already, embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and quick. We enjoyed all ports of call on this itinerary but have nothing to add that has not already been written by previous reviewers - however - the one port of call I must mention is St. Petersburg. We opted to do the 2 day inclusive tour with Denrus and cannot recommend them highly enough. When we got through customs, their Managing Director was waiting to greet us and had us escorted to our very comfortable tour bus ( we were 30 in total from many parts of the world). Our tour guide Ludmilla introduced herself and from that moment we became a large family with Ludmilla our Mother Hen. There was nothing about Russian history that she did not know and we visited every site woth seeing in St Petersburg including a 3-stop trip on the wonderful St.P metro (try getting 30 people all on and off a busy subway train together - great fun )and a canal boat ride. The highlight however was the Hermitage museum, we had priority entrance and walked straight in. Again, Ludmilla was a font of art knowledge, which greatly added to our enjoyment of this magnificent museum. We also took in an evening ballet to the world famous Marinsky theatre home of the Kirov Ballet, which was a fabulous experience. Would we sail on Celebrity again - most definitely, although for 'spice of life', we would like to try one of the newer Solstice Class ships. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
This was our 15th Cruise, 4th with Celebrity, and the second time on Constellation, the first being New England and Canada in October 2004. Because of this we were keen to see how Constellation was looking after 5 years, albeit having had ... Read More
This was our 15th Cruise, 4th with Celebrity, and the second time on Constellation, the first being New England and Canada in October 2004. Because of this we were keen to see how Constellation was looking after 5 years, albeit having had a refit. Had read some reviews which left us a bit concerned.We drove to Harwich having pre-booked car parking. Some were paying at the gate so a slight hold up, but nothing untoward. We arrived at about 2pm. Dropped off luggage in Car park which was then put into containers and taken to ship. Glad it was not raining, no cover at all. Parking was well marshalled and Courtesy bus efficient. Having completed all boarding details on line, embarkation was quick and simple. On board we were met and greeted and escorted to our cabin, where our Cabin steward introduced herself. Having been on before we knew what to expect, and the cabin was as we remembered clean and plenty large enough, as was the bathroom.Prior to boarding we had read some reviews and were a little concerned that the ship had let standards slip in respect of furnishings etc. We found that the standards were as we remembered, excellent.We were second sitting in the Dining room, which is where we found, in our opinion that standards had slipped. The menu had been written in such a way that it seemed you could only order 4 courses, with the soups and salads being listed together, although the Chefs recommendations always listed 5. A subtle way of saving money? The food although very good did not seem to have the Wow factor as it did the first time on Constellation, although the service was still as good. Last time on board we commented on the price of the Wine, so it was good to see that Celebrity have introduced a House Red wine, very drinkable, at $25. We also found that whilst the quota for the cruise lasted, it was sold at $5 off. With the 15% service charge this made it $23- still expensive but we suppose acceptable.It was the dress code that really shocked us. Sports shirts(Fred Perry Type) seem to be the norm now at Dinner, but some were arriving in Jeans and round neck `T` shirts!. On one formal night one man on an adjoining table turned up in a striped open neck long sleeved shirt. Not very satisfactory for those who take the trouble to dress correctly. Celebrity didn`t seem to do, or want to do anything about it.We ate in the dining room every night and most breakfast times. Other times we used the buffet and always found something we could both eat. It wasn`t like a Bun fight either, as on some ships we have been on.We enjoy the shows on ships, and those put on by the Production company were excellent, However the visiting entertainers were absolutely dire and thats being kind. A singer/impressionist who we watched for 10 minutes and couldn`t work out who he was supposed to be impersonating. Then a Comedian ( I use the term loosely) who only told Irish jokes,that he had obviously been telling for 40 years or more. So much so that even my wife knew all the jokes! My wife wouldn`t go to see the Guitarist/Singer, so I went on my own for 10 minutes, I couldn`t stand any more. He seemed to be an advert for Grecian 2000 and serenaded us with a guitar solo of Apache and Hava Nagila. I think this sort of entertainment went out in the 60`s, or was it the 50`s. We didn`t bother with the opera singer who had sang to the Queen, although Celebrity didn`t actually say which Queen. One good thing, it was the Cruise Directors last cruise. Perry Grant is still on the ship, he is very good but you can only have so much of him.We did not take any of the ship excursions, but relied on our past knowledge and experience. Celebrity put on an expensive Shuttle bus at most ports, which weren`t necessarily needed. One lady took the bus into Copenhagen and back to the bus and missed the Mermaid statue. No mention of this by Celebrity. Best option here is the open top bus, virtually same price as the Shuttle.The highlight of the cruise for us, and why we booked this one, was St. Petersburg.  On recommendation we booked 2 days with Denrus. Absolutely superb and would recommend them highly.Take absolutely no notice of what Celebrity tell you about disembarking at St. Petersburg. They tell independent travellers to meet in a bar the furthest away from the gangway, and not to leave until 8.15am. They even went as far as sending to us, what can only be described as a spoof letter, from the Port authority, indicating that Celebrity booked tours would be allowed through Immigration first. In addition the Cruise Director was on the ships TV saying the same, and offering a free phone call, to such as Denrus, to tell them what time to expect us. Needless to say you weren`t allowed to dial the number yourself and we don`t think anyone got through!.The Russian Immigration, who are very courteous and friendly, do not care who gets off the ship first. Also if you book a tour with an accredited company such as Denrus or others, you do NOT need a Visa, despite what Celebrity tell you.All the ports we visited were excellent, and this is a superb itinerary.Disembarking the ship was very efficient. When we arrived at the car park we found our suitcases neatly sorted and laid out. Pity someone had thrown them about so much before, they were filthy. We can only assume also that if it rains they would get soaking wet, unless they erect a marquee, which we doubt. If you have a car in the car park you are not called to get off. If you are ready, ignore the time they give you and leave the ship, nobody checks.To sum up, Constellation is more or less as we remembered her from 5 years ago. Still expensive on the drinks, still lacking in the entertainment department but otherwise very good. We will still maintain our dress standards whatever cruise line we go with. Finally, don`t forget that you can take the tips off your onboard account, and tip who you feel has given you good service, as we always do. Do not feel embarrased to do this, lots of passengers do. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
Background Information: We are a married couple in our late 50's, who discovered Sea Cruising in 2005 and have been hooked on this type of holiday ever since. Embarkation : Given we live only 32 miles from Harwich and arrived at ... Read More
Background Information: We are a married couple in our late 50's, who discovered Sea Cruising in 2005 and have been hooked on this type of holiday ever since. Embarkation : Given we live only 32 miles from Harwich and arrived at approx 1100hrs, to find an empty Cruise Terminal, embarkation was a breeze and was on the boat by 1115hrs. However, I was somewhat annoyed to hear that embarkation actually started at 1030hrs, which was very different to the information provided by Celebrity, who preferred embarkation to take place at 1400hrs. Glad we arrived early!! Public Rooms : Like the ship as a whole, were kept very clean and tidy. Cabin : Having already cruised 5 times, this is the biggest cabin (Inside No 8173) we have had. The shower was, compared to other boats, very roomy. Towels appeared to be changed every time they were used. The steward, Jagneth, kept the Cabin very clean and tidy. Did have a minor problem with the Aircon, which was promptly fixed. Fitness and Recreation : This facility was not used by us. Enrichment : We did take the ship excursions at the majority of ports, which I will go into more detail later. We did not participate in any other activities. Rates : The actual price paid for the cruise was very good value for money. However, the cost of the Ships excursions were, compared to other Cruise lines, very overpriced and the price of drinks was very expensive. Dining : We were very pleased with all the options that were available on the boat. We elected for the early sitting evening meal and were placed on a table of 6 people. The two other two couples proved to be very friendly and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. Our waiter, Chavez and his assistant, Jaya were very efficient, always wanting to please their customers and we were extremely pleased with the service they offered. We felt that the food that was available, no matter where you ate, was of a very good standard. The meat, especially the steaks were always very tender and juicy and a special mention must be made about the "to die for" lamb chops, which were the best we have tasted. Extra portions were always available, which I had a number of times and never felt guilty about. There were a number of criticisms regarding the coffee, which I found to be OK and my wife, who is very fussy found it to vary on the ship. Might have helped if the coffee/tea stations had sachets of branded instant coffee available. Entertainment: Overall acceptable, but there was one very good act and one very bad act. On a positive note, the Voicemale A Capello group were brilliant and can't quite understand why they were wedged in near to the Cova cafe, where there was not enough room for the large audience they attracted. The performances in the theatre, although not all to our liking, were on the whole good. Now for the bad news. Who ever agreed to employ the Rhythm of the Night group, who performed every night in the Rendezvous Lounge, should be sacked. The lead singer on the drums was painful to listen to, the piano player often dropped notes (might have been a poorly tuned piano) and was definitely not the standard expected of a five star boat. Perry Grant's, performances in Michaels lounge were enjoyable, but became too repetitive of which an hour, was enough. Shore Excursions: Apart from St Petersburg, where we took a private tour with SPB (arranged via the Roll Call, was half the price of the ship tours, had a 2 day itinerary and apart from some dodgy food on the first day, was brilliant), we took the ships excursions. These were very expensive and varied in value for money. The worst example was the Delightful Warnemunde tour, which at £46 each, was a complete rip off. Our tour guide, Bosse, appeared to be unsure of his knowledge, gave a very unstructured talk and his command of the English language wasn't that good. The best tour was the Charming Copenhagen (walk and cruise). Our tour guide, was brilliant. Her knowledge of city was excellent, which coupled with a charming and witty personality, made for a very enjoyable excursion. Disembarkation : No problems, easily found our luggage in the terminal hall. However, I did feel sorry for the people who had to pick up their cars from the car park and came off the boat in large numbers at approximately 0845hrs, who had to endure a long wait in long queues, waiting for the transfer buses. Value for Money : Taking into account everything, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and thought the price paid, represented very good value for money. Overall; Given some of the criticisms made above, which are not minor in their value, we cannot give an excellent rating, but instead will give a very good rating. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
Difficult to be objective about Celebrity Cruises without going over the top. Celebrity are, in my humble opinion, the best cruisde line in their class. Constellation was, as ever, a wonderful ship - I only hope that the new ... Read More
Difficult to be objective about Celebrity Cruises without going over the top. Celebrity are, in my humble opinion, the best cruisde line in their class. Constellation was, as ever, a wonderful ship - I only hope that the new Solstice class of ships live up to the reputation of Millennium class ships. Boarding in Harwich was a joy, we had a Concierge Class stateroom , with a dedicated check-in area, we were in, "processed" and aboard in a matter of minutes. Ports of call Amsterdam - Took the ships tour, coach sightseeing and canal tour was ok, like a lot of tours ashore these days, they are quite expensive, the advantage on a short stop (4 hours) is that you are sure to be on the ship when it sails again. Wernemunde - In the old East Germany, we decided against the trip to Berlin, 3+ hours each way on a train and only about 3 hours actually in Berlin together with the high cost of the trip made us look elsewhere. We spent the morning in Wernemunde, what a wonderful place nice streets , nice shopping area, but as Perry Grant said it was full of German Tourists for BULGARIA and the people in the shops spoke German too ( but more on Perry Grant later) We did the Molli train tour in the afternoon, I fully recommend that tour, the Molli runs through the streets, a bit like a tram, and even has train stops where people just stick out their hand and the train stops. This was followed by afternoon tea in a hotel on the coast. Stockholm - Lovely city, did the usual city tour with a boat trip too. Helsinki - Again a lovely city we did the city tour again with the boat trip the boat trip was "marred" by a 10 minute shower of rain - believe it or not, the only time it rained whilst we were ashore all trip. Would recommend the little outdoor market by the harbour, lots of local made wooden products. St.Petersburg (2 days) - Unless you are are going to arrange your own visa whilst in Russia you have to go on a ship organised tour. We did the city tour, St P is a wonderful city, great history and architecture. Tallinn - Estonia. Ask yourself , how many people do you know who have been to Estonia? Tallin was such a pretty place, but we knew next to nothing about it - so we took a ships tour ( I know we are SO predictable) in hindsight, the cruise terminal is close enough to the centre of Tallinn to go independently. Copenhagen (2 days) - Wonderful place, we took the city tour day 1 and just strolled around on day 2. and back to Harwich - where we just walked off the ship, collected our bags walked 30 metres to the railway platform and caught the dedicated train that was waiting for us, they even brought the train in on the "wrong" platform so passengers wouldn't have to cross the line to board the train - Customs - What Customs? Immigration - What Immigration? We were off the ship and sat on the train in under 15 minutes. The Ship Food - We had first sitting dining in the San Marco restaurant, wait staff were, as ever, first class. Food was, as ever, excellent. I do like the left hand side of the menu where if there is nothing you really fancy on the right hand side you can choose the old faithful steak or chicken from the left. Oceans - Speciality restaurant - one word sums it up WOW. Find time for the fine dining experience. Seaview Cafe - the buffet area, there is such a variety of food here that everyone should find something to suit, be it salads, sandwiches , fantastic pizza, roasts, fish and chips even and FREE ice cream (P&O take note please) The ice cream demands special mention, wonderful flavours most made on-board ship, low fat ice cream, sugar free ice cream. I have to say the American cruise lines do much better than UK cruise lines when it comes to food. I have a theory for this - we Brits like to complain when things are not quite right BUT we complain to each other NOT to the people who can do something to rectify it. The Americans go straight to the people who can do something about it. Entertainment Theatre , as ever with all Celebrity ships, the theatres gizmos are used to the full, great lighting effects, full use of all stage hydraulics and a great sound system. There were 3 production shows, I liked 2 of them, the 3rd was not to my personal taste but that is always subjective. Speciality acts were good, instumentalists, jugglers, singers etc. Celebrity orchestra was great, the resident orchestras on Celebrity ships always have great sounds for just 7 musicians. Other resident bands were good. Now - Perry Grant - where the hell do you start with Perry Grant. I think PG is best summed up by GO SEE HIM!, even if you think he may not be to your taste GO SEE HIM! He is resident in Michaels Club, but does 1 show in the Celebrity Theatre, see him in the intimate atmosphere of Michaels Club, I am a cruisers of many yeara standing, I am not, by nature, much of an extrovert, so what the hell am I doing in Michaels Club dressed as a Green Goddess one time and Marie Antoinette another time - laughing like a drain every night at the same act but with different songs - like I said before GO SEE HIM! If you go the first night he's on you will get a seat, if you wait until the last night, you will be stood up or sat on the floor. Thank you Perry for many many laughs and you were right there were a lot of german tourists in BULGARIA. Wonderful cruise, great ports of call, great staff, wonderful entertainment. I think we might cruise with Celebrity again - like Transatlantic on Equinox in Nove 2009 and the inaugural Eclipse cruise to Ireland in 2010. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
This was our first cruise and one which we were nervous about as a young family as much was unknown. Our fears were allayed as soon as we walked on the boat to great service and lots of activity. The constellation is certainly not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and one which we were nervous about as a young family as much was unknown. Our fears were allayed as soon as we walked on the boat to great service and lots of activity. The constellation is certainly not the ideal cruiser for an 18 month old child as all services are for children 3 and older (although you could use baby sitting) and as such you will spend all your time with your child (which was fine for us but not if you want a break) The destinations were superb and the precise reason we went, stockholm, warnemundew, amsterdam, tallinn, st petersburg and copenhagen were all great. Helsinki was a bit of a let down with very little to do or see although the shopping was good. £6 for a pint of carlsberg in copenhagen was a stretch (especially as I buy if for under 70p to sell in my business's) Food was plentiful and of good quality. The San marco restaurant was superb in its service and the service staff really took care of our young son. We also went to the ocean liners speciality restaurant twice and although a little stuff and typically french - the service was very good and the food superb. The unfortunate thing for us is that guest relations were poor, very poor and we had several incidences to complain about aspects of their service and when we tried to reduce the service charge as a result of this they showed their true colours and made you feel like a cash machine. I believed that the idea of a service charge is that you pay it for good service NOT just because it is there to pay the wages of the staff. This is perhaps how they can advertise such good prices in comparison to an english owned cruise company (where you have the choice of who and how to reward) We will cruise again but not with Celebrity (a real shame) Read Less
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: July 2009
Journey to Port: What should have been a relatively easy journey of one and a half hours actually turned into a bit of a nightmare. We ended up in a stationery queue of traffic for about one and a half hours after an accident and we were ... Read More
Journey to Port: What should have been a relatively easy journey of one and a half hours actually turned into a bit of a nightmare. We ended up in a stationery queue of traffic for about one and a half hours after an accident and we were getting seriously worried about missing the boat! We used the A12 which according to our check-in lady is notoriously bad so I would recommend finding an alternative route if possible. Embarkation: Very easy, not much of a queue and the girl at the desk was clear and precise. Then it was over the photographer for an embarkation photo. As first-time cruisers we did not know about this and having spent three hours stuck in the car were rather bedraggled which was a shame as it would have been nice to have a good picture. Then it was up the long ramp (there is a lift if needed) to go through security. There is then a very long walk along gantries to the ship. On boarding the ship we were greeted with a glass of champagne or orange and directed to our cabin. Cabin: We chose a Deluxe Balcony 2A and DH was a little disappointed with the size initially; I think he had delusions of grandeur though. Although not particularly large, it was fine and in good condition. We had brought extra coat hangers with us which I recommend if possible as there are never enough. The bed was reasonably comfortable although I found the pillows a little hard. The bathroom was clean and also had plenty of storage areas. Shampoo and conditioner, cotton buds and cotton wool balls are all provided as well as face cloths. The bath towels were a little small for my taste so I recommend using the ones from the pool which are a lot bigger. Our bags were delivered to our room very quickly and we had unpacked almost everything within the hour. After which we set off to explore the ship. Firstly, let me say, it is huge. Our cabin was on the port side forward which is a long way from anywhere! Generally, the ship was in very good condition and extremely clean. I had read some comments about it being a bit dilapidated but that was not our experience. The crew are all friendly and helpful. There is an interactive TV where you can order room service, book shore excursions, check your account etc. Dining: We chose late seating for the main dining room and I probably would not do this again. Although I prefer to eat late, by the time all the courses were served we did not get out of the dining room until 10.30 to 11pm every night which is a bit too late. I think we were a bit unfortunate, but we seemed to get the slowest table in the dining room. One night when we still had not had our appetisers by 9.15 we complained. Things were a little quicker after that but not by much. Despite requesting a table for 6 we were seated at table for 8 although the other couple never arrived for the whole cruise! We ate in Ocean Liners one night and this was wonderful, it was my birthday and they brought a cake to my table. We also ate in the Casual Dining by Reservation one night and this was very good, in fact, we had some of the best food on the ship here! However, one point to note is that the menu stays the same for the whole cruise. If you chose to go to the casual dining area there is a large choice from pizza, pasta, sushi, stir fry, salad etc but most of it was not to my taste. I also did not like the "holiday camp" attitude in the casual dining area where you have to queue up with your tray. Frankly, I expect better from this class of ship. I was most disappointed by the food as it is tailored to the American taste and had some odd combinations of ingredients for me. I also did not want to have five courses every night (appetisers, soup, salad, entree and dessert). We used room service a few times, mostly for breakfast and a couple of times during the day for lunch. It was quick and tasty. My other favourite place was the Aqua Spa Cafe which had much lighter fare, although sadly this is not open in the evenings. I'm not a coffee drinker but apparently it was pretty bad - burnt tasting and lots of the Brits were complaining about it. The tea was not much better, although I discovered after several days that there is a silver flask at the coffee stations which contain Tetley tea bags - thank goodness! Pools: We used both the indoor and outdoor pools as we were fortunate with the weather. In fact, after long day sightseeing a dip in the whirlpool is an absolute must! There were always plenty of beds with blankets and towels provided. Yes, there was some chair hogging but the staff removed their Entertainment: We didn't really bother with this, we are not big drinkers and by the time we'd finished dinner we were too tired to see the shows. DH did watch the one on the last night of the cruise. I saw the beginning but was not impressed and left early. Shops: As you would imagine there are plenty of ways to spend your money and we did. You can get everything from top class jewellery and furs to everyday items such as toothpaste. They have regular sales but mostly its tat, not the stuff you'd actually want them to discount. Almost every night they have a prize draw at 8.15. One night the prize was a pair of diamond earrings! Casino: We only used the slots for about an hour one night so can't really comment on this. Ports: The ships offers lots of tours in each of the ports but generally you can get better value by doing it yourself. Here's what we did: Amsterdam: We did the ship's tour to Volendam and Marken mainly because we had been to Amsterdam before, plus I'd sprained my ankle the week before departure and did not want to do too much walking at the start. I would recommend this as a good trip if you want to see the countryside. Marken is a delightful little village which is untouched by the progress of time. Some of the people still wear traditional costume but we were not lucky enough to see any. Then it was on to Volendam which is a pretty seaside village, followed by a stop at a cheese factory to see how they make it (and of course buy some). Warnemunde: In the morning we walked into town. The ship docks right near the centre so this is easy to do. Warnemunde is wonderful, very pretty. In the afternoon we did the ship's trip to the cathedral at Bad Doberan and the Moli Steam Train. This was an absolute gem. The train takes you right through the centre of the town, down the main high street which is quite an experience, to a very pretty seaside resort where we had a cup of coffee and cake in a local hotel followed by a wander around the pretty beach area. Some people on our ship did the trip to Berlin but we did not want to spend hours on a bus/train getting there only to have to turn around and do it all again a few hours later. Apparently the send off here was pretty amazing, lots of small boats sailing out of the harbour with us but we were fast asleep so missed it ! Stockholm: Someone on the boards recommended getting up early to see the ship sail through the archipelago which we did. It was absolutely magical, sailing silently through hundreds of islands as the sun came up. We did the HOHO bus which was right at the dock. Our first stop was the Vasa Museum and we were fortunate to have arrived early so there was no queue. You really need at least an hour or more to get the best out of this museum as there is lots to see. Beware of the coffee shop, the prices are exorbitant! As we were leaving the queue was already getting quite long so we definitely benefitted by getting there early. Next, got the bus into the centre and saw the changing of the guard at the palace which was wonderful but took about an hour so you need to be prepared to stand for at least that long. It starts at 12pm. Then walked down to the Old Town and had a good lunch in an Italian restaurant. Overall, we were a little disappointed with Stockholm. The Old Town is pretty samey and touristy. For sail away the captain opened the helideck but we preferred to watch it from the comfort of our balcony. Helsinki: We did the HOHO bus again, which was waiting for us at the dock. We went to Senate Square, the Sibelius monument, the Olympic park, the Rock Church and then wandered along the main street where we had lunch at an outdoor cafe and listened to a concert across the road in the park - wonderful. We really liked Helsinki although we met people who did not. I think a lot of people just went to Senate Square which is a bit dull and that clouded their judgement. St Petersburg: The jewel in the crown for us. We had arranged a private tour through SPB with people we'd met on the roll call. We had spent a lot of time beforehand working out what we wanted to see and the timing as we had booked an evening tour through the ship which left at 6.30pm so we were very specific about being back in time for that. Unfortunately, SPB changed the itinerary/order around due in part to local events but the fact that we needed to be back at the ship by a certain time had not been communicated to our guide and this meant we had to miss the canal trip and be taken back on our own by the driver. That aside, we had a wonderful tour and I would recommend taking a private tour over the ship as it was much more personal and we went to the front of all the queues! On the first day we went to the Rostral Columns, passed by the Hermitage and St Isaacs and then on to the Catherine's Palace. We had lunch in place just across the road from the palace and it was OK, although nothing to write home about. In the evening we did the "Imperial Evening Tour" through the ship and this was stunning. This was an exclusive trip to St Catherine's Palace where we were greeted by a military band who led us into the Palace and up the marble staircase where Imperial soldiers were positioned. We then had a private guide through the Palace, including the Amber Room where we were allowed to take pictures which is not normally allowed. After the tour we had a champagne reception in the Hall of Mirrors or Throne Room while a string quartet played and dancers performed. Then we were led outside where the band was playing and dancers arrived in a horse drawn carriage to perform one last dance. The band then led us to a wing of the Palace where we had dinner while members of the Mariinskey theatre performed. It was absolutely magical and the highlight of our entire trip. Having been to the Palace during the day when it was full of people and hot and noisy we really felt like royalty having the place to ourselves - there were about 70 of us in total. On the second day we went to the Hermitage first thing and walked straight to the front of the queue and in the door - that's what having a local guide can do for you. This was an amazing place and we did not have enough time to really do it justice. Be warned, there is a lot of walking and no air conditioning or seating. After this we went to the Stolle pie shop where we had "Pirogies" - slices of sweet or savoury pie - delicious. In the afternoon we went to the Peterhof which is beautiful. Tallinn: As my foot was hurting after all the walking in St P, we took the ship's "panoramic" tour which frankly was a rip-off. It took us around the outskirts of the town to the Kadriog Palace which we couldn't see through the trees! Then through a suburb to the song contest arena which we couldn't see because Madonna was due to play there, then we had a quick stop at the upper town and Tompeea. You could opt to stay in town, otherwise it was back to the ship. We did choose to stay in town and thank goodness we did as the lower town is an absolute gem! Every corner led to a beautiful vista and we absolutely adored it. We had Estonian sausage and mash at a restaurant in the main square which was lovely. If you had gone back to the ship you would have missed the best bit. Copenhagen: We did the HOHO bus from the port. We got the 2-day combined tour. This was the city that disappointed us the most - it was a very hot day and the centre was noisy and dirty. It reminded me too much of London which I was trying to escape. The Rosenborg Castle is a delight however and I definitely recommend it. We had lunch in a cafe in Nyhaven and watched the world go by and then headed back to the ship. The second day my foot was hurting again, plus we were exhausted so we just milled around the port shops and DH went to take a picture of the little mermaid which is nearby and when they say "little" they mean it! It meant wasting the second half of our HOHO ticket but we didn't mind. Disembarkation: We received notification to go to the Theatre for 8.30, which we did. After a short wait they said we could disembark. At the car park our bags were waiting, as were porters with trolleys. The bags were out in the open but the porters told us they put a marquee up if the weather is bad. General: Overall, we had a wonderful cruise. The ship is in great condition and the staff are friendly and helpful. Minor niggles: single ply toilet paper - not sure if this a financial or "green" policy but either way it doesn't work as people just use more! Coffee - as mentioned was disgusting. Some of the tea/coffee stations run out of cups/glasses during sea days. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
My husband and I were were very reluctant to go on our cruise with Celebrity to the Baltic, after having read reviews on this forum about the ship, the staff,  the food, the excursions, the entertainment, the cabins.I was so worried about ... Read More
My husband and I were were very reluctant to go on our cruise with Celebrity to the Baltic, after having read reviews on this forum about the ship, the staff,  the food, the excursions, the entertainment, the cabins.I was so worried about going that I contacted my agent, who in turn, forwarded my e mail to Celebrity who are supposed to contact me within 28 days, Nothing yet, but early days, only got back on Saturday.I felt that I had to write and give my comments on the ship etc., to those of you going away soon and feeling like  we were, before we left.First of all the concierge cabin was very good, large and clean, with champagne on arrival, flowers in the cabin and bathroom. Thomas introduced himself to us very quickly and he was always very kind and helpful.Our two waiters were very good, and nothing was too much bother for them, they kept our table amused every night. the food was very good, with a lot of choice.The excursions were very well organised and we booked some for St. Petersberg, Stockholm and Oslo. You can arrange indepent trips, but be careful, we decided on our second day in Stockholm just to explore the old town, but we saw a picture of the Vasa museum and decided to go there by ferry. When there, the queue was horrendous, but we got in but only spent 20 minutes there, and you need at least half a day, got back to the shuttle bus area, and we had missed the last bus, so had to get a taxi back which cost 35euros for a five minute trip, but got back with only 5 minutes to spare, it is not worth the worry to go it alone.  In St. Petersberg we booked the evening trip to Pushkin Palace, a wonderful evening and well worth the money.The evening shows were a bit lacking, we have seen better, but they were entertaning.  Most of the bars have some music during the evening and they were all very good, but Perry Grant in Micheals Bar was very, very good. We heard that some people book their cruises only on ships were he is playing. We had to sit on the floor some evenings, he is so popular, but well worth it.We met some wonderful people during our two weeks and had a lot of laughs, a bonus was the weather, it was very hot most of the time.I can finish by saying that we were very pleasantly surprised when we got there, and I don't know what people expect sometimes.  The only small complaint I can make is that we were on the 9th deck concierge class. Above our balcony was a large canopy which extended out a long way, therefore, we didn't get any sun on our balcony and we couldn't see up to the sky.  On investigation we were under the swimming pool area and the canopy was the walkway around with the sunbeds. It could be noisy with children running around and people with hob-nail boots. One morning at 5.30 the cleaners were pressure washing the sunbeds and woke us up.HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD CRUISE. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
this was our eighth cruise, and was the best, up to now, have a cruise booked in march with celebrity , of course. We sailed on the 13th June from Harwich. this was the first time that we had driven to a home port for embarkation, and it ... Read More
this was our eighth cruise, and was the best, up to now, have a cruise booked in march with celebrity , of course. We sailed on the 13th June from Harwich. this was the first time that we had driven to a home port for embarkation, and it could not have been smoother. in no time we were aboard, and set off to explore the ship. the ship was in perfect condition. the crew were very good, and no complaints about anything. the captain of this ship was the best we have come across, he was a hands on captain, he was everywhere, taking part in events, and being young he seemed to enjoy meeting passengers. he was a breath of fresh air. all the crew were the same, very lively and all doing their work, and still being friendly at all times. this makes for a great atmosphere. the food was great, we went to main dining every day, and had breakfast and lunch at the buffet, or the pool deck. the entertainment was varied, and we always found something to interest us. the ports of call were all so good, I really think that I would like to do the Baltic again. when sadly we had to leave the ship, once again, so smooth, and well organised, we could not believe just how easy it all went. thank you celebrity one problem was that we ended up sitting on a table for six, but being on our own for the entire trip.Tthe first eventing a couple joined us, but stated that they preferred buffet dining, so we did not see them again. perhaps we should have asked to be moved, but then should the dining room management have taken care of it? 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: May 2009
First time on Celebrity. I thought it was a step up from RCCL, but was proved wrong. I will start with the good. The ports were great and so was the weather. Boarding was very smooth and organized. Our flight got in early in the morning ... Read More
First time on Celebrity. I thought it was a step up from RCCL, but was proved wrong. I will start with the good. The ports were great and so was the weather. Boarding was very smooth and organized. Our flight got in early in the morning but we were allowed to board at 11 am. The service was cold and indifferent. It was the 3rd day before someone besides our stateroom attendant said hello. At times I think I was just being ignored. The food was very hit or miss. There were 3 nights were the main course was very good. 2 nights where at least 2 main courses were inedible. 3 nights the menu was uninspiring and we did not dine in the main dinning room. Sunday Brunches were very disappointing.  Sushi was offered on certain nights but it was large chunks of rice with paper thin fish on top. I wish they would make good sushi and have it only 1 or 2 times than bad sushi every night. Shopping on board is never a bargain but they set a new standard. I saw a nice russian box at their sale. It was very nice and $1400. Same box was for sale at the Hermitage for less than 800. I bought it and compared them, thought they are hand painted and had minor differences they were of the same quality. Also for sale were the Sarah Faberge eggs at $3500. Same exact egg was noticed at the Tower of London gift shop for 1550 pounds or around $2300. Information on ports for independent travels was often wrong. Shopping recommendations were also very misleading. I found advertised specials at shops were often higher than other stores. In fact at the highly recommended crystal shop in Stockholm prices listed in dollars where 10-15% higher than the Swedish prices underneath. Supposedly these prices included no VAT but were still higher than the price for the locals.  While the stops at Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, Oslo and St Petersburg where wonderful and the weather great we had a good time. However, I can not believe Celebrity receives the marks it does. It was not nearly as nice as any of the 4 RCCL ships I have sailed. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
What makes a great cruise? Possibly the food, the destinations, the service and the entertainment. Well Celebrity scored on three out of four, but let itself down badly with the fourth. But more about that later.We booked our fifth ... Read More
What makes a great cruise? Possibly the food, the destinations, the service and the entertainment. Well Celebrity scored on three out of four, but let itself down badly with the fourth. But more about that later.We booked our fifth cruise, the first with Celebrity and the first with two friends on the Constellation for a fortnight in the Baltics. Travelling from the North West of England were a little worried about making a cross-country journey to Harwich, as we had always travelled to Southampton previously, but we needn't have worried as the journey was straight forward. We spent the day and night in Cambridge prior to embarcation and that got us off to a great start.I don't know who ordered our weather, but whoever it was, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Apart from a wet and windy first day at sea, a cloudy day in Helsinki and an hour or two of light drizzle on the second day in St. Petersburg, the weather was absolutely beautiful with shorts and sandals the order of the day, and I know that is not always the case in that part of the world.Have recently been on a cruise which took me to Lisbon, which I found rather disappointing, I was a little apprehensive of visiting cities, and large capital cities at that. I shouldn't have worried, as with one possible exception, everywhere was clean, enjoyable and very impressive. Our first stop was Copenhagen, Denmark, and on a warm, sunny day it was a pleasure to wander the streets and see the sights. The highlight was a boat trip around the city, with a couple of drop-on drop-off stops available. Although an expensive city (one large and three small beers costing £17), the boat trip was real value for money at about £7 pp for over a one hour journey. Other highlights were seeing the Little Mermaid statue, that really lives up to its name Little, but is within 5 minute walk from where the ship berthed and the four-building Royal Palace, the Royal yacht and the sentries at the palace, one of which nearly made my wife nearly wet herself when she stepped too close for a photo.We sailed on to Warnemunde in the old East Germany the following day, and what a bonus this turned out to be. Never having heard of the place, I expected very little, but it was a charming little seaside resort with a beautiful beach, a lighthouse that can be climbed to give great views, and many quaint, little shops at prices more like those we are used to, unlike the larger Scandiavian cities. If you want souvenirs or clothing for yourself this is the place to buy to protect your wallet!We returned to the ship for lunch (Hey it might be cheaper than Copenhagen but its free) Back on board), before going into Rostock by train. This is a 20 minute train journey but not a bit expensive, and as you would expect in Germany, it was clean and bang on time. (Take note British Rail). Again I had no expectations of Rostock but it was a charming town with beautiful architecture, and a character all of its own. Having called in Tourist Information, we were told of tour of the town in a mini-bus with English speaking guide, and had it just between the 4 of us. The tour was very informative, even including where the site of the Stasi jail had been. It made us want to revisit some of the sights on foot later (not the Stasi jail), and as the ship didn't sail that night until 9.30, we had plenty of time to wander at leisure. Back on board the set meal times were cancelled, and with everyone turning up for open seating at roughly the same time, it was a bit chaotic, but that didn't spoil a great day.Another sea day followed, and then on to Helsinki, Finland. This was by far the most disappointing of the destinations, but perhaps that was not all Helsinki's fault, It was a public holiday and very few places were open, plus the weather was overcast and uninviting. A fellow guest at dinner who had been before said that we hadn't seen it at its best, but you can say as you find, and a return to Heksinki for me is extremle unlikely. we returned to the ship early for a swim.After another time change (the 3rd.), It was arrival at St. Petersburg. now this was the only stop we had made plans for before leaving. With the excursions from Celebrity ridiculously expensive, we had planned to do our own thing everywhere but in St.P., due to the necessity of obtaining a visa. We contacted a Russian travel firm in St.P., on the internet who offered two day tours to include all the major and important sights. We chose T.J. Travel, who unlike their rivals Optima were extremely flexible and accomodating and had a notice board whereby other guests from the same ship could join your group, thus bringing down the cost greatly. Tatyana, their contact, and a right little cracker as well, would ask if you were happy for others to join your group, before confirming wqith them, and we were joined by acouple from Northern Ireland, a couple from London and a couple from Houston, Texas. This cut the cost pp by about 40%, and we all met up on the first sea day and got on very well indeed. In fact it was the perfect sized group for the two days to follow. Now I can't praise too highly the role played by T.J. Travel, they were in constant touch before we left home, giving information on the immigration procedure and the itinerary, which was very flexible and allowed imput from us if there was something special we wanted to see. All this and they didn't want any deposit or any payment until the second day, with a5% discount for cash. Amazing, and I defy anyone to find a better and more cost-efficient two days in St. P. At all times we were in the presence of English speakin guide, and in an air-conditioned 20 seater mini-bus.We started with a tour of the city, with several photo stops and then a 30 minute journey by hydrofoil to the Peterhof Gardens, which is simply breathtaking - a beautiful sunny day in the most beautiful gardens you can imagine, with fountains by the hundred. Then it was on to St. Catherine's Palace, where we were told everything IS gold. And boy did we see some gold!  It took the best part of 2.5 hours to see the sights bothinside and outside of the palace. Because of traffic problems, we were unable to take a subway ride and finished off day 1 with a visit to a shop which was open specially for us and greeted with vodka, tea/coffee and truffles. Day 2 included visits to the Peter and Paul fortress, the Church of the Spilled Blood (the one with all those brightly-covered onion domes), the famous St.Petersburg pie shop for lunch, and after a visit to the famous Aurora warship, the rest of the afternoon spent at magnificant Hermitage Museum. Now there is nothing I can say that can begin to describe the Hermitage. Everything that has been written about the place is true and so many times we just gaxed at each other and said "wow!". What a two days and what a climax to the visit. Amazing!The next day it was Tallin, Estonia, and this had to be a let down after the wonders of Russia, right? Wrong. The old town was beautiful, and although a bit hilly with cobbled streets, it was another fabulous adventure. The city walls and towers were exquisite, the buildings and churches lovely and a big market square where you could relax with a coffee in the beautiful sunshine. I even had a try at archery near the main church, with the old medieval robes on. For the first time here we had alittle problem with currency as neither euros or dollars were widely accepted, but there were plenty of "currency exchange shops" available to cange your cash to the local currency.After a hectic 4 days it was good to have a relaxing sea day to follow, before a 2-day stop in Stockholm, Sweden. Right next to the ships berth, was a drop-on, drop-ff boat that took you around the majority of sights, and a two-day pass on this was cheaper than the ship's shuttle bus and the drop-on, drop-off bus. A bit of a no brainer then. The boat had 6 or 7 stops including the old town, the Royal palace and the Vasa Museum. The changing of the guard at the Royal Palace was definitely worth seeing , and there was no charge. The city again was beautiful, spotless and the weather again lovely and warm.Another day at sea and then Oslo, Norway. This was the only place on the itinerary that I had been to before, but it was all I remembered and more. With the ship's berth right by the castle it was easy to get anywhere, including the sculpture park which is easile accessed by tram(every 10 minutes). The Royal Palace, the casle and the beautiful city centre were all must-see on another sunny day.And so after another day at sea, it was back to Harwich. The destinations were lovely and I wouln't have missed them for the world. Life-lasting memories. But what about the ship itself.?The Celebreity Constellation is a beautiful ship and all the crew I met (waiters. stewards etc.) were first class- polite,helpful and conscientious. The fittings aboard were exceptional and the food above average. But the entertainment? Oh dear-it was abysmal. From a Cruise Director who was so smarmy I'm sure he would have eaten himself if he could, the whole entertainment package was lacking. The ship's singers and dancers got better with each performance, but there were only 3 over 14 nights. (P & ) and Cunard do 3 on a 7 night cruise), however the turns in the theatre were with 1 possible exception, well below an acceptable level. You got the impresson that the entertainment budget had been cut to the bone, as some nights the theatre was only showing a movie (despite the fact there was a cinema on board), and others passenger participation in acts (cringe!) were put on to avoid paying professional cabaret. Of the acts that were on not one was even mildly famous or even ever heard of, whilst the films at the cinema were pathetic. I tried 2 but walked out early on both. Although I am not one of those people who rush from one venue to another on days at sea to catch a quiz here and a demonstration there, I spoke to some that do, and they even that selection was poor.So, to sum up I'd say,Destinations   9.5/10 (Remember HelsinkiWeather         10/10 Ship                9/10Food               8/10Entertainment   1/10A great cruise but come on Celebrity, Get that entertainment package right. I think I would lovr to return to the Baltics, but without reassurances over the entertainment it would not be with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Have been on 10 cruises, 6 with Celebrity, 5 of which have been on Constellation. Prior to this was on back to back on Connie last spring Car/Trans. Have to compare.Live about 450 miles from Harwich and drove down day before and stayed in ... Read More
Have been on 10 cruises, 6 with Celebrity, 5 of which have been on Constellation. Prior to this was on back to back on Connie last spring Car/Trans. Have to compare.Live about 450 miles from Harwich and drove down day before and stayed in Travelodge in Feering, Colchester. Hotel fine. Only eating place in area - Little Chef -not the best.Had booked Concierge Class balcony stateroom. Aft, very large balcony but did not get much time to use, due to dull wet weather and cold. Drove to car park [Pre booked] about 11.20am , left car and placed cases at trolleys [ seen next in room]. Got bus to ship and embarked in matter of minutes. We are Elite and enjoyed benefits. Ship clean and beaut as usual and all staff extremely friendly. Lifeboat drill postponed till after the soccer FA cup final match that was in theatre and room tv - nice touch.Food still high quality but amounts and other cutbacks are obvious.Negatives: Smoking policy has changed since last cruise. My wife is considerate smoker. Last year smoking was allowed in Rendez Vous Lounge, and Cova Cafe. We were in Cova at least twice a day and the lounge before/after dinner. Now smoking not allowed. Last year was always busy and this year hardly used especially Cova Cafe. They have also greatly increased price of cooffees.  Only allowed to smoke in Bar at Edge of Earth that regularly has busy shows and non smokers sit in smoking area so nothing for smokers.  More ludicrous! Smoking was not allowed on balcony, even though large, but was allowed 8 feet above it, in seated outside area of Seaside Cafe.Drink prices: Increased. If you bring your own wine to dinng room the corkage added to your account is 25 dollars. Enrichment : Relied mainly on Emile Baladi who gave about 7 lectures. Really just reading large areas of text from 'Powerpoint' with no humour. I gave up 10 minutes into number 2. Band leader Les DeMerle was excellent, about his playing with Sinatra etc. Singers enthusiastic and great. Singer Brenda Cochrane was good singer. Couple of comedians who had seen better days. Did not go to comedy juggler or pianist.Still had great time and enjoyed, but I never thought I would say it, but I cannot see us returning toCelebrity until they alter the smoking policy - at least relative to balconies.On leaving, cases were taken from room direct to car park. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Wow!!! It's Wednesday May 20th and I'm still a little tired.All in all we had a very good time, even for some one with bad knees, I made it.Check-in was very easy and everything was taken care of for us.  We had no problem ... Read More
Wow!!! It's Wednesday May 20th and I'm still a little tired.All in all we had a very good time, even for some one with bad knees, I made it.Check-in was very easy and everything was taken care of for us.  We had no problem finding our cabin.  However, our cabin had a VERY bad odor and was bad enough that we had a problem sleeping a couple of nights, they are aware of the problem because others have mentioned it in their reviews.Our Butler, Carlton was great...a pot of coffee at 4 P.M. and 8:30 P.M. everyday, and cookies for my wife at 4 everyday.  Our cabin steward, Romanito, was "Outstanding," the only time we ever saw him was in the mornings when we went to breakfast, otherwise he took care of our every need.The Food...HUMMM, what can I say here...The first morning I wanted a Ham and Cheese Omelet, well there was a man that was in line behind me and the man putting out the trays told him there were plenty of eggs in other places but the man wanted an omelet and the guy got smart with him and told him he could get his eggs somewhere else, we just looked at each other.  I never did see anywhere else to get an omelet.  The man in front of me ordered two omelets and the cook put some kind of seasoning on them and the guy told him NOT to and he did it anyway, the man said he didn't want them and the cook said try them anyway, that he would like them...I told the cook what I wanted and without his special seasoning...I got a little smirk...but I also got a burned omelet.  The two times I got an omelet it was burned, so I didn't try it again.  There was only once or twice that I got toast that wasn't BURNED, each time I asked for lightly toasted, I guess I just didn't understand what lightly toasted meant.  The servers at the breakfast meal seemed like they didn't want to be there and weren't in very good moods.  Lunch and Dinner crews seemed a lot more friendly and helpful.  The layout of the food area was NOT user friendly,  you have to walk all over the place to find what you would like to eat and there was no Q-lines, in or exit, anywhere.  People would just push their way in front of you in line if you left any space between you and the person in front of you.  The only place I did find any proper lines was Pool side to get hamburgers,  these folks were there to make you happy, they did a good job, and yes I ate several hamburgers, because most of the time I didn't care for the other food offered.  As far as the Plates and silverware ... it was a challenge to find clean plates and spoons, just GROSS, period.  The Main Seating dining room food was fair, it was the 4th night before I got what I ordered, my wife told me to complain, but I was always the last to order and the last served and I didn't want to keep anyone from eating while waiting on me to get what I ordered.  I finally said something and didn't have anymore problems.  Our supper mates were, are, great people, we really enjoyed their company, they helped make the whole trip great.The Worker Bees were all very nice folks and always spoke, "Good morning or Good afternoon Ma'am or sir, have a good day or did you have a good day," always with a smile...even if they were cleaning the carpet or a mirror they were all very nice to us.  However I just don't remember very many of the Officers speaking, I saw several standing around but just don't remember them speaking...The Itinerary;Amsterdam:  We were there a couple of days after the attempt on the Queens life, needless to say they were not happy campers about it, our tour guide said, "We won't be that naive ever again."  We went to Keukenhoff Gardens, WOW, I'm not a garden or flower person, but I was amazed.  Too bad the Tulips don't last long, it was worth the trip.  Too bad we didn't have more time in Amsterdam we would like to have seen the city itself, not enough time, just about everyone said we could do without Helsinki and spent more time in Amsterdam.Germany:  Again, what fun we had there.  Dave and Micah took four of us under their wings and took care of us, what rookies we are.  We took the train to Schwerin, yes it took some time, but again the folks we were with were great and we didn't even notice the time.  It's so amazing seeing places that are centuries older than the USA.  It just will blow you away.Stockholm:  Yet again, WOW.  Still not enough time to see everything. We took Public Buses, and did our own thing.  The buses are easy to take and the system is easy to use, especially when you have a wife who does all the work and research for you and you are smart enough to do what she tells you to do, the right answer is always, "Yes Ma,am." Helsinki:  All I can say is we could have done without Helsinki and spent more time elsewhere.  Sorry, I just wasn't that impressed.St. Petersburg:  Yes this is the jewel of the trip.  We took a two day tour with the ALLA touring company, what PROS these folks are, our tour guide was Katya, very smart young lady.  Because I have bad knees she really took her time and didn't rush me along and was concerned that she might be pushing us to hard.  I will never again complain about traffic in Atlanta again after London and St. Petersburg.  We were a group of six and I truly believe we saw more and got a lot better tour.  Words can not describe the churches, just unbelievable.  Peterhof was also unbelievable, alot of walking, but because Katya took her time with me I was alright.  Alla, if you read this, that girl needs a raise. We got a special trip to the "Treasury Room," no words can describe this place, except unbelivable.  May 9th and 10th were holidays for the Russians and they were really enjoying theirselves.Tallinn: What can I say, my wife gave me "ONE" port to take care of and I failed.  We watched Fiona each night on TV to see what the ports offered.  I'm not going to say she lied, like others have said, let's just say she didn't give ALL the info properly.  She said it was about a 20 min. walk to a point out side of Tallinn and another 20 to 40 min. walk to the center of the city. Or you could take the bus at the end of the pier...here's my point, we decided to take the bus to save some time and my knees...it cost $7/pp, it took us less than a mile and stopped.  No one moved and then the driver turns and says Okay.  No one was very happy about that, we still had a 10 to 15 min. walk to the entrance to the Old City.  It was never mentioned by Fiona the cost or the short ride, we all felt ripped off.  I was beat up after this stop, real cobble stones and very hard to walk on, and it is easy to get lost, just be careful and be aware of where you are, I'll leave it at that.  We left the ship around 8 AM and were in town early, Fiona never mentioned that nothing opens until 10 AM and the restaurants don't open until noon.  When we started the town was empty, but as we left we found the town had come alive and we should have waited until later in the morning to go, but that was no ones fault but mine, I didn't do enough research on my own.Copenhagen:  If St. Petersburg is the jewel, Copenhagen is a very close second...again my wife did a great job on researching this port.  We bought a Copenhagen Card at the Information Center and used the Public Bus System, it is very easy to use and well worth it.  We felt very safe there, the Police are everywhere and highly visable.  The thing to watch out for is the Bikes, seems 90% of the folks there ride bikes and the bus stops by the bike lanes not the curb, so be careful getting on and off.  The card gets you in to all kinds of places free so save some money and buy one.Everywhere we went folks spoke English so it was no problem for us dumb Americans.  One English Lady asked me if our school system required a second language, and I told her, "No, we just wish they would speak English."Was it a good Cruise, Pros do out do the cons, but we are rookie travelers.  We were just amazied at how much people travel year around.  14 days was a little long for us, we were tired by the end and ready to get home, our body clock is not back yet.  We met a lot of great folks, the Brits are some of the most well mannered and nicest people I've ever meet. I have read some of the other reviews and some of these folks weren't happy, well I don't have much to compare this Cruise against only 5 other cruises, I would not give it 5 Stars, because of the food, somewhere a little lower.  After working for DAL for over 30 years, I understand the cut backs, after all they are not in the business to lose money but to make money for the Stockholders.  You can have a very good time if you'll take the time to do the research as my wife did for us and you can save some money. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
We just got back from the Celebrity Constellation Baltic cruise.  I have to say that each port was fantastic and I would highly recommend the itinary.  I liked the ease and speediness of our check in.  I was great that Celebrity let us ... Read More
We just got back from the Celebrity Constellation Baltic cruise.  I have to say that each port was fantastic and I would highly recommend the itinary.  I liked the ease and speediness of our check in.  I was great that Celebrity let us check in early and allowed us into our rooms hours before that published time.  It was greatly appreciated as we were coming from CA and the 8 hour time difference was hitting us.  I am highly disappointed in the general cruise experience with Celebrity.  We have cruised with RCCL several times and Oceania.  We loved our experiences with these lines, and thought that Celebrity was a step up.  Imagine our surprise and disappointment to discover otherwise.  First of all, the staff was not friendly on the whole.  They work harder at making no eye contact or acknowledging your presence.  There wer several times when the staff preferred to talk to each other rather than recognizing your presence.  I don't need them falling over over me, but at least look at me to see if I need something.  I have always been impressed by RCCL staff and how willing they were to be of service.  This cruise also has sales pitches constantly that were totally inacurrate.  They pushed their shopping recommendations and acted like they didn't know anywhere else to shop.  Their recommended shops were higher priced than many of the local shops that were offering the same items at the same quality.  We bought a Faberge' egg on the ship only to find the same egg at the London Tower gift shop for a huge price reduction compared to the ship.  The gift shop even had more info than the ship's store.  We were also disappointed in the quality of the food served in the dining room.  Very unremarkable, and at times down right bad.  When we did order room service no joke 50% of the time, we never got it!!!  It was not a complicated order, cheese and crackers !!  I think that we ordered maybe 4 times, and twice it never came.  We also didn't feel like the cafe food was very appealing.  Many times the staff serving would disappear when we were standing waiting for our selection.  The pizza and pasta guys wouldn't even look at you, and then turn around and leave.  There was a couple of times when I just wanted a slice of pizza and ended up leaving without a slice even though it was in front of me, we just needed someone to hand it out.I would not recommend this cruise line, nor would I cruise with them again.  I will cruise RCCL again instead 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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