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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: June 2009
We decided to brave a trip to Europe with our 2 small children in tow ages 1 and 3. There was absolutely no way we were going to do this without getting the largest room on the ship so that we could have some sort of sanity. We booked the ... Read More
We decided to brave a trip to Europe with our 2 small children in tow ages 1 and 3. There was absolutely no way we were going to do this without getting the largest room on the ship so that we could have some sort of sanity. We booked the Penthouse Suite and amazing it was. Because of the fact that we had two small children with us we ate almost every breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the dining room of our suite. The staff were very accommodating to us and our children. Because of the average age group of the passengers there wasn't a lot of competition in the child activity area of the ship. I believe we saw one other set of brave parents that brought their kids. We were very happy with the itinerary and the fact that there were some at sea days to completely relax. I was a little disappointed in Celebrity as we had it built up in our mind that it was a little nicer ship i.e. food, rooms, the public spaces. There were several areas that I thought the ship seamed pretty worn down, including our suite. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
This was our first Tour out of London and also on Celebrity. We have cruised at least 10 times in the last 3 years. We felt Celebrity was the lowest in customer service. They pre take the 15% and the employees feel they do not have to earn ... Read More
This was our first Tour out of London and also on Celebrity. We have cruised at least 10 times in the last 3 years. We felt Celebrity was the lowest in customer service. They pre take the 15% and the employees feel they do not have to earn it. The coffee and cream in the drink stations were empty more times than not and when asked for assistance we were ignored. The food in the buffet lines were out more times than not and employees spent time goofing off rather than help. The dining room service was exceptionally slow with dinner most nights taking over 2 hours. We missed many things because of slow dinners. We also felt the bathrooms were not as clean as other cruise lines. There is no trash barrels around. AT the drink service areas there is no where to toss sugar packets and tea bags and are often filthy with trash. Several times the ice was empty. The cruise over charges for excursions in ST Petersburg. PLEASE pleasE PLeasE do NOT get fooled by Celebrity and feel you can only get off ship if you book one of their HUGELY expensive tours or get your own hugely expensive visa. Over 300 passengers booked private tours. We book Denerus and recieved amazing service. It was $295 for two full days. Its home office is in the USA... the guide was wonderful. She spoke excellent English. We actually were at the same sites as the people from the cruise. We had lunches included and they were amazing with wine. It was banquet style lunches. Anyone who doesnt book outside of celebrity will be mad they didnt. So many onboard were quite irritated to find out Celebrity had lied about being able to book outside tours. They must be licensed and you can trust Denerus. We felt the constellation was extremely anti American. The Americans and Canadians were often iritated by the trivia games which were pro UK ...anytime a question came up about the USA or Canada the people would complain and the staff would give in. This is the worse ship we have ever been on when it comes to games and entertainment. If you dont follow football { soccer } then expect to lose at trivia. They question more on european sports than geography, science or history. It is so pro UK and anti the rest of the world. We felt they had no interest in the Canadians and Americans. The staff was extremely rude. The woman who served ice cream was handing out baby size cones and when my husband asdked for another scoop he was snarled at. We felt the housekeeping staff was awesome. The blogs we read told us that they charged $20 a bag for washing clothes. We found this to be untrue and the laundry expenses are outrageous. We sailed on Princess that had a laundry mat which charged a few quarters per load. We were charged $1.00 per pair of underwear. With planes charging for extra luggage expect to spend some big money on laundry and irioning. We were shocked at how expensive it all was and disappointed since so many cruises dont rip you off.We walked away knowing we will never cruise Celebrity again. They want to fool you into thinking they are a premiere cruise line and they are worth the extra price. We felt the service was far below the cheaper cruise lines and they do not care about their customers. Buyer beware ... dont expect to get more because the price is more. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
We wanted a 1st minute vacation, and decided to book a cruise. My parents are Celebrity Regulars, and we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. We are a family of 4, husband age 43, myself age 36, and 2 kids ages 2 & 4. ... Read More
We wanted a 1st minute vacation, and decided to book a cruise. My parents are Celebrity Regulars, and we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. We are a family of 4, husband age 43, myself age 36, and 2 kids ages 2 & 4. Embarkment went smooth. We boarded at 1pm, and our room was ready right away. We upgraded a few days before the cruise from an outside window stateroom to one of the sweet sixteen veranda cabins. Room 6027. It had a very unappealing bright orange & yellow upholstery. Seemed very outdated. Bathroom had much wear and tear. Paint peeling on balcony. (they also decided to paint the balcony midway through our trip. Then, there was wet paint signs on the balcony, and we really couldn't go out there for a good day.) Balcony chairs weathered. Mattress on pull out couch was stained. We had this cabin because it was large enough to hold my Husband & I plus our 2 & 4year old sons. The size was nice, but very ugly & outdated. The MDR was nice. Our water was not friendly at all. Sorry Roberto. He always seemed annoyed, and the meals seemed very rushed. We are not slow eaters at all....but he spent a lot of time gabbing to these cute single women a few tables down and quickly hurried with the other tables in the area. Infact, most meals consisted of our app plate, salad plates or soups, and main entrees all piling up. We weren't finished with one and they'd bring out another. We just felt very rushed. The food quality was good, but not like what my parents had raved about. Infact, I took pictures of nearly every dish....and my Mom thought it was not like the food they had either. =( We used the buffet for lunch. The food was good, but didn't vary too much. We used room service almost everyday, on account of the kids. We never had a mistake in the order, and it was always fast & hot. Our stateroom attendant brought the food 95% of the time, and we tipped $10 in cash each time. He was very attentive for that. Otherwise out stateroom service was ok. There was never any towel animals, and ice in the bucket only a few days. Our on-shore beach towels were only given to us 2 days....the other 3 days we had to ask. Our attendant said they had a shortage, and they were still being laundered. He said we could only have 2 towels for the 4 of us though. The clientele was most older. Seemed like very few people under the age of 50. I think there was only about 6 children on the ship. Although everyone was nice, we just didn't seem comfortable with people so much older. We did not use the kid's club because our youngest was not 3 yet. The excursions booked with celebrity were fair. They were interesting, but seemed very spendy. The entertainment was ok. Perry Grant was about the only cool thing. Other shows were boring. For the $9,600 we paid (air, cruise, & excursions.) we probably wouldn't do a cruise again. Service seemed to lack, and the ship was a bit outdated. We have stayed at some really posh hotels with stellar service for far less money. My husband and I agreed that we may have felt differently if it we were only paying for us 2. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
We went with friends on our fifth cruise, second with Celebrity, to the Caribbean last Dec/08 on board the Constellation.Embarkation went very well. Celebrity was, as always, organized and had enough staff to move the line quickly. No ... Read More
We went with friends on our fifth cruise, second with Celebrity, to the Caribbean last Dec/08 on board the Constellation.Embarkation went very well. Celebrity was, as always, organized and had enough staff to move the line quickly. No problems! Met up with our friends - ah! Vacation Time!We have all cruised before and thought we knew what to expect. But as the trip went along, we did not know WHY, but we knew there was something wrong with this ship. The staff were unhappy, unmotivated, giving out incorrect information...things that just don't happen on a cruise ship. The cabinet in the card room had a broken door and was missing a door knob. We saw furniture that was so old and in such need of repair and replacement, that the upholstery was literally threadbare. What? The ship is only six years old! We never saw anyone clean a swimming pool or a hot tub. The hot tub we sat in one day had dirt in it. Again, you just never see this on a cruise ship. Several people including us, mentioned to the staff that one of the hot tubs was cold. We mentioned it repeatedly for four days before the water became hot. ?My husband ordered me a steamed milk several afternoons in a row, from the Cova Bar outside the card room. Then one day, he ordered the same thing and the woman told him they "didn't sell milk". ? And that was all she did. She just stood there. Very strange. We wondered if there is something wrong with the upper management on the boat, that the staff were so unhappy? Is it due to the 'economic downturn' perhaps tips are down and staff are feeling low? We also had some issues with alternatives to eating in the dining room. The "$2 restaurant" [a portion of the buffet room dressed for dinner service] was good and easy to get a table. However, we would have preferred to simply have the buffet available for dinner as we have had on other cruise lines. There did not seem to be enough variety so I ended up eating way too much salad and pizza for dinners through the trip. [However there was really good cheesecake every day!]Our cabin steward was good and we made the best of our trip and had a good time anyway. But we would not be willing to sail on this ship again. Note: they had a customs delay of a few hours upon returning to the US. The crew did a GREAT job of dealing with this, keeping passengers in the Theatre, seated, and giving regular updates as to what was going on.We are sailing with Celebrity again in a few weeks [different ship!] and hope to be as delighted as we have been in the past. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
We just got in and I wanted to write my review while my thoughts were fresh. This was the first time cruising with Celebrity, however we have done 15 cruises in the last 8 years with Princess, NCL, Royal, and Holland. We arrived at the ... Read More
We just got in and I wanted to write my review while my thoughts were fresh. This was the first time cruising with Celebrity, however we have done 15 cruises in the last 8 years with Princess, NCL, Royal, and Holland. We arrived at the ship around 11:30 and were onboard by 12:30 and at the buffet. Nice selection and things went well. The ship left on time for Grand Cayman. Rough day at sea and then arrived at Grand Cayman but had to go to Spotts Bay, which is a small dock in no where 7 miles south of Georgetown. Luckily we had a rental with Alex and they pick us up, all others had to take a taxi to town. We drove the island, weather was overcast but stopped at Rum Point and saw starfishes, eels and lobsters. Next stop was Columbia and had Mr Emerald, Lee Miles set up a tour with Doris as out tour guide. 4 hour tour was very informative but merchants everywhere are chasing you. Doris was great. Panama was our next stop and had Alex from My Friend Mario. Went to Gatun Lock then a motorized canoe to the waterfall and finally the Indian tribe for lunch and tribal dance. Cut it close and barely made it back to the ship in time. Tour was terrific. Costa Rica with Oscar Brown was next. Saw Monkeys and Slothes, Banana Plantation, Zip Line and the beach for lunch. Tour was good but Costa Rica was dirty. On our way to Cozumel we were told a 25 year old had an issue and we went to Grand Cayman first to drop her off. Instead of arriving at 10:00 Captain said we would arrive at 2 but did not get to port till 3:30 and off ship by 3:50. Not good since it gets dark at 5. Waste of a port of call since we hoped to snorkel. Pier we came into was 3 miles from town. I would say the food was good but not great and not the best we have experienced. Speaking to people who have previously been on the Constellation they said the service has slipped and we would agree. Breakfast and Lunch in the main dining area are a joke. Service was slow at best and most waiters seem bothered to be there. Perry Grant was great and we saw most of his shows nightly. Most of the other entertainment was not that good, Noodles the comedian was the only other bright spot. Ship has a nice layout but is starting to show her age. No problem finding a chair on deck and the Aquaspa was enjoyable. We had high expectations for Celebrity since we had always heard they were a 5 star cruise. We would sail again if price was right but not at a premium for what were experienced. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2008
Boarding and departing Cape Liberty was GREAT! I think the constant charges on board for everything was beyond all my expectations after Princess and Carnival cruises. The biggest pet peeve was a $104 tour and on picking up a bottle of ... Read More
Boarding and departing Cape Liberty was GREAT! I think the constant charges on board for everything was beyond all my expectations after Princess and Carnival cruises. The biggest pet peeve was a $104 tour and on picking up a bottle of water before leaving I was told that will be $4. After paying $5000 in addition to 2@$104 for the tours, Celebrity could afford the 1 bottle of water. The Ocean Liner dining at $30 per person above and beyond was not used as the menu was the same for 13 days and nothing that I desired on the menu. The service was Great in the stateroom and main dining room and could not say enough for the above and beyond service. Bingo games were extremely expensive with $29,95, $49.95 and $69.95 games. Seas were rough and No outside activities could be utilized on this cruise. Movies were not up to date and unless you wanted to bid on what they called art you were out of luck, but many high end shops to purchase numerous expensive items. Main dining was adequate but not like I have experienced on other cruises. Selection of dining items was very limited and heard many complaints about not being up to par with other cruises. I would not take this trip or ship again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2008
Pre Cruise- We came in a day early and stayed at the comfort suites in Elizabeth. Perfect for a night to sleep. Embarkation. The worst in 20 cruises we arrived at 11:00 and did not get on the ship until 2:30. Nobody knew the ... Read More
Pre Cruise- We came in a day early and stayed at the comfort suites in Elizabeth. Perfect for a night to sleep. Embarkation. The worst in 20 cruises we arrived at 11:00 and did not get on the ship until 2:30. Nobody knew the reason for the delay and they had nothing to drink in the terminal. Grade D Cabin A family view on the aft was great what a awesome balcony and the sofa pull out with an eggcrate was comfortable. Shower had the dreaded curtain and poor bath products like RCCL. Overall grade a B Food This is where the mark was really missed I can tell you that this food was sub par. The buffet was a disgrace with the exception of the pasta to order. Oh those waffles I love were always raw on the inside. I once asked nicely if he could cook it a little more for me and he rolled his eyes at me. I found out that this was a problem many were having. Dining room it was our waiters first cruise but I loved him bless his heart he tried! Entrees for the most part were decent. Soups and salads were poor. overall food C- I gained 1 LB in 12 days so that was a plus. Spa what a bummer I love to spend my sea days there the T pool was so cold that we used it twice the jets were out of order. When I inquired at the spa I was told that if my muscles were sore they had some great massage specials. The Spa cafe had the best food you must try it YUMMY. Grade spa D Spa cafe A+ Ports were great I had car rentals set up in each port and that was the way to go..Halifax was a nightmare But overall we were lucky with weather. Service...This is where celebrity used to shine I would put them dead even with RCCL now. Except the entertainment is better on RCCL. I feel this is the new age of cruising I may have to cut back to one a year and do crystal I hate to do that because I really am not that picky but the food and lack of attention to detail really did make my experience less then stellar. We Paid 7,400 for three of us so it is not like they are giving these cruises away. I just felt that I was not given my moneys worth. for 616$ a hotel and good restaurants would have been a better value. Will I cruise again in order to choose celebrity they will have to give me a really good rate. I am back to Princess in January so we will see. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2008
GENERAL Evaluation - Three stars out of five This ship and cruise were chosen because of the itinerary as well as the time of year. Over time my wife and I have cruised on more than 30 ships and 12 different cruise lines. We booked on a ... Read More
GENERAL Evaluation - Three stars out of five This ship and cruise were chosen because of the itinerary as well as the time of year. Over time my wife and I have cruised on more than 30 ships and 12 different cruise lines. We booked on a Celebrity Suite which is near the top of the cabins in the "Concierge Class". This cruise we can only categorize as one with high "Highs" and surprisingly low "Lows". With so many cruise lines offering a variety of products it is probable that we will never use Celebrity again. We left Fort Lauderdale April 11, 2008 and arrived in Harwich, England on April 24. The ports of call were Bermuda, Cork, Le Havre and Cherbourg. The Atlantic crossing was generally calm and the ship handled the few days of higher swells with great equilibrium. DINING—Two stars out of five This was one of the great disappointments of the cruise. Although Celebrity has been hailed as a line with superior cuisine, we would call the kitchen and service near the bottom of any of our experiences. To be fair, we prefer the "Anytime Dining" option. This is not available on this ship. Not a fatal problem in itself. The menu was far more limited than we have found in ships of a comparable rating. The food preparation and especially the presentation was predictable and mediocre. But it was the service that was outstanding in its paucity. Our waiter, a genial chap, was given too many tables and lacked experience. In the 2 week cruise we could never get the assistant waiter to respond to more than a "yes" or "no" before disappearing into the bowels of the kitchen. The wine steward (salesman is a better word) attempted to insist that a Sonoma wine was, as listed, from Napa. His knowledge of wine was nearly nonexistent. The white-coated "Captain" was especially lacking in skills. We had four conversations with him. The first time he introduced himself and assured us that we should let him know if anything could be improved. The second, third and fourth times we communicated with him were to ask for rather routine changes of service. None of the requests were filled. The final conversation occurred on the final night of the cruise as he wished us "adieu" and stood waiting for his tip. Our dinner at the extra charge Ocean Liner Restaurant was pleasant and well presented. However, it was not outstanding when compared to comparable restaurants on other ships. The food in the buffet style Seaside Cafe we felt was notable for its variety and quality. We often used this venue for lunch. In our opinion, it was far better than other comparable cruises. Partly because of the poor service in the main dinning room we opted to have dinner served in our room on a number of occasions. And since the Concierge Class offers butler service, why not? Each of these dinners was excellent. Our butler (imagine that --"our butler") provided outstanding service. I understand that this in-cabin service uses a different kitchen than the main dining room. In any event it was outstanding. CABIN—four and a half stars out of 5 The Celebrity Suite was unbelievably great. A king bed in a separate room. There are two large flat screen plasma TVs. One is in the bedroom and the other in our sitting room. A desk is also off to the side in the lounge—complete with computer. A sofa and a number of chairs complete the furnishing of the lounge. Floor to ceiling windows face outboard. The semi enclosed dining area is pleasantly outfitted with a hexagonal dining table and chairs. Two well-decorated china cabinets set off the dEcor. The bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub and shower and twin hand basins. I never thought that I would be able to say that there was storage space to spare. But it is true of this suite. What is not to like? Well, to be honest, some of the chairs need re-upholstering and the sofa is defiantly rump sprung. However, overall this is a magnificent space. SPA AND FITNESS—four stars out of 5 The gym was well outfitted with the latest equipment. Generally they were sufficient in number so almost no waiting for use was necessary. ENTERTAINMENT—four stars out of five The show lounge is certainly elegant. Only about half of the shows interested us enough to attend. But those we did see we found outstanding. The only excursion we joined was a bus tour to Omaha Beach in Normandy, site of the WW II landings. The program was adequate, but not outstanding. However in defense of their lackluster program schedule I realize that a transatlantic cruise is not where one would normally expect thrilling port stops. . Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
I have been a fan of RCL and Celebrity and looked forward to my Caribbean and South/Central American cruise. Embarkation went as smoothly as one could expect and the ship was quite nice, although a bit lackluster in decoration as compared ... Read More
I have been a fan of RCL and Celebrity and looked forward to my Caribbean and South/Central American cruise. Embarkation went as smoothly as one could expect and the ship was quite nice, although a bit lackluster in decoration as compared to many of the other ships I have sailed on. My cabin was quite nice and clean, but had a few problems with hard to open drawers, loose fittings, etc. which were minor. The cabin staff were excellent and friendly, but that is were the good news ended. Overall the ship was not nearly as clean or in repair as I have grown to expect from RCL and Celebrity. Food was mediocre or worse with the exception of the pasta and stir fry bars which were OK and the Ocean Liners pay restaurant which was quite good. The main dining was hot, crowded and poor at best. I was surprised to hear many of the kitchen and serving staff complain openly about the management of the ship and experienced a number of rude and unfriendly staff members. The excursion staff was openly unpleasant and minimally helpful. I enjoyed all of the excursions, although I found a fair degree of confusion when I attempted to find my particular excursion when getting off the ship. I was concerned with the level of care taken by a young and disinterested crew on a snorkeling excursion in Aruba. I guess it was every man for himself as the crew paid no attention to any guests in the water even though there was a large proportion of guests who had never snorkeled before. Overall the cruise was a disappointment. It appeared that activities were limited in the evening and the pool was closed by 7:00. Entertainment was just fair. There were limited small out of the way sitting areas which are so prevalent on the newer RCL ships. The shopping emporium was quite large, but staff was often disinterested and appeared to have issues with the ships management. I suspect there is some management/employee conflict. It seemed so unusual to not have the almost universally pleasant and helpful crew that is present on most ships. Overall the level of service, food, and ship maintenance were not up to the level of even the older RCL ships and worse yet many of the staff appeared to have little interest in any of these issues. The other aspects of the cruise were fine and up to the standard one would expect from Celebrity. I did enjoy the cruise and although none of the above issues are earth shattering, the did take away from the overall cruise experience. I plan to sail Celebrity again on the new Solstice, but I hope the experience is much better then I experienced on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2007
The First time in twenty eight cruises we have travelled with Celebrity Cruises. Travel from manchester UK to Miami for overnight, stay via Atlanta. despite a long queue at immigration, the procedure was fairly painless, officials were ... Read More
The First time in twenty eight cruises we have travelled with Celebrity Cruises. Travel from manchester UK to Miami for overnight, stay via Atlanta. despite a long queue at immigration, the procedure was fairly painless, officials were helpful and courteous. Embarkation was very efficient, but we were fortunate have priority boarding status as Royal Caribbean Diamond plus members and so missed the main queue which even at 13.00 hours was snaking round the terminal building. After a welcome aboard drink, wine, not champagne as offered, we were soon settling into our balcony stateroom. although the bathroom was a good size, the cabin was the smallest we have ever had for the equivalent grade on any ship. Overall, lack of attention to detail meant that for us, the ship for us did not live up to the premium brand five star billing At all events including the elite members cocktail party, wine was offered as champagne. The onboard policies regarding smoking and reserving of sunbeds were never enforced, even when complaints were made. The command of English(American or UK) of the quest relations desk staff was very poor, or perhaps they pretended not to understand rather than offer help when problems arose. Cabin service was good, and the public areas of the ship were well kept. It was a pleasure to be spared on board announcements, but it would have been nice to hear the Captains noon address anywhere on the ship. On the subject of the Captain, a somewhat eccentric Greek Gentleman, say no more Having cruised extensively in the Caribbean, we booked only one excursion, a half day sail to the pitons and back on St Lucia. A very enjoyable, if expensive, trip Food was of reasonable quality throughout, but the lunch time buffet lacked variety. Diner was normally very good, but spoilt by sloppy service in the dining room. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
This was our tenth cruise. Travel to and from the port of embarkation via United Airlines from Seattle was on time and the luggage made it both directions. The ship was ready for boarding at 1:00PM and the entire boarding process took ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise. Travel to and from the port of embarkation via United Airlines from Seattle was on time and the luggage made it both directions. The ship was ready for boarding at 1:00PM and the entire boarding process took about fifteen minutes. The ship was very clean and the cabin steward and his assistant were the best we have ever encountered. We did not use any of the ship excursions as our travel agent took the same cruise a year ago and suggested great alternatives. We had the second dining seating and were not pleased with the food selections, quality, or service (the food was usually only warm, not hot). Sometimes even the soup was cold! Midway through the cruise we discovered the evening casual dining option. This meal is served on deck 10 aft on the port side. You must call for a reservation daily, they only take a very few guests. You give a minimum two dollar tip per guest to the servers and order off a menu. The food was excellent, hot and the service was great. If you have the second seating your show is sometimes at 11:00 PM (three times during the cruise), a little late for most of the guests. We were not pleased with most of the shows in the Celebrity Theater. One night they had a technical glitch and had to cancel the entire show, another night they showed a movie in the Celebrity Theater (after showing the same movie for two days in the Cinema). We considered the shows to be third rate at best, silly, immature, loaded with body function and bathroom humor. In thirteen nights there were three shows worth seeing, a magician, a great ventriloquist and two gymnasts / ballet dancers. The music at the various venues was very good. The final five days of the cruise the ship was under a "Norwalk Virus Alert". This made eating the breakfast and lunch buffet a real challenge. Demarcation was poorly handled! In an effort to empty the staterooms early, everyone was herded into their demarcation location at the same time. The ship was without CNN most of the trip! They had a lame excuse about the ships stack obstructing the antenna; I can't believe that they only had one satellite antenna. We have a Motor Home and are able to get CNN anywhere in the US or Canada!. This was a big issue because we had many guests from California and the fires were raging. They certainly were able to connect you to the internet 100 percent of the time(at a hefty price). On a one to ten scale we would rate this cruise at about a six. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
We have a long history of cruising & boating. I was introduced to cruising by my grandparents & then went over to spend my Jr Yr in Italy on the Cristoforo Columbo, a voyage marked by so much turbulence that people were crying out ... Read More
We have a long history of cruising & boating. I was introduced to cruising by my grandparents & then went over to spend my Jr Yr in Italy on the Cristoforo Columbo, a voyage marked by so much turbulence that people were crying out "remember the Andria Doria". Part of our honeymoon was spent on two different (that part was unplanned) Italian line ships to Istanbul, Cyprus, Beirut & Egypt. And we took one of the old mail ships up the coast of Norway over 20 years ago. And then we've cruised on the more conventional ships: a couple of HAL, NCL & this year a wonderful first experience on Oceania's Nautica. We have 2 long cruises planned for '08, one on Oceania. As a break before the intensity of the Holidays we decided to try Celebrity. We had heard good things & were not up to the hassle of flying-or rather airports. Embarking was relatively easy-some delays due to norovirus cleaning-but pleasant enough.Our cabin was a definite "wow" (FV7202). It had a long hallway into a bedroom & large sitting area (obviously intended for a family of 4-5) & because of its configuration & location there was no hallway or other noise. The cabin had an extremely large deck with chaises, chairs & tables-with oodles of room left over. The closets & storage were, consequently, lavish for 2 people. Our stewards were just OK. On 1 occasion dirty pillowcases were left in the room. The cakes of soap were never changed-& since I had some in my luggage I didn't bother asking. Towel distribution was stingy...no extra washclothes or largetowels as we've grown accustomed to on other lines. Some of the towels were on the threadbare side. I read the brochure about saving the ocean...probably single ply bath tissue would be more effective. Speaking of threadbare, we were surprised to note that carpet seams were unraveling in several spots on the ship including the foyer in front of the elevators on Deck #7. Most of the food in the Dining Room was quite good. The soups were certainly an exception. They were cold, unseasoned & institutional. The desserts, for the most part were uninspired & what one would find in large commercial buffet restaurants on shore. This cruise may have been a training session for some of the wait staff. The first night we were on the 5th floor seated behind the Maitre'D's podium & the service galley. A location known as "Siberia" in NYC eateries, all it lacked was immediate access to a constant flow of restroom traffic. At any rate, we were privy to a steady stream of passengers irate about the service or insisting on different tables, different waiters etc. Hardly the quiet table for 2 that we had faxed in as our request! Our waiters were pleasant enough, if rarely in attendance. I had a steak knife on my bread & butter plate, the wrong meals were served service for food &drinks was abysmally drawn out & bungling (although the staff was pleasant) rather than gracious, leisurely dining. Alex, the Maitre'D was extremely accommodating to everyone & he was lovely to us. The following evening we found ourselves moved to the 4th floor (deck)-table #488 I think & he came by numerous times throughout the trip to check up on us.Our waiter, "Putra &"Casper" were top-notch professionals on a par with the wait staff at the finest NYC restaurants. Putra noticed that we had enjoyed the escargot & took it upon himself to order it for us several times after that. And after the first meal with them we found a plate of sliced lemons, hot green tea & an iced tea waiting for us at every dinner. Both were generous with their recommendations. The main Dining Room was closed for lunch most days in port. Ordinarily, on other ships this wouldn't be an issue. However, the 10th floor "buffet" is more akin to a large institutional cafeteria with an ocean view. Substantial "mulling about" is required to assay the lay of the land. And then there is no wait staff easily accessible from whom to order drinks. I heard one passenger's request greeted with "you'll have to wait" & another who was told " I'll get to it but it'll be awhile". And it was. Hardly the hallmarks of a high class operation. The Sushi bar was well run & a great place for cocktail hour. The buffet breakfast is also available on the 10th floor & serves breakfast later than the main Dining Room. The waffles are, as advertised, wonderful. The gentleman who mans the custom omelet station seems to delight in each of his creations. However, there is only one person manning a station-& only 2 omelets can be made at a time. We've been on ships a third the size that have 4 burners going. And, peculiarly, there could be a crowd of folks waiting-behind staff personnel, using the same small operation rather than having their own station & this added to the congestion. We've not encountered this set-up on other lines. Bizarre. We planned all our shore excursions & had no problem with the tenders although we did hear some grumbling. Perhaps it depended on the excursions.The people manning the customer service desk were very nice.Tripto Acadia Natl Park was headed by a woman named "Heather" who had worked for the Natl Parks Dept. She was super. I think about 2 dozen other passengers from the ship also utilized this company. It was a block from the ship & cost $25-or $20 with a discount coupon, AAA card etc. The trip to Prince Edward Island was called off due to inclement weather. It would have been gracious for the cruise line to offer passengers a free cocktail or a free pay-for-view film in the cabin since there was no refund of port taxes. This was a missed opportunity & casts a company as ordinary rather than exceptional. We looked forward to the "razzle-dazzle" entertainment that large lines provide...& were underwhelmed. The productions were too loud, there were equipment breakdowns & sophomoric & amateurish is the only way to describe some of the offerings. A notable exception was the singer, raconteur & entertainer Perry Grant. He was consistently super. The idea of the setting-a Pub- was perfect, designed to maintain the illusion of intimacy. His popularity, however, overwhelmed the facility with the result that folks were packed in. There was standing room only with overflow into the halls. The card game room-nice enough although three of the recessed light were out for several days-but half the size of ships that accommodate half to a third the capacity of the Constellation. Card Room seemed something of a misnomer since there were never cards available. Even though Bridge was noted on the daily schedule it was necessary to call down every time to have cards delivered. There was no pitcher of iced tea or water as on other lines & when people complained that the room had non-bridge players during that time making it unavailable for those who had arrived to play who then either left or huddled around small bar table elsewhere the answer was amazing: one could contact Headquarters in Miami on return to inform them . This was a seemingly pat refrain often repeated in response to the most mundane issues. I guess that a staff's willingness & ability to be proactive about matters effecting passenger enjoyment flows from the top & is also the hallmark of a great rather than ordinary company. We heard that phrase when someone complained on a "formal" night about a passenger who arrived in shorts (Bermudas) & a tee shirt & another who came in chinos & a flannel shirt (no tie). Now I know that it's a hassle to pack fancy duds when you have to fly-& if you don't want to "get with the program" then dine in one of the more casual venues. The literature and the daily bulletin ask that you comply so as not to disturb the "ambiance". It then falls on the staff at the door to gently remind erring passengers to comply-or to dine elsewhere on the ship. Similarly, there were complaints about toddlers in the Thallassotherapy pool, despite signs to the contrary-and people were saying that they were told to contact Miami when they returned. As a business woman I know that this response is alienating & counts on people not bothering to follow through . On the other hand one reason they may not follow through is because they've decided to take their business elsewhere... We always have a good time (at the very least). The trip was Okay-some aspects, our cabin, folks we met big plusses. However, I suspect that we'll not choose to go on Celebrity again (although we've heard that some of the line's ships are better) because this seems like a "settle"-good but not great & not nearly as good as other ship experiences we've had. Of course this could change if they offer a knock-out itinerary that we can't get elsewhere...and i think we'd try a line we hadn't been on before we'd return to Celebrity. Our last trip which was on Oceania had it all over this one when it came to food, service & attitude. On the other hand they didn't have Perry Grant... Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
Our cruise on the Constellation to the Baltic was our second and last with Celebrity, the first being on the Summit to the Panama Canal in 2006.We rated everything on that cruise above average. Check in at Dover was done quickly and ... Read More
Our cruise on the Constellation to the Baltic was our second and last with Celebrity, the first being on the Summit to the Panama Canal in 2006.We rated everything on that cruise above average. Check in at Dover was done quickly and our luggage arrived promptly. The lifeboat drill was done very professionally and the ship sailed on time. The cabin and public areas were very clean. The ship had been in dry-dock for 19 days before the cruise for refurbishing including carpeting, paint, and cleaning. The ship seemed to have a strong odor of chemicals for several days after sailing; this was a major problem for many of the passengers with asthma and other respiratory problems. Our cabin staff did an excellent job and were very attentive. Many Europeans smoked and did not comply with non smoking regulations. This was a problem at times. We found the dining room staff excellent, however, the remaining categories were not comparable to our first cruise with Celebrity or on several other cruises.The dining room was very comfortable and our service staff was outstanding and very attentive and worked hard to make our dining experience memorable. The menu was extensive, however some of the food was poorly prepared and a few items were of poor quality. Some of the entrEes had cooled before serving. The food and service at the buffet was far below that on the Summit or other cruise lines. On most occasions eggs, waffles, and toast were burned and other items were poorly prepared and cold. Many items were over cooked and of poor quality. A few of the serving staff were curt when questioned. The food at the Aqua Spa was excellent and the menu is designed to be light and healthy. We found ourselves eating at this location quite often. The entertainment was average except for the concert pianist and the dancers who performed in the shows. The sound system level was comparable to a rock concert at times and inappropriate for a stage show. We found the ports to be interesting, especially St. Petersburg and Tallin Estonia. Would strongly recommend that a private tour be arranged in St. Petersburg before your trip to save time and long lines. Four of us booked two days through Red October an American owned private tour company and were very pleased. We did not save money compared to multiple tours with Celebrity, However, our experience was superior to tours at other ports booked through the ship. In summary, we found the ship to be clean and the dinning and cabin staff to be outstanding. The ports of call were very interesting and enjoyable. Entertainment and ship staff was average and food preparation and quality average to poor. Compared to our other experiences, especially our Panama Canal cruise on the Summit, we would rate the Constellation below average. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
We had high hopes for this journey on the Celebrity Constellation. A fine looking ship awaited us in the Dover harbor and we had a smooth embarking process and were on board quickly. This made up somewhat for the 2 hour delay awaiting ... Read More
We had high hopes for this journey on the Celebrity Constellation. A fine looking ship awaited us in the Dover harbor and we had a smooth embarking process and were on board quickly. This made up somewhat for the 2 hour delay awaiting Constellation transportation from Gatwick to the ship. Our previous one and only cruise was on Holland America lines and their ship the Statendam to Alaska which a great first beginning to cruising. We had a nice welcome aboard the Constellation and our cabin was wonderful, great size and balcony and very large bathroom. We explored the Connie and awaited to meet our four new tablemates at dinner. Well,they were great and wonderful Brits that we came to really like and enjoy and friendships were made. The big problem was the food;it was tasteless,overcooked, hard as a rock(vegetables) and the fruit was over the hill. We all tried to make the best of it but when we ordered steaks one night, four of them rare and all came back overcooked that was it! We complained to the staff but no avail. Anyway,that was a downer. We enjoyed the Gym and the earlier opening hours of 6am pleased us as did the nice gym towels and great view. We found the shows less then stellar, but did enjoy the comedy night and several of the music shows. The Constellation show people were great dancers but poor singers and when will the ship get the point that older guests hate loud amphed up music? It drove everyone nuts. The ports of call were great. St.Petersburg the charm with a wonderful ballet and tours of the Pushkin estate and its quiet and subdued gardens, and immense wealth. The tours in Estonia, and Lithiuania were likewise enjoyable and eye opening, both the beauty of Tallin, and the warmness of the people. The Solidary museum in Poland a must see, but the rest of Gadinsk leaves a lot to be desired. We returned happy and loved the overall ambience of the ship. We found the crew that attended to our room needs outstanding and helpful. We found the food staff unable to satisfy us with respect to our problems with the food and laid the blame on the kitchen. No solution was found for this. Most disappoint to us that this is a five star line and the food brought our trip down to a 3 star level. In comparison to our first cruise the Constellation did not provide value for the dollar spent and did not live up to its billing. The HAL trip to Alaska had outstanding food and service and this line was no comparison to that trip. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
This was our first cruise with Celebrity's Constellation. We have cruised approximately 10 times mostly with Princess and Holland America so we know what we want and like. We travelled with 8 friends from our home state which made ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity's Constellation. We have cruised approximately 10 times mostly with Princess and Holland America so we know what we want and like. We travelled with 8 friends from our home state which made both sea days and port days enjoyable. Hotel: We stayed at the Jersey City Hyatt which we found on the internet and would highly recommend . See http://jerseycity.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp The Hyatt had a fantastic view of the NYC skyline, wonderful king bed (and bedding) and a subway train 30 steps from the hotel for a $2.00 four minute ride to the World Trade Center. We stayed at the Hyatt for three nites and since I was over 62 our room rates was only $119 per nite plus tax! Our younger travelers suddenly wished they were older since their rate was much higher, but still a good bargain compared to rooms in NYC. The Hyatt has an excellent restaurant (Vue) also overlooking the Hudson, the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty to the south. A cab ride to the hotel from Newark was only $42 including toll charge which we shared with two other fellow travelers. Embarkation: Was very smooth if you arrive after 3 PM. We had no lines, problems and sailed right thru. We were excited to see the ship as we had heard so much about her. On boarding we were given a glass of champagne but were not escorted by a steward to our stateroom as we had been on other lines. This was not a problem since we were given a map of the ship and our stateroom was on the 3rd level next to the Guest Relations department and only a few steps. The Constellation is fairly well laid out having been built in France in 2002. Interior colors and materials were not traditional in that they were avantgard, minimalist and somewhat 'modern'. Some art work was not all that appealing but this was not significant or bothersome but the ship had good wall materials, copper etc that was appealing. One problem was the ship must have been built in sections as there were may deck/floor dips and inclines that one must watch out for, especially coming out of the San Marco restaurant on level 4 portside. The floor drops off several inches and could cause a fall if one is not prepared. There are many signs saying "Watch your step" through out the ship; however these little inclines and steep ramps should be repaired by Celebrity and not just signed. Our stateroom was small with low ceilings and just adequate. We had a large 3' porthole (unopening). The bathroom was small with a long but narrow shower that was adequate but our water controls in the shower did not always seem to work correctly. The bed was comfortable but the pillows and sheets (including bedspreads) were 'tired' and needed replacing. The mattress was thin and the bed close to the floor. On other lines we have been on the beds and bedding have all be replaced since 2005 on ships that were built in 2004. One of our friends had stateroom 8166 with a large deck (230 degree view) and sitting room that was otherwise similar to our room. We had all of our predinner cocktail parties in their room and had plenty of space for the 10. Their bedding and bathroom was the same as ours five decks below. On rough sea days their room rocked and swayed a bit. They paid $800 more each for their stateroom than we did, a premium for a large deck in Fall weather. Activities were very good with good speakers on various and interesting subjects. Theater three was packed to standing room only for all speakers we observed. A Doctor of Naturopathy and Herbalist Thomas Anstett had 4 one hour talks and was very informative. Bingo cards were $30 for a six cards. The prizes were small although they gave out a lot of raffled items the best being a Sky Suite for the rest of the trip that had my attention due to the size of our room. I lost the Suite but won a luggage tag on the next drawing. The final bingo game was disappointing since the grand prize was only $2500 for an 11 day cruise. We are used to a $5k jackpot on 7 day cruise. Celebrity needs to share some winnings as they made over $10k per day and paid back very little. Service on the ship was 5+ in the dining room and by all ship personnel and stateroom stewards. The crew remembered and used your name after the first day. Korey our wine steward was excellent as were our servers Kurt and Julius in the dining room. This was the best part of the cruise, that is, the service and was clearly better than on other lines. Entertainment was also 5+ with great floor shows by the singers, dancers and individual performers. All were excellent and better than other lines. We especially liked the ventriloquist from Jamaica who was a hoot. None better, we laughed till our sides hurt. Also we also enjoyed Perry Grant's piano stylings in Michael's Club, he was a cross between Victor Borge and Liberace. Shore excursions we avoided due to the fact we have been to most the ports. In Boston we took a $6 one way bus right off the ship to Fanuel Market (recommended) and did the Freedom Walk on our own. Quincy's market is an excellent spot for lunch with the best looking food we've ever seen (ship included). We ate at the Oyster House on the Freedom Walk which was very good as well. We had the usual lobster roll and chowder both were excellent. President Kennedy had his own booth in the Oyster House which is a must see, although it looked just like the other booths. One could also eat in the Italian section of Boston on the Freedom walk before the North Church as there are many good Italian restaurants there with garden like settings and many window seats. In Bar Harbor since it was small and we had been there before we just walked around town visited the Bar Harbor Inn where we stayed before although they don't serve lunch. We had lunch at Jette's on main street about 100 feet up the street from the landing which was very good and recommended. Halifax is an interesting but rainy city. We took the Hop On Hop off bus by Gray Line (not recommended) since it was $40 per person and one can easily walk around town. A must see is the Maritime Museum about a 5 minute walk straight down the shore. There they have the entire Titanic story and other lore of WW II shipping etc. Very interesting. There are good restaurants in Halifax on the shore and mid-city as well. You may want to see the Citadel on the hill, but since it was raining we didn't even get off the bus. We only rode the bus one-half of its circular route, got off at the Maritime Museum and walked back to the ship in a drizzle. Quebec City was probably the highlight port on our trip. Although hilly one can walk from the ship around the old downtown and see all the French shops, art stalls, old buildings, restaurants (French recommended: Le Petit Coin Latin at 8 Rue Ste-Ursule and La Cremaillere at 73 Rue St-Stanislas). Also the big hotel the Fontelac on the hill is a must see as is the Citadel nearby all within walking distance. Portland Maine was the brick city as all buildings after 1903 and the fire were built with brick. There is a hop on hop off bus there too for only $5 for all day. One can walk downtown easily from the ship but since it was windy and cool we sprung for the bus and found it a short ride but better deal than the Halifax bus. LL Bean downtown on Commerce street is a good place to buy your outdoor clothing needs if you have room in your luggage. Gilberts restaurant one block from the ship is good but get there early as there is always a big line after 11:30 AM for the lobster rolls and chowder. We are at the floating restaurant, old ferry, Dimillo's at 25 Long Wharf (recommended) as the appetizers and chowders were complimentary in the bar which had a great view of the harbor and boats and the docks. We had two drinks and lunch (free) for only $15. Casino: Very nice with very good and friendly dealers. There are slot and 21 tournaments several times during the cruise. I was second in the 21 tournament and won $280 even though I have never played 21 at any casino! Only cost $25 to enter so the tournaments are entertaining and fun even if you haven't gambled before. The casino claimed they paid out slot machine winnings of over $500k after 9 days into the cruise! Some of our friends won substantial sums in the casino mostly on the slot machines. Since we had 5 sea days we spent a lot of time in the casino and got to know all the dealers by name who all seemed to hope we would win and when we didn't you could see it on their faces as we only tipped when we won. We only saw one child on the ship and there weren't any activities for young people that we were aware off, but I am sure there is something. We liked the absence of a lot of children and found the average age to be at least 65 on this trip. The lounges were very nice and located all around the ship. We liked the Champagne and Martini Bars and the lower Rendezvous Bar for sitting and conversation. Drink prices were not cheap but fairly reasonable. The frozen Margarita was very good and recommended. Waiters like to pour your martini glass full to the top making them hard to drink without spilling. Asking them not pour a full glass didn't seem to help, they poured to the top anyway. Crow's Nest bar on level 11 was comfortable and a good place to view the whales and scenery while underway. It is strangely decorated with several beds with screens at one end reminding one of a brothel. I think the beds are a leftover from the Circus Solei act that may not perform there anymore although they did perform notably to SRO audience one nite but for only for 10 minutes after a 25 minute clown act. Therapy Pool: Clearly the best part of the ship was this area on level 10 forward. This is a warm salt water pool with lounges in the water and a small restaurant/buffet line adjoining featuring health food and drinks. There is good music and health food here. The area is covered so therefore is always warm and hospitable. Very relaxing area with an invigorating warm pool. Food: Was the most disappointing part of our trip. We heard food was very good on Celebrity, however, the bread, cookies and some desserts were old and stale tasting. Celebrity's pastry/bread chef must have been replaced with the lines' buying these items on shore? Or do they only prepare these items once for every cruise? One in four dinners was good, but the rest were disappointing as the food was never hot only just luke warm, probably since we ate on level 4 and the food is brought up by the waiters on two escalators from level 2! I estimated the food had to be carried by our wait staff over 300 feet from the kitchen to our table! Ocean Liners Restaurant ($30 per person) is recommended as the all the items there and the service were superb although the service often was intrusive and slightly overbearing. Pizza was ok, but often not hot or available. Sushi bar was very good, but no offer of shrimp or some raw fish normally found in sushi bars. Buffet lines were ok, but not up to other lines, food choices seemed to be limited and not that well prepared or appealing. Seating in buffet was good in rear of ship but below average in front of buffet. Tip in restaurant: Ask waiter for double portion of meat, especially red meat, lamb chops, steak, as this paid off and I obtained a better and larger piece of meat. Steaks were normally 1/2 inch thick; whereas if you asked for a double order the meat was better, juicier, etc. I was surprised Celebrity charges $3+ for fresh orange juice and lattes at meals or in the buffet. Wine was fairly priced and our wine server Korey was fun and helpful. We always left him a big tip over the automatic 15% tip added to the bill. Tipping: Celebrity recommends $11 per day and allows you to accept this or reject this amount. If you want to leave an envelop with a tip this is also provided at the end of the cruise. Unfortunately many passengers don't leave any tips for anyone. I think it is preferable to automatically deduct the usual $10 per day from one's account as other lines do. This is a fairer system and covers all the service staff and if one wants to opt out he can. Celebrities policy seemed to be confused and totally up the the customer and therefore flawed in my mind. Many passengers I talked to just failed to do a tip for various reasons, deadlines, misunderstandings, numerous and different communications, etc. Never did these passengers object to the service rendered. Service was very good and above average and the servers are paid very little by the cruise line and depend on their tips as many have families far off in Turkey, etc. We left the recommended tip amount which was put on our account and also left a small tip for those we felt did a good job during the cruise. Disembarkation: We wanted to go to NYC before our flight left and took a cab back to Jersey City and the subway at the Hyatt at 9 AM. One of our fellow travelers felt there was not enough time to go with us and opted to go to the airport at 10 AM since his flight left at 5 PM. His bus to the airport mistakenly took the wrong exit ended up in the Holland Tunnel and went to NYC anyway. He got to the airport after 1 PM. Several people on that bus missed their flights! There was some confusion on leaving the ship after we left therefore I would urge getting off early. Here's how to do it: on your notice several days before disembarkation to the purser/hotel staff request a pickup at the pier at 9 AM or whenever you want off. They will put you in the first group leaving and when you get to your bag (one of 4000 and all black) you will find it and be on your way before the hoard arrives. The cab lines were poorly organized and didn't flow smoothly even though we got the first cab to Jersey City. Disembarkation is something few cruise lines have figured out. The best was HAL where you stayed in your room till called then proceeded to the lobby area. We were off their ship in 5 minutes and in our car headed home. Overall: Great service, entertainment and therapy pool. Poor food, bingo and ship construction. I wouldn't take this trip again or use Celebrity again until they refurbish their staterooms, offer fresh bread, cookies and desserts and improve their food alot. Holland America has better prices and all the above except maybe entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2006
We were on our first cruise. The ship appeared very clean and inviting. All of the staff we encountered were polite and pleasant. We had butler service with our suite. This was a huge disappointment as he was not overly friendly nor ever ... Read More
We were on our first cruise. The ship appeared very clean and inviting. All of the staff we encountered were polite and pleasant. We had butler service with our suite. This was a huge disappointment as he was not overly friendly nor ever "offered" any services listed in the brochure. It seems he had 12 other cabins with whom to "serve" as well and ended up with nothing additional to a cabin steward who dressed well! When I asked for a coke with room service lunch the one time I ordered lunch I was informed I could get it from the mini bar! The furniture was worn thread bear and so uncomfortable we had to put cushions under the seats of the sofabed to tolerate sitting on it. After 3 days into our 11 day cruise both my husband and myself were hit by the " Norovirus" and forced into isolation in our cabin for 48hr. We missed a formal nite, two shore excursions to the ruins on Mexico and stayed weak and not well the remainder of the cruise. The C.D.C. boarded toward the end of the cruise and staff told us over 300 cases had been reported with the gastrointestinal virus. ( which is caused by contaminated food and or water and insufficient hand washing ) We had been eating salads and drinking the ship's water after being told it was safe.... No compensation has been offered thus far and the ship is leaving the port the very day we disembarked with another load of passengers heading for Cozumel with 4 hours in between to "clean up" the ship.... While confined to our cabin I requested free internet access or in room movies and customer service denied the request! The only contact we had was when security phoned our cabin to make sure we were there and had to speak to each one of us. That was the extent to the Constellation's concern. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
Embarkation was a snap. We were on line early because we hoped to buy a pier upgrade, since we'd seen about 6 balconies available online a few days earlier. They started boarding around noon and we went straight to the pier ... Read More
Embarkation was a snap. We were on line early because we hoped to buy a pier upgrade, since we'd seen about 6 balconies available online a few days earlier. They started boarding around noon and we went straight to the pier coordinator's desk and he wasn't there yet, although a list with the same balconies was sitting on the desk (ok, I'm nosy). We were hopeful but he flatly said there would be no upgrades available. I looked at his list meaningfully and he said once again there were no upgrades. I was dismissed. Kudos to Celebrity for a quick embarkation process. They had a duty free shop in the terminal and we were told that as long as we put the bottles in our bags, we could take them on. This proved true. Cabin: Our cabin was bright and cheerful and seemed quite functional. For a ship only a few years old, it was a bit worn. The caulking in the shower was discoloured and there were stains on the fabric of the chair and sofa. That said, we enjoyed our room and found it a nice retreat. The storage was ample and we appreciated the safe and that the maid emptied the fridge for us. Being on deck 2 was great as we could just walk up one flight to the room after ports and the room didn't creak in the night the way the ones on higher decks do (due to the ship flexing). Ship: Outside, the Constellation is not that attractive. The exposed pipes and machinery and the overall look of the ship are rather utilitarian and drab. I also made a mental note not to get an upper balcony in the future because the over-hanging deck above is rather unsightly and would block the sun. The pool area was fine and the aft bar was rather lovely, in teak woods. I noticed that those on aft balconies below were directly visible from the aft bar and that children were throwing grapes, to the amusement of the bartender but not their mothers. Inside, the Constellation is a lovely ship. The grand foyer is the hub of the ship and is serene. The lounges all scatter out from there and are not that visually distinct from one another. The martini bar and the champagne bar are actually two sides of the same bar so if you don't like smoke, sit on the martini side and order your champagne. The martini tastings were great fun and the barman there, Sudi, is a minor celebrity on the ship. The Michael's Club and the Rendezvous lounge are the exception to the sameness that rules elsewhere. Michael's club is much like a cigar lounge or gentleman's club in decor, with lots of wood and a pianist/vocalist. Wonderful. The Rendezvous lounge was rather dated looking, especially for a three year-old ship, with plum and purple coloured chairs scattered about. A tired sounding lounge act played here and the place was empty except for Karaoke night, when it looked like the lounge of an airport Howard Johnson's. The theatre was wonderfully decked out and there are cocktail tables at the seats, as opposed to how some ship's carve drink holders out of the arm rest, as though you're at the local multiplex. Bar service was great and the shows were fine, although the music is definitely chosen to appeal to Celebrity's older demographic. On RCL, we saw numbers from Mamma Mia, the Producer's and Contact. Here, we saw numbers form Mame, Will Roger's Follies and other "older" shows. The shows were well done but they seemed to have audio troubles often, as there was intermittent static on all the show nights. The Bar at the Edge of the Earth was an avant garde space that they used for the Cirque Ball. It was free and was essentially a dance with images projected on the walls. It was fun and one of the only nights we ever saw people dancing. The bars were not well used outside of dinnertime on Constellation and one night, we went to the disco party and were the only four people there. The library was well-stocked and useful and the internet cafe was well-equipped, if not a bit more expensive than on other lines. I got a phone call one day saying I had used more than 20 minutes of time and I should buy one of their packages. Guess Big Brother was watching. It had the opposite of the intended effect. I was reminded I was spending too much time and money on the net and stopped going. While it is kind that the casino offers a smallish non-smoking area, there were so many people smoking in it that it didn't really matter, since the staff saw this happening and did nothing. Nonetheless, I lost more than I am happy with on their machines and never had a decent payout. Oh well, some people spend money in other ways, I likes spas and casinos. Speaking of the spa, it's rather nice. There is a sauna in each of the men's and women's changing room with large windows overlooking the ocean. I had a massage and while it wasn't the best massage ever (more like a rub-down than a trained massage), the attendant was kind and chatty. He did push rather held to sell product during the end of my session, which I dislike but seems to be the norm at all resorts. The shops were fine, except they didn't seem to be open much. They would be open during the dinner and the show but we were...at dinner and the show. They were also under-stocked in terms of sizes and they said they hadn't had a shipment in a while. The bingo had rather small prizes (starting at about a hundred dollars) but it was till $20-40 to play. The pool was as most cruise pools are. Crowded on sea days and fine otherwise. They have pool butlers but they would not police the chair hogs. We loved the thassolatherapy pool. It was like a whirlpool you could sit on a lounge chair in. Wonderful. The cafe near there was amazing, also. Light and healthy food that was much more creative than the steamer table food in the buffet. Because they serve you, as oppose to your dishing you own food, the lines go slowly in the buffet. You can't even get a tray and cutlery without joining the initial line. The main dining was hit and miss. Some nights were great and on others, the food was disappointing. In general, the service was the same. We were very punctual and yet we still missed the show the first night due to the waiter's slowness and on other nights, our waiter would literally stop serving us and would go to help a lady into her chair or pass out menus as another table arrived. Our assistant was very able and our sommelier was superior. He was adept at selecting wines that worked wonders with the food. Where Celebrity exceeds in food is the specialty restaurant. We loved it and bought the wine pairing, which was stunning. In writing this review, I am aware that I am pointing out many faults and I should say that this was not a bad cruise. However, we had been told until the moment we boarded that Celebrity "just does it better" and that we would really notice how they were a step "above" the other lines. I can say that outside of more folks dressing up for dinner (and about 3/4 staying dressed for the evening), Celebrity was no better or worse than Royal Caribbean, which would have been a couple hundred less. I was doubly disappointed that the areas where Celebrity was most meant to excel (food and service) were what I would consider its weaker points. The announcement-free policy must not have been in effect on our cruise as there were bingo announcements every day. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2005
How to radically alter your mode of living...it really was a departure. I had not cruised in over 20 years and Robert had never cruised...you might call us semi-newbies! The Constellation was a far cry from the "Fun Ships" and ... Read More
How to radically alter your mode of living...it really was a departure. I had not cruised in over 20 years and Robert had never cruised...you might call us semi-newbies! The Constellation was a far cry from the "Fun Ships" and the barefoot cruising of my past. I chose CC simply for the price vs the amenities available in other classes. I was very anxious that R be comfortable on his first cruise and this more than met the ticket. At the last minute, I switched our cabin to an open handicapped room on the aft and wound up with twice the space and a huge balcony! *tip - the Baltic is cold and a balcony is not really a necessity at all as it might be in the Med. The downside of this cabin is that in warm months noise from the seaside grill would be VERY noticeable. Noise is a factor in Sky deck cabins when the weather permits a lot of outdoor activity. In warm weather, book deck 8 or below. The cabin and amenities were delivered as advertised. Always fresh fruit and flowers and R had his pillows galore. The bedding was very comfortable and our steward placed a larger table for in room dining which we did a lot. It was meticulously maintained and coffee, water and smoothies appeared at all hours. While Celebrity will sell you just about anything on the ship,just imagine my disappointment when I found that I could not take the steward home with me. Izzy was more of a butler, hanging clothes and sometimes choosing meals when we came in from a long excursion. Constellation gets 6 stars from me on the cabin and the staff. The ships rating drops radically when it comes to food. Maybe it's was just us, maybe we are food snobs, but we really didn't care for the food. It just wasn't that good. I am aware that the preparation of meals for 2000 + people is an enormous undertaking and I owned a restaurant in NY for many years, but this fell far short of what I expected. Our table was pre-booked so that we could dine with friends at the early seating. Our waiter Oleman was excellent but his assistant just never got it. The dining room can be exceptionally noisy and R found it very difficult to hear anything. While the menus include lite dining choices, the emphasis on heavy protein and fat and the absence of vegetables except as garnish was a huge minus for us. We eventually asked to be presented with the vegetarian menu along with the regular and made choices from both. The beef was routinely overcooked no matter how rare one requested and any item returned resulted in a 15 minute wait for replacement. We ate in the dining room approx 6 nites including 1 open seating which was a nightmare. During open seating the waiters are rude and hostile because they are not getting a tip from you. Management sent personal apologies after observing this (we never complained to them) but I don't think anything really changed. In contrast, the same menus served in our cabin were presented flawlessly and Izzy had extra veggies put on our entrees without our requesting them. (see why I wanted to take him home). We gave up on the main dining room expect for formal nights. Alternative dining on the 10th deck is cafeteria style (not my favorite) and offered lots of choices all of which were mediocre enough to not offend anyone. Only once did a waiter offer to carry my tray or to assist me to a table. One can wander endlessly looking for a place to eat as your food gets helplessly colder. It is also very noisy and the lines can be really long when excursions have returned. *TIP have a plan in advance for dining when returning from shore or you will be cold, hungry and get very annoyed. Pizza and Pasta are available until 1 am but the ice cream shuts down at six. This is a huge mistake as the ice cream is wonderful and is what I really wanted in the wee hours. The Aqua Spa and SeaSide Grill are located in the coldest part of the ship with limited dining spaces. These are ideal areas for casual dining in warm weather ports but can be impossible in the Baltics. Hamburgers are precooked and they serve pork (not kosher)hot dogs. Aqua Spa entrees present beautifully, but the food is bland and tasteless. Good place to get a fruit plate. In the land of desserts and pastries: very good brioche and croissants, so so bread and rolls. The formal tea in the dining room had wonderful little tarts and sandwiches. This was the time the dining room was at it's best. The coffee and teas were far better than at any other time. *Note to Celebrity: coffee and dishwater are NOT interchangeable. Ocean Liners: Not only did we do the specialty restaurant, we gave a dinner party there. Lots of waiters whipping around. It is a lovely way to entertain at a modest cost, however it is NOT 5 star food. It is better than any other area on the ship, but your best hometown restaurant is probably better. All in all we had a lovely time and the 4 sea days were appreciated as this trip was very port intensive. The enrichment lectures vis a vis the ports were dreary and not informative or particularly accurate, but take them all with a grain of salt and form your own opinions. The service can be very uneven with very marvelous and helpful people floating about in a sea of the clueless. We enjoyed a lot of the spa services and the elaborate Persian Garden but the pedicures had the most primitive equipment possible and left Robert with bleeding feet. At 64$ for a pedicure this is not acceptable. This was an affordable and generally comfortably way to see places that we wanted to visit. We met a lot of very interesting people and enjoyed ourselves very much. It is not worth the time or effort to waste vacation being irritated, so find what suits you and have a ball...we did and we thank everyone on this site who contributed to making it memorable. Ports to follow! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2003
Ship was beautiful. No question about it. Cabins are good...not great. But what the Constellation suffered the most from is poor quality food that lacked any real flavor. The meals were boring and at best reminded me of first class airline ... Read More
Ship was beautiful. No question about it. Cabins are good...not great. But what the Constellation suffered the most from is poor quality food that lacked any real flavor. The meals were boring and at best reminded me of first class airline food. The formal dining room for breakfast and lunch were terrible. Meats were chewy and tough. It was obvious that the food had been sitting for a long time before it came to the table. The cruise lines have dumbed down cooking to the art of the "bland" that offends no one but has little flavor or meaning. What I would expect once I hit nursing home age. By then end of the first week, we made a point of eating lunch off the ship in each port because the freshness and taste were far superior than what we got onboard. As well it is also apparent, that the cruise line do not seriously want to help or support travelers who do not wish to spend a fortune on their overpriced land excursions by providing real information on how to reach a local bus or train to go into the cities such as Florence, Rome or Messina. The agents at the exit will point to the direction of the train or tell you to take a taxi but never seemed to know how much we should spend, or what a train ride would cost. This is because the cruise line outsources the shore excursions and to provide alternative and cheaper ways into the cities, would cut into their profits. Most people do no realize the ships outsource the shops, spas, tours and just about everything else that is not welded to the ship. I have taken 7 Celebrity Cruises and the quality of the food has gone down hill considerably from even 3 years ago. Read Less
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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