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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
I love cruising and have gone on Princess,& Royal Caribbean, but Celebrity is my favorite. Celebrity offers a higher level of service. The crew was friendly and seemed happy to be working for the company. We had a balcony cabin on ... Read More
I love cruising and have gone on Princess,& Royal Caribbean, but Celebrity is my favorite. Celebrity offers a higher level of service. The crew was friendly and seemed happy to be working for the company. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9. Our room steward, Yogi and his assistant were excellent. Our cabin was immaculate and whenever we requested something, it was done and we never had to ask twice. We had first seating. The menus were diverse and the food was excellent. We ate at 2 specialty restaurants. Tuscany was Italian cuisine and it was excellent. We have eaten at the restaurant on other Celebrity ships and have never been disappointed. The other restaurant was Q which was fun and quirky. It was like Tapas. We ordered many different plates and shared them. We have eaten there before on a family cruise. There were 9 of us and we were and we were able to sample lots of different cuisines. The entertainment was wonderful. The ship's singers and dancers were very talented. Their productions were top notch. They also entertained at different venues as part of the evening activities. The ports were great, St. Marten, St. Kitt, St. Lucia, Barbados, Aruba Antigua and CuraƧao. My only complaint was that we spent an overnight in Barbados. Unfortunately it was Easter and nothing was open. The next day was an Island holiday and nothing was open. That was unfortunate. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We did spend some time in Miami before the cruise visiting relatives. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
From the moment we boarded we knew there would be trouble, spring breakers running around drinking in the pools and causing disturbances all around. We went to our Aqua Class cabin and it was not clean at all, stains on the couch, dirt on ... Read More
From the moment we boarded we knew there would be trouble, spring breakers running around drinking in the pools and causing disturbances all around. We went to our Aqua Class cabin and it was not clean at all, stains on the couch, dirt on the floor, a musty odor and the balcony was not cleaned from the previous guests. We called guest services asked for the supervisor because we wanted to get off and schedule a future cruise without the ambiance of a college dorm full of dropouts. We stated the ship was dirty, kids are running thru the halls banging on the walls and doors and all we want is a credit for a future cruise so we do not have to put up with this for 5 nights. We were assured there would be no problems, the crew was specially trained to handle this situation and security would not have a problem. We again said that is fine but we would like a credit for a future cruise because this was not our idea of a relaxing week at sea and not a preferable use of our vacation time. She said we could leave but there would be no credit. In hindsight I should have said I was feeling like I had the flu and left and fought with the insurance because this cruise was a nightmare and a pattern of lip service and inaction began that day. After we decided to stay, we asked to have the room cleaned because we did not want a dirty room. We went for a walk on deck 11, could not believe the antics at the pool and how the bars just kept serving the drunk and unruly dropouts. We went back to the room after they assured us again everything was under control and the room was clean and started unpacking. I went by the desk and found toe nails on the rug, I called and asked again if we could leave and get a credit but the employee of the year said no but they would clean again. Went for another walk came back and the toe nails I pointed out to the steward were gone, however, there were more under the desk which would have required him to move the chair to see which he obviously did not do. Yes,disgusting. That night dinner at Blu was very good but it went downhill from there everyday afterwards. The ribeye was just terrible and the waiters knew it. The day at sea, Monday was a total disaster, the crew members in the spa never checked for Aqua class cards to get into the Persian garden and as a result the dropouts were in there as well. While I am on that subject, don't believe the hype about solticizing the constellation, sorry, this was a lame attempt to renovate a basement on Long Island and it was just a small cramped dark dank space. There are no tile lounges only a bench that you cannot get comfortable on and a strange tower in the middle that served no purpose. The Aqua spa cafe was terrible, I am not sure what it was supposed to be but it didn't work had strange hours and the smoothies were disgusting. The pool was a sea of delinquents, security was permitting bottles in the pools and hot tubs and adults were driven from the area by the loud music and absolute lack of security. There was nowhere for adults to go and it was a total nightmare. The bar tenders never cut them off even when they were visibly drunk and disorderly. We complained to the employee of the year again and were told she didn't think it was that bad, when we asked her if she was on the pool deck she said no, she did not go there herself, amazing really to tell us it was not bad and she never left her office. More lip service and inaction. At one point on deck 11we could not walk the track due to all the drunks blocking the track and we looked down at the pool, there were 30 kids in one hot tub and at least 30 beer bottles lining the tub while security did nothing. The room was never really clean and we found the ship to be shabby in need of a few weeks out of service just to clean the ship. The furniture in all the common spaces looked nice until you look close, all shabby and in need of replacement. Needless to say, celebrity is not what it was years ago. The new CEO should be fired for incompetence to let the celebrity name be attached to such a shabby ship, inept employee of the year and really forgettable food. This cruise is on the heels of a cruise on the Reflection in December of 2014 which was not much better without the delinquents. No more celebrity for me. We sent a letter to customer service, called to complain and not a word. We met Captain Nicholas who was very friendly and listened to our complaints. He was a personable man and was one of the only crew who was friendly. Most of the officers did not acknowledge guests when passing on the decks and looked sloppy. I am comparing it to the Norwegian Getaway which we were on in September 2014 where every crew member was as sharp as a tac to the point it stood out. What happened to Celebrity? I read some people call this ship Connie, I call it a loser, don't waste your time or money booking this ship. Oh yeah, the adult pool had a slime floating on it for 3 days, we would not go in. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
This was our first Transatlantic, and our first Celebrity. Overall, I would say it is a notch below Oceania, but one up on HAL and two on Princess. FOOD Food is important to us, so the following comments would not apply to those who ... Read More
This was our first Transatlantic, and our first Celebrity. Overall, I would say it is a notch below Oceania, but one up on HAL and two on Princess. FOOD Food is important to us, so the following comments would not apply to those who enjoy a "pile it high burger dinner". The main dining room - very disappointing. Very low food quality, which excellent service could not compensate for. As bad as Princess. Tables for two are very badly positioned in the corridor. The usual attempt to rush you out in 30 minutes. Top deck cafes - what you'd expect. Not really for us. Bistro on Five - again excellent service, but a very limited menu. The emphasis on crepes is a mistake, as they are not of a high enough quality. Only two salads (with appalling dressing - best avoided). Good soups that change daily. Very nicely fitted out. The formula overall does not work, as it was half empty most days. If I were Celebrity, I would use this space to put in an Asian speciality restaurant which would be packed and which they could charge more for. Tuscan Grill - again excellent service, especially wine and from the one actually Italian waiter. Menu way too limited. The frozen fish did not appeal, so you have to like steak. No chicken, pork, lamb etc. One or two creamy pasta dishes were ok, but the chef is not Italian and it REALLY showed on the lasagne. Again, if you like your pasta sauces without wine, garlic, or herbs, then this would not matter for you, but we expect Italian food in an Italian restaurant. Perhaps clients should be given a choice. Ocean Liners - again outstanding service, both managers excellent, and a wonderful place for flambees. A more varied menu than the Tuscan Grill, and higher quality food. This was our refuge. It was quickly clear who was who, as we saw a lot of fine diners again and again. Slight shame they don't use the piano there, one guest took to playing for the rest of us which made the atmosphere even better. Overall - the extra charge for the speciality restaurants is high, but we had little choice given the poor food in the main dining room. If you are not a foodie, then it is not worth paying a lot. The "Ultima" package which allows unlimited access is sold as including lunch, tea and dinner, but be aware that is a bit of a con as there is only one lunch in TG and OL, and only one tea (ON THE SAME DAY!) in the entire 15 day cruise. You need to calculate your options very carefully. DRINKS - As others have commented, wine prices are high, higher than Oceania which seems particularly ridiculous, and a good 50% above HAL. Martini's is a great bar, though a walkthrough feel can be off putting. We like our wine so we bought a package, but again this is a bit of a con. You are of course restricted to glasses only, and even the upgraded package meant hardly any wines were available on the OL menu. That $12 cut off is cunningly low. This is only worth it if you are a heavy spirits drinker who drinks every day. Having said that the price of wine by the bottle was astronomical, so really you either drink average wine or pay through the roof. ENTERTAINMENT - Similar to other cruises, but overall enjoyable. Cruise Director John was very good, as was the Mercurial Tyler, the activity manager. The dancers were better than the singers, but they put on a great show. Individual entertainers were perhaps a little downscale, but still very good. The speakers were excellent - particularly Nigel West. Way above normal. Internet access is a problem on this ship, and the system they use is particularly user unfriendly. The Internet staff were the one area of the Constellation where the service fell down. CABIN - average, but ok. Similar to HAL, below Oceania. A lot of guests were talking about poor internet service, and no TV reception if you were in a lower cabin. CROWD - good age mix, and I would say a fun bunch. More varied than other cruises, though being a Transatlantic, no children. PORTS OF CALL - very interesting, and the variety was very appealing. 8 days at sea non-stop were a challenge, and it would have made sense to break it up with a stop somewhere west Atlantic. The time changes were oddly handled. Have never been on a ship where ship time was different to the ports of call, and there was real confusion in Madeira with old time, new time, and local time (not helped by the tour tickets being printed on shore time). Finishing in Amsterdam was a step down. Dreadful weather, most restaurants seemed closed for some reason, and the flight we took on to France with Transavia was a definite mistake. $300 for an extra bag! We wished we'd got off earlier. OVERALL - a good ship and an excellent crew. If food quality could be raised then this would be a winner. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Since Crystal has changed its policies and its service has diminished, we decided to try other cruiselines. We prefer transatlantic because we like the relaxing days at sea, so we opted for Celebrity. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
Since Crystal has changed its policies and its service has diminished, we decided to try other cruiselines. We prefer transatlantic because we like the relaxing days at sea, so we opted for Celebrity. We were not disappointed. EMBARKATION: As easy as its gets if you print out boarding passes on computer. We just showed all the necessary documentation and within 15 minutes, we were ascending the gangplank! :) CABIN: As this was a transatltantic, we chose a cabin on a lower deck, midship. We were not sorry since we experinced minimal rocking. The cabin was well appointed and had plenty of storage. We stashed our luggage under the beds. Our cabin steward, Collin, was fantastic and complied with every small request. We tipped him extra for his efforts. After the first night, I requested a feather pillow and it was there. The mattresses are rock hard and every morning, I awoke with a stiff back. That was the only bad thing. Also, the satellite TV was off again/on again, but we were not cruising to watch TV. I unplugged it, let it reboot, and it was fine. We saw many good movies. DINING: We requested a table for two at early seating. We sat along the wall in the Michaelangelo dining room. Some people did not like this, but I enjoyed watching the people pass us, especially on formal nights. It was like a fashion show. Our waiter, Ramon, was good, but his assistant, Reagan, was brand new and that poor kid tried ssssoooo hard to please. I think they were riding him, but he was very good to us. The food was tasty and variety was plentiful. ENTERTAINMENT: The social director, John Grantham, was a veteran employee. His assistant, Tyler, was always at his side and I'm not sure what purpose he served. They had a dance troupe that performed and they were okay. One guest speaker, Nigel West, spoke about espionage during WWI and WWII and he drew a large audience. He was very, very good. Also, Capt. Tasos spoke on the construction of a brand new ship. Capt. Tasos was a very funny, very affable man and very approachable. He loves his job. Since we had 7 straight days at sea, for the first time, we decided to attend the art auctions. We were glad we did because Travis taught us so much about art! We also played trivia twice a day. SPA: I went for a spa treatment and it was just average. My operator kept trying to sell me products and I found that to be a turn off. Of course, their prices were 3-4x the norm ($45 for a manicure!) but they've got a captive audience. GYM: The gym was very well equipped and there were plenty of treadmills to go around. We used it everyday. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: We went to the Italian Grille and were disappointed. I sent my entree back. The menu is very limited and the choices are not genuine Italian. Everyone raved about OCEANLINERS, so next time, we'll try that one. Overall, it was a very nice cruise and the differences b/t Celebrity and Crystal were subtle, but with Celebrity you get much more bang for your buck. They've got two new loyal customers! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Working and raising a family kept us from cruising for over thirty years. Finally retired, and we've already cruised twice this year, hopefully more to come! Here's a comparison of the first two pleasure filled journeys, seen ... Read More
Working and raising a family kept us from cruising for over thirty years. Finally retired, and we've already cruised twice this year, hopefully more to come! Here's a comparison of the first two pleasure filled journeys, seen through our inexperienced eyes: MSC Poesia -- January 19th from Fort Lauderdale, a seven night western Caribbean cruise. We invited along our ten amazing grandchildren plus, of course, their parents. True family joy surrounded by caring, gracious service. Pure fun for kids, sophisticated elegance for adults. Celebrity Constellation -- May 5th from Miami, just wife Debbie and I, a 15 night transatlantic cruise to Amsterdam. Pampering for romantics, and we always felt special. We had booked this cruise before deciding on the MSC family vacation. Of course traveling as a family on MSC Poesia in a cluster of nine lovely upgraded balcony cabins is quite different from a couple in one of Celebrity Constellation's comfortable, spacious, Sky Suites. By the way, cabins on both ships are intelligently designed and were immaculately clean. And cabin attendants were thorough, pleasant, and proactive. Two home runs! Both voyages by far exceeded our expectations, and we will recommend both ships (and their companies) to personal friends. Clear to us: both organizations have strong, bright, and obsessively customer focused managements. Our big surprise: how very few people we meet, even veteran cruisers, have heard of MSC Cruises. A shame because this company's product is solidly good and deserving of recognition, worthy as a first choice. On the other hand, pretty much everybody knows and strongly compliments Celebrity for consistently excellent product, evidently, a well earned reputation. We have the feeling that MSC think of themselves as the underdog, a smaller less known company, so they try even harder than the "big boys" to please and delight. Similarly, no sign that Celebrity is resting on laurels, focused efforts. Decor -- both ships are creatively and stunningly decorated. MSC Poesia to us seemed to have a more cohesive, flowing sense of themes and colors, a feel that's both modern and welcoming, pleasant spaces. Celebrity Constellation is filled with evocative pieces of original art, many great conversation starters, add a sense of whimsy. At a guess, the overall decorating plan was assembled by a team of distinguished world class decorators, and each desired to contribute individuality. Sanitation -- on both ships crew continually sanitized railings, proactively offered hand sanitizer, suggested (to say it mildly) hand washing. Main Dining Room -- both have two fixed dinner seating. Poesia's dining room layout is more structured, serpentine hip walls create aisles for guests and wait staff to move about. The effect is cozy areas, a bit club room like, and one feels a tad more private. Constellation's dining room is towering high, magnificent, with a true "wow" evoking ceiling, plus elaborate formal staircase in center leading up to tables on a balcony circling above the main seating floor. There are no main area aisles, just lots of tables of varying sizes, scant wiggle room around each, but once seated, fully comfortable. A memorable space! Service in both is gracious, attentive, accommodating. Soon servers on both ships greeted us by name. On the Poesia, likely because our ten grandchildren made us stand out, very special extra service was unobtrusively provided, and younger children received individual help ordering. My jaw dropped with delight realizing that the wait crew remembered not only each child's name but also what food each likes, having noted what was left on the plate the day before, and used that to guide ordering. We take our hats off to that kind of spontaneous customer service, so rare in today's streamlined world. Nothing lacked from Constellation's excellent service, we were personally very, very well cared for. Food -- quality on both ships was excellent, as delicious as in most "fine" dining restaurant on land, but not quite "gourmet." My mind cannot grasp how so many thousand extremely varied (special requests encouraged) meals can be well prepared and served daily. Glad it's not my job to make that happen! In the main dining room, MSC's menu offered more international dishes (plus the US standbys). Some Italian dishes were jump out of your shoes tasty. Celebrity offers more "American" style choices. Likely each company is responding to the tastes if its own clientele: MSC has many more nationalities aboard especially Western European; Celebrity has a predominantly American clientele. Portions in the dining room are larger on Celebrity than MSC. However on MSC many (like big eater me) ordered five courses and left very satisfied. Hard to imagine many except the most robust fully finishing just four courses on Celebrity. I could only eat a third of a perfectly cooked, actually melt in the mouth delicious, braised lamb shank main course on Celebrity. At home would have been doggie bagged for an additional dinner plus a lunch! Both ships have cafeterias on the pool deck. MSC's is significantly larger, more selections, American and international. Quality at both ships' cafeterias is astonishing, fresh salads, carved meat, pastas, and so on. Celebrity has, at a more forward, separate location, a small healthy food cafeteria, Aqua Cafe, where we were delighted by fresh, often organic, food and tastes, breakfast and lunch, allowing us avoiding the temptation to over eat if "seduced" by the main buffets' almost sinful delights. Specialty restaurants (extra charge) on Constellation (Tuscan Grill and Ocean Liners) are simply top excellent food and service, as good as the best available in most average sized cities, worth the added cost (about $40 per person), especially for the romantically inclined. At Ocean Liners select the goat cheese souffle as a starter. Wine list is world class. We suspect MSC Poesia's specialty restaurants would also have also been delights, but the temptation was dampened by the thought of asking a fine dining venue for a tables for 23, including 10 children, with a few high chairs. As well behaved as our troops are, likely a considerate decision. Tips -- per day, per person, tips are added on to the bill covering both the "hotel" and included dining service. MSC has a reduced rate for children, the youngest are free. Both ships automatically add in a 15 percent tip for extra charge beverages and food. Celebrity also ask for a voluntary "extra tip" over and above this automatic 15 percent, and in our opinion usually the quality of the service received warrants a bigger tip. Smoking -- on both ships smoking is allowed at designated places on the pool decks. Appears more smoking allowed locations on Constellation. The very pretty Sunset Bar on Constellation's fantail overlooking the stern was way too smoky for us, although the Constellation does not lack for other delightful spots that are smoke free. Surprisingly, adjacent to the Constellation's healthy food Aqua Cafe there is a smoking area separated only by very wide automatic sliding doors, and strong cigarette smell wafts in with each door opening depending on wind direction. Extra charge beverages -- bottled water is free on the Poesia (nice for shore excursions) but is costly on Constellation (tap water is quite good on both ships). Bar prices on both were reasonable, lower than normally found on land. Because we purchased a wine package on Poesia (12 bottles for a nicely discounted lump sum) have no feel for relative wine prices in main dining room of ship. Constellation's wine list is extensive, never outrageously priced, although no bargains. Two pluses for MSC -- do it yourself self service gelato cone machines on pool deck, real hit with the kids. Laundry package, $25 lump sum covered our (grandma and grandpa) laundry for the week, not unlimited but conveniently sufficient. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Often times I wonder if we are traveling with the same folks. We love this ship, yet other travelers have only ugly remarks. Cruising is often very subjective. What pleases us does not please others. Perhaps our standards are not so high. ... Read More
Often times I wonder if we are traveling with the same folks. We love this ship, yet other travelers have only ugly remarks. Cruising is often very subjective. What pleases us does not please others. Perhaps our standards are not so high. I think of it this way: When I am at home, how's the cooking? Who's making my bed? Cleaning the bathroom? Forget it!!! So, that being said, let me tell you about our cruise.Boarding in Miami was a snap. Having sailed on the "Connie" two years ago, we knew where our inside cabin was and settled in. (the inside cabin was a booking mistake but after reaching the Baltic and the constant daylight....sunrise @ 4:30 am and sunset @ 11:00 p.m., we were blessed to have a total darkness room :)Cruising the Atlantic was fun...we read, napped, ate, then napped some more. There were so many "Elite" members aboard that coupons were given out for Happy Hour Free Cocktails. We were not terribly happy about this. It was like getting a McDonalds Happy Meal ticket. Everyone got 3 cocktail tickets, to be used in any bar. Not really special....and no appetizers. :( Complaints were made. Lionel, the Elite Rep. was not very visible during the crossing.Ports of call during the crossing and through the English Channel were fun. We loved Dover, Eng. (quaint and walkable). Two hours to Paris was worth the trip.Portugal is always a favorite. On to Amsterdam......many departed. We stayed on. We love back-to-backs because they can become two distinctive cruises. Sailing up the North Sea and into the Bay of Finland was special. Port intensive and loads of walking, but even the old people (us) managed to spread our feeble wings and explore.We had excursions in every port, including 2 days in St. Petersburg. It was exhausting but worth every minute. A bit about the ship: The Constellation was in dry dock in April. Supposedly, great things happened. No....not true. Maybe some carpet was replaced. I didn't notice. (We were on the "Connie" two years ago). Venues were removed, i.e. the movie theatre, (the reason here was that Pay-for-TV movies were more of a money-maker). Sad... more money-grabbing going on. John, the Cruise Director, (if tonight's the night you are going straight to bed...this is not the night to do it!!) We love him. Saw him on another Celebrity ship. Entertainment: Production shows = exceptional. Nigel West = tremendous. Comedy and magic = average. Classical music = average. General musical entertainment = good. Food: Well, that is so subjective. We felt the San Marco was very good, but perhaps not as good as two years ago. (We only had escargot on the last leg of the trip). The buffet is what it is. Try the pizza....yum. The Tuscan Grill is worth every penny. Excellent!Special kudos to my friends in Reflections!! Hope to see you again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
We are unseasoned at cruising, so consider these comments with that perspective. Our previous cruise experience was limited to a 50-passenger trip though the Greek isles on the Sea Cloud -- a wholly different experience than that offered ... Read More
We are unseasoned at cruising, so consider these comments with that perspective. Our previous cruise experience was limited to a 50-passenger trip though the Greek isles on the Sea Cloud -- a wholly different experience than that offered by a "traditional ocean liner." But we had been looking for the right opportunity to dip our toes in the water of large passenger ship cruising, and the Top Chef theme cruise -- only 4 nights 5 days on a highly regarded "luxury" line-- seemed an attractive introductory experience from which we might forecast our cruising future. Sadly our experience was very mixed. First, the Top Chef themed activities were simply wonderful. Cooking demonstrations, Quickfire "competitions," Q and A's with 10 years of fan favorites and winning "chef-testants," and Tom Collichio playing lead guitar and singing Creedence at the poolside stage-- we could not have enjoyed the themed events more. Bravo to Bravo and Top Chef for a well-planned and well-executed experience. And it bears saying that the Top Chef chefs and staff were all about the ship, interacting with the passengers, spending real time and making real connections. Every single Top Chef person -- and most notably Gail Simmons and Hubert Keller-- was as cordial, gracious, and engaging as one could imagine. A class act by a classy group in every respect. If only the ship and its staff had lived up to the standards of the reality TV folks. I don't want to nitpick, and we are seasoned travelers if not cruisers, so I have no problem rolling with the unexpected, but these seemed to us to be serious lapses in the cruise line's core functions: 1. Our "veranda suite." Oh, please. There is nothing "suite" or sweet about the suites. They are single rooms, with the tiniest bathroom you can imagine. The presence of a small upholstered love-seat in addition to the bed is evidently the defining feature of a "suite" on this line. For shame! We are not price-sensitive when it comes to accommodations and we booked the best available suite months in advance. Even so, one person must sit on the bed to allow the other to move anywhere in the room. The sound of the toilet flushing is enough to wake the dead. The shower delivers nothing warmer than room temperature water (but curiously, the water in the bathroom sink is hot). The veranda is a plastic-enclosed postage-stamp with 2 miserable plastic chairs. The TV cannot be viewed from the seating area, only the bed -- whose genius is behind that failure of space/function? The hallways are endless and narrow and laundry carts and food service carts are left parked permanently in key spots along the way. Suffice it to say that I have stayed in budget-priced Travel Lodges that were better designed and better appointed. The vaunted "Concierge Class" turns out to be three stems of Peruvian lillies (alstomeria) and three pieces of fruit. They were, all six of them, there when we moved in and they were there when we left. Requests for daily ice were hit and miss. 2. The food. Yikes! Awful in the Main Dining Room (San Marcos). The rib-eye was like pot roast; the duck was flabby and fatty and unrecognizable. Everything was unseasoned, overcooked, and bland. The onion soup was fine, and my husband had an appetizer of himachi one evening that was good. But even the vaunted Sunday brunch was cold bacon, toaster waffles served room temperature, and the same canteloupe, watermelon and honeydew that we had seen at every service for four days. Waiter service was fine, but entry and seating service was an ugly and unpleasant frenzy at every meal-- bossy and over-bearing staff, indifferent to guest sensibilities and preferences. The buffet was just dreary. Endless pans of curries and over-baked sludgy pasta casseroles. The rolls and pastries were stale every single day. The pizza was doughy, tough, flavorless, served room temperature. The sushi was unimaginative and unexceptional. The omelets were fine but took forever as that station was never adequately staffed. The hamburgers at the poolside grill were like frisbees in their lack of flavor or other recognizable meat-like qualities. We tried two of the specialty (extra price) food options, with good results. Bistro on Five had very nice panini, if an absurdly limited menu, and the bar across from Bistro on Five served a marvelous 7-item tapas platter for $19.00 that was a tasty and sufficient supper for two one night when the MDR menus was so dreary that we simply got up and left without ordering. The ship makes a big deal of its ice creams and gelatos, but both were sub-par, The ice cream, which I tried 3 different times, was full of ice crystals and inadequately flavored. The gelatos were no better. Pastries at the coffee bar were days past their sell by deadline. Drink service -- wine, cocktails, beer, sodas -- was very strong. No complaints at all although in retrospect the all-inclusive beverage package is over-priced but very convenient. 3. Ship entertainment. Way way way too much thumping pounding "music" -- everywhere, all the time. The passengers are mostly 45+ and even more. Why are we enduring hip hop and rap and disco music constantly? The comedian was unfunny and hostile to the (admittedly sparse) audience. The lectures and programs were almost all sales opportunities. The "art" auction was astonishingly huck-sterish and uninformed. Oh, I could say more, but what is the point? Truth be told by Day 3 we were looking forward to being done with this luxury vacation; by the 4th day we were avid to get off the damn boat; and by the time we docked, I was grateful to the point of tears that it was finally over. Embarkation and disembarkation are very well-organized and we were grateful for the ease of departing. I have tasked myself with the assignment due diligence and investigating whether our experience was typical, or was based on a bad choice of cruise line. If we need to spend more to have a good experience, I'll bite again. If what we had is what you get, then no -- never, never, never again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
We cruised out of the port of Miami. I don't think we waited more than 30 minutes to board the boat after arriving at around 11:40. This seemed like a short amount of time to me. Boarding was a breeze, great 1st impression thnx ... Read More
We cruised out of the port of Miami. I don't think we waited more than 30 minutes to board the boat after arriving at around 11:40. This seemed like a short amount of time to me. Boarding was a breeze, great 1st impression thnx Celebrity. Stateroom was not ready however food and drink were and we snugged up to a table on the deck. OK cut to the chase...rambling here. Overall experience was great, Celebrity staff incredible, I hope they are compensated very well. No attitudes, smiles everywhere people were eager to please. I thought it might be appropriate to tip for exceptional service, I however saw noone handing out any cash during the duration of our trip. Gratuities were included however so I guess people thought that to be enough. In regards to the premium resturants the food was not really any better that what i recieved in San Marcos, in fact I believe I enjoyed the buffet, pool side burgers and steaks at San Marcos much better. I would probably not reccomend spending the money at the Tuscan Grill or Oceanliners. As far as service goes Oceanliners service was much better and more attentive than the Tuscan Grill, we were left waiting a little too long in the Tuscan Grill. Facility was nice, pool deck a little dated but to be expected, this is Celebrities 2nd oldest ship I understand. Staff, Danny (stateroom attendant) Kris (I THINK is his name Somellier at San Marcos) and Stephan (Wine Cellars bartender) were absolutely wonderful, mad props. Entertainment was much better than expected, great for a 1st time cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
Before going on the special Top Chef cruise we read the reviews here to get an idea of what to expect. Almost everything was different on this cruise from what we had expected. It was my first cruise and her second. It's very ... Read More
Before going on the special Top Chef cruise we read the reviews here to get an idea of what to expect. Almost everything was different on this cruise from what we had expected. It was my first cruise and her second. It's very likely that no other Celebrity cruise will be like this, so this is probably a one-off. I'll relate the stuff we liked and didn't like about the experience. Embarkation: Really easy, almost like an airport boarding process. Probably took us 15 - 20 mins to get on the boat. Even though we requested luggage tags they never sent them. Had to fill them in while outside the terminal prior to boarding. Cabin was ready around 1:30 - 2 PM but we never heard any announcement about it. Cabins: Cabin attendants were really nice and incredibly helpful. Anything we asked for they took care of. The way they took care of us was really the best part of the cruise. And they kept the cabin really clean the whole trip. One issue was that they must have deep cleaned the carpet just before we boarded and the rug stayed damp/sticky for days afterwards. Our cabin was clean and never noisy, except when a Carnival ship docked alongside and our entire ship began vibrating from their music. But when loud pool parties happened on our ship there was no noise heard in our cabin. Meals: Because this was a Top Chef themed cruise I think our MDR experience was unlike the normal Celebrity mealtime situation. The MDR menu had a regular section and a special page with Top Chef entrees. We ate at a fixed time but always were shuffled to a different waiter/table. They called this 'Open Seating', which led to some very disorganized meal situations where on one night it took over 2.5 hours to get to the dessert/coffee stage of the meal. We ate in the Aquaspa cafe most lunches and some breakfasts and really enjoyed the food there. The buffet was sort of like ummmm....ok, nothing special about the food. The scrambled eggs were nasty. We didn't eat in any specialty restaurants. We didn't take a drink package but brought a bottle of wine with us. Also we located the 24 hour beverage station by the pool where you can get coffee & juice without having to pay for it like you would when ordering it from a bar. The MDR staff had major problems processing drink orders for our tablemates. Either they got them wrong or failed to bring the drinks at almost every meal. When we ordered wine on the final night I had to remind the waiter at the end that they hadn't asked for our SeaPass cards yet. We did get a very interesting tour of the galleys with the Executive Sous Chef and learned a lot about how food is prepared on Celebrity ships. We were told that after our trip the ship was headed to the Bahamas for 19 days for a retrofit to add the BLU restaurant and a few other amenities. Pool/Spa: The pools are kind of small, so if you are a big pool person then this ship is probably not for you. And no water slide like on the adjacent Carnival ship. I felt sorry for the Carnival staffer who had to supervise from on top of the slide even when their ship was in port and nobody was using the pool. Deck chairs in the pool area were OK with padding, but on the upper deck they were stained and missing slats and generally needed a lot of TLC. Other stuff: The casino was sort of lame, and except when the celebrity chefs were gambling we never saw a lot of people in there. Cell service was very solid on the ship the entire trip. We had heard horror stories about crummy service on other cruise lines. Having a good cell signal was good because I went all over the ship and never found a WiFi signal anywhere on-board. I was picking up WiFi networks from shore when we cruised off the Mexican coast, but never got one on-board. So I ended up checking email through my smartphone using the slow but usable 1xRTT (2G) signal. Because of our trip schedule we had very brief port calls, Key West was only a few hours. Just enough to tour the Hemingway House and have a drink at the Green Parrot. Cozumel was not our favorite. Tip: Don't buy any jewelery from the local shops, it's like negotiating at a used car lot. Disembarkation: Due to late night drinking the night before, many of our fellow passengers could not make it out of their rooms by 8:30 AM, so we had an uncrowded & unhurried trip off the ship and through customs. They warned that federal budget cuts would delay our customs clearance but this didn't seem to be an issue. We would cruise again, just not in this type of situation. A regular cruise with a normal port schedule would probably be better for us. 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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