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Sail Date: September 2009
This was our second cruise with Celebrity, having cruised on Summit 2 years ago through the Panama Canal. We had flown from Australia to join the Constellation for this much awaited cruise and had high expectations given our previous ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity, having cruised on Summit 2 years ago through the Panama Canal. We had flown from Australia to join the Constellation for this much awaited cruise and had high expectations given our previous experience. We had a Concierge class cabin on Deck 8, much quieter than those on deck 9, under the pool deck. Wonderful cabin staff and cabin was clean and well looked after during out occupation. Embarkation was fine at Bayonne Cruise terminal, even though by the time we got there after 1.30pm, there were large queues even in the priority boarding areas, it only took 30 minutes before we were onboard and enjoying our glass of champagne. We were escorted to our cabin as we had brought our luggage on board with us, as we had no luggage tags, and the luggage attendant at the cruise port were overrun and didnt have any either. Our cabin was available immediately and we unpacked and then found our table seating time was for 6pm, too early for us, so we went down to midships, where the San Marco Manager was able to put us with a table of 10 for the 8.30 pm seating with no problems. After this we had lunch from the buffet, caesar salad with fried southern chicken ( a bit dry) and then a delicious mango sorbet. The range of ice creams and sorbets available this trip was wonderful. We left port finally at 6.30pm and went to the 7pm show, highlights of what was to come. Acapella choir, the Voice Males and the Celebrity Band and singers and dancers, all fantastic. This was one of the highlights of this trip as we found nearly all the entertainment first class, the best we have seen on board any ship and this was our 7th cruise. Dining in San Marco that night was very good, crab and avocado salad, lamb shank with couscous and then creme brulee, all tasty and tender. However, over the 2 weeks, we found the food quality, taste and choice were very hit and miss. Our table waiter would try and guide us to the best choices, but when we decided outside his recommendations, most times we were very disappointed. Food came cool to lukewarm at best on cold plates most nights. Soup one night was wonderful and inedible a few nights later (either far too salty or cold). We thoroughly enjoyed the duck dish, the oysters with spinach and Parmesan (could be offered more than once a trip) Dover sole with shrimp mousse quenelles, but the steaks and some of the fish were inedible, tough and overcooked. The last formal night when lobster was on the menu, our waiters recommendation was for Mamma's home style pork chops!!!! No one chose them and we all wished we had, as the lobster was the worst we have ever tasted on board a ship, minute in size and largely inedible. A real let down on our final formal night - and this along the coast that serves up the best lobster at the cheapest prices that we have ever seen. We ate lobster and clam chowder every lunch time off the boat as it was such good value for money compared to Australian seafood prices. We ate breakfast and most lunches at sea in Aqua Spa Cafe and loved it. Its choice of light, tasty but healthy lunches were delicious. Breakfast too was very good, but could have been a little more diverse, with some extra things added over the 2 weeks rather than offering the same fare daily. Wait staff here were wonderful and very kind to guests, one introducing us to another guest from Australia, who was travelling on her own. We struck up a great friendship and enjoyed comparing notes after drinks each evening before dinner or at lunch time. Our experience in the Ocean Liners restaurant was mixed. The food was really awe inspiring. Here we had a really wonderful lobster, choosing the scallop/salmon/prawn trio then Maine lobster bisque, both exquisite appetizers. Mains we both had surf and turf, a tender beautifully cooked filet mignon with a large lobster tail, then chocolate and grand marnier souffles for dessert. 5 stars for the food. The only criticism we had this time was we felt rushed and we had asked to have our courses served with decent intervals between (25 minutes), but even then the food came too early for us, making what should have been a long, slow evening meal of true enjoyment a very rushed and hurried affair. This is because they take the dessert order when you order your entree, thus leaving little room for space between courses, especially when cooking something like souffles. Go back to the old way of doing things in these restaurants, a long slow dining experience is what most of us are looking for, not a quick stuff you silly and get out parade! Overall we really enjoyed the cruise and the ship, our only concerns were the food quality which has seriously deteriorated since our least Celebrity experience. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
This was our 30th plus cruise and sixth on Celebrity. I was travelling with my wife and two close friends. This was was our first cruise on the Constellation. The last celebrity cruise was in the early 1990s on the Celebrity Galaxy. The ... Read More
This was our 30th plus cruise and sixth on Celebrity. I was travelling with my wife and two close friends. This was was our first cruise on the Constellation. The last celebrity cruise was in the early 1990s on the Celebrity Galaxy. The first major difference I notice on this cruise was the level of service. It was far better then my experience with Royal Caribbean, NCL, Costa and Princess. Our outside cabin, forward was not a balcony but a large picture window. Our friends choose to a balcony stateroom where we shared our cocktails before dinner. Our Port of calls were Bermuda,St. Martin, Aruba and Labadee. For the positives first. The itinerary, cleanliness of the ship, level of service were all excellent. For the negative, the dinning room meals were not as good as in past Celebrity cruises but equal or somewhat better then Princess ( my second favorite line). The caribbean night festivities was very disappointing. The only food they had was fruit and ice cream. Also disappointing was the Grand Buffet held in a lounge instead of the restaurant. The food was selection was not what i remember from past celebrity cruises. On a positive note, this particular cruise had two very well prepared and orchestrated Brunch meals held in the two tier dinning room. This buffet caught us by surprise, since it was our first brunch at sea. My two favorite stops were Labadee and St Martin. For those who have never been to this stop, you will be pleasantly surprise to see this very large complex that consists of several beautiful beaches and restaurants. What I enjoy the most was the Zip line that was opened up 3 months ago and the luge ride that run like a roller coater ride hidden in the mountain. This stop was my first visit to Haiti and I look forward to returning on a future cruise. My over-all experience on this 10 day cruise was excellent and I would definitely sail on Celebrity again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2008
This was our third cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line and our third cruise on the Constellation. This is the second most cruise line we travel on. We live in Staten Island only 13.5 miles from the cruiseport. Embarkation-This went very ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line and our third cruise on the Constellation. This is the second most cruise line we travel on. We live in Staten Island only 13.5 miles from the cruiseport. Embarkation-This went very smoothly. Got there processed in then they put us on a bus and we went right to the ship. Got on and dropped off carry-on luggage to the stateroom. Dining-The food was its usual far above most cruise lines. It was very good to excellent. My wife really likes the waffles and could hardly wait to have them. The wait staff was very good in the dining room and buffet. Our Assistant Maitre 'D Miss Lorita really outdid herself. Our waiter Jesus (pronounced Hezeus),he wanted to make sure we knew that, and Celvin were very good at what they did. When they worked in the buffet were very cordial as well. The grill provides a good afternoon lunch place and you could sit outdoors weather permitting. Ocean Liners: The specialty restaurant. It was very good eating there. They give the dining experience a special atmosphere and a certain ambiance. If you have a special occasion: birthday, anniversary, or anything else it is well worth celebrating here. We saw a new found friend Gary, a regular at the casino, and his wife in there. It was his anniversary too. Entertainment-Most of the shows I've seen before. A few I haven't. Most of the shows I've seen already I left. Some of the I didn't see I stayed for and they weren't bad. I was hoping to see Don Gavin. He was very funny, but, didn't work the cruise we were on this time. My wife liked Judy Kolba. Room Service- Not as fast as they were in the past. However,they far exceeded what RCCL could do. This may be due to the fact that many of the people on the crew were new to the ship. Ship Activities- My wife and I enjoy playing Bingo and I certainly enjoyed playing table tennis. The veterans meetings were good. I am a veteran and enjoy meeting other veterans. I am proud of my service. I bumped into Cruise Director's staff people and hoped I helped to create a good environment on the ship so everyone could have a good time. There were plenty of activities to keep everyone busy, provided that was what you wanted to do. I also noticed many people sitting in a lounge and reading. Enrichment: Went to some of the discussions. Found out a bit more about Benedict Arnold and the history of cruise ships. The history of NYC was a bit off. If anyone tries to find the Intrepid Museum downtown they will look long and hard before they realize that it isn't downtown like the speaker said. It is next to pier 88 at midtown. Don't walk from pier 17 to the Empire State Building. It takes too long. Benedict Arnold got wounded in his leg at the Battle of Saratogo. Stateroom- Not as large as on one other line, but, it was okay. My wife also likes the bedding on another line, but, said this was acceptable. Balcony was nice. Provided a nice place to go without a lot of people around. Casino: Saved this one for it's own category. I love Casinos and on a cruise ship it is a central focal point. Some of the dealers came up to me and reintroduced themselves as they said they knew me from a prior cruise. The people that played at the craps table were for the most part very nice folks. There is something about a craps table that unites players. Tried to help create a good gambling venue. The Ports of Call: Portland: Walked around Portland in the morning and went to Kennebunkport in the afternoon. Good afternoon tour and nice being back in Portland. Prince Edward Island: Religious Holy Day for me so I didn't go on PEI. My wife said tour was good and she enjoyed it. The PEI jelly she bought is very good. Quebec City: Took Countryside Tour in morning and walked around town in afternoon. My wife was aching so much she never left ship on second day. Found good gelato place in the Little Italy section of town. Halifax: My home away from home. Been here more than anyother place by cruise ship. It changed somewhat. They now have a ferry terminal and moved Cows Ice Cream. Didn't get to Nova Scotia Hotel/Casino. Found Tim Horton coffee shop, in Ferry Terminal. Took Pub Tour in afternoon. It was fun. Bar Harbor: (pronounced Baa-ha-ba) Went on shore excursion to Acadia National Park. That was nice and got some good pictures. My wife enjoyed that tour although she never got off the bus at any of the stops. Went on a walk in Baa ha ba in the afternoon. We had a good lunch at a local place then went to look in the shops. My wife really liked the soft serve blueberry ice cream and the heated blueberry pie with whipped cream we had. Enrichment: Disembarkation- Went a lot smoother than the last two times. They had a handicapped lounge and actually escorted handicapped passengers off the ship. A lot better than the last two cruises. Disembarkation went much smoother. At most ports-of-call we saw people we knew from the Constellation. We exchanged greetings with most and adventures at the port-of-call. Also, some adventures that occurred on the ship as well. It was a good vacation which we enjoyed very much. The ship was excellent and we look forward to another vacation again on the Constellation in the not too distant future. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2008
Let me start by saying that this is probably our 15th cruise but first to a non-caribbean destination. It was also our first time on a Celebrity ship & we were very pleased. We were by far the youngest couple on the ship (40yrs old). ... Read More
Let me start by saying that this is probably our 15th cruise but first to a non-caribbean destination. It was also our first time on a Celebrity ship & we were very pleased. We were by far the youngest couple on the ship (40yrs old). The average age was probably 70yrs old. We didn't mind. It was a nice change from the young college kids on our spring break cruises. Details about the ship: Very clean, nice open areas for sitting and reading, nice cabins. It was our first time to have an inside room and we were very happy. There was plenty of storage & a decent size shower compared to other ships. We've cruised with Disney, Princess, Carnival & Royal Caribbean and this ship was every bit as good if not better than all of the above (other than Disney...no one beats Disney at anything). The food was very good. Our waiter, Jimmy Carter from India (that's his real first name), was fantastic. The Oceanliner Restaurant was expensive & not any better than the regular dining room. The atmosphere was very elegant though. If you want a romantic dinner this would be great. The only complaint we had with dining was that the wine Sommeliers? would come by EVERY night to try to sign you up for a wine event of some kind. They should advertise outside but not bother people while they are trying to enjoy their dinner. Since it was colder weather we didn't use the outside much. The pool looked nice. We did use the indoor pool a few times. There were always a lot of people there. The ship has a really nice gym. We used it several times & there was never a problem getting a particular machine. Moving on to entertainment. We enjoyed all of the shows. The comedian was excellent and the broadway show was really good. We also enjoyed the guy who plays a xylophone type instrument with four mallets (not sure the correct word) at one time. He was amazing. There was also a wonderful pianist two nights. Our favorite entertainer was Perry Grant. He was normally in Michaels lounge (TOO SMALL). He NEEDS a bigger room. The little bar was always standing room only. The night he was in the big theatre he almost filled it. Even though we are only 40ish we really enjoyed his Frank Sinatra-type music. I would like to see him play a few newer songs like 70's or later....just a few. Don't want to ruin his routine. I forgot to mention their enrichment series. My husband went to an estate planning seminar (3 part series). He found it very helpful & informative. Now for the best part...excursions. We did not book any excursions through the ship. We find we get better service & have a whole car to ourselves for the same price. I'll try to give as much info about who we used at each port. Our first stop was Bar Harbor, Maine. It was beautiful. What a quaint town. We took a tour of Acadia National Park. It is fantastic in October. Lots of color. You can book a tour online with Ollie's Trollies. It is located right at the port so no need for a cab. After the tour of Acadia National Park we walked around a bit & stopped for lunch at THE THIRSTY WHALE. YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER LOBSTER ROLL ANYWHERE. We tried several others in different places & none were as good as the Thirsty Whale. They use a buttery toasted bun...yummy! Our next stop was Prince Edward Island. Our tour guide was Wonda. He is originally from Ethiopia but has lived on Prince Edward Island for many years. He gives a great tour. It's $50/per hour & we spent about 3-4 hours touring around the island. His number is 902/367-1516. P.E.I is probably the cleanest place you will ever visit. They only started allowing aluminum cans six months ago. They didn't want to dirty up their beautiful piece of paradise. We saw the Anne of Green Gables house, beautiful beaches, old churches, and beautiful scenery. Next we went to Quebec City for two days. It was like we stepped off the boat and into France. 95% of the population speaks french. We just picked up a cab right off the ship(TaxiCoop- Clark was great). He took us to Montmorency Falls (twice as tall as Niagara Falls-not as wide). Then we went to Il de Orleans (island across the river). Beautiful place. You can only own a home there if you are a direct descendant from the original islanders. Next we walked around Old Quebec City and had lunch at Aux Anciens Canadian. It's the oldest house in Quebec City. It's very good & authentic food for Quebec City. The second day we did a walking tour of Old Quebec City with Mike(www.toursvoirquebec.com). We learned a lot about the history of this great city. You must walk around the Chateau Fontenac. It is gorgeous. We had lunch at the Golden Pig...really good! Our next stop was Syndey, Nova Scotia. Another Beautiful city. We took a taxi tour to the Alexander Graham Bell museum. We learned a lot. His summer home is still there in Baddeck. His grandchildren live there. We had lobster at Joe's Warehouse. It was yummy! Our next stop was Halifax, NS. Our first rainy day. Eric Calnen is a fantastic guide (eric.calnen@ns.sympatico.ca). He took us to see Peggy's Cove (most photographed lighthouse in the world). We toured the Maritime Museum which has much information about the Titanic since it sank 700miles from Halifax. There is a cemetery there with many of the bodies from the Titanic. All of the headstones are lined in such a way that it forms the front of a ship & is facing the direction the Titanic was facing when it sunk. Pretty moving and sad site. Our last stop was St.Johns, New Brunswik. It was raining. Good thing we did the reverse falls on the Bay of Fundy because we were already wet. THIS IS A MUST. The water changes current during the day. The water from the ocean is always fighting the water from the bay. We were there at high-tide when the water flows backwards. It causes little rapids all over the places. You jump into a speed boat & go right into the rapids and get SOAKED!!! The drivers are hilarious & really get into soaking you. It is a lot of fun & there isn't much else to do in St. Johns. Highly recommend doing this tour. On our way back to the ship we stopped and bought two rock pencil holders from Gary Kingsley. He takes photos of you with the rocks to put in an album. He makes the coolest things out of rocks collected from the beaches & surrounding areas of St. Johns. I highly recommend these for a souvenir. He is very reasonable & a really nice guy. Well that's it. It was a fantastic journey. Coming from Texas we were happy to get to the cooler weather. We loved the Celebrity Constellation & would definitely cruise on it again. Hope this is helpful. Cynthia S Austin, TX Read Less
Sail Date: September 2008
This was our sixth cruise with Celebrity, and we'd been on Constellation once before to the Baltic. It is starting to show her age, but is generally in good shape, and upkeep is continually being done, as they were varnishing the ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise with Celebrity, and we'd been on Constellation once before to the Baltic. It is starting to show her age, but is generally in good shape, and upkeep is continually being done, as they were varnishing the balcony railings on this trip. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. We flew into the Newark airport the day ahead as a precaution (we missed the ship once and don't want that to happen again.) The embarkation process was one of the poorest we've experienced. As we found out later, the ship arrived late from its transatlantic crossing. However, if they had informed us of what was going on, there would have been far fewer grumblings. Also, since this was the first of three sailings out of Bayonne, New Jersey, I believe many of those checking us in were inexperienced. We were aboard by 2:00, went to our cabin, and then to lunch, and the usual life boat drill. You just have to get it over with! We were at the main seating for dinner at a table for six and had, by far, our poorest waiter, ever. His name is Roberto. He had no personality, was slow, unhelpful, and sometimes downright rude, despite the fact that he only had 3 tables of six, and several nights one table was empty. Perhaps they were escaping the lousy service? We did the alternative casual dining one evening, but found that to be quite slow, too. The assistant waiter, Edwin, was far superior. Our stateroom attendant and assistant, Manuel and Heru, were excellent and very accommodating and friendly. Ports of Call At Canadian ports remember to take both your sea pass and some form of photo ID. You will need it to get through the Canadian control point before getting back into the pier area. A driver's license will work just fine. We usually do a mixture of ship sponsored excursions and our own. Portland, Maine - There is a hop on hop off bus right at dockside that for $5 will take you around the old part of the city. We rode around to get a feel for the area and then got off part way through and walked around. There are many small shops and eating places. There is an L.L.Bean outlet, and I saw many people coming back to the ship with shopping bags from there. Lobster rolls are also a popular thing, and we priced them - too expensive, we felt, at up to $18. We heard from others later that the ones they had were actually more of a lobster salad made with lots of mayo. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - We did the countryside tour here and had one of the best guides ever. The tour itself was nothing so great, but we prefer to see things out of the city area, so it suited us. We drove to see the long bridge connecting the island to the mainland and had a couple of other stops. One stop was mainly for shopping and to use the restrooms. It was an appropriate stop. There was much talk of the impending hurricane. Many boats were being taken out of the water and taken to protected areas. There is a large building right at the pier that has several stalls of people selling mostly local items. It looks like they plan to have more little shops, as there is a lot of empty space. It was here that the ship had another problem where people would have been happier with an explanation. As the tide was going out, the gangway they were using needed to be moved. For some reason, they had a great deal of trouble getting the new gangway in place. In fact, it took them about an hour. As bus tours were coming back, the line to get aboard keep growing and growing. There was no one that came to tell us what was going on, and there were lots of unhappy people. We next had a day at sea and during that time our path crossed around and ahead of the hurricane, so we only experienced a rainy sea day. Quebec City - Was probably the highlight of the trip. We were here overnight and to the next afternoon, so had plenty of time to explore. The first morning we took a tour to Montmorency Falls and Manor, the Sugar Shack, and a driving tour out of town a bit to see the beautiful colors of the trees. Very near the pier is a quaint shopping area with lots of tourists. There are frequent benches and a small park area where you could just sit and watch the action. Here is also where you will find the funicular - a type of outside elevator where, for $2, you can ride up the steep hill to the rest of the Old Town. Of course, you could also walk up the approximately 375 steps! We walked through the Hotel Frontenac, a beautiful old hotel. From this area there are lots of things that you can walk to and then either walk down the steps or take the funicular back down. On the second day, I just stayed on board while my husband took a long city bus trip to the Harley Davidson shop to the far west of the city. French is the main language spoken, but he found everyone to be very helpful. For about $5 he was able to make the round trip versus a taxi ride estimated to cost about $50 roundtrip. He transferred at the public library, so made that a stop and went in to use the free internet access. (It's very pricey on board the ship.) Halifax, Nova Scotia - This day started off with the expectation of docking about 10 a.m. However, between the small dock space we were allocated and the strong wind, the captain was advised to anchor and use the tenders, instead. This delayed disembarking here, so we decided to go to the cinema and watch the movie to pass the time until things calmed down. By the time the movie was over, most people had gone ashore that wanted to, but the wind had increased and the skies looked very threatening. My husband, the adventurer, went ashore. I stayed warm and dry aboard. Onshore he found a FRED bus (Free Ride Everyday Downtown) and was able to explore the city - and stay dry. He also went to the Maritime Museum and learned more about the huge explosion that rocked the city and about the Titanic. Bar Harbor, Maine - is a very picturesque little town. This is a tender port, but it goes smoothly. There are tours offered just as you get off the tender, but if you walk up the hill a few blocks to the city green you can catch one of several free buses that take different routes, mostly through parts of Acadia National Park. We took the one that went to Sand Beach and Thunder Hole - a beautiful route. It is another hop on and off bus. We made several stops to pick up people that had gone part way and were continuing on their way. You will end up back at the city green and can choose another trip, if you wish. I finally had a lobster roll here. We went into a small shop, and I asked what they put in their roll. They said just lobster, mayo, and lettuce, so I asked for one with a small amount of mayo. It was $12 here. It came with chips, so we shared this as a snack. Our disembarkation back at Port Liberty, Bayonne, went smoothly, but what an ugly port! We had heard that this cruise out of New York City or Boston is nicer. Entertainment There were 3 shows put on by the Celebrity Singers and Dancers, and all were well done. We had seen them on a cruise earlier this year, but that didn't matter to us. We enjoyed a comedian, Fred Klett, and a guitarist, Mario D'Andrea - both excellent and very entertaining. Peter Grant appeared nightly in Michael's Club and did an hour long afternoon show one day. You can read more about Peter Grant on other sites. We didn't learn about him until the cruise was half over, but he fills Michael's Club every time, and it is hard to even get into the place. We managed to catch two performances the last evening. Try to put him on your schedule right away. Another entertainer was a comedian/magician, Carl Andrews, who was only mediocre, a singer; Donald Cant the "Australian Phantom of the Opera", who we had heard before, and we passed on going to the concert pianist. We heard from some who enjoy that type of music that he was very good, just not to our tastes. There are several choices of pre and post dinner musical entertainment all around the ship. Try to sample several. The library on Constellation is very poor - from the lighting to the book selection. Each morning you can pick up the crossword puzzle and Sudoku here. Make sure that you read the daily schedule of events so you don't miss anything. (I always take along a highlighter to mark the things I'm interested in.) There was no midnight grand buffet, but that is fine as so much food seemed to go to waste. It seems like it was replaced, somewhat, by a brunch. It was on a Sunday from about 10 - 2, and had some of the same type of ice sculptures and decorative foods. There was also a high tea offered. The only drawback with that is the timing. It's in the late afternoon, so if you eat at the main seating for dinner, the times are close together. The meals in the main dining room seem to be of poorer quality and choice. The portions are smaller, and that's fine, especially since you can ask for more than one of any course. The 'traditional' lobster night offers only a half of a lobster tail with one scallop and one shrimp. My husband and a table mate each ordered two of those entrees. The desserts look nice, but don't have much taste. In the buffet on deck 10 there are lots of choices, so make sure you check things out. There's the usual meal line, pastas, salad bar, Asian, sandwich, and burger lines, as well as the offerings in the spa area. I got a pedicure and was satisfied. The spa services are expensive. One of the more annoying things was the Park West art auction promotions. Every night there was literature about some upcoming sale. It also seemed that Celebrity was pushing the sales of more things than on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
CONSTELLATION 10 OCT 07 We decided to book a 'special' cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, so the Constellation came to mind as we had sailed with her in 2006 through the Baltic ports. Our agent said that ... Read More
CONSTELLATION 10 OCT 07 We decided to book a 'special' cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, so the Constellation came to mind as we had sailed with her in 2006 through the Baltic ports. Our agent said that Celebrity usually provide little extras for such an occasion but that they needed a copy of our Marriage Certificate for authentication. We booked and sent the certificate. The Itinerary was very interesting: - New York; Newport; Portland; Bar Harbour; Halifax; Quebec; Saguenay River; Charlottetown; Boston; New York. Celebrity arranged the flight with Continental, the pre-cruise night at the Sheraton Newark Airport and the dayroom at Daintree, post cruise. Our flight from Manchester UK to Newark with Continental was good but the Sheraton was a let-down as the room seemed tired, with a smoke detector hanging by it's wires from the wall and a bathroom door that didn't close. The public areas were being refurbished and this reduced the facilities. Nowhere near worthy of 5 star cruise clients. Embarkation was a superbly smooth operation and we were soon in the comfort of our Concierge stateroom, which was excellently presented and had a good balcony. As we sailed out of Liberty Cruise Port the rain was lashing down but we in luxury and 'cared not a jot'. The rain had cleared by our arrival in Newport and the beautiful little town was excellent. Portland didn't seem to have a lot to offer but then, it was raining hard and very windy. As we progressed the weather improved and became colder but the sun came out. Rather than bore you we summarize by saying--- We had a great, memorable time in the rest of the ports of call. The Quebec and Boston being the most enjoyable ones. Throughout the cruise we found all the staff highly competent and friendly. Our Stateroom (8112) attendant Andrew, from Goa, was perfect in the way he did his job with efficiency and reserve. Our Waiter on table 433, Marius from Rumania was exceptionally proficient, accommodating and very friendly without being over familiar. Apart from the Ocean Liners restaurant, which is definitely five-star in the ambience, presentation, food, and service, we found the food in the other catering areas lacking in flavor and variation. During Breakfast and Lunchtimes the casual Dining on deck ten aft always seemed to be a tense scramble for the food and tables. The entertainment was poor in relation to other cruises we have been on before (15) and even on the same ship on the Baltic. The shows and dancers were very professional and the costumes and scenery, including lighting, inventive, but we only had these on 2 nights, the orchestra was very talented and versatile. The other acts we below par and the type that normally appear between acts. The entertainers in the Bars and Lounges were unimpressive. Perry in Michael's Club is fascinating with his 'over-the-top' repartee and songs but is maybe worthy of a larger venue because his popularity which makes getting a seat virtually impossible. The Bar At The End Of the Earth (level 11) was about 2-star standard and shabby. The Photographers were far too intrusive and pushy, which was reminiscent of Timeshare Salesmen. In the Computer Class on level six was a very tranquil, knowledgeable Tutor, Isabelle from the Philippines who was charming and modest. On our Wedding Anniversary day Celebrity delivered an inexpensive bottle of Asti Spumanti sparkling wine to our cabin, which was surprising and underwhelming, particularly with their early request for our marriage proof! We did enjoy our special day very much however in Charlottetown for several hours and a meal in Ocean Liners contributed to the occasion. At disembarkation there was again an efficient, smooth dockside operation but unfortunately one of our cases was dropped overboard into the drink along with another four. The Daintree Newark Airport Hotel was much better than the Sheraton and our flight home from Newark was as good as an overnight 6 hour flight could be. Lesson learned Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
We arrived at Newark a day early and spent the night at the Marriott, great hotel. Next day, we took a shuttle ($14 p.p.)to Port Liberty for embarkation. From the airport to cabin was 45 minutes! We had cabin 6144 and loved it. Huge ... Read More
We arrived at Newark a day early and spent the night at the Marriott, great hotel. Next day, we took a shuttle ($14 p.p.)to Port Liberty for embarkation. From the airport to cabin was 45 minutes! We had cabin 6144 and loved it. Huge balcony and a wonderful guy named Seby watching over us the entire trip. He brought us sandwiches and cheese platters every day at 430pm and kept the room spotless. The Connie looked exactly as she did in January, clean and well maintained. The staff everywhere bent over backwards to make us feel welcome, so the trip started out well. We passed the Statue of Liberty on the way out but did not get too close. We ate at a table for 8, all very friendly people about the same age group. The food on the cruise was WONDERFUL, a huge improvement from January. We were told the executive chef from the Infinity was now on board. Our waiter, Savas, was a real pro. Nothing got by him and he watched over us like a mother hen. Often, he brought extra vegetables and desserts. We were invited to the Captain Papanikilauo's table the 2nd night of the cruise. He is amazing, funny and warm and just so friendly. We had a great time and he invited all of us up to the bridge for a tour. We also met Jennifer Prince, the Captain's Club Hostess. She, too, was extremely friendly and warm. We stopped by to say hello often during the cruise. Our ports of call were as follows: Newport, did the mansion tours, easy to navigate on the shuttles, beautiful town. Portland, rained all day but had a great time at the Museum of Art and lobsta at J"s on the pier. Bar Harbour, great little town to walk and shop, took the tour to Acadia on Olies Trolleys. Halifax, docked close to town, walked to Maritime Museum (great)and they have a free shuttle named FRED, lots of shops. Quebec City, incredible, must see town! We were there two days, there is so much to see, the Fortenay Hotel and Old Town. WOW! Then on to the Saguenay River, where we saw beluga, fin and mieke whales and a fabulous viewing of the statue of Mary, accompanied by Ave Maria by three singing artists. The Captain made sure everybody saw her by turning the ship in a full circle! Then on to Charlottetown, P.E.I., where many people went on the Anne of Green Gables Tour. We have friends there so we took a private tour with them, it is a really beautiful place. Last stop was Boston, on game 7 day of the playoffs! We took the subway from south station and walked the Freedom Trail then shopped on Newbury Street in Beacon Hill. Finally home (sob) but had a fabulous time. Only bad thing was the virus that reared its' ugly head after Bar Harbour and promptly spread. The crew washed down everything for the last 5 days of the cruise. Overall, this was the best Celebrity cruise we have taken. I am an elite member, so I have taken a few...not to mention many other cruise lines. Celebrity continues to shine in so many areas, we are going back soon on Azamara on a Med. itinerary. I would be happy to share the answers I know to any questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2007
This is a review adjusted after reconsideration a few months later CONSTELLATION 10 OCT 07 We decided to book a 'special' cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, so the Constellation came to mind as we had sailed with ... Read More
This is a review adjusted after reconsideration a few months later CONSTELLATION 10 OCT 07 We decided to book a 'special' cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, so the Constellation came to mind as we had sailed with her in 2006 through the Baltic ports. Our agent, Cruiseline, said that Celebrity usually provide little extras for such an occasion but that they needed a copy of our Marriage Certificate for authentication. We booked and sent the certificate. The Itinerary was very interesting: - New York; Newport; Portland; Bar Harbour; Halifax; Quebec; Saguenay River; Charlottetown; Boston; New York. Celebrity arranged the flight with Continental, the pre-cruise night at the Sheraton Newark Airport and the dayroom at Daintree, post cruise. Our flight from Manchester UK to Newark with Continental was good but the Sheraton was a let-down as the room seemed tired, with a smoke detector hanging by it's wires from the wall and a bathroom door that didn't close. The public areas were being refurbished and this reduced the facilities. Nowhere near suitable for 5 star cruise clients. Embarkation was a superbly smooth operation and we were soon in the comfort of our Concierge stateroom, which was excellently presented and had a good balcony. As we sailed out of Liberty Cruise Port the rain was lashing down but we in luxury and 'cared not a jot'. The rain had cleared by our arrival in Newport and the beautiful little town was excellent. Portland didn't seem to have a lot to offer but then, it was raining hard and very windy. As we progressed the weather improved and became colder but the sun came out. Rather than bore you I summarize by saying--- We had a great, memorable time in the rest of the ports of call. Quebec and Boston and Newport being the most enjoyable. Throughout the cruise we found all the staff highly competent and friendly. Our Stateroom (8112) attendant Andrew, from Goa, was perfect in the way he did his job with efficiency and reserve. Our Waiter on table 433, Marius from Rumania was exceptionally proficient, accommodating and very friendly without being over familiar. Apart from the Ocean Liners restaurant, which is definitely five-star in the ambience, presentation, food, and service, we found the food in the other catering areas lacking in flavor and variation. During Breakfast and Lunchtimes the casual Dining on deck ten aft always seemed to be a tense scramble for the food and tables. The entertainment was poor in relation to other cruises we have been on before (15) and even on the same ship on the Baltic. The shows and dancers were very professional and the costumes and scenery, including lighting, inventive, but we only had these on 2 nights, the orchestra was very talented and versatile. The other acts we below par and the type that normally appear between acts. The entertainers in the Bars and Lounges were unimpressive. Perry in Michael's Club is fascinating with his 'over-the-top' repartee and songs but is maybe worthy of a larger venue because his popularity which makes getting a seat virtually impossible. The Bar At The End Of the Earth (level 11) was about 2-star standard and shabby. Midway through the cruise the brilliant chrome surfaces throughout the ship were wiped over with what appeared to be dirty cloths, which left a dried globular effect. The general glitzy 'five star' rating was destroyed. Surly there is a more aesthetic solution! The self-service food began to be served by the staff in all restaurants and they started pushing the hand sterilization wipes onto us. The Library was locked. We gathered (were not informed) that there was a virus aboard, hence the mess. This made is aware of the ship's general ambience and we realized that a major proportion of passengers seemed to be old, using walking sticks, zimmer frames or wheelchairs. The cruise had the feel of a Care Home. I have lots of sympathy for people in that situation but it's not exactly conducive to the image expected on a luxury five-star cruise. The Photographers were far too intrusive and pushy, which was reminiscent of Timeshare Sales tactics. The addition of 15% service charge and Tax on everything, except breathing, seemed a way of Celebrity extracting more money out of passengers who had already paid and couldn't argue. Rip off. In the Computer Class on level six was a very tranquil, knowledgeable Tutor, Isabelle from the Philippines who was charming and modest. The internet charges are appalling. On our Wedding Anniversary day Celebrity delivered an inexpensive bottle of Asti Spumanti sparkling wine, donated to our cabin, which was surprising and underwhelming, particularly with their early request for proof of our marriage! We did enjoy our special day very much however in Charlottetown for several hours and a meal in Ocean Liners contributed to the occasion. At disembarkation there was again an efficient, smooth dockside operation but unfortunately one of our cases was one of four that they managed to tip overboard into the drink. The Daintree Newark Airport Hotel was much better than the Sheraton but still shabby and our flight home from Newark was as good as an overnight 6 hour flight could be. Lesson learned 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
Sail Date: September 2006
EMBARKATION: Went so smoothly, we had completed express pass on-line, but didn't even need it. We arrived at the Pier at Bayonne, NJ at approximately 2:00 and by 2:10 we were through the short line of CC passengers and on the ship. We ... Read More
EMBARKATION: Went so smoothly, we had completed express pass on-line, but didn't even need it. We arrived at the Pier at Bayonne, NJ at approximately 2:00 and by 2:10 we were through the short line of CC passengers and on the ship. We had given our carry on luggage as well as our suitcases to the dockside porter so we didn't have to worry with any luggage once on board, went directly to Deck 10 for welcome buffet. Plenty of seats available and waiters to help carry your tray to a table. We didn't explore the ship, as we wanted to see our cabin and find our emergency station. ITINERARY: Celebrity seems to make a lot of changes to itinerary. I booked this cruise a year in advance, and in that time, they made three changes to the itinerary. When we boarded, there was yet another change to the itinerary, giving us all port days going Northbound, and three sea days coming back Southbound. It also made us arrive in Halifax a day later, and Quebec a day later, incurring rain at each port. Rather than sunshine if we had arrived the day earlier that we were originally scheduled. THE CABIN: Was so nice. I knew when I booked CC 6143 that it would be a little larger and have a huge balcony, and we were not disappointed. The cabin was at least double the regular balconies. There were two canvas covers. We could sit under the cover right by the door (approximately 4 ft), and still had another cover of about 6 ft. to the edge of the balcony. We were fully covered from the rain and the sun. It was quite cold on the balcony, the TV in the room said the temp was pretty consistently running a high of 55 and a low of 44, but with the rain and the wind, it seemed a lot colder. Only had breakfast on the balcony the first morning, it was just too cold out there to do it more. The cabin had at least an extra two feet over regular balcony cabins. We had two huge suitcases, two regular suitcases and three carry-ons, and had plenty of storage space. This is the first cruise I have been able to totally unpack the suitcases and have plenty of space to store everything. There were approximately 8 drawers in the closet that my friend used, then the desk had 4 huge shelves that I used. We each also had a two drawer nightstand. The suitcases didn't even have to go under the bed, they were stored at each end of the cabin (out of the walkway). We had fresh flowers everyday in a bud vase in the bathroom, and a row of 8 bud vases attached together in the main cabin. The bathrobes were thick and plush and we utilized them as we didn't pack our own. The only thing we didn't try was the various pillows. The ones we had on the bed were so good, we didn't feel the need to try any others. The bathroom and shower were larger than standard also. I could actually turn around in the shower. The whole layout of the cabin was well thought out and seemed even roomier than it was. Standard balcony cabin has 170 sq ft, CC balcony cabin has 191 sq ft, but it seemed much larger. DINING ROOM: The San Marco dining room was well decorated and we were lucky enough to have a table for 8 right by the aft windows. We had early seating, so usually had a beautiful view of the sunset as we sat down for dinner. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent. They saw to our every need. If (as on one occasion) I didn't care for my selection, he noticed that immediately and asked me if I would like something else. They promptly cleared away used plates and silverware and the beverages (whether it was water, iced tea or coffee) were replenished as soon as the glass was half empty. The Sommelier was promptly at our table after the first night when one of our dining companions ordered a bottle of wine, he was there promptly every night thereafter to see to our beverage needs. The only complaint we have on the food, was that it was a little too gourmet for us. We didn't really care for all the sauces and fancy food. They even made a mousse of the carrots, instead of just serving carrots. We only had lobster one night, which was a disappointment to my friend. She had been looking forward to more than one night, as we were in New England and thought lobster would be more readily available. We did not eat at the Specialty restaurant (Oceanliners) but did look in, and it was beautifully decorated as an "Old" Oceanliner would have been. We ate at the Poolside Grill for hamburgers twice, and they were fresh and very good. Not a thin pre-cooked burger, but a nice fat juicy patty, with mushrooms (if you wanted) and all the normal condiments. But it is outdoors, so it was cold out there too. We did receive canapes in our cabin at 5:00 each day, but didn't care for them so asked for cheese and crackers instead. We also had fresh fruit bowl in the cabin daily. We found we didn't like eating them before dinner, so asked the cabin attendant to leave them in the cabin, and we usually ate them as a before bedtime snack. ENTERTAINMENT: The on-board entertainment was fantastic. We went to the shows if we were not in port with a planned activity. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were top notch. Couldn't tell they were not Broadway STARS. Their voices and presentation couldn't have been better. We had wanted to see a Broadway show and were disappointed that didn't work out, but once on-board and saw their first show (Broadway Medley), that took away the disappointment. Then we saw them twice more. They had a juggler, a keyboard musician, a pianist, and a West End Singer (from Britain) named Lindsay Hamilton. She was outstanding. She had starred in Evita and Les Miserables! so she sang hits from them as well as other songs. I had never heard of her, but others on-board had heard of her. I was so impressed, I bought her CD. Only one small complaint in this department, the movies in the Cinema were usually scheduled at the same time as the live shows, so you couldn't do both. Would also like to see more variety of movies in The Cinema. SHOPPING: Was excellent, both variety and pricewise. They were always having sales of 25%, 40% or 50% off. We made plenty of unplanned purchases on-board. Since being home, I have checked out the prices here for like items and while not quite the savings of 50%, we did save about 20% off of like item here. EXCURSIONS: This would be the only real disaster of the whole cruise. Boston and Portland went smoothly, with someone on the pier holding up signs for each tour. As you disembarked the ship, you looked for your tour and went to that person, then onto the coach. But there were no free shuttles from the cruise pier to downtown. Overall I thought it was well organized and all would be well. Unfortunately, not to be. We arrived in Bar Harbor (and because it was a tender port) chaos reigned. Everyone that had a tour planned was told to go to the Celebrity theater for tender tickets for disembarkation. The line wrapped continuously around and around. Nobody could find the end of the line, and there was only two people passing out tender numbers. Folks that had an early tour booked had to wait in the same line as those with later tours. They finally did announce if your tour time was approaching, to come to the front of the line, making some folks that had been waiting for a long time, frustrated. Tempers flared a little, and there were lots of comments on the lack of organization. Celebrity knew this was a tender port, and should have had a better handle on the disembarkation. Maybe only having the early tours report to the Celebrity theater at an earlier hour, then the later tours at a different hour. The tours themselves were great, and well worth the money Celebrity charged for the tour. I had thought when we reached Halifax and it was rainy, that the tour would be cancelled, but it wasn't. We went to Peggy's Cove to see the lighthouse, but with the wind and the rain, it was too dangerous to walk around on the rocks, so settled for lunch in the Sou'Wester restaurant (the only restaurant) which was packed, not only with our cruisers, but cruisers from another ship too. We felt for the fee charged, we didn't get the full effect of the tour. IN Saint John, I rented a car and we drove on our own. It was much nicer than being on a tour coach. We went where we wanted to go and did what we wanted to do. Finally Quebec! We arrived in the rain, and it continued to rain all day. We had signed up for a walking tour, and again thought sure it would be cancelled. No No! We started walking in the cold, wind, wet streets. The guide knew she had 22 in her group. The guide tried to take us where there was a little shelter to do her talking, but we gave up and separated from the tour (telling the guide we were doing so). We found a pharmacy and purchased some cold pills, as we were both feeling a little sore throat. Made our way to the funicular, and our tour was just arriving, so we rejoined the group, again telling the guide we were back. Made our way up the funicular to Upper Quebec for the carriage ride. Once again, the guide had us standing in the cold, wind and rain saying our carriages wouldn't be here for another half hour. Again, we told her we were going into a restaurant out of the rain to have a cup of hot tea. She said okay to meet her on the sidewalk by the statue at 12:00 for the carriage ride. We left the restaurant at 10 to 12 and stood on the sidewalk looking for her or the group. Nobody was around. A carriage driver came over and asked if we would like a carriage ride. We told him we had pre-paid for one, and was looking for our guide. He went to his boss, she came over and asked if she could help. She took out her cell phone and called someone, and finally found our guide. She came over and asked where we had been. She knew the numbers weren't quite right when she loaded the carriages 15 minutes early, but sent them anyway. She made a phone call and it was decided to let us take our carriage ride, even though everyone else was on their way back. We told her to go with the group, back to the ship. We would make our own way back to the ship. We had a delightful ride in the carriage with a really nice driver that spoke excellent English. The carriage was covered so we weren't getting wet, but it sure was cold even with two big blankets over us. When we arrived back at the square, his boss, France, was sooooo nice. She didn't think the other guide should have left us, so she offered to drive us back to the ship, even though it wasn't her tour. So we loaded into her vehicle, and on the way back she showed us many more interesting sights of Quebec. I asked about St. Anne's Basilica, and nothing to do, she said she would take us there. We absolutely had to see it. We weren't scheduled to go there on our tour, but ended up seeing it, and Mortmency Falls (SP?) and lots of fall foliage also. She was so friendly and such a good ambassador for Quebec, she made our stop there so much more enjoyable than it would have been. We would have left with a sour feeling had she not stepped in. Then she took us back to the ship and didn't want to take anything, even for her fuel. We did leave a $20 bill on the seat when we departed her vehicle. After all, if we had to pay for a tour to those places, it would have cost a lot more. We felt she had befriended us, and wanted us to really enjoy her city. But we wanted to show her how much we appreciated her generosity. Then we had booked a tour to the Sugar Shack for dinner and a show. It was an enjoyable venture, even in the rain. At least it was in a building. It was interesting to see how the Maple syrup water is collected from the trees, and processed, into syrup, butter and taffy. The show was local folk type music. They had folks from the tour join in and play the spoons, and there was a small square dance also. The food was outstanding. Typical lumberjack meal is what they called it. Back to the ship for departure. DISEMBARKATION: Went almost as smoothly as embarkation. We had been given a form to complete with our flight time, so once back in Bayonne, we had been given a letter telling us where to go to wait until our embarkation time. We had been assigned the theater, so went there at 9:00 for continental breakfast and to await our time of 11:00. Rather than like on other cruises, just waiting around in the lobby or open areas anywhere you could find. Once our time was called, it took may ten minutes to find our luggage and get to the pick-up area. Unfortunately I had pre-arranged a pickup for 12:00 so had to wait the 45 minutes for him to arrive. Then off too the airport for our flight home. OVERALL: The cruise was absolutely fantastic. While we did enjoy the cruise immensely, we did feel there was room for improvement, especially in the organization of shore excursions. Would we ever book Celebrity again? Probably not. For the difference in cost to NCL, we didn't see that big a difference in the product. I selected this particular cruise because it went to Quebec, whereas NCL didn't. Then to have the schedule changed so we arrived in the pouring rain, really put a damper on the Quebec excursions, thereby affecting my whole outlook at the cruise. And three days at sea, was just too much idle time for me. I was climbing the walls on Wednesday really ready to disembark on Thursday. The last four days really discolored the whole cruise for me. Wish Celebrity had left the schedule as it was, with a sea day between the ports rather than all three sea days at the end of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
Review of the Celebrity Constellation, transatlantic eastbound, 04/28/06 This review is based upon my observations onboard the Celebrity Constellation on her transatlantic voyage leaving Bayonne, NJ on 04/28/06. My husband and I have ... Read More
Review of the Celebrity Constellation, transatlantic eastbound, 04/28/06 This review is based upon my observations onboard the Celebrity Constellation on her transatlantic voyage leaving Bayonne, NJ on 04/28/06. My husband and I have cruised the Caribbean before, however this is our first transatlantic cruise Embarkation- Pros- The online check in really helped reduce the check in time. With all that you are trying to keep track of, you simply show your I.D. and a method of payment for incidentals and you are moved to the queue for transport to the ship. Check in is at a separate facility, once complete you are then bused from this facility to the ship. If you are with someone who has difficulty walking, you may want to have a portable chair close as they will tire. Cons- Given the reviews I had read, I anticipated a quicker embarkation that we actually received. There is a flat rate of 35.00 from the Newark airport to the cruise pier.. Once at the pier, we gave our bags to the porters, and walked inside the building. You will have to stop celebrity personnel and request a wheelchair. We were onboard within 60 minutes after having our hand luggage passed through security and a metal detector. Once onboard we received a glass of champagne or orange juice. Our room was not ready for another 2.5 hours and we were invited to enjoy the buffet on 10 deck aft during this time. Accommodations- Pros- We had purchased a category Z guarantee. We ended up with an oceanview room at the front of the ship Rm. 6007. The room was well thought out with plenty of mirrors to give the illusion of additional space and every square inch of usable space was available for storage. The room had excellent lighting. This is important to me in that often there is not good light for reading or other tasks. That was not the case with this cabin. There was a large (48 X 48)-porthole window in the cabin. The bathroom was great, with a shower that didnt leak and strong pressurized hot water on demand at all times of the day or night. There was plenty of storage for toiletries. The cabin was kept very clean and orderly by the cabin attendants, however they were not obtrusive. The Constellation is a large ship. There were 1900 people on board, yet we never felt crowded or waited in line. That was a pleasant surprise as we wondered if with so many people, we would feel like cattle being herded. Cons- The only problem was that the in-room computer locked safe did not work consistently. Often we would have to re-program the system 5 or 6 times before the safe would lock. Service- Pros- The service was relaxed but very good. The cabin attendant Servio is great. He anticipated our needs, gave good counsel and took care of minor details. If you have him as a cabin steward, you are lucky. Service in the public areas and food areas was good, Tables were cleared quickly and if it appeared that you needed assistance with your tray, there was someone to help. Cons There were two onboard gratuity forms left in our room at different times. One form listed 10.50 per day and one 14.00 per day. We dont know if there was an increase during our trip. Common Areas The common areas were kept very clean. The ship has a modern, rather minimalist dEcor and I do not remember a common area that was less than spotless at anytime during the day or night. Food- Pros After reading the reviews in CC, I had downgraded my expectations on the cuisine. I expected standard cruise fare in the main dining area and the food met that level of expectation. Our waiters, Lazaro, his assistant Koerng were excellent. We did not go to the Ocean liners restaurant and cannot comment on the service or food. The courses were served ably and confidently and we were pleased with the service offered. We brought wine for dinner and were charged a 15.00 corkage fee each time we opened a bottle. Our tablemates were great company and we spent many evenings laughing over the days events. The best coffee on the ship is found in the Cova Cafe on deck 5. It has great pastries in the morning (directly across the deck and at no charge). The Cova Cafe and turns into a wine bar in the afternoon. It is also where the string quartet plays in the early evening. Cons None Entertainment. There was a regularly scheduled string quartet on the 5th floor each evening that received a lot of attention. They did an excellent job We did not go to any of the evening shows. We did go to the masquerade party for a short time. Everyone appeared to be having a good time. General comments 1. If this is your first transatlantic crossing be prepared for rough water. We had cruised in the Caribbean in the past, but were unprepared for the roughness of the Atlantic. At one point, the pools and elevators were closed down due to the pitching of the ship. There were 40-50 foot swells. Anyone who is taking a transatlantic for the first time should give thought to the air/water temperature and the time of year they sail. Many of the cruisers who had done transatlantic trips before didnt seem surprised at the roughness of the seas. 2. Consider bringing your own beverages. Celebrity charges 2.50 ea. for soft drinks (there is a daily plan offered at $5.00 per day; however it must be purchased for the duration of the trip). Additionally, you are charged for bottled water. While the wine list is acceptable, if you are looking for a specific wine experience, it may be more cost effective to bring your choices with you and simply pay the corkage fee. You can check the Celebrity wine list online. We brought wine, water and soft drinks in checked baggage. We asked that the mini-bar be emptied so we had space in the refrigerator and again, it was done immediately. Even though the Celebrity brochure says that alcohol brought onboard will be confiscated, no one questioned us or seemed upset in any way. We feel this was the best choice for us. 3. There were few children on the ship. Out of a complement of more than 1900 people there were fewer than 20 children onboard. 6. Consider your Internet and news information needs. If being connected is important to you, there is a 24-hour Internet cafe onboard, however, connection is .75 per minute. Our Sprint wireless card did not work onboard, but my T-Mobile cell phone received a signal when we reached the English Channel. I had read that taking a class would allow you free Internet time that was not the case in the class that I took. Celebrity indicates that all rooms have access to CNN, in actuality; we were out of range after 24 hours at sea and did not have CNN access again until Thursday. 7. Be aware of the time change. On the east bound voyages, you lose an hour each evening. This time change really sneaks up on you and you dont realize that you are awaking 4 or 5 hours earlier. In summary, this was a wonderful cruising experience. I would recommend that anyone considering this cruise understand that the Atlantic can be a very active body of water and that crossing the Atlantic passengers should expect seas that are active. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
The Constellation is the best ship I have ever sailed on (this was my 16th cruise and my 5th on Celebrity). I have also sailed on the Zenith, Galaxy and the Millennium. All were wonderful but the Constellation is magnificent. I mean it ... Read More
The Constellation is the best ship I have ever sailed on (this was my 16th cruise and my 5th on Celebrity). I have also sailed on the Zenith, Galaxy and the Millennium. All were wonderful but the Constellation is magnificent. I mean it when I say that I don't think you'll find a better ship anywhere. Quality, substance and beauty. Great layout- just fabulous. We took a 12 night out of Bayonne (New York). Embarkation: We drove to Bayonne from Baltimore (3 hours) and parked easily at the terminal. I traveled with my cruise mate, Marc (my 5 year old). He has been on eight cruises. Ships are our second home. There was no line at 3PM when we checked in. THE SHIP is understated and elegant. The thing I like about this ship ( the Millennium is same floorplan but different decor) is the use of subtle color that doesn't detract from the spectacular views of the sea. The ship is built with this in mind. I love the layout of the ship. It is open and airy and there are plenty of quiet places to read. From all the public areas, the Ocean takes center stage. I especially like the four glass elevators on the Starboard side of the ship. So nice. STATEROOM -- The cabin was identical to the one I had on the Millennium last year. But the colors were fresher and prettier. The room was done tastefully in hues of orange, green and gold. Very nice- not garish. The layout is very good. I appreciate the full mirrored wall, which makes it appear larger. The balcony is just the right size and covered. FOOD -- The Horizon Court buffet is the hub of the ship during the day. It is right next to the pool and it is so nice to take the elevator up to breakfast and be greeted by the warm staff. The food itself is very good and there is plenty to choose from. There is a pancake/ waffle station and a omelette station. I usually took a tray of food to the cabin each morning and ate on the balcony. Again, Celebrity has designed this space so that it never feels crowded and the flow of the buffet is perfect. Views of the sea all around you are just fantastic. There are even massive skylights so you can see up to the blue sky and on the floor there are plexiglass circles that allow you to dine with the sea under your feet. It is very well designed. Truly I can't think of anything I would change on the Constellation. FORMAL DINING -- I like the formal dining at night because it gives me a chance to meet people. I had great tablemates from California. The staff in the dining room was excellent, helpful and caring. The food was mostly great but I really don't care for any of the desserts on Celebrity (or most cruise lines- pretty but bland and flavorless). The room service food was excellent. KIDS PROGRAM -- The Fun Factory: Celebrity has this down to a science. My son loves the fun factory. He never wants to go with me. Every night except two he ate with the kids at dinner time. The youth programs run non-stop each day. They do require parents to pick up their children for lunch anytime between 12-2 because they don't provide lunch for the kids. The kids absolutely love the Fun factory and the staff is terrific. Lisa, one of the counselor's remembered Marc from the year before when she worked on the Millennium. In fact, many people on board had been on the Millennium and remembered us. That was so nice. The video arcade is small and I really wish that the cruise lines would limit the games to non-violent ones. What happened to PacMan and Tetris? I'd hang out there more if they had these types. THE GYM is at the front of the ship and it is well laid out. THE SPA is very good- but pricey like all the cruise lines. Ianita from South Africa was great. Get a reflexology massage- best one I have ever had. Ianita even gave my 5 year old a free (30 minute) massage! I had to be present. It was so cute. COOLEST SPOT on the ship was the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. It is at the front of the ship on the 11th floor and it is just amazing. Really cool with little tented "beds" that you can nap on while looking out at the sea. Stunning mosaic tilework. Interesting art and furniture. You'll love it! ENTERTAINMENT -- I am not a fan of the shows on any cruise. The Cirque De Soleil show was good but nothing out of this world. NIGHTLIFE -- I love to dance and there were two great dance hosts on board that I met up with every night after dinner. They offer dance lessons on sea days and they are really good. Single ladies- if you don't have a partner there are dance hosts on board who will be glad to teach you. The bartenders were great. Ivaelo and Carlo entertained me between dances. The Karaoke was hysterical- just awful! Drunk people think they can sing I guess. PORTS OF CALL -- Really who cares? Why leave the ship. It is a destination unto itself. You won't get treatment like this on land. But if you must...Charleston South Carolina was my favorite. Well worth exploring around. Everything is within easy walking distance. Take the horse drawn city tour. It is fun. I do love SAN JUAN. It is a city with heart and you can do some nice shopping. The fort and the Governor's palace are open to the public and are both good places to walk to. There is only a small park fee at the Fort and the Palace is free. ST. THOMAS's Meagan's Beach is great for kids because it is calm and warm and sheltered. Lovely, unspoiled views. Easy to get a taxi and a nice ride up and over the island. Nassau and Grand Bahama we didn't bother to get off the ship. Passengers said I didn't miss anything. St. Maarten- not my favorite place either. Honestly, I like the ship- so I am biased. I kind of like it when everyone gets off and we have the pool and hot tubs to ourselves. EXCURSIONS -- I like to go it alone. I hate having to be somewhere at a set time and take a number and then get herded onto buses. But that is just me. Some people love them- especially those that involve snorkeling and such. OVERALL RATING -- 5 STARS. This is without a doubt the best buy out there. I just love this ship. The Millennium is exactly the same but a little older and not as pretty- but still a great ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
This was our 14th Celebrity Cruise. I have elite status with Celebrity and booked CC cabin 7189 in January 2005. Right after I made my final payment Celebrity had a Happy Hour sale and was selling suites for this cruise for what I paid for ... Read More
This was our 14th Celebrity Cruise. I have elite status with Celebrity and booked CC cabin 7189 in January 2005. Right after I made my final payment Celebrity had a Happy Hour sale and was selling suites for this cruise for what I paid for a CC cabin. I wrote Celebrity on this and they wrote me back saying Happy Hour prices applied to new bookings only and offered me nothing. This is just a caution to those who might book this cruise early next year. I booked my air through Celebrity and flew on the day of the cruise with non-stop flights both way using my Complementary Custom Air-kudos' for this. Picked up bags in Newark, and searched for a Celebrity representative for over 30 minute before I found one. I was on a mini bus to the dock within two hours after arrival. Embarkation: My elite status, my CC cabin which is supposed to have Priority Check-in and Expresspass saved me no time as all were ignored and they put us all in a long check in line with a 45 minute wait with first timers. Also got no help on ship finding my cabin. Cabins: The cabin 7189 (cat. CC) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony offered privacy and had padded chairs. The shower was large with a hose and wand arrangement that I like. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. Enjoyed breakfast in room several times. I also enjoyed the better bathrobes and canapEs on several times. Suite upgrades were a Bingo prize given away during this cruise. Public Areas: The public areas are nice and never feel crowded. They had good shows on board and the comedians and dancers were great. The bars had a buy 5, pay for four Heineken beer special on the Open deck bars, which I got this all cruise long and put them in the cabin fridge. There was bottle opener in the bathroom. All beers foreign and domestic are at least $4.50 on this ship, which is higher than other cruise line. I missed some shows that were at 11 PM, due to being in second seating and being tired. There were plenty of activities to keep you busy all day including lectures and classes of all kinds. I went to and enjoyed several parties for elite members, but did not get invited to several events for elite members like the complimentary wine tasting. They had a Priest on board and daily mass- kudos' to Celebrity for this. Dining: I requested 2nd seating dining when I booked and I got some of the best tablemates at table 100, next to the Captain's table, that I ever had and a good waiter too. We ate all our evening meals here. All of us at this table had elite status and were in CC cabins. One of the so-called elite perks is an invite to the Captain's or Officers table, which did not happen. We ate breakfast and lunch in the main dining room most days. We did try the waffles with blue berries in the Lido for breakfast on several occasions. We had lunch in the Lido on Italian day and several other times when the main dining room was closed while the ship was in port. We had pizza, hot dogs and burgers several times for a snack. The afternoon tea in Lido had some nice snacks and ice cream daily. All the restaurants were nicely decorated and the food in all the Dining rooms was up to Celebrity standards. The food in the Lido was also good. Tours: We passed on any tours as we had been at all these ports before. I was looking forward the Charleston as a port but they deleted it and changed the port to Grand Bahama. I would have done tours in Charleston. We did walk around and shop in port. Disembarkation: We had an invite for the Elite Continental Departure Breakfast in the Specialty restaurant, but were turned away due to having Gray luggage tags. Getting off the ship went slow, out bags were loaded on trucks and it was a mess getting our bags at the airport and getting onto the plane. The flight back was a non-stop flight and was fine. Overall, this cruise was a "true departure" from our previous Celebrity cruises and I will be very reluctant in the future to book a Celebrity cruise early. The letter I received from Celebrity prior to sailing will also bear on my future plans along with how we were treated from the time we got there till we left. Had I booked 60 days out I could have had the same category cabin for $400 per person less than I paid. I will consider Celebrity during a Happy Hour sale in the future as I retire at the end of 2006 and can be flexible. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
Review--Constellation- 12 days- 10/17/05 Hi, just wanted to post a review in return for all of the opinions I have gathered from CC. Background--the 12 day Constellation going RT from Bayonne, NY was our third Celebrity cruise in the ... Read More
Review--Constellation- 12 days- 10/17/05 Hi, just wanted to post a review in return for all of the opinions I have gathered from CC. Background--the 12 day Constellation going RT from Bayonne, NY was our third Celebrity cruise in the last year, with Century and Horizon being the other two. My sister and I travel with our Mom who uses a wheelchair/cane to get around due to complications from chemo/radiation. Overall, a WONDERFUL cruise! As with anything, a few things could have been better. We were lucky to be able to skirt around all of the really bad weather. We had lots of wind on this trip and some rainy sea days, but overall, port days were good weather. The ship gave a very stable ride even when we had some rougher seas and lots of wind. We flew into EWR, took a $45 cab (had charges for bags and tolls) to the pier. Embarkation was slow and a bit disorganized compared to prior embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. We stayed in cabin #6014, an OV handicapped room. Beautiful large room. Cabin steward was Dahlan--very nice and good too. --Hint-- if you sleep on the sofa bed and don't like to sleep in a "W" shape, ask for boards to put under the mattress. It made a GREAT improvement in my sleeping comfort after the 1st night. Constellation was our 1st M-class ship. A lovely ship it was too! Loved the amenities on the ship--aqua spa cafe, covered T-pool area, dining room, theatre, food, midnight buffets, beds in the "harem" area in the bar at the Edge of the Earth, every spot on the ship was beautiful. Had table #456 (a table for 8), main seating. WONDERFUL spot. Waiter Sudarno from Indonesia and his ass't waiter, Erwin from Nicaragua were fantastic! Food was marvelous each and every night. Our tablemates were 3 related ladies from PA/NJ/NY area and a Canadian couple. One of the highlights of our cruise was dinner each evening. We left after 12 nights feeling like family! Met the infamous, Sudi, from the martini bar. He did card tricks for us that were mesmerizing! A real gem of a guy who deserves all of the accolades he gets from this board. Met the ship's captain and the staff captain (who took over at St. Thomas). Both lovely good looking men. The staff captain invited us to the bridge for a tour. It was a fantastic tour! A surprise invitation that we truly appreciated. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were very good. We enjoyed each of their performances. My understanding was that it was their first week together on the ship. They had great voices and dancing and the costumes were really neat. Went to the Cirque masquerade, wouldn't do it again, but it was fun for a first time. I love to try new things. Sometimes I love them and others I wouldn't do again, but always glad to have a new experience under my belt. Went to the CC gathering, but only met Bill and his wife Shelly from Canada. Nice couple. Saw Bill several times throughout the cruise and compared port notes. Chair hogs were terrible. I even got into a tiff with one over our Mom having to sit in her wheelchair in the T-pool area on a rainy windy sea day with plenty of open chairs with NO ONE IN THEM FOR OVER 45 MINUTES. I did get a pool butler who went through the chain of command to get the situation resolved. Hogging still went on , BUT I did see a gray jacketed employee early 1 morning removing books, glasses, etc. off of saved chairs. Also saw security much more often in the pool areas after that. It seemed to us, that many passengers on this cruise were from the Northeast U.S. There were a handful that seemed to be a bit more aggressive and whiny than our past cruises. As it works out, we seemed to notice these same people over and over on the ship. Even our Northeastern born and bred dinner mates mentioned that this group were more aggressive and whiny to them! Ports were: Charleston, Freeport, Nassau, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and San Juan. We never do the ship's tours, always arrange our own. Charleston ---did 2 tours. First was land based "Doin' The Charleston" and then a harbor tour with "Charleston Harbor Tours". Had time between the two to go through the City Market area. Both were great! Would do both again. Charleston was a lovely city, would like to go back for a few days. Freeport--- scheduled with Caribbean Divers to do a snorkel. It was cancelled because of the rough waters. The weather was very cloudy, windy and then rainy due to "Wilma" coming. Then went to Pelican Bay Hotel. We had arranged to go see the hotel and swim, beach, etc. Very nice hotel! Also went to Lucayan market place. Freeport could easily have been skipped. Didn't care for it and wouldn't go back. Nassau---scheduled with Bahama Divers for a snorkel. I did research them before we left for the cruise and gathered opinions. TERRIBLE DIVE OPERATION!!!! I am a certified diver (but only snorkeled this trip) and I was disgusted at the practices of this company. The snorkeling sights were terrible with nothing to see. Sites were chosen for the 4 divers onboard that day, DID NOT take snorkelers into consideration for the sites. Safety skills of the dive masters and crew left a lot to be desired. They paid no attention to my sister and I in the water and no attention to our Mom who was in her wheelchair riding along. Enough said--I would never dive/snorkel with them again! St. Maarten--went with Joyce Prince again. She is a very nice person and knows the island well. Toured the more local spots, went to Orient beach, shopped, had french pastries and a great day! ---Hint--- Vinissimo is a great little wine shop to stop at. Definitely do again. St. Thomas--- went on a daysail with Rumbaba. FANTASTIC time. The tour highlight of our cruise. Food was outstanding, had a nice honeymoon couple onboard with the 3 of us, snorkeling was great, weather perfect, and Captain Bobby and his mate Karen were wonderful! Definitely do again. San Juan---I did a self walking tour through Old San Juan, went to the fort (El Morro) and then back into town. The views from the fort were stupendous! Mom and sister just wheeled around OSJ a bit. A hard place for the disabled to get around. Neat city, would like to spend more time there again. Disembarkation was a bit slow and disorganized. Again, compared to Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa from previous cruises. Took a $13 (total) shuttle to EWR for return flight home. We had a great time and made many wonderful memories. We enjoy Celebrity. Thanks to all on Cruise Critic for giving me you opinions and sharing your experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Out of 21 cruises, I have to say the Celebrity Constellation has been the best ship. I rate the ship high not just for its beauty but the entire staff and itinerary. The Fall foliage cruise is such a delight. The ports are quaint in Canada ... Read More
Out of 21 cruises, I have to say the Celebrity Constellation has been the best ship. I rate the ship high not just for its beauty but the entire staff and itinerary. The Fall foliage cruise is such a delight. The ports are quaint in Canada and the people so nice. The dining was top notch. Everything from the main dining room, casual dining, buffet or specialty was perfect. The selection of food was so good and everything was handled so efficiently. I especially enjoyed the afternoon teas. Celebrity even had 2 formal teas in the main dining room besides in the buffet area. The special late night buffets are not every nite but the ones they had were fantastic. Besides the regular dining menu, there is also a complete vegetarian menu to look at. You couldn't possibly miss a meal with all the good food offered. The shows and music onboard were fascinating. We especially liked the late night lounge were the live band Onyx performed. Celebrity also offers dance escorts in the lounges for single women, which I thought would be wonderful since so many women travel alone. The most special attribute that sets Celebrity above other cruises is the Staff. Every day you pass staff and always a warm hello, how are you and a great big smile. The command of English was far better on this ship than others we have been on. By the 3rd night, the wait staff in the lounges remembered your last name and what you had to drink the night before. I think that is commendable for as many people as they have to handle. This made our trip a lot more personable. We will definitely travel with Celebrity again. Our getting on and off the ship was done without a glitch. I have never gotten on or off as quickly. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Embarkation- Went along very smoothly. They brought my wife and I right to the correct line and the process went smoothly except for getting thorough the scanners. They wanted me to remove my belt, hat, boots, and put my wife's cane ... Read More
Embarkation- Went along very smoothly. They brought my wife and I right to the correct line and the process went smoothly except for getting thorough the scanners. They wanted me to remove my belt, hat, boots, and put my wife's cane through it. Food- The most important thing on a cruise. You don't want to starve on a cruise. I've done that once and so has my wife. The Constellation has very good food. You have good choices and it's prepared very nicely. They also serve larger portions than most cruise lines. Room service gives you a nice variety to choose from. Better than many other cruise lines. Made to order waffles, and made to order omelettes. We had those on another cruise line, but Celebrity made it better. Entertainment- I didn't like it that much although my wife seemed to like it. Don Gavin, The Godfather of Comedy, was very good. I liked his show. They had Pearl Kaufman there, but except for the movie themes she played I didn't like her show. She did tell some interesting stories about some of the people she worked with and worked for. Gym- This cruise ship has a nice gym that I went to every morning. I may have taken some classes, except that most mornings was taken up when the classes were given. Ship- They didn't make a lot of announcements so it was relatively quiet. I got caught up with some badly needed rest. I enjoyed being able to do that. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
There are many good reviews of the Constellation on the various boards but few on cruising to Canada/New England. We will touch on the Connie but mostly give our views on the 9/20 sailing. Sept 18 and 19.. A bad start! Our two day ... Read More
There are many good reviews of the Constellation on the various boards but few on cruising to Canada/New England. We will touch on the Connie but mostly give our views on the 9/20 sailing. Sept 18 and 19.. A bad start! Our two day pre-cruise to New York turned out to be a basically a one day trip because the remnants of the hurricane dumped tons of water on NY and LaGuardia was accepting limited flights. In short, we sat at Detroit Metro for 10 hours. We stayed at the Super 8 Hotel on 46th between 5th and 6th. The Waldorf it was not but we didn't pay Waldorf prices either. It suited our needs nicely. This was our first trip to NY and our impressions are crowded, sirens, horns, packed sidewalks and the best eye-popin deli sandwich we have ever had at the Stage. To sum up it was MAGNIFICENT. What a city! Sept 20.. Embarkation.. Unorganized chaos! Too long of story to go into. Once we got through security and found the proper line (on our own) things were fine. Champagne upon boarding and although cabins were not ready we were allowed to place our carry on pieces in the room. Then it was off to lunch in the Seaside cafe. More on the food later. Cabin 9034 was a beautiful balcony cabin forward on deck 9. Some people don't like the overhang,we loved it. The cabin though not as large as some on Holland or Princess was great. Lots of storage space and a nice shower. We were very happy for 11 days. Sailing.. If you have never sailed out of New York at dusk you have missed out on a sight you can never forget. Lights like diamonds from both sides of the Hudson. The decks become hushed as you slowly pass the Lady. YOU CANNOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF HER. God Bless America. Our trip has begun. Sept 21.. Newport R.I.. Sunny and cool. We had been to Newport before and did not tour. We tendered in a visited the shops and fed upon the atmosphere of this sailing mecca. We visited the church where President and Mrs Kennedy were married, had lunch, and returned to explore more of Connie. Passengers who did tour gave generally favorable reviews. Sept 22.. A beautiful sunny cool day. This morning we found the Aquaspa Cafe serving light breakfast and lunch. We ate there for the remainder of the cruise. If you don't like that type of food at least walk by and look at it. It was wonderful. Sept 23.. Sydney N.S. .. The morning very cold. Jackets and gloves. We have read posts were people have said "Stay on board, there is nothing there!" True, there is not much to Sydney. We have heard it is kind of a "courtesy" stop by some lines. It is an old mining town. But get of the ship and walk the town. It is only a few blocks long. Pop into some of the shops. Look into some of the historic churches. We enjoyed our time in Sydney. The tours received a mixed reaction. Sept 24.. Another sunny cool and wonderful day at sea. Sept 25 and 26.. Quebec City There is not enough room in the review to do justice to Quebec. We will keep it brief. Your first sight of Quebec as you come up the St Lawrence is the famous Chateau Frontenac towering over the city. Right across the street from the dock is "Lower Town" connected to the "Upper Town"by the 45 degree funicular ($1.25) or if you are healthy you can walk up. It is steep. All the tours met with enthusiastic comments. We took the morning "Countryside" tour. We visited St. Anne De Beaupre and Montmorency Falls. we stopped at an Inn for snacks and a great view fo fhe Falls. The Laurentians were stunning. At that high level they had already had frost The colors were brilliant. We spent the next day and a half exploring the city. Hundreds of shops and outdoor restaurants. Crowds of people everywhere enjoying the city. There are street performers on the boardwalk and parks. The weather was beautiful. Sunday we were in shorts. We spent time sitting on a bench outside the Frontenac enjoying the sun and watching the people. The view of Connie docked below will always be in our memories. We could go on forever about Quebec but will close with this. We had heard the people of French Quebec don't like the American tourist. We have never been treated better in ant port we have visited. Quebec, you can be proud ! On to the Saguenay. Sept 27..Cruising the Saguenay. God laid his hand on this day! The day was magnificent. A little cool but brilliant sunshine and blue skies with fleecy white clouds floating around. We cruised 20 miles of the fresh water river. We sailed to Trinity Bay at Cape Trinity. The cliffs at Cape Trinity and Cape Eternity rise as high as 1600 feet. At the entrance to Cape Trinity sits The Statue De Notre-Dame du Saguenay. The statue honors the Virgin Mary. She sits 1,100 feet above river. While viewing the statue the ship was very quiet. Over the speakers they played a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria. It was not hard to spot the tears. This was Captain Papanikolaou's first visit. He announced over the speaker that he would like to sit in the bay for while. A man who has been around the world yet he was so taken by the magnificence of this river. We saw a few White Beluga whales but did not see as much sea life as we had hoped. We cannot in words do justice to the Saguenay. You must sail it. Sept 28 .. Cruising.. Cloudy and cool. This was really the only time the seas got a little bumpy. Coming out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence into the Atlantic can be a little rough. Sept 29.. Halifax N.S. On our arrival to Halifax we were met by the Pipes and Drums. Scotland the Brave filled the morning air. For this Gordon Clansman it was a touch of old Scotland. We had also been to Halifax before and rather than tour we got a map from the tourist booth and set out on our own walking tour. The day was cloudy, windy and a little cool. The walk covers 3 or 4 miles. It takes you past some nice stores, through the Public Gardens (quite pretty), up to the fort then into downtown Halifax. We had a lunch of great crabcakes at McGelvies and then toured the Maritime Museum and the Titanic Exibit. We then returned to the pier, shopped the booths and learned of the history of Pier 21 where Connie was docked. Pier 21 is the "Ellis Island" of Canada. Our time in Halifax was too short. Sept 30 .. Set sail for New York. A few comments on Connie at this time: Food.. Very good but we will eat anything. It was no better or no worse than we have had on Holland or Princess. Our waiter Aker and his assistant Jose were outstanding. As usual we choose a table for two. We are not anti-social but we do eat dessert and do not linger at the table Entertainment. Many people do not attend shows, we do, all of them. The Cruise Director Derek Habraken was excellent. Very friendly and visible. He did a good job. The Monday show Batucada in our opinion was fair. We heard many negative comments. The three remaining production shows were excellent. We enjoyed each of them. The Coverdales, an Acapella Quartet sang at the shows and around the ship. Very good. We thought the comedian Janine Gardner was great. As with all comics some people thought she was smutty. To each his own. They had a very average magician and a gal with a good Broadway voice whose choice of music was suspect. The absolute highlite was Pearl Kaufman. She is being talked about on the Celebrity boards. The performers in the various venues were all good. Things we liked... Connie is a "no announcement" ship. How nice it was. Things We didn't like.. The last four nights were Formal..Informal.. Formal. Boo Hiss. Oct 1 .. Good morning Lady Liberty. Up the Hudson at sunrise. Silence on the decks. Were glad to be an American. Disembarkation.. Organized chaos. Celebrity sends a letter to your cabin telling you where to be at what time and you will disembark from there. Great system if people will let it work. Will they? Not a chance. Me first. Me first. Off the ship at 10:15, waited in taxi line 50 minutes, took a hour to get to LaGuardia and by time we cleared security had less than an hour for our 1:50 flight. Great cruise, great fellow passengers and New York New York.. What a wonderful town !! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
We booked our own transportation to the ship. Jet Blue was wonderful and we did take the bus to the Port Authority building but we did have to get a taxi to take us the rest of the way to where the ship was docked so it was a bit of a ... Read More
We booked our own transportation to the ship. Jet Blue was wonderful and we did take the bus to the Port Authority building but we did have to get a taxi to take us the rest of the way to where the ship was docked so it was a bit of a hassle. When we got to the the port it was the worst mess you would ever want to see. We got out of our taxi and people would just not move out of your way so we could get our bags out and get to the curb. Once we were taken care of with the ship checking our bags we did have to wait almost 2 hours to board the ship. We were on of the first passengers aboard and went right to the buffet lunch, and as always was the best. Our cabins were ready when we finished with lunch, and one of our bags had arrived, so we unpacked that one and the rest had come shortly there after. The ship was wonderful again (this was our second time on board). The only complaint I do have was with the TV -- it never got CNN all the time and the movies you have to pay for now and they aren't cheap. Their video of programs was the same old stuff for 13 days. So I suggest that if you want to take it easy in your cabin bring a DVD player and bring your own entertainment with you. The food and the service was the best, the shows were good and the entertainers were worth going to see, but the lectures were the worst. If you wanted to catch up on some sleep that was the place to be. Our dinners were excellent as was the waiter and bus boy, everything was perfect. But the open lunch and breakfast wasn't so good. The ports were beautiful, and getting on and off the ship was easy and hassle free. All and all this was another enjoyable trip and I'm home now booking another Celebrity cruise. Thank you so much to all the hard working people that made our vacation so much fun. Read Less
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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