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Sail Date: March 2006
Where to start? This was my 12th cruise of which number 11 on Celebrity and 2nd on Constellation. We arrived in Sunny San Juan the day before (3/3) and met a lot of our Cruise Critic friends who we had been chatting with for almost a year ... Read More
Where to start? This was my 12th cruise of which number 11 on Celebrity and 2nd on Constellation. We arrived in Sunny San Juan the day before (3/3) and met a lot of our Cruise Critic friends who we had been chatting with for almost a year and had a great Meet and Greet at the Marriott Friday night. We got our room through Priceline for $100. Can't complain about that at all. We arrived at the pier around 11:30 and handed off our luggage without any problems. We were then escorted to the waiting area where some of our friends were already seated and waiting to board. Celebrity did provide juice and water, although we did not take any as we only waited for about 15 or 20 minutes before they started the boarding process. I felt that this was very orderly and speedy. We had already filled out our Xpress Pass information, so we headed over, handed our paper and passports and given our cards in a matter of 5 minutes. Next stop was the Children's coordinator. She gave our son his Muster wrist band and checked him off the list and also our 9 month old daughter. We did purchase two bottles in the duty free shop and took them aboard with us with no problems. Off to the ship with the picture stop, and the card picture and Champagne!! I still think this is 1st Class by Celebrity no matter what some people may think. Our cabin #9038 CC was ready for us. We dropped our bags, and also found the baby food and formula for the baby waiting in the cabin for us that my wife had ordered only 3 weeks before. We were concerned at first as Customer Service told us they needed 40 days notice to do this order, but they came through as usual. We met our Cabin Attendant Rebecca. She was an absolute doll. She greeted us all by name and did so the entire week. She told us that she was missing her son, and could not do enough for both of our children. Off to grab lunch. I had to grab some pasta and it was very good. The lines were not that long as people were still boarding and service was also very good. We then went to the Fun Factory and got our son all checked in and setup. Two of the counselors were there last year and remembered him and he was set. He stayed for some free play time and had a blast. One of our Cruise Critic friends was staying in one of the Penthouses and was having an open house and cocktails. We went down and checked out this amazing room. I didn't find the Penthouse to be something that I would book if I had the money, but I could have lived all week on their balcony!! I just loved the privacy and space they provide. We hit a few of the bars to relax and prepare for our Martini Bar meet at 7PM. Sudi was again amazing with his show and mixations. We did a small gift exchange from our local areas which was really nice. We opted for late seating for our trip and took the late seating for Saturday as it was open seating. The Muster Drill was at 10:30 right before sailing. Our Waiter Sunil was simple amazing. His service was fantastic, not rushed and he took his time and joked with us and I just can't say anything negative about him. Gustavo our Wine Steward was also amazing. His wine selections were right in line with our tastes and provided excellent service. We ate in Ocean Liners one night and as usual, service impeccable. The Steak Diane and Grand Mariner Souffle was outstanding. My wife was slightly disappointed in the Prawn dish this year, but still enjoyed our evening. The Children's program was again very good. There were only about 60 to 65 children on this week so they combined some of the programs which our son did not mind one bit. Captain Papanikalau was all over the ship. He made a point to stop and say hello when he saw not only us, but just about every passenger. He remembered us and our son from last year. He made a point at the Elite Members party to come over and talk with him and again took him up on stage with him during his presentation. The ports were very nice. St. Maarten we took a cab ride over to Maho Beach to see the famous Sunset Beach Bar at the airports runway. Amazing seeing 757's and 747's land right over your head. St. Lucia was nice. We just got off right at the pier and did some walking and shopping there. My brother hired a taxi for an island tour and they were charged $40 for two and he actually gave the driver an additional tip for his time. They loved the time they spent, which was about two and half hours stopping at local points of interest. Aruba was AMAZING! Palm Beach is just as I remember it from 12 years ago. Very clean and safe island. We did not get off in Dominica or Margarita Island, but enjoyed the ships amenities and non crowded lunches. We were given Yellow tags for disembarkation at 8:50, but opted to stay on the ship until about 10:15 or so. When we got off the ship, our bags were the last 4 left in the Yellow section. Very efficient process and we got a cab to the airport and were checked in at AA by 11:30 for our 2:45 flight home. In summary, we again enjoyed our trip very much. One thing that we noticed was there was a map outside the Cafe for breakfast and lunch letting you know where everything was so you didn't have to stand in lines for things you didn't want to eat. I thought this made the lines move very quickly and I knew where to go and not to go for what I was looking for. Staff - Excellent, no need to say anymore than that. Ship - Excellent - I saw some minor things, but come on, when 2000 people sail each week, there are bound to be some things broken. You are on a ship sailing on water, there are going to some rust spots on the outside from time to time. The only negative I have is the outside elevators. They really need to find a way to get them stop at a floor instead of whizzing by when you want to go in the same direction. Seemed to be a lot of folks saying the same thing. Food - I really enjoyed the new menus. The Lamb Shank, the beat Lamb I have ever had in my life. Some people have said the meals have declined, I don't agree. I found the new choices very, very good. Also, let's put a rest to the following false rumours: Breadsticks - Had them and more. They kept bringing them out all the time. We got a basketful of them. Shrimp Cocktail - Had it more than one night when it wasn't on the menu. We loved Constellation so much, we are booked for next March 12 11 Night out of FLL. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This cruise was fantastic! We are a party of 5 - 66, 65, 47, 43, 12. One couple in our party have been on approximately 16 cruises and we've been on 8. Stateroom - While I am usually very satisfied with Celebrity cabins, this one ... Read More
This cruise was fantastic! We are a party of 5 - 66, 65, 47, 43, 12. One couple in our party have been on approximately 16 cruises and we've been on 8. Stateroom - While I am usually very satisfied with Celebrity cabins, this one was a bust. Several things were in need of repair, however, it seemed to just be our cabin. Shower floor tiles were loose and coming up, light flickering in bathroom, closet door off hinge, etc. Service - As always - superb service! The crew members were very friendly and helpful. Celebrity wins on service hands-down! Embarkation - As smooth as they come. We arrived at the pier, had our express passes handy, walked right in and boarded. It was that simple. Disembarkation - Very organized - excellent. Dining - Excellent! The service again was very very good and the food excellent. Bar service at dinner was also excellent and we were addressed by name automatically. I would like to see a few more choices on the menu. Seaside grill was very good with several selections. Kid's Club - Terrific program and wonderful counselors. My 12 y/o enjoyed it. She is always happy with the Celebrity kids program. Many activities, slumber parties, dinner party, family night in disco, carnival night, etc! Entertainment - Amazing! The shows were incredible - better than our last Celebrity cruise. CDS was fantastic, ariel flyers were incredible and the Celebrity Singers & Dancers were excellent. Guest entertainers were also impressive. Excursions - Only did a beach tour through the cruise line - it was good. Service at excursion desk was so-so. Spa - I've had many massages on vacation and at home. This was the best by far. Beautiful spa. Celebrity never disappoints - always first class service. If you are looking to be pampered - Celebrity is the line for you! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This was our second Celebrity Cruise, 1st time on the Connie. The 8 day cruise was a repositioning from San Juan to Bayonne NJ. Jet Blue had best rates to SJ from NYC. We arrived in SJ two days early an stayed at the Best Western Hotel ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity Cruise, 1st time on the Connie. The 8 day cruise was a repositioning from San Juan to Bayonne NJ. Jet Blue had best rates to SJ from NYC. We arrived in SJ two days early an stayed at the Best Western Hotel Pierre in Condado. Very convenient to dining and public transportation. Also closer to Pan American Pier, where we left from. A quick taxi ride for $20. Embarkation was quick and painless, Celebrity has it down to a well oiled machine. Our Oceanfront room was ready, and we went to the buffet for a late lunch. The ship was in good condition and clean, the crew seemed a little distant during the first day, but they warmed up as the trip progressed. We booked a dinner in ocean liners the first thing, plenty of openings for us to chose from. The dinner was excellent. Service sublime. I would recommend it highly. The buffet was OK, the waffles and egg station, fresh cooked were the best choice for breakfast, and the pasta for lunch. There was a little of the staff talking in groups instead of working the room, but that improved by the 3rd day. The San Marco dining was good, a bit uneven with food quality with our waiter recommending some dishes not to order. The oddest thing was the staff informing us that they ran out of some food. The sommelier was inexperienced and confused the wine orders and poured the wrong person 3 times. Activities were the run of the mill, but fun. Pool games, trivia, bingo, basketball etc. Entertainment: Cirque du Soleil was the best, followed by the comedy acts. The floor shows need some work, I felt they were fair. The shore excursions were varied and very professional, snorkeling in Turtle Cove and touring St. Maarten were fun. Disembarkation was well run, and the ground transportation was outside in a line, something to think about if the weather is inclement. In summary, Celebrity still pays attention to the small details and not many complaints. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
Booking I booked this trip through my usual travel agent. Originally I booked a category 6 outside, but decided later on to upgrade to a category 4 outside right before the sailing. More on why in the cabin section of the review. Arrival ... Read More
Booking I booked this trip through my usual travel agent. Originally I booked a category 6 outside, but decided later on to upgrade to a category 4 outside right before the sailing. More on why in the cabin section of the review. Arrival Arrival in San Juan from New York was very easy. It is a much smaller airport than where we had come from, and getting our bags and a taxi was quick and easy. We flew in the night before to have some extra time to explore San Juan. I booked a room at the Ritz-Carlton through my company. The hotel is located very conveniently near the airport, and it was only 10 minutes after getting in a taxi that we arrived at the hotel. Really a great place to stay pre cruise. We took a taxi into Old San Juan that night ($20 each way) and had a very nice dinner at the El Convento Hotels tapas bar, El Picoteo (about $100 for 2 with drinks). Very highly recommendeda great introduction to San Juan. Embarkation We left the hotel at about 2pm. (We were told that boarding started at 2). It took about 20 min to get to the pier. By the time we checked out bags outside, walked in, gave our credit card, got our keys, went through security, and boarded the ship, it took about 15 minutes. Well done Celebrity! It was a nice way to get things started. Once onboard we were escorted to our cabin plied with a glass of not half bad champagne. Again, very well put together. Cabin After looking a deck plans only a few weeks before we traveled, I saw that cabin 7003 (Cat. 4 all the way forward) was significantly larger than all of the other outsides as well as most verandah cabins. Plus, it had a forward facing window which I thought would be very cool. The difference in price wasnt too bad either. Boy am I glad I made the switch. The room was enormous. Almost too much space for 2 people, but I wasnt complaining at all. It had a sitting area, desk area, and of course the sleeping area. All of these were surrounded by a ton of open space. A valid complaint would be that whoever designed it didnt expand any features of the standard cabin to incorporate the extra space. I.e. the living area didnt have a few extra chairs. The big problem I had is that the bathroom is the exact same size as any other one even through there was a lot of room for a bigger one. A real design flaw there. Overall, I was very grateful for the extra space, but would just get a verandah next time. Dining Main Dining Room -- Overall, the food here is just ok. Not at all spectacular, but not tasteless. The real stand out dish was the filet mignon one night. It was cooked exactly the way I like it (I am a professed New York food snob). I guess that food can only be so good when serving 2000 people in a night, but Celebrity really shouldnt play its food up as much as it does without delivering on it. I wasnt hoping for Alain Ducasse, but I was hoping for something better than a mediocre wedding. The service tends to be very chummynot something I normally like in restaurant staff. It took a little bit to get used to. Everyone worked very hard though, and it really became a positive experience. Ocean Liners Restaurant -- This was very good and well worth the extra $30 pp charge. This experience was something of what I was expecting from the Main Dining room. After one meal here, I booked every night of the cruise except for one that they couldnt fit me in on. It really is the closest you can get to dining in QE2s famed Queens Grill without paying the $5000 pp and up Cunard asks for. The meal is served as four courses which include a appetizer, entree, cheese course, and dessert. The service is very efficient, but a bit over the top. (Its as if Celebrity cannot strike a balancethe main dining room is too lax and the specialty restaurant is much too stiff.) Their precisely choreography led to inevitable foul ups than anything else, and ended up making a highly competent staff seem a bit foolish. The only other complaint is that they do not make great efforts to honor special requests. I asked 4 days in advance if it were possible to have a Chateaubriand prepared. They said they would look into it. When the night came, they seemed to look surprised when I asked about it, and they kindly replied that it would not be possible. If youre offering a premium experience guys, be a little flexible with special requests. A similar restaurant on land would be. Beyond that, the food is far and away better than anything else I experienced onboard Constellation. Seaside Cafe -- The casual buffet is a nice place for breakfast. It gets very crowded. Whereas the ship is so well laid out that you cannot tell that there are 2000 other people sharing it with you most times, this is the once place I found that constantly reminded me of that fact. The best feature is the outdoor terrace that overlooks the stern. This was our favorite place to come for a drink as we sailed away from each port of call. Afternoon tea is served herethe sandwiches they provide is very good, but for some reason there never seemed to be any tea. Be forewarned, tea had very limited hours and shut down right on time. I literally had the shades dropped down on me while in the middle of reaching for a sandwich. Be a little more flexible Celebrity! Sushi Bar -- This is another great features of Constellation. I was expecting very ok sushi, but it was a good as anything I get back in New York. Great job with that. Casual Dining -- Didnt try the casual dining option (served at night in the Seaside Cafe for extra $2 pp charge). That seemed a little strange to meI have no problem spending $30 pp for the specialty restaurant because Im getting a much better experience than the main dining room. But this was just another venue for the main dining rooms menu. Seemed rather cheap and short sighted of Celebrity to include a charge for that. Bars Martini Bar -- The Martini Bar was a fun place to grab a cocktail before dinner. Its centrally located, and as a result gets a little crowded right before the main dining room seatings. The bartender there, Sudi, is quite the character. He can shake martinis without covering the shaker as well as do parlor magic with slight of hand. Very entertaining. The amount of martinis they have on the menu is a bit over the topclearly there are a lot of martinis for people who either dont like them normally or have never had one before. The only real martinis in my book are made of gin, but thats a whole different story. Champagne Bar -- It may sound glamorous, but it is merely an extension of the Martini Bar. Not only that, but smoking is allowed, so I stayed away from it as much as I could. I was amazed that smoking was actually still allowed indoors, it having been banned in all NYC bars. Bar at the Edge of the Earth -- It sounds interesting, but its just a bar with some funky decorations. On the night that Cirque du Soliel performs in the main lounge, they put on a masked ball here. Didnt goseemed a bit cheesy. Michaels Club Piano Bar -- This was a lovely room, very reminiscent of the Oak Bar at the sadly closed Plaza Hotel. The first night we had drinks here was the pianists night off. It was nearly deserted, and absolutely perfect for nice soft conversation. Then they had to go and ruin a perfectly good piano bar by bringing in a pianist. I think his name was Perry Grant. Dont get me wrong: I love older music, but this guy clearly has gotten booted out of every nursing home in the US and through some weird fluke ended on Constellation. I hate to say it, but it was nearly painful to listen to him belt out Porter with synthesized drumming in the background. Needless to say, after listening to it on the second night, we just went to the Martini Bar instead. Casino Bar -- Unlike in Las Vegas, drinks in the Casino are most certainly not free to gamblers. Only had one drink, very uninspiring and smoky. Rendezvous Lounge -- Nice place for a drink. Except for one night they had very good entertainment here. Entertainment Cirque du Soliel -- One of the highlights of the cruise. Dont miss it for anything. It is very short, but very true to the traditional CdS shows all over the country. To see these acrobatics do their stunts on a moving ship is all the more impressive. Broadway Show -- After seeing how good CdS was, I (not at all a cruise ship show lounge guy) decided to give the Broadway Revue the benefit of the doubt. Boy was a had. It was genuinely awfulnothing at all to real broadway. I walked out after about 15 minutes. Activities Bingo -- For the first time in my life I played bingo, and it was not half bad. They gave away a suite which was a fun touch. Port Lectures -- Given every day by the Cruise director Derek. Very knowledgeable. Its also a nice feature that they run continuously on the in cabin TV. Only weird thing was that he panned St. Kitts when I found it to be the complete opposite of what he said. More on that later. Pool -- The pool deck is very nice. Only problem was getting chairs. I didnt find it as bad as other reviewers did. The chairs were there, you just needed to look hard for them. The Tholassotherapy pool was really great. They had a great Botero sculpture next to it. Spa -- Had a massage which was very good. I wouldnt try any of their specialty treatments though, I didnt hear anything good about them. Service The service in general on Constellation is somewhere between chummy and efficient. Only real complaint is that in the bars, drinks are pushed quite heavilyto the point of me ordering a drink and before it arriving, being asked for my drink order by two other servers. Cmon Celebrity, find a way to get some communication between your people. I need to make special note of two people. First would be our stateroom attendant Jose who was not only very friendly, but incredibly efficient as well. The cabin was always clean and ready. The other is the head concierge. She went out of her way making hotel arrangements for me at various islands, and saved me the cost of calling them on the phone. Really standout service from her. Ports of Call Casa de Campo, DR -- This port was very ok. They provide free shuttles to the various sites. We went to the Marina, which was a yacht harbor with shops and restaurants. Be warned though, if you go on a Sunday, nothing is open. We then went to a place called Altos de Chevron. Its a replica of a Mediterranean village from the 1600s. Its a fun place to walk around, but in the end its just a glorified shopping mall. All shops were open here despite it being Sunday. We got back on the ship early and sat by the poolsimply not enough things to do there. Bridgetown, Barbados -- What an awful place this was. I had high hopes for Barbados from everything I had heard about it. I found Bridgetown to be dirty, smelly, crowded, and hard to navigate. We rented a car and drove into the countryside. There, our car was stopped by some guys in the middle of the road, and we were nearly robbed until we were able to just pull away. Not a great way to warm up to the island. The mall at the pier is very nice however, and a great place to do some duty free shopping. St. Georges, Grenada -- A drastic improvement over Barbados. This was a very impoverished town, but it felt very genuine and they people were very nice. After perusing the spice market, we hired a taxi (learned my lesson not to rent a car) and got a 2 hour tour of the area. Went to see a beautiful waterfall as well as a 17th Century French Fort at the top of the mountain. Our driver Desmond was a real gem. Definitely look for him if you are ever there. Ended the day by checking into a hotel on Grand Anse Beach which was a nice way to have lunch, swim in the ocean and pool, and take a shower before returning to the ship. The beach was the best of the entire trip. St. Kitts & Nevis -- My favorite part of the trip. It is absolutely beautiful and nearly uninhabited. Everything I read and heard from the cruise line was that Basseterre was run down and unpleasant, but I found this to be not at all the case. It was charming and very well kept. The center circus in town is very nice. After walking around, we rented another room for the day at the St. Kitts Marriottabout a 15 min taxi ride from the ship. Another great day of ocean, pool, and relaxing. Only wish we had time to see Nevis, but theres always the Four Seasons there for an excuse to return. St. Thomas, USVI -- This place blew me away. I pictured it as an American disaster after all the quaint islands we had visited before. This wasnt the case at all. The architecture is very, well, I hate to say it this way: Pirates of the Caribbean. We did what everyone else did: shop. The ride into town takes about 10 min and is $4 pp. Once there the variety of shops is endless. There were quite a few great restaurants in the central shopping district as well. We returned to the ship early to get some pool time in. Disembarkation Our bags were packed and outside by 12 midnight the night before departure. We went to our lounge right on time, but did not get off for at least a half hour after we were supposed to. Otherwise, it was a very painless experience. Security is very tight pier side. Taxis were plentiful. Final Thoughts Overall this was a great trip. Would I cruise Celebrity again? Most likely. I think were going to take a break from cruising for a while. After seeing so many nice islands for what amounts to be too short a time to really get a feel for them, well most likely go to a resort for a few days next time instead. I would like to applaud Celebrity and the Constellation for a job well done. They are consummate professionals and it shows in everything they do. I most certainly hope I have another opportunity to sail on her again in a few years. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This is my second time going on a Celebrity Cruise and I have to say that this was also the best Celebrity Cruise out of the two. Constellation is great for families, I can tell. The 'Fun Factory', Pools, Ports, Dining, and even ... Read More
This is my second time going on a Celebrity Cruise and I have to say that this was also the best Celebrity Cruise out of the two. Constellation is great for families, I can tell. The 'Fun Factory', Pools, Ports, Dining, and even the Staterooms were created so that both the couples and singles could have their world, while the larger families and kids enjoyed theirs. I boarded Constellation belonging to a family of 5 and everything ran smoothly from boarding to leaving. I've been on 3 cruises, also using Royal Caribbean (Mariner of the Seas) and this is probably the easiest cruise I've been on, as everything seemed to glide by without being stopped with any problems. The only things I didn't like was the LifeBoat drill at 10:30 PM and how the ship took off at 11:00 PM! It was stupid because we couldn't see anything. But besides that, here is my review for CONSTELLATION... TRAVEL -- To get to the docks where we would be boarding Constellation we took a taxi. Unlike in Toronto, where I live, the taxi's are little vans, so they can actually hold my whole family of 5. There were enough seatbelts to go around as well, although we didn't use them. If your from somewhere like me, you'll probably agree that if you have a big family it can be hard to fit everybody in one cab. We used United Airlines to get to San Juan. See, we took a 1 1/2 hour flight to get from Toronto to Chicago. Then we took about a 4 - 4 1/2 hour flight to get to San Juan, where we would stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites for one night. I believe that it's a good idea to either get A) An early, early flight OR B) Book a night at any cheap hotel close to where you'll be starting your cruise. You see, if you book a flight that's only an hour before your ship leaves, then your in trouble if it's delayed. So stay at a hotel or book a flight that's at about 3:00 am, because then if anything happens you'll still have tons of time to get to your ship. We did both A and B, our first flight took off at 6:30 in the morning I think, and so we got at San Juan at a good 1:00 PM. (Were very far, if you didn't notice). We were very prepared. HOTEL -- The Hampton Inn was small but we got free breakfast and the largest type of suite in the place which had 2 double beds and a pull-out couch which made another double. It easily fit all 5 of us and we had a view of the pool. It wasn't really expensive, either. Although the Embassy Suites, El San Juan, and InterContinental looked nice, it was only for one night. Plus, it was not too far from the ship, yet it was only 5 minutes from the airport. BOARDING -- Boarding was easy. From when we got there it probably took no more than a half hour, maybe 20 minutes, to get on. We did an Online Check-In which seemed to help because we got a separate line which was shorter than the other one. The only problem we seemed to have was when they didn't put charging rights on my card so I couldn't buy anything with it. Even though we asked for it, they didn't. When we were on board, we requested it and they didn't seem to do it. On another topic, they took our picture right before we got on and that stopped everybody behind us from boarding and from then on I think everything went slower because we were the absolute only ones boarding by the time we got up there. And some sort of alcoholic drink and orange juice was served to everybody boarding. (It was free). STATEROOM -- I'm not sure about the rest of my family but I believe that our Stateroom was unbelievable. It was called a Family Stateroom or something. It had two rooms and a balcony/veranda that was the size of the inside part of the room. It was huge! The first room had a double bed and the other room had two sofas. One pulled out to a double bed and the other pulled out to a single bed. They were extremely easy to fold back to couches as well. The balcony had two lounge chairs with navy padding which we soon got sunscreen spray all over and there was a table with two chairs. It was glass and we were at the very back of the ship, 8th floor, which gave us a fantastic view of everything. We saw everything the front of the ship saw just afterwards. We also had two TV's, one per room, and that was really nice because when my brother wanted to watch something like Bug's Bunny I could watch Discovery Channel or something different. The best kids channel was Cartoon Network which only worked half the time, unfortunately. But Discovery Channel was always on and they had great shows which, mind you, played over and over again continuously. DINING -- Dining was my favourite part. (Oh, of course). Even the Kids Menu looked good. They had the same as the larger one but with smaller courses and they didn't give you a choice of Soups or Salads. I had beef 3 nights in a row and pork once. The meat on the ship was very good, but not everything was meat so I think that Vegetarians were fine. The desserts were pretty small which was good if you had a hard time resisting them. We got breakfast from the buffet and brought it up to our stateroom and ate by the TV. For lunch we normally got it from the buffet and ate it down there, there was NEVER any problems with getting a table, it was always extremely busy, but it also seemed like there was always a couple tables for 5 that were empty. If you went by the AquaSpa they had healthier food in smaller servings so you could take 3 plates of their food and still end up with less than one serving of the food at the other buffet. That's a good thing by the way. Our waiter was extremely friendly and had a card trick or toothpick trick handy at the end which we could look forward too. We ate dinner at 6:00 which was also fine with everybody, and I loved Casual, Semi-Formal, and Formal evenings all the same as it was just as loud and just as good no matter which type it was. ENTERTAINMENT -- The only show we saw was Cirque du Soliel and it was fantastic. We could order drinks at any time even if it was only 45 minutes long. There was a perfect view from everywhere you sat and it was humorous and loud at times, and then it could all of a sudden become dark and quiet. The performers interacted with the audience a lot as well. I loved it! The theatre is beautiful and it was a great place to end the cruise as well, because that's where we went to wait for our group to be called to leave the ship. SHORE EXCURSIONS -- We really didn't take any excursions although we dumbly tried to book a submarine ride in St. Thomas about 2 days before. But we did go to: Grenada -- A tour of Grenada, seeing everything that was hit by Hurricane Ivan. Our guide said that 90% of the houses were damaged. You could see that as well, it was very sad to see. We took a taxi tour, and the driver/guide stopped us off at different places along the way. We saw a volcano, which had exploded many, many years before and the top hole is now a lake. We took beautiful pictures, saw a museum, and visited a natural waterfall which we got to dip our feet in. We would of swam but we were sunburned already we didn't want anything worse. We got necklaces with spices on them and we also saw monkeys. I actually got to go just inches away from him and my brother and sister were feeding them bananas. They went right up to you and snatched them! I got a great video of them eating and jumping around. You could hear Ooing and Aaahing from the tourists around as well. Barbados -- The Boatyard. It's a beautiful beach with so much to do. If you buy a Pass you get one lounge chair per person in your group, one drink per person, and unlimited use of the Water Trampoline and Iceberg Climbing Wall that were in the ocean. The water was warm and normally it's calm but there were HUGE waves when we were there. The water was just about up to my waist where I was standing, and when a wave came it lifted me far off my feet. My 6-year-old brother was standing at a rough part though and a wave came crashing down on him as he was rubbing his eyes and he decided to stop. Or at least my parents did. The Boatyard was the best beach I've ever been to for sure! It was amazing! St. Thomas -- Magen's Bay. (Pronounced: Me-G-ans Bay) I went here 3 years ago and it hasn't changed. The Boatyard was the most fun beach, but Magen's Bay was the most beautiful. It was absolutely phenomenal. There were huge hills which seemed to hold the beach together. It was busy on one half of the beach and emptier on the other. We went on the empty side. We had a floaty/floating raft which we climbed on and pushed each other off of. We used goggles and saw huge fish which looked transparent. Some people saw big blue fish as well, but I missed those. The sand was soft and great for building or throwing. Heh. St. Kitts -- Turtle Beach. Turtle Beach had no turtles. But that's not what surprised me. What surprised me was that we saw both a huge pig eating people's food along the shore, and a monkey in a diaper. The monkey was cute, but the pig was bizarre. It had two big tusks. The food there was okay, but the service was slow. The snorkeling there was good and there was a coral reef you could see. I didn't get that far but I saw lots of fish and seaweed which was in huge patches. Instead of it looking ugly it actually looked kind of nice and interesting. You could rent goggles and a tube thing to breath with as well as flippers. Everybody looked strange with them on so you didn't have to worry. Although renting that stuff was expensive and there wasn't enough chairs so we had to park our stuff at a picnic table, and the waitresses kept trying to get us to order food. We finally gave in and it came to us about 15-30 minutes before we were due to leave. But it was still a great beach and I had a great time. So that's what happened with our beaches or so-called Shore Excursions. Oh, and at St. Thomas we took a sky-ride in these cable cars that go up on a wire a couple hundred feet high to this place called Paradise Point. It's nice up there, we held parrots and bought drinks. But the souvenirs are cheap but sold for a lot and the ride isn't exactly cheap. But it was fun to be so high and the ride was 7 minutes long so we could enjoy the view. Please Note: None of the places I listed are in a particular order. DISEMBARKATION -- Leaving the ship was so easy. Here's how our day went: Wake up at 7:00, get dressed. 7:45-8:00 start breakfast at the dining room for a change. About 9:00 we go to our room to pack up and we go to the Pool Deck to park our luggage somewhere. We go to the Sports Deck for no reason and begin to play basketball just after they cleaned up the place. We try to make it stay clean but it ends up messy. Oh well. We go downstairs again and as I eat a pack of sugar we head to the theatre. My dad tells me to throw out the sugar. I do. We watch a video continuously repeating itself and then finally our group is called. Green 2. Yay. We insert our cards in the exit slot and we leave. Hurrah. We seem to not be the only family with smiling faces. EEEEE! All done. SUMMARY -- In conclusion I'd rate Constellation a 5 or 5+. It was ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY amazing! Thank you Negara our waiter and Melanio our Room Attendant. You made this all so great! I want to start looking at more Celebrity Cruises right now. THIS WAS GREAT! I recommend it to EVERYBODY! Constellation is the BEST cruise I've EVER been on!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
Our vacation on the Celebrity Constellation was the best! We had booked this trip in October 2005. Our travel agent, Melissa, from American Express was wonderful! We highly suggest booking your trip with her (800-297-5627 x4318). This ... Read More
Our vacation on the Celebrity Constellation was the best! We had booked this trip in October 2005. Our travel agent, Melissa, from American Express was wonderful! We highly suggest booking your trip with her (800-297-5627 x4318). This was my 4th cruise and my husband's 3rd cruise. Our flight on Continental to San Juan, Puerto Rico was great! We took a taxi to the Pan American pier (we didn't have a transfer to the ship) - this took about 15 - 20 minutes. We were in awe to see the ship for the first time. What a spectacular view! Getting on the ship was no problem at all. There were minimal lines which moved very quickly. The whole embarkation process was extremely organized. As soon as we boarded the ship, we were greeted with champagne and taken to our stateroom. A lunch buffet was awaiting us on the 10th floor deck. We had a midship cabin (#8098) with a balcony. What a clean and beautiful room! Melissa had suggested an 8th floor cabin which was insulated from the noise on the 10th floor (where the pool entertainment was). She definitely made the right decision. Our cabin was bright and well appointed with plenty of storage. The mattress was extremely comfortable. We were even able to leave the sliding door open when the air conditioning was on. The CC class extras were just as they stated and made all the difference (padded deck chairs, fresh fruit, appetizers at 5 PM daily, terrycloth bathrobes, fresh flowers and more were extra touches that we thoroughly enjoyed). The port views were great from the side of the ship we were on. We loved to sit on the balcony and watch us pull into the new ports each day. We also enjoyed the mail in the door slot each day telling us of daily activities. Our cabin steward, Caetano, was excellent! He attended to our every need. The ship was immaculate! We enjoyed the layout of this ship much better than the Celebrity Galaxy. We also enjoyed the art throughout the ship. My husband enjoyed the Seaside Grill at the back of the ship. It was cigar friendly in the evenings. We enjoyed the internet cafe greatly - we loved to be able to communicate with our family and friends. The conservatory is beautiful and peaceful. I loved the jogging track on the 11th deck - I walked a few mornings and loved the views! The glass elevators were the best we ever experienced. They were super quiet and fast and the views were wonderful! We never felt like there were over 2,000 people on this ship. The food on the ship was excellent. We loved the breakfast and lunch buffets in the Seaside Cafe. The aqua spa cuisine was unbelievable! We had the early seating in the dining room for dinner. The food was great! Our waiter, Marcin, and assistant waiter, Antonio, were great! James, our barmaid, always had a smile on his face! We didn't get to try the Ocean Liners restaurant but we heard that the food is very good. We did not do any of the excursions. We visited the Southern Caribbean. Our 1st stop was in the Dominican Republic. We took the free shuttle to the marina. We basically just walked around - since it was a Sunday, everything was closed. Our next day we were at sea. Our 2nd stop was in Grenada. We walked off the ship into a poor village and got right back on the ship. Our 3rd stop was in Barbados. We took a taxi with 2 other women to a public beach and swam for a few hours. Our 4th stop was in St. Kitts. We took a taxi to a public beach and again swam for a few hours. Our last stop was in St. Thomas. We ended up taking a taxi to the Red Hook ferry which brought us to St. John. This was our favorite stop. We took an open taxi to Trunk Bay and I cannot tell you how unbelievable this beach is. The pools on the ship were very nice. They never seemed overcrowded. There were lots of padded lounge chairs and towels for the guests. There were 4 freshwater whirlpools - my husband loved the whirlpools! Even on the sea day, the pools and whirlpools never seemed overcrowded. The entertainment on the ship was top notch! Perry Grant (the lounge pianist) was great! Very entertaining! The violinists in the Cova Cafe were superb! The shows in the theater were great too! We loved the entire experience for the week. The staff and itinerary made us feel special. It was relaxing, interesting and just the right feeling of being pampered. We loved Julie the librarian. Everyone was so helpful! On our day at sea, we were given a bridge tour (we had asked about this) and found it to be very enjoyable. The captain and his staff did a great job with explaining the behind the scenes experience especially with the state of the art engines that have almost 0 percent emissions. The ship also has a soda package - you pay $40 for the week for unlimited soda which was a great idea. We think you would be hard pressed to find any criticisms with any aspect of your week on the Constellation. It was a great trip! We spoke to people on the Princess lines at some of the ports and found out they had many criticisms with their ships (ex: the Princess cruises weren't given pool towels). Many small details on the Constellation contributed to a very good trip. I credit Celebrity and the Constellation staff for this. Our experience on this ship make it difficult for us to choose another ship or another cruise line in fear that it won't be just as good. On the last night of our trip, we placed our luggage in the hallway by midnight. We had received papers telling us about what to expect for disembarkation in the morning and where we needed to gather. On our last morning, we got up early and left our cabin by 8:30 AM. We had a wonderful buffet breakfast and loved the view next to the window. We had to meet in an assigned public area (we were in the theater) this was based on flight times. They called the grey group (which was us) and then we disembarked the ship. Taxis were awaiting you as you leave the ship (but we had a transfer back to the airport). The whole process took very little time and was extremely organized! We are looking forward to our next cruise in January 2007 which will be sailing in the Western Caribbean. We are very excited to be sailing on this wonderful ship once again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
Celebrity Cruise on the Constellation 02/25/2006  03/04/2006 Itinerary: San Juan, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas Cruise History: 2003 - 3 Day Carnival Cruise (Fantasy) out of Port Canaveral 2004 - 4 Day ... Read More
Celebrity Cruise on the Constellation 02/25/2006  03/04/2006 Itinerary: San Juan, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas Cruise History: 2003 - 3 Day Carnival Cruise (Fantasy) out of Port Canaveral 2004 - 4 Day Carnival Cruise (Celebration) out of Jacksonville, Florida 2005 - 4 Day Carnival Cruise (Celebration) out of Jacksonville, Florida Choosing Cruise: Work schedule finally allowed taking a week long cruise instead of the 3-4 days cruises. Wanted to take a cruise with another cruise line besides Carnival. Did extensive research on-line looking trying to determine which cruise to take. Research showed 3 cruise lines going out of San Juan on week long cruises; Princess, RCL and Celebrity. T he reviews I read were not as good for Princess as RCL & Celebrity so decision came down to RCL & Celebrity. The cruise prices for RCL seems to be a lot higher than Celebrity. From all I read on Celebrity and the Constellation, it was highly rated, so I made my decision to go with Celebrity. Purchasing Tickets. I was prepared to purchase through one of the cruise on-line retailers when discovered if you have a Discover Credit Card and make arrangement through their recommended travel agency, you receive a 5% rebate on the ticket price (before taxes). I gave them a call and was quite satisfied with the finial ticket prices. Was cheaper than what my research showed from the on-line sites and in addition will get the 5% rebate. In researching cruises also determine it was more cost effective and flight schedules were better to fly out of Orlando Airport instead of Jacksonville Florida or Savannah Georgia. Finally decided that could combine a visit to Disney World for one day, then fly out of Orlando airport to San Juan. Only 4 hour drive from residence in GA to Orlando. Orlando Airport  Parking in one of the satellite parking lots cost $7.00 a day. When checked on parking prior to trip, airport web pages show parking at $5.00 a day. Got to airport about 6 a.m. for a 8:15 flight. There were still big lines for people checking in baggage and going through security, but for the most part things went pretty smoothly. San Juan Airport: Arrive at airport around 11:00 a.m. Claimed baggage and headed for ground transportation. When arriving at ground transportation, they have someone who will ask you where your going, how many people are traveling with you, and how many bags. They will then Fill out a sheet with the total cost which you will give to driver. For 3 people and 6 bags, we were charged $23.50. Trip to cruise port lasted around 30 minutes. Embarkation: Went very smoothly especially if you have done the pre-check on-line and printed out your pass. We were checked in and on-board within 30 minutes. THE CRUISE: Knew it was going to be a good cruise and had made the right decision to choose Celebrity when you a greeted on the ship with a glass of champagne and they assign someone to show you to your cabin. FOOD: Food was great! Good variety. On lobster night, they bring a large lobster tail to you and they even remove it from the shell right at the table for you. We decided to make reservations for the Ocean Liners restaurant. Glad we did. The meal was fantastic. After 2 hours of choreographed dining we could hardly get up. Seemed to be a 10 course meal to me and it was good. I did though make the mistake of accepting a glass of champagne at the start of our meal, thinking it was included in the extra $30.00 per person charge to dine in Ocean Liners. Found out later the champagne was not included when saw a charge of $18.00 for a glass of champagne on my bill. All in all would highly recommend going to the Ocean Liners Restaurant if you have not been before. Staff. All the staff was great. Everyone greets you when you pass them in the halls, leave the dining areas. Our serving staff could not have been better. Our table # was 450. Waiters name was Michael (From India) and his assistant was Chavez. The Asst Maitred was fabulous and really made the dining experiences a delight. His name is Lorenzo and if you are on the Constellation I would highly recommend asking to be seated in his area. He had a wonderful personality and always came by for a chat during the evening meals. He told us he had been with Celebrity for 10 years and had started out as a busboy. PORTS: Dominican Republic. Took the Eco Water Tour. Road in some high speed boat to a mangrove swamp and boarded a dug out canoe and cruised around the mangroves. Was quite peaceful Grenada. Took the Spice tour which lasted around 8 hours, including lunch. Spent a lot of time in bus climbing the narrow winding roads. More than once I though our bus would not make it up the steep inclines but they did without problems. Went to a Run Distillery which was real interesting. They have a waterwheel they use to cruse the sugar cane to make the rum. They even let you try a sip of 150 proof rum. A sip is about all you can handle. Said the proof is so high, it cannot be exported off of Granada. Barbados. Took a tour of bird sanctuary that had been set up to preserve one of the last mangrove sanctuaries in Barbados. Was really enjoyable. St Kitts. We were scheduled to take the small gauge railroad tour of St. Kitts. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 1:15 pm. around 1:00 pm we were notified that they were experiencing some mechanical problem with the trains and we would be delayed around 15-30 minutes. An hour later they started to board the buses. We sat on the hot buses for it seems another 30 minutes when they came an told us we were ready to go, but in order to make sure we got back in time for the ships departure, they would take us half way around the island on the train, then we would get back on the buses for the other half. When we were told this, half of the folks on the bus including us decided to skip the tour and get refunds which Celebrity credited to our bill. St. Thomas. We took the Blackbeard Castle tour. Once we made it up to the castle, we were informed that Black Beard really didnt have any association with the structure. It had been rename this long ago to take advantage of tourism. Did have a nice walk down from the castle and view some of the other structures that had been built by the Europeans when they first came to the island. The end of the tour ended in the main shopping district and we were told we were on our own to get back to the ship. Taxies are everywhere though and cost $4.00 per trip. Since we were able to view the cruise ship from the shopping areas thought it would be a nice walk back. It was nice walking along the water front but a lot longer that it looks. Wish had taken the taxi, but made it back ok otherwise. On-Ship Entertainment. The singers and dancers on the Celebrity were the best we have ever seen. Really did enjoy the Cirque du Soleil show. The female lead singer for the show was one of the best singers I have heard in a long time. Just a wonderful voice. End of cruise. Our last night in the dining room our tablemates had brought one of their friends with them. While we were introducing ourselves, come to find out their friend was the female lead singer from the Cirque du Soleil show! We started to talk and I mentioned how much I enjoyed her singing and wish she had a CD out. To my surprise she said she did have one out and they were being sold in the Cirque du Soleil store on the ship. This was a CD she had personally made and all the songs were sung in Spanish. (Shes from Canada) Here name is: Francine Poitras. After diner, I went and purchased her CD. Later on that evening, we saw her in one of the lounges and mentioned we had purchased her CD. She asked if we would like for her to sign they CD which she did and even wrote a very nice note to us. That really was a nice way to end a fabulous cruise. Embarkation. We were off the ship by 9:30 am and picked up bags and through Customs in 45 minutes. Taxies are readily available and made it to the airport without any problems. Final Thoughts. Just a great cruise. Celebrity and the Constellation are first class. Lorenzo our Asst Maitred was fantastic. Noticed next cruising season, the Constellation with be embarking from Fort Lauderdale, Florida so may have to take advantage of this. Really want to take the Baltic cruise out of London on the Constellation though. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
My wife and I have cruised for many years, mainly on Silversea. Purpose of this cruise was to get acquainted with a new Celebrity ship, of which we had heard good things. We booked a Royal Suite at a cost of $ 8,079, which for a 7-days ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised for many years, mainly on Silversea. Purpose of this cruise was to get acquainted with a new Celebrity ship, of which we had heard good things. We booked a Royal Suite at a cost of $ 8,079, which for a 7-days cruise was as expensive, if not more so for a Silversea frequent cruiser (where one obtains significant savings over the published fares). The Royal Suite is the second largest suite type on this ship. You can access Celebrity's website for details. It was very nicely appointed, with two jacuzzis and ample closets. No shower gel, though. The butler, Judas, was excellent. We utilized his services quite a bit - polishing shoes, obtaining reservations in the specialty restaurant, setting up breakfast on the verandah or inside, depending weather conditions. He also served afternoon tea or coffee with pastry and sandwiches, and only an hour later, hors d'oeuvres for an in-suite cocktail hour. All very, very pleasant. And he took care of having a roller on one of our suitcases fixed. The Ocean Liners specialty restaurant (at an extra USD 30 cost per person) was very good, not only foodwise but also in service. Very recommendable. Due to acute pain in the shoulder area, I utilized the acupuncture service on board. It was quite expensive (about USD 100 per session), but worthwhile for the reason intended. My wife was happy with the reflexology sessions she had. Main restaurant: Well, it was... OK. Servers were courteous, but somewhat too chummy and we disliked being asked "where are you from?". Usually such questions are made by the passengers, not the staff. Food: it was good, but not distinguished. Service was as efficient as you can expect on a 2000+ passenger ship. Buffet restaurant: For the purpose intended, it was quite good, specially the breakfast. The sushi bar in the evenings was perhaps the best overall culinary experience, outside the specialty restaurant. The shows were good, as can be expected on such a big ship. We did not participate in any ship-sponsored excursions, since we had been to the port of calls (Casa de Campo, Grenada, Barbados, St Kitts and St Thomas) on previous cruises and trips to the Caribbean. We were though impressed of the amount and variety of shore excursions offered. While the check in procedure was somewhat bumpy (we arrived at about 2:30 pm - a later timing would have been much better) the checkout was perfect! Passengers were ordered to assemble in different public areas, according to their luggage color code, and from there they were advised to deboard in a very, very orderly fashion. Great organization here. It was somewhat obscure how the ship managed passengers bringing liquor aboard. There is a desk where passengers are supposed to surrender any bottles bought at the tax free shop before boarding. But many took their supply aboard in their carryons. Then, on board, there was a store offering liquor at very good prices, so it really is not worthwhile to bring anything on board, but you have to consider the fact that during port stays, the on board shops are closed. Overall it was a positive cruising experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
This was our second cruise on the Constellation (we sailed when she was 2 months old several years ago) and I must say, the ship is far from the same both in general upkeep as well as service. There are many important items that Celebrity ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Constellation (we sailed when she was 2 months old several years ago) and I must say, the ship is far from the same both in general upkeep as well as service. There are many important items that Celebrity Cruise Lines either ignores or simply misses (which I find hard to believe...) Let's start with food- each and every time we went upstairs to the buffet area, there were flies buzzing around. The manager of the restaurant seemed oblivious- how in God's name could he not see this infestation ? Not just once or twice, but each and every time we were there ! In addition, the wait staff allowed tables to fill with used trays and dishes while they simply stood around. They didn't even have the forethought to wipe the water off the chairs after it rained on the outside dining area ! The main dining room (San Marco Restaurant) was a busy place, (previous cruises showed this not to be problematic- not on this ship !) The waiter we had was brusque, "canned in his presentation" and in a hurry to hustle us out (keep in mind, we were in the late dining period.)Our party of 4 couples were extremely disappointed by this treatment and I'm sure most will not be back on Celebrity's ships just based on the feeling they got when they dined. Let's move on to the ship itself- this was a grand ship when it was new, however upkeep of the ship has suffered. For instance, going up the stairway to our room when we arrived on board we noticed between the landing many mirrors- one of which had a gigantic spiderweb-like crack. How could the ship's crew not see this ??? It was easily observed and at the height of a normal man's shoulders! Our room itself had its problems too. First and foremost, the toilet always STUNK !!! It generally looked clean, but reeked of urine. The shower drained extremely slow as well. If that was not enough, on Day 3 of the cruise, all the water on the ship turned yellowish brown for the remainder of the voyage (we used bottled water to brush our teeth.) The veranda, although pleasant to sit on and watch the world go by, was stained and had corners which looked like they had not been cleaned in months. The cruise itself was good. The ports were fun and the weather was great. The entertainment was fairly good as well. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient. Nonetheless, I will think twice next time I put out my hard earned dollars to sail on a cruise line that ignores cleanliness and allows its wait staff to sit around and talk to each other while allowing other waiters to treat guests like cattle. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
Embarkation was a snap. We were on line early because we hoped to buy a pier upgrade, since we'd seen about 6 balconies available online a few days earlier. They started boarding around noon and we went straight to the pier ... Read More
Embarkation was a snap. We were on line early because we hoped to buy a pier upgrade, since we'd seen about 6 balconies available online a few days earlier. They started boarding around noon and we went straight to the pier coordinator's desk and he wasn't there yet, although a list with the same balconies was sitting on the desk (ok, I'm nosy). We were hopeful but he flatly said there would be no upgrades available. I looked at his list meaningfully and he said once again there were no upgrades. I was dismissed. Kudos to Celebrity for a quick embarkation process. They had a duty free shop in the terminal and we were told that as long as we put the bottles in our bags, we could take them on. This proved true. Cabin: Our cabin was bright and cheerful and seemed quite functional. For a ship only a few years old, it was a bit worn. The caulking in the shower was discoloured and there were stains on the fabric of the chair and sofa. That said, we enjoyed our room and found it a nice retreat. The storage was ample and we appreciated the safe and that the maid emptied the fridge for us. Being on deck 2 was great as we could just walk up one flight to the room after ports and the room didn't creak in the night the way the ones on higher decks do (due to the ship flexing). Ship: Outside, the Constellation is not that attractive. The exposed pipes and machinery and the overall look of the ship are rather utilitarian and drab. I also made a mental note not to get an upper balcony in the future because the over-hanging deck above is rather unsightly and would block the sun. The pool area was fine and the aft bar was rather lovely, in teak woods. I noticed that those on aft balconies below were directly visible from the aft bar and that children were throwing grapes, to the amusement of the bartender but not their mothers. Inside, the Constellation is a lovely ship. The grand foyer is the hub of the ship and is serene. The lounges all scatter out from there and are not that visually distinct from one another. The martini bar and the champagne bar are actually two sides of the same bar so if you don't like smoke, sit on the martini side and order your champagne. The martini tastings were great fun and the barman there, Sudi, is a minor celebrity on the ship. The Michael's Club and the Rendezvous lounge are the exception to the sameness that rules elsewhere. Michael's club is much like a cigar lounge or gentleman's club in decor, with lots of wood and a pianist/vocalist. Wonderful. The Rendezvous lounge was rather dated looking, especially for a three year-old ship, with plum and purple coloured chairs scattered about. A tired sounding lounge act played here and the place was empty except for Karaoke night, when it looked like the lounge of an airport Howard Johnson's. The theatre was wonderfully decked out and there are cocktail tables at the seats, as opposed to how some ship's carve drink holders out of the arm rest, as though you're at the local multiplex. Bar service was great and the shows were fine, although the music is definitely chosen to appeal to Celebrity's older demographic. On RCL, we saw numbers from Mamma Mia, the Producer's and Contact. Here, we saw numbers form Mame, Will Roger's Follies and other "older" shows. The shows were well done but they seemed to have audio troubles often, as there was intermittent static on all the show nights. The Bar at the Edge of the Earth was an avant garde space that they used for the Cirque Ball. It was free and was essentially a dance with images projected on the walls. It was fun and one of the only nights we ever saw people dancing. The bars were not well used outside of dinnertime on Constellation and one night, we went to the disco party and were the only four people there. The library was well-stocked and useful and the internet cafe was well-equipped, if not a bit more expensive than on other lines. I got a phone call one day saying I had used more than 20 minutes of time and I should buy one of their packages. Guess Big Brother was watching. It had the opposite of the intended effect. I was reminded I was spending too much time and money on the net and stopped going. While it is kind that the casino offers a smallish non-smoking area, there were so many people smoking in it that it didn't really matter, since the staff saw this happening and did nothing. Nonetheless, I lost more than I am happy with on their machines and never had a decent payout. Oh well, some people spend money in other ways, I likes spas and casinos. Speaking of the spa, it's rather nice. There is a sauna in each of the men's and women's changing room with large windows overlooking the ocean. I had a massage and while it wasn't the best massage ever (more like a rub-down than a trained massage), the attendant was kind and chatty. He did push rather held to sell product during the end of my session, which I dislike but seems to be the norm at all resorts. The shops were fine, except they didn't seem to be open much. They would be open during the dinner and the show but we were...at dinner and the show. They were also under-stocked in terms of sizes and they said they hadn't had a shipment in a while. The bingo had rather small prizes (starting at about a hundred dollars) but it was till $20-40 to play. The pool was as most cruise pools are. Crowded on sea days and fine otherwise. They have pool butlers but they would not police the chair hogs. We loved the thassolatherapy pool. It was like a whirlpool you could sit on a lounge chair in. Wonderful. The cafe near there was amazing, also. Light and healthy food that was much more creative than the steamer table food in the buffet. Because they serve you, as oppose to your dishing you own food, the lines go slowly in the buffet. You can't even get a tray and cutlery without joining the initial line. The main dining was hit and miss. Some nights were great and on others, the food was disappointing. In general, the service was the same. We were very punctual and yet we still missed the show the first night due to the waiter's slowness and on other nights, our waiter would literally stop serving us and would go to help a lady into her chair or pass out menus as another table arrived. Our assistant was very able and our sommelier was superior. He was adept at selecting wines that worked wonders with the food. Where Celebrity exceeds in food is the specialty restaurant. We loved it and bought the wine pairing, which was stunning. In writing this review, I am aware that I am pointing out many faults and I should say that this was not a bad cruise. However, we had been told until the moment we boarded that Celebrity "just does it better" and that we would really notice how they were a step "above" the other lines. I can say that outside of more folks dressing up for dinner (and about 3/4 staying dressed for the evening), Celebrity was no better or worse than Royal Caribbean, which would have been a couple hundred less. I was doubly disappointed that the areas where Celebrity was most meant to excel (food and service) were what I would consider its weaker points. The announcement-free policy must not have been in effect on our cruise as there were bingo announcements every day. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
We are not cruise experts, having cruised only once prior to this Constellation cruise. If you are relatively new to cruising, you may find this useful. EMBARKATION Smooth and easy. We checked in online, and the check-in process at San ... Read More
We are not cruise experts, having cruised only once prior to this Constellation cruise. If you are relatively new to cruising, you may find this useful. EMBARKATION Smooth and easy. We checked in online, and the check-in process at San Juan was extremely efficient. It took maybe 5 minutes from arrival at the port to entry onto the ship. Outstanding personnel on the ground. PUBLIC ROOMS The Constellation is really quite an attractive ship. I am uninterested in glitzy, Vegas-style ships and this isn't one of them. The decor is very tasteful, characterized by generous artwork and beautiful materials throughout. Particularly impressive is the array of unique and varied public spaces. The Martini Bar is elegant and low-key. Michael's Club is masculine, cozy, and classy. The Ocean Liners restaurant is truly special; I felt like we were experiencing the classic decor of ships like the Titanic -- minus the problems! CABIN We stayed on the 9th deck in Concierge Class. Our cabin had a veranda, which was absolutely fantastic as a place to relax, have breakfast, and watch the ocean go by. If you can, get a cabin with a veranda; you'll be glad you did. The cabin itself was small but exceptionally well-designed. The bathroom was small but highly functional. Good water pressure. Sufficient hot water. The small touch of fresh flowers in the cabin each day was very tasteful. The afternoon hors d'oeuvres, however, weren't too good. The only problem with the 9th deck is that it's noisy. The 10th deck is the pool deck, and its steel construction provides little sound insulation. When bands are playing on the deck, the noise reverberates into the 9th deck cabins. However, the parties don't go late into the night. While we had requested a "quiet" cabin when booking directly through Celebrity, we didn't receive that. This was disappointing, and you are advised to insist on a candid assessment from the booking agent. FITNESS & RECREATION Outstanding. The AquaSpa is just terrific; we both got massages and my travel partner got a manicure. Prices are high (manicure was $48), but the service and professionalism were top-notch. The pool area is attractive with many options, including pools in the spa and on the outdoor deck. Several hot tubs, too. The workout facilities were terrific, with lots of cardio and weights machines. DINING While I tend to think that cruise dining is more about quantity than quality, I must say that Celebrity does as good a job as can possibly be expected for serving 2,000 passengers. The Main Dining Room -- which we only used twice -- is attractive but has the least impressive food. Nothing was wrong with the food, but it's not exceptional. The Ocean Liners Restaurant is highly recommended. Food is stellar. Service is a bit too much (felt like we had 5 waiters for 2 of us), but it's a lovely experience overall. The Casual Dining Restaurant on 10 is a great dinner alternative. They have a nice, limited menu and it seemed to be an undiscovered gem, as it was never too crowded. The AquaSpa food was really terrific. I had an incredible seafood salad for lunch one day that was world-class. It IS possible to eat healthy on the ship! The poolside food was good too -- burgers, etc. The large buffet area on the 10th deck was OK; food wasn't exceptional, but again, that's reasonable given the massive quantity of passengers being served. The late night Grand Buffet was spectacular. Watch out for those women competing for the chocolates, however. It got a little ugly. ENTERTAINMENT Go see the Cirque de Soliel mini-performance. It's fantastic, and in some ways more impressive because it's done on a relatively small stage that wasn't built for them a la Vegas. The comedian (Dan Gavin, I believe) was first-rate. Stand-up comics can be great or awful, but this guy kept the entire audience in stitches from start to finish. The Casino is fantastic. Very friendly personnel, and my travel companion (who is a reluctant blackjack player) felt welcomed by the professional staff. SERVICE Overall, the personnel on the Constellation are a highly impressive group of professionals. We really felt like they were enjoying their jobs, and they all worked very hard to make passengers comfortable. Very responsive all-around. The exception is the Customer Service desk, where the group there seemed to be relatively uninformed and not too helpful. We never got a satisfactory answer about the noise up on 9 (i.e., how late does the band play, etc.). SHORE EXCURSIONS This cruise had a great set of ports -- each was unique. Dominica is a beautiful, relatively primitive island. We went into the Rain Forest and had a great outing. Aruba is a hustling, bustling island with people who didn't seem too friendly. We didn't make it past the main drag, which wasn't too impressive. Curacao is a delightful island with great shopping. We dropped a bundle there. Very, very nice people on that island. PROBLEMS The biggest problem on this cruise was the competition for deck chairs on the pool decks. It was just ridiculous; if you didn't wake up by 7 AM to go out and claim deck chairs by putting a towel or personal item on them, you wouldn't get one because there were too few. Celebrity did little to manage this situation, and pretty much chalked it up to the many teens on board. It got ugly, as people were very unhappy about this and some people were trying to "steal" deck chairs. On our last day at sea, I saw two deck chairs festooned with nasty notes saying "don't even think about taking this chair." Of course, the inconsiderate jerks who left these notes never showed up all day to use their chairs, therefore denying them to others. My suggestion to Celebrity: give every passenger a laminated card with their name on it. You can use this to "reserve" one and only one chair. Such a system might avoid the problems we experienced. OVERALL Celebrity is a class act. They have a beautiful ship in the Constellation, run it well, and you will certainly enjoy the many, many pleasurable aspects of a week on the Constellation. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
Review of the Constellation 12/10/2005-12/17/2005. Our itinerary was St. Maarten, Dominica. St. Lucia, Isla Margarita (Venezuela), and Aruba. We enjoy all the islands. Each has it's own charm, but the one we like the most was Isla ... Read More
Review of the Constellation 12/10/2005-12/17/2005. Our itinerary was St. Maarten, Dominica. St. Lucia, Isla Margarita (Venezuela), and Aruba. We enjoy all the islands. Each has it's own charm, but the one we like the most was Isla Margarita. St. Maarten we went to Orient Beach. Dominica we toured with Reyno Tours, and had a very good time. St Lucia the tour was provided by Frank's Tours, which is a little expensive but the tour was superb and worth the money. In Isla Margarita we booked our tour with Celebrity and we really enjoyed everything about this island except for the flies. We been to Aruba four times so we went directly to Palm Beach which is a beautiful and calm beach with tons of things to do. This is our sixth cruise, but our first one in Celebrity Cruises. My wife and I have previously cruised three times with Princess (Dawn, Sapphire, Golden), once with Carnival (Destiny), and once with RCI (Serenade of the Seas). I will like for my review to be as good and precise as other reviews, but since English is my second language sometimes I make mistakes and if I do please forgive me. The embarkation process-- in San Juan was excellent. Both Celebrity a the Port Authority did a great job. We check-in in approximately 15 minutes. The ship-- The Constellation is a beautiful ship. The pools were very good, but it was very hard to find a lounge chair during the day. The pool in the Aqua Spa was very good to relax after returning to the ship. The ship was very easy to get around, and never seem to be to crowded. I have a walking difficulty and found the ship to be very accessible. The lay out of the ship was very easy to learn. The Martini Bar and the Champagne Bar were very relaxing and beautiful. I can not say the same about The bar in the front of the ship on deck 11 which we did not find appealing. The entertainment -- was outstanding. We watched all the shows in the theater including C d S and were very happy with all of them. I have to mention a few negative remarks about entertainment. The first one is the daily program, because a little confusing to read and understand. The movie selection for the whole cruise was not very good. The food -- was good and plentiful. I will start with the buffet area. The lay out was very good and the waiters were very helpful.. The buffet had a good variety of dishes through out the whole cruise. The pasta station was awesome. The free ice cream was a big plus. The free drinks were very good and convenient, but the ship ran out of most of them before the end of the cruise. We did breakfast three times at the restaurant and the rest we went to the buffet. Both places were good, but I must mention that the service in the restaurant in open seating in the San Marcos restaurant was not as good as the dinner service. Room service I think that this ship really stands out, because of the fast service and the number of items that one can order. The cabin -- we had ocean view cabin in the Continental Deck (2), cabin 2161. The cabin had a very good lay out. The bathroom was very comfortable. Our cabin stewardess was excellent and kept our cabin in great shape during the whole cruise. In the negative side we also can declare that the water coming out of the faucet in the bathroom had a yellowish tone. We brought bottle water since we have read about this problem before. I do have to say that Celebrity will have to deal with this problem very soon, because the six individuals on our table had the same problem. I must admit that we only notice the yellowish water towards the end of the cruise, but frankly it did not bother us. The disembarkation process -- was some what efficient. Since we live in Puerto Rico we were some of the last people to leave the ship. I personally did not like the system of gather in central places so they will not have to make announcements. I prefer to hear the announcements and wait on the area near the pool until they call my group. The conclusion-- I believe that any time I am on vacation I will enjoy it, and I will not expect the best in everything since it is almost impossible to please everyone all the time. We like our vacation very much. There were things that could have been better, but overall was a great expedience and will do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
Just returned from 7 nights on the Celebrity Constellation. Ports of Call included Dominica, Aruba and Curacao. The cruise dates included Christmas and Hanukkah - we returned to San Juan on New Years Eve. This is my 3rd cruise. In the ... Read More
Just returned from 7 nights on the Celebrity Constellation. Ports of Call included Dominica, Aruba and Curacao. The cruise dates included Christmas and Hanukkah - we returned to San Juan on New Years Eve. This is my 3rd cruise. In the past we've cruised with Radisson and everyone said we we would be disappointed by any other cruise line. That was not the case. While there was certainly a difference in the experience, I was delighted with our Celebrity Cruise. The Pros: The embarkation and disembarkation were easy and efficient. The cabin was roomy enough for 3 adults and all our luggage. (We had a room with a balcony on deck 9). The ship was lovely and kept spotless. The evening entertainment was excellent. There was music in every public space in the evenings - all of it good. The singing and dancing troupe that performed on the main stage in the evening was top notch. Production values were tremendous. The Comedian was excellent. And I never expected Cirque de Soleil. Wow! Food at the evening meals in the San Marco dining room was generally very good. (Stay away from the veal picatta. It is nothing like any veal picatta I have ever eaten.) The cabin attendant was terrific. The room was kept spotless and always well supplied with clean towels, etc. He found my missing running shoe, offered to bring my son (who slept late and missed breakfast) juice, pastries, etc. He learned all of our names and always had a smile for us. Our waiter was also terrific. He was friendly, remembered our preferences from night to night (who liked chocolate desserts, who preferred decaf coffee etc). He brought us extra servings of lobster and beef tenderloin. If he thought we might miss out on the best dessert, he brought one of the those to the table too for us to sample. The spa was pricey- but the services were excellent and we didn't have any trouble booking what we wanted when we wanted (we did book as soon as we got on board). The couples massage was especially good. I had read some reviews that said the staff were not friendly. We did not find that to be the case. Almost everyone we interacted with was cheerful and helpful. Some of the more "backroom" staff were less friendly or quiet. Could have been that their language skills weren't up to extensive conversation. Their behavior was, at worst, neutral. The Cons: Not enough lounge chairs for days at sea and the stated policy (no reserving chairs) was not enforced by the staff. This lead to both disappointment (no chair available if you weren't' out claiming one by 7:30 am) and disagreements amongst the guests. Insufficient daytime activities. Nickel & Dime (or rather $5-$10) charges for various things - including some exercise classes (Pilates, Yoga), soft drinks (sodas, pineapple juice, bottled water) that IMHO should have just been included. Body Lotion and Shampoo were provided via a dispenser instead of as bottled amenities. The quality of the product was okay, but the method of delivery didn't match the ambiance of the ship. The buffet (where we ate breakfast most mornings) was okay. Nothing special and a little too cafeteria-like. Sometimes staff was there to carry your tray. Sometimes not. Destinations: We enjoyed each of the ports of call. Dominica was far less touristy than most islands and that was refreshing. We had far too little time in Curacao. We took excursions on each island and felt that each was fair value for the money. On Dominica we took the Dominica Highlights trip and saw the waterfalls. On Aruba we did the 1/2 off road jeep trip and snorkeled on Curacao. Probably the best snorkeling I've experienced anywhere. Other Comments: The demographic of the cruise was interesting. Perhaps because of the holidays, there were lots of multi-generational families on board. Many 50-somethings with college age kids, younger sibs and grandparents. Over 400 "junior cruisers" were on board and the kids activities must have kept them busy because we didn't see much of them at all. It was too bad nothing was organized for the college-age kids to meet each other. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
Booking of Cruise and Ports of Call: This was our first cruise and cannot say enough GREAT things about Celebrity and the ship Constellation. Itinerary was a 7 day southern Caribbean cruise with the following ports of call: San Juan, Case ... Read More
Booking of Cruise and Ports of Call: This was our first cruise and cannot say enough GREAT things about Celebrity and the ship Constellation. Itinerary was a 7 day southern Caribbean cruise with the following ports of call: San Juan, Case De Campo Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, St. Thomas and then back to San Juan. Good to Know: 2 ½ months out from our scheduled cruise date, our travel agent called to inform us our cruise week was chartered out and we had 2 options: 1) pick another week to cruise or 2) receive a full refund. I guess this can happen (although we are told rarely) & where you book a cruise and then someone comes along and charters the entire boat out and you have to move your week or get a refund. We opted to move our week. About 45-60 days out from our cruise date, we received a detailed booklet about our cruise itinerary, flight info, the dos and dont of cruising, our luggage tags etc. This booklet really helped us get ready for our trip. We booked our cruise through a travel agent since we had not been on a cruise before and were nervous about embarkation process, airport transfers etc. Everything was taken care by the travel agency. Our agent recommended the Constellation as was a newer boat as well as recommending the Concierge Class (CC) room class which, by the way, was a fantastic recommendation and well worth the extra money! Being worried about sea sickness, our room was 9046, sky deck, mid-ship which worked out well. We were far enough away from elevator noise but close enough to not have to walk for miles to get to our destinations on the ship. Our balcony allowed us a perfect view of many ports as we arrived. It was relatively private with glass partitions between each balcony and with a ceiling overhang which helped with privacy of the balcony. CC is an upgrade with priority embarkation/disembarkation and other amenities such as fresh fruit and canapEs in your room each day, complimentary bottle of champagne, pillow menu etc. The embarkation process flowed well coming and going. Lessons Learned: Leaving out of San Juan and flying home from there makes for a VERY long day! When we do another Southern Caribbean cruise, it will be 10 days, not 7. I felt as though we traveled the entire first day and last day thus making our trip feel shorter. If not, we would fly in the day before to enjoy San Juan. Ship Information: The ship is beautiful! Upon entering the ship, the white gloved staff were walking around with platters full of champagne glasses. The elevators and main entrance were stunning. Our room was ready when we boarded around 3 pm and our luggage arrived within 20 minutes of getting to the room. Another perk of the concierge class. The room was very clean and had plenty of room for us. Lesson Learned: Since was our first cruise, I over packed! Dont make this mistake since storage is at a premium. Each day we received the Celebrity Today newsletter which described the next port of call, shore excursions, dos and donts of each port, general information about some of the crew/ship, reminders about daily dining choices and activities & events. The most important part of the newsletter was the drink special section!! We also received a weather information card regarding the next port. Port of call Activities: In Barbados we did the Atlantis Submarine which was fantastic. While in St. Thomas, we did the BOB Excursion (underwater observation bubble) which was absolutely incredible! I recommend these 2 excursions at any port. Well worth the money! We enjoyed all of our ports of call. Our favorite was St. Thomas -- it is absolutely beautiful! We were docked at each port so we did not have to deal with the tender process. Getting back on ship after a day of sightseeing ran relatively smoothly. They have metal detectors for you and your bags. Additionally, you have to swipe your seapass card which pops up your smiling face to ensure you are who you say you are. One day the line did back up and it was scorching outside. Celebrity staff were outside passing our frozen wash clothes which was such relief!! We looked around and no other ship was providing that level of service. Way to Go Celebrity! Lesson Learned: On the way to shore each day, just pay the few dollars and buy your water as you exit the ship. Some of the lines for taxis or excursions can be a little bit of a wait and having the water handy is worth the money. Dining: We had heard great things about food on a cruise. Although the cuisine was good, we felt was average overall. We ate breakfast at the Seaside Cafe each morning before heading out to shore and enjoyed the buffet style. San Marco is the main dining room and we only ate breakfast there once since it served breakfast from 730-930 and we were never ready to eat by then. For dinner, we had late seating (8pm) and a table for 2 which is exactly what we wanted!! Very intimate and the time was perfect. Regrettably, we did not try the Ocean Liners restaurant which has a cover charge of 30.00 per person. We will definitely do that next time. Each afternoon (430-630), we would sit at the Seaside Cafe bar and eat a slice of pizza, play cards, have few drinks and listen to Pablo Rodriguez play as we departed for sea. This was perfect! Pablo was awesome! Entertainment, Events and Activities: All the shows we attended were fantastic. Jeff Nease was hysterical. If you are worried about being board at sea, dont be. There is so much to do, I could take this same cruise 10 times and never attend all the shows, movies, activities and events! We did pay extra to attend a Champagne tasting class. That was great fun. This was the maiden voyage for Cirque Du Soleil and the Bar at the Edge of the Earth&we heard this was mediocre and not worth the extra money so we did not attend. I have heard they revised the show and is better. The casino was hopping while at sea each night and a lot of fun. Service and Staff: I cannot say enough about the class of employees on the Constellation. Our expectations were exceeded. Our head waiter and assistant were incredible. After the second night, they remembered what our preferred drink was and would bring it a soon as we gave the OK. The wine steward was patient and well versed about the wines. We loved all of her choices. All I can say is Bravo, Excellent and cant wait to cruise again. We were treated so well, we are nervous about trying a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
This was a stellar cruise! Despite more rain than we have ever experienced on a Caribbean cruise. Embarkation was smooth in San Juan (10 minutes from curb to boarding) at 12:45 PM on Saturday. Room was immaculate. All shore excursions, ... Read More
This was a stellar cruise! Despite more rain than we have ever experienced on a Caribbean cruise. Embarkation was smooth in San Juan (10 minutes from curb to boarding) at 12:45 PM on Saturday. Room was immaculate. All shore excursions, Ocean Liners reservations, etc. all awaited us. Great lunch in Seaside and all public areas were top notch. Helpful bookings at the Spa for day-at-sea. Bags arrived by 4 PM. Sudi did his magic for the 7 PM Cruise Critic gathering in the Martini Bar. San Marco food and service were exceptional throughout the week. We ordered breakfast on the veranda five days, and our cabin steward did a fantastic job. We had clothes pressed and shoes shined flawlessly. Lunches at AquaSpa were consistently good. We only saw three shows, but they were all entertaining. Ocean Liners never disappoints ... the food was exquisite. The one shore excursion we booked through Celebrity (Catamaran in St Kitts) was fabulous. The Grenada tour booked directly with Mandoo was better than the billing promised on the threads. There is no good reason for visiting Casa de Campo on day one .. we never left the ship. Celebrity needs to drop this for another port. Using the gym and the spa was a treat. It seemed as if all of the staff we interacted with were happy, energetic, and genuinely delighted we were on board. Angelo helped us with next year's booking and attentively followed up with us on our desired cabin. Departing in San Juan was hassle free. Celebrity should be proud of their performance! The only thing they could have done better was have the Captain or some senior staff person greet the Cruise Critic party ... the 28 of us who gathered in Michael's were on our own ... those who traveled RCCL and Princess were better recognized at their CC parties. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
This was the first Celebrity cruise for my wife and 18 yr old son. We`have previously cruised with NCL, HAL, Disney and Carnival. We thoroughly enjoyed our Constellation experience, so much so, that wife and I are in process of booking a ... Read More
This was the first Celebrity cruise for my wife and 18 yr old son. We`have previously cruised with NCL, HAL, Disney and Carnival. We thoroughly enjoyed our Constellation experience, so much so, that wife and I are in process of booking a 2006 Mediterranean cruise on the Constellation's sister ship, Millennium. As most Celebrity veterans know, the Constellation is a very elegant ship, nicely appointed and well maintained. The public areas are very inviting with some really interesting art, soft lighting and furniture/fixtures that really make you feel lie you are on a premium experience. The cabin as well is nicely appointed and accommodated 3 adults pretty well. Closet/hanging/drawer space worked out just fine. You do need to have some kind of schedule for getting ready for dinner each night, but we've done this before and have our own system of letting each person own the bathroom/shower for a period of time. There is only one electrical outlet in the bathroom and it's suggested that electric razors only are used. There is a hair dryer mounted on the wall. There is another electrical outlet beside the desk in the cabin, but we never used it other than to recharge a laptop (wireless internet access is available on this ship @ $0.75 per minute). The staff onboard were very friendly all the time. We `really enjoyed seeing our cabin stewards and restaurant wait staff everyday. They always had a pleasant smile and greeting and were very nice to talk to about their country, family and experiences on the ship or in the ports. Couple of the the ports on this itinerary weren't that great, but we anticipated this based on reviews from others. We are quite happy to spend a couple hrs walking around the ship then getting back on board to use the pool/spa/gym. We did participate in a couple shore excursions and had a great time on both. Swim with the Turtles in Barbados and BOB (Breathing Observation Bubble) in St. Thomas were both awesome. The gym on this ship is very good complete with about 10 treadmills, 6 bikes, 2 stairmasters and every piece of weight equipment including free weights. They also have bikes for spinning and a couple classes during the cruise. Food was very good to excellent. I wouldn't say gourmet or 5 star, but always presented well, tasty and served at right temperature. We did make reservations in Ocean Liners for 2 nights but cancelled both because we were having such a great time with our table mates in the main dining room as well as with Marius and Yusmin, our waiter and assistant. We`had one vegetarian at our table who had a special menu each night. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet in the seaside cafe and found selections and quality to be very good. We`did eat breakfast in main dining room on disembarkation day and really enjoyed it too. Some people wonder why more don't use main dining for breakfast/lunch. We`meant to try more often, but found the buffet convenient and enjoyed the food. Son ordered from room service a couple times late at night. Pretty good menu and no additional charge. Order showed up each time in about 20 minutes. Entertainment was very enjoyable each night. We went to the show in the Celebrity Theater each night. The theater is beautiful with great views from all seats. The Cirque du Soleil teaser is very enjoyable and the singer/dancers very entertaining. The Cruise Director and Activities staff are very approachable and friendly. All 3 of us like to gamble and since this was my son's first opportunity to be in a casino, we had a lot of fun. The casino staff are very friendly and helpful to rookie gamblers. We find there are few really serious gamblers on a cruise, although they do have at least one table of blackjack each night set up with higher limits. We came back even so think we did well! Embarkation/disembarkation is no different than any other cruise. It's hit and miss as to how well or poorly it goes. One thing we ALWAYS do is take care of our own air travel, pre/post cruise hotel stays and transportation to/from cruse terminal WITH our luggage. We met a couple people who had lost baggage and both had pre-arranged transfers thru cruise line or hotel. I guess it could happen to those like us who following the do it yourself method, but we've never had a problem and I'm sure I get just as good a deal or better than doing everything thru cruise line. For this cruise took us about 45 minutes to get on and about 15 minutes to get off in San Juan. Luggage arrived at room within an hr and was off the ship by the time we got off and in the port terminal. We did have a customs process to go thru in St Thomas on the second last day since that really is our US return point. They try to organize this by assigning cabins to certain times, but the line to get thru a very simple process was quite long. It did move along thought and while the customs process of scanning your cruise card and having a customs agent look at your passport took 30 seconds, the line to get there was about 40 minutes long. My recommendation, go have breakfast first and show up around 8:45 am by which time there is no line. The profile of the cruise passengers included all age groups, but most were in the 30-50 range and mostly people from the US and Puerto Rico . Very few kids on this cruise ( Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
Our second cruise on this ship proved to be even more relaxing and enjoyable than our first trip on her in Dec 03. We found the ship still as beautiful and clean as she was two years ago when she was nearly new. The staff were even more ... Read More
Our second cruise on this ship proved to be even more relaxing and enjoyable than our first trip on her in Dec 03. We found the ship still as beautiful and clean as she was two years ago when she was nearly new. The staff were even more finely tuned than we remembered, totally professional and very customer friendly. We had a week of being pampered and catered to without having to ask for anything. This is what a vacation is all about! The food on Celebrity has always been a notch above other cruise lines, but the current Connie kitchen staff outdid themselves, turning out one fabulous meal after another. The wait staff seems to have been selected not just for their ability to deliver the meal, but to do it with personality. The latter makes all the difference. Mushi was our waiter and every night he made his recommendations for the best menu selections and he was seldom wrong. We were treated to magic tricks apres dinner that had us giggling riotously like children. By week's end, this group of once total strangers were hugging each other goodbye like old friends. Our night at Ocean Liners was totally top notch. Love that goat cheese souffle, but Katrina knows how to do a Zabaglione tableside that will knock your socks off at the end of the meal. She sent the Maitre d' scrambling to the kitchen to retrieve a selection of fresh strawberries and raspberries to add to this dessert at my request and then topped it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh my! Everyone at the table had to have a bite of my dessert and said they would come back to the restaurant just to have her prepare it. As for the ports...we were disappointed in the Sunday call at St. Maarten where we found nearly everything on the French side closed for the day. Sunday port calls are always a problem in the Caribbean but perhaps even St. Thomas might be more interesting on a Sunday than St. Maarten. Well, maybe... I heartily recommend the Whale and Dolphin excursion on Dominica but if you're prone to seasickness, take your medication first. This is a real experience and a far better day spent than a shopping expedition in the town which is not the cleanest nor most appealing port in the Caribbean. We didn't have to go far out to sea to view several pods of the incredible sperm whales. On the way back to ship, we were treated to a gorgeous rainbow display and then a floor show of dolphins leaping out of the water across our bow. This was a day to remember. On St. Lucia we elected to get a day pass to Sandals Grande. This is a superb adults only complex north of Castries with a beautiful half moon of white sand beach. I highly recommend it even though the day pass is slightly pricey. It seemed worth the money as the beach is infinitely swimmable, somewhat remote and therefore quiet, and the security staff keeps vendors from annoying the guests on the beach. Taxi to and from the ship was about $25 each way. We were disappointed in Margarita Island where we docked 45 minutes away from the town of Porlamar (in fact, just about 45 minutes away from positively anything!). The stay there is incredibly short with a 2 pm departure time. We had booked an excursion to nearby Coche Island, but apparently there were not enough participants and the excursion was cancelled on the dock after all the alternative tours had left for the day. Staff said it was due to "maintenance problems" but quietly admitted it was a lack of participation. When this happens, the excursion should be cancelled the night before and participants should be given priority to join another outing when the shore time is so brief and options so few. We walked to the beach near the port but it was not anyplace we wished to stay. We returned to the ship where we soothed our ruffled feathers over pina coladas. On Aruba, four of us got a day rate room at the Radisson Resort and spent the day at their beach and pools. (Taxi from the ship $25.) I had reserved the room with the hotel via email in advance and was quoted $125 plus the hotel tax which is rather hefty. When we checked out around 5 pm the clerk tried to charge us $200 for the room. Because we had a copy of the email quote it was amended to the $125 so be prepared with something in writing if you do this. We used the room to shower and change in and went to The Flying Fishbone restaurant in Saveneta for dinner at 5:30 pm. You have to get there early because the sunset is everything. Fabulous, fabulous place! Seafood with your bare feet in the sand within one foot of the water, watching the sun set into the sea. It was just stunning. Reserve a table in advance online at their website and try for tables 1 or 2. ($20 taxi back to the ship.) The few negatives...I eagerly await the day when cruise ships ban smoking indoors entirely. There were times we could not find seating in any non smoking sections of the ship. The Bar at the Edge needs a better sound system that will provide entertainment but allow people to converse without having to shout to the person next to them. My eardrums might never recover. I would like to see more stringent enforcement of the rules regarding children on the pool deck. Toddlers and young people under the age of 16 do not belong in hot tubs anywhere. And lastly, please...better coffee! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
This was our first cruise with Celebrity - we've had three cruises with their "sister" line Royal Caribbean, all of which we were very pleased with. The Constellation is an absolutely gorgeous ship, elegantly styled with ART ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity - we've had three cruises with their "sister" line Royal Caribbean, all of which we were very pleased with. The Constellation is an absolutely gorgeous ship, elegantly styled with ART Deco fixtures and furnishings, but there is plenty of interesting modern art tastefully displayed throughout the ship. Our cabin was HUGE - it was one of the most forward cabins so it was a lot roomier than the standard stateroom; we enjoyed having the large porthole. Our cabin steward, Jose, was wonderful - extremely personable and he kept our room spotless. I received a floral bouquet on the first day (Saturday) and it was exquisite; the beautiful pink roses fully opened over the course of the cruise. Food on the ship was eclectic and delicious, especially in the ultra-elegant SanMarco dining room. Service there was very correct and very serious; we did miss the party atmosphere of the Royal Carib. dining rooms - if you like the feel of very proper, elegant dining you will be right at home in SanMarco. The ice cream bar on Deck 11 was a welcome (and very popular) place. We were especially happy with the excursions desk staff who gave great advice and were NOT pushing the excursions - this was unlike Royal Carib. where we found the excursions staff to be ONLY interested in making a quick sale with frantic threats of "sellout". We had no problems booking tours even late in the day before the tour was to take place. Shows were better on Royal Caribbean but the 1/2 hour Cirque du Soleil performance is very worthwhile. The best excursions were KANDELA in Casa de Campos (an awesomely spectacular Vegas-style show under the stars in a stone amphitheater) and the BOBs in St. Thomas (an underwater breathing bubble attached to a little jet-ski type vehicle you ride underwater). The waterfall tour in Grenada (HIKE,WADE,SOAK)is worthwhile as you actually get to swim under a magnificent waterfall but you do need to be prepared to hike on a somewhat difficult mud trail thru the rainforest. DON'T miss the thrilling tram ride up to Paradise Point in St. Thomas; the views are unparalleled and the bar up there serves a drink called the Bushwacker which is luscious - just like a chocolate milkshake with 7 kinds of alcohol. If you want to purchase the pale-blue Caribbean gem LARIMAR, you can get a good deal on the jewelry at the tents market in town at St. Thomas - there is an older lady who has unusual pendants and bracelets that are priced right. All in all, this cruise was an excellent foray into sheer luxury. Please email us if you want more particulars. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
Review of Constellation November 19-26, 2005 We booked this trip about a year ago and were lucky to snag the last available aft balcony: 7208. We were originally scheduled to arrive a day early and stay at the Wyndham Condado Plaza, but ... Read More
Review of Constellation November 19-26, 2005 We booked this trip about a year ago and were lucky to snag the last available aft balcony: 7208. We were originally scheduled to arrive a day early and stay at the Wyndham Condado Plaza, but had to change our plans at the last minute. We will now have an opportunity to find out how difficult it is to collect on TravelEx TravelLite insurance. Airport and Embarkation: We arrived on a Continental flight from Newark around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Collecting our luggage was easy and we stopped at the ground transportation desk near the outside doors to request a taxi. There were no lines and we hopped right into a cab ($22.50 for two with three large pieces of luggage, two carryons and a laptop). After a 15-minute ride, we arrived at the Pan American pier. We began wheeling everything over to the line for dropping off luggage where approximately 12 people were waiting. A porter was walking down the line presumably looking at luggage tags and when he saw ours, he pulled us off the line, took our luggage from us, and sent us into the terminal. We walked directly up to an empty line for Select and Elite members and then right up to the counter. Within five minutes we had our Sea Pass cards and were taking the escalator up to the ship. The itinerary for this cruise, which was changed at one point, caused a huge uproar and was subsequently reinstated, was Dominican Republic, at sea, Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and back to San Juan. Cabin: We were escorted to our cabin (the crew member took my carry-on from me) and its details were pointed out to us. Almost immediately, our cabin steward arrived to introduce herself. Analiza described the Concierge Class amenities to us, including the fruit bowl, and when DH mentioned how much he liked grapes, she made a note and we had extra grapes each day. We asked at that time for an Isotonic pillow and an extra bath towel. We then went out to check out our huge balcony. What a bonus it was: two chaise lounges with pads (warning: those dark blue pads get very hot in the sun) and a small table, two regular padded chairs at a large table, and two smaller lounge chairs without pads. About a third of the balcony was covered by the deck above, and the rest (except for the last foot or so) was covered by canvas. Inside the cabin, a few times we heard a loud noise from above, and we could hear a child screaming once a day or so next door or in his cabin across the hall, but otherwise the cabin was very quiet. Champagne on ice was on the table inside, along with the fruit bowl. The room was very clean, although I wiped down the phone, the door handles, the television remote, the door to the minibar, and the closet doors with the Clorox wipes I brought along. Better safe than sorry! The room is done in green, blue and yellow and is very relaxing. There was plenty of storage for 7 nights. The luggage fit easily under the bed. We were amazed by the amount of "mail" we received each day: invitations to various Captain's Club events, "Discover Shopping" seminars, reminders from Oceanliners, etc. Unfortunately, the one thing we expected to receive never arrived: our invitation to the Connections party. By the time we found out about it, it was over, but the event coordinator sent us a note apologizing for the omission. Our luggage arrived by 3:30, which was record time for all of our cruises, and we removed the items we needed for dinner that evening, sent out the items that needed to be pressed for the rest of the trip, and got everything put away before leaving for dinner. We signed up for internet service for our room, which required getting a new phone and then moving the bedside table and the bed in order to hook it up. DH was of the opinion that if you pay $250 for a dial-up internet connection and $10 per day for the special phone, someone should come and install the equipment for you. He has a point, but we managed to get it connected ourselves. We were advised that wireless access is available in some public areas of the ship, but since we actually had work to do, it makes it more difficult to perform than just checking e-mail. The dial-up service is awfully slow, though, so on Summit in March we may try finding a spot where we can set up on a table and try the wireless service if it's available. I believe the package price is the same regardless of which service you use. The Ship: The ship was exceptionally clean and well maintained. The future cruise consultant told us that the regular captain is a stickler for cleanliness and has been known to call staff members at 5 a.m. to complain about cups on the floor or a mess in one of the lounges. His attention to detail shows even in his absence, and DH found the ship to be in noticeably better shape than Infinity, which I found to be just fine. We find the art to be just plain weird (see the pair of ears on the stair landing between decks 6 and 7 aft) and wish the person choosing the artwork on Royal Caribbean's Radiance class ships would give some hints to Celebrity. The silk flower arrangements are gorgeous, though, and are found throughout the ship. Dining Room: We had requested a table for two and thought our chances were good since many families were traveling together for the Thanksgiving holiday. When we snuck into the dining room Saturday afternoon to find our table, we discovered there were no table numbers out yet because the first evening was open seating. We went up to deck five and found the maitre d' with the seating chart and learned we had a table for two (table 424). Our waiter, Joe, and assistant waiter, Jose, whom we met the second evening, were both wonderful: pleasant, friendly, and attentive. Our assistant maitre d', Joseph, introduced himself on the second evening, and he stopped by every night to check on us. Elliott, our sommelier, was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and he enjoyed a sample of a Rioja we had brought onboard and drank at dinner one evening (we were charged a corkage fee of $15). The food selection was not as good as we experienced on our first X cruise. DH was especially disappointed in the chilled soup selections, and the desserts choices were merely fair. One night there were three good desserts, but other nights we found only one that interested us. All of the food was served at the appropriate temperatures and at the requested doneness with only one exception, however, so there was nothing to complain about there, and we could always find at least one entrEe of interest. Thanksgiving dinner featured the requisite turkey, but since it was the second formal night, an overcooked lobster tail was also featured. DH had the veal cordon blue, which he enjoyed, but I had a difficult time with my lobster and never considered seconds. We received an invitation to dine with the assistant hotel manager at the Captain's Table at the first seating on the second formal night. Ms. Handelmann was very personable and young (she's only 30), and it was a pleasure dining with her. We were lucky to be seated next to her, so we could see most of deck 4 and up to the quartet playing at the top of the stairs. It was a new perspective and one we enjoyed. The food was the same served to the rest of the dining room, although Ms. Handelmann had a combination plate (lobster and turkey) that I didn't realize could be ordered. We were served cocktails before dinner and red and white wine with dinner. All in all, it was a treat and the only meal the entire week during which we had other diners to chat with! Ocean Liners: I had initially requested a reservation for the first evening since it was open seating in the dining room. The Captain's Club person took my reservation, but I subsequently received an e-mail that the specialty restaurant was closed the first evening and I should pick another evening. Since we also wanted the last night and I could only make one reservation in advance, I put in my request for that evening and it was granted. Upon arriving in our stateroom, however, we found a card indicating we had reservations for both nights. We checked at the desk set up on deck 5 in the Martini Bar to make certain the restaurant was, in fact, open that evening and found it was. We mentioned this situation to the maitre d' in the restaurant that evening, and he said he had experienced this problem with the Captain's Club in the past. For the record, Ocean Liners is open every evening, regardless of sailing time. Dinner both evenings were fabulous, and we found the waitstaff in Ocean Liners to be better coordinated and more attentive than the staff in the United States on Infinity (with the exception of Christian, who is a gem). We preferred the menu in the United States when we dined there last December, but there were enough choices for us for two evenings. The soufflEs were especially delicious, and we enjoyed two relaxing, filling meals. Other Food: We had breakfast twice in the buffet (waffles, made to order omelets) and the other mornings we ordered from room service and ate in splendor on our balcony. When we ate after 7 a.m., our cabin steward brought the food and set the table with a tablecloth and flowers. If it was prior to when her day began, room service delivered the food and left it on the tray on the table. The food was always hot or cold, as appropriate, and nothing was ever missing. We enjoyed every breakfast on this trip. We had lunch in the buffet every day except one, and a few of them were disappointing. The second day, we tried to order one of the made-to-order pizzas advertised, but the crew making the pizzas didn't seem to understand what we were asking for. We finally convinced them to make the pizza, which they then burned. The next day, I requested a sundried tomato pesto on my pasta at the pasta station, and the crew member had no idea what I was talking about. I actually removed the list from his station and pointed to the sauce I wanted, and I somehow ended up with alfredo sauce. DH received his meat sauce, which I eventually got as well. After that, we stuck with the sandwich station at the back of the buffet and ordered either the sandwich of the day or a made to order sandwich or wrap. Note that the dining room is not open for lunch on port days. We did not try the Aqua Spa cafe or the poolside grill. DH was in a desperate search for cookies, which he enjoys daily on Royal Caribbean ships. Alas, no cookies were to be found until one afternoon in the Cova Cafe. Unfortunately, they were not very tasty, so the cookie monster was not appeased. He did enjoy ice cream from the buffet almost daily, however. We did not attend any of the special evening buffets or sail-away parties. Shows: We attended the 30-minute Taste of Cirque du Soleil show, which was great. If you've seen CdS shows before, you'll recognize at least two of the acts. The show was shown twice in one night (after each seating) and we lucked out in seeing the first show, as the woman performing on the suspended hoop was injured between shows and so the second show was only 20 minutes long. The theater was packed, although it didn't start to fill up until about 15 minutes before the show started. The performers received a standing ovation, so the audience was clearly pleased. We also attended part of the Fantasea production show, which was disjointed but the singers and dancers were very good. We spent the rest of the evenings in Michael's Pub, enjoying a drink and Perry Grant, a very talented piano player and singer and quite a character who should not be missed. He packed the bar every night and had quite a following by the end of the cruise. Although there was a CdS Masquerade Ball one evening, we did not attend, nor did we attend Karaoke, go to the disco, or any of the theme events. We attended the Senior Officers Party, but did not attend the Captain's Club party, the Captain's Cocktail party in the theater, or the tea. We did part of the backstage tour, but there were so many people we couldn't hear the individuals describing their work or the different areas of the theater, so we left after 15 minutes. Activities: There were plenty of things to do during this cruise, but this was an R&R cruise for us and other than DH participating in a ping pong tournament, we spent our time on the balcony. Thankfully, the weather was perfect except for a morning rainstorm in St. Thomas. Excursions: After planning all our excursions in Hawaii on our own, we have become confident enough to avoid ship excursions and this trip was no exception. The only plans we made were for a tour of Grenada and a day sail on St. Thomas. We booked a tour with Mandoo many months ago, and the tour of the island was very informative. We felt we spent too much time on the bus getting from one place to another, but the scenery was beautiful despite the still obvious devastation, and Mandoo is clearly proud of his island and seems to know everything about its history. We left the pier at 9:30 and visited a spice plantation, Grand Etang Lake, and Anadale Falls before Mandoo dropped DH and I off outside of town at 2:15 so we could head back to the ship while the rest of the bus headed to the beach for a few hours. We were very hungry and it was a very hot walk back to the bus, but the tour was worth $45 per person. On St. Thomas, we took a day sail with High Pockets. I booked it online with Captain Kathleen, who is extremely friendly, thoughtful and experienced. She's also a great cook and conversationalist. We met at the American Marina in Red Hook at 9:30 at dock A, and she took us out to the boat. After shuttling another couple out who were staying on the island, we made our way to St. John and Caneel Bay. First Mate Al kept the other couple company on the bow while DH and I chatted with Kathleen. DH decided to nap, tan and continue chatting with Kathleen while the rest of us went snorkeling. Al was terrific, pointing out fish and unusual coral, finding a ray and a sea turtle, and keeping an eye on us at all times. After an hour or so, we headed back and enjoyed a fabulous lunch of pasta with marinated chicken, tomatoes and herbs, a garden fresh salad with cheese and fruits, and bread with butter. Champagne was served in celebration of the other couple's 16th anniversary, and water, soda, and various cocktails were available throughout the sailing (I recommend the Rum Swizzle). We headed to another area for a short snorkel, Kathleen's homemade rum cake was served, and then we returned to the marina at 3:30. The weather was gorgeous, the ship is in fine shape, and we had a fabulous time. DH was a little queasy staying onboard due to the rocking and rolling as other boats passed by while we were at anchor, but sailing along with the wind in our faces was a great way to spend the day. For those who don't wish to snorkel, there are floats and noodles and the water temperature was a balmy 85 degrees! The cost is $125 per person using a credit card or $115 for cash. We tipped Al for his terrific service, and the roundtrip cab fare for both of us was $40. Debarkation: Our flight home wasn't until 3 p.m. so we slept until 7:30, grabbed omelets from the buffet and returned to eat on our balcony, and then cleared out of our cabin around 9 a.m. My original plan was to hang out somewhere as long as possible, then leisurely stroll off the ship, pick up our luggage and grab a cab to the airport. Celebrity does not announce what tags are being called anywhere other than in your designated meeting area (ours was the Celebrity Theater), so it's difficult to find out when debarkation begins or what color is being called unless you ask someone with a walkie talkie. Our tags were Yellow 3 and DH made the mistake of asking one of the officers on deck 4 if our tags had been called yet. Five minutes later when he received a call over his walkie talkie that Yellow 3 was next, he came over and told us, so we had no choice but to leave the ship. We must have missed the big rush though, because we went directly to the luggage area, found our three bags (all placed together), waited less than five minutes to go through customs, and rolled right out to the ground transportation booth and into a cab ($20.50 on the return). We arrived at the airport, waited five minutes to check in at Continental, and spent four and a half boring hours at the gate. The flight home was on time and uneventful. Conclusion: Having the aft balcony was a blessing, because we were able to spend almost all of our time together without feeling as if we were crowded in a small cabin. The food was good, but not great, but the service was very good. There were a few problems here and there, but apologies were immediately given and resolutions offered. DH would gladly sail Constellation again as would I, but we've decided that 7-night cruises are no longer our preferred length and we've done the Caribbean enough now that we have no plans to return in the next few years. We'll have to see what she offers in 2007. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
This was my 8th cruise, 5th Christmas Cruise, 6th Cruise out of San Juan. I have cruised with Norwegian, RCCL, and Carnival before, but this was the 1st Celebrity Cruise. RCCL has been my favorite, but I had heard very good things from ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise, 5th Christmas Cruise, 6th Cruise out of San Juan. I have cruised with Norwegian, RCCL, and Carnival before, but this was the 1st Celebrity Cruise. RCCL has been my favorite, but I had heard very good things from friends about Celebrity so we decided to give it a try. I traveled with my husband and 3 daughters ages 17, 15, and 12, and our friends who have 3 daughters ages 9, 5, and 1. HOLIDAY: This was our 5th Christmas to cruise. We are Catholic and enjoyed Midnight Mass and the Priest on board. The ship had Christmas Caroling and Santa on board, and a traditional Christmas dinner. We were a little disappointed that the singers and dancers didn't do a Holiday show. We used wrapping paper to decorate our doors for Christmas and Hanukah, and strung lights around the inside of our rooms. The friends we travel with are Jewish and they enjoyed the Hanukah services. SAN JUAN: People complain about San Juan and I just don't understand it. My family loves leaving from there. We always arrive 2 or 3 days early and stay at the Marriott to unwind and get relaxed before the cruise. We love the Marriott, they have a great pool and my daughters enjoy the beach. We enjoy Old San Juan and Condado. I like starting out somewhere tropical. We cruised out of New Orleans a few years ago and it was cold there, as well as the first and last days at sea. We enjoy knowing we will be warm the whole time. We have gone to the mall the last couple of years to finish our Christmas Shopping and had a good time. We always eat at the restaurant AJili Moli, it has great Puerto Rican food. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the ship around noon. No problems, very fast and easy. Went straight to our cabins. CABINS: Our group had 4 balcony cabins 7180, 7176, 7174, and 7172. They were all the same except that 7180, 7176 had larger balconies. Typical cabins, small, nothing out the ordinary. Not a lot of closet space. It was enough for my husband and I but my daughters could not fit all of their clothes in the closet. SPA: My friend and I ran straight to the spa after dropping off our carry-ons, husbands and kids in our cabins. There was already a huge line at 12:45. We stood in line for at least an hour, and by the time we got to the front of the line many of the prime (at sea, morning) appointments were taken. Several people cut in line with friends in front of us which was really annoying. We each booked a package of 3 massages, a facial and reflexology. The spa was ok. I was disappointed that there was not a relaxation area for between or before treatments. They did not give you a robe or slippers and if you wanted to use the steam room it is an extra $30 a day. The massages I had were good, the reflexology ok, and the facial not that great. (The esthetician had horrible breath.) THE POOL: The deck was covered with chairs but of our 3 sea days we could only find chairs one day. People were up saving chairs at 5am. One lady paid Celebrity employees to save her chairs even earlier. Was anyone in the saved chairs? NO. Many chairs were empty but saved all day. We tried to get chairs at 8am the 1st day with no luck. The last day we got chairs at 6:30am and most were taken at that point. We made sure someone in our party was at our chairs at all times, because people were fighting over them and security hung around all of the time because of arguments over chairs. THE ACTIVITIES: We are used to a more lively ship. The sail away party was fun, but we couldn't stay long because midnight mass was scheduled at 11:30 and we sailed at 11. The masquerade party in the edge of the earth disco was fun. There were not a lot of activities going on during the day. The casino was small and busy most of the time. I actually won about $400 which is unusual for me. KIDS ACTIVITIES: The 5, 9 and 12 year olds travelling with us really enjoyed the kids club. We had to drag the 5 year old away from it she had so much fun. The 12 year old was a little more bored. They had one activity for the baby which was like a gymboree class. My friends took the baby to one and said it was ok. The teenagers activities were virtually nonexistent on the ship. They had a dance every night at midnight, in the room used by the younger kids. (My teens were very disappointed after cruising on RCCL Adventure last year, that had a real, large, flashing lights, teen disco, a Johnny Rockets, a huge arcade, a rock climbing wall, and a miniature golf course all back in the teen area.) On the Constellation most of the teens hung out on the top deck and got drunk every night, or gambled in the casino which was not policed at all, because there was nothing for them to do. THE PORTS: We prefer more ports, but one was taken out for Christmas. DOMINICA: Very poor country. The people in the streets are scary looking. The country is full of drugs. My teens said that many of the kids they met on board bought drugs here. We rented a 28 pax van with driver for the 10 of us for $200 for the whole day. He took us to the rainforest and falls. It was beautiful, but having just spent a week in the rainforest in Costa Rica in Nov, I would prefer a beach. The beaches are not good. My husband and I got off at Champagne Beach to snorkel while the rest of our group saw more rainforest. We had to walk a ways on rocks, but the snorkeling was very worth it. It was some of the best snorkeling we have ever done. ARUBA: Been here lots of times. Husbands rented a car and went to Baby Beach to snorkel, We took a cab to the Marriott and relaxed at the beach. Always a good time. Adults had dinner at Iguana Joe's while older kids babysat younger ones on ship. CURACAO: 3rd time here. Love it! Went to Port Marie last year and loved it. Went to the Marriott this year and had a great day at the beach. All right snorkeling off of the beach. Rented a room at the Marriott for a 1/2 day for $75 so we could use their towels, facilities and have a place for the kids to shower and nap. Worked out great. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows were pretty good with the singers and dancers. We had one good comedian, and a ventriloquist that we didn't really enjoy. DISEMBARKATION: Very good. Stayed in our room until 9am and walked off ship. Porter picked up bags and we took a cab to spend New Year's eve at the Old San Juan Sheraton. (the Marriott was sold out). NEW YEARS, SHERATON: It is all right for a one night not more. Clean, no beach, tiny rooftop pool, horrible service. Had dinner at a great restaurant called Pikayo, excellent food, but very expensive. Watched fireworks all around for miles from roof of Sheraton at new years. OVERALL: Nice ship, fun cruise, would recommend for older couples, not for teenagers. We hope to sail Celebrity again someday but until our kids are gone we will be sailing RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
The embarkation process went extremely easy. However, the cruise staff directions were very poor. Had it not been for my imitative to seek information, the bus group that we came into port from the airport would have been waiting in a very ... Read More
The embarkation process went extremely easy. However, the cruise staff directions were very poor. Had it not been for my imitative to seek information, the bus group that we came into port from the airport would have been waiting in a very long line for not reason. The process once inside went uneventful. The boarding of the vessel matched the fine service we expect with Celebrity. Our cabin was a little tight but generally acceptable. We opted for a smaller cabin with a larger deck. We were most satisfied with our choice. The shower was large enough to handle my large frame. The cabin was very clean and kept that way during the cruise. The balcony was of good size and enjoyed by us. The public rooms, stairways and elevators were extremely clean. This was something that I remembered from my first Celebrity cruise and have not seen on other cruise lines and some other Celebrity ships to a lesser degree. This is not intended to down grade the level of cleanliness on other ships but to emphasize the superior cleanliness on this ship. Celebrity aways provides that little extra service such as carrying your spouse's tray to the table, cold towels to wipe yourself in line, the pool towel service was always stocked, music at the pool at nonparty times was mellow, and they annoy you trying to push drinks while always being there if you want one. The ambiance of the main dining room was diminished by the seating plan. You have other options to enjoy such as speciality rooms, casual dinning, sushi, and pizza. This is absolutely great. However, it creates a problem with the standard dinning room seating. The fixed tables in the dinning room could be a problem. We asked for a large table because we enjoy meeting a variety of people. We were assigned a table of eight with only four people. This left four spots open at each meal. We also like to partake in using the speciality restaurant. However, if we elected to do this we would leave the other couple alone at dinner. This fixed seating arrangement should be reevaluated by Celebrity. The meals were very good both at dinner and the buffet lunches. Breakfast and lunch offered excellent choice other than the buffet. Pancakes and waffles were great. The omelets were very good. Burgers, hot dogs and fries at pool side and the light lunch area were also very good. If you can't something good to eat then you have the problem. The dinning room service was the only area where the the high level of expectation of Celebrity was not met. The ports were good and Margarita Island offered an unexpected surprise. The market and beach right at the dock were very nice. Of course Aruba's beaches were great and the other islands were overall very good. This represented one of the finest selections of ports in the Caribbean. The entertainment was top notch. Each show was great, If I had to rate on a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being the best. Every show would be rated 10 and some would be 10+. The best overall shows we have ever seen on a cruise. IF YOU ONLY GO ON ONE CRUISE - GO ON THIS ONE!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
Flight out of Newark to San Juan -- Although there was a delay on the take off because they loaded the breakfast meal on the wrong plane, we arrive on time in San Juan. The crew on the plane was very friendly and efficient. The seating ... Read More
Flight out of Newark to San Juan -- Although there was a delay on the take off because they loaded the breakfast meal on the wrong plane, we arrive on time in San Juan. The crew on the plane was very friendly and efficient. The seating legroom was better than most airlines. American Airlines appears to have more legroom. It was a very smooth flight. Arrival at San Juan Airport -- Luggage was quick to arrive and there was adequate Celebrity staffing to direct us to our pickup point. One problem existed. After meeting our Celebrity rep for transportation, we were asked our Flight Number. Although we had the voucher in hand, we were asked to supply the flight number. I informed the person that we just arrived on American from Newark but we still had to produce the flight number. While searching through our carry on for this information I noticed the flight information board right in front of us. It was clearly evident that the requested information was displayed on this board. Embarkation -- The short ride from the airport to the dock was uninformative as to the procedures to follow when entering the dock. Once off the bus without any directions as to where to go we all headed to the two long lines waiting to enter. While standing in this line with my fellow passengers I noticed that everyone in front of us had luggage. I asked a Celebrity up front and was informed that we should enter directly into the building since we had no luggage. Apparently these lines were for those people who were coming on board via private transportation. We entered the building and were promptly served. Had it not been for my imitative our group would have spent a long time in line for no reason except for poor communication. Boarding the ship -- Celebritys style of greeting you with champagne and white-gloved escorts to your stateroom is and was impressive. This touch of class is a precursor of the fine service enjoyed on this line. Stateroom 7177  Vista Deck  Category 2B -- We specifically chose this room because the size of the balcony. The space gained on the balcony was at the sacrifice of the room. The room was a little tight but not much of an inconvenience. The bathroom and shower were not affected by the room size. Both were more than adequate to meet our needs. (Im over 6 ft and over 200lbs) Our balcony was larger than most but the one next to us was regular size and would have been OK. I would always recommend a balcony on a Caribbean cruise. Public rooms -- The ship was immaculate. Celebrity does a great job in keeping the ship in top shape throughout the cruise. The ship appeared to be less than fully booked. There was always plenty of room except at the pool on sea days. It got very crowded, very early. We got a good spot that we enjoyed. The pool music on port days was very mellow and quite relaxing. There were always plenty of towels and bar service. The bar service was not annoying but readily available when needed. Food Very good!!! Breakfast- I usually try to eat in the dinning room. I enjoy meeting new people in the open seating and I usually have better control on my intake. But, dont miss the buffet. A very good selection is offered. The specialty egg omelets were very good, but the best were the waffles and pancakes. Dont miss these treats. Theyre in the back of the ship in the buffet room. Lunch- you can have anything from hot dogs and hamburgers with great fries at poolside, a light lunch at the solarium, pizza, dinning room service, or a fabulous buffet. Follow it up with ice cream. You can have cones or dishes with different toppings on the hard ice cream with a choice of many flavors. Dinner - Again, there were many choices were available. You had you traditional fixed dinning room, casual dinning, Sushi, and specialty restaurant. The meals were excellent in the main dinning room. There was one problem. Due to the variety of choices many times the main dinning room was sparsely populated. We had a particular problem at our table. We had requested a large table. With a large table you have a better opportunity of meeting diverse personalities thus expanding your cruise experience. You also have the opportunity to experiencing alternative venues for dinner without creating a noticeable void at the table. We were assigned a table of eight. However, only four people were permanently assigned. If we chose to take advantage of the specialty restaurant, we would leave the other couple by themselves at a large table. Because we did not want to leave the other couple alone, we were unable to go to the specialty restaurant. It might be time for Celebrity to consider open seating and fixed gratuities. Ports of call -- We have cruised the southern Caribbean many times. Therefore we were not too interested in touring. But this series of ports was quite impressive. Philipsburg, St. Maarten  We took the water ferry to town which was a $5 all day pass. You only need to pay $3 for a round trip. The beach in town nothing special and the town shopping was just another string of shops on tiny streets. There were three casinos with better odds than the ship. There was one tiny area by the water taxi that gave you the island flavor. This time we did not go on any tour but previously we went to the French side for the beaches. Some nudity is openly displayed for your viewing pleasure. Roseau, Dominica  Took a tour to the Trafalgar Falls. We were very pleasantly surprised. We didnt expect much but saw a very fine natural site. To get the full enjoyment some very strenuous walking is required. Some of our party went swimming in the cool and warm water pools at the base of the falls. You need not go down to the base (the really hard walk) to enjoy the falls. We had an excellent guide and saw much of the island. The Emerald Pool was another site that our fellow passengers really enjoyed. Castries, St. Lucia - We just visited the town. Our fellow passengers were not overly excited with the tours. Margarita Island, Venezuela - Our tour plans got messed up. But it turned out great. There was a great beach within walking distance from the ship. The path was lined with some very nice outdoor shops. We enjoyed a very, very nice day. Oranjestad, Aruba - If you cant enjoy Aruba, then you cant enjoy life. There is plenty to do in pleasant surroundings. We rented a car. But, I would recommend young people rent a bike. Found many very nice beaches within a couple miles from port. Did snorkeling (brought our own) where the tours took their divers. Beaches were great. Debarkation -- It went smooth as silk- off the ship and picking up the luggage without delay. The flow was spaced out and our luggage was in a small enough group to facilitate the quick recovery. San Juan Airport -- They were short on seats but very nicely decorated for Christmas. Flight home -- We left on time and arrived early. Only problem was the 6 foot 6 inch guy who sat in front of us. He kept moving every two minutes and his head kept blocking the view of the movie. He also kept picking up his arms over his head. He showed no consideration to the passengers behind him. Why is it these big guys always do this just like theyre one of the last people to enter a movie theater and sit right in front of someone who has been there for a long time? Ive been on 19 cruises and would rate this as one of the best. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
Just came back from a wonderful cruise on the Constellation. We booked our excursions online, using local tour companies and were very pleased. Much cheaper than celebrity's excursions. Thriller Ocean Tours in Barbados (snorkeling and ... Read More
Just came back from a wonderful cruise on the Constellation. We booked our excursions online, using local tour companies and were very pleased. Much cheaper than celebrity's excursions. Thriller Ocean Tours in Barbados (snorkeling and swimming), A&E excursions in Grenada (island tour) and Lawrence of Antigua in Antigua were all winners. Generally, the food on the Constellation was delicious, except for the grilled sirloin steak (tough) and the salads at dinner were nothing special. But, in general, the variety and quality of the food is great, but so is the food on Royal Caribbean, in my book. But, beware that the Constellation, strangely enough, does do not serve lunch anywhere onboard, except room service, between 11:00 and 12:00. Some people had 12:30 tours and ate a second breakfast because they didn't quite understand that room service is included. We've seen the Celebrity singers and dancers, so I was a bit disappointed that they were performing four nights. However, their shows Fantasea and Celebration of the World were topnotch and we couldn't complain. We made a mistake in booking Deck 2 as the waves slamming against the ship were very noisy as we cruised at night. Also the bed in this room is under the window (unlike the Mercury and Splendor of the Seas), so you can't sit by the window and look out. And the window is round and smaller than other ships and has a metal bar through it, which impairs viewing. I highly recommend spending the extra money for a balcony room. We cruised April 9-16 and it seemed to be a perfect week. It's no one's Spring Break, apparently, so there were very few children and the ones onboard all seemed well behaved and happy. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and cool breezes. As for alcohol, Celebrity is the only cruise line that does not allow passengers to bring liquor onboard. Well, guess what? Everyone does and even a Celebrity employee told us last year to BYO. We enjoyed Onxy, the dance band, as they play everything from Louie Armstrong to island music to rock and soul. The Caribbean Party was a blast. We loved all of the islands, except for Casa del Campo, DR. It's a mystery why Celebrity stops here - the free shuttle to the shopping centers is an OK experience, but only because it is free. All in all, a good time was had by all and except for one infamous complainer onboard, everyone we talked to was having fun. Oh, yes, I almost forgot Cirque du Soleil in the Bar at the Edge of the World. The first night was fun because eventually a magnificent juggler came out and if you can stand the techno music, the creatures and atmosphere are cool. After that, there's not much going on up there but interaction with the creatures as you have a drink in the bar. We heard that this is just free advertising for Cirque and Celebrity is not paying them, so there's not too much real Cirque entertainment. Anyway, happy cruising and you shouldn't go wrong on the Constellation. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
This was our first cruise so we did not know what to expect. I think we started at the top and now we will never be satisfied with anything less. It truly was a memorable time. The ship is absolutely beautiful. My visions of cruising was ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we did not know what to expect. I think we started at the top and now we will never be satisfied with anything less. It truly was a memorable time. The ship is absolutely beautiful. My visions of cruising was from the old show love boat. It didn't even get close however, it would have been fun to have more activities. Our ship was really mixed as to age. There were Seniors as well as young couples and everything in between including families. The spa was awesome. The food was over the top. The excursions were good except that we only took bus tours that required little walking. There was more walking than we anticipated. I think the drinks were overpriced. The casino slots were awful. No one could win anything. I did manage to win an emerald and diamond tennis bracelet at a shopping seminar. I could have bought it for what we spent in the casino. I wish we would have more days at sea in order to enjoy the ship. The shows were wonderful. The masquerade ball was nothing like I had imagined. There were more people without masks as with them and the music was LOUD>>>And, of course, there was someone there taking pictures. We thought there would be pictures at every port but we could not always find them. Our tour bus broke down in San Juan and we missed part of the tour. I think our favorite island was Antigua. We also enjoyed the Bacardi rum tour in San Juan. Megan's bay was nice but I didn't think it was extra special. All of the views we had of the beaches were wonderful. We took over 200 pictures using a digital camera and was grateful for the opportunity to download our pictures to a cd. The service was impeccable. Everyone was helpful and do their job with a smile. We had a wonderful cabin steward, Lortis, and a wonderful waiter, Rui. They made our trip extra special. It was the little things that made it special. If we were trying to take a picture of each other, someone showed up and said would you like me to take a picture of you both together. Hope we get to do it again sometime so we can have something to compare it to. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
I wanted a top of the line experience and chose Celebrity over a Crystal cruise because I was told they were good with children. I would like to set the record straight on that issue. Yes, there were plenty of nice kids on board. If your ... Read More
I wanted a top of the line experience and chose Celebrity over a Crystal cruise because I was told they were good with children. I would like to set the record straight on that issue. Yes, there were plenty of nice kids on board. If your children are 4-6 they seem to do well with them. I had a 12 year old and and 8 year old with me, both of whom were really excited about the activities that were on the program each day. Both actually went to the Fun Factory to attend and were rejected by the staff for various reasons on several occasions, to the point were they basically gave up by the third day. These are kids who have participated in programs at every hotel we have ever gone to that has one. My eight year old son was treated better by the adult guests on the ship when he wanted to participate in a basketball tournament. The model response at the Fun Factory is "NO." When he asked to play Mancala when the 9 year olds were playing he was told no b/c he was 8. On the last night you could color a t-shirt...he was also told "no." This is the most unwelcoming attitude I have ever seen in any children's program anywhere...even though it sounds very good on paper. As far as the rest of the experience: We stayed in the Royal Suite. The finish was beautiful. lots of nice features, plasma TVs, computer (internet time is 75 cents/minute, which seemed very expensive esp. since the computer was very slow).We had a very nice butler, Carlton from India, who was extremely helpful esp. with unpacking and packing which we greatly appreciated. The room was always very clean. The bed was comfortable for us, but I would probably go for two rooms instead of the suit next time, b/c the queen sleeper sofa was pretty uncomfortable for the kids. Food--too much everywhere and very ordinary quality in the main dining room---sort of like a Sizzler level with better service. (iceberg lettuce, bottle type dressing) Once we figured this out we went to Oceanliners twice...that cost an additional $120/night for the four of us. Excellent service and more gourmet-type food....had to push very, very hard to get a reservation, though and could only get in two nights even though we supposedly were supposed to have some seating preference after paying for the Royal Suite...it didn't seem to help much. The shows were a pleasant surprise. The theater is beautiful..and comfortable. We attended 4/5 shows and they were a great bonus for the kids who were constantly told they couldn't participate in the kids program for various reasons. The material was kind of corny, but there was definitely some talent there and it was fun to go. There was quite a mixture of people on the ship...there were definitely some who made you wonder if Celebrity had given freebies or something. The ports were all fine, except Grenada, where the beach was filled with hagglers non-stop. they also recently suffered a hurricane and the island is devastated, so the beach is basically the only thing to do..we visited St. George's University for a diversion and to escape the unpleasant beach scene. Mark, the shopping advisor gave some advice that I would disagree strongly with...nice guy, seems to have a lot of experience, but he said to purchase things in Barbados and Antigua b/c they need the business more and you would get better deals than St. Thomas...this was not the case for me and I checked on several items...also, the selection in St. Thomas is mind-boggling and is quite limited in the other places. If I had to do it again, I would not have spent one second shopping in the other ports...enjoy the water/beaches and save it all for St. Thomas where you can find anything you want. Excursions- Parasailing in St. Thomas was excellent and felt very safe. Snorkeling in Antigua was from a boat that felt like a bus. The ship was very well organized and they gave you great reading material about the ports every night. 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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