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Sail Date: July 2008
EMBARKATION: Relatively smooth. Good idea to fill out documents on line make process easier. STATEROOM: The ship is showing her age. Several outlets didn't work and the shower had mildew growing. We were on the 9th floor and the noise ... Read More
EMBARKATION: Relatively smooth. Good idea to fill out documents on line make process easier. STATEROOM: The ship is showing her age. Several outlets didn't work and the shower had mildew growing. We were on the 9th floor and the noise from the pool area above us was bothersome. SHIP: The connie has seen better days and is in need of dry docking. Carpets were worn and had spots. Decor was somewhat dark which was good because if you looked close you could see the tiredness. SHORE EXCURSIONS: There was a great variability in quality. On the whole they were a little below average. FOOD: There has been a real change in menu and not for the better. Everyone at our table for 6 said this was the worst food they had on celebrity line. Steaks were tough, fish was old, portions were very small. Our waiter was great. He was one of the best we had on any cruise line including Crystal. The buffet lines were crowded but the food was decent. Note the main buffet line closes at 6 pm except for pizza or sushi. This was unusual because we didn't want to go to dining room dinner on night and eat at buffet-the only choices were sushi, pizza, or pasta. UGH! Celebrity had only one side open at most times which made for standing in line for sandwiches or toast a regular occurrence. The spa cafe had really good looking plates with light entrees and desserts. The main dining room is not open for lunch except on sea days. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows were low production numbers with very little or none set decoration. The singers were ok but the band was overpowering. The last production show was the best had actual props. The enrichment series on this ship was the worst we have seen. The lecture was boring and his slides didn't even match his oral presentation. The library was in a shambles without an attendant. The books they had were unsorted and there was no books in reference. Only 2 atlases which were in use most times. If you want any sort of intellect enrichment this is definitely not the cruise for you. The movies shown were third run and on Encore when we came home. The average date of release was 1996. The Last King of Scotland, 300, Dream Girls, and Casino Royale to name a few. Very poor. Trivia games were fun and they had tribond trivia which was great fun. The prizes were pens, pens and more pens. OVERALL: Do not believe hype and canned ratings this ship has seen better days. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2008
It is hard to believe that this is the top rated ship. Our observations were entirely to the contrary. The general decor of the ship was worn and tattered. The chair arms were frayed and the carpets showed worn spots and stains. The bar at ... Read More
It is hard to believe that this is the top rated ship. Our observations were entirely to the contrary. The general decor of the ship was worn and tattered. The chair arms were frayed and the carpets showed worn spots and stains. The bar at the edge of the world decor was one of the worst decors we have seen. The ceiling is hanging gauze that looks like tripe(cows stomach)which made it very dark. The library was in disarray with the books (what they had) unsorted and few. Since there is no control of books, all the reference books were gone. No way to check any history or geography on ports. Not even an almanac. They did have a section which you could trade book which had a better selection than the library. Our stateroom had black mold in the shower on the inside lip and a large rust area that had not been painted. The food was typical cruise fare but one note celebrity has cut down on serving size. Portions were very small and the fish was uniformly bad. On lobster night you did not get a whole lobster tail but 1/2 With a couple small shrimp and scallops. Advice order 2. The buffet was very crowded and only one side was open. So in the afternoon when people came back from tours the lines were 10-15 people deep. The buffet only stayed open until 6:00 pm for hot entrees, only sushi, pizza, and pasta available after 6:00. There was a restaurant at end of buffet only open at night which had waiters, tablecloths, dining room menu, with a great view. There was only a $2 per night gratuity. The entertainment was very substandard. Only the final show was worth seeing. The other shows had no stage props only screens that were painted. The accompanying background music was so loud that the singers voices were drown out. The lecture was totally terrible. Boring, brief, and tangential. He was asked a simple question if the euro was used in Poland and he couldn't even answer it. There were only 4 people for his second lecture on a sea day. In St Petersburg our ship docked very far out while the Princess ship was docked in town. Most ports were this way and entailed costly bus rides. The staff seemed very down and were not always polite. We were charged for a shuttle ride we didn't take. We disputed the charge and it took 3 days to get off our on board account. Celebrity called and did not apologize but said "We took off the charge you said you didn't make". We were accused-not we are sorry but the cabin number on the shuttle sheet was close to yours and we made a mistake. It took 15 minutes to go on to our account and 3 days, 2 phone calls, and two trips to desk to get off. Celebrity seemed to have made several cost cutting measures which really affected the quality of our sail. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2007
Bryan and I booked this cruise through a deal offered on Travelzoo. The price per person was about $220/day including airfare from Miami. We later (wisely) added travel insurance. The airlines used were US Air and British Airlines...the ... Read More
Bryan and I booked this cruise through a deal offered on Travelzoo. The price per person was about $220/day including airfare from Miami. We later (wisely) added travel insurance. The airlines used were US Air and British Airlines...the 2 worst performers for the US and Europe. Our trip started out rough, with US Air cancelling our flight out of Miami AFTER we had been at the gate for over 2 hours...letting us know 10 minutes before we were due to board a plane that wasn't present at the gate. Fortunately, US Air representative, Ravi, garnered 1st class upgrades and a hotel for the night. We flew through Philadelphia and had a HUGE layover, so we took the train into the city and toured "The City of Brotherly Love" until our departure time...complete with Cheesesteaks for lunch and a picture by the Liberty Bell. We arrived in Stockholm a day and 1/2 after we were supposed to embark the cruise and our pre-paid transfer to the ship did not meet us (or 10 others destined to join the cruise). After multiple calls to numbers that didn't work or weren't answered by humans, a group of 8 of us negotiated 2 cabs to transport us to the cruise port via 1 cabmaster who spoke English (the cabbies did not). Once arrived, the folks in charge of getting us and our luggage squared away went to work. Within an hour, we had cruise cards, rooms that unlocked with the aforementioned cruise cards and our luggage to our rooms (for those of us whose luggage didn't go on a separate vacation thanks to the airlines). Reports were filed in regard to the missing transportation and the lack of time in Stockholm due travel delay. Our room was on the second level (steerage, as Bryan called it), but with the days in the Baltic lasting quite long (sunsets at midnight), inside was not a bad place to be. The room was small,but efficient and except for the large suitcases we had not fitting under the bed...there was plenty of room, drawers and hangers for all of our stuff. We only spent the evening in our stateroom one night of the entire cruise (watching Andy Griffith and Beverly Hillbillies re-runs) due to exhaustion and lack of entertainment that interested us. Our stateroom attendant, Benny, was terrific. He kept us in ice, water and clean towels. Our bed was made most mornings by the time we got back from breakfast and the bathroom was bleach scented every afternoon. The chocolates and turned down bed greeted us every evening after dinner (main seating). The service in the dining room was very solicitous. Our waiter, Alfredo, was very attentive and seemed almost worried if we didn't enjoy our food (as it was, we were working out twice a day by the 4th day of the cruise just to fit into our formals). The Assistant Maitre Di was friendly and accessable. He dropped by nearly every dinner to update us on upcoming events and any changes in seating. The wine steward for our table was a lovely youg woman from Romania. She help us select a reasonable wine for each of our dinners and kept up with filling our glasses and storing our leftover wine for the next day. She also let us know when wine tasting events were scheduled (very informative and fun). Food in the Seaside Cafe was buffet style and was tasty. The standard pasta and pizza were available daily at all hours. Different themed meals were served here as well. There are good views from this room and unusual glass floor "portholes" in the floor that might be a problem for folks with a fear of heights. At night there were several times that a talented Phillipino acoustic guitarist played at the back of the Seaside Grill, near the reserved "casual dining". Sushi was offered most nights, but the variety was limited (California Rolls and a couple types of sashimi).Excursions on this cruise were expensive. By the time Bryan and I arrived, most of them were booked. We had read several reviews here before our trip and arranged for a private tour guide in St. Petersburg, Russia. After hearing about others who took the ship excursion or booked with tour agencies in St. Petersburg, I am convinced we did the right thing. We had a 28 year old woman who spoke nearly flawless English (and French) that was licensed and had 8 years of experience. We never waited in lines (which can be long) and we saw far more things at our pace. We were able to stop for photos or shop. She was also very open to questions about life in Russia. She arranged for everything and her driver was very capable and had a nice vehicle (a Mercedes SUV/minivan hybrid). It takes more work to apply for your own visa, but once you have the paperwork completed, it takes only a week or so. In the other cities, we toured on our own. We hired a young Russian guide in the city square in Latvia. He had 6 years in University and his English was pretty good. An hour and 1/2 tour of the city by foot was only $40 US (far cheaper than the excursion through the ship), but not for everyone. We were conflicted about the Berlin excursion that the cruise offered. The actual port is Waremunde which is 3 hours from Berlin. You could catch the train only a short walk from the ship, but the time in port (7am to 9pm) left little time to see and appreciate all the things we wanted to do in Berlin, so we opted to take the train to Rostock (20 minute ride) and tour there, then return to Waremunde (a seaside resort from the "East Germany" days). It was interesting, but expensive. Don't expect to find "typical German souveniers" (beer steins, Christmas ornaments) there. Do expect fish/seafood, beer and pastries. There is Amber at every port, but I highly recommend you purchase it at one of the first 3 ports (Helsinki, St. Petersburg or Latvia). The prices are more reasonable. Also, buy in the stores...the stuff on the street is most likely fake (although it's ok if you're ok with that). Just remember it's petrified tree sap...not diamonds (as they would lead you to believe the way they endlessly promote it). I would also buy your Russian stacking dolls in St. Petersburg. They are less expensive, there is more variety and they are everywhere. The ship's prices aren't cheap. Same with the lacquer boxes...if you find one you like, get it in St. Petersburg. The shops have certificates of authenticity for those collectors out there. The ones from the vendors are equally nice in some cases if you don't care about the boxes' pedigree. Just remember...they're paper mache (not plastic or wood). The real ones can take months to make and the ones with mother of pearl details are quite interesting. Buy your "Faberge inspired" eggs in St. Petersburg, too. They are more expensive on the ship and there is less quality and variety. Buy your sweaters and fur in Helsinki from the market near the port. Many of the people make them by hand and they are unique and beautiful. Initially they seem expensive, but trust me...it only gets worse as the ports progress. Denmark and Norway are expensive (a Big Mac costs $12 in Oslo, Norway!). If you are an alcohol purchaser, there really aren't any bargains. Duty Free used to mean CHEAP. No longer. I would buy your alcohol in the Carribean, not the Baltic. Latvia had nice woolen socks and leather goods and linen. Lithuania had nice prices on much of their merchandise. We arrived the day Klaipeda was celebrating their 700th anniversary and Seafest occupied most of the downtown area. There was plenty of crafts, good food, beer and music as well as other entertainment. This town was the the friendliest of the former "Eastern Bloc" countries visited. Still...keep an eye on your pockets/passport/money.Services on the ship are more than adequate and several "deals" were offered during the trip. There were "couples nights", "ladies night" & "teen nights". They offer massages, nail services, hair services, exercise classes. One of the coolest things we tried was Rasul therapy. It's a "do it yourself" kind of treatment for adults involving exfoliation, mud, steam and showers. It's definitely for couples who enjoy each other physically (we tried it as a result of being part of a package we bought that included champagne, canapes nightly, robes and the premium for dinner in the specialty restaurant). Dinner in the Ocean Liner Restaurant was well worth the premium. Bryan and I tried the wine pairing which was an added premium, but again...worth it. The steak Bryan had was one of the best ever and the wine choices were adequate servings and matched perfectly. They make Caesar's salad tableside, too. There were 3 formal nights. Plenty of opportunities for pictures. The entertainment on-board was less stellar than hoped for. Heavy on musicians (mostly classical) and singers (former West End British stars). The British comedian was not very funny...it must have been a "British Thing". The magician was good, but all of his tricks were slight of hand and cards. Cirque du Soleil is no longer associated with the cruise apparently. The views are still spectacular at the "End of the World" bar. There is a nightly DJ and dancing. The chocolate buffet wasn't as spectacular as other cruises I have been on, but it all tasted good. The Grand Buffet was beautiful to view, but it was served at midnight and seemed like such a waste of terrific food. The staff allowed so much time for photographs that one could hardly stay up to taste any of it. The regular entertainer in Michael's Pub is an extremely thin, blonde singer/pianist a'la Liberace. He was good, but we could only handle seeing his show one night. The general age group is greater than 50 years of age, but there were several families traveling together and kids from infants to teens on board. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2007
We read many reviews and books and expected this to be such an amazing cruise. What a disappointment. We booked concierge class and all the brochures talked about the "pillow menu". We did not get one. The ports were great, ... Read More
We read many reviews and books and expected this to be such an amazing cruise. What a disappointment. We booked concierge class and all the brochures talked about the "pillow menu". We did not get one. The ports were great, except the ship docked at container ports so we were quite a ways from the cities. Celebrity operated a shuttle bus that cost $12 per person, per day to ride to the city. They did not have enough buses and the wait and the lines were long. The decor on the ship was almost comical. We had the distinct impression that they ran out of money and just had to put something up. I don't believe this is a matter of style. There were some interesting photographs, but the scale was more like what you'd expect in a private residence. Nothing massive, nothing dramatic. The most disappointing thing was the food. The food in the main dining room was nice to look at, but very poor quality. I would put the quality of the ingredients at the Denny's level. All the sauces tasted the same. By the 4th night I was running our of polite things to say to my waiter as he removed my mostly uneaten meals. I should point out that our waiter was excellent, and we couldn't very well blame him for food that he only delivered. The waitstaff in the buffet restaurant is a different story. They were either non existent or acted like we were putting them out. We read that on this ship the buffet restaurant had waitstaff to take your tray and escort you to your table. That just wasn't the case. The food in the buffet restaurant was gross. One day in an attempt to eat lunch we decided that at least we could get a salad. They can't really ruin that, right? Wrong. We had to pick through the lettuce to find pieces that weren't brown and the mushrooms should have been thrown away, not served. We tried to eat off the ship whenever possible. On the days at sea, we at a big breakfast of eggs and went hungry during the day. We met several other couples that used the same strategy. Overall, I found his to be the lowest quality of all the cruises I've done. Everything we read said that Celebrity was the top of the line for large ship cruises. I certainly didn't find this to be true. It was more expensive than other big ship cruises and I've NEVER before been on a cruise where the food was bad. We will no cruise on Celebrity again. 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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