For the second year in a row, I had the pleasure of sailing on the constellation for the final week of January. The ship was beautiful, well kept and, with the exception of one busboy, the service was outstanding.
Between January 2004 and January 2005, there have been some changes on board. First, Reflection has been substantially renovated and is now called the "Bar at the Edge of the Earth". The redesign appears to be geared towards the line's attempt to incorporate the Cirque du Solie theme on the cruise. Be aware though, this is NOT a show. It's a gimmick that is most certainly a work in progress. I would highly recommend against purchasing the masks and costumes sold on board for the "masquerade ball". It's much to do about nothing and most people walked out, irate over having wasted $60 on an unnecessary mask.
The shows have taken a turn for the worst. The performances are typical cruise ship fare: broadway reviews etc. It seems as if the cast from 2004 was more professional. This group seemed out of step.
The bands on board were fantastic, particularly Onyx, the pool band. The DJ's, however, need a little bit of help. The music a the Bar at the Edge of the Earth is woefully outdated.
The state rooms are very clean and well maintained. This was the case on both of my cruises. I stayed in room 809, which is one of the concierge class rooms. I am not sure if concierge class treatment warrants the extra money. You may be better off getting the same room on the 7th floor without the concierge class treatment, which is essentially nicer linens, some fresh fruit and canapes.
I have been on 5 Celebrity cruises in the past four years and the quality of the fare has fluctuated from time to time. I tend to find that the food on the smaller ships is better for some reason. The Zenith had outstanding food, although the ship itself is ready for retirement. The food on the Constellation was fair to good depending on the meal. Dinners in the main dining room were quite good, better than in 2004. The buffet was subpar at best. The Oceanliner was good, but be prepared to spend 3.5 hours eating dinner. I personally don't have the patients for that kind of dining.
Celebrity's Constellation is beautiful ship. I have traveled on RCL, NCL, Carnival and Celebrity. Of the four, Celebrity is head and tails above the other three. It's the best trip for the money by far. I will be sailing on the Caribbean Princess this summer... my first Princess Cruise. Hopefully it will live up to the high expectations I have from my Celebrity Cruises. I'll keep everyone posted.