The night before the cruise we stayed at the Airport Courtyard by Marriott. While the hotel was nice and offered free shuttle to the hotel from the airport and from the hotel to the port, it seemed to be located in the middle of nowhere. We couldn't even find a place to buy a postcard. Embarkation was very smooth. When we got to our cabin we met our neighbors right away. It wasn't long before we met our stateroom attendant, Ovidio. He and his assistant did a great job in keeping the stateroom clean and providing us with ice and water throughout the cruise. The Constellation is our favorite ship and she was in ship-shape form.
During the seven days at sea we were privileged to have some wonderful speakers on board. First among these was Professor David Hughes, a renowned astronomer from England. Next we had some great talks by former NFL-player turned astronaut, Leland Melvin. Both gentlemen were extremely personable and informative. Our sea days were jam-packed with fun things to do. We did have two rough days due to storms, but luckily we didn't feel any ill effects.
Our first port was Ponta Delgada in the Azores. The shore excursion we picked was a jeep safari. The jeep was comfortable - only 5 in our jeep - and the guide took us through some amazing scenery. Actually, the Azores proved to be quite a pleasant surprise.
The next port was Lisbon, Portugal, where we took a four hour city tour. Unfortunately our tour bus was too hot. We did enjoy the various stops we made.
In Le Havre, France, we chose to take the excursion to the beaches of Normandy. This included a pleasant lunch at the Caen Memorial Museum. We were very moved.
It was neat to see the White Cliffs of Dover when we docked. Here we took a tour of the Kentish countryside and stopped in Rye. It was fun to see people walking around and shopping and having tea.
Our cruise director was Rich Clesen. He's probably one of the best we've had. You could see him everywhere around the ship and even out on the pier when people were going on their excursions. Our favorite entertainer, Perry Grant, was in top form with his great singing, piano-playing, and repartee.
For the most part our dinners were very good. A couple of nights were near-misses, though. We enjoyed a couple of lunches and a breakfast at Bistro on 5 and highly recommend it. We also liked the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast.
The disembarkation was very easy in Amsterdam. Celebrity took us to the airport via a bus and our bags were waiting curbside. The only bad thing was that our cruise was over.