This was our first cruise with Celebrity. We selected this cruise not for the itinerary but for the excellent rates. We were not disappointed! The itinerary was great too. We would have signed up for a B2B while on board had we not had commitments for Thanksgiving. I estimate that about 50% of the passengers were British, 40% American, and 10% other, primarily Chinese and Hispanic.
Embarkation was disorganized. We had opted for transfers from Heathrow to Southampton with Choice Air. There was a delay in boarding because of an outbreak of Norovirus on the Constellation. Consequently, we were given a free, four hour tour of Winchester on the way to the ship. This turned out to be an enjoyable bonus although it was very cold, our luggage had been sent ahead, and we did not have appropriate clothing with us. We did not arrive at the ship until 1730. Once at embarkation, it was pandemonium trying to find our room and an available elevator.
The decor of the More
Constellation tends to be contemporary. Everyone, both staff and passengers were very friendly. We took only one on-board excursion and that was to Paris. At the other ports, we did our own self-guided tours. The two ports of call in France were a couple hours distant from anything of real interest. The ports in Spain and Portugal were convenient and enjoyable. Men, in particular, were dressed very casually during the day (saw some threadbare tee shirts and jeans with holes in them) which surprised us for what is billed as a "premium" cruise line. Our 4 table-mates at our 1800 fixed seating were a real joy! We often observed that we were some of the last to leave the MDR after 2 hours of convivial conversation.
Positives: our Concierge Class room and the ship were spotless. The staff was very friendly and very helpful and offered 5 star service. The destination expert lecturer, Dr. Caitlin, was outstanding. The food at both the MDR and buffet ranged from outstanding to average. We quickly learned what we liked best and avoided other offerings. We did not eat at the specialty restaurants. Very few on board announcements over the speaker system.
Negatives: It took several days to get the upgrades we expected with Concierge Class and some upgrades were never received. Music in the main theater was TOO LOUD! Buffet at the Seaside Cafe needs to be reorganized - food would get cold trying to get around to all the food venues. We were constantly being "hustled" by the staff to purchase upgraded dining. Danish pastries at the buffet were inedible (which was a blessing in disguise!).
Overall, we would rate the cruise as 85 out of 100. Since this was our first cruise on Celebrity, we will take responsibility for misunderstanding some of the on-board protocols and not getting more out of the cruise. Had we been more experienced on Celebrity, I would probably rate this 5 stars and 90 to 92 out of 100. Was the cruise perfect? No. Would we do it again? YES, in a heartbeat, in fact we signed up for a future cruise while on board and have no buyers remorse! Less
Celebrity Constellation Cruises to the British Isles & Western Europe