I research every vacation to the extreme..so I was worried after reading so many negative reviews on the Constellation. My DH decided to take my DD and myself on a warm weather getaway over her college break in early March. This is my 6th cruise so I know what I like and dislike about certain ships.
Embark was a breeze..after sitting through a lot of traffic to get to the port it was very quick.We unloaded the car and my brother in law left to park in the garage..we waited for him to return and within 10 minutes both families were through and walking on the ship (we arrived at 1 p.m.) Dropped our carry-on bags in our room and went to buffet for a quick snack. We decided to do the sail away from our balcony and open our bottle of sparkling wine that came with concierge class. I love that we don't have to carry our wear the life vest for the muster drill.
Our room was nice...I do recommend the space savers others have suggested..the fold up box I used in the bathroom came in handy with 3 of us in the cabin. We had enough hangers because I pack all the formal wear and dressier clothes on their own hangers. Although the room was nice..I have to say I did not find the bed comfortable at all..and my daughter who can sleep just about anywhere said the pull out sofa was like sleeping on a rock. After talking to our room steward (Miguel) about the sofa bed, he explained that because he needs to fold it up every day a egg crate was not possible...we suggested that maybe putting a layer of the bed spread would help..he said he would try it...Well..that worked and she slept like your typical college student on break would..LOL
My brother in law who happened to run into the head of housekeeping in our hall stopped her to ask what could be done about the beds being uncomfortably hard..that night crawling into bed I realized we had extra padding on our bed too..I wish this was my only complaint about this room but unfortunately I found this room to be very noisy! Nothing some earplugs did not take care of..but our family members 2 doors down did not hear the banging in what seemed like pipes in the hallway outside our door. We are light sleepers so this may not be a bother to those who are not. I loved the flowers in our concierge class room..and the canapes were not the greatest but we enjoyed trying them every day.
We ate at the buffet every day for breakfast and lunch...Found the buffet had more than enough choices to select from...I loved the stuff called "chicken noodle" a staff member suggested I try it with this lemon sauce and soy sauce...I went back for more and made others try it at my table...Omelet station , poached egg station, waffle station...who needs more than that? I love coffee..but could only drink the buffet coffee with a lot of milk/creamer in it.
My DH and myself had selected the 1-2-3 promo of the classic drink package...I have to say having this was a nice perk...I personally don't think we drink enough to pay for it again but it is very easy to have. Drank more water and soda than normally would on a cruise...and trying new drinks is a lot more fun.
We had early dining and the 5 of us sat at a table with 2 other couples..although the were nice I would prefer next time to just be at a table with our family. Most nights dinner was very good..always hot. We are not one to complain so I eat what I order and chalk it up to ordering the wrong thing. Our wait staff did their job but nothing stood out about the service. The brunch buffet on the last sea day is not to be missed...the food is good, but presentation was just beautiful..I was amazed at how many people on the deck that afternoon did not know about it.
If I had to complain about one thing I would say the music by the Martini bar is way to loud..
Went to Michael's for the piano player who was wonderful.
Love that the casino is smoke free!
We went the show every night except the magician. I have to say that I loved the shows each night...I overheard a man complaining the comedian should not be on a cruise ship entertaining people because he picked on people in the front row...HELLO....is that not why these people sit in the front row for a comedy act?..On my last cruise a rather large man said he was hoping to get in the front row so he could be singled out...This guy was not only funny, he does a very clean act so nobody should be offended...We found ourselves laughing over things he said the whole cruise...Like, when we were walking around Cozumel my husband said how could he follow me when I had no socks on!! Those who have seen the show understand this! LOL
The aerialist are breathtaking to watch!
I also need to point out that yes some chairs have broken slates..but we also watched deck crew guys carry off chairs and repairing chairs on sea days...And for the first time ever I watched pool stewards pick up towels that were left unattended for a long period of time..We are morning people so always got an available chair where we wanted.
The gym is small but more than sufficed for our needs...MY SIL and DD had a blast doing Zumba with a guest instructor on board.
Our ports were Roatan and Cozumel...we have been to both before so we knew what we wanted to do...DH & DD zip lined in Roatan and had a good time..then we sat the afternoon away at the tiki bar located on the pier...The bartender that day was Mya and she is a wealth of knowledge about her island and really fun gal. Cozumel was shopping and a drink at Senor Frogs seeing my DD is legal age to drink in Mexico...I don't think I laughed that much in years..had a blast! Lifetime memories walking back wearing those balloon hats and carrying those tall neon drink glasses.
Disembark was very easy seeing we now take off our own luggage and just walk off early. Just be aware if you have more than one suitcase they require you to take the elevator which delays you if your party does not have more than one. And waiting for someone who has to take the elevator turned into a stand here/no stand over there/no stand there...why are you standing there? keep moving...IT WAS ANNOYING!
To wrap it all up...
I wished I made the time to go to Bistro on Five...kept saying to myself that I would get to it the next day and was either not hungry or forgot to go when I was. I also wish I had tried the IGLU chocolate frappe at coffee bar WAY SOONER than I did...guess I saved myself some calories.
Was the ship perfect...no..but it is a sea going vessel exposed to constant heat, salt water and thousands of people...In no way did that detract from my vacation...and none of the negative things in my review had any negative effect on my vacation either...We had a wonderful 5 days of sun, family, food, drinks and laughter.
To sum it up...would we do concierge class again...yes if the price is right! I consider us very lucky our 18 yr old daughter not only wanted to spend her mid winter break cooped up in a small cabin with us...but enjoyed being with us the entire time. We are also lucky my BIL & SIL decided to join our crazy train and join us on this last minute adventure. Please don't fret about the bad reviews of the past...We saw mostly friendly service and care..enough yummy food you won't be hungry and if you are going to relax and enjoy life I think you will be happy with your choice.