I read the reviews on the Celebrity Constellation prior to purchasing my cruise. I had been on 5 cruises prior to this Celebrity cruise, 4 Carnival and one Royal Caribbean. I have to say that I expected much more from Celebrity. I was always under the impression that Celebrity was a luxury cruise line; I did not find that to be the case at all. I am generally very forgiving and I do try to find the positive in every situation and I am definitely not the type to complain. I do feel the need to inform those thinking of purchasing a cruise on Celebrity to think twice about spending the extra money for the concierge class. My prior cruises on Carnival have all been far more luxurious than this cruise on Celebrity Constellation. Carnival has much better food, service, entertainment, activities, and accommodations. I would say that if you bought an inside cabin for $279 or $299 it would be worth it. If you upgraded to a regular balcony for $100 it might be worth it; but I personally do not think that this cruise is worth paying any more. It is a nice getaway and if you are with good company it surely will be fun. I have provided a few examples of some of the disappointments that my boyfriend and I experienced aboard the Celebrity Constellation.
When my boyfriend and I first walked on this April 2013 cruise from Miami to Falmouth Jamaica to Grand Cayman, we were approached by a Celerity staff member in a suit; he said that he wanted to do something special for us during this cruise and asked for our room number. We thought he might give us something like a bottle of wine...2 for 1 dinner in the restaurant...a rum cake even...we got nothing! I thought that it was strange for him to approach us like that and not follow through. Im sure the guy was busy and forgot. It really was not a big deal, just something to laugh about later.
My biggest issue was the mistake of upgrading to the Concierge Class. This was a joke and not worth the extra money. The concierge class balcony cabin promised the following according to the website: express check-in (I got on the boat the same time as anyone else); priority disembarkation (I sat with many others in a 3rd deck lounge for a long period of time expecting to be let off the boat first while ever one else was walking off the boat on deck 4; there were no announcements or direction given; I was told by guest relations that there is no priority disembarkation); Pillow Menu (there was no pillow menu); massaging shower head (it did not seem like a high quality massaging shower head); fresh fruit (3 pieces of fruit were placed in our room; we did not touch them--the buffet was one floor up); Fresh Flowers (there were a few small flowers in the room that were the same the entire trip; I can't say whether or not they were fresh; I barely noticed them--I didn't need them); Personalized Stationary (there was only a very tiny note pad); Binoculars (very tiny and did not work well); Umbrella (did not use); Daily afternoon delivery of "savories" (it was pretty much cheese whiz on a cucumber or cheese whiz in a piece of salami; not worth it; not good--I would rather call room service for food); extra hand held hair dryer (never saw another hair dryer in the room); I will say that the tote bag was pretty nice, but not worth the upgrade. Dining room seating and time preference (NO WAY; hostess always gave us a hard time; we arrived before the dining room doors open, asked for a table for 2 and for 2 nights in a row got smashed between two tables; very bad tables. We finally got smart and asked for a nice table for two by the railing for the next night; hostess said she would take it under consideration, but could not guarantee it. She certainly could have offered better tables on the first two nights considering that there were many open tables that were much better than the tables she places us in. On the day of the brunch there was open seating; my boyfriend and I walked in and the same hostess placed us in a 6 top table very far away from the food; we got our food and sat back at the table which was already occupied by a family of 6; it was very awkward and both parties felt bad and apologized to each other). The Concierge Class also promised "personalized concierge service" (I am not sure what that means); our room attendant was very very nice and did a great job; no complaints on the service in the room. Overall by far not worth the extra money for these services which we did not get anyway; I would never pay extra money for this and I hope nobody else makes the same mistake. They only reason I did was because I wanted to get off of the boat early due to any early flight....the truth is anyone can get off of the boat any time.
Getting back to the rest of the cruise....overall...I like being on a boat so I was fine. I was happy and grateful to be able to go on a vacation. I had a balcony which was nice. The activities were lacking in my opinion. There are far more fun activities on Carnival cruises. Bingo was $39 and up on this cruise which I thought was way too expensive; much cheaper to play bingo on Carnival. I paid $12 for a yoga class that was not that great; those new to yoga probably could have benefitted from better instruction or it would have been helpful to tell people what not to do so they do not injure themselves. There were some health classes going on in the gym; my boyfriend overheard an analysis of some poor woman; she was offered vitamins and bath salts to get rid of the toxins in her body. In addition, my boyfriend wanted to use the Persian Garden Steam Sauna...it was an extra $99. He actually got caught up in the moment and paid the extra $99! I wanted to slap him! He ended up asking for a refund the next day when the sauna was not working properly. He was given a full refund and told that he could still use the Persian Garden, which was very nice. The spa manager was very nice and professional. Overall I will say that the gym equipment was very nice. I spent a lot of time in the gym and had no complaints.
The food on this cruise was surprisingly not that great or maybe I expected more because it was Celebrity. Food was pretty good; sometimes fair. I think Carnival has much better food personally. We ate at Ocean Liners one time (only because we got a 2 for 1 on the $45 per person fee) I do not think that it is worth it for $45 a person. I would only consider it for a 2 for 1 special, but I would say that you are not missing out if you do not go. The guys do put on a nice show with the food and it was good, but $45 per person is too much. The crepes were really good at Bistro on Five ($5 per person) it was a pleasant and quiet place to eat; nice staff; you can order as much as you want for $5 only. The coffee shop on deck 5 was nice also as well as the premium gelato on deck 5. The Aqua Spa might have been good, but I never had a chance to try it. I tried once, but the staff member was on the phone and seemed busy. Sushi on the buffet was not good at all. Buffet was fine. Portions were small which was fine with me; lines were not bad at all which was one of the positive aspects of this cruise. Pizza was good. Dinner in the main dining room was pretty good, not amazing; small portions, no lobster. Carnival Cruise line dinners in the main dining room were always sooooo much better in my opinion.
Cruise entertainment was fine. The comedian James Stephens was great. The Celebrity singers and dancers are surely talented, but probably not given a large budget to work with. I do not drink, so I cannot say much about the bars, I did hear a lot of positive comments about the night life. Overall again I have to say that Carnival cruises seem to have a lot more going on at night. The Celebrity outside deck was dead at night.
This cruise went to Jamaica and Grand Caymen Island. I could do without Jamaica, not very nice. The tour excursion was pretty much what I expected, a quick tour of the city and a beach. We were warned not to walk past a certain point on the main street; it really did not seem safe. Stray dogs, goats, and chickens running around. Grand Cayman on the other hand seems very safe; prettier town. The stingray tour was fun and well organized.
I suppose I keep comparing this cruise to Carnival based on my experience and the fact that I expected so much more from Celebrity. I did not feel that Celebrity delivered on its promises, in fact I do feel somewhat cheated and disappointed with concierge class cabin. I realize that it may have just been the boat, but I really just got the impression that this cruise line is trying to be something that it is not. I think that I will plan on booking my future cruises with Carnival as this cruise line has always exceeded my expectations.