Often times I wonder if we are traveling with the same folks. We love this ship, yet other travelers have only ugly remarks. Cruising is often very subjective. What pleases us does not please others. Perhaps our standards are not so high. I think of it this way: When I am at home, how's the cooking? Who's making my bed? Cleaning the bathroom? Forget it!!! So, that being said, let me tell you about our cruise.
Boarding in Miami was a snap. Having sailed on the "Connie" two years ago, we knew where our inside cabin was and settled in. (the inside cabin was a booking mistake but after reaching the Baltic and the constant daylight....sunrise @ 4:30 am and sunset @ 11:00 p.m., we were blessed to have a total darkness room :)
Cruising the Atlantic was fun...we read, napped, ate, then napped some more. There were so many "Elite" members aboard that coupons were given out for Happy Hour Free Cocktails. We were not terribly happy about this. It was like getting a McDonalds Happy Meal ticket. Everyone got 3 cocktail tickets, to be used in any bar. Not really special....and no appetizers. :( Complaints were made. Lionel, the Elite Rep. was not very visible during the crossing.
Ports of call during the crossing and through the English Channel were fun. We loved Dover, Eng. (quaint and walkable). Two hours to Paris was worth the trip.
Portugal is always a favorite.
On to Amsterdam......many departed. We stayed on.
We love back-to-backs because they can become two distinctive cruises. Sailing up the North Sea and into the Bay of Finland was special. Port intensive and loads of walking, but even the old people (us) managed to spread our feeble wings and explore.
We had excursions in every port, including 2 days in St. Petersburg. It was exhausting but worth every minute.
A bit about the ship: The Constellation was in dry dock in April. Supposedly, great things happened. No....not true. Maybe some carpet was replaced. I didn't notice. (We were on the "Connie" two years ago). Venues were removed, i.e. the movie theatre, (the reason here was that Pay-for-TV movies were more of a money-maker). Sad... more money-grabbing going on.
John, the Cruise Director, (if tonight's the night you are going straight to bed...this is not the night to do it!!) We love him. Saw him on another Celebrity ship.
Entertainment: Production shows = exceptional. Nigel West = tremendous. Comedy and magic = average. Classical music = average. General musical entertainment = good.
Food: Well, that is so subjective. We felt the San Marco was very good, but perhaps not as good as two years ago. (We only had escargot on the last leg of the trip). The buffet is what it is. Try the pizza....yum. The Tuscan Grill is worth every penny. Excellent!
Special kudos to my friends in Reflections!! Hope to see you again