Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by Mal Greenfield: Constellation - Canada/New England
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Constellation - Canada/New England
Our first Celebrity cruise, but we've sailed RCCL and HAL several times. Embarkation at Port Liberty was mass disorganized chaos beginning with the transfer bus driver who lost his way at the port on the drive from Newark Airport and who then tried to tell all of us that we had to pay $3 per bag to get our luggage to the ship. After waiting more than 30 minutes, someone came over and pointed the way to walk from the bus to the terminal more than a quarter mile while dodging oncoming foot traffic trying to get to the buses with their luggage. Please note, there were at least 30 wheelchair-bound embarking passengers trying to navigate this obstacle course. The terminal appeared to be a warehouse abandoned from the Revolutionary War. The line to get to the desk employees moved fairly smoothly once you realized that ducking under the ropes was a lot faster than walking back and forth half the length of the warehouse just to please the people who had set out the ropes. After seeing the More
desk employees we proceeded into the other half of the warehouse to wait for the bus that would deliver us to the ship...no one had thought to give the persons announcing the arrival/departure of buses either a bull horn or a loudspeaker and the announcer ladies all suffered from terminal laryngitis making it almost impossible to know when your assigned number bus was ready to take you to the ship. This was a complete opposite at debarkation which was smoother than silk! The Constellation is a beautiful ship, immaculate to a fault. Champagne upon stepping aboard and elevators dedicated to getting passengers to the buffet rather than luggage to the staterooms. Our balcony cabin was large enough for me and my wife provided that she inhaled when I exhaled. We are neither large nor obese, just average sized. There was sufficient storage space for our clothes and empty luggage. The balcony allowed us breathing room, the shower was spacious enough so that it was unnecessary to soap the walls in order to scrub your sides or back. Our stateroom attendant kept the room and bath area exceptionally clean and with fresh towels at least 3 times each day. She and her assistant knew us by name after the first day and always greeted us by name when we saw them in the hallways. Food service was the finest we have experienced in all our travels! The main dining room food itself was average at best, at times on a par with Denny's/Shoney's, at other times very good. Prime Rib, chateaubriand, filet mignon and rack of lamb were exceptional, lobster and haddock appeared to have been frozen for service during the First World War and nuked to the consistency of Air Jordans. Napoleons and strudel desserts were laughably poor but chocolate desserts were well prepared and tasty. Ice cream was a decent alternative. Breakfast waffles were made to order and delicious, likewise with omelets; the light lunches at the Aqua Spa were perfection. We did not eat in the dining room for either breakfast or lunch. I did however have hot fresh pizza a couple of times when my wife wasn't watching and it was as good as any I'd ever eaten. The library is the best I've ever seen on any ship or at any resort hotel! The Persian Garden at the Spa was well worth the cost and the Thalassotherapy pool was amazingly peaceful and exhilarating when the waves were active. We went to every show and they were very good. The Celebrity singers and dancers keep things lively, the "guest" pianist and magician/comedian were entertaining, the London West End Theatre songstress was over-the-top excellent and the 1/2 hour Cirque de Soliel aerial was utterly unbelievable! I cannot comment on shore excursions as we "do our own thing". The ports were as expected, quite nice allowing us to wander; the weather was sunny perfection everywhere but Quebec where we had windy, drizzly, cool temperatures as might well be expected in October. The Saguenay River cruise was foggy, rainy and whale-less but nonetheless fascinating. All in all our dinner tablemates and the entire staff of the ship made the cruise enjoyable and we booked another Celebrity cruise while aboard the Constellation...hopefully we'll have better embarkation facilities and personnel for the Millenium. Less
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