This was our 4th cruise and first on Celebrity. On this occasion, we were joined by my cousins from Wales, very well travelled folk and first-time cruisers.
As a general statement, the Constellation and the management and support team on board exceeded our expectations. Apart from a couple of issues, the way we felt and the enjoyment we had on this cruise was our best ever. It was a good experience from end to end.
The embarkation was easy and very well organised. Our staying at the nearby Movenpick hotel made it all smoother and is recommended for anyone embarking from Amsterdam. We got on board quite early and fully expected that staterooms wouldn't be available until after 2 PM. To the Constellation credit, they were available from before 1 PM and the luggage was not far behind. Getting off at disembarkation was very smooth and organised too. Getting a transfer via the ship is highly recommended.
We had our 13 yo daughter who, for these days, one bathroom is never enough. We had an adjoining cabin, with balconies, in the Concierge class. Both great cabins and really, having 2 bathrooms, was better for us than if we had chosen a suite. We will use this configuration again.
The Constellation just seemed to be a ship 'of the right size', not too big or too small.
Everybody made us feel special. The dining room, the San Marco was terrific and we had a great team (Michael, Olga & Fernando) serving us at table 321. We had the late seating, which worked very well on this ship. It gave us time to do all of the evening activities we wanted as well as plenty of time after a 'hard day slog' in the ports to freshen up, get the sail-away experiences, etc.
The entertainment team, starting with cruise director John and some of his management team in Mark & Maarten, are the best we have ever come across. They were really good at their jobs and really, the kick they themselves got out of doing a top job just infused into the passengers. For us, this aspect alone was worth the fare. Although... the ribbing we Aussies got about the Test cricket from Mark was hard to bear :-)
The shows and band that were by run by the resident team were excellent. The guest entertainers were okay but we think were eclipsed by the Constellation team.
The trivia comps were better than any of our previous cruises with amongst the best selection of questions going, and not too USA-centric (thank goodness). Thoroughly injected with great humour and knock-out prizes !!
There was one major issue concerning the first excursion that involved a train trip to Berlin, from the port of Rostock. There was an issue with the gangplank, that had to be repositioned. Our issue with the more than an hour delay was not what impact it had on the tour. It was only about having more than 600 people in a line in a corridor on deck 2 that was 'wilting' in the accumulating heat. Young people were getting anxious etc.
That aside, every other excursion went like clockwork. The only other brickbat would be the constant 'push' of art & art auctions. Would prefer a bit less of this.
A final word must go to the Captain. Captain Tasos Kafetzis was the first Captain that we have ever had that, he was not only conspicuous by his presence but also, as an entertainer in his own right. We will never forget the review, 'Liar's Club' and how the Captain had the audience in stitches.
Because of this cruise, we were inspired to book another Celebrity cruise whilst on board; something we have not done before.
This cruise was made even more enjoyable by having my cousins from Wales with us.
An interesting and pretty place. Also a tad seedy if you know what we mean (travelling with a 13 yo daughter).
Anne Frank's house is memorable and worth a visit, as is the Van Gogh museum. Don't do the hop on, hop off canal boats. Stops are limited, long waits for next vessels and often, you can't get on !
Tour was interrupted by delays at the ship. The train journey was itself so-so on a hot day. The guide did her best but really, too rushed and spread to thinly over the main sites. I don't recommend this tour.
Don't do long tour of city highlights and castles of North Zealand. Although a nice drive up the coast, it was just more castles ! We know we missed out on important city sights and timing was so stretched as to not even have an opportunity to get any souvenirs.
Good tour guide (Alexei) and fascinating place. Very interesting visits to the Hermitage & Catherine Palace. If we went again, we would likely try a private tour.
Did the main things including the Vasa, which is a must-do. Had a very good guide.
This is a real gem ! Our research suggested not to do a tour and this was very true. Enjoy the relaxing walk around the old town and enjoy the food & beer there.