Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by DaGama: Competent but nothing special
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Competent but nothing special
I may be somewhat jaded when it comes to cruise ships in general but nevertheless I was somewhat disappointed by the efforts of Celebrity Constellation in general. There really is very little different from what you would expect if you have cruised Princess or Royal Caribbean before. I only chose the particular cruise for its favourable itinerary as it offered the most ports for its time and only one sea day.
I did manage to get lucky in being granted an indoor cabin in the new Aquaclass on the 11th deck and I could hardly complain about the cabin quality with incredibly comfortable beds with a larger than expected bathroom although I didn't spend much time in the cabin itself besides sleeping. To its credit, the ship provided enough entertainment to keep me pretty busy most of the time.
Dining was an adequate experience although I did find the portions too small for what one usually expects from an American ship. I never did go hungry but it seems they were catering More for a more European audience who are used to eating less than the big steak Anglo-Saxon world. Still, the food was generally a tasty experience and I felt no need to even consider the specialty dining.
Entertainment was enjoyable, especially at the all-night nightclub, which featured a Latin party one night considering roughly half the ship was Spanish or Latin American. Unfortunately, this is hardly an original idea with a mediocre cover band for only about an hour and recorded music for the rest of the night played by quite possibly the least original DJ I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. This guy's idea of "Latin" seemed to be only Ricky Martin songs from the '90's which no one under the age of 40 still cares about anymore. We, the party people there, made that night a memorable experience for ourselves, no thanks to the ship's staff. We could have had more fun at a bar in Barcelona without having to pay the ship's extortionist drinks prices.
Ports were about expected considering the logistical difficulties of a cruise ship though I have no idea what the point of tendering at somewhere like Villefranche is. We were lucky we even made it ashore there on a clear day and I have heard many tenders have been turned away from the place if the sea if even slightly choppy. Why not simply dock at Nice and avoid the risk and inconvenience to passengers who had no idea where to go in Villefranche?
At no port whatsoever, were proper directions to any train or bus station ever given and this lead to many passengers becoming lost or confused and left to the mercy of unscrupulous taxi drivers looking to make an easy buck. I was always able to locate a train station without assistance but it could have wasted as much as an hour and this is costly indeed when you have no more than ten hours at a port. Tours arranged by the ship were absurdly overpriced and you would arrive back no later than 3PM wasting a good three hours on land so I refused to take any. This is a very lazy effort from Celebrity and generally gives one only time to see the tourist attractions (traps) and not much else.
Istanbul was the most disappointing port of all as a full two days were promised yet as the ship somehow was only granted clearance as late as 4PM, giving one only enough time to see the Blue Mosque as by that time the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace were closed. What Celebrity failed to announce when advertising "two full days" is disembarkation for the ship was no later than 9AM giving passengers nowhere to leave their luggage which generally made any kind of tourist exploration impossible unless you had already booked a hotel. On the final night, the crew generally disinterested in the passengers unless it came to scrounging out any extra tip.
In general, Celebrity Constellation has all the usual pro's and cons of any typical mid-range cruise ship and offers not one original idea. If you enjoy mid-range cruise ships, you will feel quite at home here. If you don't enjoy cruise ships then don't bother with this one. Honestly, I don't know if I ever will again. Less
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