We were very disappointed in our New Year's Cruise on the Celebrity Constellation. We have cruised with Celebrity before and expected much more. On a five day New Year's cruise, the ship was crowded and the crowds were a bit rowdy. We should have know better. It was more like a Carnival cruise.
Embarkation: difficult... long lines and waits, one line for check in, another for photos for our ship's card, another for the ship's photographers, no crew greeting us with champagne as we boarded the ship (although there were trays of it sitting on the side), long waits for crowded elevators to the lido deck, as the rooms were not available until 1:30 PM. We had to fight for a table and the food was not very good.
Cabin: Our balcony concierge class cabin was fine. Adequate storage, wonderful bed. We were sorry we booked the concierge class. We got a bottle of champagne on arrival, dying flowers, fresh fruit daily, fancy showerhead, loan of an umbrella and tiny binoculars. The afternoon canapés were laughable: a tablespoon of olives, a tablespoon of nuts, a tablespoon of dip and five limp pita chips. Not worth the money. Barely lukewarm shower on formal night. Our steward was attentive and friendly.
Dining: All our dinners except one were in the main dining room. Service was adequate, but the selections were poor. The chef offered a special menu on New Year's Eve, thank goodness, as there was nothing on that night's regular menu that appealed to us. The buffet was always crowded and the food was generally unappealing. For lunch, we often opted for hamburgers at the pool grill. We ate one night at the Tuscan Grille, which was wonderful. We chose optional dining and had to dine at 9 PM four of the five nights. The New Year's Brunch was very nice. We were with a large group, part of which were in Aqua class. They were able to dine in Blu restaurant, open only to Aqua class passengers. Made us feel second class.
Service: Sadly lacking in the public rooms. Not once did a bar server approach us for an order; we had to go the bar to order. Staff did not seem to be able to provide assistance, for example directing us to the proper deck for the gangplank in port. The captain was out and about and very personable.
Entertainment: The cruise director, JC, was loud and silly. The singers proved on the first night that they have a lot of talent. The dancers were adequate and the aerialists were true crowd pleasers. Unfortunately, they were saddled with two production shows which did not showcase their talent. I was embarrassed for them, especially during the second show, "Lost in Wonderland" which was an overproduced muddle.
Public areas: Crowded. Christmas decoration included dying poinsettias. Hated having to walk through the Martini Bar, center ship, as the DJ played his "music" at full blast. I saw a little child sitting with her family and holding her ears. Not a chance for a seat by the pool..all seats taken. We managed to find quiet areas, and spent a lot of time on our balcony.
Activities: Typical art auctions and port shopping talks. Not of interest. Very blah Captain's Club reception. On New Year's eve, there were parties in many locations, the biggest around the pool. Champagne was liberally available at midnight.
Disembarkation: Quick and easy.
Summary: No more New Year's cruises for us. No more five day cruises for us. Might give Celebrity another try for a longer itinerary.