This was our sixth cruise on Constellation (Four TransAtlantics and one Wine Cruise in Europe done over the last seven years.) We were a bit concerned that at least half of the passengers (Including us.) had a Beverage Package included as part of the package and that the itinerary (Cozumel and Key West) might make this a distinctly different experience.
In fact, it was a very pleasant getaway.
Check-in and boarding were fast and easy. The only glitch was that we were given the wrong Seapass cards. An alert photographer questioned the name "Constance" for my male companion. The error was resolved on the spot and delayed us maybe five minutes.
We were happy to see that the champagne greeting is still in place and we headed to Bistro on Five for a relaxed lunch instead of the crowded Buffet.
This was our first cruise in Aqua Class. We were in one of the cabins that had been converted from Concierge Class. There wasn't really that much difference except for the panel shower and the glass doors there. WARNING: Be sure you know where the jets are pointed before turning them on!
The big difference was eating in Blu. It was QUIET with excellent service and great food. We were a party of seven and had the large table for eight in the center of the room each night -- except for one night when one couple (Us) was invited to dine with the Staff Captain.
For breakfast we either had room service or went to Blu. Good quality food and prompt service. Lunch was either at the Spa Cafe or the Pool Grill or the Pasta Bar in the Buffet. We usually have lunch around 1PM and there was never a crowd in any of these venues.
The ports were not a highlight of the cruise. Cozumel is like many of the created Mexican resorts. We did have a nice lunch at Pancho's Backyard in town. We have since learned that there is also one nearer the dock. Key West is, well, Key West. We took the Conch Train which was a fun way to see most of the town.
The Captains Club Hostess was Marlene Marquez who we knew from an earlier cruise. She put on a great reception for all Captains Club members. We didn't go to the Elite and above cocktail reception because we were traveling with three people who are not Elite and we had the Beverage Package so could have drinks anywhere.
The entertainment was very good but we did notice that the Celebrity Orchestra is no longer there. Come on, Celebrity, they have always been an important part of your shows.
The only other fault we had was the remodel of the Reflections Lounge. This has always been one of the nicest places on the ship and now a portion of it has been turned into the Kid's Club. This reminded us of the design change on a couple of the "S" class ships -- revenue generators rule!
All in all, it was great to be back on a favorite ship and recognized by so many crew after being gone for two years. We will be back as soon as possible.