Just got home from our 5th Celebrity Cruise, this time aboard the Constellation. We were lucky enough to get an upgrade to a Celebrity Suite (8106) which really made an already great cruise even better.
By way of background, we've only ever sailed on Celebrity, and have been on 5 different ships. We were very nervous cruisers the first time around, but took to it like a fish to water (puns intended), and discovered immediately that we love the chance to shut down from work completely. We like that Celebrity offers just enough activities, plus plenty of down time, and keeps the "cheese factor" to a minimum. For more background, we're a same-sex couple, in our 40s, and are not typically big drinkers/partiers, so the casually elegant atmosphere of Celebrity appeals to us just fine.
We've never done an excursion. On port days, we typically just hop off, wander about, try to see a museum or art gallery, perhaps have lunch, and then enjoy the quiet time on board in the afternoon. This works for us. our ports, Nassau and Key West, afforded us the chance to do just that. We took a stroll in Nassau, visited the Governor-General's home from the outside, took a walk about, and then relaxed. Key West was much the same, with a nice lunch thrown in.
The ship is in good shape. While the decor in the room was a bit dated-looking, by and large the vessel was clean, orderly, and large enough to accommodate the passengers while still allowing plenty of room to circulate and not feel like we were in a constant crush of people.
The dining on this cruise was probably the best we've ever had. The Tuscan Grill (tip -- go the first night - cover charge reduction is practically standard on the first night) was simply outstanding. The service was first rate, from Sommelier to assistant waiter.
The entertainment was also among the best we've seen. We were grateful that this sailing did not feature steel drum bands. While calypso music is par for the course on board, a little goes a long way in our book, and it was nice to have cocktails each evening on the back bar without the constant dinging of the steel drum. The acoustic guitar was perfect. Also, the main headliner show was good, and while the Liar's Club game featuring the Captain probably lasted one round too many, showcasing his excellent sense of humor was awesome.
All the ship's systems -- embarkation, disembarkation, etc. -- went perfectly smoothly. An immigration check at Key West was a breeze -- at least for US citizen passengers (can't comment on others) -- took all of 3 minutes.
As usual, our only complaint comes from some of the other passengers. Why is it on cruises that so many of our fellow travelers seem to lose the capacity to say "please" and "thank you?" I realize that we're paying to be on board, but that does not give anyone the right to bark orders at the staff.
A final note -- when booking on Celebrity, we think that booking Aqua Class is the way to go. The restaurant, Blu (also available to suite guests for $5 per person per night) is outstanding. The healthy cuisine is satisfying without being overbearing. The last evening the menu was rather odd -- there are some bizarre combinations that sometimes get thrown together. But the availability of simple fish and other healthier options is always welcome.