I have sung the praises of Celebrity ever since I was wowed on a 2010 transatlantic cruise on the Equinox. Well, I will sing them no more after experiencing the Constellation 3/31-4/5/14. And to add insult to injury, my travel companion was a first-time cruiser. I had to apologize profusely throughout the 5-night cruise. Thanks, Celebrity!
*Food, cold cold food. The "hot" food in the Oceanview Cafe was consistently cool and in some cases cold. I think they never allowed their refrigerated food to warm up before serving. The same goes for room service (we only did it once because ice cold eggs are not very appetizing).
*Not enough staff for the onslaught of passengers. Perhaps, there were enough staff but they simply weren't organized. One staffer told me that the passenger load was unusually high. As a result, finding a table in any eating venue besides the restaurants often meant sharing it with dirty dishes. Except for the Aqua Spa Cafe, the food was rather unexceptional, often dried out and repetitive (though I did enjoy the Indian food the most since it consistently was above par with the rest of the food).
*Cabin cleanliness. The bathroom maintained a faint smell of urine. I bent down to pick something off the clean bathroom floor only to find that the front of the lavatory had not been cleaned off. My cabin mate had to dig under the TV to retrieve and earring and returned with a handful of dust.
*Layout of Deck 3 guest relations area. I was so used to having a large open area on that floor as a nice gathering place, afternoon music groups, etc. The Constellation has its grand staircase smack dab in the middle, thus dividing up the room.
*Entertainment. The dancers/singers were probably the poorest I've ever seen on a ship. Their Riverdance routine would go viral on YouTube, it was so laughable. No one in sync, no straight lines. With the exception of one young man with an operatic lite voice (think Josh Groban), the voices were pretty average.
In addition they had a magician whose slight of hand was better for closeup work vs. a large venue (and the theatre monitors are not high quality enough to show detail).
*Just plain weird. The night before we disembarked, the cabin steward removed the cabin's pen and pad! Why not leave it in the room and post a sign THOU SHALL NOT STEAL?
*Busy decor. After the elegance of the Equinox, I was surprised by the particularly wild patterns, particularly carpets on the Constellation. They lent a cheap feel to a ship that was supposedly refurbished recently.Thankfully, this was counterbalanced by excellent, thought-provoking artwork and photography.
The redeeming factors:
*Some of the nicest staff and crew you will find on any ship.
*All the gym equipment is new and they had plenty of treadmills.
*Overall, the ship is maintained well, though signs of rust on the outside of the ship is evident, particularly if you have a balcony.
*Rapid on/off, both at ports and embarking/disembarking (Disembarking express was a breeze).
Sadly, I will rethink Celebrity. I would definitely take a chance on the Equinox again and RC's Serenade of the Seas.