Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by twocruzin: Not the Best; Not the Worst
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Not the Best; Not the Worst
We're writing this review partly because we never received the post-cruise survey from Celebrity that was supposed to come via email. They said if we never got it then they were not able to send it. Sounds like another software problem. I say another software problem because we experienced a real problem trying to book Shore Excursions on-line prior to the trip. We had booked two shore excursions last year and then one was cancelled by Celebrity in January. They notified us by email and gave us a refund. No problem. Then a couple weeks before the cruise we decided on another shore excursion and tried to book it on-line, but the on-line system seemed to be having problems accepting the reservation properly. It would not bring up the payment screen. I tried three times and then just called them. The clerk had trouble booking it also, but eventually got it done.
When we arrived on-board there were only tickets in our stateroom for the one shore excursion booked two weeks prior . More The second set of tickets was not there. I called the Shore Excursions Desk and they said their on-board computer only showed one shore excursion for us. The one booked two weeks ago. They did some checking and found out the first shore excursion was cancelled by Celebrity Headquarters in Miami just a few days prior to or the day of sailing. No one knew why, but after some more checking they said Miami would refund the purchase price back to my credit card. We continually checked during the cruise, but no refund. As of four days after the cruise ended, still no refund showing on the credit card. I called Celebrity this morning and they said we should have the refund in four or five business days, but nothing had been done until my phone call. This was the most frustrating part of our trip because the shore excursion was cancelled and we weren't told and then several trips to the shore excursion desk to find out what was going on and still not really getting an answer. I don't blame the on-board shore excursion people because they were just in the middle, but Celebrity Headquarters should have been able to provide better information. Apparently, according to the clerks I dealt with both on the ship and on the phone Celebrity sometime in the past couple of months has made some rather vast changes to their computer system and it does not seem to be going all that well. That's why we didn't receive the post-cruise survey.
As for the cruise itself, it was quite enjoyable except that sometimes we felt the ship rocking and bouncing around quite a bit while in our stateroom - particularly at night when they seemed to increase speed. When we booked last September, the stateroom locations we usually like were all taken so we ended up with a cabin near the front of the ship which we have never had before and don't really care to have again. You do feel the movement of the ship more up there, but we survived. Part of the problem may have been that they had to go faster than usual because after the first day out we had to turn around and head back towards Bermuda because someone on-board experienced a heart attack and they felt the person needed to get to a hospital. I think due to that they felt they had to go faster at night to try and make up lost time in order to stay on schedule.
On the positive side, we must say that the guest entertainers on this cruise were the best we have ever experienced. All of them were excellent. The only complaint we have about the night time shows is that they're a little late for us. The first show is at 7:00 p.m. and the second is at 9:00 p.m. They could easily move both up by a half hour and not have a problem. We were slated for the 9:00 p.m. show as our dinner hour was at 5:45 p.m. We were always done by 7:30 without rushing at all, so to make an 8:30 show would be no problem for anybody in the dining room.
As for the food, it was far from the best we've ever had and often my wife and I, and the other couple we cruised with, were ordering from the standard menu more than we have in the past or just finding the main dinner choices somewhat lacking. We're not fussy eaters, but we do like to see a wider variety than what was offered. Just like the bread basket put on the table every night, it was the same two types of white bread each and every night of a 15 day cruise. No imagination at all.
Another thing we found with this ship compared to others we have been on (16 cruises) is that the live music in the lounges is much too loud. It was ear splitting and virtually impossible to carry-on any type of conversation without shouting to the person next to you or across from you. It was not very pleasant at all. We weren't the only ones to complain about the noise levels in these lounges. It seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Overall, sea day activities were very good. They had a lot of choices, sometimes too many as it was hard to choose what to do when. We have to assume that this was all due to Drew, the Cruise Director. He was really good and very personable. Also offered were iPad training classes and they were so popular they had to move them from the Apple store/internet cafe to one of the dining rooms. That was a neat thing to have on the cruise. They also had guest speakers of which we liked Melinda Bates the best. She worked in the Clinton White House and did a number of very interesting and informative talks from an "insiders" perspective. And it wasn't all just about her time there, a lot of it focused on past presidents and the history of the White House. She's been doing these talks for a few years and moves from one Celebrity ship to another.
The crew on the Constellation is a really pleasant group to interact with. They're all very friendly and helpful. None of them from the top to the bottom ignore you if they see you. They all say "hello" and smile. It's not something you always see on a cruise ship. The ships captain and cruise director gave daily updates at 10:00 a.m. everyday and unless there was something important to announce, the PA system was not used as frequently as on some other cruises which was nice.
The cabin, 7010, was smaller than what we are use to but had enough storage. It had a very small "love seat" (3/4 the size of a normal love seat), that turned into a single bed and a desk chair so their was seating for two people.
As the title here said, this was not the best cruise, but it wasn't the worst either. This was our first time on a regular Celebrity cruise ship (Xpedition doesn't count because it's too special). We generally cruise on Royal Caribbean and I think we like that better. Certainly, the food is better and we like the ship layout better with those huge open malls in the center of the Royal ships. That's not to say we would not do another Celebrity cruise, it would depend on the itinerary and the price. Less
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