We have cruised on various occasions with different cruise lines but over the past 3 years have had the pleasure of cruising with Celebrity Cruise lines specifically on both Reflection (once) & Silhouette (3 times).
On all these vacations we opted for the higher priced Aqua Class which we continued to book due to the perfect vacation experiences we had had in the past on both the Reflection & Silhouette. This does not however factor on the Constellation on this last trip. Our travelling companions (3 additional rooms) also booked Aqua Class due to our beaming reviews of previous cruises and were sadly let down and may never book Aqua Class again due to this below expectation experience.
The little perks have "been eliminated" for some reason:.....ie
- small stem flower arrangement in the stateroom
- evening chocolate on your pillow
- amusing towel animals on your bed
- Aqua class dining - left much to be desired in both service and quality of food.... more so on the first 4 to 5 days ( both for breakfast & dinner).
Embarkation went extremely smooth with little waiting time and no line ups.
Our state room was ready early enough and it was roomy and clean. Our balcony on the 11th deck was perfect and allowed for fabulous un-obstructed views.
The Constellation is obviously a much older ship and even if it received a facelift, it is noticeably run down in comparison to other larger more luxurious ships under the Celebrity umbrella.
We were disappointed with several aspects of this cruise on Constellation. the follows briefly outlines a listing :
- the Pool deck had piles of used dinnerware all over the place that was not being picked up
- If a drink was needed, you had to go to a bar yourself as the pool waiters were scarce.
- food in the Ocean Cafe was not always appealing of tasty - but on certain days it was abundant and varied.
-The shops on deck 5 were far from appealing. I had high expectations for the much advertised "Russian Souvenir Event". What a “Hot Mess” that was. A gauntlet of people and items that were nice but way overpriced. There were some items that I had actually purchased in St Petersburg for less than half the price that this event was selling at.
- we had purchased excursions in most of the ports with the exception of Copenhagen whereby we wanted to purchase a one way shuttle bus ticket for 8 people - we were told that it was $18 per person and that one way was not available. The shuttle ride took all of 10 minutes to be dropped off in a downtown city center whereby the pickup was to be in the same spot which was inconvenient if you wanted to walk around anywhere in the area to see anything .. ie Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid. we ended up walking back to the ship as it was closer than having to get back to the pickup location. Another example of Celebrity gouging it's passengers.
- Although in Aqua class and having access to BLU we opted to give Ocean Liners (for Fee) restaurant a try. The food was excellent but service left much to be desired. We had 6:30 reservations as we wanted to catch the 9PM show. This didn't happen as service was at a turtle's pace. It took over 3 hours for dinner and that was with us constantly checking with waiter as to what was happening. Our main meal had not yet arrived by 8:45 and we had finished just past 9:30.
Once an issue was brought to someone's attention - only then would Staff bent over backwards to help resolve the issue on hand.
The Entertainment was as you would expect on a 12 night cruise some great, some acceptable / some walk outs
Thankfully the ports on the northern European were spectacular.
In summary, Celebrity needs to improve its overall offering. This trip was expensive for what we got. They are skimping where they should not be skimping and need to work extremely diligently to truly come thru to deliver on what is expected from a “LUXURY CRUISE EXPERIENCE"
We will never again get on the Constellation and will reconsider travelling with Celebrity Cruise Lines for future trips..