We (my wife and I) have just returned from our 11 night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity's Constellation from Fort Lauderdale. This being our 27th cruise we had high expectations, and we were not disappointed, it was almost perfect! This cruise was one day at sea, followed by a port followed by a day at sea again for 11 days, and this format was just great for us (My wife aged 48, and I aged 50). We got to laze around the pool and loved it, but it was not easy to get a seat around the pool, by 6:30 in the morning most had been saved all ready, so be aware.
Where did we go? From Fort Lauderdale, we went to George Town, Grand Cayman, Oranjestad, Aruba, Colon, Panama, Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, Cozumel, Mexico. Our call in Costa Rica was cancelled due to a local strike, so an additional stop in Mexico was added.
Grand Cayman, was OK, but having done the swimming with sting rays and the turtle farm, did not find it very inspiring, but good all the same.
Aruba was very good, we took the yellow banana bus (old school bus) from just outside the ship, and for $20 per person had a great tour of the island, much cheaper that the ship shore excursions.
Colon, Panama, was the best stop on the cruise, we took the trip that included the locks and Kayaking on the canal and had a perfect day, and we highly recommend it. The people of Panama are just lovely, and very friendly.
Costa Rica was missed out, but having heard of the safety record on the island we did not mind. It may be not all true, but if it's not that safe to walk around, then we did not miss anything.
Playa de Carmen was our unexpected stop, and it turned out to be very good, we just walked and shopped, but the streets were good, and the shops were very different. This place was more like walking around the med than the Caribbean!
Cozumel or as it should be called Isla Cozumel, as Cozumel is the island name not the port where you dock, which is in the town of Sam Miguel. We when to Paradise beech by taxi $12 each way per car, and the beech was free to enter, as were the umbrellas and lounges if you spent more than $15 on food or drink. We recommend this beech as it's just as good as Playa de Mar, but much less crowded. There was a water sports package for just $15 that was also very good value.
The Ship! This was our 6th Celebrity cruise so we had an idea what to expect, well we were wrong, the Constellation was the best ship we have ever been on, bold statement, but it's true! It was much warmer (colors) that other Celebrity ships and the service and the cleanliness was just exceptional in every way. We don't go on a cruise to find fault, we go to enjoy ourselves, but even if we did you would be hard pushed to find any faults on this ship.
The Food? Well it was just fantastic in every way; we could not fault it, and enjoyed every meal we had. Having said that we have recently been going on cruises where you get to choose when and where you eat (NCL) and as much as we enjoyed the food, we missed the flexibility of deciding when and where to eat. Also we did notice that people were getting more and more casual at mealtimes (not a bad thing in our view), apart from the formal nights.
The Entertainment! Like all ships it was good based on your opinion of what you like we liked what was on offer, so have no complaints there was almost non-stop entertainment all over the ship. I would comment that we had seen most of the shows as they were the same as on other ships, and its not uncommon for the same show to be around for 3-4 years so be aware.
General! Love this ship, we did, and take time on day one to seek out all the things to do around the ship, it's very big (and therefore very stable) so find the library and the Aqua Spa (on this subject, they do a lot of free seminars in the Spa, but all of them lead to their DETOX products so be warned, it got very tedious) and the Tennis court (full size) and the quite places to sit on the front of the ship on deck 12.
We had one of our best cruises ever, I could not recommend this ship to highly.
David and Joy Robinson March 07.