This was my 8th cruise, but my first time on the Celebrity Cruise Line.
Constellation: This ship was absolutely beautiful. Celebrity pays attention to small details. There is a new policy meant to make the passenger's experience more enjoyable by making very limited announcements. When arriving into port, only one announcement is made when the ship has been cleared. So, separate excursions are not announced. You should know when your excursions are scheduled as Celebrity will not be reminding you. The first night aboard is open dinner seating for your time selection.
So, scheduled dining is at 6:00 PM (early seating) and 8:30 PM. Our ship did not leave port until around 11:00PM. It was a pleasant experience boarding. We were greeted with champagne and allowed access to our rooms at 12:00 Noon. A welcome aboard luncheon for those arriving throughout the day was available. Our room attendant was terrific. All of the staff was helpful but I felt the food staff in the Seaside Cafe could have shown more smiles. We ate in Oceanliners (not included in cruise price) for a wonderful dining experience. Well worth the $25.00 per person. Remember to tip the staff here. They more than deserve it!!! At night, after dinner, food staff employees roamed the ship serving a variety of finger foods. Nice touch!!
The crew staff encouraged participation in activities throughout the ship.
Ports: Our visit included Casa de Campo, Grenada, Antigua, Barbados and St. Thomas. I enjoyed all of the ports as each has it's own charm. My husband and I only booked one excursion through the ship. All other excursions were obtained on land after docking. We tendered in Grenada.
Casa de Campo - I did not think there was too much to do here. There are free shuttle buses to two areas. One is the marina where there are many restaurants and a few boutiques. The other was to the medieval village. This stop is too long, but we made the best of it and had a good time.
Barbados - We rented a car (big mistake for us). These roads are too narrow. Add to that driving on the left hand side of the road, making many a turn frightening. Not many places to pull over to view the spectacular scenery. We did get some beautiful pictures but were relieved to make it back to the car rental (located right outside the terminal).
Grenada: Known for spices and charm, we hired a van to take 4 of us on a tour of the island. This island is also beautiful and we captured more beautiful photos. We hired the driver for $20 per person and gave him a tip at the end. We thought it was well worth the money for a 3.5 hour tour.
Antigua: We also hired a driver to take us on a tour of the island. Some of the roads are not the best here and there are many speed bumps (called sleeping policemen by some). Our driver offered to take us to the rain forest also, but the roads are very bad and it was raining off and on that day. We opted for him to take us to a beach instead. $20.00 per person plus tip.
St. Thomas - Shopping and our excursion to St. John. St. John was my favorite island. The water surrounding this island is every shade of blue. I would visit here again and again if I could.
San Juan: wish we had more time to visit the Fort. Barcardi factory was OK. It is a self guided tour. You are given a hand held instrument requiring you to put in a corresponding number found on pictures, desks, etc. Then you listen to this hand held instrument as you are given a description corresponding to the number you put into the unit. Bacardi does not take you through the actual factory any longer. You are given 2 tickets for which you can use to get free Bacardi drinks at the outside pavilion. Notice the pavilion is shaped like a bat (the Bacardi insignia).