CONSTELLATION 10 OCT 07
We decided to book a 'special' cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, so the Constellation came to mind as we had sailed with her in 2006 through the Baltic ports. Our agent said that Celebrity usually provide little extras for such an occasion but that they needed a copy of our Marriage Certificate for authentication. We booked and sent the certificate.
The Itinerary was very interesting: - New York; Newport; Portland; Bar Harbour; Halifax; Quebec; Saguenay River; Charlottetown; Boston; New York. Celebrity arranged the flight with Continental, the pre-cruise night at the Sheraton Newark Airport and the dayroom at Daintree, post cruise.
Our flight from Manchester UK to Newark with Continental was good but the Sheraton was a let-down as the room seemed tired, with a smoke detector hanging by it's wires from the wall and a bathroom door that didn't close. The public areas were being refurbished and this reduced the facilities. Nowhere near worthy of 5 star cruise clients.
Embarkation was a superbly smooth operation and we were soon in the comfort of our Concierge stateroom, which was excellently presented and had a good balcony.
As we sailed out of Liberty Cruise Port the rain was lashing down but we in luxury and 'cared not a jot'. The rain had cleared by our arrival in Newport and the beautiful little town was excellent. Portland didn't seem to have a lot to offer but then, it was raining hard and very windy. As we progressed the weather improved and became colder but the sun came out. Rather than bore you we summarize by saying--- We had a great, memorable time in the rest of the ports of call. The Quebec and Boston being the most enjoyable ones.
Throughout the cruise we found all the staff highly competent and friendly. Our Stateroom (8112) attendant Andrew, from Goa, was perfect in the way he did his job with efficiency and reserve. Our Waiter on table 433, Marius from Rumania was exceptionally proficient, accommodating and very friendly without being over familiar.
Apart from the Ocean Liners restaurant, which is definitely five-star in the ambience, presentation, food, and service, we found the food in the other catering areas lacking in flavor and variation. During Breakfast and Lunchtimes the casual Dining on deck ten aft always seemed to be a tense scramble for the food and tables.
The entertainment was poor in relation to other cruises we have been on before (15) and even on the same ship on the Baltic. The shows and dancers were very professional and the costumes and scenery, including lighting, inventive, but we only had these on 2 nights, the orchestra was very talented and versatile. The other acts we below par and the type that normally appear between acts. The entertainers in the Bars and Lounges were unimpressive. Perry in Michael's Club is fascinating with his 'over-the-top' repartee and songs but is maybe worthy of a larger venue because his popularity which makes getting a seat virtually impossible. The Bar At The End Of the Earth (level 11) was about 2-star standard and shabby.
The Photographers were far too intrusive and pushy, which was reminiscent of Timeshare Salesmen.
In the Computer Class on level six was a very tranquil, knowledgeable Tutor, Isabelle from the Philippines who was charming and modest.
On our Wedding Anniversary day Celebrity delivered an inexpensive bottle of Asti Spumanti sparkling wine to our cabin, which was surprising and underwhelming, particularly with their early request for our marriage proof! We did enjoy our special day very much however in Charlottetown for several hours and a meal in Ocean Liners contributed to the occasion.
At disembarkation there was again an efficient, smooth dockside operation but unfortunately one of our cases was dropped overboard into the drink along with another four.
The Daintree Newark Airport Hotel was much better than the Sheraton and our flight home from Newark was as good as an overnight 6 hour flight could be.