Embarkation was fairly efficient but slow. It seems that 1900 of the 2000 passengers all arrived at the same time and the staff were somewhat overwhelmed. A second boarding point would help tremendously in relieving the congestion which now occurs at the one gangway. We were once again greeted with a glass of champagne on boarding. A nice touch! The ship was clean and in good repair. In fact cleanliness has almost become a religion on the Constellation, with a staff member greeting each guest entering any dining area with a dab of disinfectant to wash our hands. Additionally, hand rails, elevator buttons, chairs etc were being cleaned several times a day. All in an effort to avoid a visit from the Norwalk virus. Great job Celebrity!!!
We ate all of our evening meals in the San Marco Dining Room, while using the buffet and/or the grill on Deck 10 for our other meals. I guess I'm easily satisfied, because I have no significant complaints about the food in the San Marco. The one negative experience I had was because I ordered something that I didn't recognize, and did not ask our very efficient server Meyra to describe that particular entree. I can't say enough good things about Meyra, and her assistant Paul. They were efficient but personable at the same time. Qualities not always found together. I will agree with one other reviewer though. I like my meals hot, and they were seldom served that way. This was particularly noticeable in the buffet restaurant. However, Constellation's buffet is not unique in this. All buffets that I've patronized, both afloat and ashore, have this same problem of keeping food hot. In fact anyone who figures out how to keep buffet food hot will receive my nomination for a Nobel Prize in the Culinary Arts.
If our cruise held one disappointment, it was the quality of the entertainment in the Celebrity Theatre. I would strongly urge Celebrity's booking agent to lose the contact information for the hypnotist(?). Enough said there! Not every entertainer is going to please every taste. However the technical aspects of some presentations could have used a little more attention to detail. In one specific example: The sound technician is able to control the volume for each band member's microphone as well as that for the feature entertainer. Yet in most cases, the sound from the band was allowed to overwhelm that of the feature performer. The production numbers were as always populated by a group of talented enthusiastic young performers and were quite entertaining. Perry Grant; a talented entertainer, but not deserving of the "rock star" adulation heaped on him by the Cruise Director.
Only one comment on the ports of call. Cartagena Columbia is a beautiful, safe city full of historic architecture and museums, and we may visit again. However it also has, what seems like, millions of street vendors selling just about anything that can be carried. Every place our tour bus stopped, several dozen would appear as if by magic. They can be somewhat aggressive in their sales pitch, but if ignored with a "no, gracias", they will usually go away - eventually.
Disembarkation was pretty smooth and efficient. Because there were only two ships in port that day, even our experience at Fort Lauderdale Airport seemed almost civilized this time.