Have been on 10 cruises, 6 with Celebrity, 5 of which have been on Constellation. Prior to this was on back to back on Connie last spring Car/Trans. Have to compare.
Live about 450 miles from Harwich and drove down day before and stayed in Travelodge in Feering, Colchester. Hotel fine. Only eating place in area - Little Chef -not the best.
Had booked Concierge Class balcony stateroom. Aft, very large balcony but did not get much time to use, due to dull wet weather and cold. Drove to car park [Pre booked] about 11.20am , left car and placed cases at trolleys [ seen next in room]. Got bus to ship and embarked in matter of minutes. We are Elite and enjoyed benefits. Ship clean and beaut as usual and all staff extremely friendly. Lifeboat drill postponed till after the soccer FA cup final match that was in theatre and room tv - nice touch.
Food still high quality but amounts and other cutbacks are obvious.
Negatives: Smoking policy has changed since last cruise. My wife is considerate smoker. Last year smoking was allowed in Rendez Vous Lounge, and Cova Cafe. We were in Cova at least twice a day and the lounge before/after dinner. Now smoking not allowed. Last year was always busy and this year hardly used especially Cova Cafe. They have also greatly increased price of cooffees. Only allowed to smoke in Bar at Edge of Earth that regularly has busy shows and non smokers sit in smoking area so nothing for smokers. More ludicrous! Smoking was not allowed on balcony, even though large, but was allowed 8 feet above it, in seated outside area of Seaside Cafe.
Drink prices: Increased. If you bring your own wine to dinng room the corkage added to your account is 25 dollars.
Enrichment : Relied mainly on Emile Baladi who gave about 7 lectures. Really just reading large areas of text from 'Powerpoint' with no humour. I gave up 10 minutes into number 2. Band leader Les DeMerle was excellent, about his playing with Sinatra etc. Singers enthusiastic and great. Singer Brenda Cochrane was good singer. Couple of comedians who had seen better days. Did not go to comedy juggler or pianist.
Still had great time and enjoyed, but I never thought I would say it, but I cannot see us returning to
Celebrity until they alter the smoking policy - at least relative to balconies.
On leaving, cases were taken from room direct to car park.