Just a little review of our Christmas and New Year’s cruise on the Connie. We had a great time! I must admit that embarkation was not particularly pleasant –very disorganized and Celebrity’s employees were little or no help. However, once we boarded the ship we had a wonderful time. We were greeted with the standard glass of champagne. We went immediately to our cabin to drop off our carry on and then proceeded up to Lido deck to partake in the buffet. We were early so it wasn’t very crowded. The food was the standard buffet fare. We were in our cabin by 1:00. We had an outside cabin on Continental deck. The location was great and very quiet. Our cabin was showing little signs of wear but it was clean and our bed was very comfortable. Our cabin stewards were very attentive and responded to every request we made. After putting a few things away we set off to explore the ship. The public rooms are in very good condition. The ship was extremely clean and we saw staff cleaning the public areas constantly. We ate in the MDR every night except one. We had great tablemates and enjoyed their company every night. I am not a big food person so I am not going to say a lot about the food. I will say that I was able to order any of my food the way I wanted it including asking for certain things on my salad and small portions of meat and big portions of vegetables. The sautéed spinach (which is not on the menu but I had it every night) was delicious. There were also two grand buffets in the dining room – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They were very nice with a mix of breakfast and lunch foods. We ate breakfast on Lido deck every morning – they have the most delicious waffles. I was a little disappointed in the desserts in the MDR. However, the ice cream – all of which is made on the ship (except the sugar free) was great and the sorbets were among the best I have ever had. They were actually sorbet – not sherbet! Very nice! People dressed the same as they do on Holland America or Princess – some people were dressed every night, some people weren’t. Some people didn’t even get their luggage until four or five days into the cruise (I think some people never got their luggage). I would give you a more detailed fashion report but, truthfully, we don’t really worry about what other people wear, we are only concerned about we wear – we stick with the recommended dress of the day! And, no one, no matter how they were dressed, ruined our evening. In fact, there was one man who never had shoes on – I don’t know if he never got his luggage or his feet hurt or what, but no matter where we saw him he didn’t have on shoes. We thought it was pretty funny!
On sea days we spent a lot of time on the pool deck. We were happy to see that the pool attendants actually monitored the “chair hogs” and removed towels from the chairs that hadn’t been occupied for a couple of hours. One couple – and they were “chair hogs” actually attached their luggage straps to the chairs supposedly to hold their towels in place. It was very relaxing and most afternoons the pool attendants came by with either sorbet or fresh fruit in little cups. The entertainment was good – we had a couple of comedians/singers. Some of the production shows were good some were just okay. The string quartet was excellent as was the a cappella group. We enjoyed them the most. We did get to see Perry and he was “himself!” One of the reasons we went on this cruise was the itinerary and we weren’t disappointed. We booked only one shore excursion through the ship. We had never been the Curacao so we took a little tour with a taxi driver we found outside the gates at the port. It was beautiful. We had been to all the other ports many times so we just went to the beach on our own except in Antigua. We booked a catamaran tour on the Excellence with the ship. We tried to book it independently but they contract with the ship and will not allow independent bookings. It was excellent – I highly recommend. Unlike some catamaran tours except for about an hour and half stop to snorkel and eat lunch we were sailing around Antigua. We loved it!
For us, the ship had a reasonable amount of Christmas decorations and entertainment. They had a very nice Roman Catholic midnight mass in the theater and Santa visited on Christmas morning. There were quite a few Christmas trees around the ship and the atrium was decorated. There was Christmas caroling and also a Christmas stage show. The New Year’s Eve party was on Lido deck – it was a great time with champagne, hats and noise makers. The one thing that I didn’t like was that it was formal night and it was too hot and sticky to be comfortable since we were dressed up. We danced a lot anyway and took cold showers when we got back to the room. For some reason, we got invited for a tour of the bridge. It was extremely interesting and we enjoyed it and hope we get invited to tour it again sometime. Something that really stood out for us on this cruise was that the officers were out and about continually. We saw the captain many times and he always stopped to say hello – and, his wife did also! It was a very friendly staff! Our cruise on the Connie was a great way to usher in the New Year.