The Constellation is a fantastic ship. The crew are always there to help and provide really great service. We sailed the southern Caribbean on a 14 night sailing that took in St Thomas, Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Tobago, Greneda, Curacao and Aruba. What a way to spend two weeks in February especially when at home in the UK the weather was at best just above freezing. After our overnight stay we arrived at the port around 12ish and were on board within 30 minutes, the balcony cabin on deck 8 was fine, stocked with the usual amenities and all cleaned and ship shape for its new guests. The cabin was nicely furnished with TV, Fridge, sofa and safe. The storage space was adequate and if you need more hangers just ask. The bathroom was fine and included a hair dryer. The balcony had a small table and two chairs. The balcony for us is a must -it is great to relax on, and gives a more open feel to the cabin.
The Constellation or Connie as she is affectionately known is 98,000 tons and holds up to 1900 passengers. The ship is constantly given top marks for service and cleanliness and although she is now 8 years old her condition is quite good. Celebrity plan to give her a major makeover this April during a two week dry dock. Celebrity have two seatings for dinner at 6pm and 8.30pm. They have also introduced Select Dining which allows you to eat anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm. We chose this option as we like to be a little more flexible and also find that 4 or 5 course dinners over a 14 night cruise to be too much, this option allows you to eat at the other venues without disrupting your waiter or tablemates. Another advantage for us is that when you meet new friends you can either join their table for the night if there is room, or use the select dining area of the restaurant. The choices of dining options are many and varied on the Connie and always the food was served and presented as you would expect in a top restaurant. The menu was varied and always included a veggie option if you do not eat meat. Also if there is nothing that appeals, standard choices such as Steak-Salmon-Chicken are available every night. I know food is subjective but all I would say is that you will never go hungry on this cruise ship. We particularly liked the stir fry and pasta buffet area at the back of the ship where everything is cooked fresh for you. As well as this you can choose to eat in the casual dining restaurant in the seaview cafe which is set up after six in the buffet area. The menu is the same every night -a bit much for a 14 night cruise- the charge for this is $2 and it is a good choice on formal night if you don't want to dress up. They say you need to book and I would say that if you eat at say 6.30 to 7.30 I would, but we dined later and did not have a problem. The Ocean Liners Speciality Restaurant is really a first class dining experience, the service is exemplary and meals are prepared and served at your table. My Favourite was the Dover Sole and for desert, Crepes, wonderful. Early booking is advised as this restaurant fills up quickly.
The Entertainment was varied and really enjoyable. The production shows were well done and the performers and dancers were talented and very professional.We really enjoyed the comedians. The Pool band was lively and played some great music as did the group in the Rendezvous Lounge each night. A special mention to the Accapello Group who went around the ship popping up at various venues and entertaining everyone. A nice touch was they asked for requests a very talented quartet. Then we come to Perry Grant, this guy is a fixture on the ship and has a cult following. He is not everyone's cup of tea - us included. He performed in Michael's club every night and his disciples would gather early to grab one of the 60 or 70 seats. It was interesting to see once but nearly every night was too much.
The Casino was well laid out with a good bar that included a large TV which meant I could get my fix of sport while enjoying a beer. The Casino was kind to us on this sailing and I finally got to grips with Craps (the Dice Game). This is a really fun game and provided some nice additional funds. The Spa area is one of the best at sea and the Thalassotherapy Pool provides a tranquil and peaceful relaxation venue that is for adults only. The Spa Cafe serves healthy eating options which make you feel good, until later in the afternoon when feeling peckish you go to the Burger station and have one but only with a few fries. There is also an area called the Persian Gardens which has steam rooms relaxation rooms and separate shower and changing facilities, there is a fee of $100 per person fee for this. This was like all our other cruises a wonderful holiday; we met some great people and have some great memories.
Would we sail with Celebrity again?? You bet our Feb 2011 cruise is already booked and as we held the booking while on board we already have $300 in our seapass account. Thanks Celebrity.