Royal Caribbean Is Better Value: Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by Dancer Bob
Overall Member Rating
Royal Caribbean Is Better Value
Embarkation: San Diego
The Bar At The Edge Of The Earth (BEE)is on deck 11 forward, susceptible to any movement. The dance floor is larger but a metal disco-wannabe with raised joints, not a very good surface at best, and often dirty from cooking displays. The deck band plays there for an hour most nights- very monotonous, the same disco-y stuff over and over. After that, the disco. The group I was with kept it open till 4 AM twice, which the DJ said was unprecedented. I gather anything after 10 PM is usually pretty dead.
I understand the Constellation is due for refit so I will More not say much about maintenance, but BEE definitely is due for refurbishing.
Food quality was generally 4+. Restaurant service was good, there seems to have been fewer staff cutbacks than most ships.
Buffet service was poorly organised and slow. Food quality was good, but choice on the evening buffet was limited. The staff seemed competent, but not particularly well-motivated.
You've heard the cruise ship joke "What time is the midnight buffet?" It was at NOON! And only on sea days. Even the "late" night pizza closed at 11 PM, then only room service.
Many daytime activities were thinly disguised advertising- bars, shops, spa, art. Definitely not in keeping with a premium image. The rest? If the excitement of bean bag toss and shuffleboard was too demanding, there were trivia-clone games. A few cooking displays, a couple of enrichment lectures, that was about it.
Library is a decent size, but fiction appears to have been bought by the pound from a clearance house. Non-fiction is definitely right-wing, not many titles praising Obama. The thalassotherapy (heated) pool was nice. The hot tubs closed at 8 PM, and were only at 85 degrees. The front desk attempted to use the "health regulations" excuse, but since Celebrity's parent company Royal Caribbean keeps the tubs hot and open 24 hours, this was less than believable.
Some hand sanitiser was available at the restaurant entrance, but I saw little effort made to keep handrails and elevator call buttons clean and sanitize carpets during port stops.
My cabin was about average, except it was set up for a third person in a fold-out bed, which made the layout a bit awkward. The cabin steward was quite professional, kept the cabin made up without intruding even though "Makeup Cabin" tags are not used.
Summary: Unless you're looking for "Florida retirement home" ambiance, Royal Caribbean is better value. From what I saw of the ship's activities, I'd guess the average passenger to be a regimented, unimaginative and inactive old geezer, in bed by 10 PM. Less
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