After three wonderful days in Amsterdam we couldn't wait to board the ship. The boarding process was painless except for an over zealous security guy. I set off the metal detector and this guy positively manhandled me! I'm a woman and I did not like him putting his hands all over me. I do understand why we have to go through this unpleasantness but I think that Celebrity needs to invest in wands or at least have women to frisk women, instead of some big burly guy manhandling me.
In the Amsterdam airport that's what they did and they frisked everyone! It was not quite the same personal invasion as it was another woman that actually did it. And believe me, she was more through then he was.
We sailed out of Amsterdam headed for the Northern Baltic on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon that happened to be my birthday. I felt this cruise on the Constellation, affectionately called the Connie, was just the perfect gift and in spite of the Norovirus and the over zealous security guard, it really was.
Our cabin was absolutely spectacular! This was the first time we have stayed in a Royal Suite and yes, it is ROYAL: Beautifully and comfortably appointed and equipped. We couldn't have asked for more. Everything from the in suite double Jacuzzi tub to the cool motorized window shade that covered the porthole in our bedroom set just at bed height. You could lay in bed with it open and view the ocean and stars, reach over, hit the switch and close the porthole for the night. We spent a lot of time in our cabin as it was so comfortable. In fact, we had dinner in it a couple of nights with our traveling buddies, served by our ever attentive and all around nice guy butler, Santoso.
The first night we had dinner in Ocean Liners, one of the two specialty restaurants. As expected, the place is gorgeous and the food and service superlative. I had the Surf and Turf and it was the best I have ever eaten on a cruise ship. It rivaled a 5-star restaurant.
The second night we had dinner in the new Tuscan Grill and again, very, very good. This time I had a Grilled Veal Chop beautifully presented with a sauce to die for. Again, we received very attentive service without it being obtrusive.
The public rooms on the ship are all very nice and well appointed again we super service. Michael's Club became our favorite hangout for a before dinner drink and the Martini Bar is something else. You have got to experience it.
And that's the way the Connie is, very elegant but very approachable. There is nothing stuffy about the Connie. I never felt uncomfortable or put off. The crew and officers seem to be happy and well treated and the Captain, charming. Even when dealing with an outbreak of the norovirus, they are still smiling and attentive to their guests. And we were treated as honored guests!
I commend the crew and officers for their handling of the norovirus. They did everything they could to contain the outbreak and yes, probably 100 people got sick but it could have been much worse. They were treating the sick at no cost in the ship's hospital, cleaning and disinfecting constantly. And the extraordinary service continued.
I'm not going to talk about the ports of call other than to say, very interesting and well worth your time if you've never been to the Baltic and Russia. We are really glad we went. Sitting in the airport on the way home the four of us decided after 20 years of traveling and cruising together, this was the best one yet, especially the Connie. We had a blast!