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Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by cyberianuk: Brit Based Bargain

Celebrity Constellation 5
Member Since 2010
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Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 3.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 4.0

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Brit Based Bargain

Sail Date: May 2008
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
Embarkation: Harwich

A cruise round Britain and Ireland. This one was never in the brochure, but a ten day trip somehow squeezed in between relocation and Constellation's summer itinerary of the Baltic voyages. Family and friends raised an eyebrow that we'd even want to cruise our own Islands, but this holiday was not just one for the Americans. Smaller ports and different places certainly gave this unusual sailing a nice clubby atmosphere. Frankly nobody was on board for the weather, which was just as well, it was typical late spring in the British Isles, so kinda rainy.

Connie was everything they tell you she should have been. From the moment you embark you can see why she was the Celebrity flagship and why she consistently delivered the top Conde Naste ratings. Elegant, oppulent and understated, with a level of crew service to match. A former Hollywood stunt-man as cruise director and a theatre cast that was truly superb. You trade the bright colours and street parades of Royal Caribbean More ships for something satisfyingly refined. The coffee mugs are ceramic, not plastic, the ice-cream is homemade not soft whip and the ambient entertainment is more cocktail lounge than holiday camp chic.

But it comes with a price tag. Celebrity is RCL's premium band and the onboard prices come with a premium tag to them. Even beer and soda is rated above Royal Caribbean's prices. Then there are the excursions. They can be eye-wateringly expensive, even by cruise standards, but there are a couple of dodges that Celebrity won't ever tell you about, so read on. Less

Published 07/13/10

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Cabin review: In

Port and Shore Excursions

Take the shuttle into town to see a city you're not expecting to be like it is. Belfast port is unlovely, industrial and you wouldnt want to walk through it, so you need a bus to get out. Surprise 1: Belfast is grand (much more so than Dublin) and prosperous (millions have been pumped into regeneration). The shuttle drops you at the Visitor Information centre. Get the hop on bus right outside for a full trip round. Its too big to walk, but you'll get to see the shipyard where they built Titanic, the places of the "troubles" in the Falls Road and Shankhill, the loyalist murals and then out to Stormont House where the Northern Ireland assembly sits. If you get time, find a pub for lunch and try an Ulster Fry, for the best all day breakfast you will ever eat.

Read 60 Belfast Reviews

In Dublin's fair city, where the maids are so pretty .... This is the trip highlight for many cruisers. You dock in Dublin Port, along with the car ferries to Wales. You really do need the shuttle into town, its just too far to walk. Once you're in the city though, just explore on your own. Dublin is quite compact. Trinity College is central, where you can see the ancient illuminated manuscript, "the book of kells". Nasau Street is next to it, with the classy Irish gift shops and you're just a short walk from Grafton Street (Dublin's main retail drag) This is where Molly Malone wheeled her wheelbarrow (see her statue). Less than half a mile in the other direction is the financial and theatre quarter around Temple Bar, with more Irish Pubs than you can throw a leprachaun at. Or you can cross the River Liffey at O Connell bridge and wander up the grand boulevard of O Connell Street to Clerys department store. You get a day in Dublin, but you need a week.

Read 103 Dublin Reviews

The ancient seat of the Scottish kings is a true gem on any itinerary and there are some unmissable things you have to do.

First off you anchor in the Firth of Forth and tender to the small village of Queensferry. There are several ways into town. The local bus service into the city is infrequent, so pass on that. Celebrity didn't offer a "shuttle". Their cheapest offering was "Edinburgh on your own". This was a $30 item for pretty much a shuttle into town, with few extras. Look for the "crew shuttle". Its a fleet of minibuses that run a 15 minute service for £5 return. Its meant for the crew, but run by a local contractor. They didn't care if you were a sous chef or the Queen of Sheba. Its cash in hand, so your seapass wont get you on, but its the cheapest way into town. Other than that its the local train, but you need to be fit. South Queensferry slipway sits at the foot of the Forth Rail Bridge and you have to climb up to the bridge level to get the train. Jacobs Ladder ?

Edinburgh is a lot of walking, so get the hop on, hop off commentary double dekker bus. It calls at all the main sights and you get the history as well. You can even upgrade for one that does the city tour, then takes you out to Leith harbour to see round the former Royal Yacht, Britannia. A superb window into the travel life of our Royal family. The Castle is a must for all history fans, with a chance to see the crown jewels of Scotland, Buy the audio tour and do it at your own pace. Then time for a sport of whiskey shopping as you wander down the Royal Mile.

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