Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by cyberianuk: Brit Based Bargain
Overall Member Rating
Brit Based Bargain
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
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
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Port and Shore Excursions
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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