A review of 14-day Constellation cruise - 3/26-4/9/11
We are Carolyn and John from Charleston, SC and had a delightful cruise aboard the Constellation. We spent a night pre-cruise at the Hampton Inn in Vero Beach, which was very nice and then just had a two-hour drive into Ft. Lauderdale, where we left our car at the Port Everglades parking garage. We went straight in, were speedily checked in and were on the ship by 11:30 am. We were in the line for Captain's Club Elite/Concierge and there was no waiting at all. Somehow we were listed as VIP's and were given a personal escort to the gangway and then greeted with champagne/mimosas and on to our cabin, which this time we were fortunate to have a veranda/concierge class for the first time in 22 cruises. Boy, are we spoiled! Awaiting us was chilled champagne, fresh flowers, and a bowl of fruit. And the flowers and fruit, plus afternoon canapes, continued every day throughout the cruise. We left our carryon bags in the cabin, and went up to the Seaside Cafe for their buffet lunch (delicious and included fried chicken). Our luggage arrived before 2:30 and we were unpacked in short order. We received an invitation to view the sailaway from the helipad; so we headed on up after the lifeboat drill and had a lovely view of our sailaway (along with about 30 other passengers and some of the ship' officers who chatted with us, all the while with cocktails being served). Time for our early sitting dinner at 6pm and meeting our tablemates (table for 10). Enjoyed the whole cruise with Carlos & Milagros also from Charleston, Ron and Grace from Canada, Susan & Laula from Kansas City, and Chris & Andrea from Ft. Myers.
We thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of being CC Elite and also in having a balcony cabin for the first time. We found our cabin stewards John and Ram to be excellent as they cared for us throughout the trip, as we also found our waiters in the dining room (Eddie and Oscar, and Asst. Matre'D Eric) to be most accommodating in providing a fantastic experience for us and our table, going so far as to celebrate two birthdays, bringing sugarfree versions of special desserts, and extra breads & desserts (key lime pie) that we requested along the way.
We loved the entertainment; went to every show and to see every performer, and they were really all outstanding; a very nice variety of performers to complement the fantastic singers and dancers and aerialists in the production shows. And Sue Denning was outstanding; all I could say after her one-women show was "Wow". She is truly a great cruise director as well as a performer on her own.
We enjoyed all the Captain's Club activities and Graeme the CC Host was fabulous as he got to know and interact with everyone; enjoyed meeting his wife Amy who is the production manager for the theater. We loved the bridge tour (with the Captain always available there and at all the other venues), the galley tour, the backstage tour, and the elegant tea.
We had been to four of the ports previously, so concentrated of the four that were new to us: Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, and Curacao and had tours to each of these that were very informative and well done. Several of our tablemates enjoyed snorkeling and were very complimentary of the islands' snorkeling capabilities.
Embarkation was handled very efficiently; we were called at 7:50am, and after locating our luggage, we found a porter to help with luggage, and he took us all the way to the parking garage and we were pulling out of the garage at 8:30am and on our way home.
All in all we were very pleased and happy with this cruise; one of the best ever in our total of 22 voyages! The only suggestion we made on the passenger survey was that consideration be given to a different venue than the Reflections Lounge for the Chocolate Buffet so that more passengers could find seats and gain access to the wonderful chocolate delicacies.