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190 Celebrity Constellation Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of the destination and having sailed on Celebrity Summit twice, I thought I would experience 5 Star cruising again. I was very disappointed with this cruise. Although the staff, including the Captain and the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the destination and having sailed on Celebrity Summit twice, I thought I would experience 5 Star cruising again. I was very disappointed with this cruise. Although the staff, including the Captain and the Cruise Director were brilliant, I felt that there was no atmosphere on the ship. We sailed on P. & O. Britannia last December and had a wonderful time. Both times we booked a superior balcony cabin. On the Britannia we had a bottle of champagne, chocolates, sweets and flowers waiting for us in our cabin. Celebrity, nothing. Celebrity seemed to want money from you all the time. To visit the bridge cost $150. I know that norovirus had taken hold on the ship which caused problems for the staff but I think Celebrity have cut too many corners. On the Chic Nights people were either overdressed or too casual. We took advise on the dress code and were probably dressed correctly for a Chic Night but felt out of place with so many people dressed up in their tux and long dresses. Please bring back the formal night Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The entire trip was AWESOME Stayed 3 night at the Hotel Vondel in Amsterdam..Boutique hotel..very small rooms and bathroom tiny..but incredibly clean..wonderful towels..restaurant in hotel..walking distance to canal..Anne Frank house ... Read More
The entire trip was AWESOME Stayed 3 night at the Hotel Vondel in Amsterdam..Boutique hotel..very small rooms and bathroom tiny..but incredibly clean..wonderful towels..restaurant in hotel..walking distance to canal..Anne Frank house Van Gogh museum..Perfect Cruise was great..Amsterdam, Estonia, Germany, overnight in Russia..St Petersburg, Finland Copenhagen and Denmark..not in that order but wonderful..wonderful..wonderful We used Alla tours for Jewish Heritage tour in Germany and Alla Tours for two ..10 hour tours in St Petersburg..Natala was wonderfulStayed overnight at Crown Plaza in Amsterdam before we flew home..Very nice clean hotel..Paid an extra $18.00 pp for breakfast and no one was there to make pancakes or eggs..so it cost 36.00 for cold cereal I would recommend the cruise we went on..It was awesome..Little mermaid..wood shoe factory and of course the TULIPS..that was incredible..also you must be careful of the bike paths..they do not have many cars and all age people even in their 80's are on bikes..Canal boat ride was cool..too much to see and i will never forget it Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is our sixth time with Celebrity, but the first time on the Constellation. Embarkation was a breeze, took less than 20 minutes from leaving the hotel room to boarding the ship. If you are departing from Amsterdam I would recommend the ... Read More
This is our sixth time with Celebrity, but the first time on the Constellation. Embarkation was a breeze, took less than 20 minutes from leaving the hotel room to boarding the ship. If you are departing from Amsterdam I would recommend the Movenpick Hotel, it's right next to the cruise terminal. The ship looks a little dated, but it was clean and overall pretty good. The food and service in the Ocean Liner restaurant was very good, the Tuscan Grill was so-so. We were on Select Dining option and had no problem getting seated whenever we wanted, food in the main dining room was good, but nothing special. Breakfast buffet was good, with lots of fresh fruit and stations for poached eggs and omelets. Lunch and dinner buffets also had good choices, fresh sushi in the evenings, and a good selection of choices, (pasta bar, curries, Asian stir fry's etc.) The ports of call were ok, with St Petersburg being the highlight. We booked a tour through Alla Tours, and were delighted with the itinery, guide and driver. We had the Classic berevage package and made good use of it in the Martini Bar and Reflections Lounge. Bar staff were always ready to refill the glass, and not having to sign for drinks everytime was a bonus. In summary the cruise was as good as we expected, but was not outstanding. We'll cruise on Celebrity again, but maybe not on the Constellation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We are a married couple, early 50’s / 60’s, currently living in Maryland. We have cruised a fair bit, but this was the first time we had cruised the Baltic. Constellation is one of our favourite ships and we last sailed her in the ... Read More
We are a married couple, early 50’s / 60’s, currently living in Maryland. We have cruised a fair bit, but this was the first time we had cruised the Baltic. Constellation is one of our favourite ships and we last sailed her in the Black Sea September 2013, so were hoping to see some familiar faces among the crew. We were in an A2 cabin, had the drinks package and a generous OBC to blow, thanks to the 123GO promotion, and were cruising as Elite Plus for the first time. I also have a feather and flower allergy, which can be challenging when travelling. I am an introvert and we are quiet people who aren’t much into on board activities, we prefer to read, write and do photos to keep ourselves busy, when we aren’t chilling and just staring at the sea. I will try and offer some tips for future cruisers, but probably by the time I get this finished the Baltic season will be over! Did I mention we had a great trip? Here is my (tongue in cheek) account of it, and let me once again say we really enjoyed ourselves in our understated way. Flight We flew United non-stop from IAD to Amsterdam. For some reason DH has been elevated to one level above pleb on the United frequent flier programme so our bags were not only tagged “heavy” they got a priority sticker too. Unfortunately his status isn’t lofty enough for 2 free bags, so bag number 3 cost us $100 each way. We paid extra for the Economy Plus extra legroom, and Economy Minus food. If you tell yourself that a good flight gets you and your bags from A to B pretty much on time and in one piece, then this was a good flight. Tip 1, the window seat is very chilly, bring a jacket and gloves. You will be grateful for them! Tip 2, if you are leaving from IAD do yourself a favour and stop at Vino Volo for a few nice tapas and a wine flight before your flight. You won’t regret it when “chicken or pasta” is delivered over Newfoundland. Likewise on the return flight when all they are offering is “chicken”, you will be glad that you ate breakfast at the airport, (no matter how awful it was), and picked up a sandwich to eat on board later. Amsterdam Schiphol What a great airport. No lines at immigration, no waiting for bags, and no lines at customs. It was easy to get a taxi too, a nice Mercedes one, with a careful driver. Amsterdam Marriott I wish I was one of those travellers who appreciated twee boutique hotels, with lovely (but uncomfortable) antique furniture and four sets of stairs to drag your luggage up to the canal view room in the attic… but I’m not. I like a comfy bed, a proper bath, a good shower and air-conditioning, and I want an elevator. As I also need a feather-free room, I find it best to stick with a major chain, this time Marriott. We booked the room from the night before to make sure we could get into it and get some sleep immediately we arrived, as I am a grump when I get off a transatlantic flight. The Marriott is situated near the Rijksmuseum and Vondelpark in a quiet area, but just a few minutes walk from the restaurants and bars in the Leidseplein. I thought the staff here were excellent and the hotel was very comfortable. The bar is nice and modern and the asian dishes they serve are superb! Tip 1: It costs more to book a hypoallergenic room than a regular room online, however if you book a regular room you can request hypoallergenic bedding and they will often upgrade you to the hypoallergenic room at no charge if it is available. Tip 2: Get yourself a nice drink and a window seat in the hotel bar and watch the cars, trams and bicycles whizz by. It’s like a mesmerising choreographed dance. Tip 3: I find the best way of getting over jetlag is to get 3 or 4 hours sleep as soon as you arrive at your destination, and then stay up as late after 10pm as you can manage. Embarkation As easy as Schiphol was to arrive at, the Amsterdam cruise port rivalled it for ease of embarkation. We arrived at about 11am, dropped our bags inside the terminal, (that’s a new one!), then went upstairs to check in. We already had our Edocs and check in was really quick in the priority (Suites, Aqua and Elite) line. ID photos are taken on the ship when you board for the first time, which is probably why check-in at the terminal was so fast. We were on board with our champagne by 11:15. Tip: They will try to herd you up to the buffet until cabins are ready at 1:30ish. If you don’t mind paying for a quiet civilised lunch, Bistro on Five opens at noon, and Cafe al Bacio will already be open when you board, and offers pastries and drinks. It’s a great place to test out your drink package! Cabin We were in an A2 cabin, 9104 which is near the aft stairwell on deck 9 and under the loos at the entrance to the buffet. This is a nice quiet area, whereas some of the other A2s are under the pool or the gym and have the potential to be noisy. The A1 cabins are new and are located high and aft on deck 11. As soon as I walked in there were no flowers and as I didn’t start sneezing, no feathers. Our steward Bengit stopped by and said he got the request ahead of time, (first time ever!), and had put hypoallergenic bedding in the cabin already. There was tea in the room, but as we never drink it, I said there was no need for him to bring it, but it still came every day. Aqua Class comes with lots of perks that I don’t really use, but what I do like about it is the free water, improved shower and meals in Blu. The toiletries have changed recently. Instead of helpfully saying “Shampoo”, “Conditioner” or “Body Wash” in big letters, they say “Cleanse”, “Hydrate”, “Revitalise” , and the translation is in writing way too small to read in the shower without your glasses on!!!! The first night I had trouble sleeping, as the mattress was so uncomfortable that I ended up sleeping on the sofa under a mound of towels and bathrobes. The next day Bengit managed to get me a different mattress and I slept very well after that. Tip: if there is a problem, mention it as soon as you can and give the steward the opportunity to fix it. There is no point saying nothing and then whingeing about it when you get home. Blu Meals Blu is open for breakfast and dinner for Aquaclass guests and on a space available basis for suite guests. This was our 4th time in Blu and I think this was the first time I have really seen it at it’s best, well staffed with waiters, a good sommelier and an excellent bar waitress. We never had to wait for drinks or a second glass of wine, nor did we have to go to another bar for a drink during dinner like we had to in the past! This time the service was spot on. We tended to eat around 7:30, and at that time Blu always seemed almost but not quite full, so we always got a table straight away. We never asked for a specific waiter, or a table by the window, we just sat where they had space, and found all the waitstaff to all be equally as good. One thing I will mention, as an introvert, is that I prefer to eat at a table for two, not a table for eight. The tables are very close together so even the table for two sometimes seems like a table for four or eight, which means you feel obliged to say hello to people next to you out of politeness. I loved being seated next to europeans who would just say hello and then either go back to conversing in their native tongue, or looking at the menu, rather than my nightmare scenario of being seated next to someone who just won’t shut up, especially at breakfast. You know who you are ;) Tip 1: the “always available” dishes from the main dining room (shrimp cocktail, escargots, caesar salad, onion soup, chicken, steak and salmon) are also available every day in Blu. I also recommend the frogs legs, smoked trout, the filet mignon and the entree salads, which were usually lean grilled, steak, pork or other protein along with really good leaves. Tip 2: dress code in Blu is always “smart casual”. On formal night some people dress up formally in Blu, some don’t, and you will look just fine whatever you wear. Buffet Every cruise has a “sick of it” night, when you just can’t face one more four course sit down dinner. That’s the night we head to the buffet for a good stir fry for him, and a good curry for her, and both were pretty decent. That was the only time we ventured into the buffet this cruise. Perhaps it had something to do with a man sitting with his feet up on one of the tables near us….yuk. Bistro on Five On Silhouette I loved Bistro on Five as even though it was a creperie and I am not a crepe fan, it had lots of really good entree salads on the menu too. On Constellation it was a bit disappointing as they only had a chopped salad and a chicken caesar salad, and I am a real leafy spinachy and arugula loving girl. I tried both salads, but the chopped salad was bland and the chicken caesar had slivers of chicken that were so thin and crispy it was hard to tell them from the croutons, so both were disappointing. I really missed the steak, tomato and arugula salad from Silhouette. What irked though was that the crepe garnish was arugula and tomatoes, and people invariably left it uneaten on their plates. The chicken soup and garlic bread was good, but it wasn’t worth it for me to pay $7 (yes the price has gone up from $5) just for soup. I’m not quite sure what they were thinking with dessert, but this english person has never before been served a trifle with the sponge used as a garnish on top of the cream! Did they forget to put it in with the jelly layer? It was truly bizarre. So the disappointing food and the price increase, coupled with show tunes played so loudly that it was hard to hear what anyone said, made Bistro on Five a miss this time round. Cafe al Bacio My home from home. The big yellow chairs by the window are my favourite place to sit and veg and drink endless lattes and perriers! The staff in here are always excellent, and it was a pleasure to see Zora working there again. Tip: Although you have to pay for drinks here the pastries are free and can also be packed to go. Also they have a box of chocolates on the counter that you can choose from, a sort of DIY pillow chocolate! Speciality restaurants On this cruise I don’t think the speciality restaurants were selling well as we seemed to be continually hassled, while we were trying to have a quiet drink, by waiters and maitre d’s trying to get us to eat in either the Tuscan Grill or Ocean Liners. The truth is they are way overpriced now at $45 and $50 respectively, and I find the food there is too heavy, and the portions are so large that I can only manage one or two courses, so even with a 20 or 30% discount it just isn’t value for money for me. Also this cruise was probably my 15th on Celebrity, so it’s a case of “been there, done that”, and unless the prices are halved or they create an interesting new dining venue for me to try, I probably won’t bother with speciality restaurants again. Room Service We only used room service for breakfast, and it was usually on time, ok early. (Note to Celebrity… we really didn’t appreciate it arriving at 5:40am when we had ordered it for 6am, the first St Petersburg day, nor the second St Petersburg day when we ordered it for 7am and it never appeared at all!). Live Music They still have live music on board! Yay! We had Mickey Illardi, a guitarist singer, a really good string trio Gran Volta, Emily and the Nightcaps, the party band and what I presume is meant to define “modern luxury”, a “DJ Duo”, DJ Denkoff and Lady Sax, basically a Miami DJs but with sax not drummers, or sax karaoke with a flat sax playing over a tedious techno sort of drum beat if you will. DJ D and LS were predominantly anchored in either the Martini Bar or up in the sky lounge, but occasionally they played in the atrium and the noise was impossible to avoid. The Martini Bar seemed to thrive on it, Cafe al Bacio did not. Entertainment and Activities I didn’t go to many shows and the ones I went to I never stayed beyond a few minutes, it’s not that they were necessarily bad, just not my thing. There were late night parties in the sky lounge and occasionally on the pool deck, but again this was a port intensive itinerary and we were tired. We did enjoy some of the lectures on the history of the Baltic by Lisa Didier. Other activities either had a fee (wine tasting, malt tasting, tequila tasting and some fitness activities) or ended up with a selling opportunity, galley tours finishing in Ocean Liners with a hard sell on speciality restaurants, a faberge egg lecture that ended with, surprise, surprise a faberge egg sale! They were promoting shopping sales, unveilings and extavaganzas, health and beauty lectures with product sales at the end, and of course Park West was on board. Tip: Back row on the aisle is a great seat for sneaking out of the theatre, unnoticed, after 10 minutes, even if it’s a comedy show! Spa We had lots of on board credit to burn so decided to book some massages. The new spa services provider is Canyon Ranch and the prices have gone up. I had two massages, the husband had three, as they were offering a fifth one free if you booked four. They no longer offer couples massages as they said they didn’t have rooms large enough, so the treatment space must have had a total redesign, (or Elemis had “tardis" rooms before!) as we have had them on Constellation before. The massages were nice, and yes there were annoying product pitches at the end, but a polite “No thank you” ended it quickly, for the first massage although the second needed a snappy retort to “These massage balls won’t take up much space in your suitcase”, of “They wont be taking up any space at all as I don’t want them” to cut that short! Elite Plus Benefits We really liked having 200 free internet minutes each and 2 free loads of laundry each. We didn’t use any of the other coupons.The free teas and coffees in Cafe al Bacio were already covered with our drinks package. We never made it to the Elite breakfast as we either ate in Blu or got room service, but we did enjoy a couple of evenings in the sky lounge at the Elite cocktail hour. The Elite afternoon tea held one day in Blu was also very nice. Excellent scones! Cruisecritic Party Our roll call was a little quiet and used more for the planning of private tours than for chit-chat. There were not a large number of participants online, so it was nice to see so many of them actually come to the Connections party, which was hosted by the Captain and his Activities Manager, and held in the Tuscan Grill on the morning of the first sea day. Celebrity provided drinks and pastries and everyone seemed to have a nice time getting to meet each other in person. I think this was one of the best attended and most successful Connections parties I’ve been to. 123 Go Package We had booked this cruise on board a previous cruise and had received on board credit and a classic alcohol beverage package, which we paid to upgrade to the premium package. I was happy with the choice of drinks that were covered and liked not having to sign for every drink I ordered. Was it worth it? For me yes as I drink a lot of Perrier and lattes, and have usually got more than half my monies worth before I touch a drop of alcohol :) I think I beat the package 10 out of 12 days, the exceptions being the long day at Warnemunde and the first day in St Petersburg which was a long day of touring followed by dinner off the ship, LOL. Cutbacks? Here’s what I noticed… Pillow chocolates have gone, replaced by a single foil-wrapped chocolate covered oreo cookie that appeared only once, on the first formal night. DIY pillow chocolates available at Cafe al Bacio :) I am allergic to flowers, but the steward said it wasn’t a problem as they no longer put flowers in the cabins as they “have had trouble finding a reliable supplier in Europe”. The Captain’s Club did still send a vase of roses, which I donated to another cabin. What is and isn’t included in the beverage package has changed. I drink a Pouille Fuisse in Blu with dinner. Previously (as recently as February) it was right on the $11 limit for wine by the glass in the premium package. Now the limit has been raised to $13 but that particular wine is now priced at $13.50, so I had to pay a surcharge of 50c a glass. Speciality restaurant prices are extremely high now. Ports We did tours in every port and booked them through SPB tours online. Overall we found them to be very well organised, the guides were excellent, the drivers safe and the vehicles modern and clean, and would not hesitate to recommend SPB. Vika, the owner of the company, made a point of trying to greet each person booked with SPB in St Petersburg, which I thought was a nice touch. With hindsight some ports we could have easily done ourselves using the hop on hop off bus, instead of taking a tour. Here’s what we did. Fairytale Schwerin. This was advertised as “an easier alternative to Berlin”, and was definitely billed as a walking tour that used public transport, but I think some people read “easy” and stopped there. We had people on the tour who were unable to walk quickly or for long distances, and younger people who wanted to walk faster, so it made it difficult for the guide to keep everyone together. The day we took this tour there was a severe weather warning for Warnemunde, so our itinerary was rearranged with the intention of keeping us safe and dry on a train until the weather improved, and I have to say it worked. We had a quick look at Warnemunde, had lunch arranged in a restaurant, saw the inside and the grounds of Schwerin castle and then a walk around Rostock. The champagne at the end of the tour was a nice touch. Tip: Read the literature. It says public transport and walking so don’t complain when that’s what you get! Old Town Tallinn and Kadriorg-Pirita. We loved Tallinn and our tour included the old town, a palace and it’s grounds, and pies for lunch. I hadn’t realised lunch was included, so that was a nice surprise! St Petersburg Deluxe 2 Day Tour. St Petersburg is pretty much the main reason people take a Baltic cruise. We had a private tour for 6 version of the Deluxe 2 day tour. I had hoped we could customise it on the day, staying longer at places that interested us more, shorter at places that didn’t, but we couldn’t, as we had timed admission tickets, but at least we walked straight into places. We saw pretty much everything that’s on a “must see in St Petersburg” list. Day 1 we rode on the metro, saw the Peter and Paul Fortress, Peterhof and the Catherine Palace. We didn’t have lunch until 2pm which was way too late as we had breakfast at 6am that morning to ensure we were near the front of the disembarkation line. We were served a 4 course lunch at a new place SPB was trying. It was OK but we didn’t want to eat too much as it was late and we had 7:15 dinner reservations at Sadko that night using their “Night on the Town” option. Despite initially thinking we were crazy for making evening plans after such a hectic day, we gritted our teeth, showered, changed in 30 minutes and headed back out. We really enjoyed our evening and had the restaurant to ourselves, (watched over by our taxi driver to make sure we didn’t sneak out the back door unaccompanied!), and had the best Chicken Kiev and Beef Stroganoff ever!! Day 2 started with a scenic boat ride followed by a visit to the Hermitage. We had lunch in a pie shop which was good, followed by visits to the Church On The Spilled Blood, St Isaacs Cathedral and the Yusupov Palace. We like to wander off and take photos but it was impossible to do that in St Petersburg, probably because we were on the blanket tourist visa and they wanted to keep us on a tight rein. Tip 1: Much has been said about whether private tours disembark after Celebrity tours in St Petersburg. They don’t. The Celebrity tours meet at the theatre and disembark through the deck 1 forward gangway, other passengers disembark through the deck 1 midships gangway. The official time for the ship to clear is 8am, people started queueing at the midships deck 2 stairwell (as low as we could go) at 7am. We were able to disembark around 7:30, and were cleared through immigration by 8am. The only advantage the ship tours had was that the immigration hall was slightly closer the the forward gangway than the midships one, after that it was pretty much the luck of the draw as to whether you picked a slow line or a fast one. Tip 2: Bathroom stops are often in souvenir shops, but you are not required to pay to use them or to buy anything. Tip 3: It never hurts to have local currency. The pie shop in St Petersburg didn’t accept credit cards or Euros as some other tourists unfortunately discovered. We had local currency and were also able to buy an ice cream at Peterhof from the kiosk that only accepted rubles! Tip 4: The Cappuccino ice cream on a stick at the ice cream kiosk at Peterhof is delicious! 5 Hour Panoramic Helsinki and Seurasaari Island SPB offered two tours here, a 3 hour Helsinki tour and this, the 3 hour Helsinki tour plus a walking tour of Seeurasaari island which was a living history museum. Unfortunately some people on our tour booked it at the last minute in St Petersburg and unbelievably thought they were getting a 5 hour Helsinki tour… Some came in unsuitable shoes for walking, others were incapable of walking long distances, and when we got to the island said they didn’t want to walk in a forest, they wanted to go back and see Helsinki. I booked the tour because I wanted to see both. I felt the guide was put in a very difficult position because I was not prepared to forgo walking around the forest because other people didn’t want to. Our guide compromised and left them in a tearoom while my husband and I and one other gentleman did the forest walk and saw the historic buildings, which were really interesting. Perhaps the description should have be more specific “3 hours in Helsinki, plus 2 hour walking tour around museum in forest”. Tip: Wear walking shoes for a walking tour and do your homework and read what tour you are actually taking! Panoramic Tour Stockholm This was a great tour with a brilliant guide, Elisabeth. The City Hall and the Vasa Museum were amazing. I liked that there was 1 hour free time at the end, so we could shop, eat lunch locally or go in the museum. Tip 1: Don’t miss the Vasa museum! Tip 2: The elk burger at The Black Sheep restaurant is highly recommended. Panoramic Copenhagen This was the only tour that I felt was disorganised. The port was chaotic when we arrived, as a lot of us disembarked earlier than we needed to, and the disembarkation instructions were vague and it was hard to know where exactly to meet the guide.When we finally did find our bus and guide, we had to drive over to the Volendam to pick up 3 passengers from that ship. We waited for about half an hour but they never appeared. It was very irritating. The tour started late, but finished at the advertised time, so we lost about 20 minutes of what would have been free time. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see the famous street with the canal. We drove by it quickly but didn’t get chance to take the photos I wanted to.  Tour Tip 1: I know none of us like to admit that we are getting older and perhaps can’t walk as far as we used to, or stand for a long time, but to be fair to other people we really should accept our limitations and only book tours that we are physically able to fully participate in. If you are no longer able to walk for long distances, please don’t book a walking tour that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, it’s not fair on you and not fair on other people on the tour. Instead check out the “panoramic” bus tours the cruise line offers that cater to people with mobility issues and will allow you to see sights at a slower pace with more time on the bus to get you closer to the points of interest and less time spent walking to them. Tip 2: Read the description of the tour you are booking so you know what to expect! Disembarkation There is no room service on the last morning so options were the buffet (zoo), dining room (zoo with assigned seating), or in our case Blu. Cabins have to be vacated by 8am. We had a disembarkation time of 8:30 but were called at 8am. Bags were easy to find and there was an abundance of taxis waiting outside the terminal. Amsterdam is a really well organised port. Post-Cruise Survey On this cruise we never got a mid-cruise “tell us how we’re doing” survey. To be honest the answer would have been “Very well, thanks for asking”. We were told that the end of cruise paper survey had been discontinued and that we would receive a link to an online survey once we were back home. I made a note of crew members I wanted to single out for praise for exceptional service, but neither myself or my husband ever received a survey in our email. (Celebrity advertising materials have no problems finding our inbox though!). Checking back on our roll call some people received them, others didn’t. I found it very disappointing at how hit and miss this was, and that mine never materialised. Post Cruise We spent 4 days post-cruise in Amsterdam, staying again at the Marriott. We decided that we would have 4 days of down time, and enjoyed a daily walk in the Vondelpark, an excellent guided tour of the Rijksmuseum, a canal boat ride, a visit to the Westerkerk with a climb up the bell tower and a lovely free organ concert, a lot of wandering around and some fabulous ethnic food. Conclusion This is a fantastic itinerary but very tiring. There are two one hour time change between Germany and Russia, which felt exhausting after still trying to acclimatise to the 6 hour time difference between the USA and Amsterdam. We forfeited nightlife for getting a good night’s sleep so we could get the most out of our port visits. We were very fortunate to have excellent weather for the whole cruise, and in St Petersburg and Tallinn, the “hottest weather in 30 years”. We found the Constellation to be in excellent condition, her crew were friendly and helpful, the food was excellent and there were plenty of activities and entertainment if you were interested in it. All in all an excellent cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The bottom line: my 6 years old daughter was crying when we were leaving the ship - and asked me to promise her that the next cruise will be at least twice longer... Now to details. We were warned upfront (including by Cruise Critics ... Read More
The bottom line: my 6 years old daughter was crying when we were leaving the ship - and asked me to promise her that the next cruise will be at least twice longer... Now to details. We were warned upfront (including by Cruise Critics reviews) that Celebrity cruises is positioned more to elder people - but it should be less relevant for European cruises especially during the summer school vacations. Indeed, the majority - over 70% to my assessment - of passengers of our cruise were closer to our parents' ages rather to ours (early 40s), and number of kids of our kids' ages (6 and 12) was counted in just few tens. I realize that cruises which are more family and kids oriented would offer even more activities and attractions appealing for us, and probably next time we will be looking for these more - but this does not mean that we didn't enjoy our cruise! Including kids clubs' activities. We chose this specific cruise mainly because of its itinerary and timing - and we enjoyed each and every moment! Especially we enjoyed the following aspects of our cruise: (a) embarcation and disembarcation processess at each and every port were extremely efficient (b) very friendly and helpful staff, giving a pleasant feeling at every corner of the ship (c) excellent food both at Oceanview Cafe and especially at San Marco restaurant (d) Gym and spa are excellent, especially helpful on see days but also good after busy port days. Couple of minor drawbacks: (a) Stockholm deserves much more than 7 hours we were given (b) Major activities and shows are too much oriented for the elder croud... Again, we didn't feel bored - but we were expecting for more... Details about the stateroom are given separately. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. Here is what we loved: 1. the ship itself. Beautiful, and clean. We had an inside stateroom, # 9006, and really liked it. I think if you could book 9010 that would be perfect, as it's a little ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. Here is what we loved: 1. the ship itself. Beautiful, and clean. We had an inside stateroom, # 9006, and really liked it. I think if you could book 9010 that would be perfect, as it's a little further away from the staff's entrance (and that door closes loudly sometimes). Tons of seating on multiple decks at the pool, including some plush chairs and lounges. The theatre is very nice, as is the dining room (San Marco). We also loved Reflections at the top of the ship. Crush, the martini bar, is cool if you like a loud, club-like atmosphere. We had a martini flight ($12) and this came with a very impressive presentation by the bartender. 2. - the entertainment. We saw one of the typical song/dance shows, and it was pretty good (although that's generally not our type of thing.) One male performer who sung a little opera was especially impressive. Two of the special acts - White Magic and the violinist Greg Scott - were excellent. These were performances we would have gladly paid to see while on land/at home. There was a string trio called Grand Volta that played every night in places like the wine bar or cafe, and they were excellent. 3. - the wine bar, Cellarmasters. Elvis was a gem - always at the bar ready with a smile, a great attitude and suggestions. There were new selections every night as well as some of our go-to wines. The ambiance here is perfect. 4. - this itinerary. The best we've ever had on any cruise. The only thing I would have changed was to do away with Helsinki and add a 2nd day in either Rostock, Stockholm or Denmark, or even a 3rd day in St. Petersburg. There's so much to do there, you just can't get enough time, especially if you plan to visit the Hermitage. 5. - Lots of nice little touches. When you return to the ship at the end of the day at port, servers are outside with cold towels, cups of hot chicken soup, ice water, fruit punch - very thoughtful. Although your stateroom attendant won't make the towel animals for you every day (I wish they would! Everyone loves those.), they will do it on formal nights, and on the last day of the cruise the pool attendants at the solarium made wonderful ones all around the pool. It was adorable. 6. - the service. Typical Celebrity. Employees going out of their way to help with you with anything. The waitstaff remembering what you like and when you like it. Now for the dislikes: 1. - the constant efforts by the cruise line of getting more of our money. Everything on the ship that's really fun to do isn't included, it's extra. Wine tastings, fitness classes, (of course) anything at the spa, internet usage - you have to buy a package, Al Bacio cafe, the gelato bar, the list goes on and on. I'm surprised they didn't charge us to play trivia! Any time you go to the Oceanview Cafe, waiters are outside trying to sell you beverage packages and book your reservation at a specialty restaurant. At the ports like Helsinki and Rostock where the ship docks outside the city, there were shuttle buses - but the cost between $10-$15 each way. We thought this was terrible. 2. - photographers at every turn. I know, this seems to be typical of most cruise lines, and I wish they would all stop because everyone seems to hate it. You can't get off the ship at any port without them trying to take your picture, and the pics cost between $20 and $30 each if you want to buy them. Four times at dinner, and not just on the formal nights. The worst is at embarkation: who wants to fly 12 hours, get yourself from the airport to the pier and have the ship's photographers trying to get your jet-lagged, dirty and crumpled self in front of the camera? No one. 3. - the rooms weren't ready once we got on the ship. This was my 7th cruise, and the 1st time I've ever experienced this. They kept everyone in the main areas for hours after embarkation. No explanation provided. 4. - the library. I love that Celebrity ships always have a library that's open 24 hours. But this one was pitiful. The smallest selection of books I've ever seen on a ship. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Overall, I would take this cruise again for the service, the ship itself and the amazing itinerary. However, we probably won't be booking Celebrity for our next cruise. We'll likely go with a pricier cruise line because we'd rather just pay more money up front and know how much we'll be spending them be solicited for extras every step of the way like we were on this cruise. For example, the cruise messed up our dinner reservation (again, 1st time this has ever happened to me on a cruise, and they messed it up for lots of people on this one) so we ended up making a reservation at Oceanliners, one of the specialty restaurants one night. The meal and the service were amazing, but we spent $130 to do this, and this took way from our port budget. Ugh. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My husband and I and another couple just returned from the 12 day cruise of the Baltic ports. We had a great time and very much enjoyed our cruise and Celebrity. By way of background, we last cruised on Celebrity Equinox in the ... Read More
My husband and I and another couple just returned from the 12 day cruise of the Baltic ports. We had a great time and very much enjoyed our cruise and Celebrity. By way of background, we last cruised on Celebrity Equinox in the Mediterranean. In researching for the Baltic tour, we chose Celebrity over other premium lines like Oceana and Seaborne primarily based on itinerary (Celebrity went to exactly the ports we wanted to go to) and price. We also were upgraded to Aqua Class, which we found to be very worthwhile. Our room was a little more spacious and we had a fantastic shower. And the balcony was perfect. Celebrity generally does the logistics well, particularly for such a large ship. It was very easy to get on and off the ship at the ports and the initial embarkation process was easy and quick. Our only gripe -- elevators were slow and erratic at times. The Constellation is not as deluxe and beautiful as the Equinox, and doesn't have some of the very nice spaces we loved in the Equinox, like the large sunset cafe. However, it was comfortable and well maintained. In Aqua class, we had access to the Blu private restaurant, which was excellent. We could eat at our convenience ( on 2 occasions we had to wait -- we had drinks nearby and they came and to us when a table was ready) and the food was generally very good. The appetizers and salads were outstanding -- main courses were a little more uneven but generally very good. And the service was generally attentive. On the whole, we thought Aqua Class was worthwhile for the upgraded room and the access to BLu. As for the other food choices, I agree with some reviewers that the Oceanside Grill could be crowded and unpleasant at times. We agree with some if these observations, but think that Oceanside is not much different from any high volume buffet in any cruise line and we thought the food was generally good. During port days we generally ate lunch on shore, so we really only used Oceanside for breakfast. I highly recommend the poached egg station -- I only found it on the last few days! The egg florentine was excellent. I have read other negative reviews of things like shows, etc. Let me say from the outset -- we did not go to the shows, we did not shop in the onboard boutiques, go to casinos etc. etc. What was important to us was the ports. We loved the ports. The time spent is generally adequate, though I would have liked more time in Stockholm (and Berlin -- (this is by no mean a sufficient time to visit a city like Berlin, but it is not intended to be) For the most part we did not use the Celebrity tours. In St Petersburg, we arranged a private tour for 4 people through a Alla Travel. We had a minivan with a driver and a guide for two days. It was excellent and the fee we paid for our very private tour was just slightly more than the two day tour offered by Celebrity (where we would have been stuck on a bus with a large group ). Russian passport control was -- shall we say- thorough. But we were treated no differently than those taking the Celebrity tours. We also took the Alla bus tour to Berlin. I had mixed feelings about taking the Berlin tour but in the end I think it was worthwhile. But I truly believe that if you want to visit a city like Berlin! this isn't the best way to see it. In Tallinn, we took the free " student" tour recommended by Rick Steves. It was completely adequate and our student guide was charming and informative. Tallinn is very manageable and there is no néed to take a Celebity tour. Shopping hint -- if you want to buy amber jewelry, Tallinn May be your best bet. The prices and choices were better than I saw elsewhere -- but since Tallinn was the first stop I didn't realize that. People in Helsinki told us that they went shopping in Tallinn! Otherwise, we thought the Hop on hOp off buses were very adequate for all of the ports. We took them in Helsinki and Copenhagen. Also, we arrived in Amsterdam early and took the hop on, hop off canal tour there -- also worthwhile. In Stockholm, we took the tour offered by Celebrity and wished we had taken the Hop on Hop Off bus there as well. However, the Celebrity tour in Stockholm was handled well from a logistically sense. Back on the ship, we did enjoy the martini bar and the amazing bartenders! and the entertainer named Lady Sax! But our main focus was the fabulous ports. Bottom line - ports are great, Aqua Class was great, Blu was great. An enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I sailed on Celebrity for a second time, the first was 2002 during its inaugural season. This time we decided to go 1st class for our 32nd wedding anniversary by upgrading to a Royal Suite! What a mistake. The cabin itself was ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Celebrity for a second time, the first was 2002 during its inaugural season. This time we decided to go 1st class for our 32nd wedding anniversary by upgrading to a Royal Suite! What a mistake. The cabin itself was dark and furniture was of the 1950's hotel room variety. The room entry had a huge stain and the furniture was dirty and stained. As I mentioned before, we had sailed Celebrity several years ago with a Celebrity Suite (our traveling companions had that suite class on this current cruise). I can say that Constellation must have redone the Celebrity Suite as the bathroom was tiny and cramped. Even in our own Royal Suite, the bathroom was small and cramped...and not nearly as nice as the prior Celebrity Suite we had enjoyed in 2002! Celebrity touted the hottub that we would enjoy on our oversized balcony. In reality, it is basically a jetted tub that was showing its age. The glass divider between our balcony and the suite next door was cracked in about 3 places (basically shattered). Food services on board were awful...both in the Main Dining Room and the buffet line on deck 10. As an example....mash potatoes reminded me of grade school cafeteria dining.....scooped with an ice cream scoop and pasty/dry/lumpy. It may sound minor, but when you consider that to be across the board relating to other food items, it was disappointing. We did try the Tuscan Grille (specialty restaurant). The food was excellent here...however, it comes with an additional cost for most guests. I also tried to have some special items delivered to our room in observance of our anniversary. The cheese/fruit platter ordered for sailing date never did show up and trying to get credit was a nightmare. The roses I ordered for our anniversary showed up on sailing date...a full six days before our anniversary and not in accordance with our order! The ship overall is showing its age. We were told that the cabins had been refurbished....clearly not the case with our suite. Our travel companions Celebrity Suite had been refurbished/redesigned...but not for the better (less space and cheaper looking furnishings). There are many other examples of poor customer service from shore excursion issues to simply getting on board. The only thing that I can say from a positive is that the cruise staff really did try and assist with our issues. However, their hands are tied by a cruise company that is clearly trying to save money and have, as a result, cheapened the whole experience. Never again will I sail on Celebrity. My mistake was thinking that I'd spend more money on a suite and get better service and amenities to create a memorable experience. I couldn't have been more wrong. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We knew before the cruise this ship should not be compared to our previous sailing on the Solstice but after all it is Celebrity and it is the Baltic. Despite the solsticization of the Constellation the old girl really shows her age. ... Read More
We knew before the cruise this ship should not be compared to our previous sailing on the Solstice but after all it is Celebrity and it is the Baltic. Despite the solsticization of the Constellation the old girl really shows her age. Overall, we enjoyed the trip and friends met but not a typical Celebrity experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Decided to upgrade to Aqua Class (AQ) so priority line helped expedite boarding. Immediately went to crowded buffet and room ready at about 1:30. Room was clean and enough storage. We all noticed the food was rather plain but only first day on board. Excited about our eating in BLU....what a major disappointment. As we met others on the cruise we found out several other AQ members started going to the main dining room because variety and entrees superior to BLU. Only real advantage to BLU we observed was fewer tables and less noise. Otherwise, we alternated dining rooms to take advantage of better entrees served in MDR. Overall buffet was boring all week. Never understood why all buffet stations not open for lunch, especially on sea days. Entertainment was amateurish and redundant. Two piano players simply lack effort in booking a variety of talent. Magician and singing and dancing shows were entertaining. Martina Bar bartender entertainment was a blast. The bartenders were great and enjoyed their mix drinking juggling. Had the premium beverage package and never had a problem getting drink service. The ports were all interesting and educational. The highlight was St Petersburg. One tip for future passengers. Best desserts located at Cafe al Bacio where you can get specialty coffees and teas. Even those there is a fee for the specialty beverages the desserts are free. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The itinerary of Celebrity's Baltic & Northern Europe cruise on Constellation is excellent with a good ratio of sea and port days. The cruising experience on the Constellation itself was mediocre for a number of reasons: - The ... Read More
The itinerary of Celebrity's Baltic & Northern Europe cruise on Constellation is excellent with a good ratio of sea and port days. The cruising experience on the Constellation itself was mediocre for a number of reasons: - The ship has received a "facelift" but you can tell that it is an older vessel missing many of the amenities and the "flashiness" of newer cruise ships. - We did not book any shore excursions with Celebrity. In some ports a free shuttle bus (like offered by other companies) would have been nice. - The entertainment program left much to be desired. The quality of the life music and evening shows (if any) were very mixed and most of the so called "lectures" turned out to be sales pitches for port excursion or advertisement for on-board shopping. The sport program is not up to standard; Yoga and Pilates are not worth the fee. - We were very unhappy with the food. The quality in the main dining room was "hit and miss"; there were a few delicious items but in general the meals did not hold up to the flamboyant description in the menu. Salads looked and tasted tired and especially fish dishes were very disappointing. There was no lobster day as common on other cruises. Most of the food at the Ocean Grill (buffet restaurant) was of very low quality, boring and basically the same throughout the cruise. - We were in "Select Dining" and were asked to make dinner reservations. Be advised that a reservation makes no difference where and when you will be seated. We asked for a window table several times (and would have accepted to wait for one) but were assigned noisy tables at the rail although several window tables were available. Until the end of the cruise we were not able to find out what gets you on a preferred table - it is clearly not the "first come first serve" rule. - In general the dining room staff is very friendly and one of the Sommeliers was outstanding. Expect that your left over wine from the day before might get missing. Once a waiter spilled champagne over my pants, offered an apology but did not even refill the glass. - Specialty Dining: The Ocean Liner Restaurant is excellent and worth the fee but we had a much below average experience at the Tuscan Grill. Neither the food nor the service were convincing and worth the additional cost. - Upon embarkation we deposited 2 bottles of liquor with the Constellation staff and were promised to get them delivered to our stateroom the night before disembarkation. We never saw the 2 bottles (which were a pricy souvenir from a micro distillery in Amsterdam) again. Guest relations was less than helpful in locating our liquor and gave us conflicting answers - first they could not find it, after we presented the claim check they told us that it was found and will be delivered, then we were informed that it was delivered to the wrong stateroom, etc. etc. (recently we learnt that friends had a similar experience on a Celebrity ship). This experience thoroughly spoilt our last evening on the Constellation and convinced us to make cruising plans with other companies in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Norway and Baltics back to back. Celebrity has a priced options approach with a constant on board up sell which can be aggressive at times. When booking, spend time figuring out what’s important and whether it’s included in your ... Read More
Norway and Baltics back to back. Celebrity has a priced options approach with a constant on board up sell which can be aggressive at times. When booking, spend time figuring out what’s important and whether it’s included in your package. One gets what they pay for. Evaluate the drink package when offered the first day, how much & what you expect to consume and whether the specific beverage or brand will be included in the package. Perhaps wander the bars and venues to look at menus in deciding. Alternately, pay as you go. Either way, check your bill daily to make sure charges are correctly directed. We were not unique in having to challenge charges misdirected to our account, the explanation given was some cruisers do not sign receipts or cabin numbers are entered in error. I was impressed with the Oceanview Café staffs' ability to remain calm, provide a high level of service and a wide ranging selection. This is a heavily used venue as it becomes the common space and day dining area for many. As early risers, we shared the space with a handful of people anytime between 5:30am and 8:00, then the ship wakes up and the space becomes frantic. Ship day lunches are a similar experience. At noon one can find a table and by 1pm, the space is crowded. Any chaos is generally the result of passenger behavior. We used select seated dining room for most dinners and were pleased with the choices and service. On those nights when the menu or a 90 minute meal didn’t appeal, we moved upstairs. Others routinely do. Sushi is extremely popular. At the stern end of the café, a grill offers fish, beef or chicken to order and does a fine job. Loved the croissants, disliked the repeating café easy listening r&b music. (early morning fjord sail ins and luther vandross.) Formal night is dressier at late seating with a few tuxes. Early formal seating is generally men in suits although some men did not bring jackets and defined formal as a colored shirt & tie. Women varied from sparkly scarf to cocktail dress, many opting for sea-worthy dressy sandals. The July 8-20, 2014 baltic trip passenger list including quite a few kids. Summer schedules invite families that have the time and budget to spend two weeks in an expensive area of Europe and chose Celebrity over Disney. The kid zone programs were popular. The abrasive cruise director stated the Baltic trip had more “energy” than the June 20-July 8 (cruise director’s description) “rocks and bird poop” Norway trip. Given that one itinerary is cities and the other fjords, isn't it reasonable the groups would have different personalities? The cultural mix was distinctly different on each trip. As “line up” US Americans, we had a problem with the push style queuing in the common areas of the Norway cruise. The Baltic cultural mix was more relaxed and genial. Norway was gorgeous and we had long days to view sail in / out & enjoy port life. The Baltics, with excellent port choices, was shared with multiple ships which was workable. We enjoyed watching the world cup with an international audience when the satellite signal permitted, would have enjoyed a larger venue and other activities related to the cup and re-play of late night games the next day….bet bar sales would have benefited too. The directors of hospitality, housekeeping and food service each do a fine job of directing the layers of staff. Public areas are cleaned constantly. Internet is slow , unreliable and expensive, cruisers line up with staff at port wi-fi hot spots. The constellation is emphasizing accessibility of senior staff with a reoccurring theme of “young!” implying fresh and energetic but also meant “inexperienced!” at times. The Captain is a highly visible extrovert appearing in comedy skits, talks and picture ops, all popular. While safety is mentioned, given the Costa and Celebration fiascos, I prefer experienced and skilled. The hard working behind the scenes navigator and staff captain are earning their pay. Entertainment is mixed and appropriate for this size ship. A few talented choreographed splashy shows, cruise-ship single acts and young performers early in their careers. The June 20 embark was poorly organized with under-trained clerks, but the July 8 on and off and July 20 end of sail went well. Cabins are to be cleared by 8am the final day and public bathrooms closed shortly after. Early breakfast is available. Daily port on and off is run smoothly and the security group do a fine job. We booked three shore excursions with both good and bad experiences. An older bus in poor mechanical shape in Russia should not have been used for an all day tour. St. Petersburg day 2 was a completely different experience, good bus, guide & group. Celebrity must accept the well prepared traveler and the internet are here to stay. Even the concierge uses internet sourced materials. Perhaps a program or package for the active and independent traveler? Celebrity is a mid-priced cruise line, the constellation a smaller ship in today’s market with good port choices which is the reason we booked a cruise. Overall we are satisfied.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I have made 117 cruises on most of the ships of the world, the small and large. I went on this cruise to just enjoy the ship as I had been to the various ports many times.My son and I were in a Royal suite and the balcony had a Jacuzzi on ... Read More
I have made 117 cruises on most of the ships of the world, the small and large. I went on this cruise to just enjoy the ship as I had been to the various ports many times.My son and I were in a Royal suite and the balcony had a Jacuzzi on the deck where I went every day that we were at sea as I enjoyed the privacy of my own "hot tub" and watching the world or sea go by. Our butler was outstanding and served very nice breakfast on the white table clothed table. We had access to Michael's Club which was only for suite guests and there was champagne, wine or anything you wanted free throughout the day. Also enjoyed the happy hours particularly on formal night. Most people respected formal night and dressed appropriately. By going to the select dining room early, we never had to wait for a table and with the suite we were allowed in the Aqua Blu restaurant. We enjoyed the crepes in the Bistro on occasion as well. With the suite we got free dinners at both of the special restaurants. The walk-in closet was big enough to handle all of our clothes and was very easy to access. The TV screens in the living room and the bed room were nice to have for keeping up with the news and on occasion seeing a movie. For St. Petersburg I hired a car and guide on the internet for two days and visited Peterhof and did a tour of the city by car and then a boat trip through the canals. I had been to this port several times before and was happy to avoid the crowds on the buses. Did also have a brief visit the new Faberge Museum. Copenhagen is my favorite city and we were close in enough to walk to Tivoli where we decided to enjoy the park and the restaurants there and wonder around a bit. We had lived in Denmark and were very familiar with all the sites. And we had a hotdog at the hotdog stand which I recommend as the Danes have the best hotdogs in the world. The only entertainment I went to was the Russian folkloric dancers. I don't really care for going into a crowded lounge unless the entertainment is very special and it was not really great on this cruise. In Estonia, we did the hop on hop off bus which is a good way to see the city when you don't have much time. We didn't go into Berlin but just visited Rostock, one of the ports. The cruise lived up to all of my expectations and everything went almost perfectly from the time we left our hotel in Amsterdam which was just above the cruise terminal until we returned to Amsterdam and got off the ship and just went upstairs to our hotel room. I have been on many Celebrity cruises and this one that was almost perfect in everyway. A trans-Atlantic cruise for me is a way to relax and enjoy the ship and if you time things right you can avoid the crowds and rush times on a big ship. My advise is if you depart from Amsterdam stay in the hotel that is just about the port. If you stay in the Execute suites, breakfast and happy hour are free and very nice. The Constellation is a lovely ship and it was refurbished a couple of years ago and you would never know that it is one of Celebrity's older ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We were sold this cruise at a local cruise fair in September 2013 at the price of £3000 per person. We believed we had been sold a 5 star experience and had previously cruised with Royal Caribbean and P+O with great success. We obviously ... Read More
We were sold this cruise at a local cruise fair in September 2013 at the price of £3000 per person. We believed we had been sold a 5 star experience and had previously cruised with Royal Caribbean and P+O with great success. We obviously had great expectations due to the high cost and the so called 5 star experience we were promised. What a huge disappointment , The entire cruise was rubbish. Food was terrible particularly in the buffet - what a bun fight with barely an empty table to be found. I can truthfully say we did not receive a good meal the entire cruise. The entertainment was very disappointing - the twice nightly theatre shows were amateur and the other evening music offerings were repetitive . During the day the majority of the entertainment centred around you spending money . The off shore trip we did in St Petersburg was overpriced . The onboard shops were a ripoff with very rude and pushy salespeople. We found the pool areas very overcrowded on sea days and no staff to get you a drink. The only redeeming feature of the trip was the destinations. However we were surprised to say the least to discover that shuttle buses had to be paid for - this had never happened to us before. The entire ship was shabby - dusty windows in the dining room and cutlery often dirty. The Constellation should be renamed the Con. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have cruised on various occasions with different cruise lines but over the past 3 years have had the pleasure of cruising with Celebrity Cruise lines specifically on both Reflection (once) & Silhouette (3 times). On all these ... Read More
We have cruised on various occasions with different cruise lines but over the past 3 years have had the pleasure of cruising with Celebrity Cruise lines specifically on both Reflection (once) & Silhouette (3 times). On all these vacations we opted for the higher priced Aqua Class which we continued to book due to the perfect vacation experiences we had had in the past on both the Reflection & Silhouette. This does not however factor on the Constellation on this last trip. Our travelling companions (3 additional rooms) also booked Aqua Class due to our beaming reviews of previous cruises and were sadly let down and may never book Aqua Class again due to this below expectation experience. The little perks have "been eliminated" for some reason:.....ie - small stem flower arrangement in the stateroom - evening chocolate on your pillow - amusing towel animals on your bed - Aqua class dining - left much to be desired in both service and quality of food.... more so on the first 4 to 5 days ( both for breakfast & dinner). - Embarkation went extremely smooth with little waiting time and no line ups. Our state room was ready early enough and it was roomy and clean. Our balcony on the 11th deck was perfect and allowed for fabulous un-obstructed views. The Constellation is obviously a much older ship and even if it received a facelift, it is noticeably run down in comparison to other larger more luxurious ships under the Celebrity umbrella. We were disappointed with several aspects of this cruise on Constellation. the follows briefly outlines a listing : - the Pool deck had piles of used dinnerware all over the place that was not being picked up - If a drink was needed, you had to go to a bar yourself as the pool waiters were scarce. - food in the Ocean Cafe was not always appealing of tasty - but on certain days it was abundant and varied. -The shops on deck 5 were far from appealing. I had high expectations for the much advertised "Russian Souvenir Event". What a “Hot Mess” that was. A gauntlet of people and items that were nice but way overpriced. There were some items that I had actually purchased in St Petersburg for less than half the price that this event was selling at. - we had purchased excursions in most of the ports with the exception of Copenhagen whereby we wanted to purchase a one way shuttle bus ticket for 8 people - we were told that it was $18 per person and that one way was not available. The shuttle ride took all of 10 minutes to be dropped off in a downtown city center whereby the pickup was to be in the same spot which was inconvenient if you wanted to walk around anywhere in the area to see anything .. ie Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid. we ended up walking back to the ship as it was closer than having to get back to the pickup location. Another example of Celebrity gouging it's passengers. - Although in Aqua class and having access to BLU we opted to give Ocean Liners (for Fee) restaurant a try. The food was excellent but service left much to be desired. We had 6:30 reservations as we wanted to catch the 9PM show. This didn't happen as service was at a turtle's pace. It took over 3 hours for dinner and that was with us constantly checking with waiter as to what was happening. Our main meal had not yet arrived by 8:45 and we had finished just past 9:30. Once an issue was brought to someone's attention - only then would Staff bent over backwards to help resolve the issue on hand. The Entertainment was as you would expect on a 12 night cruise some great, some acceptable / some walk outs Thankfully the ports on the northern European were spectacular. In summary, Celebrity needs to improve its overall offering. This trip was expensive for what we got. They are skimping where they should not be skimping and need to work extremely diligently to truly come thru to deliver on what is expected from a “LUXURY CRUISE EXPERIENCE" We will never again get on the Constellation and will reconsider travelling with Celebrity Cruise Lines for future trips..   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
A little background. I've cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival and by far this was the most mismanaged and disappointing cruise I have been on. As with anything the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As such, my ... Read More
A little background. I've cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival and by far this was the most mismanaged and disappointing cruise I have been on. As with anything the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As such, my discontent with respect to the Constellation is more than a reaction to dissatisfactory service or food (my complaints have been listed   below). To use the car manufacturing sector to analogize my feelings about this cruise: We certainly did not pay for a Rolls Royce but we paid for a cruise with a company that is considered by many to be the Mercedez of cruising (reliable, luxurious, high end). This level of service is not what we experienced onboard (as mentioned above). My memories of my experience in Europe is clouded by this dissatisfaction with our cruise ship. When I was asked how my holiday had been I was forced to admit that I wasn’t all too pleased, which is rather unfortunate. The truth is that by day 4 (Estonia) I was wishing I could transfer to one of the other ships docked at the pier, but I knew this was impossible. Food/Dining: • Great variation in quality of dishes offered. • Most dishes were tasteless and poorly executed in the main dining room/Buffet offerings were repetitive and equally poorly executed. • Resembled “rest stop diner food” (low quality/unskillfully prepared) as opposed to that of a 4-star restaurant (as previously experienced onboard the RCC Adventure of the Seas) • Deserts were tasteless, unimaginative or poorly executed (my “soufflé” which tasted much like microwaved egg whites was left barely touched). • The coffee was awful. The overpriced “café” coffee resembled the free coffee offered onboard the Adventure of the Seas and Carnival Imagination. Although I did not try the espressos onboard I also heard from an acquaintance that these were equally disappointing. • The food during our excursion to St. Petersburg was unpalatable. The same acquaintance remarked on Day 1 ashore that she wasn’t quite sure of what the Beef Stroganoff consisted of (it didn’t taste of anything). Day 2’s meal was equally disappointing and reminded me of canned cream of chicken soup served atop white rice. Certainly not what anyone expected given the pricing of the excursions. • A couple sitting in front of us while awaiting the departure of one of our tours commented that they had ordered room service and that it never came. • The attitude of the waiters towards guests was rather surprising. We found the waiters on the RCC Adventure of the Seas welcoming and quite helpful. Our waiters onboard the Celebrity were, in general, the types of waiters you would chose not to tip – absent, unfriendly, etc • On the last night of the cruise I was struck by how rude one of the ushers had been to the hostess. The Ship: • Badly in need of updates, upgrades and repair. • Maintenance and painting undertaken during the day, at many times with guests present or rather in the way • Major deck cleaning undertaken during pool opening hours on deck 10 This occurred twice to my knowledge. The second time people were still in the pool or hot tub when crew proceeded to move chairs to the side in order to hose down the deck. • Outdoor furniture in need or repair or replacement • Coffee table in our stateroom was rusted, scratched and scuffed • Although cleaning was undertaken in view of guests the ship certainly was not clean. Windows and exterior of ship was grimy throughout our trip. There were also a large amount of insects which made the Constellation their home (so much so that an acquaintance was unable to make use of their balcony throughout the trip). • It was apparent that the back patio area of deck 10 was never cleaned during our trip: juice, stains, and grime stained the floors. • After undertaking what appeared to be maintenance of the lifeboats on deck 4 (on day 1 in St. Petersburgh) the deck was not cleaned by the time passengers reboarded the ship. Rust and dust covered the majority of the deck. The following day I noticed a crew member mopping up the debris • The light coming from underneath the door in our stateroom was terribly bothersome (even for someone who typically does not have a problem sleeping with some light present). General • Favours were given on days 1 and 2 of the cruise. On our previous sailings favours (chocolates) were always placed on our pillows. We then overheard another guest mention that favours were only given on days 1 and 2 with Celebrity. This is a little bit incomprehensible to me. Royal is generally seen as the lower quality brand yet it offers much more in terms of service, personalization, and small touches which make guests feel welcome. • Crew members seemed to have a bad attitude and acted as though they were bothered by the presence of guests. • Our sail-way cards kept getting demagnetized despite not carrying electronic devices with us while out on tour. When sailing with Carnival I had kept my card with my cell phone (behind the phone under the gel case) and it had never gotten demagnetized. • Cleaning and repairs to my knowledge and confirmed with 2 other cruisers had always been undertaken during the night hours on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. The cleaning and repairs on the Constellation are undertaken during the day with guests present. The result was that often we felt we were in the way. Most of this should have been done at night (as it is done on other ships). • I often saw crew members not acting professionally in the presence of guests (fooling around on the patio, holding hands on the last day while walking by the pool – the place was filled to the brim with guests). • I often had the sense that I was in the crew’s way. Housekeeping often acted bothered about the prospect of having to come back later to do a room. • The attitude onboard was a serious problem. Many of the crew members were disgruntled or cold while others acted arrogant or snobbish. This was certainly not the welcoming atmosphere we expected to feel onboard. My main issue, again, is that this was not a 5-star cruise as it is often advertised. When compared to the Constellation this constitutes serious false advertising. Had I known how things would be onboard the Constellation I would not have paid for the cruise – quite simply, I would have waited a month and cruised with Royal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just returned from the 12 night r/t amsterdam Norway cruise. Overall a very nice cruise experience---first time as Elite member so we enjoyed the laundry, internet and happy hour (although we upgraded our 123 promotion to premium ... Read More
Just returned from the 12 night r/t amsterdam Norway cruise. Overall a very nice cruise experience---first time as Elite member so we enjoyed the laundry, internet and happy hour (although we upgraded our 123 promotion to premium beverage). This was a very well run cruise from embarkation to disembarkation. Without a doubt the most visible and communicative officers of any previous cruises. Capt. Tasos has a great sense of humor and was frequently the "foil" for the CD "JC" and his activity partner in crime "Mark". He gave great daily updates and 2 lectures that were well attended. FOOD: Always subjective IMHO, however on this cruise I think it was good to very good overall. The main DR was efficient--we did Select Dining. Had good waiters--"Favian" was our favorite but all were good. Food was warm/cold as needed. We did 1x Tuscan that was also good--with the best service of any prior Tuscan experiences. Crab cake was unremarkable FYI (again imho). Food portions have been adjusted since our last cruise (2013) and were somewhat smaller but thought the overall presentation was quite good. Only 1 meal in the MDR missed the mark but we were so far into the cruise we didn't need to get another plate! The Lideo buffet was always busy--in particular we LOVED the indian curries and I advised Exec Chef Gavin of our appreciation. The Elite breakfast was never very busy but the fresh fruit and other goodies were fantastic. The Al Bacio crew on 5 were excellent. SHIP: Older ship but we liked the level of care being shown. It's smaller and we like that. This crew was outstanding. Our stateroom attendant ("Mario") on 2nd level was super. Never a problem with the room or anything requested was not an issue. PORTS: Fantastic 8 ports never had to tender. I am surprised that Celebrity is dropping this from their 2015 schedule. If you have not seen this part of the world--it is beautiful! GRIPES: Actually very few. Celebrity seems to be even more aggressive around pushing constantly for dining packages, beverage packages, etc. During our CC get together, the CD actually suggested if we organized independent tours we would be "putting the ship out of existence." I thought the pushing of all the upcharging was rather shameless but I guess you get thick skin after a few days. Bottom line was we met many wonderful people, and had a great experience. Looking forward to our next cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our 5th cruise, first on Celebrity. We previously cruised on Regent, Oceania and Viking. Norway is an extremely expensive destination, hence our decision to give Celebrity a try since their prices are much lower and they were ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, first on Celebrity. We previously cruised on Regent, Oceania and Viking. Norway is an extremely expensive destination, hence our decision to give Celebrity a try since their prices are much lower and they were offering the 123 special. We stayed in Aqua Class, which we thought might give us a reprieve from crowding that we expected, since this ship is more than twice the size and occupancy of any ship we had ever cruised on. Our perception of Constellation compared to smaller, luxury class ships: Lots of overcrowding at buffet during lunch and dinner. We wish they would have had more restaurant choices during the day to relieve the seating issues (lack of adequate tables for everyone). It wasn't a problem at dinner. A lot of pushing, shoving and cutting in line: for food, to get on shuttles, to get on elevators and an overall rudeness on the part of many passengers in the bar areas. There was quite a blend of nationalities on this particular cruise and I understand that there are different cultural mores when it comes to personal space and the like, but this was over the top for us. We had upgraded to the premium drinks package because we like to drink good wine. There were many times we had a decent glass of wine in one of the restaurants or bars and could never get it again. The craft beer lounge would have been awesome if they had not changed it to a (completely underutilized) VIP lounge. They did have a nice wine focused lounge on board, Cellarmasters, however, we had the bad luck to be cruising during the World Cup games and Cellarmasters became "all World Cup, all the time" something we have no interest in. One final comment about wine, is that we would have dearly loved to have been able to order glasses of wine from room service to enjoy on our veranda (without paying extra of course!) This is first cruise we have taken where we could not do this. The entertainment options were more plentiful than the smaller ships. Our favorite by far was the Russian Violin Trio. Gorgeous and talented. We wish the Saxophonist could have gotten rid of the guy with the synthesizer and we might have enjoyed her music. The shows were okay. I usually find them pretty cheesy and I hate medleys and variety shows. The violin guy from England was awesome, the best by far, the poor juggler's performance was cringe-worthy, I only can hope it was due to pitchy seas that night. Dining at Blu was pretty good, and we ate all dinners there except the 4 nights we did the specialty restaurants. The service was good and food acceptable. I wish their breakfast hours could have been extended until at least 9:30 because we are not early risers most of the time. Lunch in Blu would be a godsend too, as we hated the Oceanview buffet so much (we renamed it the "Push and Shove Cafe") We ate lunch on shore every port and tried the hamburgers a few times to avoid the Oceanview. We ate at the Oceanliners restaurant twice, once we had the multi course with matching wines, and the second time we did ala carte and had wines that were included on our package. It was pretty good, nice presentation, very ambitious tableside service which could benefit from further staff training. The Tuscan Grill however, was excellent. We thought the food, service and ambiance there was much better both times we ate there. The sommelier in Tuscan was the best on the ship as well, kudos to her! One of the "benefits" we thought we were going to receive as Aqua Class guests was exclusive access to thalassotherapy pool, jacuzzis and the Persian Garden area. We enjoyed the pool for a sum total of an hour until a woman brought her diapered infant into the pool with her. Disgusting. Even though there were signs stating adults only, children were jumping in and splashing around. So that was that. There was a pool guy there, but he did not enforce the rules. We used the jacuzzis once or twice, but a combination of children and extreme over-chlorination put an end to that as well. I never did use the Persian Garden for some reason...... My husband enjoyed the steam room. We did not get any spa treatments. The fitness room was fine, it had everything we needed, I only wish I had thought to bring an iPod for music. The only other things I can think of to mention are that we liked the Reflections Lounge, great views, the martini bar was fun one evening to try a few interesting drinks, the coffee shop was very good, the public areas nice enough. We weren't big fans of the artwork, and don't do art auctions, casinos and onboard shopping. The itinerary was good. It was nice to start in Amsterdam so we had an opportunity to spend a few nights in that beautiful city before boarding. The highlights of the actual cruise were the fjords of Geiranger and the sail out of Molde which was beautiful. The city of Bergen was terrific. I almost wish they hadn't bothered going all the way up to Honnigsvag and instead had gone to Oslo and hit another fjord area. The further north we went the colder and grimmer the weather got. I guess a month later when all the snow had finished melting would have helped, but then we wouldn't have had all those awesome waterfalls. All in all I'm glad we finally got to see Norway! We did know that it was going to be expensive, but I have to say it exceeded even my expectations. Be prepared to pay triple what you are used to at home for similar meals and/or goods. Overall, the cruise was good. We booked Celebrity's Xplorer for the Galapagos next April, and it being a smaller more rustic ship, we have our expectations in full check. Again, Celebrity offers a great value in the uber-expensive Galapagos, so we will go with them. Other than that, on future cruises, we will probably go back to Oceania. It's more expensive, but we think for us it is worth it.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation in June, destination Baltic/Northern Europe. There were five of us total, including my 3-year-old daughter. It was our second cruise, second with Celebrity -- first cruise was a Mediterranean cruise ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation in June, destination Baltic/Northern Europe. There were five of us total, including my 3-year-old daughter. It was our second cruise, second with Celebrity -- first cruise was a Mediterranean cruise last summer on the Silhouette. Embarkation was a breeze, much faster than last summer in Venice. The ship is a little older and smaller than the Silhouette, but we were very pleased overall. The ship was clean and the staff was very friendly, and very accommodating of my daughter. We dined in the buffet most mornings and ate in the MDR every night except the first night in St. Petersburg. I thought the food in the MDR was even better than Silhouette's, and the service was excellent. Buffet was very good also -- no complaints. We enjoyed the poolside burgers and dogs frequently, also. We did not have a drink package but did frequent the martini and reflections lounge. Recommend avoiding the happy hour specials as the drinks are weak and overly sweet. Our favorite part of Constellation was the adults-only pool with the bubble seats. We did not use the spa but did use the fitness facility, which wasn't as spacious as Silhouette's and did get very crowded at times. We appreciated that the adults-only pool was open to children at a couple points during the day since the outdoor pools could not be used with the cold temperatures. Our daughter went to the kids club a couple of sea day mornings and she had a really good time -- the kids club staff was great. Ports: We used SPR for Germany and St. Petersburg and were very happy with both tours. We skipped Berlin and toured Rostock and Warnemunde instead and found those tours interesting. Sweden we went with a Celebrity tour that was a bit of a mess due to our inability to hear the guide 75% of the time. They really need the whisper devices for tours with large numbers of people. For Helsinki and Copenhagen we did the hop-on bus tours and while expensive we felt that we got a good overview of those cities from the bus tours. Be sure to wake up early for the sail-in to Stockholm, it was one of the highlights of the trip. Disembarkation was a good process, although we were kind of annoyed that Celebrity pushed the bus transfer to the airport so hard. Despite their doom and gloom predictions, there were tons of cabs available at the port and we could have saved a lot of money.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I’ve seen many questions on the boards inquiring how an Oceania cruise compares with a Celebrity cruise, so will do my best to give some feedback. I realize these lines are not in the same category so truthfully it is not fair to compare ... Read More
I’ve seen many questions on the boards inquiring how an Oceania cruise compares with a Celebrity cruise, so will do my best to give some feedback. I realize these lines are not in the same category so truthfully it is not fair to compare against each other, however, hopefully this will help those planning future cruises. Also, we're not seasoned cruisers and only have cruised 4 times prior to Celebrity so the review is just based on our 4 past experiences. Precruise We stayed at the Movenpick Amsterdam and its location can’t get more convenient for cruisers – right next door! I was debating staying there vs. a more central location, but did not find the walk to town bad at all. It’s only about a 15-20 minutes leisurely walk and that’s with a child. The time goes quickly with plenty to see en route. Embarkation Embarkation was efficient, I think we boarded around 11 am and from start to finish, it lasted around 30 minutes. By comparison, we just waltzed in for both Regent and Oceania check-ins but they don’t have the same crush of passengers as Celebrity. It was a bit of a zoo once we got onboard the Constellation but we managed just fine and were excited to explore the ship. Cabin Our cabin (corner family veranda) was wonderful – spacious and with plenty of storage space. I especially appreciated that there is a separate walkway before you actually get the room, so that the bed isn't the first thing exposed when you open the stateroom door. The veranda was plenty large, especially for our family of 3. I thought sleeping would be an issue with the nearly constant daylight but the black-out curtains worked very well. The bathroom was a totally different matter altogether – we thought it stunk, literally! The bathroom itself and décor were basic and ‘functional’ but what was awful was the ever present smell of urine no matter what, yuck! We’ve never encountered any bad odors on our other cruises so perhaps this was just this particular cabin but next time, I’ll be sure to bring an air freshener. With Regent and Oceania, we only had oceanview categories but their cabins were still more luxurious compared to Celebrity, especially the bathroom. But overall we were very happy with our cabin so no complaints there other than the stinky bathroom. Dining Overall the food was very good! We preferred the dining room meals over the buffet. The breakfast/lunch offerings included a wide range for everyone, variety was never an issue – but honestly I didn’t feel anything offered was truly outstanding. After being so spoiled by Regent and especially Oceania, Celebrity’s buffet seemed more like a cafeteria - which was fine but not the highlight of the cruise as it would be on Oceania. Celebrity’s Indian food at the lunch buffet was consistently very good; the selections did repeat themselves but we didn’t care since they were so yummy. The roasted bone-in meats were also consistently good. I found myself getting very impressed with the dining room dinners, even thinking that some courses came pretty close to Oceania. Of course, there were several so-so meals there too – hubby managed to pick those, lol! My favorite entrees were the prime rib, chateaubriand, and Colorado lamb chops and no, I am not a big red meat eater but they were so delicious that I could be converted. My 8 year old son, who absolutely hates steak, devoured the chateaubriand, as well as the delicious salmon tartar appetizer that I shared with him. Desserts were pretty good too; the dining room chocolate cake was consistently moist and tasty and at Café Bacio (and sometimes at the buffet as well), we especially enjoyed the chocolate and coffee flavored cake – surprisingly not overly sweet so perfect with a cup of coffee. I admire the large variety offered on the ship to accommodate all the different tastes and cultures. It was nice to see Executive Chef Gavin surveying the goings on during the busy lunch hour at the buffet and yes, he is very approachable! He and his team do a wonderful job feeding so many people and doing so with such variety, certainly not an easy task. We had one meal at Oceanliners and that was a complete mistake! Firstly, there is such a strong upsell for alternate dining throughout the cruise that it was actually off-putting but since this was our first time with Celebrity, we figured we’d give it a try. The Oceanliners menu included Chateaubriand and since we enjoyed ours so much at the dining room, we thought this way we could have it again. My hubby and son ordered the chateaubriand medium (slightly pink inside) and it was completely over cooked and not tender. I ordered the sole and asked for a butter/lemon sauce (sole Meunière) and it came back with a side of just melted butter so the dish tasted greasy vs. delicious. Oh well, we didn’t complain and did our best to enjoy our meals. However, we were very taken off guard when our bill arrived. The person who sold us the package (Carlos) told me he would give us a discount, using the wording ’20 for you and your husband, and 10 for your child’. I even repeated “20 per person and 10 for my son?” and he agreed. I mistakenly assumed that meant $20/adult and $10/child being the discounted price but he meant 20%/10% off so that translated to $40/adult and $20/child (regularly $50/adult) so our bill was nearly $130 after taxes/gratuity. I never would have guessed that a specialty restaurant surcharge would be so expensive at $50/person, especially when the dining room was quite good…so you've been warned! To be clear, we have no issue in paying for dining surcharges but those selling specialty restaurants need to be forthright about the full charge, not using wording that can be misleading. That is just tacky, unprofessional and simply bad taste that reflects poorly on Celebrity. That said, the service from the waitstaff at Oceanliners was excellent and comparable to Oceania and Regent. Kids Club This was the main reason we chose this sailing. We prefer Oceania for its quality of meals, high level of service, and country casual dress code, but needed a kids club for our son to make this truly an enjoyable family vacation for everyone. So we utilized the Fun Factory quite often, usually in the afternoons after a busy day in port or after dinner. There were not many children on this cruise, but around 10 in the 8-10 age range so my 8 year old son enjoyed his time interacting with the other kids, several that spoke only very limited English but it's wonderful that children can still get along despite language barriers. This was a great opportunity for him to get exposed to other cultures and nationalities which was one of our goals. I wish the counselors took the kids outdoors to play basketball to take advantage of the court or use the pool, but perhaps they are not permitted to do so. The programs rotated daily and the counselors worked hard to keep the kids entertained. Entertainment We only caught a few shows: illusionist (fun and engaging), Cirque du Soleil themed show (my son enjoyed a lot), and a very talented pianist. If you've seen Cirque du Soleil perform in the past, I don't think you'll be overly impressed with Celebrity's show but admittedly that's a tough act to follow. For the pianist, we were actually expecting classical music but he played more contemporary music with a recorded orchestra in the background which was not our particular taste, but his talent was showcased nonetheless. The CD JC and his sidekick Mark put on entertaining 'daily shows' and just watching JC laugh is enough to put anyone in a good mood. Many times, I would catch my son tuning in just for laughs. During the late afternoons/evenings, there was a duo playing the near atrium area (you could hear/see them playing from Café Bacio). I had a chuckle reading a previous review saying the girl played the same thing over and over on her sax - which was true, but I suppose she has a playlist she has to follow. Captain Tasos was also a good sport joining along for some of the activities. As a side note, it was so fun to catch the World Cup matches on the ship! They set up a viewing area at the Cellar Masters and although satellite did not always cooperate, it was great to be able to catch most of the games and share some camaraderie (whether it’s rival or not!) with the other guests. The outdoor pool was in use during our cruise and only the hearty were using it - kids! Needless to say, we enjoyed the hot tub instead and indoor pool which was primarily an adults only area for most of the day. Service Service overall was consistently friendly and good. Honestly Oceania and Regent are better in this regard in that their staff appear to be more seasoned. For example, Oceania/Regent staff were very observant and anticipated my needs before I even had to ask whereas there was none of this on Celebrity….but you pay for this type of service. Also, at any buffet on Oceania/Regent, you are always offered beverage service (virtually no waiting for this) and often there are staff ready to take your plates to the table for you. This wasn’t a big deal for us but this type of service can be helpful for those that may have difficulty with mobility. A Big Celebrity Oops - Food Allergy Warning!! Unfortunately, we had one very serious issue concerning food allergies. My son has a severe peanut and tree nut allergy which is life threatening and the Dining Room staff were fully aware. Towards the end of our cruise, my son ordered the chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream (supposedly no peanuts/tree nuts) and upon eating the ice cream, he said ‘this has nuts’ since he had an immediate reaction (itchy throat/mouth). I had a taste of the ice cream and sure enough, I could taste some type of brittle, not the usual vanilla flavor. Our poor waiter Renato, who is the best ever, ran to the kitchen to double check with the chef and came back reassuring us that the chef confirmed the vanilla ice cream had no nuts. The head server/maitre d’ also quickly came to our table to tell us that the dish had no nuts. However, what bothered me most was that there was no acknowledgement of the reaction my son was having – it’s not something he would make up, nor the fact that it’s very possible that there was cross contamination in the kitchen. It’s a busy kitchen and human error is very possible - the person scooping the ice cream could have scooped up something other than vanilla, or more likely, used a scoop that was already used previously with a nut ice cream. Clearly, they were focused on confirming that there are no nuts in the vanilla ice cream for fear of a lawsuit rather than truly looking into what could have happened. Once we got back to our cabin, my son threw up his entire meal – another sign of cross contamination. I did phone down to the dining room after this occurred, as I wanted to warn them not to give that same dessert to others with a peanut/nut allergy. Hopefully they did their part. As a warning to others with peanut/tree nut allergies, please be aware of the cookies! I noticed that a variety of cookies were displayed in the buffet, clearly labeled with nut warnings. However, there were identical jars and cookies at Café Bacio without any warnings. I asked several times whether the cookies had any nuts and each time, depending on who was working there, received a different answer. They also use the same tongs to pick up items so obviously cross contamination occurs on a daily basis. As a side point, we loved Café Bacio and thought Celebrity’s coffee area was superior to Oceania’s – larger and more extensive menu. Ports/Excursions Ports visited from Amsterdam were: Stavenger, Olden, Molde, Alesund, Geiranger, Flam, Bergen, and Oslo. This was the one time we didn’t book excursions in advance since so much was weather dependent. Thankfully, we were blessed with really great weather and were able to maximize our time outdoors. Oh, and we didn’t encounter any mosquitoes and I am a mosquito magnet, thank you Norway!! Stavenger: We climbed Pulpit Rock and survived!! While researching for our trip, I came across so many comments saying that there was no way you could do this and make the ship. So I emailed a colleague who used to live in Norway and got encouragement to visit while docked in Stavenger. Most folks took the fjord cruise to Lysefjord, but Rodne Fjord runs this exact excursion and is located a few steps from where we docked so if you’re going to do, I would suggest checking them out first as they’re bound to be much less expensive than the ship’s excursion. An excursion to Pulpit Rock is not even offered on Celebrity’s shore excursion listing so you had to ask for it. Of course, expect to pay a lot (it was over $800 for all 3 of us) but I would say it’s worth it (and our anniversary present ). They had to rent out a bus (super new and clean), arrange for ferry transportation, and then transfer another 30 minutes or so to the hiking base for Pulpit Rock. It is doable if you wanted to do independently although I would not recommend this as you can waste a lot of time trying to figure out where to go and the hike itself will take around 4 hours roundtrip unless you’re already a fit hiker (then maybe 3 hours). The hike is very dangerous, with the trails consisting of large rocks with 45 degree angles and they are very wobbly. It’d be very easy to break an ankle or fall from this type of terrain. My hubby thought he was going to have a heart attack since the hike was so strenuous and was cursing me out at each step (happy anniversary)! Try not to bring a heavy backpack as it will feel as if the weight doubled very quickly. Meanwhile, we were so worried about our 8 year old being able to make the climb and he was the one who had the easiest time. So unless you are younger or are super fit, please google Pulpit Rock for some photos first so you can have an idea of how challenging the climb is. If you’re able to go, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view (and photos). Big tip: take an advil before you hike! Olden: We took the ship excursion to Briksdalen Glacier and loved it! After yesterday’s hike to Pulpit Rock and still sore, we were somewhat concerned about this hike as it was classified as ‘strenuous’. It’s a piece of cake compared to Pulpit Rock! The entire hike was very beautiful and when you get to the glacier feed, the water is a beautiful teal color. This was my favorite excursion since Pulpit Rock was so agonizing in comparison. Molde: We wandered around town and got free wi-fi. Just follow or look for the crew and you’ll find the hot spots. We paid for a wifi package and were dropped so often that we didn’t think it was worth it. Just go to port and get free wi-fi. The town was small but pleasant to stroll around especially since the weather was beautiful. We were originally booked on the Path of the Trolls tour but cancelled out thinking it’d be too long of a day (spend time mostly on the bus). We ended up running into someone who went and said it was just ok. Alesund: The morning we arrived, it was dreary so we stayed put. By lunch time, it was back to being nice and sunny so we went into town but didn’t find much to do so went back to the ship. This was my least favorite port but to be fair, we didn’t explore very far. Destination services recommended the saga islands and aquarium but my son wasn’t interested so we ended up cancelling. Geiranger: Absolutely majestic and beautiful, defies words. I’m not even a big nature lover but I loved this port, it's my absolute favorite. Years ago, I thought I hit paradise bliss when we visited French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti, etc.) and saw so many beautiful motus. This is a different type of beauty…you’ll just have to go yourself and experience it! We took the RIB boat excursion and it was fantastic, hubby's favorite excursion. We booked the later one (vs. early morning) and was glad we had a later slot since it gets cool on the water. You’re given suits that make you look like a race driver so you’re protected against the wind, so don’t overdress or you’ll get very hot in your suit. The place that runs the excursion is right on dock, so you can save yourself some money and book directly with them. We didn’t know any better so booked with Celebrity and paid a small fortune. You’ll also have time to take the hike to the beautiful waterfall, which is located near the camp site. Walk about 10 min from dock and you’re there. Also, there is free wi-fi in front of the ice cream store. Flam: After seeing the views from Pulpit Rock, Briksdalen Glacier, and then Geiranger, I have to admit that Flam was just ok for us and the train ride was our least favorite excursion. We had an overcast day with some drizzle, so perhaps that affected our perspective. The train was so crowded (not a single empty seat) that often times you couldn’t see much as people would get out of their seats and block the view trying to take pictures. The waterfalls that they stopped at weren’t more impressive than the scenery in Geiranger on the RIB boat, except that you’re fighting crowds to get a photo on the train excursion. You also stop by a hotel that serves waffles/coffee which was a nice treat. We were thinking of combining the train ride with a downhill bike ride but glad we didn’t as the roads were slippery from the rain and I would have wiped out. I should point out that the train station is a literal 2 minute walk from dock so you do not need to go through the ship’s pricey excursion. Again, we paid a pretty penny booking through Celebrity because I was worried about navigating to the train station but I should have done some homework. Do book online early as the times do get sold out quickly. Bergen: Enjoyed this port, one of the better ones for shopping. Some of the open wide areas reminded me of Vienna (Kartnerstrasse in particular) so very easy walking. The fish market is close by (10 minutes), although a heads-up that many merchants there only accept a chip & pin embedded credit card, so US bank issued credit cards will not work. Arm yourself with local currency if you do not have this type of credit card and want to eat there. Oslo: We took the HOHO bus and visited Vigeland park. I couldn’t believe we forgot to visit the Ice bar! I knew it would be very touristy but we wanted to go for fun, oh well. Was not overly impressed with Oslo although we enjoyed the park. So overall, we really had a wonderful time and enjoyed this cruise, enhanced by the friendly crew and staff and of course the wonderful weather. Favorite ports were Geiranger, Olden and Stavanger in that order. If you decide to visit Norway, pack lots of layers. I packed gloves/hat just in case and never needed them, although a nice scarf for the ladies could dress up an outfit and provide some added warmth without adding much bulk. If I had to do over again, I would bring much less cotton clothing. I brought those for my son as they are comfortable, but they take a lot longer to dry when laundered. The synthetic clothing was much easier to clean/dry. We had a huge veranda so could take advantage of laundering ourselves over a 2 week trip. If you have life threatening food allergies, please do yourself a favor and be prepared for the worst. You can’t expect that everyone will understand how severe allergies can be so arm yourself with vigilance and medication and enjoy your cruise. Hope you’ve found these observations somewhat helpful in planning your trip! Happy travels to all.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We are seasoned travellers, having enjoyed many cruises on many lines and were disappointed with several aspects of this cruise on Constellation. The Embarkation and meeting at the airport was better than other lines and was speedy and ... Read More
We are seasoned travellers, having enjoyed many cruises on many lines and were disappointed with several aspects of this cruise on Constellation. The Embarkation and meeting at the airport was better than other lines and was speedy and efficient, no waiting dockside. The Stateroom 9044 was clean and tidy but we were disappointed to find that our view of the sun was obstructed by the superstructure above Whilst the ship had undergone a refit, it was not a patch on the Silhouette that we cruised with recently. The Aqua Class has been shoehorned in and whilst the Blu is a necessary expense, the Aqua Spa leaves a lot to be desired. Deck 5 resembles a Middle Eastern Shouk with traders hawking their wares in a most unsavoury fashion. We had to run the gaunlet from the Theatre to our dining room, avoiding the pushy salesmen and tacky products.We feel that Celebrity could have put more thought into customer enhancement on this deck Whilst the Blu Dining Area was well served by obliging waiters, the food was bland and lacking in variety The Staff & Service were faultless and when there were problems, they bent over backwards to help. One sometimes feel that they are making up for Celebrity HO management's shortcomings The Entertainment was as you would expect on a 12 night cruise, varied. In Summary, Celebrity needs to improve its cuisine offering. Other lines have a better offering, raising their game,whereas Celebrity seem to be skimping in this area and slipping backwards. Charging for a coffee at the Dinner table is petty...even if one is on a drinks package. When choosing a line for our next cruise, little things like this these will be deciding factors   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just back from the June 2 Scandinavia and Russia cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation. This was our third cruise with Celebrity; first time on the Constellation. The ports of call (Amsterdam, Berlin, Tallinn, St, Petersburg, ... Read More
Just back from the June 2 Scandinavia and Russia cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation. This was our third cruise with Celebrity; first time on the Constellation. The ports of call (Amsterdam, Berlin, Tallinn, St, Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Copenhagen) were well picked and extremely interesting. There were no sea days between Tallinm and Stockholm so after 5 straight days of sightseeing we were tired and grateful for the day off before we hit Copenhagen. Our stateroom (7160) was very quiet and comfortable and everything worked! I would stay in this room on another cruise. Only thing I did not like is that the curtains did not keep the light out and with the sun setting at 11PM and rising at 3AM in the baltic, it was heard to sleep. I;d like to see room darkening curtains, or at least provide eye shades. The food was good, not fabulous, but we were quite satisfied with it. The main dining room had items which were available every day as well as "meals du jour". So I could always get a steak or a nice salad if nothing hit my fancy for the day. We used "Select dining" where you can come anytime. Only thing I did not like about that if that if you said you were willing to share a table with others (which we always did), they would seat you and then wait until the entire table was full before they served you. One night we waited for 30 minutes before I finally said something. They served us immediately. I did not try the specialty restaurants on this trip although I heard good reviews from other about the Tuscan grill. Entertainment in the theater was very good with a variety of genres; we enjoyed every night. The entertainment in the lounges was "ok" although there was a string trio that was terrific, Activities on the ship were lackluster, There were a few pearls but, for the most part, you didnt have a lot of choice except to drink or gamble - go figure! This is an area that could use improvement. There just wasn't an atmosphere of "excitement" on the ship. Staff were very courteous and helpful. My cabin steward made sure I had fruit and ice every day (an extra couple of bucks at the beginning of the cruise always helps. Captain Tassos was a riot and deserves a comedy act of his own. Very funny and very professional. We took shore excursions from the ship in Helsinki and used SPB Tours for Berlin and St Petersburg. Berlin is a long 2 1/2 hr ride from the ship but,since we didnt plan to return to Berlin, we thought it was worth the trip. Overall, a wonderful experience. Thinking about a river cruise in Europe as our next cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
The Constellation, while obviously aging, was clean and operating well for our cruise up the coast of Norway to the North Cape (above the Arctic Circle). The room attendants and meal service staff were all personable, attentive and ... Read More
The Constellation, while obviously aging, was clean and operating well for our cruise up the coast of Norway to the North Cape (above the Arctic Circle). The room attendants and meal service staff were all personable, attentive and responsive. Captain Tasos was very engaged with the guests and shipboard activities. The food was very good, not outstanding, and presented well. My wife thought the entertainment was good, especially enjoying the game shows. This, plus beautiful scenery and some wonderful weather (about half the days, anyway) made the cruise a memorable one. We only purchased one Celebrity excursion (in Honningsvag) and wished we had done our own thing there also. Below are some of our suggestions for the Norwegian ports we visited. Stavanger. Purchased an excursion to Lysefjord in the harbor for half the cost of the same excursion available through Celebrity. The price was reasonable and the guided tour of Lysefjord was very good. We suggest you get off the boat as soon as possible, walk to the town side of the port, and book a cruise with the Rodne Fjord Cruise boat. They will give you an up close view of a classic Norwegian fjord. Stavanger is a nice town and entirely walkable. The cathedral, an interesting destination, is located near the port and next to the Tourist Information office. There is free internet at the town library, the McDonalds nearby and the Burger King in the port. Alesund. Definitely rent a car here. Avis and others rent autos at the port. The town is pretty small and has limited activities. We walked the town and covered everything we thought might be interesting in a couple of hours (get a walking tour map at the Tourist Information office in port). The hike to Mt. Aksla view point is very doable and worth the effort. However, our table mates declared the "Troll Road" scenery is definitely worth the drive and is most easily accessible from Alesund. Free internet at the McDonalds located in town. Geiranger. We rented a car from Hertz and picked it up conveniently at the port. We drove to Mt. Dalsnibba ahead of the significant bus traffic (get out early!) up the switchbacks (63 South) only to find that the mountaintop was socked in with clouds/fog - zero visibility. After confirming that we could drive back up the mountain with our original ticket, we drove through a couple of picturesque fjords and valleys to Hellesylt (63 South to 15 West to 60 East). Olden might have been another good destination. The scenery was worth the drive and on our return we climbed Mt. Dalsnibba again for, this time, a beautiful view of the Geirangerfjord. We still had more time before disembarkation so we continued on 63 North passed Geiranger to catch the view of Geirangerfjord from the north side of the fjord. Tromso. Purchased the shuttle bus to town from Celebrity but discovered at the Tourist Information Center that a city bus day pass (for less than the shuttle bus) would have taken us from the port and back. Rode the city bus to the Tromso museum where they presented interesting information on arctic life and the Sami people who are native to the arctic area. For a couple of extra krones we also purchased entrance to the Polar Star sealing ship on display near the port. Both are worth a visit. Took the bus out to Eide handel where we took a short walk to view Kaldfjord and then had lunch at the Eide store cafe (only spent $12 for three lunch plates!). A walk around the store revealed a big sale on seal and whale meat! Honningsvag. Here we purchased the Celebrity excursion out to the North Cape. It consisted of a round trip bus ride to the cape and two hours of free time at the cape. We would have liked to stay longer at the cape so would have enjoyed the freedom of renting a car - which was available at the port. After the excursion we were seeking ways to kill time in this tiny town. We visited the Ice Bar which was fun and then walked the town. The locals told us that they are in the process of installing Wi-Fi capability in the port area so it should be available soon. Molde. We rented a car from Hertz here but had to take a bus out to the airport (about 5 miles) to pick up the car. That and the return to the airport consumed quite a bit of our precious time in port. If you can find a rental company with port pickup, I would recommend using them. If you do rent from the airport, be sure you know the returning bus schedule because they only run every 20-30 minutes). While I rode out to the airport for the car, my wife and daughter toured the cathedral and rose garden which they enjoyed. We drove out to Bud (E39 East to 64 North to 663 North to 664 North) to view the German defense installation and then continued on the Atlantic Road. We enjoyed the drive and on our return to Molde, drove to the top of Mt. Varden for a very picturesque view of the city and surrounding water and mountains. Free internet at the Tourist Information Office in port. Bergen. The city is very walkable. We enjoyed the Hakon Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower (ask for a tour in English). We walked the Bryggen area and the Fishmarkt. We started to climb up Mt. Floren but turned around about half way up for lunch in the Fishmarkt. The fresh seafood (king crab and whale) in the Fishmarkt was very good but pricey. Following lunch we rode the light rail out to see the Stavekirke. It is a replica of a stave church moved to this site some time ago. It was a questionable value.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I hate long drawn out reviews so I'll simply provide our good and bad about the ship. The itinerary and weather, IMHO are not relevant to a review of a cruise. Like the size of ship but a little long in the teeth, the conversion not ... Read More
I hate long drawn out reviews so I'll simply provide our good and bad about the ship. The itinerary and weather, IMHO are not relevant to a review of a cruise. Like the size of ship but a little long in the teeth, the conversion not withstanding, e.g. Our shower stall was corroded and moldy, sheets and blankets were dirty. Steward promptly replaced them but couldn't do anything about the shower. Cabin was certainly smaller than the S class. We split the bed into two parts. Don't remember each unit being that small. Plenty of storage. Service and friendliness of all crew members were outstanding. Captain had a terrific sense of humor, put on a skit with the CD and gave two outstanding lectures something we rarely see. Ship is beautiful and a pleasure to walk around the public spaces. MDR Food, always an subjective issue, was IMHO very good. Dinner choices, portion size and taste were excellent. On our last cruise on the Silhouette I found myself choosing from the "Available Daily" menu several times. This time, not once. Desserts, always my favorite, were very good. One exception was the shrimp cocktail. Four tiny, limp little guys in a large glass of lettuce. Service was professional and quick. I do seem to recall that on prior cruises there was music during dinner but not this time Never went to the MDR for breakfast or lunch. BUFFET The buffets on a cruise ship are always a love hate affair. I HATE THAT THEY ELIMINATED TRAYS!!! Such a hassle trying to navigate plates, silverware and beverage with the small plates they use. Breakfast and lunch offerings were plentiful, hot and tasty. Good sandwich selection and as always the cheeseburgers were outstanding. As always also the waffles were OUTSTANDING. However, what they say is maple syrup is a slightly bitter tasting concoction. Not what we have seen in the past. Not Celebrity's issue was the people and an over whelming sense that they were on their own private yacht. Pushing, cutting in front of people, reaching for food with bare hands - you know the drill. Of a particular nuisance was people sitting, playing cards, reading and enjoying the views etc, long after they were finished eating preventing others from using the tables. Especially a pain on this cruise because the outside deck area was not usable due to the weather on many days. There were signs on each table but were in English; should have have been in English, Dutch and German, Russian, Chinese and so forth. CAPTAINS CLUB At the Elite level we did enjoy the internet, laundry and other perks. The evening cocktail was a nice thing as always. However, on this cruise they roped off the prime spaces in front of the windows for non CC passengers. We were restricted to an area inside these ropes. Suppose one could take their free drink and sit at one of the prime seats but was frowned on. No music as well. Last year on the Silhouette, the entire Reflections lounge was used for the CC cocktail hour. Live music was provided. A personal beef of mine was the restriction of Michaels Club. Every night we would walk by it and see maybe four people inside. ENTERTAINMENT Liked the fact that every night the shows were at seven and nine. Easier to plan for then when they were at various times for the early or late seating. Captain and the CD did a Liar Liar skit which was hilarious. A Cirque du Soleil duo was outstanding the far from the normal cruise ship offerings. Unfortunately not all were worthy. A kid juggler was an embarrassment to the juggler and the poor guy he picked from the audience. Only one other music related note was a guy in ratty clothes, the DJ and a girl playing the Sax. Unfortunately, she only knew one song which she played over and over and over...... SPA Neither my wife nor I had any spa services. Basic massages were much higher in price plus now there is a mandatory 18% gratuity levied. Canyon Ranch as replaced Steiner. The real winner on this cruise was the ports. Norway was spectacular despite the cold and the wind and the rain and the fog and the, guess that is it.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
After many years of looking at various Baltic Cruise possibilities, we finally chose the Celebrity Constellation 12-night itinerary sailing out of Amsterdam. We have taken many cruises all over the world--mostly with Holland America--and ... Read More
After many years of looking at various Baltic Cruise possibilities, we finally chose the Celebrity Constellation 12-night itinerary sailing out of Amsterdam. We have taken many cruises all over the world--mostly with Holland America--and have had many great experiences. But this one ranks right up there as one of our favorites. We mostly chose the Constellation because of their 123 Go promotion in which you can choose from getting all gratuities paid, a drinks package and/or on-board credit. Also there was a deal where outside cabins and verandas were nearly the same price. So we ended up in a very nice veranda room and "free" wine with dinner as well as all gratuities paid. We flew into Amsterdam a day ahead and spent two nights and a day walking all over Amsterdam with the help of Rick Steves' Audio tour which we downloaded free from his website. Very helpful info. In fact, we used his Baltic guide in all of the ports, both in planning and in visiting each city. We stayed in a rather "sketchy" hotel (which is a whole different review I won't get into here) but it was in a very handy location. And very near the central taxi stand. So it was easy to drag our suitcases over to the taxi stand and take the short trip to the ship on the morning of embarkation. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our first impressions of the ship were very favorable. The Constellation is an "M Class", about 2000 passengers, and we think it is just the right size to offer a choice of venues, but small enough that you can make friends with people that you run in to all the time. We had a very nice Cruise Critic meet and greet on the first morning (and first sea day) which was well attended. We met some nice people, some of whom we played Trivia with at various times, and some of whom were fellow Rick Steves fans and we ended up walking with in one or two ports. We liked The Constellation very much, as I said. I loved the airy "Reflections Lounge" at the top front of the ship. It's a great place to relax and watch the sea. It was pretty quiet during the days, but used for "parties" at night. We went to one "Name that tune from the 50's and 60's" late-night activity there that was a lot of silly fun. But we didn't stay up late too many nights since we had to get up early for so many of the ports. There was a tiny computer lab right next to an even tinier library in an obscure mid-ship location. We had loaded lots of books onto our Kindles (which we didn't have time to read) so we only peaked in there once and saw it very empty. There is no piano bar, but I noticed that some of the same kind of comradery seemed to spring up among the regulars who gathered around the frost-topped martini bar in the late afternoons and evenings. We went to almost all the shows and found them all to be very entertaining. I thought their "production" shows with the singers and dancers were especially imaginative and well-done. We ate most lunches in the buffet or at the hamburger/hot dog place by the pool. We ate breakfast once in the Main Dining room (a special "express" breakfast that they did for the first very early morning arrival in St. Petersburg--a very nice service). We also ate once at the cereal and fruit buffet near the spa where they have all kinds of nice toppings for your cereal and some great muffins. Several times we just ordered breakfast in our room and it always arrived on time. However, we ordered scrambled eggs twice and they were ice cold both times. The buffet at breakfast was always kind of crowded and hectic--but lots of good choices. We ate dinner almost every night in the main dining room. We had "select" dining which means you can just come at any time. We never had to wait. We always said we would like to eat with others, and we met many delightful dinner companions and had a lot of good table conversation. Menu choices were good and almost everything was delicious. I just didn't see the reason to eat in any of the specialty restaurants. I have no idea how many people paid the hefty "surcharge" in those restaurants, but I did notice that they were constantly pushing reservations and sometimes offering discounts. O.K., about the ports. Really, the Baltic cruise is all about the ports. I had been a little nervous about whether the St. Petersburg stop might be cancelled in the light of all the saber-rattling going on between the U.S. and Russia lately. But we had a two-night stopover there that was really a high-light of the trip. We chose to book a two-day "Deluxe Tour" with SPB tours. It was slightly cheaper than the "ship excursions" and had the advantage of traveling around the city in 16 passenger vans instead of the big buses. The ship does give precedence to ship tours during the disembarkation process. But we just watched to see when people started getting off the ship, and got off with the ship excursion people. Getting through Russian security was a little intimidating and slow, but after that our experience in St. Petersburg was great. Our guide was really good and we kept on the move constantly for both days. We saw so many beautiful and interesting sights. I highly recommend that you read Massey's "Peter the Great" and "Catherine the Great" before you go to get a little insight into the amazing palaces and churches of St. Petersburg. We also booked an all-day tour of Rostock and Schwerin with SPB tours. We did that instead of taking the 3-hour bus trip into Berlin while docked at Warnermunde. Beautiful German towns and a spectacular castle and gardens at Schwerin. We didn't take organized tours at any of the other ports. Tallin is very accessible by walking off the ship and we spent a very pleasant day exploring the medieval streets of that pretty little town, Rick Steves in hand. In Helsinki we took a shuttle bus into the city center and walked down the esplanade to the harbor market, then made our way to the unique "Church in the Rock" where a concert pianist was playing and showing off the accoustics. In Stockholm we took the Hop On Hop Off into town (they charged us 40 euros!) and then got off to walk around the old town area (Gammel Strand). We stepped into one cathedral just as a group of very small children lined up in front of the altar and sang for us. So cute. When we got to the square in from of the Royal Palace, we met up with some fellow CC'rs who were all excited to have seen the King of Sweden come out and get into a limo. We got back on the Hop On Hop Off and went on to Djurgarden island that features some of the best museums in town. Most people got off at the Vasa museum, but we went on to the Skansen outdoor museum which displays relocated examples of early Swedish homesteads with costumed interpreters, as well as farm animals, a Zoo and pretty gardens. We could have easily spent a day there, but we only had a couple of hours. Actually, everyone was wishing we could have had more time in Stockholm. But part of the attraction was the beautiful 5-hour sail through the island-dotted inlet going and coming. We got up early to have breakfast on our veranda and watch the scenery as we approached Stockholm. Lovely! Our last port was Copenhagen. Again we just took a bus into town and followed Rick Steves guide along with several fellow CC passengers. We stopped for open-faced sandwiches and beer at a side-walk cafe and then took a canal boat ride before walking back to the ship along the shore past the famous Little Mermaid statue. Another very enjoyable day. Of course, our enjoyable days were enhanced by wonderful luck with the weather. Except for a little drizzle one of the days in St. Petersburg, all the port days were sunny and cool--just right for walking. Most of the time the Baltic Sea was smooth, you almost never even felt the ship moving. We had just a couple of days where there was a little bit of rocking occasionally. A clean comfortable ship, plenty of food and drink, entertainment of all kinds, friendly staff and fellow passengers--all on top of beautiful and fascinating ports. What more could you ask for? Isn't that why we love to cruise?   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We have never sailed on Celebrity cruise ships and sadly will never again! We found the cost of the cruise was very expensive and that everything on board was a "money making business". The crew were great, and the Captain a ... Read More
We have never sailed on Celebrity cruise ships and sadly will never again! We found the cost of the cruise was very expensive and that everything on board was a "money making business". The crew were great, and the Captain a delight and the ship somewhat "tired" and in desperate need of upgrading. However: 1. Having paid for an upgraded cabin found it very small and suffered bruised legs trying to get round the bed at night! No room for manoeuvre. 2. The bathroom is for "stick insects" and if you are a large person don't shut the door! 3. Although we had a balcony and were on deck 9, the overhang from deck 10 meant that the sun had no chance whatsoever to shine on the balcony ever. All other cabins below deck 9 were bathed in sunlight - when it occurred. 4. The food was presented in such a way, you would be forced to go on a diet unless you chose to eat in the exclusive restaurants which were superb. However, at £50 per couple per evening (over and above what you had already paid), it became very expensive. 5. The entertainment was mediocre to say the least and only happened every other night, with intervening nights showing a "new" film that did not start until 10.30pm! 6. On docking days when a shuttle was needed to get into town (with no taxis available in the dock area) everyone going ashore were charged $12 each for the return journey - take it or stay on board. 7. In order to cut down on large bills at the end, we opted for a package deal which included drinks but if you did not do this, there was an excessive charge on board for alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, ice cream, biscuits and even water! 8. Wifii on board cost $50 for 90 minutes and then it did not always work. 9. Entertainment during the day when at sea was poor unless you liked listening to the drone of uninspired lecturers other than the Captain who was the best entertainment on the ship - he was an absolute delight. 10. The whole cruise for 2 people staying on deck 9, including air fares to Amsterdam return, drinks and gratuities cost over £7,000!!! We found a cruise on Seabourn or Crystal (5* luxury ships) going to the Mediterranean for 14 days cheaper which included all of the above, including wifii. Sadly the cruise to recover from major surgery did not turn out well - it made us want to get off and return home early. If you go on Celebrity cruises, be prepared to make sure you have an overdraft in place before going. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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