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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
My wife and I are in our 50s and have been cruising now for a while with an increased emphasis in the past couple years. We have cruised Celebrity before on Connie as well as Princess, RCI, and Carnival. This was our longest cruise by far ... Read More
My wife and I are in our 50s and have been cruising now for a while with an increased emphasis in the past couple years. We have cruised Celebrity before on Connie as well as Princess, RCI, and Carnival. This was our longest cruise by far as our previous long cruise was a 10 day Caribbean. It was our first transatlantic and our first foray into Mediterranean cruising as well. We flew into Rome 3 days before the cruise from Miami after a layover in Madrid. Having missed our connection in Madrid due to some silly rule from Iberian Air about not letting the crew onboard our plane, we arrived 3 hours later than expected. We traveled with a group through a group package that turned out to be somewhat of a disaster on the transportation front. Being somewhat abandoned at the Rome airport by our TA/transportation arrangement, we were forced to purchase our own bus to the Hotel Diana Rooftop. The hotel was fine and had a very good location. Fortunately the weather cooperated as our room did not have AC. Embarkation was another crazy day. We received notification from Celebrity the night before the cruise that the embarkation port was being changed from Civitavecchia to Naples due to weather. What a night of confusion, both from our TA and from Celebrity. I know this had to be extremely difficult on Celebrity's part as they had to contact a couple thousand passengers through various unreliable means. Having to organize 90 buses to disembark passengers from a port 175 miles away and pickup as many and get them all to Naples had to be an unbelievable logistical challenge. They came through, though, and were well organized in the Rome airport to transport passengers and their luggage to Naples. They checked our bags directly from the bus to the ship which made checking in and getting onboard very easy. Connie is showing her age somewhat, but she still sparkles in most areas. There were always crew cleaning, patching, painting, and maintaining throughout the cruise. This is still one of our favorite ships. We like that it is not a huge ship and the number of passengers never makes you feel like it is crowded. The passengers were more of a seasoned citizen variety with a few exceptions. There were only 8 kids on the cruise. From the various languages I could hear spoken throughout the cruise, passengers were primarily from the US but with a good sprinkling of European and Canadian cruisers with a few Australians as well. There was always something to do, but we spent most of our free time reading. It was sometimes difficult to find quiet places to read since many others had the same plan as ours. The activities were the typical trivia, random game shows, casino games, etc. There were very few good weather days so there wasn't much outdoor pool activity except on a couple days. Having booked Aqua class, we ate in Blu every evening and some mornings. We found the food superior there to the few times we ate lunch in the MDR. The buffet was adequate with good variety. At times the hot food was cold and the cold food warm, but there was variety at lunch and dinner. The two nights we ate dinner in the buffet were very good since they have a make to order grill in the back of the Oceanview cafe. The dinners in Blu were different than when we we were on Connie last April. There didn't seem to be as much of the "clean cuisine" concept as before as evidenced by the insistence to put gravy on every type of meat dish. Cafe Al Bachio always had something yummy whenever we needed a snack. We had booked 4 excursions through Cruise Critic members, 3 of which came off without a hitch. The other one was cancelled due to the operator not showing up. We felt bad for the organizers because it was a large group. We booked two shore excursions through Celebrity and almost got left behind on one of them (Pisa). Fortunately I was able to run to catch the tour before they left us. Rain left us disappointed in Florence but the weather cooperated at all other ports. Agadir was enlightening and a real adventure. Cartagena was nice as were the Canary Islands. Our Aqua A2 cabin was located on deck 9 unfortunately beneath the Lido deck/pool area. On any nights where music was being played we heard it pretty loud and clear and pretty much had to stay up as long as they were playing. In the early morning we would hear chairs scraping as they were being moved as well as heavy footed people walking the deck. The cabin itself was very comfortable as was the bed. Only the location under the Lido deck made it a slight disappointment. Our room stewards were awesome and always greeted us with smiles and well wishes for our day. Wait staff in Blu was exceptional as well. We really enjoyed getting to know some of the folks there since this was a long cruise. They got to know our names and habits as the cruise progressed. Particularly exceptional were Rich Gleason, the cruise director. We've been on many cruises where the cruise director is only seen in two locations- the morning show and introducing the show headliners. Rich was everywhere on this cruise, from jumping in the pool and participating in the crew/guest volleyball game, to helping with the egg drop challenge and many other areas. He was always visible in various lounges and walking the ship talking to passengers in every venue. He was just outstanding. We actually had two captains on this cruise, Captain Nikolas and Captain Tasos. I enjoyed Captain Nikolas but Captain Tasos was incredible. Again, I've never see a captain so visible and participate in so many activities. His performance at the Liar's game was incredibly funny. Overall entertainment was pretty good. The few production shows were good to very good. I was impressed that they had live entertainment every night as well as many guest lecturers that educated and entertained us in many ways. I had my perspective changed on a couple topics due to some of the lectures we attended. Disembarkation was a breeze as there apparently were a lot of customs agents that allowed us to get off of the ship earlier than expected. I wish I could say our TA redeemed themselves with a pickup in FLL. However, after waiting an hour an half in the rain with the prospect of waiting another 1-2 hours, we decided to forego our prepaid transportation and rent a car for the 3 hour drive home. In summary, this was a memorable and enjoyable cruise for us. If I had to pick one negative (other than our TA's blundering of the pre and post-cruise transportation) it was our cabin location and the noise that came along with it. The best part of the cruise had to be the great captain, cruise director and crew who went out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable. 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Sail Date: May 2012
I am Tikigal, Kimberly, and traveling with my Mom and Dad on yet another adventure, this time on the Celebrity Constellation, part of the Millennium Class of ships. This was by far, one of my best experiences in cruising, and the staff ... Read More
I am Tikigal, Kimberly, and traveling with my Mom and Dad on yet another adventure, this time on the Celebrity Constellation, part of the Millennium Class of ships. This was by far, one of my best experiences in cruising, and the staff made the trip over the top and perfect! May 5th: Met up with Graeme Kelleher,(from South Africa) our Captain's Club Host and met Captain Peppas, who we already love, as We sailed with them both last year, and found the two of them to be very entertaining hosts and so knowledgeable, each in their own area of expertise. The life boat drill was excellent for a change, where this time things were quite serious, since we were going transatlantic! We had an accessible suite for this trip in a Sky Suite ( dad is 92). Day 2: We finally met our friends Roger and Jacqueline from Belgium. My mother and father really hit it off with them last year, and it was nice to be reunited again. Toured the ship and went to a Wine Masters event featuring South African wine at the Tuscan Grill demonstration. We decided to have dinner there on one of the nights. The dinner show was packed, so be sure to get there early. We ate in San Marcos (main dining room). Day 3: I am eating berries, and no bread, and trying to loose weight. Ha!. Learned how to play Texas Hold-em. I went to a lecture on Port del Gado in Azores, and we had a Captains Club party that was so packed, you had to get there early. Here the frequent Elite cruises (over 10 credits) gather for complimentary cocktails nightly. The best part, isn't it? And of course, making new friends. Day 4: Went to Ocean Liners Restaurant, which is their specialty restaurant. The food is incredible in that restaurant. Also during the day, went to a wine appreciation seminar, and a pink luncheon put on by a member of the Cruise Critic group we signed up with. Everyone was in pink, and we raised $400.00 for Breast Cancer. The waite staff served us a beautiful lunch with baby quail, Hawaiian salad, and cute little pink desserts of all types. There was an interesting watch sale going on, and lots of jewelry to buy. We have a hoot nightly in the Captains Club, and sometimes, they brought in entertainment for us. Day 5: Oh, a big sea day with swells of over 20 feet by noon. We will be in for a Royal Ride today! The San Marcos Restaurant was serving crepes for lunch, Yummy. Today was scrapbooking, cabin Crawl (touring rooms with cruise critics, I put this on), gym workouts, Captains Club party at Reflections and then dinner. The piano player was Elliot Finkle and he had 4 standing ovations. Day 6: We are in the middle of the Sargasso Sea with waves at 26 feet and winds at 65 mph. We are 2 days out from land at Ponta Delgado which is North of Funchal and Tenerife by 1 day. Today was Music trivia and I won on the 60's music. More scrapbooking, and then to this crazy idea of Celebrity's, Olympic X games competition. It was so much fun. We played golf on deck 11 (Reflections) and boy was in rough trying to putt around the bar, and down to the dance floor. Later we went to a line dance class and watch the movie "The Help". Also, tonight late, was Liars Club, it was packed, because the main show in the theatre was cancelled due to high winds. Liars club, is where the officers tell lies, and we have to guess, who is telling the truth. Of course, we, as passengers are always fooled. It was great fun on a high seas night. Day 7:Good old Dramamine, knocked me out, and I slept until noon. The seas were pretty rough yesterday and last night. I went to a Solo Travelers Luncheon, that was fun, where I met a judge who knew my attorney. Small world. There is a show, "The land of Make Believe" that was done incredibly well. Don't miss this show, if you haven't seen it yet. The Celebrity cast and dancers do a great job. Of course, what would traveling transatlantic be without Perry Grant? He has a huge following of fans, that sail Constellation, just because he is on board. Day 8:Mothers day is today,and we have arrived in the Azores. I attended a local Mass and the streets were lined in flowers for a procession in town. There was modern line dance classes later in the day, and this island is known for Pineapple, San Georges Cheese, Canchee wine, and port. Alexandra Gemgerrey from the Gift shop on board was so nice. She always was anxious to see what we bought in town. Day 9: Choppy day at sea. Workout in the gym and continue eating healthy, made me feel so much more active and less tired. I keep playing Olympic Golf hoping to do well. Our friends received a large bouquet of flowers during Captains Club celebration today I Reflections,for having the most cruises (130 or so, more than I can fathom).Ate dinner at the Tuscan Grill this evening- one of their Specialty restaurants. Maurico was our waiter, and the service was good. We had crab cakes, goat cheese cannelloni, wrapped in zucchini, lobster linguini, diver scallops, shrimp scampi. First time trying Pastat chocolate gelato. Yum.Day 10 Grand Buffett for Brunch was superb! Enjoyed meeting the Staff Captain (he looks like George Clooney) and Nikolas Vatianos, the Safety Officer, also a Captain in his own right. Tonight we had 14-18 foot seas. A gorgeous steak for dinner- The crew is gracious in every way. Captain Nikolas Vatianos, Safety officer was fun to get to know on board. I did not know before tonight that the Master of the Vessel, which is Captain Peppas, will have many captains in their own right underneath him, also qualified to run the ship, so I feel extra safe on board with this crew. Rich Clesen was our cruise director, and always went out of his way to meet each and every one of his in Elite. There were hundreds of Elite Captain's Club members on board, as this is one of their annual treks, to take the Constellation Transatlantic each year, and enjoy the music of Perry who performed in the lounge. He did an extra special treat the last night before Amsterdam, he was so popular, he headlined the closing act. Day 12 went to LeHavre, France to do some shopping and enjoyed a French Restaurant in town. It was a cold and rainy day, bring your raincoats! Day 13, Sailed past the white cliffs of Dover-spectacular, and Dover Castle. Now we are bound for Amsterdam, our last stop. We have enjoyed our Sky Suite, and I have enjoyed two fabulous weeks at sea with my parents. We are getting ready to do our Back to Back (B2B). Day 14: Sailed through so many locks, so early in the morning, too bad,I wish it was later, so I could have enjoyed them more. Lots of windmills, everywhere, what a sight! There was a lot of fog as well. We are moving to a balcony room for the next segment of the journey- Amsterdam to Russia. Especially enjoyed Manuel Frageso, who was in charge of golf on board the Constellation, had a fabulous adventure course set up for us to play each day, and I got third place. Fun, fun, fun and thank you to all the staff! Great time! Read Less
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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