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11 Celebrity Constellation First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

This was our very first ever cruise and overall, we really enjoyed it. My partner and I booked this cruise to celebrate my partner being promoted in his career after several years of being on a long and arduous training course. We had been ... Read More
This was our very first ever cruise and overall, we really enjoyed it. My partner and I booked this cruise to celebrate my partner being promoted in his career after several years of being on a long and arduous training course. We had been recommended to do a Celebrity cruise a few years ago and my parents and sister recently went on a P&O cruise and were raving about how much they enjoyed it, plus, we couldn't decide on a holiday destination this year. Hence, why we decided that we should do a cruise holiday as we could visit many places, experience many different cultures whilst enjoying the excellent facilities that cruising has to offer. As a younger gay couple in our late twenties, we were worried that being on a cruise would not be our thing as we had read many reviews on here about how the Celebrity Constellation was mainly full of older citizens and with activities more suited to those of that of an older age group. However, this couldn't be more far removed from the truth. We found many people from all different age ranges and we felt quite at ease with being on the ship. The original concern may be true if you go outside of the school holidays but we didn't find this with us going in August. At the same time, you don't need to worry about there being lots of children on-board with going in the middle of August. Part of the reason we booked the cruise with Celebrity was because we wanted to have a holiday with as few children around as possible. We thought many children/families that would do cruising, would go with Celebrity's sister company, Royal Caribbean. This was true. Don't get me wrong, there were families with small children on-board but most families had teenage children. Additionally, the Celebrity Constellation is a gay friendly ship and there were several events that the ship arranged that the LGBT community could attend. Many of the guests too that were on-board the ship were well travelled and were fairly open minded and so being a gay couple did not phase them and we became good friends with several couples. We set sail from Rome (Civitavecchia) which meant we had to fly out to Rome. Transfers and everything was already sorted out before and this was well organised and there was no fuss. At the airport, Celebrity representatives were there ready to assist to your need and were very friendly and supportive. If I was to be picky about anything, it would have been nice if Celebrity themselves collected the luggage for us at the airport and then delivered it straight to our rooms on-board the ship. There were several times where we had to collect/drop our bags, on/off the coach and deposit them before embarking the ship, which wasn’t a problem really. However, with this being Celebrity and them advertising that they want to make you feel like a celebrity, I thought that the company really missed a trick here. Furthermore, I was disappointed that they didn’t do this as I knew that when my parents and my sister and her husband went on their cruise with P&O, they dropped off their bags at check-in at the airport in England and the next time they were reunited with them was in their cabins. However, as I said, this is only a minor, picky point. Otherwise, embarkation went smoothly and without a hitch. When we first arrived on the ship, we were quite pleased to see that it wasn’t as dilapidated as many reviewers had made it out to be. It was lovely and clean and everything had its place. Both my partner and I were quite a gasp at how wonderful and beautiful it was inside. We were very impressed. We were greeted with champagne and other refreshments and it all had a lovely atmosphere to it, one that still resonates with me today as it was so welcoming. Due to our room being cleaned, we could not go into our cabin straightaway. Nevertheless, because we had travelled for about 12 hours and because it was nearing lunchtime, we decided to go and have something to eat at the buffet. Because we had heard about the fantastic pizza on-board, our instinct was to try that first. It wasn’t the greatest pizza I have had but it was by no means the worst. We were both expecting a lot worse in actual fact considering that it was a buffet. We then continued to see what other delights the buffet had to offer. We weren’t holding our breath but we were both pleasantly astounded by the variety of types of food that they offered and at how good it tasted. There was everything from fish to meats (cold and hot), cheeses, pasta, Chinese food, curry, sushi, just lots of food. It was a sight for the eyes! On most days, we enjoyed the food from the buffet and we tended to have our late lunches in there and most dishes were scrumptious. What was really good about it too was that each day, when we stopped at a different port of call, there would be a stand which served delicacies from that region/country and we both enjoyed this touch as the main dining room (San Marco) did not offer this opportunity. After our lunch, we proceeded to our cabin. We opted for an Oceanview Stateroom and we weren’t disappointed as our cabin had a massive port-hole that was practically floor to ceiling in height. This was a lovely touch as I was expecting quite a small window. However, we were situated in one of the cabins towards to the aft of the ship that had been converted from social space in the last overhaul. I’m aware that not all Oceanview staterooms are like this and so some research is needed if you wish for a cabin with a similar window. The cabin itself was quite spacious and a lot bigger than we were expecting, with plenty of storage facilities. We were both quite impressed at how much storage Celebrity had managed to work in. There was even room for your traditional safe and mini-bar fridge with additional storage space above them! The bathroom was small considering at how big the rest of the room was but even then, Celebrity managed to incorporate lots of storage solutions into the bathroom so it never felt tiny or ‘full of stuff’. Again, many people complained that the shower cubicle was too small but we didn’t find this. I am quite a big guy but I managed to fit in there perfectly with ample room to move about. I would say that it was roughly the same size as most UK showers. Shower pressure was good even when the ship was stationary but the water seemed a little ‘too’ treated and made my skin feel unnaturally smooth and shiny. Nevertheless, the best part of our cabin was the bed. Originally, I was concerned as we were told that the bed was a Queen’s size, which is just a bit larger than a single bed in Britain. However, I completely forgot, American ship, American sizes. Hence, the bed was much larger than I had anticipated and was in fact bigger than my King size bed at home. I had so much room in the bed that I couldn’t tap my partner on the shoulder goodnight, even with my arm stretched out. It was divine! What made it even better though was the fact that the bed was the most perfect bed we had both ever slept on. I cannot begin to describe how comfy the bed was. It was firm but squish-able, soft but supportive. It was just amazing! We liked the mattress so much that after the cruise we tried to buy one as we knew you could buy them but to no avail as they’re only available in America. To top it all off, we were greeted with an excellent turn-down service every night with chocolates on our pillows. Dining on the ship was excellent! We never had a bad meal on the ship, whether that was in the main dining room, The Grill by the pool deck, the speciality restaurants or the buffets. All over exceeded our expectations. We ate in the main dinning room most evenings and I can only compare the food to meals served in gastro pubs back in Britain. Very tasty, great flavours, well prepared and fantastic presentation. Every evening the menu changed and there was always something that everyone could have, whether you were a vegetarian, a vegan or even someone who was gluten intolerant. However, there was a part of the menu which remained the same each day and had many classics on there like French Onion Soup, and Grilled New York Sirloin Steak. Hence, there were safe options if you didn’t particularly enjoy that evenings selection. Portion sizes were a bit on the small side but this wasn’t a problem as we generally asked for more and over the course of the holiday, our waiter, Savio, would know exactly how much to bring out to us. Only negative about the main dining room was at breakfast time when a different waiter tried to sit us on a table for six even though we requested a table for two. He said that we could not make that request in the mornings as tables were reserved, which we knew was a lie as we had most of our breakfasts in the main dining room. We did say to the waiter about this and he said that was not true, to which we replied that we didn’t wish to eat there that morning, and we walked off. Luckily, Savio walked past us and questioned why we were going so quickly, when we explained the situation, Savio sorted out the problem for us and sat us on a table for two and couldn’t apologise enough for the rudeness of his colleague. We did go and eat in Ocean Liners (a speciality restaurant) one evening and were very happy with the service and food. We both had the chateaubriand which was exquisitely cooked and so tender that it just melted away in your mouth. My partner and I both agreed that it was a fabulous experience and we’d do it again but at the same time, we didn’t feel that we were missing out on anything either as the food was just as good in the main dining room. The only difference really was that you can tell that Celebrity had thought about the more minor touches that can really bring out the difference, like the presentation of the butter in different shapes, how drinks were presented and how your food was served to you by the waiter. Service on the ship was very good overall. The main dining room, buffet, house cleaning and bar staff were excellent and I could not fault them. They were always very happy to help, friendly and really took their time to get to know you, your tastes and just made you feel like a CELEBRITY! As I’ve said, our Head Waiter, Savio, was excellent and knew exactly what we liked (and how much of it). He really took care of us. Our drinks lady was fantastic at suggesting different cocktails that we would like to try and we built such a great rapport with her too. Our sommelier (Richard) too was very friendly and could pin-point exactly each night what I would like to drink and when. Our other waiter, Alex, was just as good and we really had a good laugh with them all. They are all a credit to the ship and the company and should be given extra special credit. They all went out of their way to keep us feeling like celebrities. Our room/cleaning staff were just as exceptional. I’m a bit of clean freak and so I would check if under the beds had been cleaned and new linen placed on the bed for example. Everything was perfect! Not a dirty mark in sight! Point for improvement though, it would have been nice if the outside of the port-hole would have been cleaned at least once on our journey as after each voyage, there was a greater build-up of sea salt on the window, which was making it harder to see out of towards the end of our cruise. However, this is probably not a house keeping staff chore. Nevertheless, our room attendant Winston was also phenomenal at making us feel like a celebrity. He knew that I didn’t like dark chocolate and so he would go out of his way every day to make sure I had milk chocolate on my pillows instead. He was also very polite and would always greet us with a happy smiley face if we ever saw him on the corridors. However, there were two negative points that we both felt quite disgruntled with in regards to the service. First being one of the photographers. On the more formal evening, we asked a photographer (can’t remember his name) if he could take our photo. In a rude manner, he turned around to us and said that he was closing at 10pm and so couldn’t do another shoot. My partner then replied back to him saying that it was only 9:30pm to which the photographer snapped, I’M CLOSED! This really spoilt our holiday and made us feel quite angry. On another occasion, we proceeded again to approach this fellow to ask to take our photo, thinking he was having a bad day, to which he completely blanked us. This made our blood boil and we made a formal complaint about him when the cruise survey came around. The other negative was that I had planned to get engaged on-board the ship as we were sailing in to Venice. Several days before I made the proposal, I asked Guest Relations if they could do anything for me to make the moment memorable and special. I had asked if me and my partner could go on the helipad briefly so that I could do the engagement at the front of the ship. At the start of the cruise, I had seen some other guests on there, having a tour around, hence why I didn’t think it would be too much of a problem. The reply I got was not very helpful. I was told that due to health and safety, they couldn’t do this, even though I had told her about seeing others on the helipad previously. I then proceeded to ask her if it was possible to hire out a couple of the musicians to come and play out on the top deck towards the aft of the ship. I said that I was more than willing to pay for them. Again, her reply was that she couldn’t do this. Therefore, I replied to her, what could she/the company do to make this a memorable experience. Her reply was that I could go towards the back of the ship, on the top deck and do it there. Again, I repeated if there was anything else they could to add to that experience to which she replied, no. To say I wasn’t very impressed was an understatement and so if you’re thinking of doing something extra special for a loved one, or planning a special surprise, don’t do it with Celebrity as they didn’t make me or the occasion feel as special as it could be. There was lots of entertainment and activities to do throughout the duration of the cruise and we didn’t get bored. You could get as involved or as little involved as you wanted and their very helpful Celebrity Daily magazine, let you keep up-to-date of the different activities that you could do during the following day. I think it would have been fantastic if the Constellation had a cinema on the ship like they do on P&O and Princess. Like this, I could have caught up on some good movies. They did hold open air cinema nights but one of them was cancelled due to poor weather and the other was of Jungle Book, which I wasn’t fussed about seeing. Shows that were put on by house staff were quite bizarre and were not up to the ‘Broadway standard’. Costumes, lighting, backdrops, acrobatic aerialists were all very good, but the singers were mediocre with only one fabulous female singer. Dancers were sometimes out of time and lacked sharpness and precision, which I thought was disappointing, considering Celebrity touted their shows as being of a ‘Broadway standard’. I was expecting dancers with the professionalism of Strictly Come Dancing but instead was given something very different. However, the shows were passable and were good at a basic level of entertainment value. We didn’t do any shore excursions with them. We did have one booked with them before the cruise, which was to go up to Mount Etna and experience the craters but this was cancelled two months before the cruise with no reason given. We did try and book another one whilst on the cruise that appeared quite similar to the one we originally booked but we refused to pay the price of $370pp when originally, the itinerary we booked would have only cost us $150pp. Nevertheless, there were lots of lovely excursions that you could have booked whilst on the ship so long as you were willing to part with a hefty lump sum of money. My best advice on getting good value for money and going to see some fantastic places is doing some research before you leave on your ports of call so that you know what it is that you want to see and how you are going to get there. It does take a bit of time planning it beforehand but it makes such a difference when you’re actually on holiday as it makes it stress free and doesn’t waste any of your precious holiday time. Additionally, Celebrity were very good at providing shuttle coaches (at a small fee) if ports were quite a distance from the main city and I would recommend these and they are well organised with very little wait time. In summary, overall a very good cruise with very good staff, a beautiful ship with luscious interiors, food and beverages, with some fantastic ports of call. Apart from those irritating moments which I mentioned previously, it was lovely relaxing holiday that we both thoroughly enjoyed and were quite upset when it all came to an end. I would definitely recommend Celebrity to anyone, even with those negatives as generally, the experience proved a relaxing and re-energising holiday where most of your needs are met and you are mostly made to feel like a celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The Celebrity Constellation was a wonderful ship to visit on our first cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. My husband did the research and planning, and his homework was fruitful, because we experienced a celestial voyage. ... Read More
The Celebrity Constellation was a wonderful ship to visit on our first cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. My husband did the research and planning, and his homework was fruitful, because we experienced a celestial voyage. The "spot-on" attention to so many details made up for any minor inconveniences. Our boat was not too big, but it still offered many of the luxuries and amenities seen on bigger boats, which we checked out to consider for future visits. Our favorite activities involved the entertainment and shore visits. We found the live band, and theatrical performances to be "top notch' (even by NY standards). Cozumel and Key West were destinations we have not had the opportunity to explore until now, and we're glad that we did, because there were so many interesting historical sites, restaurants and unique shops to investigate. We dined in both the San Marco Restaurant and the Oceanview Cafe and were pleased with most of the meals. The service that we received on the ship from the concierge, and shore excursions personnel to the many waiters and attendants was always amazing. It was a great ship and voyage that I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
To celebrate our fifth anniversary, my husband and I decided to go on a mediterranean cruise and found a good deal on the Celebrity Constellation with an ocean view cabin, and drinks and gratuities included. The embarkation process went ... Read More
To celebrate our fifth anniversary, my husband and I decided to go on a mediterranean cruise and found a good deal on the Celebrity Constellation with an ocean view cabin, and drinks and gratuities included. The embarkation process went fairly smoothly although there was quite a line. We arrived via train from Rome, and tried to walk all the way to the ship which didn't quite work. Fortunately we found the shuttle to the boat, although it took awhile for the shuttle to get going (and there was no a/c). After arriving in the check-in tent, the lines moved quickly and before long, our luggage was handled and we were boarding the ship. We were greeted with mimosas which was a nice touch. The cabin itself was nicely appointed. The bathroom felt slightly run down, but overall no complaints. The exterior of our cabin window was dirty and we couldn't see well through it, but fortunately that was cleaned by the next day. Dining options were plentiful and we enjoyed the flexible dining option where we ate basically whenever we wanted (but making a reservation a day in advance). Meals were pretty good quality, as expected, but some entrees missed the mark, and the buffets could be hit or miss. Our best dinner was at Ocean Liners, which felt like eating on the Titanic -- so formal and old-timey in the best way. There’s a cafe which we stopped by at least once per day which had great views and delicious lattes. Service across the ship was wonderful. The crew couldn’t have done a better job. Entertainment was better than expected. We had assumed the shows would be cheesy... which some were. But one evening, they had a late night "adult-oriented" show which was actually really impressive, and the talent of the ships' entertainers was way better than I'd anticipated. We actually preferred the on-board entertainment over the special guests. It definitely seemed that there were options for everyone, no matter your taste. The Motown night was especially fun! We enjoyed many gorgeous sunsets, drinks in hand, while others were dining. After dinner, we strolled on the deserted decks, sometimes lying on the deck chairs to look at the Milky Way. Most of the informational sessions for upcoming ports really focused on selling their partnerships with local shops and, of course, the shore excursions. I would’ve preferred the history and interesting facts about those places, so if that’s what you’re looking for, bring a guide book. My biggest piece of advice is to research the ports ahead of time so you know when to book an excursion and to sight-see on your own. We had days in Athens and Santorini on our own, but then a really mediocre time in Sicily since we’d vastly underestimated the transportation options there, and ended up wandering around Messina (which wasn’t so great). All in all, it was a great first cruise experience. We definitely aren’t going to be lifetime cruisers, but I’m sure we’ll go again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Overall a fantastic experience and we met some great new friends (other cruise critic members). The opportunity to communicate with them prior to departure and organise to form port tour groups was a great way to see the sights and enjoy ... Read More
Overall a fantastic experience and we met some great new friends (other cruise critic members). The opportunity to communicate with them prior to departure and organise to form port tour groups was a great way to see the sights and enjoy great company. The check in process was great and considering just how hot it was at Venice ( + 41 degrees) the cold drinks were appreciated. Drinks on the Helipad while leaving Venice was spectacular so thank you very much to the Best Captain in the World, the Greek God, (not my words, Cruise Director, Alejandro) Meals: Ocean Liners Restaurant we tried the 50% discount special offer first night and the food and service was fantastic. Great initiative to encourage people to try the restaurant. Blue Restaurant as part of Aqua Class was always great and much quieter for dinner. Please have a Sauvignon blanc available as part of the basic drinks package. San Marco main dining room we tried twice with new friends, but unfortunately we found it very noisy and food and service out of three would be 1.5 only sorry. Ocean View Cafe for breakfast and the occasional lunch on sea days was great with plenty of choice. Loved the Sushi bar thank you. However the drinks option at the Rear of the ship Bar we found it interesting on the drinks package basic that beer on tap was considered premium only but the glass bottles were not for Heineken? Cafe al Bacio great spot for sunset drinks, coffee breaks and liqueur coffees. :-) Bistro on five we were surprised to find this was not included and an additional cost. This may indicate while it always appeared to be empty unless you wanted a quiet spot away from everyone. The Martini Bar is popular but martinis overpriced is you are on he basic drinks package only. We did not appreciate the hard sell by the bar staff to upgrade all the time. Maybe some more chairs would be an option as the regulars never leave the ones around the bar. The ship photo's are too expensive and if you charged half the price people would buy them and you would not waste all that paper and harm the environment. The entertainment we attended the following: - Hypnotist - average - Staff dancing anything goes show - scary - Guitar singer in Cafe al Bacio - Good - Alejandro was very amusing. ( He is from Argentina) Would we try Celebrity again? Yes the Solstice Class. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I travelled with my daughters mother in law, we're both single in our early 50's, neither of us had cruised before. I did not really know what to expect but had high expectations from what others had told me about Celebrity. ... Read More
I travelled with my daughters mother in law, we're both single in our early 50's, neither of us had cruised before. I did not really know what to expect but had high expectations from what others had told me about Celebrity. Food We chose select dining and loved this option, and would choose again. On our first night we sat on a table for 2 and ended up talking to the couples on either side. So the second night we shared a table and continued with this for most nights. It's a great way of meeting others and other people's lives always seem more exciting and interesting than your own. The standard of the meals was very good, with only one miss. One night 6 out of 8 of us ordered steak and we were all disappointed. My rare was very well done and did not have any flavour. Having said that if you spoke up the staff were more than happy to replace your meal. We chose to dine in ocean liners one evening and had a beautiful meal. The service was excellent one waiter was particularly good but another was too "fawning". Maybe people who are not used to "fine" dining expect this, I'm not sure. For fine dining I expected it would be silver service, but no. I liked the casual option where you could get a piece of fish, chicken or steak cooked on the spot. A great idea. Bars Loved, loved the martini bar! This was our favourite place to congregate, and we made some new friends there who we hope to keep in touch with. The staff there were excellent, particularly Gede and Atura the boys from Seminyak in Bali. We also liked the bar at the rear of the boat (mast bar?) and enjoyed our ritual of having a drink while we set sail after a hard day on shore. Beverages We purchased the premium package and whilst it seemed pricey we certainly enjoyed sampling many different cocktails as well as enjoying wine with our meals. I feel the cruise line should offer a free bottle of water as a courtesy to all passengers as they leave the ship when in port. It doesn't need to to be Evian. And there should be a complementary bottle of water in the stateroom. Most hotels provide this. I have to say I was disappointed with: *the tea served throughout the ship. I do like good tea and have never heard of most of the brands available. The Earl Grey wasn't not drinkable. So if your particular take your own teabags! * the coffee served was not drinkable unless you purchased from Al Bacio * the juice (so so sweet) served in the buffet dining area was particularly bad too We ended up using our beverage package in Al Bacio and at the bars to purchase coffee, fresh juices and smoothies. A fellow traveller, American, said the cruise line caters primarily for Americans, who apparently like that kind of juice(?) Cabin We were in cabin 2001. This was next to the staff door and below the theatre. It was not noisy. The bathroom and cabin were very clean and well maintained by the excellent cabin attendants. The bathroom was a little tired and could do with a revamp though. The ship appeared to be very clean and it was good to see such a strong emphasis placed on hygiene. I'm still using paper towels on door handles! Entertainment Most performances were excellent. I enjoyed seeing Steve Stephens, very talented. The Scottish illusionist (mmm don't think so) was entertaining too. And on our last night we had the “Beatles”, all very enjoyable. The dancers were well rehearsed and the singers on the whole were good. We spent several evening in the reflections bar/night club. The bar staff were fun, I even spotted a few dancing. The live band provided good music on the whole but they do seem to play the same music most nights. The DJ was happy to play requests when he had them in his library. They did play a lot of salsa music which is great if you have a partner to dance with. Having said all that the place was usually empty by 12.30 except for the diehards. And the staff even packed up around us one night, though it was after 2am. The average age of travellers was between 50 and 70. Another review said that most of the clientele are upper middle class. I'm not sure of that. Staff The staff are very attentive and always acknowledge you, lovely to see. The staff all appeared to enjoy their roles. Photographers The photographers were on the whole irritating, I'm not sure if they are a company Celebrity has a contract with or what.. I come from a retail sales background and have to say they were pushy. On our first day one jumped in front of us as we were disembarking saying, “this way ladies”, I actually thought they were part of the crew telling us where to go etc, when all she was trying to do was flog a photo. The pictures are very expensive too $20 a pop. Wow! Hard sell There is a lot of selling on board which unless you can switch off from it could distract from your cruise. I feel if Celebrity are not careful this could bite them on the bum. Shore excursions Very very expensive. On my next cruise I will do a lot more research about the ports we are to dock at. Obviously at some ports you are not allowed to get off and walk through and then I would certainly utilise the excursions offered. Not enough information is given about what is available at the ports, obviously they want you to choose theirs. The tours we went on were on the whole very good. The guy we had in Rhodes was excellent, he loved his job and telling people about his island and was happy to give you more than what you had paid for. We enjoyed the places we visited but another sea day after Santorini would have been good. I am already planning my next cruise and plan on going with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Traveled with a group of six adults. Had a great time. Ship was very clean and well staffed. Enjoyed the full day at sea. Lots of activities to participate in or just watch. Was a lot of fun just to watch. On board shows were just ok, ... Read More
Traveled with a group of six adults. Had a great time. Ship was very clean and well staffed. Enjoyed the full day at sea. Lots of activities to participate in or just watch. Was a lot of fun just to watch. On board shows were just ok, nothing spectacular but enjoyable. Food was very good. We did dined at the Tuscan grill that was awesome. One in our group did have a little of the GI problems on our last day. Cabin was good size and storage was not a problem. We stayed at the Bahia Mar hotel in Fort Lauderdale was nice for a pre cruise stop. Disembarking took a little longer than expected, but large group to go thru customs was understandable. Only one morning of rough sea. No sea band or patch needed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The ship was fantastic. Lots to do in the day time and evening. One negative is that people are allowed to smoke on balconies and it is annoying sitting on your own balcony smelling the smoke from others. The pools and hot tubs were great. ... Read More
The ship was fantastic. Lots to do in the day time and evening. One negative is that people are allowed to smoke on balconies and it is annoying sitting on your own balcony smelling the smoke from others. The pools and hot tubs were great. We upgraded to a balcony which was worth it for sure. The food was amazing and so was the service. There were shows every night as well as music in other areas. We were cabin 91676. Very accessible to pool and food. We did a snorkelling excursion in Key West. It was O.k. I have snorkelled a lot of places like Hawaii and other Carribbean islands so didn't have high expectations to begin with. Before going on this ship, I had only been on one cruise on Grand Princess. The food, services experience are very comparable I could say. Perhaps a bit higher scale on the princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
First of all, many reviews have complained that the ship is showing it's age and wear and tear. However, I thought virtually everything looks to be in very good shape and well maintained. The public areas, lounges, bathrooms, ... Read More
First of all, many reviews have complained that the ship is showing it's age and wear and tear. However, I thought virtually everything looks to be in very good shape and well maintained. The public areas, lounges, bathrooms, cafe's, bars, etc are all very clean and modern. Not only do they look clean, but you will constantly see them cleaning everything. There was always someone walking around with a windex bottle and a rag or vacuum. The only part of the ship that I felt needed some updating was the lounge chairs on the upper deck of the pool. The soft lounge chairs on the actual pool deck all appeared comfortable and clean. However, the upper deck has those white slat lounge chairs and they were sort of dirty looking. I'm sure it's just from the constant exposure to sun and sea, but still, they could be replaced. Our room was very clean and in good order. The bed wasn't as uncomfortable as many people have said, but I think that's just a matter of preference. We had cabin 6135, which is one of those not so hidden C1 class cabins that has an extended balcony. If you are thinking of booking this class i would definitely try and get one of these extended balcony cabins. Lots of room for 2 sitting chairs, 2 lounge chairs, and a table, with plenty of room to walk around as well. They leave little afternoon snacks in your room every day. It is just a small plate of 5 or 6 items. None of them were very good though. All of the food we had was either good or excellent with 2 exceptions. The one night we ordered room service and i still hadn't arrived 45 minutes after i ordered it. When I called again the woman told me she'd check and call me back. She called me back about 2 minutes later and said it's on the way. When we got it the food looked like it had been sitting around for some time. My guess is they just forgot to bring it up. The second not so good food was the breakfast in the main dining room. The pancakes were just awful. The best meal was at Ocean Liners, which you do have to pay $45 per person to eat there, but it was SO worth it! The casino was a bit sleepy, it just seemed like no one wanted top play in it for some reason. The good thing about that is you have your pick of any seat/table in the house. The pool area did get crowded a couple times, but that was about the only place i ever felt there was a lot of people. There are a lot of spots on the ship where you can truly be alone. There was never a crowd for the buffet, restaurants, shows, etc. The gym does get a little crowded in the mornings, but I think that has more to do with it being fairly small than anything else. The entertainment was ok overall. Some of the bands were good, some were not. The comedian was funny, but I thought the magician was bad. We went to one of their production shows and walked out after 10 minutes, with was 9 minutes too long. Overall it was a very relaxing, clean, enjoyable cruise. My final note would be to other first time cruisers. Take dramamine or some other motion sickness pill. Everyone said you can't feel the ship move, but you certainly can. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was our first ever cruise and we chose to sail the Constellation simply because it sailed from Amsterdam and seeing we live in the Netherlands, this was the perfect departure point. Moreover, travelling with a 10-month-old, it was the ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we chose to sail the Constellation simply because it sailed from Amsterdam and seeing we live in the Netherlands, this was the perfect departure point. Moreover, travelling with a 10-month-old, it was the obvious choice. When we checked in, we were given a sheet of paper with some information, but it wasn't until we had sat down with some fellow Cruise Critics that we understood that there was a virus on board the Constellation. The Norovirus had decided to rear its ugly head on the cruise prior to ours and all the staff on board the Connie were working hard to clean her up. In the meantime, all passengers were given a lunch bag with a sandwich, juice, muffin and chocolate bar to eat. Bottled water was also available for those who wanted that. Finally at 3:00pm boarding began and it seemed to have gone rather smoothly. We were informed that the staterooms weren't ready, so we had to stay in the public areas. The complementary drink when entering was a good way to start the cruise. When the staterooms were given the all clear, we were able to get our stuff settled in and just had to wait to go to supper. Our luggage arrived during the course of the evening. Supper in the MDR (San Marco) was exceptional! The chefs certainly know what they are doing, although I felt that the pasta was a bit too overcooked. As an Italian, I can be rather picky about how pasta is prepared. Other than that, all the other food was beyond my expectations. The staff were all very friendly, helpful and more than willing to talk to us. It also helped that they all loved our daughter and did everything to shower her with attention. They would entertain her when we ate. Our stateroom attendant was also very quick to help us when we needed him. I don't think we could have survived the 2 or 3 episodes of baby vomit on the bed if he hadn't changed the sheets so quickly. The activities on board was very well organised. There was so much to do and so much variety in what they offered. There was simply not enough time to participate in all the activities. I had heard from the Cruise Director, Allan King, that someone complained about there being too many trivia games offered, but I felt the offer was good enough. The live shows and bands were amazing! I absolutely loved hearing Free-4-All, the ship's a capella group. The 4 young men are very talented and have amazing voices. As for the singers and dancers, one word: WOW! The shows simply took my breath away. Finally, I loved the other live shows offered (Ric Ceisler and Livewire). Despite the Norovirus, which had gripped quite a few cruisers on our cruise, we still managed to enjoy ourselves. I was very satisfied with the extra precautions taken to minimise the spread of the virus, although it is not entirely possible to stop it from going around. I was just so relieved that my 10-month-old didn't catch it. We were spared. The crew did their best to inform us of how best to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. Hats off to them. My husband and I agree that the cruise made a lasting impression on us, even if the ports of call passed by in a blur. I've made many friends on board the Connie and hope one day to return to meet with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Our cruise started in Miami on February 28th and ended in San Diego on March 13th with day and half day stops in Cartagena, Puntarenas,Costa Rica and three stops in Mexico: Huatulco, Acopulco and Cabo San Lucas. The highlight of the ... Read More
Our cruise started in Miami on February 28th and ended in San Diego on March 13th with day and half day stops in Cartagena, Puntarenas,Costa Rica and three stops in Mexico: Huatulco, Acopulco and Cabo San Lucas. The highlight of the cruise,the Panama Canal, was a full days transit with a commentary provided by a Canal pilot, throughout the day. Apart from Cabo San Lucas we organised our own sightseeing, which we found very easy to do with taxis at the dock. This was purely our own preference as we understand the official excursions were well oprganised, if a little long in some instances. Contrary to an earlier review, we found the cabin on Sky Deck to be entirely acceptable, clean and well furnished. It is true that if you looked carefully there was some carpet wear at the balcony door but it was not a major issue. The upper open promenade deck did however, show considerable weathering and wear but again, it was not a major problem for us. The ship goes into dry dock in April for renovation and the creation of an additional restaurant on this deck. All the public areas were clean and tidy but some seating areas were showing signs of their eight years of intensive usage. Service was excellent and everyone was obviously very well trained to ensure that clients received the very best of attention and with very few exceptions, this was constant throughout the cruise. As far as eating was concerned, we found the Aquaspar and Seaside Cafe to be fine. We dined in the Ocean Liners Restaurant on one occasion, which was excellent but with a $35 supplement, unnecessarily expensive. The problems arose in the main restaurant, the San Marco, This has a series of very fine menus, prepared by a Jacques Van Staden but unfortunately, on a number of occasions, what arrived on the plate was a very poor replica of the menu description. For example, the Beef Wellington was made up of heavy pastry and rather poor, very overcooked beef. Just a pity that this Jacques Van Staden was not on hand to see the damage done to his menu ! There were a number of other dishes with similar problems, but to be fair some of the dishes, particularly desserts, lived up to the menu description. Having been disappointed by the standard of meals in this restaurant we tried the Casual Dining in the Seaside Cafe. In the evenings an area was set aside with elegant tables and we found it to be very good and far better than the main dining in the San Marco. On reflection, the ship was perhaps trying too hard and had there been a simpler menu, then maybe there would have been a better correlation between the menu and the plates arriving on the table. The talks on board were excellent but we could have done with more talks on the places to be visited. For example, there was nothing on Costa Rica and not much on Cartagena. Would I take a cruise in Constellation again ? Yes, why not especially after the refit and some change in the dining. Ian Bennett Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
This was our first cruise, and it was a surprise for my wife's 50th birthday. She did not find out the actual itinerary until the night before at dinner in San Diego! We flew in from Sacramento the day before and stayed in the Holiday ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and it was a surprise for my wife's 50th birthday. She did not find out the actual itinerary until the night before at dinner in San Diego! We flew in from Sacramento the day before and stayed in the Holiday Inn On The Bay with a great view of the Constellation out our balcony window. The HAL ship Oosterdam left the berth the day before, and she looked like a bulbous tub compared to the trim Constellation. I kept looking for the three tails on the back of our ship, but never found them (aviation buffs will get my drift!). Embarcation in San Diego went relatively smoothly once we were freed from the clutches of the Federal Government, our Concierge Class status got us into a shorter line and we were onboard and in our stateroom by 2:30. We had a light lunch at the Buffet, and all our bags arrived at the stateroom by 5 PM. I knew at once that the Aft Balcony stateroom 8185 was a great choice. The room was very quiet, we discovered that two of the three kids onboard ship were in the room directly above, but we never heard them with our balcony door closed. There was a bit of vibration and noise from the azipods, but only during periods of following seas. The balcony was large enough to hold 2 padded loungers, 4 chairs, and a large table. The view aft was perfect, and was to prove advantageous during our transit of the Canal. It took a bit of doing to get all the contents of our luggage stowed, but there were sufficient nooks and crannies for everything, and our empty bags fit under the bed. The double bed was comfy and we didn't need extra mattress pads as some folks have reported. Our stateroom steward Iwan and his assistant Leroy were great, we always had a full ice bucket, water pitcher, and daily fruit bowl. The flower bouquet on the desk and the red rose in the bathroom were changed once during the cruise, and the nightly chocolates were much appreciated. Special instructions (like a wine bucket and glasses for our own bottles) were attended to promptly. Unlike other reviewers, we thought the daily CC-class 4pm canapes were just fine, with Brie and caviar on some as well as the more pedestrian seafood paste and ham/olive. The "head" was small but well laid out, and the Hansgrohe shower head was wonderful, with plenty of hot water and good pressure. The CC-class upgraded towels were soft and fluffy. I had absolutely no problem with the much-maligned Italian wall-mounted hairdryer, and never had a need to use the hand-held one. The only gripes I had with our stateroom were very minor - the phone was too large for the nightstand, and every time we answered it, it fell onto the floor. The one overhead light switch turned on 3 fluorescent floods, 4 halogen spots, and one valence light - wasted energy! And when we were on our balcony in port, we occasionally got a bit of cigarette smoke odor from the port side of Deck 10, but none was present when we were underway. I enjoyed going to the Cruise Critic get-together hosted by Celebrity. We got to meet some of the officers and I finally got to put faces to names. Thanks also to whoever organized the Bridge Tour for us Cruise Critic folks as well - that was a highlight of the cruise! Food was somewhat of a mixed bag, but overall I would give it a Good rating. The quality depended a lot on where you ate. We began by ordering our enhanced CC-class room service breakfast, but found the choices were limited so we began going to the Deck 10 buffet for breakfast. This proved disappointing, because most of the American breakfast choices were bad (soggy scrambled eggs, undercooked country potatoes, bagels with more hole than bread, and undistinguished waffles (sorry, Texed). We began eating more international things like pickled herring and congee. It was not until Day 7 that we discovered the Aqua Spa cafe for both breakfast and lunch, and this was EXCELLENT. Our dinners in the MDR were good overall, with some misses like watery bisques, bland Dover sole and seafood, and the cold soups. Avoid the pizza and sushi in the Buffet at all costs, and the hamburgers at the Seaside Cafe which were grey and lifeless. We ate dinner twice in the Ocean Liners specialty restaurant, and that was 5-star! And the almond and chocolate croissants in the Cova Cafe were heavenly. Just don't get snookered into paying $4.00 for hot chocolate at the Cova - a little investigation revealed it was nothing more than Nestle's mix in hot milk. Here's an observation that can help with your food choices. We found that there are two food service management organizations on the ship. One operates the MDR and the Buffet on Deck 10, whereas the other operates the Aqua Spa Cafe, and the Ocean Liners restaurant. The Aqua Spa/Ocean Liners group is by far the best. Our nights in the MDR were made more fun by our table companions, two couples from the UK and one from Vancouver Canada. House wines are pedestrian - the Heron's Nest Cabernet was jarring, and the Wente cab wasn't much better. Talk about young - maybe they would be drinkable in about 5 years. I think they do that on purpose so you buy more expensive wines. We attended the Reidel wine glass workshop, and learned a lot even though we already own some Reidel glassware. Entertainment had its highs and lows. We truly enjoyed the string quartet from the Ukraine, and sought them out in the Cova Cafe on several occasions. They were very versatile and provided excellent accompaniment to some of the other acts. The acapella group was good also, although their baritone got sick partway through the cruise. We enjoyed the violinist Doug Cameron and the Xylosynth player David Meyer. Now here's where we will make some enemies, but Perry Grant was truly awful. Maybe we are too young to appreciate his act, but he seemed to have a bunch of in-jokes relating to movies, shows, and actors that are totally foreign to us as Baby Boomers. As I watched him bouncing away at the piano, I got the creepy feeling that I was watching one of the ghosts from the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining". The production show onstage cast was pretty mediocre, but the orchestra (including the aforementioned string quartet) made it tolerable. We attended two "enrichment" lectures, and they were like night and day. Diane Buffington the psychologist did a hilarious lecture on "talking with your X-chromosome", and my wife has been citing it ever since! We had the pleasure of sitting with Diane and her husband at the Noon special buffet, and we had a great time. On the other hand, where did Celebrity dredge up that crackpot George Stosur? We sat through his Panama Canal lecture, then watched the David McCulloch NOVA program on the Canal in our stateroom. Seems like old George saw that NOVA show also and stole some items word for word for his lecture! After that performance, we weren't about to attend his Bermuda Triangle lecture. On the other hand, the woman that came on the ship to narrate during our transit of the canal was very informative. The shore excursions were all great fun, all of ours were sponsored by Celebrity. We took the semi-sub boat ride in Cabo, went to the Tehuacalo archaeological site outside of Acapulco, attended the Mexican cooking demo in Huatulco, then took the Monteverde walk in the cloud forest tour in Costa Rica. We stayed on the ship through the Canal, but went on the Deluxe Cartagena and Fortress tour. Seems like we never had enough time to shop for stuff we wanted (like coffee and local souvenirs), but had altogether too much time at shops that sold stuff we could care less about (like silver, diamonds, emeralds, booze, and fancy watches). Celebrity isn't going to make any money off us in their onboard stores, that's for sure - I'll leave those to the elderly matrons with more money than sense. One aspect of the shore excursions that could use improvement was the organization of the disembarkation process at each port. Seems like things always went smoothly once you were out on the pier, but it was the getting off the ship that was screwy. I know the crew probably wants to keep the location of the gangway quiet so as to avoid a huge crowd, but sometimes it didn't seem that one hand knew what the other hand was doing. In one case, they got us all into the Celebrity Theatre and gave us colored sticky tags for each different shore excursion at Puntarenas. That was good. What wasn't so good was they got someone with a poor command of English who told 5 different groups (including ours) to assemble down at the stage near the front exit. Suddenly someone was screaming at us that we had to clear the area because of fire regulations! Get your act together, Celebrity! You would think they have been arranging shore disembarkations long enough to get it right. Our final night at sea we celebrated my wife's birthday in Ocean Liners, and it was one of the most memorable meals of the cruise. The only disappointment was that her birthday cake (served after we had our dessert) never made it to our stateroom for us to eat later, it disappeared somewhere between Ocean Liners and the housekeeping staff. We did get a set of Celebrity champagne flutes as a consolation gift though. Disembarkation at Miami was a goat rope, but this time it wasn't really due to Celebrity. Why the Feds herd everyone together in one big customs line is incomprehensible - they should separate U.S. citizens and the line would go a lot faster. One unexpected result of this was that I met a great fellow from the UK while we inched forward in the line for nearly an hour. He was an aviaiton trivia fanatic like me, and we have been corresponding ever since. So would we cruise Celebrity again? Probably not (except maybe the Xpedition), and it doesn't have to do with any of what I have reported here. Although we enjoyed our 3 formal nights getting dressed up, we found the "Smart Casual" dining to be a little too formal to do every other night. It was just at odds with our laid-back concept of "vacation" to have to rush back and get dressed for dinner all the time. We know we could avoid that by eating in the Buffet, but the food wasn't as good as in the MDR. We made lots of cruise friends though, and had a great time both onboard and in port. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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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