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7 Celebrity Constellation Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

Although we have cruised many times over the years, this was our first trip with Celebrity. We usually prefer the newer, mega cruise ships for the greater variety of amenities & entertainment, but the Constellation didn't ... Read More
Although we have cruised many times over the years, this was our first trip with Celebrity. We usually prefer the newer, mega cruise ships for the greater variety of amenities & entertainment, but the Constellation didn't disappoint. The not-so-small Constellation holds approximately 2,449 passengers & 941 crew. It entered service in May 2002. We had a short delay boarding due to Public Health Inspection. Later we learned that the ship scored a 99% rating, lowered only because of a cracked tile - quite impressive! There were a large number of Europeans onboard - many from Germany and the UK. Australia was also well represented as well as Canada & South America. Announcements were made in English, German, French, sometimes also Spanish. After the first day, the frequency of announcements lessened considerably. Question people as to why they cruise and most mention the food at the top of their list. Well, the food onboard was delicious. We always ate dinner in the main dining room, the elegant yet understated, San Marco Restaurant because the food was so wonderful. The 2-deck high windows at the rear of the restaurant and large side windows afford beautiful ocean views on both levels. A center ceiling of rose-colored glass casts a rosy glow over the entire restaurant. Tables are dressed in crisp white linens with either a small floral vase or a flickering tea light candle (battery-operated for safety.) The food has a French slant to it. The head chef is French. We had lobster on the last formal night. One of the reasons that we were so satisfied with the food was our waiter, Gede. We always asked to be seated at one of his tables. He received a Crewmember of the Month award for the previous month. He has been with Celebrity for 13 years. Every night he offered his informed recommendations with explanations. After a short time, he anticipated our requests. Attention is given to every diner, adult or child alike, by the entire wait staff. Tables were cleared and reset moments after being vacated. I can't say enough about how smoothly the dining room was run starting from the hostesses, Amy & Alexandra at the upper level entrance. The chefs also did a terrific job with presentation of the dishes. We enjoy choosing our own time to dine & hadn't cruised on Celebrity sooner since it only recently offered this option. We usually dined between 6-6:30 and we never encountered a line or a difficulty is getting a table where we wanted to sit. The buffets in the Seaside Cafe were quite extensive - the best I have had on any ship that I've cruised. English & American Breakfasts were available with a wide selection of items. Lunches include a German Corner and Mexican & Asian selections plus soups, salads, sandwiches and hot entrees/meats of every kind. We both enjoyed the best pizza we've ever had on any ship. I loved the wide variety of complementary sushi available nightly also. My husband enjoyed the evening stir fry. I especially appreciated the ice cream/frozen yogurt, sorbet and soft serve ice cream available. We often observed crew offering to carry trays for elderly passengers & bringing coffee refills or desserts to passengers. The great ratio of passengers to crew members made a big difference in service & it showed. I would be remiss if I didn't extol the extravagant Easter Brunch prepared for us complete with foil -wrapped large Chocolate Easter Bunnies & Eggs. It was a feast for the eyes. The same sumptuous brunch was repeated later in the cruise - don't miss it. I especially enjoyed photographing the large roasted pig, the ice sculptures and all the desserts. Everything was fabulous. For me, though, it is the itinerary that is most important. Most passengers that I spoke with said that the itinerary motivated them to choose this particular cruise. Although Port Canaveral is ten minutes away from where we live, we chose to drive 3 hours to Fort Lauderdale for this 14-night cruise to the Exotic Southern Caribbean. Our Ports of Call were Aruba, Curacao, Granada, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten & St Thomas. We hadn't visited these islands in a long time, so we took shore excursions for most of them. Our Celebrity-run Shore Excursions were well-organized, high quality, very educational and fun. The costs varied from $24.75 on up depending on the activity & length. The guides all spoke English well and were very accommodating answering questions & stopping for photos. Drivers were all careful & polite. Although we could have saved money in each port booking tours directly with local guides, for peace of mind, we stayed with the ones offered by the cruise line & were quite satisfied. Our charming ocean view stateroom, #2129 was mid ship on Deck #2. It was a compact 170 square feet and had a large window, a sitting area with a glass table & small sofa, mini bar, safe and a 20" flat screen interactive TV. Even though we brought plenty of clothes, we found lots of cabinet, drawer and closet space for all our belongings. The entire deck was very quiet even though our room was close to the glass elevators. The only noise we heard inside was a distant hum cycling on & off when we were in open seas that we thought might be the stabilizers in operation. All the passageways to the staterooms are cheerfully painted in light beige and salmon colors and the walls are adorned with wall hangings. I thought that these areas were the nicest of all the previous ships that I sailed. Our room steward, Saturnino was quite attentive to our needs & stopped by on the first day to introduce himself. He stopped by again a few days later to ask if we needed anything - only more ice, please. One evening we retired early after a long day sightseeing & he checked in to make sure that we were OK. All the staff & entertainers greeted us pleasantly whenever we passed them. The Senior Officers were visibly present especially at night. One particular officer, Kim from Human Resources chatted with us several times and called us by name whenever she saw us. Everyone on staff made you feel like a celebrity. They all seemed to love their jobs. Rich Clesen, our energetic Cruise Director was everywhere around the ship especially in/outside the theater and onshore at Ports of Call. He was very approachable & funny. We tried to beat him out of the theater each night but never could. Did he have a twin onboard., we wondered? No, but he must run fast - all the way from the theater's stage. The public areas including restrooms are always spotless and constantly cleaned. Hand sanitizers are located at all restaurants as well as at the theater and the casino. The Front Desk even has a supply of Handi-wipes to use in port - great idea! I loved the new Martini Bar with its sleek ice-topped bar where I inscribed our names in the ice one night. The bartenders are friendly and entertaining. The martinis, by the way, are delicious. The neat glass elevators with ocean views were fun to ride and we used them regularly. We also enjoyed the cantilevered areas in the Seaside Cafe. Look down below through the unusual round glass windows in the floor and watch the ocean passing by. Finding the cozy 2-deck library was a joy for me. The Fortunes Casino was the place to be in the evening. The magnificent Grand Foyer with its imposing marble staircase was striking. The whirlpools on board differed in temperature. The two outdoor pools were a little cool for me to stay in too long. We loved going to the Solarium where quiet music played. Using the warm salt water Thalassotherapy indoor pool there was delightful. Since I don't enjoy sitting in the sun, we came here often. We always found 2 comfortable, cushioned lounge chairs together each day. The Celebrity Theater wass comfortable and beautiful. Besides the three wonderful production numbers, Celebrate the World being the best in my opinion, we were entertained by: aerialists Lixandra and Ilya, a husband & wife team, David Meyer & his one-of-a-kind musical instrument, resident entertainer Perry Grant, vocalist/piano player, John Bressler, magician, Nick Lewin, a capella quartet Blend Tech, former cop/comedian, Kevin Jordan, Greg Bonham an Aussie singer & trumpet player and Diane Cousins, a funny comedian/singer who can really belt out songs with her powerful voice. All the performers were very entertaining & I attended almost every show. There was a wide variety of live entertainment around the ship, as well. When leaving the dining room each night, hearing classical music played by the Arabesque Trio was so soothing. We stopped each night to listen. I enjoyed the live island music played daily poolside by Flava whenever we could find a lounge chair in a shady location. My husband's favorite was the Blend Tech Quartet that mainly performed in the Grand Foyer. We also enjoyed listening & dancing to the Carousel Party Band in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Many past guests are big fans of the outrageous Perry Grant - he has quite a following. But whether you enjoy him or not, you have to admit that he loves what he does and puts his heart & soul into his shows. He performs many nights in Michael's Club, a cozy piano bar room. Terry Dodson performing in the Sunset Bar was a great favorite of ours, also. Sometimes it is the small things that really make a difference. Being greeted with champagne as we came onboard on embarkation day was a portend of good things to come. The terrific Galley tour was also preceded by champagne - how elegant! We were pleasantly surprised to find a complementary tote bag in our room as well as two robes to wear onboard & an umbrella to use in ports. I appreciated that EVERY night there were two show times (7 & 9 PM) - so convenient. The Captain's Welcome Aboard Toast was a nice touch. Handing menus to and taking dinner request from the ladies first was appreciated. The dining room staff calling us by name was expected but asking us first what we wanted to be called was even nicer. Finding white quilted cotton placemats on the plastic trays at the Seaside Cafe buffets were a nice touch, also. Being able to get news & sports scores back home via the very accessible The USA Times was neat. My husband enjoyed doing the daily Crossword Puzzle & SUDOKO. Foreign language issues were also available. Having the "Pool Butlers" hand us iced hand towels in the Solarium and onshore after a sweaty day of sightseeing was so refreshing. Using cloth towels in public restrooms was luxurious. The cruise line asked us what time we wanted to disembark the ship and we got the exact time that we requested. I check with a few of the children & their parents onboard and they were quite happy with the Kid's Programs. One day we watched them parading with their hand puppets. They were all kept active with Basketball Shoot Outs, Dodgeball, Hula Contests, Relay Races, Jumping Contests, Scavenger Hunts & Egg Hunts. They were also creatively involved in Drawing Contests, Rainstick Craft, Talent Shows, Torch Making, Sand Art Bottles & Lego Challenges. There were ice cream & dinner parties too. I had only minor complaints. I mainly wished that the Celebrity Dancers & Singers had performed on stage in the Celebrity Theater more than the three times that they did. The dancers did perform Cabaret style in Reflections starting between 10-10:45 some nights but that was too late for us after tiring sightseeing & early next day excursions. I did manage to watch replays on TV. Also it was a tight squeeze with two people trying to access the closet, safe & bathroom in the narrow stateroom entrance. We found this on almost every ship. The Constellation is also beginning to show wear. She is due for renovations next year. The small furniture nicks & scratches do not detract from her beauty, though. She is well loved by all who sail on her. I heard that they will be adding a few more staterooms - that's good news. Will we be back on Celebrity again - you bet! We placed a deposit for a future trip. If you like something other than one big party scene with lots of drinking & loud music, consider the Constellation especially if you are over 40. You will especially enjoy the fine food, excellent service and great entertainment. See you onboard. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This is our second cruise on the Constellation and second since the Solsticization. We were very lucky with perfect weather and smooth sailing with only one slightly rocky day. Our cabin was an outside with no veranda. We took two 14 days ... Read More
This is our second cruise on the Constellation and second since the Solsticization. We were very lucky with perfect weather and smooth sailing with only one slightly rocky day. Our cabin was an outside with no veranda. We took two 14 days cruises last year so did this for economy. We had no complaints with the cabin but prefer having a veranda. Our steward, Newton, did a perfect job taking care of us. We had Choice Dining and sat mostly at tables for two which wasn't a problem. We ate mostly between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. The two times we ate at large tables the "tablemates" talked politics which we never do and which no one should do. We are Elite members so enjoyed the loyalty perks afforded us. No other cruiseline we've cruised on is as generous as Celebrity. We booked another cruise for next year on the Eclipse on the first night out and got an excellent deal. We liked almost all the shows, enjoyed Perry Grant 4 times, and also enjoyed the music around the ship. The Constellation has a great concert band as well as the smaller groups. The food was by far the best we've had on any of the other 25 cruises we've been on. For the life of me I will never understand how anyone can complain about the food. It was excellent. Lunches were in the Sea-view cafe except for the sea days and breakfasts there as well. We did enjoy the Ocean Liners for the good Elite coffees. We ate at the cafe (the one that charges $5 pp) on embarcation and liked it very much. Great food and none of the hastle of the upstairs cafe. It was peaceful and the service was good. We will be doing this on future cruises but since there were not a lot of people there I have to wonder how long before they close it. Give it a try...you will like it and it's worth the $5. We've been to all the islands many times before so hit the beaches on all of them. The only one we missed was on St. Lucia. We were just all "beached" out that day. We took two ships tours to use up our cabin credit. One was Seaquarium beach in Curacao and the other was Dickinson Bay in Antigua. We could have done them on our one for a lot less money but with the credit it didn't cost us anything at all. Our all time favorite is the Boatyard Beach in Barbados. We both love that place! On past cruises we've loved shopping in St. Martin and St. thomas but the prices on gold have gone up so much we won't be doing that anymore. We can remember when the jewelry store wall we hung with gold. Now just a few pieces and crazy high prices. Silver is the new gold, I guess. Next year it'll be the Eclipze for 14 days and maybe we will sneak in another one this year. It sure is tempting!I can't say enough about the staff on the Constellation. Every single person we met was friendly and helpful from the Captain on down. We never saw a frown and anything but smiles and helpful people. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Fourteen Great Caribbean Days! This was the 25th Cruise together for my wife and I. I just turned 60 and my wife is in her mid 50's, and we both love the Caribbean Beaches and time in the Sun with 16 of our Cruises being to this ... Read More
Fourteen Great Caribbean Days! This was the 25th Cruise together for my wife and I. I just turned 60 and my wife is in her mid 50's, and we both love the Caribbean Beaches and time in the Sun with 16 of our Cruises being to this area. This was our Fifth Cruise on Celebrity and have three more booked with them over the next 13 Months as we have found their service, food and smoking policy to be very well suited to our likes. We stayed two nights prior at the Hilton Marina Hotel near the pier and there were 10-11 other Cruise Critic couples staying there also. We had a great pre-Cruise Cocktail gathering by the pool bar the evening before the Cruise with about 25 fellow Cruisers present. Our Cruise Roll Call was very active and we met a lot of new friends, scheduled events such as this and others on-board, and linked up with others for our MDR Table. All worked out very well, and thanks to Cruise Critic it made for a great Cruise. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the ship about 11:30 and were on board within 40 minutes or less. Being Elite and in a Concierge Class cabin made no real difference at this time as our travel mates moved through very smoothly also and were right behind us the whole way through the process. Our bags did not show until about 4:00, which is a bit later than the last few cruises we were on, but still ok. The Constellation was our first Cruise on this class of ship and we thought she was lovely and in great shape. Public Rooms were very lovely and we spent a lot of time in the padded chairs around the pool. Ship is a nice size with plenty to do and large enough to do my little "walk a'bouts" around the deck as the day went on. Bar service around the pool was good without being overly intrusive and music was at a nice level to not be overwhelming. We had a C3 cabin mid-ships and to be honest do not really see the benefits of Concierge Class over a 1A or 2A Balcony cabin. One drawback to me was the large overhang over our Balcony. It did keep any rain off the Balcony but did not permit the late night stargazing I usually enjoy. Appetizers at 4:00 were ok but kind of boring until we switched and asked for just Cheese and Crackers. That got a bit boring too after 10 days of the same cheese? The fresh flowers in Cabin and Bath were nice, but would not do Concierge again unless price was pretty close. Food and Service in the MDR was superb. Our waiter Roger and his assistant Thomaslav did a wonderful job and were always there to take care of any little issue . Carlos, the Head Waiter for our section of MDR, did a truly great job too. My wife is Gluten (wheat only) intolerant and they went out of their way to get her the next day's menu and made sure everything was done correctly throughout the two weeks. We had a great table of Cruise Critic friends (8 of us) and enjoyed wonderful conversation throughout the voyage. We ate one night in Tuscan Grill and had a wonderful meal with another couple we were sailing with. My wife and I enjoyed a nice lunch in Bistro on Five one Sea Day too. The desert Crepe with Nutella, Banana and nuts was out of this world. Plenty of good places for meals aboard the ship and enjoyed many great salads, pastas, ice cream, and many other things as the cruise progressed. Stops on this Cruise included Aruba, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, and St Thomas along with five sea days (two at beginning and end and one after Curacao). Nice mix and we liked it so much we booked the same Itinerary for next March on the Eclipse, which is taking over this run from the Constellation next year. No new Islands for us this trip but did hit a new Beach or two along the way. Weather was 80's and sunny almost all the days with only a few brief showers on a couple days but nothing that caused any disruption in our plans. Entertainment on board was pretty good. Jefferson Ang on guitar was very nice as was the Piano Man (a sub for usual Perry Grant) in Michaels most evenings. We did not do any of the evening shows, as not a fan of shows at 7:00 before our Late Traditional dining at 8:30. The bands in Rendezvous through the dinner hours were pretty good and the dance floor there was usually pretty full. We met friends there for pre-dinner cocktails almost every night and Chris, one of the Bar Waiters, got to know us very well. He was headed home for a break and we wish him well. We used the Celebrity Luggage Valet service for $20pp. Had used it prior on Oasis sailing last year and would suggest it to anyone with a later flight out of FLL. You get special tags and set the bags out as normal the night before disembarkation. You then do not see your bags until they come off the line at your home airport. No need for Porter or lugging your bags in and out of a Taxi, etc. Real issue is that on Saturdays and Sundays, you cannot check in your bags at the airport until 2 hours prior to your flight. We walked to Security past hundreds of people sitting in the outer airport lobby with their bags waiting for that two hour time limit to arrive- no fun at all. Disembarkation went ok, there was a slight wait right after we got off the ship but not having to find our bags was a help. Customs was very smooth and we were off to the airport with only our Carry-ons in tow. This was a truly wonderful cruise on a great ship with a very friendly Crew and great service. We are looking forward to our next Cruise on Silhouette this April. That will be our first Solstice Class sailing and our first time trying Aqua Class and Blu. Boy, am I ready to sail again! And Again! And Again!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We drove to Fort Lauderdale and parked in the Park N Go because they offered a discount on-line. Free shuttle service to the ship. We arrived at the ship around 12:30 pm and we went through the check-in in record time. We checked out ... Read More
We drove to Fort Lauderdale and parked in the Park N Go because they offered a discount on-line. Free shuttle service to the ship. We arrived at the ship around 12:30 pm and we went through the check-in in record time. We checked out our room on deck 3 and meant our cabin steward-Joel. We went to deck 10 for the buffet and then walked around "The Connie" to see the changes. This is our second voyage on "The Connie". Our luggage finally made it to our cabin around 5:00 PM. I was getting just a little nervous. We changed for dinner and then went to the sail away party with other cruise critic members. We signed up for the 6:00 dinner which is the main seating. We were at a table for 10 and our waiter, Jose and his assistant Dennis were great. They both had a good sense of humor which made our dining experience enjoyable.Service - Both cabin service and the dining room service was excellent. Our cabin steward-Joel refreshed our ice bucket everyday at 4:00 so that we could have a cocktail in our room before dinner. In the dining room after the first night our waiter figured it out that we were all lovers of bread sticks so he made sure that there were extra bread sticks every evening. The staff was very attentive.Port Excursions-We never do sign up for shore excursions. Instead we go outside the gated taxi area and hire a taxi on the outside. It is cheaper and the driver doesn't have to give part of his earnings to the ship.Entertainment-We are followers of Perry Grant so we were in Michaels Club every night till midnight. We did go to every show in the main theater. The dancers and singers on the ship were fantastic. Lots of energy and very good voices. However, on the first night they sang and danced, the male dancers had large holes in their shirts which I feel should have been addressed before going on stage to perform. The entertainers that Celebrity hired for the cruise were good. Perry Grant did have a show in the main theater and it was good. I feel he is better in the smaller venue because he can interact with the cruisers. My husband and I enjoy hearing him play the piano and singing the "Oldies but Goodies". However, he kept using the same people over and over to "turn on his ball" and that got old because the stories were all the same. He needs to change it up more. and use other new faces. Sue Denning, the cruise director is very talented as a singer. She even had a show in the main theater. Strong voice and very entertaining. She is also a very good and attentive cruise director.Our dining table had a situation with the maitre-d and we went to Sue Denning and it was handled in less than 4 hours. The restaurant manager even sat with my husband and I for at least 30 minutes and talked to us about the situation and kept apologizing.I wish cruisers would read and obey the dress code rules. It clearly states that after 6:00 pm in the public areas-shorts, flip flops, jeans (no holes, rips or tears) are permitted. During the day I even saw bear chested men parade around the buffet area in their speedos and some of them shouldn't be wearing them. On formal night in the dining room, people were wearing flip flops, t-shirts,, blue jeans with holes. The staff do not want to "hurt their feelings" but what about the cruisers who do dress according to the dress code. Don't they have feelings? Two couples at our table told us on the first night that they would not be in the dining room for formal night because they do not wish to dress in the appropriate clothes. Instead they ate at the buffet. Food - Excellent in all areas. In the dining room, on one side of the menu was meals that can be served every night and the other side of the menu there were different meals every night. Disembarkation - We left the ship at 7:45 am and we were on the interstate at 8:45 am. Very organized in the luggage area and customs was quick.We will certainly use Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD ON CELEBRITY'S CONSTELLATION *****14 Night Exotic southern Caribbean Cruise SHIP: Constellation, Date: April 23-May 7 2011, Master of the Vessel: Captain Athanasios G. Peppas My name is Kim ... Read More
IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD ON CELEBRITY'S CONSTELLATION *****14 Night Exotic southern Caribbean Cruise SHIP: Constellation, Date: April 23-May 7 2011, Master of the Vessel: Captain Athanasios G. Peppas My name is Kim Bartholomew (Tikigal, for those who know me on Cruise Critics), and I live in the Orlando, Florida area. I have been a professional mystery shopper for 7 years. In my previous career, I was a flight attendant for 20 years, who had spent time both check riding other flight attendants, their service, and served on a quality & service volunteer board which made our cabin service the best in the skies during the 70's thru the 90's. I do not work for Celebrity, and am not compensated for my reviews of my cruises. I do pay particular attention to detail, service, attitude, promptness, cleanliness, staff coordination, and all around appearance of the ship. EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION PROCESS: 5 Stars I traveled with my parents on this trip, and was booked in a Concierge class room in 9122. After arriving in FLL, and parking at the offsite parking, which was very inexpensive, we were immediately shuttled to the ship. Our luggage drop went smoothly, and traveled through a preliminary security. There were lines for Suites, Concierge, Elite, and check in areas by deck numbers as well. Virginia Mckeown was our check in gal. Very sweet, and brand new. She did her best in her brand new job. It may have been a few minutes more, but we didn't mind the wait. We were greeted with champagne, and our rooms were available to drop off our luggage immediately. Captains Club Host: Mr. Graeham Kelleher. He was very personable and cared very much for each of his Captain's club guests during the entire cruise. Words can't express how much we considered him family by the time we left our cruise. Lunch was available at the Ocean Cafe buffet on deck 10. We had plenty of time afterwards to get to know the ship, or take a small nap. The debarkation process was simple and efficient. Once our number had been called at 8:30 AM, we left in an orderly fashion, picked up our luggage and went thru customs. Although the two lines looked endlessly long, and we were at the end, we were through the whole process in 10 minutes (baggage claim, customs, and out to the real world). We boarded our shuttle for the parking lot, and were on our way home all within an hour. Concierge Room 9122:5 stars plenty of room to unload 7 suitcases. We had room for the 3 of us to put away everything, hanging and folding. At first you think you need more, but at the end, you have found all the little cubby holes in the room that is for storage. Don't forget the secret storage next to the TV, that is by the aisle way. It contains 3 more shelves. My only complaint here is the Safe is too small for your belongings. Especially in rooms built for 3-4 passengers, and the suites, should contain large safes! My carpets were clean and not soiled. There was no odor in the room. There was ample closet space to hang or store all of our belongings. We had fresh towels and linens on the bed daily, and my sofa bed (there were 3 in the room) was made for "The Princess and the Pea". How to make up a comfortable sofa bed if you are the 3rd person in the cabin: 1-2 foam egg crates on top of mattress, followed by 1 blanket, 1 bottom sheet, 1 top sheet, 1 blanket, and 2 pillows. Your dream land waits!!! Room Service: Awesome! We ordered breakfast out on the balcony every morning with fresh coffee and juice plus tidbits. We usually discussed the program for the day, and decided where we would all meet. Nothing is finer than a beautiful view of the water or your local port in the early morning hours. It was also a fine place to be for many passengers during sunset sail way's, enjoying a fine bottle of wine and Celebrity appetizers. LAUNDRY SERVICE: 1 Star: To reach Princess Cruise Line Standards for Diamond or Elite, Princess had unlimited dry-cleaning, and laundry service every day. The clothes were hung up, or in dry cleaning bags hung, and articles folded and put on your bed or dresser. Celebrity laundry comes back in a paper bag, with most items like shirts or shorts coming in a smaller size than when they left. Nothing is pressed, unless you have a Captain's Club coupon for 1 free pressing or 1 item dry cleaned for free. I do not understand this process, even though I have mentioned cold water only. If Celebrity truly wanted to be one step up on Princess, this is the department that needs attention. CLEANLINESS AND HOUSEKEEPING: 5 Stars Hand sanitizers everywhere, and in constant use, as instructed by the staff before entering many events or for the dining hall. I also noticed them constantly disinfecting the hand railings coming on to the ship from the island. Now, that is attention to detail, my friends! The restrooms were always spotless, no watermarks on the sinks or mirrors. There were plenty of paper products or towels in each public bathroom. Commodes were consistently sparkling clean, with a nice pleasant smell. Doors and trash cans were always clean and emptied often. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Grade A Some people remark that Celebrity doesn't have a lot to do aboard ship, but I found that to be quite the contrary. Activities for free included morning stretch and relax class, trivia, pool aerobics, ping pong tournaments, basketball challenges, line dance classes, napkin folding, golf challenges, a lesson in facial rejuvenation and acupressure, pool games, listening to strolling A Cappella, more trivia, a nightly movie in the cinema, piano music, nightly shows in the Celebrity Theater, a lovely string quartet, dancing in different venues including Cosmos, galley tours, art auction events, shuffleboard tournaments, Zumba classes, cards, and the library if you are really stuck. For fees there were Mega Slot Tournaments, Chilates and body sculpting classes, champagne cocktail, martini or wine tastings, spa treatments, Texas Hold'em Cash Tournaments, and the Champagne High Tea at Sea. These are just a few, but I know there were more, I just couldn't get to all of them. FOOD: 5 Stars The Celebrity Constellation was my 4th cruise for 2011 on Celebrity, with two more booked ahead before year's end, and I am feeling more and more able to compare apples to apples, rather than to oranges. Celebrity is streamlining their food to be comparable with other ships in their fleet, and although some specialty restaurants still do a better job cooking than others, the menu's are basically the same, and have been taught by one executive chef system wide, teaching the other chef's on each ship his dishes, and how he likes them prepared. Each ship's executive chef seems to put a little twist of his own into the menu, and for that I am grateful, or else I would be bored with an identical taste in cuisine on each cruise. For this year at least, I know the menu. I do not know how long the particular head executive chef for Celebrity will be under contract, or know when the menu will be totally replaced. I would like to highlight a few areas of both compliment and concern: 1) The left hand side of the main dining room menu has items that are available every night of the week and seem to have been long standing favorites of past guests. I no longer have to ask the matre de for a standing order of escargot, I can just order it. These include: Chilled jumbo shrimp cocktail, Escargot, antipasti platters, French onion soup, lobster bisque, Caprese and Caesar salad, king salmon, grilled chicken, NY steak, cheesecake, apple pie, and Crème Brule. All outstanding, and being with family, we were able to try each other's dishes without having to order extra. 2) The right hand side of the menu varied so differently each night from beef Carpaccio or frog legs as appetizers to the Chilean sea bass, and quail for dinner. Each dish was expertly prepared and served picture perfect. If you didn't want the sauce, just ask your waiter! I think my waiter was a genie granting my every wish or whim. I was in heaven not having to cook for 11 days, and having gourmet food nightly. Honestly, it was a wonderful experience. 3) I did find that the portions have been downsized, which I found positive. After cruising for the past 20 years, I noticed how much waste there was in food (passengers unable to finish large portions of their meal). It truly was sad to see so much waste. Now, you are always able to double order if you wish of anything, or order it again, or just order a little bit, and in a few minutes, it will arrive from the galley. Happily the waiter will serve you another portion, and never will question your judgment. It is a much better system than discarding plates and plates of food. It has also helped Celebrity keep the costs lower on food on the cruise, thereby keeping my total price down for the cruise fare. My hats off to Celebrity for this. Next time someone says, the portions seemed smaller than last time; think of what I have just stated. 4) Excellent presentation of service. Each waiter we had, no matter where we were on the ship, were skilled in service, presentation, table set up, and clean up. Their mannerisms were consistently friendly and respectful. I was never ignored, like I have been on other cruise lines. The Waite staff was there to please. I never saw any crew member act disrespectful towards a guest. 5) The complimentary appetizers served in the room truly need to be updated. Mostly pieces of bread with a cream cheese of sorts on top or an occasional shrimp. I think humus, and the more modern appetizers would work better in our rooms, with pita crisps, rather than bread, keeping in the "healthy theme" that the ship often touts. So what constitutes healthy appetizers? Maybe some new evaluation would be good in this department, as I have seen the same, year in and year out. First night: went to the Sunset bar on deck 10 to meet the other Cruise Critics for our own Sail away party we had planned on line. Great fun and a must. You will meet many friends whom you have been on line with for months if you follow the thread for your ship. Day 2: At sea. Went to the San Marco Restaurant from Easter breakfast, the Reflections Lounge on Deck 11 for our Celebrity hosted Cruise Critic party and gift exchange. Deck 11 has fabulous views from the lounge, and is also the nightly spot for our Captain's Club parties. The ship has scrapbooking on board, and supplies all the goodies, plenty of trivia, and we went to a Senior Officers cocktail party. The Captain made his grand appearance tonight coming down the stairs during late seating for the Captain's Table formal night dinner. It was very impressive to see. Day 3: Newlywed Not so Newlywed Game in the Reflections Lounge: too funny! Scrapbooking, art auction, movies, trivia, dance shows. So much to see and do. Antigua: went on a tour of the Island, awesome! We hired a van driver to take 5 of us around. Saw lots of history, and where the British War ships hid, defending the Island. Ate in the specialty restaurant and had Lobster with Cognac and Cream sauce. Fabulous!! Also went to an elegant tea on the ship in the afternoon, with very interesting sandwiches, desserts, and teas! Loved St. Lucia for its beauty and the water sports, also attended the late night Liar's Club performance given by the ship's officers. A MUST!! Words we don't know and their crazy explanations! Grenada: Loved the spice Island. Also known for snorkeling and scuba, catamaran trips, and other pirate excursions. If you are shopping: You must go to Dot's Plaza. They have hand painted shirts and batik clothing for sale, spices and coffee's prewraped, and exotic jams, jellies, vanilla, and coffees. Celebrity Celebrated when Prince William married Kate Middleton. I was so pleased. We woke up at 4:30 A.M., put on our hats and party outfits and went to the Cinema to watch the entire set of events unfold on the big screen. Wow. Celebrity had coffee for us, and pastries, teas, it was so so English!!! And the theatre was quite full!! Later, the ship kept up the celebration with an English theme, we had Beatles trivia, Beatles look alike and sounded alike shows. The wedding was the talk of the day Show not to Miss: Land of Make Believe. Best set design and costumes out of any performance I have ever seen on board a ship. Like a fairy tale wedding in some parts. Also saw Strike up the Orchestra with Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. Aruba: A beautiful place to make your snorkeling and scuba dreams come true. The water is so so blue and clear. I took a cab to Baby Beach with family and friends to see where my parents used to play back in the 1940's. It was very nostalgic for them. It is very friendly and hospitable. Curacao: Place to shop for linens, leather coasters, handmade table cloths, jewelry hand painted pictures. Also another good stop for scuba and snorkeling and touring by water. The aqua water is beautiful on the ABC islands. Bonaire: Took the Mushi Mushi fun snorkeling on the Catamaran. Best trip of the vacation. The snorkeling was incredible. You can also go into town and buy coins from shipwrecks and unusual jewelry. At sea days: Did a backstage tour of the theatre with Amy Kelleher, the Producer of the Constellation shows. She was so nice, informative, and took the time to answer everyone's questions. We simply loved the tour and the costumes, lighting, and set design presentation she gave us. More trivia, dance lessons and a formal night as well. We did a Galley tour with Adalberto Herrara, Executive Sous Chef from Columbia. Also met with Thomas Stelbrink, Executive chef (Very informative). He has 45 chefs underneath him. Attending the champagne art auction, learned how to fold napkins, and learned the scarf color order of chefs on board. The galley was quite large and I was able to snap a few photos as well. I have done my share of scrapbooking as well. Unfortunate Medical Incident: A passenger needed blood, and they had to land a helicopter on the helipad, first time I had never seen that happen. Many passengers, as well gave blood to help the elderly gentleman (only if you had a blood bank ID card). It was another reminder to have cruise insurance, as helicopters aren't an inexpensive item to order. STAFF CAPTAIN'S CLUB Delightful! I can't say enough good things about this program. The benefits far exceeded my expectations, from complimentary nightly functions in the Elite Lounge (Reflections), to the Seniors Officer's party. Graeme Kelleher our Captain's Club host was outstanding, paying particular attention to every detail, to make the event perfect for all members. Our waiter in the Captains Club lounge was Randy Manding: Awesome, always had our drinks waiting for us when they opened the door at 5:00 PM. He was the Wow factor for us, and put him right into the A Plus category Dining Room: Mauricio Gironza, Rubinco Traykoski: anticipating our needs, prompt excellent service. Ocean Liners Specialty Restaurant: Srdjan Prastala, Maitre d'hôtel, very nice, always smiling. Nicola Savic- Chef de rang-so cute- he should be in Movies. Very good at his job! Fernando- Asst. Maitre d'hôtel great service as well, and our hat off to Assistant Waiter in Ocean Liners for Captain's Club breakfast is Moses Catbagan: always smiling, anticipated our every need, excellent service. Cruise Director: Sue Denning: Funny, witty, a plus for our ship as a legend in the entertainment business. She knew my name by the end of the first day, and always asked about how I was. Loved her scarf tying session! Hotel Director: Bernhard Stacner any problem, come see him. He solved all the issues aboard ship in the hotel department. Excellent! Master of the ship: Captain Athanasios G. Peppas If you want to meet this man, he is overwhelmingly friendly, informative, and concerned about you and the company. He has recently married and has a young son. They were a pleasure to meet while on board, although we only saw his family once. The Captain was everywhere, from the bridge, to shows, to greeting us at Cruise Critic and Captain's Club parties, and participating in various fun events with the passengers. After comparing him with captain's on some cruise lines who stay to themselves, I say...Come sail with Celebrity and enjoy the whole experience, and be pampered by a most professional and caring staff! Truly, Celebrity Cruise Lines did an outstanding job. The friendships made on board on this ship have been unparallel to any other cruise I have been on. These are once in a lifetime experiences, and I consider myself fortunate for the new friends made on board, and for the renewal of friends from past cruises, and for the experiences afforded to us by Celebrity. I hope you have enjoyed the review. My slideshow of the trip is at Trip Advisory.com. Here is the link to it. http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-01a1-0fb4-cbd0?lb Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Coincidentally, like Host Anne, we were in Cabin 7049 and lucky to have the best Cabin Attendant, Doris, that we have had in many years. She anticipated our needs, was always cheerful and efficient, and was more visible and accessible than ... Read More
Coincidentally, like Host Anne, we were in Cabin 7049 and lucky to have the best Cabin Attendant, Doris, that we have had in many years. She anticipated our needs, was always cheerful and efficient, and was more visible and accessible than other we've had. Too, Garry and his assistant, Marsha, gave us good service with a happy attitude at our table of four in the San Marco.We ate in the dining room 11 of 14 nights and loved Bistro on 5, Oceanliners, and Tuscan Grille. All provided exceptional service and delicious, premium quality food. Tuscan Grille on Constellation was far superior in food and service to Tuscan Grille on Solstice in May 2010. Usually, we don't go to all specialty restaurants, but food quality in dining room is not as good and the offering of premium entrees not as frequent. A blatant example is the entree (½ lobster tail, 1 small scallop, 1 shrimp, mini-filet) on final formal night instead of nice-size lobster tail and filet in the past. Our Maitre d' came to the table every night to check on our satisfaction, but he was limited by the menu in what he could do. Though the every night part of the menu offered plain salmon, other species of fish were not available without spices or sauces so there was no flexibility for those of us who would like simpler grilled fare.We thought the cruise director, Sue Denning, was outstanding. There's something to be said having an entertainer, not just a talker, as cruise director. She was everywhere and spoke with everyone whether on ship or in port. Sue's husband was on this cruise, so she was exceptionally busy getting ready for the next cruise (when she'll be in Miami at the CD's meetings), spending time with her husband, and being everywhere she needs to be. It's a demanding job, and she does it well. We also enjoyed her one woman show which was in addition to another show that night, not a substitution as some cruise lines do.We were happy to share Captain Pagonis's last cruise on Constellation, hear his lecture on navigation, and spend time with him at the Captain's Club Officer's party (although we've enjoyed sailing with him several times and hate to see him go to Silhouette). He sets a great example by mingling with passengers in the buffet line and other places on the ship. His friendly attitude filters down from the Captain, through the ranks, to every staff member; and we were pleasantly greeted by anyone we met in the hallways or anywhere on the ship. The officers were very accessible as well. We spoke with many, especially Bernhard (Hotel Manager), who was visible everywhere and willing to answer any questions (even if the answer was not what we wished to hear).The Captain's Club host, Graeme, did a good job enforcing the dress code at Elite Happy Hour and did announce that happy hour was being changed to 5-7 pm by popular request. Production shows were elaborate, and singers and dancers very good on this cruise. Imported entertainment was not as good, but that's the luck of the draw... you get what you get... Some we liked, some, not. Now we come to Perry.... We enjoyed his one-man show very much... his sequined vests, jackets (each night) and robe. We found his show like a magnet, drawing us in for fun each night. He is definitely an entertainer.Ports don't interest us that much since we've been to each many times. Our destination is THE SHIP. We are very happy on sea days, although we always get off the ship even if it's to walk. The exception is Bonaire. We confess to choosing this particular cruise because Bonaire was one of the ports. We snorkeled on our own off the beach in Aruba, and we saw lots and lots of fish, but nothing beats Bonaire and Woodwind Tours! For the best snorkeling in the CaribbSean take this trip. They outfit you, teach you, snorkel with you, pamper you, and give you the trip of a lifetime. Sadly, Celebrity is dropping Bonaire from their schedule, so we will have to cruise with another line when we want to go back for our third trip on Woodwind. I can't conclude this review without mentioning embarkation and disembarkation. Both were horrendous! The ship was at Pier 29, which should be used for small ships only. We had no wait to get our Sea Pass and didn't need to even be in the "Elite" line. After that, it was all downhill. There was a delay in taking photos for the Sea Pass. We were herded into a seating area where we were instructed to wait until called to get in line. Some passengers decided to call themselves to get in line. It became a big mess. Celebrity port staff needs a better system. It took over an hour to board and no preference was given to Elite, Concierge, or Suite passengers. Disembarkation was equally bad. When our color was called, we went to the terminal and found our luggage wasn't ready. We had to wait while that was accomplished. Then, since the area was so small, aisles were too narrow to find bags and maneuver. Our porter loaded our luggage and got us out of the terminal, but then we had to shuttle to the parking lot. It was a long, aggravating process.We are happy that Celebrity doesn't permit smoking in cabins, on verandahs, or in most places on the ship. Our wish list would include limiting smoking more. If we wound up on the wrong side and had to walk through smoker's alley around the pool, it was very unpleasant and the smoke drifted beyond the designated area. Our second wish would be to have footstools on the verandah. There is plenty of room for them, and it's a small amenity with a major comfort result. Third, of course, would be to put Bonaire back on the itinerary. Fourth, addressing the aforementioned food quality. One shouldn't have to go to specialty restaurants to get the kind of food we used to get in the San Marco.All-in-all, this was our best trip in recent years. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We enjoyed our second sailing on the Constellation even more than last year's Panama Canal trip. Everything went smoothly. The entertainment exceeded our expectations-the a'cappella group "Full Tilt" is ... Read More
We enjoyed our second sailing on the Constellation even more than last year's Panama Canal trip. Everything went smoothly. The entertainment exceeded our expectations-the a'cappella group "Full Tilt" is fantastic. We are Perry Grant fans; he is a very talented entertainer. The comedians and singers were great. The guest speakers, Milos and Joel, were very knowledgeable and added a great deal to the quality of the cruise. It was our first time in Concierge Class; we enjoyed the amenities. The room was spotless. ALL staff are pleasant and always appear to be doing their utmost to ensure you have a nice time. We were at table 503 and also had Val as our waiter. He was probably the best waiter we've had in 12 cruises. Let's talk about the food. It's always good, sometimes very good to excellent. If you want something, just ask and they literally run to get it for you. The maitre'd came to our table every night to pre-order for one of our table mates who required a special diet. We did zip-lining in St.Lucia-it's a first-rate trip-great fun - well worth the money! Scuba diving with Red Sail Sports in Aruba-great dive operator. Scuba diving in Bonaire - great reefs - sub-par dive operator (Dive Friends-Bonaire.) Disembarkation went very smoothly and a vast improvement over the problems we had disembarking in San Diego last March. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
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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