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4 Celebrity Constellation Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Bahamas

Having been on quite a few Royal Caribbean cruises and reached Diamond Plus, our objective was to take a cruise with Celebrity and see if the theoretically-equivalent Elite level actually is equivalent. We booked a 4-day cruise on ... Read More
Having been on quite a few Royal Caribbean cruises and reached Diamond Plus, our objective was to take a cruise with Celebrity and see if the theoretically-equivalent Elite level actually is equivalent. We booked a 4-day cruise on Celebrity Constellation out of Ft Lauderdale in January 2016. Constellation was built in 2002 and renovated in 2013. Passenger load is slightly over 2,000 people. Constellation is a Millennium Class ship (Solstice Class is the other Celebrity class with passenger loads around 3500). We originally booked an interior room, but about 2 weeks prior to the cruise, Celebrity called with an offer to upgrade to a Concierge Class room for $150 or an Aqua Class room for $200 (for both of us). We elected Aqua Class, and it was a great choice. Aqua Class rooms are 192 ft2 with a decent sized balcony, plus access to their own dining room, Blu (which, not surprisingly, has a modern, blue-colored theme). The shower in the Aqua room was the best we have ever had in any category of room, including suites. It was rectangle-shaped, had two full-height glass doors with ample room inside, a bar upon which the ladies can place their feet for leg-shaving purposes, and six water jets that will spray the body, vice just using the single normal overhead shower head (which is adjustable to fit humans of any height). Aqua Class also includes free and unlimited access to the Persian Garden, a spa within the main spa that has its own showers, three saunas (one dry and two steam) and a heated sitting/relaxing bench. This is a very nice amenity. Each afternoon they also delivered to our room a plate of canapes (tapas). One day the Captain’s Club manager sent a rose with a nice card. These amenities could have been because of Elite or the Aqua Class room; we’re not sure. Back to the ship: embarkation was very fast and smooth. From parking at Terminal 4 at 11:10 to being physically aboard the ship took less than 15 minutes. Upon entering the ship, we were handed a glass of champagne. Lunch was already being served in the Oceanview Café on deck 10. It had a nice range of choices and there was always plenty of international food available (Indian and Asian). Although we only ate there a couple of times, the Oceanview Café never felt crowded. Tables were spaced well, and the ambience was light and airy. Rooms were opened at 1:06. Bags came quickly (perhaps because we were in Aqua Class, or perhaps because they are just good at delivering bags). We checked the specialty dining rooms right away and took advantage of a first night 30% off opportunity to eat in Ocean Liners, the ship’s most upscale restaurant. Normally $50, the meal was $35 each, and well worth it. The lobster was the best ever, even having eaten quite a few in Maine. We tried the Blu restaurant the first morning and were hooked. Ate dinner there each night the rest of the cruise. Menu was very good; better than the main dining room, and that we discovered that if you want something that’s not on the menu, just ask (for example, they made us eggs benedict for breakfast and a grand mariner soufflé for desert). The Blu staff quickly learned our names, and made sure to greet us by name when we walked in. There was always plenty of staff in this dining room. Blu is a class act, and is one of the main reasons we again booked an Aqua class room for our next Celebrity cruise. The Elite (and higher) lounge does not open the first night at sea so we had to buy drinks a la carte at a bar. They are pricier than on Royal Caribbean. With the included tip, bar drinks were $9 and house wine was $10 or $11, depending on choice. After the first night, the Elite lounge has free drinks from 5 – 7 PM with an ample list of choices. Some small hors d’oeuvres were served but not enough to hurt your appetite. The lounge on Constellation used for Elite (Reflections) is located on the top deck facing the bow with a nice view when entering or leaving port. It is a large space with a dance floor and plenty of tables. On our short cruise, the Elite members didn’t remotely fill it, but we were told that on crossings and on longer cruises that attract more Elite members, the room does get full. We were also told that, like Royal Caribbean, the rolls of Elite members are growing faster than the space available for the Elite evening event on some of the longer cruises, and that they will likely have to begin issuing vouchers for drinks at any bar on the ship (which will likely turn into the three-drinks-on-your-seapass-card deal that Royal now uses). The ship has the usual array of bars. One very popular one that was always crowded was the martini bar. Casino is 100% no-smoking. Constellation was immaculate everywhere. Only noticed a handful of rust spots on the exterior rails (far fewer than on other ships, even newly renovated ones). Everything worked. The public restrooms have cloth towels to dry hands. The crew was friendlier than on other ships; everyone makes eye contact, smiles and greets you. The Captain on this ship has a real presence. It’s likely just his personality vice a Celebrity policy, but he’s out-and-about, he participates in crew vs guest games like water volleyball, he gives an interesting PowerPoint presentation on building of the first Solstice class ship, etc. Great personality on the announcing system, too. The three-level theater was adequately sized, and the rows had enough room between them for servers squeeze by and deliver drinks to those seated in the interior. Between each pair of seats is a small stationary table just large enough to place your drinks. This is a great idea that other ships should emulate. The production shows were excellent; we had 15 singers and dancers on our short cruise. The entertainers (comedian and singer) were well above average for short cruises. The computer lounge had about 20 PCs, all new Apples. Two computer guys were always available to help. Not sure about wi-fi speed. Other amenities: - Welcome packet in the room with slippers (to keep), a logo shoulder bag and a smaller bag that clips inside the larger one (again, this could be an Aqua class benefit or an Elite benefit) - Nice robes (ditto about which benefit) - Iced towels provided on the pier when returning to the ship. Great way to wipe the sweat off. - Iced, flavored water available inside security after re-boarding. - Extensive variety of Sushi available from 5:30 – 9:30 in the Oceanview Cafe. When we finally figured this out, we took plates of sushi to the Elite lounge to eat with our drinks. - Towels for the pools and spa do not have to be checked out with your Seapass card. Plenty of towels were always available. There were four people manning the future cruise sales office, and for good reason. Celebrity offers deals differently than Royal Caribbean, but they still have some excellent deals. For the 11-day cruise we booked, we got $300 toward gratuities, $300 in onboard credit and $200 off the cruise price (whereas Royal generally gives half off the second fare). Bottom Line: based on this experience, Celebrity is our new favorite cruise line, although I’m sure we’ll go back and forth between Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I had problems from the moment we boarded the ship. The first two persons we dealt with at the Guest Services desk were okay, nothing to rave or complain about, but we continued to experience problems including: our ... Read More
My husband and I had problems from the moment we boarded the ship. The first two persons we dealt with at the Guest Services desk were okay, nothing to rave or complain about, but we continued to experience problems including: our ship/cabin cards randomly being canceled causing long delays in getting drinks and food; getting locked out of our cabin; not being able to access the safe in our cabin where we had stored our id's, money and valuables; the first two nights we could not dine with the wedding party we were with (the bride and groom being the reason we were on this cruise); almost $600 in over-charges on our onboard account (still waiting to be refunded); and alarms going off when we tried to debark and embark the ship at the ports of call causing lengthy delays in enjoying our time onshore and then getting back on the ship. The third guest services person we dealt with was rude and abrasive and asserted that the problems we were experiencing were our own fault because we had changed cabins; however, we did not change cabins at any time... we booked cabin 7090 and stayed in cabin 7090 the entire time. On day 3 of our 4 night cruise we were fortunate to get a different Guest Services person, Angelina, who was a breath of fresh air compared to the previous persons we encountered - but even though she was courteous and professional the same problems continued to plague us and continued to ruin our cruise. Evening number 3 on the cruise started with us sitting on the floor outside our cabin waiting for a technician - this was after we had already spent a large part of the afternoon at the Guest Services desk that day. On the plus side, on this evening (the 3rd night) we were actually able to sit with the wedding party for the first time since embarking on the cruise - and we got drinks and food without any delays or problems. The next morning (last day of cruise) we debarked the ship in the Bahamas with no alarms or delays, but when we tried to re-board the ship alarms again sounded and there were ensuing delays as we once again needed to get photos and our ship/cabin cards "fixed" yet again. To add insult to an already spoiled experience, an envelope with a "future cruise certificate" was slipped under our cabin door about an hour before the end of the cruise; it was for $100 off a future cruise for my husband and $100 off a future cruise for me. Considering we had spent over $1700 on the cruise (over $1100 for the cabin and $600 for 2 beverage packages) - and considering that 3 of the 4 days on the cruise were fraught with delays and problems causing anxiety and stress, delays in getting food and drinks, and especially in preventing us for the first two nights of being able to fully celebrate with the wedding group of two young people who are very special to us (which again was the reason we were on this cruise) - and considering that day 4 we still encountered problems, although minor in comparison to the other 3 days - - - it was a total insult for Celebrity to slip certificates under our door that combined are worth a meager $200 off a future cruise! In all fairness to the many fine employees we encountered on the ship we would like to recognize the San Marco dining room staff for the excellent service and food; the many cheerful ship employees we passed in the hallways and who waited on us at the coffee and pool bars. It was their smiles and jokes that were the bright spots of our days. It’s too bad this same cheerful attitude and commitment to guest relations was not also present at Guest Services on the Celebrity Constellation (Nov 19 – 23, 2015). Read Less
Sail Date November 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
For our eighth cruise, we decided to take a short get-away to a couple of places we hadn't been before - Nassau, Bahamas and Key West. We've been on five different cruise lines, but find Celebrity suits us very well. Tried the ... Read More
For our eighth cruise, we decided to take a short get-away to a couple of places we hadn't been before - Nassau, Bahamas and Key West. We've been on five different cruise lines, but find Celebrity suits us very well. Tried the concierge class this time - had done aqua class before. Both were good, although I'd likely try the aqua class again next time. Access to Blu for dining seems to add a bit of quality to the overall experience. Embarkation was quick and easy for both cabin classes. Found the food quality in the main dining room to vary quite a bit - sometimes very tasty, others pretty bland or overcooked. Cy and Ron were great waiters during the times we were lucky enough to get them (we had the "pick your own time" dining package). Dinner in the Tuscan was excellent, as was the sommelier Natasha. This was our first time with the Classic Beverage package, and we really enjoyed the options it provided to us. The room was nice and light, with reasonable storage capacity. The bath needed a bit of repair work, but nothing serious. Really appreciate that you can easily choose not to have your picture taken (over and over again). They don't push this as much as other lines, but offer it as an option to those who are interested. We chose to keep our luggage and use the walk off disembarkation early in the morning. It was quick and easy. If you don't have too much luggage to manage, this is a great way to exit quickly. All in all, Celebrity is a great cruising option that we'd highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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