1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Constellation Review
  5. Celebrity Constellation Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: December 2010
We were quite excited to book a second cruise on Constellation, since we had fond memories of our Baltic/North Sea cruise of last year. The embarkation process went smoothly, and we were pleased with the ship's new color scheme, as ... Read More
We were quite excited to book a second cruise on Constellation, since we had fond memories of our Baltic/North Sea cruise of last year. The embarkation process went smoothly, and we were pleased with the ship's new color scheme, as well as with the 'fresher' look of the furnishings in our cabin. We found the staff as friendly and helpful as ever, so we looked forward to the pleasant 15 day cruise. Although we expected some (occasional) bumps in the road, we were rather disappointed in number and frequency of them. The quality of the mattress was very poor (lumpy and unable to support our backs), so as a result we found sleep difficult to come, and most mornings we ended up with sore backs . We also found that the quality of food in the main dining room has gone 'downhill' since our last cruise, and that the service was much slower and with lacking in the 'finer' touches (on many occasions no coffee, or creme/sugar were forgotten, or the water glasses were not refilled). We believe it may have been due to cost cutting (having less waiters look after a greater number of tables/patrons). Luckily, we were able to book ourselves into both specialty restaurants a few times and the food and service there were absolutely wonderful. We highly recommend paying a little extra to feel so thoroughly pampered. We also found that we did not enjoy our visits to the theater much, since we found the 'in-house' entertainers rather forgettable, and the 'visiting artists' to be less-than "artistic" (especially the 'singer-comedienne' brought especially to 'entertain' us New Year's eve who thought that constantly berating and insulting the audience in a rather crass manner was enjoyable). We did enjoy our shore tours and the disembarkation/embarkation process during those went quite smoothly...which certainly did not prepare us for the horror of San Diego. We were given to understand just a few days prior to the end of the cruise that although we'd arrive in San Diego by 7 a.m., everyone would have to wait for the border authorities to come on board to 'process' everyone prior to allowing even a single person to disembark...however, we would be all coded by color and number and those with earliest flights would be given a priority when the processing was completed around 10:00 a.m. It certainly sounded well planned out and organized. Unfortunately, that's not how it worked out. Although it seemed that all 'early fliers' were already processed, they were not able to leave the ship because of some passengers who either slept in or decided to have another drink before facing the processing...and everyone had to wait till they were found and 'customized'. When they finally opened the gates at 10:25 a.m., the passengers rushed through them without any regard for colors/numbers on their tags (as a matter of fact, nobody bothered to even mention them over PA system until the rush subsided). You'd think they'd have shuttles ready to take us to the airport (we paid for the transfers), but there was no-one to tell us where to go to find them, and when we finally figured it out, there were throngs of people already waiting and NO shuttles, so we paid again and took a private one. Luckily, we caught our flight, but definitely not thanks to Celebrity personnel who truly dropped the ball on this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 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: January 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
just returned from 14 day cruise on constellation to panama canal.on the whole,was quite pleased with our 1st cruise.staff were excellent,food good,apart from the buffet,which was spoilt sometimes by a lack of hot plates.the food was not ... Read More
just returned from 14 day cruise on constellation to panama canal.on the whole,was quite pleased with our 1st cruise.staff were excellent,food good,apart from the buffet,which was spoilt sometimes by a lack of hot plates.the food was not as hot as it could be,which meant that food was cold by the time you sat down. entertainment was pretty good,especially perry grant,who always put on a good evenings entertainment.the theatre shows were very professional,even though they are not my cup of tea.i found the poolside groups very loud,and have seen better on x factor.i found very little to my taste apart from the music,but was not to bothered,as this was meant to be a relaxing cruise.the shore excursions,i thought,were quite expensive.i think you would be far better off organising your own trips before you go.for eg,in cabo,we organised our own taxi,and did a tour covering the same places as other passengers.ours cost $35 dollars for 4 pax,celebrity charged $45 per pax.i thought the stop at cabo san lucas was badly timed,by the time we disembarked(by tender)we only had 4 hours on shore.this is a place i would have liked to stop overnight.my worst gripe is reserved for the embarkation and disembarkation procedure.at miami it was bad enough,at san diego even worse,there we docked at 7am,even though we had a connecting flight to catch at san diego airport at 11.30am,we did not get off the ship until 10.30am.this meant we didnt get to the airport until 11.00am,luckily,thanks to efficient american airlines staff we made our flight.surely cruise lines can make this run a lot smoother.finally i have to say i would choose celebrity again,especially after seeing the type of cruiser i could have been on.we were in port,in cabo,the same time as carnival splendor.hundreds of passengers waiting for the tender,virtually all with a beer in their hands.ok if you fancy a club 18-30 cruise,otherwise best to avoid. looking frward to my next cruise,any suggestions? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
This was our second cruise on the Constellation, the last being in the Baltic in 2008. That experience was very good, this one was even better in many respects. Delightful and friendly staff, mostly good service, good to very good food. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Constellation, the last being in the Baltic in 2008. That experience was very good, this one was even better in many respects. Delightful and friendly staff, mostly good service, good to very good food. Ship was showing a bit of age, but was well-maintained. Given the enticing fares these days, a great value. The only real disappointment for us was the conduct of the excursions. I think the Constellation is new to this route, and it showed. Excursions were weak (their European excursions were pretty good)and not well organized. The land excursions during the canal crossing were bungled as the tendering process was not well planned, resulting in visits to tour stops as they closed or in the dark. Our best excursions were the ones we'd pre-planned ourselves (highly recommended, but do your research!) but that's not an option with Celebrity in Panama. A mild disappointment was the "Celebrity Life" classes, purportedly designed to teach lifestyle improvement. They are really selling questionable concepts and products. Stay away. Recognizing not everyone is as excursion-oriented as we might be, I would not hesitate to recommend the Constellation for a satisfying and enjoyable cruise. While I would not necessarily commit to Celebrity for future cruises, they will certainly receive favorable consideration. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
This was another excellent, not perfect cruise on Celebrity - our seventh on Celebrity and 19th overall. You will read below some comments about the disappointments we encountered, as well as some very satisfactory things. Overall we had ... Read More
This was another excellent, not perfect cruise on Celebrity - our seventh on Celebrity and 19th overall. You will read below some comments about the disappointments we encountered, as well as some very satisfactory things. Overall we had a very relaxing time, and would recommend this ship and this itinerary, with advisement. We are seniors, newly retired. We flew two days early from Harrisburg, PA to Newark, NJ to Fort Lauderdale on Continental. Will not do that again. All four of our flights were late. In future we will drive to BWI or Dulles and fly directly. Due to our travel agent's recommendation we booked our flights back in May. We should have waited. Prices dropped to less than half of what we paid on our non-refundable fares. Stayed at Embassy Suites hotel. Hotel amenities including full buffet breakfast and Manager's Evening reception were well worth the extra bucks. Room was clean, comfortable, very quiet, and everything worked. The location is wonderful for walking to the Water Taxi and nearby last-minute needs shopping. Embarkation was a breeze. Taxis at Fort Lauderdale are cheap and plentiful. Don't bother with "free" hotel transportation or a booked transfer. We were aboard before noon, and having a leisurely lunch in the Seaside Cafe. Our cabin was ready by 1:00 pm. Our cabin was one of those "to die for" family suites with a corner balcony. The stewardess was excellent and unobtrusive, as well as responsive to our needs and requests. The soft furnishings show some wear - that was to be expected. The mattresses were excellent! Dining: After the first two dinners in the San Marco Restaurant, we told the maitre d' to give our two seats at the "main" dining to someone on the waiting list. We never went back. We always request a table for 2 or 4, and get seated at a table for 8 or 10. I have lower back issues, so I cannot sit at table while the meal drags interminably. Nor can I comfortably converse with that much noise in the background. The food was not all that great. We ate many of our dinners in the Seaside Cafe. One improvement was the addition of a stir fry area, other than that, in the evening one can choose pizza (not as good as frozen pizza at home), pasta, salad, sushi, and dessert, as well as the stir fry. The one advantage was the peace and quiet. We ate once in the specialty restaurant. The food was excellent, but very rich, and the portions were much too large. The quality of the food is what I would expect in the main dining room, at least in days gone by. We ate several breakfasts on our balcony. The service was prompt, and one could write a special request on the bottom of the form - Bananas and yogurt for instance. The bread is wonderful - the best thing on the ship! The Cova Cafe was a disappointment. In previous voyages, we were able to purchase a coffee card, good for several coffees at a slightly reduced price - much like a soda card. This was not offered on this voyage. Just as well. The one cup my DH ordered was about $5 with tip, and it was awful. Entertainment. The one thing I love about Celebrity is all the live music: there was a male a capella quartet, an instrumental quartet, a singer/guitarist, the Celebrity orchestra, and probably more that we didn't get around to hearing. I had heard about Perry Grant and was very anxious to hear him. Not my cup of tea. His music was loud, with no varying of dynamics or tempo. You could hardly tell the difference between one selection and another. He plays piano with only one hand, with the other he manipulates a rhythm and harmony machine. Not my cup of tea. But some folks do like him, so more power to him! The special pianist, Antonio Salci, who appeared in the evening, was a great entertainer and good musician. The comedian, Noodles Levenstein, was very funny to my DH. I had trouble in distinguishing his words - a problem with the sound system? The Lecturers. Dr. Diane Buffalin, a practical and funny psychologist, was excellent! I attended all of her lectures - and especially liked "How to talk with a Y Chromosome!" There was a veterinarian - rather low key, and informative in a general way - popularity of his lectures reflects that so many of us are pet lovers. There were two other lecturers, and to my regret I did not get to hear them - there is only so much on can do on a cruise, and naps take priority! The presence of a Roman Catholic priest, and the celebration of daily Mass, is very important to me, and one of the reasons I choose to cruise Celebrity. The priest on this voyage was a gentle man whose original language is Spanish. He was an excellent temporary shepherd to his temporary flock. The shore excursions were a very mixed bag. Grand Cayman - if I never go there again I will not pout. There were a lot of ships in port - 8? - so I had booked an excursion through the ship to the Turtle Farm, Hell and the rum cake factory. Actually the Turtle Farm was very interesting, and if we are ever in Grand Cayman again, I will take a taxi there and purchase the ticket that allows one to swim in the lagoon. It is absolutely criminal to cram senior citizens, many of us with canes, artificial knees, and other infirmities, into a small van with jump seats. My DH said " why are we paying for something you couldn't pay me to do?" Cartagena - we had been there previously, and did not want to see the sights, so we booked a boat trip and beach break. The boat trip was great - I love small boats. The beach was lovely and the water was almost warm. HOWEVER the local vendors were the most persistent we have every encountered! They simply would not leave us alone. When we sat in our beach chairs, they squatted in a circle around us and looked at us like starving puppies. OK- it is their country, and they are very poor, but this was not what we had expected. I did leave with them all the cash I had brought with me - purchasing some cheap things that I did not really want. It was a voluntary act of charity. Colon - the city center itself used to be very pretty - maybe about 100 years ago! What a dump now! But we went on the Gatun Lake Explorer excursion and it was worth every penny! The small "jungle boat" was manned by a very funny and informative captain. We saw five kinds of monkeys, crocodiles, turtles, and a sloth, as well as innumerable birds. For lunch, we rode through a very narrow jungle canal into a lovely secluded lake, with several connected barges. The lunch was enjoyable, the beer was cold, and DH swam in the (perhaps) crocodile infested waters, very carefully I might add. A great day! Puerto Limon - the city itself was grim. We took the Hacienda Experience. We had to ride a bus - a very nice bus this time, for 2 hours to get to our destination at a macadamia and coffee farm. The visit to the lovely hacienda, the demonstration of sugar cane processing and coffee and macadamia processing was interesting and worthwhile. The lunch was excellent. But I think we will be careful not to choose again those excursions which require a lot of bus travel - it just makes the day too long. I recommend the hacienda but not the bus ride! Cozumel - the last time I was there was one day before Hurricane Wilma. I was stunned and delighted that Cozumel seems better than ever! We took the Passion Island Escape, and again, it was money well spent. The Island itself and the experience remind me of the various cruise line private islands I have visited, but perhaps a little bit better! Very clean, very lovely white sand beach, very well laid out, lots of lounge chairs, shade, a great lunch with cold beer and margaritas, and massages in a little kiosk on the beach. And wonderful service. What a relaxing day! I'd do this again in a heartbeat! Clothing on the ship: We notice that very few people are dressing very formally. "Smart casual" is the designation for all nights other than the TWO formal nights - used to be THREE on a cruise of this length. My simple dress, and DH's sports coat and tie fit right in with the rest of most of the folks on the formal nights. Debarkation was a breeze thanks to the valet luggage program. We signed up for this when we got on the ship. The night before debarkation, we put our special luggage tags on our luggage, left it outside the door and did not see it again until the baggage claim at our home airport. We even got our boarding passes delivered to our cabin. So on debark day, when our number was called, we walked off the ship with our little carry-ons, handed in our customs claim, got in a taxi and were in the Fort Lauderdale airport by about 9 am. So easy! Only thing we had to wait in line for was Security. Already booked for two more Celebrity cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
My husband and I are in our 30's; no children. We were looking for a cruise to see new ports we haven't been to, as well as to relax and celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We've been on 6 other cruises with RCCL, Carnival, ... Read More
My husband and I are in our 30's; no children. We were looking for a cruise to see new ports we haven't been to, as well as to relax and celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We've been on 6 other cruises with RCCL, Carnival, NCL and MSC. This was our first Celebrity cruise experience. Overall experience: Celebrity touts themselves as a "premium" cruise line. While we had a nice experience and enjoyed our cruise, I wouldn't quite put them in the premium category. Overall, it was about the same as an RCCL cruise experience, except with a much older crowd. There were 13 kids on the entire cruise (which was great for us as we wanted relaxation and probably saw 4 kids the entire cruise). We actually laughed because if you look down the cabin hallways after 10 pm, you'll see them lined up with wheelchairs and scooters. We had a few laughs over that! But even though Celebrity seems to draw an older crowd, we found most of them to be active, enjoying life and having fun. Embarkation: A Being from Florida, we drove down the night before and stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriott in Dania Beach. Comfortable hotel. It was cheaper for us to stay at this hotel and get free parking for the duration of the cruise than to park at the port for 12 days. (And a free hot breakfast and free shuttle to the ship doesn't hurt, either!) I recommend this route for anyone who is driving to your port of call. We arrived at noon and embarkation was fast and efficient. We were on the boat within 15 minutes. They greeted us with champagne or mimosas, which was a nice touch, but there was no one to assist you to your room since the rooms weren't quite ready yet. This led to a bit of confusion for guests as everyone sort of stalled in this area and walked around aimlessly with no direction. We took the elevator down to check out our room, which fortunately was ready so we dropped off our luggage and started exploring the ship. Initially we were assigned room 2119 with an ocean view. My husband likes to be close to the water for less movement of the ship. Well, this didn't work out so good as it was quite noisy with who knows what going on below us (engine noise, squeaking, etc), so we had a hard time sleeping. After a few days we asked Guest Services for another room, and they promptly gave us room 3064 and allowed us to view the room before accepting it. Our room steward brought our luggage to the new room with a smile. I have to say that Guest Services was outstanding on this ship. We've been on several cruises and had trouble in this area, but no complaints on the Connie. The new room was exactly the same in size and dimensions, but much quieter (finally got some sleep!). The Ship: B- The Connie is beautiful in decor - has a nice regal and elegant feeling. I do agree with other comments in that it is definitely time to upgrade the upholstery and furnishings. Even though they are kept clean, you can really see the wear and tear on them. We noticed this in both of our staterooms, especially the loveseats. Also the lounges and other areas are in need of new upholstery. But this was a minor complaint - just something we noticed. By the way, Celebrity touts all new linens with Egyptian cotton sheets, etc, etc. Well, what they don't tell you is that the beds are not new. I don't see how they possibly can be - beds were not comfortable at all. Lumpy and hard. We both had a backache the entire cruise. In fact, of all the cruises we've been on, these were the worst we experienced. The pillows were a disgrace - you can get better pillows at a Motel 6! We asked for different pillows but were told this is all they had (which we all know is not true because Concierge class folks get 4 types of pillows to choose from!) So we suffered through that part of it, but for a ship that is supposed to be premium class, we expected much, much better than this. The Food: A to D+, depending on where you eat Ah, food: the most important part of vacation for many people! I'll break this down in sections: Ocean Liners Restaurant: This is Connie's specialty restaurant that you pay a $30/person fee to go to. It was well worth the money. The decor is lovely, and the food was fantastic. The goat cheese souffle was heavenly, and the filet mignon was cooked perfectly. The Chocolate Souffle and Grand Marnier Souffle we had for dessert was divine. Service was impeccable. Highly recommend you go to this restaurant at least one night, or more if you can afford it. San Marco Dining: This is the main dining area. The first thing we did after we got on the ship and dropped our luggage off was go to the Maitre d' to request our dining preferences. We gave them three options: 1) we asked for early dining with a table for two. 2) we asked for late dining with a table for two. 3) we asked for early dining with a group of people if there were no tables for two. Now, we don't expect any special favors, but we did explain it was our 10-year anniversary and we were looking for an intimate experience for our dinners. The Maitre d' promised we would hear from them the next day to let us know what they could work out. We received a note the next day in our room notifying us that none of our requests could be met! Huh? We were some of the first persons to speak with him upon boarding the ship. Not only that, but we heard from several other people that their requests were honored for seating preferences. In addition, there were SEVERAL empty tables open during late dining our entire cruise! So we both felt that this was very poorly done by Celebrity. On the plus side, the other couple who was assigned to our table were fabulous - we thoroughly enjoyed their company, so all in all it worked out well. The food in San Marco: Some of it was really good, and some of it was mediocre at best. I don't think I would describe any of it as outstanding. On the other hand, the bread on the entire ship is amazing - I could have eaten meals of just their bread with butter. YUM! Dishes that stand out in my mind that were good in this restaurant were the fish dishes. The lobster ravioli appetizer was very good. The carpaccio appetizer was great. Pasta dishes were so-so. Desserts - go with what your waiter recommends and stay from anything that looks "gelatinous." The cheesecakes were usually quite good. The Buffet area: Your typical buffet area. Recommended highlights were the pasta and salad bar. The pasta was actually delicious - al dente and the sauces were great! We ate this for dinner a couple of the nights. The sushi bar was pretty good and have new offerings each night. The stir fry looked good but we never tried this. Oh, and the omelette bar for breakfast - a must. They made great omelettes. I really wanted to try the waffles that everyone raves about, but we never got up early enough or were off the ship in the port the days we were up early! Cova Cafe: Do visit the Cova Cafe. The coffees are smooth and delicious (though a bit pricey). But the ALMOND or CHOCOLATE croissants were out of this world. They'll heat them in the microwave and it's like heaven on your palette. Don't miss them!! Martini Bar: Okay, this doesn't classify as a restaurant, but it's worth mentioning to take advantage of this area as they make fabulous martinis. The martini sampler they offer for $9.50 was wonderful and well worth the price. Cheers! Entertainment: D- Well, that's a loaded subject line. Maybe some thought the entertainment was good. If you're over 50, that is. The production shows were typical and boring. The other entertainment was SO not our style. I'm not saying they weren't talented, but seriously, Celebrity needs to cater to more age groups than just an older crowd. The one night that there was a comedian, we were in Cozumel so were off the ship when he performed. So really we missed out (or walked out of) most of the entertainment offered. The other thing we hated, was if you have late dining, then your entertainment for that night is usually at 7:00 pm. Who wants to get dressed early for a 7 pm show and then rush off to dinner after that. Yuck. Hated this layout. The theatre was at least 1/2 empty almost every time we went in there, so I have a feeling we're not the only ones who felt this way. Perry Grant, who normally plays regularly in Michaels Club (and who seems to have an amazing following of fans), played in the main theatre one night (to fill in for another act that was cancelled). We heard so much about him so decided to go. If you like cabernet style songs and alot of gay jokes, it might be your bag, but it certainly wasn't our style. He's talented, yes. Just wasn't our thing. Maybe you'll enjoy his style - many did. Beyond the main theatre, there was a Acapello (sp?) band who did a great job. The 3-piece quartet was beautiful to listen to. There was a guitar/Jimmy Buffet style player that we saw a couple of times on the aft deck 10 - really cool to have a drink, listen to him play, and watch the open sea. Shopping: B The shops on board were a step above the other cruise lines we were on, as far as quality and selection. The jewelry such as the turquoise and amber was great, so do check this out. While you can probably find alcohol a dollar or two cheaper in port, honestly, it's not that much of a difference. It's much easier to buy it on the ship and not have to worry about carrying it all back to the ship. Ports of call: A GEORGETOWN, GRAND CAYMAN: been here before. We were going to do the Sting Ray tour since we've never done that, but it was so windy and overcast, all the water tours were cancelled. In fact, our ship wasn't able to dock at Georgetown. We had to anchor in another area of the island and take a taxi to Georgetown. Just did a little shopping and had lunch at Breezes, which was pretty good with a great view if you go upstairs to the top. CARTEGENA, COLUMBIA: If you don't want to have a tour guide with you all day, do not, I repeat, do not stop at the first stop where it looks like there are taxis (cross the street and follow the additional signs for taxis). The initial taxi area ropes you into thinking they are dropping you off wherever you want to go. What they don't tell you is that they stay with you all day. We were with another couple that we decided to share a taxi with (thinking we would just be dropped off in Old Town and picked up later). Well, not so. Our tour guide spoke broken English, and stayed with us all day. Not what we were hoping for. However,there are so many street beggars wanting money or trying to sell you their "goods" or want to collect money from you for taking a picture of them (fruit lady, men dressed up like black iron fisherman statues), it was probably just as well that we had a guide. We didn't feel unsafe at all, and I know there is alot of talk about how safe or unsafe Cartagena is. Just don't wear jewelry (we did notice some people watching our pockets and seeing if we had jewelry on - looking for an opportunity to pickpocket.) Old Town was very neat to see. The Inquisition Museum was eerie but worth going to. Unfortunately, unless you have an English speaking guide or know Spanish, all the museum descriptions are in Spanish. We also went to La Popa Monastery, which gives an incredible view of the city. Wasn't much to see, but worth seeing just for the history of it. It was here that I got to hold a sloth (for a $5 fee!!!). But it was worth it! COLON, PANAMA: Loved, loved, loved this one. Since there is really not much to do at port (a few shops but really nothing exciting at all - this isn't the place to shop), we booked the "Grand Tour of Panama" through the ship. Well worth the money and was the highlight of our trip. We took a bus to the Melia Hotel where we boarded a boat on the Gatun Lake (gorgeous). The boat ride takes you to the Embera Indian Village where you meet the Indians, see how they live, learn all about their culture, and have opportunity to buy their handwoven baskets. If you think this is "hokey" when reading your excursion options (I did!)THINK AGAIN. This was truly amazing and absolutely not to be missed. Bring cash - you WILL want to purchase some of their crafts, which aren't expensive. From there we boarded the boat and did an Eco-Tour on the Gatun Lake, where we saw sloths, monkeys, birds, butterflies, etc. Gorgeous, lush rain forest! Loved it. From there we went back to the hotel, had a quick lunch, and then boarded the bus and went to the Gatun Locks to see the ships coming through from the observation tower. Again, very cool. Then they take you back to the ship. The tour guides spoke English and made our trip very, very enjoyable. Highly recommend this tour. PUERTO LIMON, COSTA RICA: We did a private tour with Charlie Soto (Okey-Dokey Tours). It was great - we highly recommend him. We stopped at a fruitstand and tried the bananas, water apples, and cacao beans. Then went horseback riding through the rainforest, where we saw howler monkeys, sloths, frogs, spiders, huge ants, termites, etc. Gorgeous - we loved it. Then back to the stable where were geared up to zip line through the Costa Rican rain forest. Amazing!! Don't fear doing this - it's very safe and so free and exhilarating!! You feel like a bird!! Then we had lunch at the beach and then did the Tortuguera Canal boat tour, where we saw more wildlife. Then to a local grocery store to get coffee (.85/bag for 1820 Coffee vs. $8/bag at the tourist stops!). Then back to the ship. Beautiful country, but very poor there. Book a tour to really see the country - it's lovely. Disembarkation: A We tried the new "Express Disembarkation" that they are testing out. Basically, if you're healthy and can carry all your luggage off the ship without assistance, you can be off the ship around 8-8:30 am. (You should seen us stuffing our bags to consolidate everything!). But it worked out beautiful and we were off and went right through customs with no problems at all. Summary: As stated initially, we came on this cruise to relax, and that is what we did (minus our port calls!!). We decided that if it was just the two of us cruising together, we would do Celebrity again, but if we were going with friends, we would definitely do Royal Caribbean instead. The ship was definitely geared towards an older crowd, but it was still a fun crown nonetheless and we did enjoy our vacation. While not a premium cruiseline, it's still a nicer cruise line next to the others we have sailed (RCCL is a close second, and definitely a more youthful vibe). We hope to sail the new Solstice one day in the future. Read Less
Celebrity Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

Find a Celebrity Constellation Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise