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167 Celebrity Constellation Senior Cruise Reviews

Working and raising a family kept us from cruising for over thirty years. Finally retired, and we've already cruised twice this year, hopefully more to come! Here's a comparison of the first two pleasure filled journeys, seen ... Read More
Working and raising a family kept us from cruising for over thirty years. Finally retired, and we've already cruised twice this year, hopefully more to come! Here's a comparison of the first two pleasure filled journeys, seen through our inexperienced eyes: MSC Poesia -- January 19th from Fort Lauderdale, a seven night western Caribbean cruise. We invited along our ten amazing grandchildren plus, of course, their parents. True family joy surrounded by caring, gracious service. Pure fun for kids, sophisticated elegance for adults. Celebrity Constellation -- May 5th from Miami, just wife Debbie and I, a 15 night transatlantic cruise to Amsterdam. Pampering for romantics, and we always felt special. We had booked this cruise before deciding on the MSC family vacation. Of course traveling as a family on MSC Poesia in a cluster of nine lovely upgraded balcony cabins is quite different from a couple in one of Celebrity Constellation's comfortable, spacious, Sky Suites. By the way, cabins on both ships are intelligently designed and were immaculately clean. And cabin attendants were thorough, pleasant, and proactive. Two home runs! Both voyages by far exceeded our expectations, and we will recommend both ships (and their companies) to personal friends. Clear to us: both organizations have strong, bright, and obsessively customer focused managements. Our big surprise: how very few people we meet, even veteran cruisers, have heard of MSC Cruises. A shame because this company's product is solidly good and deserving of recognition, worthy as a first choice. On the other hand, pretty much everybody knows and strongly compliments Celebrity for consistently excellent product, evidently, a well earned reputation. We have the feeling that MSC think of themselves as the underdog, a smaller less known company, so they try even harder than the "big boys" to please and delight. Similarly, no sign that Celebrity is resting on laurels, focused efforts. Decor -- both ships are creatively and stunningly decorated. MSC Poesia to us seemed to have a more cohesive, flowing sense of themes and colors, a feel that's both modern and welcoming, pleasant spaces. Celebrity Constellation is filled with evocative pieces of original art, many great conversation starters, add a sense of whimsy. At a guess, the overall decorating plan was assembled by a team of distinguished world class decorators, and each desired to contribute individuality. Sanitation -- on both ships crew continually sanitized railings, proactively offered hand sanitizer, suggested (to say it mildly) hand washing. Main Dining Room -- both have two fixed dinner seating. Poesia's dining room layout is more structured, serpentine hip walls create aisles for guests and wait staff to move about. The effect is cozy areas, a bit club room like, and one feels a tad more private. Constellation's dining room is towering high, magnificent, with a true "wow" evoking ceiling, plus elaborate formal staircase in center leading up to tables on a balcony circling above the main seating floor. There are no main area aisles, just lots of tables of varying sizes, scant wiggle room around each, but once seated, fully comfortable. A memorable space! Service in both is gracious, attentive, accommodating. Soon servers on both ships greeted us by name. On the Poesia, likely because our ten grandchildren made us stand out, very special extra service was unobtrusively provided, and younger children received individual help ordering. My jaw dropped with delight realizing that the wait crew remembered not only each child's name but also what food each likes, having noted what was left on the plate the day before, and used that to guide ordering. We take our hats off to that kind of spontaneous customer service, so rare in today's streamlined world. Nothing lacked from Constellation's excellent service, we were personally very, very well cared for. Food -- quality on both ships was excellent, as delicious as in most "fine" dining restaurant on land, but not quite "gourmet." My mind cannot grasp how so many thousand extremely varied (special requests encouraged) meals can be well prepared and served daily. Glad it's not my job to make that happen! In the main dining room, MSC's menu offered more international dishes (plus the US standbys). Some Italian dishes were jump out of your shoes tasty. Celebrity offers more "American" style choices. Likely each company is responding to the tastes if its own clientele: MSC has many more nationalities aboard especially Western European; Celebrity has a predominantly American clientele. Portions in the dining room are larger on Celebrity than MSC. However on MSC many (like big eater me) ordered five courses and left very satisfied. Hard to imagine many except the most robust fully finishing just four courses on Celebrity. I could only eat a third of a perfectly cooked, actually melt in the mouth delicious, braised lamb shank main course on Celebrity. At home would have been doggie bagged for an additional dinner plus a lunch! Both ships have cafeterias on the pool deck. MSC's is significantly larger, more selections, American and international. Quality at both ships' cafeterias is astonishing, fresh salads, carved meat, pastas, and so on. Celebrity has, at a more forward, separate location, a small healthy food cafeteria, Aqua Cafe, where we were delighted by fresh, often organic, food and tastes, breakfast and lunch, allowing us avoiding the temptation to over eat if "seduced" by the main buffets' almost sinful delights. Specialty restaurants (extra charge) on Constellation (Tuscan Grill and Ocean Liners) are simply top excellent food and service, as good as the best available in most average sized cities, worth the added cost (about $40 per person), especially for the romantically inclined. At Ocean Liners select the goat cheese souffle as a starter. Wine list is world class. We suspect MSC Poesia's specialty restaurants would also have also been delights, but the temptation was dampened by the thought of asking a fine dining venue for a tables for 23, including 10 children, with a few high chairs. As well behaved as our troops are, likely a considerate decision. Tips -- per day, per person, tips are added on to the bill covering both the "hotel" and included dining service. MSC has a reduced rate for children, the youngest are free. Both ships automatically add in a 15 percent tip for extra charge beverages and food. Celebrity also ask for a voluntary "extra tip" over and above this automatic 15 percent, and in our opinion usually the quality of the service received warrants a bigger tip. Smoking -- on both ships smoking is allowed at designated places on the pool decks. Appears more smoking allowed locations on Constellation. The very pretty Sunset Bar on Constellation's fantail overlooking the stern was way too smoky for us, although the Constellation does not lack for other delightful spots that are smoke free. Surprisingly, adjacent to the Constellation's healthy food Aqua Cafe there is a smoking area separated only by very wide automatic sliding doors, and strong cigarette smell wafts in with each door opening depending on wind direction. Extra charge beverages -- bottled water is free on the Poesia (nice for shore excursions) but is costly on Constellation (tap water is quite good on both ships). Bar prices on both were reasonable, lower than normally found on land. Because we purchased a wine package on Poesia (12 bottles for a nicely discounted lump sum) have no feel for relative wine prices in main dining room of ship. Constellation's wine list is extensive, never outrageously priced, although no bargains. Two pluses for MSC -- do it yourself self service gelato cone machines on pool deck, real hit with the kids. Laundry package, $25 lump sum covered our (grandma and grandpa) laundry for the week, not unlimited but conveniently sufficient. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Since Crystal has changed its policies and its service has diminished, we decided to try other cruiselines. We prefer transatlantic because we like the relaxing days at sea, so we opted for Celebrity. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
Since Crystal has changed its policies and its service has diminished, we decided to try other cruiselines. We prefer transatlantic because we like the relaxing days at sea, so we opted for Celebrity. We were not disappointed. EMBARKATION: As easy as its gets if you print out boarding passes on computer. We just showed all the necessary documentation and within 15 minutes, we were ascending the gangplank! :) CABIN: As this was a transatltantic, we chose a cabin on a lower deck, midship. We were not sorry since we experinced minimal rocking. The cabin was well appointed and had plenty of storage. We stashed our luggage under the beds. Our cabin steward, Collin, was fantastic and complied with every small request. We tipped him extra for his efforts. After the first night, I requested a feather pillow and it was there. The mattresses are rock hard and every morning, I awoke with a stiff back. That was the only bad thing. Also, the satellite TV was off again/on again, but we were not cruising to watch TV. I unplugged it, let it reboot, and it was fine. We saw many good movies. DINING: We requested a table for two at early seating. We sat along the wall in the Michaelangelo dining room. Some people did not like this, but I enjoyed watching the people pass us, especially on formal nights. It was like a fashion show. Our waiter, Ramon, was good, but his assistant, Reagan, was brand new and that poor kid tried ssssoooo hard to please. I think they were riding him, but he was very good to us. The food was tasty and variety was plentiful. ENTERTAINMENT: The social director, John Grantham, was a veteran employee. His assistant, Tyler, was always at his side and I'm not sure what purpose he served. They had a dance troupe that performed and they were okay. One guest speaker, Nigel West, spoke about espionage during WWI and WWII and he drew a large audience. He was very, very good. Also, Capt. Tasos spoke on the construction of a brand new ship. Capt. Tasos was a very funny, very affable man and very approachable. He loves his job. Since we had 7 straight days at sea, for the first time, we decided to attend the art auctions. We were glad we did because Travis taught us so much about art! We also played trivia twice a day. SPA: I went for a spa treatment and it was just average. My operator kept trying to sell me products and I found that to be a turn off. Of course, their prices were 3-4x the norm ($45 for a manicure!) but they've got a captive audience. GYM: The gym was very well equipped and there were plenty of treadmills to go around. We used it everyday. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: We went to the Italian Grille and were disappointed. I sent my entree back. The menu is very limited and the choices are not genuine Italian. Everyone raved about OCEANLINERS, so next time, we'll try that one. Overall, it was a very nice cruise and the differences b/t Celebrity and Crystal were subtle, but with Celebrity you get much more bang for your buck. They've got two new loyal customers! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Just came back off a 5 night cruise on the Constellation. This was our 5th cruise on Celebrity and we are very partial to this cruise line. We love dining in the specialty restaurants, and went twice to Ocean Liners. The food there was ... Read More
Just came back off a 5 night cruise on the Constellation. This was our 5th cruise on Celebrity and we are very partial to this cruise line. We love dining in the specialty restaurants, and went twice to Ocean Liners. The food there was awesome. We did try Tuscan one night, and it was good, not great. If you are going to do only one night specialty-go to Ocean Liners, they will make you feel like you are eating in a 5 star restaurant. Both food and service are terrific. We cruised Concierge Class-cabin 7186. The location was nice as it is close to the aft elevator. Our room attendant was ok, we have had much better on Celebrity. We didn't have much interaction with him. He did his job, but didn't go out of his way to communicate with us. We only ate in the MDR 2 times this trip, and the food was fine. The last night they served a chambord chocolate cake-that definitely had something wrong with it, it was inedible. The pastries and breads on this ship not as heavenly as on the Summit or Century, but were ok. The biggest surprise for us on this ship was the lackluster Cruise Director-worse I have had on 14 cruises. We didn't see her anywhere on the ship. She would show up on stage at night, and on tv in the morning, but that was about it until the last night in dining room. I don't think this is her calling. We stopped at 2 ports, Honduras and Cozumel. We did an excursion in Honduras the glass bottom boat on the reef, which was fun. Our excursion in Cozumel was cancelled, which left us with not much to do in port. I don't think I would look to go back to either port. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
My wife and I have been on over 50 cruises on many different lines. We had heard great things about Celebrity and decided to try a 5 day cruise on the Constellation. The cruise departed from Miami and called at Roatan and Cozumel. ... Read More
My wife and I have been on over 50 cruises on many different lines. We had heard great things about Celebrity and decided to try a 5 day cruise on the Constellation. The cruise departed from Miami and called at Roatan and Cozumel. Arrival We had made parking arrangements with Premier Parking after reading some good reviews on line. What a terrible mistake. We arrived at their lot at 12:45 pm, the time on our reservationn and were told to leave and come back in a couple of hours. That they had no room for any more cars. Well, where do you go in Miami for an hour or two when waiting to park your car? We looked around for another lot and finally called the home office and got them to intervene and have the lot start valet parking. Of course, then we had to wait over 45 minutes for a shuttle to get to the port! Called a cab, but they never showed. So we finally arrived at the port at about 2:45 pm. There was no line to check in, but some how the lady took about 10 minutes to get us checked in and did not swipe the credit card for my wife ( we found out later). Once on the ship, we were greeted by free drinks, but no directions. We found out room and it was made up and ready for occupancy. We went up to the Sea View and had lunch. The lifeboat drill was painless and over fairly quickly and we set sail for Roatan. Room: Our room was a standard inside and was very nice. Had a great shower, much bigger than most ships, but poorly arranged closets. You could not open the bathroom door if someone was trying to get in the closet. Otherwise the room was fine. The biggest complaint we had about the Constellation was that it should have been refurbished a year ago, not 2013. There were torn duvet covers, stained blankets, stained towels and mildew in the bathrooms. This is not what one expects from a top drawer cruise line. Food: Dining room food was very good. Best French Onion Soup I have ever had. All dishes were served hot and had good taste. Found very little that was not good. Service in the dining room was excellent, again among the best I have had. We had Early Dining. The food on the Buffet was bland and never changed. I thought they could do much better. The Pizza was just average. The Buffet set up was confusing and people seemed to have a lot of trouble figuring out where to go to get what. Entertainment: Excellent. Of the five acts 4 were among the best I have seen. Only the juggler was not very good. The Cruise Director was good and very approachable. Ship Condition: Needs refurbishment. Threadbare and dirty in places. Also, was told by a number of Celebrity fans, don't judge the line by this ship. I hope they are correct. Corners were cut because it was a five day cruise-- no lobster, no prawns, etc. Seems to me they would go all out to impress you so that you would do a longer cruise with them. We had 10 in our group and none were excited about going on another Celebrity Cruise. They said this one was just OK. Disembarkation-- Very quick and very smooth-- no complaints at all. Overall: Would try Celebrity again if the itinerary was one I wanted and the price was good. But if I have to choose, everything else being equal, I would said with Princess or Holland America before Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Celebrate with Celebrity Constellation What a difference a year makes! Last Year's Transatlantic was on RCCL Navigator not so good. This year Constellation was a 9 out of 10 Hard to believe that they are part of the same RCCL ... Read More
Celebrate with Celebrity Constellation What a difference a year makes! Last Year's Transatlantic was on RCCL Navigator not so good. This year Constellation was a 9 out of 10 Hard to believe that they are part of the same RCCL family. The entire trip will have created fond memories. In Southampton we stayed at the Hotel Mercure very reasonable and only a 10 minute walk to the Pier. Boarding at 11:00 AM was slow so we went shopping at the excellent West Quay Mall came back at 2 PM boarding took only 10 minutes. Superlatives for all the restaurants, Gym was above average, I just wish that the dry sauna was turned on before 7AM when the gym was full. The ship personnel were always friendly. The Entertainers as well as Sue the cruise director were entirely appropriate for the demographics of this sailing. Every evening was enjoyable. The dress suggestions for Formal/Dress-up Dinners were well upheld even providing a Jacket for the men who didn't have one. We so appreciated the restraint in using the ship's Public address system to a minimum they assume appropriately that guests will & can read the daily activities newsletter. Diane Hedricks Zumba classes twice a day were SO appreciated by my Wife as well as the other 90 guests. Finally a word to the Stuffy/Elite 5% of our fellow passengers who felt that this was their exclusive private cruise,they would be happier chartering their own Boat next time, Especially the lady who insisted on turning down the music since it disturbed her ability to read in silence during the Zumba class in the Reflections lounge. Overall it must be obvious by this review that Celebrity Constellation is very high on our favorite Cruise ships list. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
1. not friendly welcome - other cruises a big party, this... you're here, and so what 2. Food served only by staff. a. First day virtually all servers not friendly improved over cruise, but not all happy to be serving. b. Really ... Read More
1. not friendly welcome - other cruises a big party, this... you're here, and so what 2. Food served only by staff. a. First day virtually all servers not friendly improved over cruise, but not all happy to be serving. b. Really slowed meal times large lines by stations at busy times c. Servers hard to find at some stations non-busy times d. Tables had signs "This table has been sanitized" and, had in fact, been wiped down with a disinfectant. The problem was that, in many cases, they were moving mud around the table. The table was sanitized, but not clean. 3. Are they watching food temperature? I had Shellfish Bisque that was barely warm. Could lead to food poisoning. It made me wonder how carefully they were testing food temp on the line. I was about to comment that I'm sure they are watching temperature in the kitchen, but is an assumption on my part. 4. The overall attitude of the crew is, in my opinion, a direct result of managements attitude. 5. Ship has maintenance issues, lights not working, rust, equipment in some facilities, the carpets in the buffet are filthy in some areas. 6. Our cabin was the largest veranda cabin I've ever had and was very well appointed. 7. Our cabin team was excellent - I can't recommend them more.Very friendly and accommodating and kept the room in tip-top shape. 8. My friend took a wine tour based on ONE of the wineries that was listed on the tour. The Winery has a world class reputation and hasn't done public tours in years. The tour stopped outside the gate of the winery and they could shoot photos of the winery through the fence. The tour cost $300 and was a rip off. It appears that the cruise line deliberately misled people in their description of the tour. The other participants were quite angry with this apparent deception. 9. One thing I found curious as I'm writing this at 3 in the morning. One of the staff is sweeping the carpet in the buffet area with a broom and dustpan. Wouldn't a vacuum cleaner be more effective at actually getting dirt out of the carpet? 10. The port in Bilbao had free WIFI, but one couldn't get logged on. The staff at the port commented that the cruise ship was blocking the signal. Apparently, an attempt by Celebrity to keep the everyone paying the cruise ships outrageous rates for Internet time. 11. The Ocean Liner restaurant - an extra fee restaurant - was world class. The service and food were wonderful. Had dinner there twice and would recommend it to anyone. 12. The service and the food in the main dining room was very good. 13. My friend was attempting to get a cup of coffee. After picking up 3 cups from the "clean" tray and finding them dirty she mentioned it to a ships officer that happened to be close by about the situation.His comment was "just use a paper cup!" in an exasperated tone of voice. 14. This cruise was a "wine immersion" cruise. We didn't hear of any wine seminars of any kind until 2 days before the end of the cruise from a fellow passenger. There was a list of seminars that we were told they couldn't put on tables because of the sanitary problems the ship was undergoing. 15. After we saw the list of seminars we discovered that they were all rather expensive... Riedel Glass seminar $87 - promoting Riedel glasses. A wine and food seminar at $95. The least expensive one was a wine and cheese tasting for $35. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We departed on May 5th from Ft. Lauderdale on the Celebrity Constellation. We gathered on the top deck waving to all and holding a sign that read "Cruise Critic Goes Dutch" since we were headed to Amsterdam. We had a great ... Read More
We departed on May 5th from Ft. Lauderdale on the Celebrity Constellation. We gathered on the top deck waving to all and holding a sign that read "Cruise Critic Goes Dutch" since we were headed to Amsterdam. We had a great group of people who had been in touch on Cruise Critic for almost a year and now finally were meeting and enjoying each other in person. The Ship is beautiful and in terrific shape. Except for Aqua Class which will be installed within the next six months, the refurbishing and solticizing of the ship made it look terrific. We were in Concierge Class and although there is a little larger space, with a few more amenities, don't really think it was worth the extra money. Fresh flowers, champagne and fruit upon arrival and canapes each afternoon. Next time a balcony cabin without the frills would be fine. Upon walking onto the ship, smiling faces of the staff greeted us with glasses of champagne and/or juice. The staff were amazing and wonderful. Each and every member on the ship was pleasant, helpful and ready to do whatever we asked of them. The food in the MDR was really good with a varied menu each and everyday. You could always find something to your liking. We asked for our food to be served temperature hot and it was seen to without question. Our waiter Andy and his assistant Dino were just perfect. Our cabin steward Ovido couldn't have been better. The ship had many activities to keep us busy and none if we so desired for rest and relaxation. The gym was the place to be each and every morning and the weather cooperated for most of the trip. We had two rocky sea days but not too bad. We ate at the Tuscan Grille the first night and although the staff tried to please, we were not impressed with this restaurant. Our experience at the Ocean Liners was more favorable and we really enjoyed the food and service at this restaurant. You pay a little more but it was worth it. Also had a lunch at the Bistro for an up charge but the crepes were divine. Discovered Perry Grant on this cruise and fell in love with him. What a talent he is. He made us laugh till our sides hurt and loved his singing all the old songs. He is a gold mine for the cruise line. we hope to catch him again on another cruise. The ports we stopped at were great. Azores, (Amazing Tours with Ricardo) was just spectacular, Lisbon,a beautiful city but hot the day we were there. LeHavre and took a tour through cruise line to Fecamp and Entretat, and finally a stop in Dover. Met some wonderful friends at the port and they took us to Canterbury for a wonderful day. We arrived in Amsterdam on May 20th and spent five days there. We will definitely be on another transatlantic in the future but Celebrity is the way to to. The best cruise line...out there bar none. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We first took a Transatlantic last year on Disney Magic....and it was just that,magic! We have a vacation rental home near Disneyworld in Florida so we come over quite often to make sure the home is in tip top shape for our guests. ... Read More
We first took a Transatlantic last year on Disney Magic....and it was just that,magic! We have a vacation rental home near Disneyworld in Florida so we come over quite often to make sure the home is in tip top shape for our guests. So it makes sense to come and go on a Transatlantic and use one air fare for 2 vacations. First time with Celebrity and I had heard good things about Connie so we were excited to go. We left our Central Florida home at around 8 a.m and drove to Ft Lauderdale. Checking in took an inordinate of time but we were eventually on board and enjoying our first lunch. We shared a table with another very nice couple and had a good chat and then never saw them again for the whole of the 2 weeks. We met our dinner companions that night and we had a great time together. One couple never showed up but as we were on a table for 8 we still had our lovely couples from Maryland and California. Our waiter was called Ufuk (yes really) and he was wonderful and so personable. Also his assistant was great. Food was about the same quality as RC I would say. We took all the meals that we could in the restaurant and therefore sat with many different people. The service was always good and I loved the somewhat older waiter from Lisbon; what a nice man. Every night we caught a show, every night we saw the wonderful Perry Grant for most of both shows, we took part in many quizzes, enjoyed the Zumba and generally walked the decks and read. The library was pretty good, quite a lot of odd titles but enough to keep me going. Internet was (as always) ridiculously expensive but stayed at a good speed all the way over; our Disney internet last year was disastrous) Not my favourite ports of call but OK; I would opt for stops in the Caribbean and Bahamas next time. I do like the cruise line's own private beaches so if I can find one that offers this it would sway me.. Lots of wonderful guests on board and we enjoyed many a long gossip. And the drawbacks? I suppose I was expecting a big step up from Carnival and RC and at first I struggled to see what they were. Then I realised how much more space there was, how many staff per guest there were and how fabulous the covered deck was. I found the decor rather dreary and the art work, at times, puzzling (dead dandelions!) I do like a promenade deck you can walk right round(not possible on Connie) and our check in lady at Ft Lauderdale was spectacularly rude (until she overheard us talking about it) We did not go on to Amsterdam but disembarked in Dover where all went smoothly and we were met by my son in law and within 2 hours we were back in our own home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We booked Cabin 9129, C3 level at an EXTREMELY excellent rate and we were not disappointed by the Constellation, ports of call, quality of our room, food quality, level or service......well, what can I say except that we have already ... Read More
We booked Cabin 9129, C3 level at an EXTREMELY excellent rate and we were not disappointed by the Constellation, ports of call, quality of our room, food quality, level or service......well, what can I say except that we have already booked a 2013 cruise on the Equinox (or second on that ship and our third cruise with Celebrity!). My partner and I live in Southern California, are in our mid to late 60's, enjoy traveling, good food combined with good service and so far Celebrity has consistently delivered! We were a little hesitant booking on the Constellation, due to her age and size, but no fear, she is a great ship! The Constellation reminded us of a Art Deco decor, reminiscent of the Queen Mary here in Long Beach, CA where we live. The warm wood tones, the understated colors and the general ambiance is VERY inviting, providing a very relaxing tone to our general experience the 15 fantastic days and nights on this ship. Our Cabin: Very spacious, clean, with plenty of storage, comfortable furniture-an excellent home away from home! Room Attendants: Extremely friendly, attentive and never intrusive. Our clean room, bedding and towel magically appeared when we returned. Whenever we requested something a little extra, it was graciously provided. We asked is we could have shrimp cocktails provided instead of the "usual" Hors D'oeuvres, extra wine glasses and Hors D'oeuvres for guests we were having in our cabin....never a problem! Food Quality: We had late dining at 8:30. Main dining room food quality was if we were eating at a fine restaurant in Los Angles with service to match. Our two waiters, Juan and Javier were just amazing! Always providing extra desserts, and any little extra we would ask for. I LOVE dessert and ice cream and Celebrity has never failed to provide a high quality and diversity of either! Premium Restaurants: We had three meals at the Oceans as I am very fond of French and Continental food. NEVER a disappointment! We reserved our first night there at $40/person and after telling our waiters at our Main Dining room what a wonderful time we had, they offered us a "special" of $20/person and took good advantage of the excellent price for two other nights! Loved the table side service with the only Flambe, open flame, service on the ship! I love Foie gras they served and after the first dinner there, they always served me a double portion! How could you NOT love that kind of service for THAT price! The waiters were as good as any we have had in Beverly Hills, but with no attitude! Dinner was not only prepared to perfection, but our waiters make it fun and relaxing. We always had the table for the evening and never rushed with our dinner. I only wish what the menu would have changed, but on the other hand, how can you not enjoy, lobster, filet, rack of lamb, venison, turbot, and sea scallops prepared tableside on a menu? Our last meal there, our waiter prepared Steak Diane, tableside for us, which was not on the menu! Buffett: There were two Grand Buffets served during our sailing and Celebrity never fails to deliver with the quality, diversity, beauty of presentation (the ice sculptures and the chocolate sculptures were wonderful!). I have been to only one other buffet sytle presentation that rivals Celebrity's and that is the Martinique in Oakbrook, Illinois. General Buffett: Overall, the food is of a better-than-average quality. I found the pizza to be exceptional as well as the diversity of desserts and ice creams to be EXCEPTIONAL. Some of the specialty areas such as the Panini's and sandwich stations to be very good as well! The hamburger/hotdog cafe poolside was very good. Sometimes you need to have a really good hamburger and the pool grill delivered! Entertainment: Very high quality of performers, musicians, and cabaret performances. "Discovered" Perry Grant and had many fun evening in Michaels. You either like him or not, but judging from the standing room only crowds for both of his performances each evening and range of ages of attendees, he does have a very strong following! Bar and Drinks: I find that Celebrity does not over-charge for drinks, which they easily can do with a "captured" ship clientele. My partner drinks Grey Goose Martini and the $10 charge for that at the Martini Bar is VERY reasonable! Can't get a GG Martini for that price at a home bar/restaurant! Waiter and bar staff most attentive and professional and were there to make sure you enjoyed yourself and you were made to feel special. Shore Excursions: We book only one shore excursion. Most of our excursions we booked ourselves online but the one that we book with the ship was an excellent value for the price. It was just a lot shorter excursion than what we would have received if we booked on-line, but the places that we visited and the transportation was first class! Officers: All were very attentive, always asking if we were having a god time and if there was anything they could do to make our stay even more enjoyable. Amazing Captain! Cruise Director Rich was always around the ship making sure everyone is enjoying their experience. Embarkation: Since we had an early flight, we self-embarked, with no delay either leaving the ship or going through customs. MUCH faster leaving the ship than coming on board! Overall Impressions: First of all the value for the dollar that we received for this trip was AMAZING! We booked this trip, with a C3 level room for $128/night/person AND $100 shipboard credit! I don't know what you can find that kind of value with the level of accommodations and service we receive with Celebrity! We were on the Celebrity for 15 days and there was only one meal/desert (being VERY picky and subjective, mind you!) that did not rise to the usual level of Celebrity quality and that was a Crepe Suzette we had in the main dining room that was too sweet for my taste. We have already book another Celebrity cruise, "11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise" on the Equinox, March 4th, 2013. We are SERIOUSLY considering another Celebrity cruise, "15 Night Westbound Panama Canal Cruise" on the Century, February 4th, 2014. If our scheduling and budget will allow it, I am sure that Celebrity will again deliver an AMAZING experience for the two of us! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My husband and I are adventurous early retirees. We flew from the Pacific Northwest very much looking forward to our first taste of the Caribbean. We arrived early and enjoyed a week touring the Everglades and the Florida Keys. ... Read More
My husband and I are adventurous early retirees. We flew from the Pacific Northwest very much looking forward to our first taste of the Caribbean. We arrived early and enjoyed a week touring the Everglades and the Florida Keys. Boarding was delayed due to Norovirus on the preceding cruise. It went quickly once they began. There was no welcome drink as is usual. Perhaps this was due to the extra cleaning which was intense. Nor did anyone offer to show us to our cabin, and I worried that our last suitcase was lost as it did not appear until nearly 9:PM. The staff were their usual efficient selves though overworked due to all the extra cleaning. We noticed twice during the cruise that cabins were being fumigated by crew in hazmat suits & masks. Passengers were not notified of the spraying or what was used. I had concerns as I have asthma, but I was not told anything. In the dining areas there was no self serve, no salt or pepper on the tables, few trays. It was sometimes difficult to get coffee, or much of anything as there was often a shortage of cups, glasses, or cutlery. It was sparse. Menu items were repeated many times with few exceptions. We seldom go to dinner in the main dining room as we hate to waste 2 1/2 hours of our day for one meal. There seems to be no way to not tip for services you don't use though. We did enjoy the Tuscan Grille very much. There was one upsetting problem about that, we had made our reservations before the cruise as we were told that was better and we got a reduced rate that way. I then found they had even better Specials during the cruise. We may have gotten a 10% Special, but people who popped in on almost any day during the cruise were getting 20% off. Ship shore excursions were boring, overpriced, and badly run. For example - the young couple with an infant & stroller who were told that the Blackbeard's Castle tour where you had to walk down 99 steps was appropriate for them. They also just left you there and you had to walk over a mile back to the ship. We took a couple of private excursions and were delighted with the difference. The entertainment was passable if not exciting. The Library has been reduced to half size with Very Few books. The Internet was down for almost half of the cruise - no refunds. The worst thing was that my husband contracted Norovirus. He is Mr. Clean and had not passed a single sanitizer station without using it. He carries his own bottle of sanitizer. Still he became ill the morning of the eighth day. He reported to Sick Bay which was closed from 9:30 AM to 5:PM. No luck there. He then went to Customer Relations in the Main Lobby area and told them he was ill as required. They told him to go back to his cabin and they would have a Nurse contact him. She never did. That evening when Sick Bay opened he drug himself down there and threw up on their floor. The gave him medication and Quarantined him in the cabin. Customer Relations called a couple of times to see if we needed anything. They said they would cancel our Shore Excursions for us - which they did Not. The Shore Excursions were still on our bill when we checked it before disembarkation. The Shore Excursion desk said they could not cancel them as we had not returned the tickets. That's hard to do while you are quarantined besides they told us they did it when they quarantined us. In all we missed three of the eight featured ports (Barbados, St. Lucia, & Antigua). Celebrity said they would compensate us for the portion of the cruise we missed due to being Quarantined in our cabin. I understand that according to their estimate that was from 6:PM on the eighth day (more than 8 hours after he became ill since Medical was closed) until 10:PM the next night. This was supposed to happen within four weeks. It has now been seven weeks since the cruise and despite my inquiry (to which they say they will respond within 24-48 hours) Nothing! It seems our next two vacations are planned. Neither of them includes a cruise. That is really too bad as I have always enjoyed them very much until this last trip. Would I do it again - without the Norovirus and the unfilled promises - yes. I would love to see the ports we missed and take more private tours. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We are Captain's Club Elite and no strangers to Celebrity. We had our usual fine experience on The Constellation. It's no secret that cruise line profit margins have been squeezed in recent years and it really shows in several ... Read More
We are Captain's Club Elite and no strangers to Celebrity. We had our usual fine experience on The Constellation. It's no secret that cruise line profit margins have been squeezed in recent years and it really shows in several areas. Since base cruise fares have not risen at all that we can see in the past ten years, it may be time for a modest increase to restore some of the value to the experience. Overall, food quality is very good and the buffet has held up well. The real decline has come with the selections in the MDR and Celebrity (and other lines from what we can tell) need to address this as a point of competitive differentiation. Out of a half dozen entree selections each night only two were really worthy of the excellence in dining on which Celebrity originally built its reputation. Other cost-cutting moves were evident, but less egregious than trying to do entrees on the cheap. Most bar prices have shifted to the high side, but values remain for those willing to work the menus. I'm sure Celebrity has a profit model for optimizing drink consumption against costs, but whatever the components of that model are escape me. The beverage packages are no value at all for most cruisers. Continuing my rambling, Perry Grant continues to make his mark with us Celebrity denizens and the entertainment was, on the whole, very fine. One problem: many of us on this cruise appeared to sail with Celebrity once or twice each year and we all agreed it's time for some fresh production shows. Two criticisms: With deck seating at a premium why, during the middle of the afternoon, is it necessary for the spa staff to tie up 12 to 15 seats in the solarium to hawk their wares with free demos? The spa may have run its course as a profit center for cruise lines especially among age 50+ passengers who predominate on most Celebrity ships. Many of us have regular spa and massage memberships at home and aren't interested in paying the severely inflated prices on cruise ships. There's nothing special about it. Second, the berths where we were moored in several cities were miserably inconvenient and long hikes from the Port Terminals and transportation. In Athens, why was the Norwegian Jade berthed next to the terminal while Constellation was parked at the very far end in the freight area? Can the port charge be that different? Seems like serious nickel and dime stuff to many of us. Overall, another fine cruise and we look forward to stealing away for another sometime soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Just got back a few hours ago and thought it would be good timing for me to mention some of the highlights as well as some of the "wish someone had told me that" points of The Baltic Cruise on Celebrity. First off, this ... Read More
Just got back a few hours ago and thought it would be good timing for me to mention some of the highlights as well as some of the "wish someone had told me that" points of The Baltic Cruise on Celebrity. First off, this truly is a fantastic itinerary and we had the time of our lives. That said, I will just briefly delve into some observations which may or may not prove useful for those of you planning this cruise. 1. Boat is fabulous. All Celebrity boats have been "Solsticized". I must tell you though that our cabin did seem smaller than on previous voyages but if this was so...it may have been due to the fact that the shower area is now much larger and quite nice. 2. Lovely service throughout the ship with very helpful personnel and staff. 3. Without any doubt, the nicest, most intelligent and interesting group of passengers we have eve come across. It was a delight to meet new people each evening from all over the world. The people helped to make this cruise extra special. There were less Americans on board than Australians, Scots and people from Britain. Loved meeting them! 4. Food is VERY GOOD. Now that I have said this, i also want to say that they did a tremendous job of catering to all tastes with a very wide variety of foods from all over the world. There was most definitely something for everyone. This was the positive. The negative: The food is not as good as I remembered it from other cruises. This should really not be a major concern for anyone as the food is still very good, it's just not what it once was. I could give lenghty examples/explanations but what would be the point? This may well turn out to be a matter fo MY personal preference and certainly the food offered was head and shoulders above other cruise lines we've been on. I, and several other passengers DID speak with Guest Relations regarding the charge for shuttle buses from the ship. With no other way to get to towns, you either would have to sign on for a celebrity tour or arrange private transportation. Celebrity charged for the shuttle to take you into town in several of these ports. As one person put it: Why are they hickel and dimining us to death here? In several of these ports, The Constellation did NOT receive the premiere spot in the port and there was NO WAY to get into town without transportation without walking miles in some cases. These shuttles, in these situations should be offered to their passengers free of charge. It was almost as though we were being punished for not having taken their excursions. It just felt cheap. I do understand that gasoline if crazy expensive in Europe but perhaps if they had told us about these costs up front, there might have been less disgruntled passengers. Do NOT take the HOHO bus in Copenhagen unless you are prepared to : 1. Be left standing at times while the bus passes you by. This happened to several couples including myself and my hubby. My hubby ended up chasing the bus to no avail. What would have happened if we HAD TO BE on the ship and counted on this method of transport? 2. They are not honest about their pick up drop off locations. Several couples we spoke with were told they would be picked up in one place only to find out later that the location was given in error or "changed". I don't own a crystal ball..do you? 3. One woman told me about how she returned to her ship 15 minutes after she had been picked up by this bus because they wanted to see if there were more passengers. 4. We were delayed for 40 minutes in one place because they were playing a game of chicken with the tour buses. Not worth going into. Don't take these buses. They are totally unreliable. If you have had a good experience with them, count yourself amongst the very fortunate. 5. St. petersburg: We loved this port as everyone does and I think we covered it very thoroughly in the time we had at our disposal. There is a price to pay however. First off, the ten hour tours run you ragged and it is followed by a second day which although usually not as strenuous...is no walk in the park. If you want a leisurely tour or more time in the Hermitage, pick your tours very carefully. They ran us from 7:30 in the morning till almost 6 at night. Very few bathroom stops but we did indeed see everything and then some. We were on Alla tours. Get your running shoes ready. Very good tour but very strenuous. It is very annoying to say the least, that we are not allowed to shop in stores we might want to in St. Petersburg as all the tour operators have deals upon deals with these souvenir shops , museums, etc. A drink of vodka is not what I was looking for inside these part junk/part high priced souvenir shops. This was disappointing for shopping purposes. The open air buses were freezing. Several people we were with ended up becoming sick after this early morning romp in the cold. Yes, it was very unique to see the buildings this way and it's a wonderful idea but even going downstairs (where the windows were wide open) was still incredibly cold and drafty. Dress appropriately and think twice before taking this boat. Pack a little snack and some water for this tour. You'll need it and they did not stop for us until the 1 pm lunch. This was Alla Tours and the first day we ate on the bus. We didn't come to St.Petersburg for the cuisine but this was very tacky. After a solid morning of running and more running, it would have been delightful to just sit down and enjoy a cup of tea and have use of the bathroom facilities. This was also not so easy to come by on this tour. OUr guide, Angie was very knowledgeable about Churches and Palaces but knew practically nothing about Art. Know what you are truly interested in and if it is art..you should choose a different company for one of the days. I don't know...we adored Talinn and if you don't go to the sweater market there, it would be a huge mistake. This port had the most reasonably priced souvenirs. In Helsinki..you must see Stockmann's Dept. Store. Also: lovely items, reasonably priced. Copenhagen was outrageous. We heard a story at dinner of one family who paid 60 dollars for two burgers and a drink. They also tried very hard there to charge us 60 dollars for two tea cakes and two teas. Warnemunde and Rostock was a great day. The opera House in Stockholm was amazing. I will come back later this week to see if anyone has any questions I might be able to answer. I would be most happy if I was helpful in sharing even one new thing you may not have known. The weather was much better for us than previous weeks. You can't order the weather but i cannot imagine what this trip would have been like if it remained cold, damp, clammy and without sunshine when we were there. As it was, Amsterdam was a literal "wash out" but most of the other days eventually saw some sun at some point. Very tired from this vacation though. It is definitely rigorous but you will have memories forever. BTW...there was a fantastic accapella group on this ship called of all things "Lemon Squeezy". Bad name but the most brilliant singing. You will love them if they are on your ship. Truly exceptional young talents. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We just arrived from a 12 day cruise from the Baltics and it was such a wonderful experience. I would have rated it a perfect 5 except for the fiasco at the airport in claiming our luggage at the Schipole sidewalk. First let me say that ... Read More
We just arrived from a 12 day cruise from the Baltics and it was such a wonderful experience. I would have rated it a perfect 5 except for the fiasco at the airport in claiming our luggage at the Schipole sidewalk. First let me say that the Cruise Director, Sue Denning, is perfect for her job. Her entire staff were truly professionals. Ms Denning is the Star of Constellation! She loves her job and that joy emanates in everything she does. The moment we boarded our planes for the good ole USA, we already miss her. Another person we love is Guess Relation Manager Jann Ramos. She must have a magic wand in her hand as problems get resolved the moment she hears about it. Of coarse, the entertainers on board were world class! I say this of Perry who had us laughing at the edge of our seats with various renditions of Judy Garland songs, etc. I say this of our favorite country singer, Jeffrey Ang whose young voice echo the voices of Johnny Cash and other great country singers and I say this to the great dance band of Filipino Musicians embodied in "Great Ideas" that played daily at the Rendezvous Lounge. We always had something to do and the entire staff were simply professional in every way. Our Cabin Stewart, Simon, was always there when we needed him. Kudos to our Waiter, Sweetash for India and his assistant Michael from the Philippines. Our dining experience was always an event due to the experienced international staff of our Executive Chef Paulus from Greece. We already booked our next cruise on Celebrity next year! Berlin - We were glad we read the reviews in Cruise Critic on outside tour companies. We chose Denrus here and also for St. Petersburg. They were excellent. Our professional tour guide in Berlin, Peter, was extremely knowledgeable. The included lunch with all kinds of German Sausages was an experience as well as the local bear. Berlin in a beautiful city. Too bad it takes 3 1/2 hours from the ship to the city via Bus one way. It can be tiring. There were brief showers on the day of the tour but we did not mind it as all. Each of the 24 passengers had a completely satisfying and educational day. The Germans were very hospitable. St. Peterburg DENRUS again provided us with excellent service. Our professional tour guide, Anna, provided enough humor in her explanations that took us go back to the age of Catherine the Great. The lunch provided us at the palace took us back to the era before the revolution where our waiters dressed the part and had our pictures taken with a lovely lady resembling a young Catherine. The menu was Beef Stroganoff and it was delicious. Do not miss the Peterhoff gardens with its magnificent fountains as the images in your head will make you compare it with Versailles in France. On the 2nd day, we had a boat cruise, a subway ride and the highlight, the Hermitage! Like the Louve in Paris, it will take you years to truly appreciate the treasures within. Thanks to Anna, the treasures were discovered in a day. We also loved the Cathedral of Our Savior (Spilled Blood) and the burial cathedral of the Romanofs. What a beautiful yet tragic story. Hollywood was right to glamorize the era. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My wife, Sue, and I came to Amsterdam from Maryland on the Tuesday prior to the cruise to enjoy the city. We were met there by our good friends, Gary and Julie, from Kentucky on Wednesday who joined us on the cruise. This was a 35th ... Read More
My wife, Sue, and I came to Amsterdam from Maryland on the Tuesday prior to the cruise to enjoy the city. We were met there by our good friends, Gary and Julie, from Kentucky on Wednesday who joined us on the cruise. This was a 35th Anniversary Cruise for us and a Happy Birthday Cruise for Gary. The weather co-operated somewhat. There were clouds and on and off rain on Tuesday and Wednesday with partly cloudy skies on Thursday. We stayed in the museum district not far from the Rijksmuseum at a small Bed and Breakfast (THE COLLECTOR) on De Lairessestraat. For 8 Euros total, the 197 bus from the airport dropped us off about 200 yards from the front door. The #16 Tram line ran right in front of the B&B making access to the center city easy. We had a back room that overlooked a small courtyard complete with chicken coop and chickens that provided fresh eggs in the morning. The owner, Karel, was very friendly and enjoyable to talk to. The room was spacious and clean, the bed was comfortable, and it had its own private bath. Karel recommended a small Dutch Restaurant not far from the B&B (La Falote) and we ended up eating there 2 of the nights. The restaurant owner and cook, Peter, served great Dutch food at a reasonable price. He also entertained us playing American tunes (Home On The Range, etc) on his accordion. While there, we met another couple who live only 30 miles from our home. They were going on the same cruise. They also ate there 2 nights. Amsterdam was all that we had read about and more. We opted for the Museumkaart and a GVB Pass for the 4 days we were there instead of the iAmsterdam Kaart. We visited the Anne Frank Haus, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Museum Van Loon, Bijbelmuseum and the Royal Palace. We walked and walked all over; then we rode the Tram and repeated this throughout the day. We covered a lot of the city but, unfortunately, could not get into more of the museums as 3 full days did not allow enough time. We took a relaxing 1 hr 15 min canal ride on THE BLUE BOAT in the Canals of Amsterdam. At the end of each day, we were pooped and our dogs were tired and sore as the saying goes, but we enjoyed every minute we were in the city. We also booked a 4 hour tour on Thursday to see the windmills on the Zaanse Schans as well as the former fishing villages of Volendam and Marken. I had some of the best fried Cod I have ever eaten while in Volendam. There was not enough time spent at any of the 3 places, especially at Marken. We no sooner arrived at Marken, took a short 15 min walk from the boat to the Shoe Makers Building, watched a 5 minute demonstration on how Dutch Wooden Shoes are made, and then we were told we had 10 minutes to shop before the bus left to return to Amsterdam. You had better not be late since three passengers were late (by 10 minutes) getting back to the bus in Zaanse Schans, and it left without them. This tour really should have only gone to the Zaanse Schans and Volendam and skipped Marken in my opinion. Friday turned up cloudy and rainy, but the Constellation was there to brighten our spirits. Karel called for a cab for the 4 of us and our 9 pieces of luggage (5 large, 4 small) for 11 AM. Twenty minutes and 20 Euros (total) later we were on the dock ready to board. At 12 PM, the boarding process began, and we were on the ship within 15 minutes. This was our 8th cruise, 6 on Royal Caribbean and our second (the Solstice was the first) on Celebrity. Gary and Julie had enjoyed a number of Celebrity cruises and had previously been on the Constellation prior to the Solsticization. My wife and I had an Oceanview cabin on deck 6 forward. We were completely satisfied with the stateroom as it was oversized compared to the typical cabins due to its location. Our stateroom attendant, Rivon, and his assistant, Anthony, were friendly and did an outstanding job in keeping our stateroom ship shape. After a quick lunch in the Seaside Cafe and Grill, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around and enjoying the ship. We were thoroughly pleased with the Constellation. We visited all of the various public areas and were impressed with how clean they were. In the evening we made our way to the San Marco Restaurant. WOW is all I can say. We were assigned a table for 8 (Table 402) at the very back of the restaurant overlooking the stern of the ship thru some huge picture windows. We were two tables to the right of the Captains Table. I am not sure how we were lucky enough to be assigned this table, but we were very pleased. Even better were our table mates. Hank and Gail from Alabama and Jay and Aileen from Indiana were friends traveling together as were Gary, Julie, Sue and I. We had such a wonderful time talking with them and sharing life and travel stories. Our Waiter was Marlon Monroe (say that quickly and it may bring an image to you of a certain blond actress from the 50's). However, Marlon is from Nicaragua and is male. He and his assistant waiter were excellent. Also, Petar, the head waiter in our section of the restaurant, stopped by and visited with us each evening wanting to know how things were and how he could help if needed. Again, a member of the Celebrity staff giving excellent service and paying attention to the customer. As for the food in the restaurant, it was mostly excellent with a few misses here and there. For instance, Gary, Julie and I ordered lamb shank one night. Gary's was fall off the bone tender while Julie and I needed a VERY SHARP knife to cut into the meat. We probably should have returned ours. Gary ordered it a second night later in the cruise and again it was excellent. I also had a Veal Cordon Bleu that was on the tough side. Jay had issues with his steak the first 3 to 4 nights. He wanted medium rare; he was served well done, well done, and rare. But by the end of the cruise, I believe he was on a 3 night win streak of medium rare. However, for myself, other than the nights with the lamb shank and veal, every other main course I had I would rate excellent. The meat dishes were served as I ordered, medium rare. A double order of lobster tail the last Formal Night was cooked to perfection. I had escargot for an appetizer (I think 9 out of the 10 nights) in the San Marco and it was delicious. For dessert I ordered mostly Crème Brule or vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and nuts. One night the menu had a dessert with a cherry sauce so I had my vanilla ice cream topped with it. UMM UMM GOOD. The 4 of us ate at the Tuscan Grill one evening. Every course was mouth watering. Three of us had filet mignon, and one had veal scaloppini... all cooked to perfection. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The additional expense was worth the great meal and excellent service. We had lunch in the San Marco Restaurant once. A great meal but VERY SLOW service that caused us to miss a lecture we wanted to see. All other lunches when we ate on the ship were at the Seaside Cafe and Grill. I thought the food was generally good to great with a wide variety of food available. There was a pasta station and meat carving station every day, pizza, various salads, beef, chicken, pork, fish, sushi, fruit, breads, desserts, ice cream and sherbet etc. One day they had what I can only describe as a Salmon Wellington that was delicious. It was a rice center surrounded by salmon and then a bread coating over the salmon baked similar to Beef Wellington. They sliced it just like a Beef Wellington is served. In the evenings the Seaside was open for dinner with again plenty of food to choose from. We did eat there one night for dinner due to a late arrival back from our Berlin Excursion. Late into the evening pizza and desserts were available if your stomach for some unknown reason was still hungry. The four of us ate most breakfasts in the Aquaspa Cafe on the 10th deck rather than fight the crowds and calories in the Seaside Grill. Light healthy food (ex: fruit, yogurt, cereal, egg white omelets, and tiny rolls) was available. I eat blueberries every morning at home. Each morning a dish with ½ of an orange and a couple of blueberries on top was available. Each morning the young lady, Beth Ramos from Brazil, with a cheerful smile on her face, would greet me and would remember and offer me extra blueberries for my orange dish. That is the type of service that I truly appreciate from the staff. Julie and Sue had High Tea one afternoon in the Oceanliners Restaurant. As they were escorted in, the room looked beautiful set for tea, and the live music was lovely. The food included yummy finger sandwiches, scones and desserts (as much as you wanted). An extensive selection of teas was available. They did not choose champagne, but it was available at an additional charge up front. Again, the waiters proved to be top notch as well as the food. It was one of their most enjoyable experiences on the ship. The second Sunday of the cruise was a sea day and Sunday Brunch was served from 10AM to 1 PM in the San Marco. WHAT A FEAST and a beautiful presentation. They had everything and anything: breads, waffles, eggs served any way you could imagine, sausage, bacon, fish, chicken, sushi, pasta, fruit, cereal, desserts, wine, Champaign, Mimosa, Bloody Mary (the drinks were the only things not free). The highlight for me was the Bananas Foster... TO DIE FOR. One night in the Reflections Nightclub the cooks put on a Dessert Extravaganza from 11PM till Midnight. All the deserts you want to (and should not) eat this late at night. Again, a lovely presentation too. I do not think I need to say any more about this one. We did not eat in Oceanliners or Bistro on Five or Cafe Al Bacio. I did order a gelato at the Gelateria ($3.00 + Tip) and it was GOOD. Enough about food (I only gained 5 Lbs). Let's talk entertainment. We tried and enjoyed most everything the ship had to offer in terms of entertainment. In the day time I gave my obligatory $20 to the Bingo Gods not once but twice and once again none of the pots were mine. (Mis)Fortunes Casino was once again a money loser for me. Can someone who actually took home some of the $204,000 that was won in the slots please contact me and let me know your secret? Sue and Julie enjoyed the Scrapbooking sessions held in Michaels Pub. Gary and I enjoyed the lectures that were given. So many things to do and so little time. In the evenings, Perry Grant was in Michaels Pub with his groupies. I stopped in to listen to see what all the accolades are that he gets. He seems to be a nice gentleman with a good voice. Just not the type of entertainer I would enjoy going back to on a nightly basis. The acapella group Lemon Squeezy was on this cruise. They are 4 young men from Stockholm and they sang daily in many of the venues. Great voices and great melody. We really enjoyed them and listened to them whenever we had the chance. All the evening acts that performed in the Celebrity Theater were in my mind excellent. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers put on a couple of nice Broadway type shows. Celia and Julien's Acrobatic show and violinist Greg Scott were amazing. Singer Chris Riggins, a woman singer whose name escapes me and comedian Martin John were all entertaining. We were too worn out from our 1st day St Petersburg sightseeing excursion to go to the Moroshka performance of singers and dancers at 10:30 PM that night but we heard they were outstanding. The most outstanding entertainer in our opinion was the Cruise Director, Mrs. Sue Denning. What an amazing lady. She was everywhere on the ship, friendly, & helpful. We managed to talk to her at a party she hosted for those of us celebrating Wedding Anniversaries and found out she was married on the same date as Sue and I. She put on a one woman song and comedy show one evening that was as good as or better than any big named entertainer. In the 8 cruises we have been on, she is head and shoulders above any other Cruise Director we have had the fortune to sail with. It is unfortunate for those passengers sailing on the Constellation in the Mediterranean over the next 2 months as she is taking time off to be with her family. We hope she comes back soon as she is a tremendous asset for Celebrity. If you like to shop, again there were plenty of sales of liquor, watches, amber jewelry, Russian Eggs, Lacquer Boxes, Father Frost Figurines and Matryoshka dolls to occupy your time and empty your wallet. The President of Faberge was on board and gave a fascinating talk on the history of the company along with his dealings with Theo and Sara Faberge. Captain Frantzis assisted him in opening the first Faberge store at sea on the Constellation. They had for sale not only high end jewelry that the company sells but also a dozen valuable Faberge Eggs (exquisite!!!). These were not cheap ($10,000 to $20,000), and they managed to sell 3 of the Eggs during the cruise. Last but not least are the ports. We took Celebrity excursions in Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn. We took DENRUS Tours in St Petersburg and to Berlin while we did Copenhagen on our own. The sail into Stockholm thru the islands was awsome. The Stockholm Tour was A DAY IN STOCKHOLM. What a beautiful city! This tour covered all the main sites within the city as well as a visit to the Vasa Museum. Our guide was excellent and this tour was well worth the money spent. In Helsinki we took the PORVOO & HELSINKI HIGHLIGHTS WITH LUNCH. Again an excellent tour and guide and well worth the money. We stopped at a small 15th Century church in Sipoo. Next was Porvoo, a small town with a few shops to browse in and shop. The lunch was excellent at an old Manor house former distillery just outside of Porvoo. Lastly, we stopped at the Rock Church and then Senate Square in Helsinki. The Rock Church, Senate Square and the Cathedral overlooking the square were for me the highlights of this tour. In Tallinn we took the MEDIEVAL RAKVERE & TALLINN Tour. Our tour guide was excellent. We first did a walking tour of the upper part of Old Town Tallinn around the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (which was not open at the early hour we were there). I would have liked to have more time here and to see the lower town, but time did not permit it. We then took a 1 ½ hour bus trip to the town of Rakvere to visit the Distillery Museum. Here 4 lucky passengers volunteered to do a tasting of 5 different vodkas. Then we took a 2 minute drive to Medieval Rakvere Castle. This was an enjoyable time with an interesting talk on the history of the castle and town by our guide. We had the option of riding a horse or trying our luck at shooting bows and arrows at targets if desired. We walked along the Castle Ramparts and took in some nice views of the court yard and surrounding countryside. There was a short walk through a darkened passage way in the Castle that was difficult to maneuver due to no lighting and rocky steps you had to navigate (but fun). There were skeletal and other scary figures within the torture chamber that reminded me of Carnival Fright Houses back in the states. An excellent lunch was served in the castle of sauerkraut , potatoes, carrots and melt in your mouth delicious pork. Our day in Copenhagen started with rain which lasted most of the morning. We did a lot of walking and put our umbrellas to good use. We managed to see all the main attractions within the city (The Little Mermaid, Nyhaven Canal, Kastellet Fortress, Tivoli Gardens, Town Hall Square, Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteque, Christiansborg Castle, Rosenborg Castle and Amalienborg Palace from the exterior). Plus we took a stroll along the main shopping district. The only places we visited on the interior were the main Cathedral down town and a small church near the Kastellet. Two things struck me about Copenhagen. Some sections of the town were filthy with discarded food wrappers and other garbage. I did not expect this. Also, the cost of everything was outrageous, especially food. It seemed that everywhere we stopped to peruse a menu for lunch, the cheapest food item was a hamburger and fries for $20. We decided to take the shuttle bus back to the ship at noon to dry out and eat on the ship before resuming our walking tour in the afternoon (the rain subsided by then). The $12 fee for the shuttle bus from the ship to downtown (one stop) while expensive was well worth the expense as it got us out of the rain and back to the ship for a quick lunch. We also used the bus to get back into town. In Warnemunde, we opted to take a tour to Berlin with the DENRUS Tour Company as it was less expensive than similar tours run by Celebrity. We had a small group of about 18 people. The 3 hour ride to and from Berlin was tedious. We had a guide on the bus and a guide in Berlin who were both excellent and well informed. The 6 hours in Berlin did cover all the main highlights in the city. However, there were too many Kodak Moments that were missed because there was not enough time to stop for pictures. Also the bus windows were tinted so any photo's we took within the bus have a greenish shading to them. The stops we made were at the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial, a Section of the Berlin Wall along a river, Charlottenburg Palace and the Sony Center for Lunch. It was a great lunch of 4 different bratwursts, sauerkraut, potatoes and beer. The best part of the trip was the city of St Petersburg. Again we opted for a 2 day tour of the city with DENRUS. We took their ROYAL ST PETERSBURG TOUR and were not disappointed. Our guide was Lana, a trained Concert Pianist who also studied for 3 years to become a tour guide. She was absolutely the BEST. Her knowledge of all the venues we visited and the way she presented the story behind each of them made this trip memorable. Our small group of 12 people and 2 full days of sightseeing along with excellent lunches went too fast. You can read more about the Royal St Petersburg tour on the DENRUS web site. After 11 fun filled days on the ship, we began 15 hours of hell on the water. Leaving Copenhagen and making our way into the North Sea on the final sea day into Amsterdam, the ship ran into a weather front that made life on board miserable for many (including my poor wife and Julie). Winds of 40 to 50 knots coupled with seas in my estimation of 10 to 15 foot made the ship rock and roll. Gary and I were fine, but our wives were not. Sue spent the entire time in the cabin near the toilet. The worst part of the storm started in the early afternoon and did not subside until we got to the outer locks into the canals leading to Amsterdam in the early morning hours the next day. My wife was still not feeling well when we docked. The ship was 3 ½ hours late in docking in Amsterdam and many flights into Amsterdam were cancelled due to this storm. This caused major issues with people having to change flights. We were informed with a telephone call at 7AM that morning by Choice Air (Celebrity's Air Travel Arm) that they rebooked Sue and me. We had a Continental direct flight to the states but now had to travel to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and then get a United Flight from there to the states. We had bought the transfers from the ship to the airport from Celebrity. Celebrity took our luggage the night before arrival. We got a bus ride to the airport that morning and were supposed to pick up our luggage there. Never again will I do this. The bus ride was fine. At the airport, it was a circus. The luggage arrived in large vans at the same time as or just after the buses arrived. There were one hundred or so passengers looking for their luggage while there were 3 or 4 men that had to off load the luggage onto the curb. People would not stay out of the way of the poor guys trying to unload the luggage. Some had the luggage carts that were getting in the way. Three or four Celebrity personnel were trying to keep people away from the area to no avail. Just a complete zoo. I finally found our luggage after about 45 minutes of searching due to one of our bags arriving in a different van from the other two. When we got to the Lufthansa ticket counter, they could not ticket us for our flight due to some issues between Choice Air and United not assigning us an eticket change. Plus the flight Choice Air put us on in Amsterdam did not leave enough time to make the connection in Frankfurt with United. This took a an hour to straighten out with me having to run between the Lufthansa Check In Counter in one building and the Continental help desk (United's desk was closed) two buildings over. We finally made our new flights and got home to Maryland at about 11 PM that night in pouring rain. Even though Choice Air had changed Gary and Julie's flight, they managed to make it on their original flight along with our tablemates Gail and Hank. Unfortunately their flight left late and had a longer flight time due to strong head winds. During the flight an Air Marshal had to handcuff an unruly passenger (might have been drunk) and 4 kids on the flight were unruly and made life miserable for all. Gary and Julie missed their connection to their final destination and the flight they were put on left late so they arrived home over 5 hours late; at 1AM in the morning. Guess you could say they had "36 hours of hell" at the end of their vacation. Our other tablemates Jay and Aileen had their own adventure getting home. They had not been rescheduled from their flight (the same flight Sue and I were supposed to be on originally, go figure), but they had not been assigned an e-ticket number. So after standing in a long line at Continental, they were directed to go to the Continental help desk, where, eventually they received the coveted e-ticket number. On returning to the Continental check-in they were confronted with an even longer line. But, using good old American initiative, they went to the line for Elite members and when asked if they were Elite members they stated that the lady at the help desk had told them to go there. They received their tickets and proceeded to the gate. The flight was just boarding. Alas because of strong head winds the plane had to stop for refueling in Goosebay, Labrador. This detour caused them to miss their connection in Washington, DC. Instead of arriving in Indy at 5:30 pm, they arrived at 12:30 am, and did not get home until nearly 2:00am. The great company of our friends and our dinner tablemates as well as the excellent service provided by Celebrity and its crew made this Baltic Cruise an unforgettable vacation despite the few hiccups here and there. An unfortunate experience due to bad weather is just something that cannot be foreseen. There is no better cruise line in our opinion than Celebrity and we look forward to future sailings on their ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We recently went on the Baltic cruise and WOW, what an experience. Everything went so smoothly and met expectations that we thought all ships were like that. We are hooked on cruising now and are already planning our next voyage. Having ... Read More
We recently went on the Baltic cruise and WOW, what an experience. Everything went so smoothly and met expectations that we thought all ships were like that. We are hooked on cruising now and are already planning our next voyage. Having recently read the reviews of another very well known ship, I was surprised to see a lot of unhappy people which made me realise how lucky we were to have chosen the Constellation for our first voyage. Cabin We booked a cabin with a balcony but were upgraded to concierge class with a restricted view. I was at first disappointed but actually it was only a small metal structure which in no way restricted the view so we scored. The room was lovely and spacious with plenty of room to unpack all our things. The bathroom is small but very pretty with a fresh rose and all the guest amenities you would expect. The shower has a little wash line so you can rinse out a few things which dry quickly overnight so take a bit of washing powder with you. Food The food was fantastic although for one or two nights, the choices in the San Marco restaurant were uninspiring. Sometimes the starter portion was very small but there is so much food, you can't possibly complain. The "brunch" organised towards the end of the trip was spectacular and beyond the imagination of the average person. The buffet on 10th floor was really great and we often chose to eat there, specially breakfast. The variety is amazing and although some of the stations closed at different times of the day, there was always lots to choose from at any time of the day. Lots of people chose this option and it was very crowded but you never had to wait for more than a few minutes. tea, coffee, juice and water available 24h. In my opinion, the "specialty restaurants" are superfluous. We did not use them. Excursions We only took the St Petersburg excursion. The SA rand does not go very far and we felt the excursions to be expensive. Generally we walked into town, sometimes quite far, but you see things along the way. I would recommend that you do some research on what buses to catch and what you want to see before you sail e.g there are warnings about the HOHO buses in Copenhagen. I did this and could make the best of the day. We booked the Celebrity St Petersburg 2 day excursion and although it was expensive we were not disappointed. It was fabulous - beyond expectation. You can't do this city justice on your own in 2 days. One review I read, suggested a tea break. He also mentioned that it was very strenuous. I am undergoing chemotherapy and did not feel tired at all. It is all so exciting and there is so much to see, you don't even think about a rest or have time for tea. Do some walking before your cruise and you will be ready for the 2 days. Entertainment The "on board" group of entertainers were excellent and their shows were magical. The "guest" entertainers were okay but I felt they could have saved a lot of money by using some of the lead "on board entertainers" to do their own show - they were that good - but I suppose that would make Celebrity look cheap! The lectures were on interesting topics but the lecturer was so boring and did not seem to have a good knowledge of his topics. A real pity. Our only gripe Our only gripe was the beverage packages. We took the classic package at $44 per day plus 15% service fee. We misunderstood the explanation on the brochure, thinking that we had to pay for tea, coffee and water on the ship. The wording is misleading (but clear if you read it again) as you only have to pay for SPECIALITY tea, coffee and water eg Irish coffee. Even so, you are off the ship most of the time and it is almost impossible to use this package fully. When we found it did not suit us, we tried to cancel the package but the management would not move on the subject so we ended up paying over $1,100 unnecessarily. This was really our fault but I did feel that the management could have seen we made a mistake and been more sympathetic. All in all, I can highly recommend the Constellation for a wonderful and trouble free cruise. The ship was late coming into Amsterdam and we missed our flight but I don't see that as a reflection on the Celebrity or part of this review. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have wanted to visit St. Petersburg for some years. We realised the easiest way was to take a cruise. We have cruised before with NCL, Oceania and Holland America. The process of boarding was straightforward and easy. Service, ... Read More
We have wanted to visit St. Petersburg for some years. We realised the easiest way was to take a cruise. We have cruised before with NCL, Oceania and Holland America. The process of boarding was straightforward and easy. Service, restaurants etc. were probably the best of any cruise we have taken. The only area we felt let down the cruise was the buffet restaurant. it was more a cafeteria. other than that every food and beverage outlet was of a very high standard. The Tuscan restaurant and Oceanliners were excellent. In fact the main dining room was up with the specialty restaurants on other cruise lines. The Acqua Spa restaurant we used daily for breakfast and lunch. They would cook you omelettes at breakfast and chicken or salmon at lunch. The itinerary was exactly as we wanted. Lastly, but not least, our cabin attendant - Estella - could not be beaten. Would not hesitate to recommend the Constellation got anyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We are in our 60s, have cruised with Celebrity seven times, three times on Constellation, but the first time since she was refurbished. She looks good. This time we flew to Amsterdam on the day of the cruise. (I normally wouldn't ... Read More
We are in our 60s, have cruised with Celebrity seven times, three times on Constellation, but the first time since she was refurbished. She looks good. This time we flew to Amsterdam on the day of the cruise. (I normally wouldn't recommend this, but it worked out fine.) Our plane reservations were made through Celebrity, and since we had made that arrangement over a year earlier, the flight was less expensive - the air fares have gone up so much. Our flight arrived about 9:30. After clearing passport control and collecting out luggage, we found the Celebrity sign and showed them our transfer voucher. They took charge of our luggage and asked us to wait for the shuttle for about 30 minutes. The bus took us to the port where we were given a boarding number. We filled out the health questionnaire and waited until our number was called. We were onboard about 11:15 and there were Mimosas and champagne waiting. By 11:30 the buffet opened and a message that cabins were ready was made before the usual 1:00 time. It all went very smoothly. Our cabin was as expected - concierge class on Deck 9. Our luggage arrived about 3. We find that the cabin has ample storage for us. The only complaint about the cabin is that it should have much better room darkening drapes. On this trip we had about 4 days with no night - it was a cruise above the Arctic Circle, after all. Both the cabin attendant and his assistant were excellent! In fact the entire crew/staff were the best that we have had. And the captain and other officers were very visible and approachable. In the dining room the waiter and assistant were also top-notch. Two people at our table of eight put in a request for chocolate milk and iced tea, and they were there every night. We also requested bowls of berries for dessert and 4 bowls arrived each night. On lobster night (it's actually a seafood platter) one person requested two lobster tails on his plate. Remember you can request two or three (or more) of anything. A couple of nights we asked for an extra entrEe to pass around our table, so everyone could try something else. I won't go into details about the ship as that information is available other places on this web site. The itinerary of this cruise was unique, though. Bergen and Alesund are also ports on another cruise, but Leknes (Lofoten), Longyearbyen, and Honningsvag are once a year for Celebrity. In Bergen we docked away from the more interesting old town area and a free shuttle was available to the town center. We turned Alesund into a walking around port for us. When we were here previously we took the onshore excursion Path of the Trolls. I recommend it highly! Leknes is a tender port and there is a shuttle from the dock into town which can be purchased onboard for $7. There really is not much there. The ship offered three different excursions. We took one that went to a church and a restored fishing village/museum. We were supposed to make another stop at Sund, but for some reason it was skipped. We asked about it at guest services and were given about 1/3 of the cost credited back to our shipboard account. The tender service returning us to the ship was the low point of our cruise. I don't know what happened, but we waited in line for almost an hour, and we were fairly close to the front of the line. Some people must have waited for about 2 hours, and there were lots of complaints about it. Even the crew person at the dock was very frustrated. We heard him calling back to the ship and asking them to send the tenders. In Longyearbyen it was very easy to walk into town. There are some shops here and a very fine museum. In the afternoon we took an excursion around town, to the museum, and out to a dog park. Dogs are not allowed in town because so many people have dog sled teams, and the dogs would create a mess and nuisance. Outside of town are several places to board dogs. The dogs were very friendly. We were given a snack, of sorts, of dried seal meat and thin, crispy bread. My husband really liked this as it was very similar to the thin bread his Norwegian mother made. In Honningsvag almost the whole ship made a trip to the North Cape. This is done by shuttle bus which is only a transfer with a set time to return. It is emphasized that this bus trip is not narrated. There is a lot to see and do at the North Cape, and we were lucky that it was not raining. If you do this, try to get as early a bus as possible. If you want to watch the video they show, do that first. There is a large souvenir shop and the prices reflect the remoteness. (Norway is expensive all over, though.) Many people like to buy and mail post cards from here with the North Cape postmark. A stamp costs about $3. We enjoyed the scenery along the way. There is also a brief stop to see and photograph a Sami herdsman and his reindeer. And, of course, there is a little souvenir shop. We were in Honningsvag on Sunday, so not everything was open. There is an Ice Bar that is a big attraction. It has a cover charge that includes two drinks. There is also a small souvenir shop right next to the pier. There is a troll and a statue of a large dog out front. In fact I think there were troll statues at about every port! After the ship left Honningsvag it passed by the North Cape, so we were able to see it from the vantage point of the sea. There is a lot to do on the ship - trivia, golf contests, sports, cards, lectures, shipboard tours, cooking competition, wine tasting, reading, relaxing, pools, exercise, nothing, and music of many different styles. We were not bored. The performances with the Celebrity singers and dancers were outstanding. The other performers were average. An a capella group, Lemon Squeezy, was very well received. Perry Grant performed in Michael's Club nearly every night and had one performance in the theater. (He was returning to Constellation and had problems with his flights, so missed the first two nights of the cruise.) We have reached elite status with Celebrity. One of the perks is a free day at the Persian Garden when the ship is in port. Not knowing what this is, I asked at the spa desk and was able to walk in and look around. A couple of days later my husband and I made a trip there. It consists of two shower areas, an herbal steam room, a Turkish bath room, a sauna room, and a relaxing area. I believe you can either buy a one day pass or a pass for the entire cruise. Two other perks that we used were the light breakfast and the evening social hour, both in Michael's Club. In short order the servers there got to be friends and knew what we wanted. An elegant tea is also complimentary one afternoon. Elegant tea was also offered, twice, for a fee, in Ocean Liners restaurant. A brunch was offered twice on this trip. It ran from 10-1 in the main dining room and seemed to serve as a replacement to the midnight buffet with ice sculptures, omelet and carving stations, and other special touches. Also one evening at 11:15 a chocolate buffet was presented in Reflections. We did not eat at any of the for-a-fee dining areas. There is a coffee shop on deck 5 that was heavily used, especially in the afternoon when music was provided. The small sandwiches, cookies, and pastries are complimentary, but the various coffees are not. You could serve yourself a coffee from the buffet area on deck 10 and take it with you to enjoy an afternoon treat on deck 5. Gratuities are automatic. However, you have the option to opt out or to change them by going to Guest Services and filling out a form. We were very lucky on this cruise to actually see the midnight sun as the weather was clear. There were people onboard who had been in the area twice before but had not seen the sun at midnight (and later) because of poor weather. It was an amazing thing, but it sure threw off sleep patterns for most of the passengers. Our departure luggage tags and departure time were delivered to our cabin a couple of nights beforehand. The time is based on the arrangements you have for leaving the port city. We headed to our shuttle bus, waited for about 30 minutes for it to get filled, and were taken to the airport where our luggage was waiting for us curbside. The departure process was very easy. Was this our favorite cruise? Would we do it again? Probably not, but we are very glad that we've done it!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was our first Celebrity cruise for a few years, in recent times we have been Azamara regulars, it was the itinerary & port of embarkation that attracted us. The booking was made quite late and was for a guaranteed concierge ... Read More
This was our first Celebrity cruise for a few years, in recent times we have been Azamara regulars, it was the itinerary & port of embarkation that attracted us. The booking was made quite late and was for a guaranteed concierge cabin. This is the first time we have booked guaranteed and it worked out OK but I am not sure that we would have chosen this cabin location ourselves. We live in Yorkshire England & only had a one hour flight to Amsterdam which was a great way to join a cruise. Cruise line transfer was fine but embarkation was not very well organised at first, we are Elite members & being booked in concierge expected to be in a fast track line. I could not find a line & signs were not clear, only after waiting for some time & pointing out to a member of staff that we were Elite were we told to go straight through to check in. That was the only real problem & overall we had a lovely time & the staff from the Captain down were fantastic. The Captains club benefits are now excellent & we will certainly book again with Celebrity. The weather was great most of the time, very hot the first week but a little cloudy later on, the only rain was in Amsterdam on the last day. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Well, there is good news and bad news.First, the good news: the crew on the Constellation was the friendliest of any cruise we have been on. They always greeted us and were helpful in promptly providing assistance when requested. Sue, ... Read More
Well, there is good news and bad news.First, the good news: the crew on the Constellation was the friendliest of any cruise we have been on. They always greeted us and were helpful in promptly providing assistance when requested. Sue, the cruise director, and entertainer Perry were excellent. Many of the crew members often were hard to communicate with because of their limited English skills, but a little patience solved any problems. The entertainment was generally good, about what one would expect. It was so pleasant not to have a cruise director that constantly made often-trivial announcements over the public address system (this happened on our last HA cruise). Embarkation and dis-embarkation procedures were a breeze, best we have ever experienced.Food: a mixed bag. The beef, as reported by previous cruisers, was of mixed quality. Sometimes o.k., other times very tough. We found the pizza, which others have said they liked, quite tasteless. And the veal cordon bleu served one night was unlike any such dish I have ever seen or tasted, but other passengers seemed o.k. with it. Overall I would say the cuisine was a bit below "cruise average."Dress code: what dress code? All but three nights were listed as "smart casual." Very casual would describe what actually was worn, especially by men. At night, we dined on the fourth deck, early fixed seating. The rush to enter the dining room at 6 p.m. reminded me of visiting New York City and watching the 5 p.m. mob rush toward the subways. Suits and sport coats were rare, collared sports shirts common, and frequently some men wore the type of T-shirts you would expect to see on a beach. On the formal nights, I estimate fewer than 10 percent of the men wore tuxedos (I quit that years ago). Maybe since this was a repositioning cruise it was more casual. But more likely the baggage fees being imposed by the airlines are continuing to accelerate the trend toward more casual clothing.Our FV cabin, 7199, was fine, and the 242-square-foot balcony was wonderful, although cool weather often prevented us from fully enjoying it. Our cabin attendants were cheerful, prompt and helpful. The ports: average. Renting a car in Cherbourg and visit the D-Day beaches and American cemetery was the highlight for me. I wish the Azores stop had been in scenic Madeira instead of Ponta Delgada. Lisbon was interesting, and although the stop in Dover didn't allow time to visit London, it was a nice little town with friendly residents. We don't like tours but we did book the see-Paris-on-your-own bus tour from LeHave; it was a bit rushed but this was unavoidable because of the distance involved. (I had asked the tour desk twice if there would be a rest stop on the 2.5 hour bus trip to Paris, and was told both times yes, there would be. There wasn't. But to our surprise, the bus did have a toilet.) The low value of the American dollar was dramatically illustrated by the on-shore prices everywhere we went. For example, my wife found a Guess purse in Holland priced at nearly three times what it sells for in the U.S.Now the bad. There were perhaps more than the normal cruise aggravations, such as an awful mattress, a sliding glass door that Arnold Schwarzenegger would struggle to open and close, loose tile in the shower, shower tiles that were mildewed, a TV that quit working, and a few others. Most of these were promptly fixed when we reported them. But the really disgusting thing was a toilet that repeatedly would not flush. This happened on at least seven occasions. The plumber told us aft cabins on decks 7, 8 and 9 were affected, apparently because passengers kept ignoring the written notice to flush only toilet paper (not Kleenex-type tissues and other stuff) in the toilet. (As one previous poster has described it, the toilet paper is "molecular-thin," an accurate description. Reminds me of what was provided in most European hotels in the 1950s). The plumber did his best but the problem kept occurring. I suggested to him that perhaps he should bring a bed and sleep nearby in the hall rather than having to make repeated trips to fix the problems. Obviously some people will just ignore the instructions on what to and not to flush, so why Celebrity doesn't take this into account in design of the plumbing system is a mystery to us. We had never have had such a continuing problem on any other cruise ship. This kept us from rating the cruise higher. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
The Constellation is a first class ship and I have been on many. It is not too big and is still part of the elegance of cruising. No bowling allies, rock walls, or tractor pulls. Great shows, beautiful decor. I usually avoid the Buffet ... Read More
The Constellation is a first class ship and I have been on many. It is not too big and is still part of the elegance of cruising. No bowling allies, rock walls, or tractor pulls. Great shows, beautiful decor. I usually avoid the Buffet on all ships except for a breakfast or a snack but actually found it to be fabulous with an amazing selection and style of foods. Just look the the Yellow Pages under restaurants and they have covered all the types in the Buffet. For a quiet evening wait till every-one's in the dining rooms and then go to the back of the buffet at the grill where the grilled salmon is No.One with mixed grilled peppers and a carafe of wine for $10.00 and you not only have the best meal you have peace and quiet because nobody is there and you hear soft music you normally wouldn't notice, the lights are low and its wonderful. Going against the flow is always a good way to enjoy a cruise. I most split my dining between the two specialty restaurants...The Ocean Liner and the Tuscan Grill. $30. a pop but a discount if you buy in 3's. The fillet steak is like a tender soft ball ripped out of a cow...crab cakes amazing...flambe lobster, fabulous cheese selection and flambe strawberries. Too wonderful and please dress....its classy...no farm cloths. The main dinning room was very elegant but I found it so rushed...like a cafeteria...I only tried it twice and was too wound up when I left. I like to relax over my food then go to the theatre. The wine package was a pain in the butt...won't do that again. I kept ending up with wine that wasn't on my package and having to pay huge amounts...I prepaid 5 bottles and think I only used 4 so there goes any tiny saving. The $10. carafe was a better deal. The various stops were wonderful but be very careful in Lisbon as many of us were openly attacked and robbed by pick-pockets...I literally had to fight with three aggressive young woman to hang onto my money. Lisbon should put a stop to them or the ships to by-pass Lisbon. This ship is a bit smaller but so much better and as it was a repositioning cruise I had an outside cabin with a patio, flat screen TV with actual TV programing which I've never had before. I wish there was a list you could be on for last minute single offerings for seniors who could go in a few days notice. Thank you constellation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We departed May 22nd from Amsterdam on the Celebrity Constellation with 8 in our group.Our cruise was the Baltic states including St. Petersburg, RU. When we first entered our cabin we noticed the Walmart cheap plastic stained chairs on ... Read More
We departed May 22nd from Amsterdam on the Celebrity Constellation with 8 in our group.Our cruise was the Baltic states including St. Petersburg, RU. When we first entered our cabin we noticed the Walmart cheap plastic stained chairs on the balcony. The balcony itself was filthy and included dried paint drippings all around. The railing was in bad need of a refinish job. The varnish on the railing was peeling off. Rust was everywhere. The mattress was sagging and in need of replacement. In the dining room, our party sadly found that the kitchen did not know how to cook beef. It was overcooked and tough! Our first stop was Rostock, Germany. Celebrity told us we were at Wernemunde, Germany. We weren't! We were in Rostock. No problems for Stockholm or Helsinki. We arrived early at St. Petersburg, RU. We were excited about this stop as we hired Tailored Tours of St, Petersburg for our 2 days of touring. Our guide and General Director of this company did not disappoint us. His name is Timofey. He was patient and answered every question we had. Web address http://www.tour-petersburg.com/ Because of his knowledge of the history of St. Petersburg and of all the paintings we saw, these two days became the highlight of our cruise and so much better than a ship purchased excursion. We talked of it for days after leaving. No problems for Tallin. At Copenhagen, Celebrity said there would be maps outside. There were no maps to be had anywhere. When we returned in the afternoon there were hundreds of maps. On disembarkation, Celebrity told early departure guests to be in the Celebrity theatre on deck 4. The only people there were the passengers. The theatre was closed and locked. After searching around, we found the disembarkation point on deck 3 by Guest Relations. This ship is a tired old ship and needs to be retired. Doubt if we'll ever book Celebrity again! Ron Kudla777 Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Overall this was an outstanding trip with visits to great cities. Positives: Staff - from the most junior employee to the Captain greeted all guests with a smile. Waiters - we signed up for open seating and were so pleased with ... Read More
Overall this was an outstanding trip with visits to great cities. Positives: Staff - from the most junior employee to the Captain greeted all guests with a smile. Waiters - we signed up for open seating and were so pleased with our waiters - Elves and Alfonso - on the first night that we requested their tables the rest of the cruise and were accommodated. We are early eaters - 5:30-6:00 so it wasn't rushed. Formal Nights - About 20% of the men wore tuxes; 70% coat and tie; 10% something else (knit shirt and jacket. Honesty about tours in St. Petersburg. The package from Celebrity said that if we were doing a private tour, we only needed tour tickets from an authorized agent, passport, and entry card. We booked with Alla who listed the same requirements. No problem getting off - we were in the first 100 or so off. Alla Tours and our guide Nadia were awesome! Cabin - as mentioned elsewhere, cabin 8080 is one of the quietest. Nothing on the opposite side of the passageway and cabins above and below. Smoking policy - Outstanding. Only smelled smoke when we were in a smoking area and there weren't too many of them. Stage shows - The three major performance shows were outstanding even though this was a new troupe. Violinist and ventriloquist/comedian were great. The singer - OK. Negatives: Docking locations were distant. Will check itineraries of Solstice class ships. They get the best location. Constellation is getting the second choice of Celebrity. Aida even had better locations. Port Lecturer - very poor. Insisted we needed kroner when virtually all stores took Euros and dollars. Stated there was a special arrangement so we could see the Rock Church in Helsinki. Even the tour order form said it was closed. It was closed. Ships Tours - Guides spent most of the time counting. Didn't see much. Shuttle Bus - Very disorganized. So bad in one port the ship refunded the money. Cabin steward was a bit grumpy. Asked about towel animals and he said he didn't do them. Goodby extra tip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
This is our 10th cruise - first on Celebrity - selected this cruise specifically for the itinerary - Perfect !! Hope I can provide some factual information that will help other future cruisers. Upgraded from Conceirge class ... Read More
This is our 10th cruise - first on Celebrity - selected this cruise specifically for the itinerary - Perfect !! Hope I can provide some factual information that will help other future cruisers. Upgraded from Conceirge class to Sky suite three weeks before sailing - got a really great price for residence/senior discount - glad we did this. The extra space in the cabin and bathroom was great, especially on a 12 night cruise. We were in cabin 9111 mid-ship near the elevators - very quite and no noise from deck ten as some people have reported. The cabin was very similar to the Jr Suite on RCCL- perks were good but not like the perks on a "full sized suite". Cabin was nice size with very large walk-in closet and plenty of drawer space. Bathroom good size with tub/shower combo - great showerhead, water pressure & hot water. My husband is over 6' tall and fit in this fine- no problem with head hitting the ceiling. The hair dryer was awful so make sure you bring your own! We flew non-stop from Philadelphia to Amsterdam the day before - spent one night at the Marriott Amsterdam - great location - directly across from the Blue Boat canal tour and the main outdoor center with restaurants and cafes a block away - got a good rate directly from Marriott (Sr Rate) but had to book early - much better than the Celebrity pre-crusie package offerings. The taxi from the airport to the hotel was approx $56.00 (41 Euros) and no limit on luggage - People suggested that we use the Schipol Travel Taxi but they only permit one piece of large luggage pp and then there is an additional charge - with 3 pieces of luggage it was the same as a regular taxi and we did not have to wait or stop at other hotels. We were a short cab ride to the Anne Frank house and walking distance to some of the museums - we really loved Amsterdam and wished we had stayed an second day - we did Amsterdam on our own, no formal tours. Taxi from hotel to pier including tip was 20 euros ($28.00) - 15 mins on Sunday with no traffic - embarkment was a little confusing - given priority number to board but went up the stairs and it was all one big line - then 2 lines thru security- after that we breezed through the suite line - The service on the ship was outstanding - all areas of the ship and all personnel - it was the best I have ever received on any of our past cruises - Our wait & bar service staff in the dinning room was excellent! And our room steward and butler were very attentive and professional. We never had any issues or problems. The entertainment was good - not the best we have seen but it was entertaining and we did go to all of the evening shows. The casino was very nice with great staff ! I love to gamble and go to Las Vegas often, but the payouts were so bad that after the first day we did not go there very much - it is a shame because we usually like to spend part of our evenings there. The food was somewhat disappointing - it was not as good as I was expecting. The food presentation was very nice and what we ate was really good - it was the selection of food that I found to be the biggest disappointment - the buffet for breakfast & lunch were the same each day (no big deal about that) but the dinner buffet was not anything that I expected - it looked just like lunch! Many nights in the dinning room we ordered off the alternate menu - but again it was just the selection that we were unhappy with. We booked all of our excursions through celebrity - we always feel more comfortable that way especially since we took the long trip into Berlin. We were pleased with the tours- the tour guides were very knowledgeable and led the tour well. We knew what we wanted in detail to see in each city, and selected the tour that met that criteria- and felt that we accomplished it all. We took the Celebrity transfers back to the airport -total $66.00. A cab might have been a few dollars cheaper but this was very organized and easy - our flight was an early one at 10:50 AM and we were the first group off the ship and at the airport by 8:15 AM with plenty of time to get through check-in and security. ONE TIP - print out your boarding passes on the ship - it is faster and easier to get you and our bags checked-in. If not there are two different lines you will have to go through. We were very impressed with the ship for our first Celebrity cruise. Enjoyed the smaller size ship and relaxed atmosphere. Would definitely cruise Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
We are a retired couple, usually traveling with one other couple, sailing once or twice a year. We prefer 10 to 14 or more days. We have been to the Caribbean seven times, Hawaii once, and New England/Canada once. We have Alaska/West ... Read More
We are a retired couple, usually traveling with one other couple, sailing once or twice a year. We prefer 10 to 14 or more days. We have been to the Caribbean seven times, Hawaii once, and New England/Canada once. We have Alaska/West Coast scheduled as well as another Caribbean in 2012. Our preferred lines are Celebrity and Holland America.We just returned from a 14-day voyage on Celebrity Constellation that took us to St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao. We had previously visited Barbados, Grenada, Aruba & Bonaire, but the others were new to us.Generally, we were very impressed with the update of the Constellation. We sailed with her in Oct 2009, so were eager to see what had been improved. The bedding, upholstery, carpets, & drapes had been done, not only in the cabins, but in the public areas as well. The whole new decor is beautiful.The update seemed to flow over to the crew - this whole crew was so friendly, eager to please and upbeat in every way! From the Captain all the way down, they made themselves available. Our first female Cruise Director, Sue, was really fantastic. And the female Maitre D, Lucy, was available every night of the cruise, not just the last night as we have seen before. Dining: We hope they never get rid of the "everyday" menu in the dining room because we do not always find something on their daily menu we can eat. We are pretty conservative eaters, not used to lots of sauces and gravies. We like our veggies to look like veggies and even though we are old, we don't need them mashed up or chopped. So, we usually had things like salmon or steak but getting the steak done to order was sometimes a problem (no matter which side of the menu it was on). That said, our waiters bent over backward to make it right for us and they brought anything and everything we ask for. We did not go hungry and we did not go to the specialty restaurant and pay for what we should have been getting in the dining room!Entertainment: We enjoyed all of the entertainment on board. The Take Note Quartet entertained us nightly in the Rendez-Vous Lounge - they were super. Of course, Perry Grant was good (when you could get in the door for his show). Inspiration Strings group was fantastic. The acapella group lost one of it's members early on to illness and he eventually had to fly home, but they managed to entertain with only 3 of them and the help of a 15-year old passenger who sat in one night. The orchestra and dancers were good, the comedians entertaining, singers very talented, etc. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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