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89 Celebrity Constellation Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < ... Read More
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < 30 minutes after stepping from the car we had embarkation mimosas in hand and were looking at the booths on deck 3. We'd been advised that cross-selling was more prevalent than it used to be, and it did seem that every corner had someone offering a dinner package, a drink package, a spa package, etc, etc; learning to say 'no' came very quickly. We did purchase a dinner package (one dinner at the Tuscan restaurant, 2 at Ocean liners), and we had no complaints or issues at either restaurant, EXCEPT that the MDR food was *almost* as good and no additional cost. Based on the food quality in the MDR, i'd have a hard time justifying the cost for the dinner package on a future cruise. Almost everyone we spoke with told us how 'brave' we were to make a Trans-Atlantic cruise as our first cruise ever - and we still marvel at that thinking. We had no time for boredom, always something going on; a show, a class, an auction, a drawing, meals...all great fun. Of all things, Bingo was disappointing. I'd be fine only playing 3 games a session if packages were, say, $20/person. But the packages were $40/60/80, and that's a bit pricey to play three games and leave - so that was a one and done experience. We were *slightly* disappointed in the karaoke songs options (lots of older music, which is fine considering the typical clients, some newer music) in that there were few musicals included (as in one - 'My Fair Lady' was the only one I find - no Phantom, no Cats, no Wicked, no other big name, recognizable musicals included; just seemed like an odd omission). The ship ported in Madeira, Gibraltar, and Alicante before disembarking in Civitavecchia. We took none of the ship excursions, and so cannot comment on their quality - but can say the pricing seemed high. In Madeira we walked the town and had a great time, especially after 8 days at sea 8-). In Gibraltar we accepted a cab tour from a gentleman standing at the taxi stand, and once a group was gathered (maybe a 15 minute wait), we took off and definitely got our monies worth. He was informative, funny, knew his material and was easily understood. In Alicante I had arranged a Vow Renewal ceremony through a local company, and we met at Castillo de Santa Barbara - beautiful site and all went very smoothly. DO NOT look for cabs at the Castillo though, they don't seem to wait around there at all; expect to take the elevator from the Castillo to the beach and find one there, although it's a short walk to port shuttle from that point. The entertainment was hit or miss, mostly hit for us. Jayne Curry was fantastic, and the highlight of the individual entertainers as far as we were concerned. The juggler/comedian Steve Carte was standard fare, without anything truly distinguishing his work from other juggler/comedians we'd seen busking in parks for many years now. The stand-up comedian lost us and we walked out when he presented a series of jokes (better performed and notably available on DVD and the internet) from Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Comedians stealing material is nothing new, but not such high visibility jokes and scenarios. Gemma Louise Doyle joined the ship in Madeira when Jayne left, and we lost in that trade; Gemma's singing is mostly pleasant, but she has little stage presence and no connection to the audience whatsoever. If we'd not been sitting in the 2nd row we'd have left. The Stars of the Constellation preformed several shows as well, and several were VERY good (iHollywood and the new show Elyria), most were decent and (we felt) only one failed to live up to expectations. It was the fourth night at sea (can't remember the name or theme of the show) but the cast seemed tired or bored, and it showed in the performance - very rote with no energy. Later performances were much, much better 8-). Perhaps the timechanges affected them? Our room itself (inside cabin 9018) was fine; small as expected, but plenty for two people not spending hours awake in the room. Hallway noise was non-existent, and we never heard anything from other passenger cabins. It IS next to a steward pantry, which apparently has metal stairs in it - you can hear the occasional steps being taken. It's also beneath the spa, and seemed to have drains from the spa area passing the walls, so you had the occasional water feature sounds coming from the walls. We found it relaxing (although it probably encouraged the odd nighttime bathroom trip or two), but I'm sure there are pickier travellers for whom these sounds might be disturbing. Service was great, the crew friendly, the weather was all but perfect for the entire trip. We couldn't believe we were finally on a cruise, and now look to make it a habit. A BIG recommendation: when the ship is heading to a new area (not back to the embarkation port), DO have language classes for the end point of the cruise! Celebrity put on ONE one hour Italian class right at the end of the trip, and all the conversation we heard though this not only should be standard fare, it should have started day one and continued right through the cruise! Just a marvelous idea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our first Transatlantic cruise and it could not have been better. The seas were calm (credit to the Captain for going around a storm) the entire trip and my husband who gets sea sick easily never had a moments discomfort! The ... Read More
This was our first Transatlantic cruise and it could not have been better. The seas were calm (credit to the Captain for going around a storm) the entire trip and my husband who gets sea sick easily never had a moments discomfort! The ship is beautiful and well kept. The crew were always there with a smile and willing to help with anything you might need. This was our first time in a Celebrity Suite and it was wonderful. Michaels Club was our go to place to have a quiet drink and meet up with the many wonderful new friends we had met there. The Michael's concierge, Gareth Watkins was amazing- there was nothing we requested that he didn't come through with. The girls in Michael's remembered what you liked to drink and they were always quick with bringing you a snack if you were hungry. Luminae (I was told pronounced Lume eh nay') was worth waiting for. We loved the food and the service was great (although a little slow - hard to make the shows if you had desert). We tried both specialty restaurants and recommend them both. There were plenty of activities and entertainment to keep you as busy as you wanted to be. They even had shows during the day which was nice since we kept losing an hour here and there and it was harder to stay up late at night for the shows. We stopped in Madeira, Portugal; Gibraltar, UK; and Alicante, Spain. We did private tours in Madeira and Gibraltar with wonderful fellow cruisers that we met up with on our Cruise Critic Roll Call. In Alicante we did the HOHO bus and walked around town and ate at a local restaurant (LeMedina) for authentic Paella - a very pretty town to walk in! When we reached Civitavecchia we literally just walked off the ship and onto our tour bus for a look at St. Peter's square, the Coliseum and the Forum in Rome and then off to the airport. It was a ships tour and a great way to end our cruise. From there we flew to London to spend five wonderful days exploring before heading home to the States. We cannot wait for our next Celebrity Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my 25th cruise. My third with Celebrity. The ship was in good condition. We found are ocean view cabin to be very clean, with ample closet space and plenty of light and mirrors. The crew was extremely friendly. We were constantly ... Read More
This was my 25th cruise. My third with Celebrity. The ship was in good condition. We found are ocean view cabin to be very clean, with ample closet space and plenty of light and mirrors. The crew was extremely friendly. We were constantly greeted by staff. The officers were also quite visible through out the cruise. We had "select dining" and never had to wait for a table. The Waite staff was extremely professional. The food always came out hot. Some of the cuts of meat were tuff, but overall the dining experience in the San Marco restaurant was first class. The buffet with the exception of breakfast was a disappointment. Dinner in the buffet was limited and the selection most nights not good. We avoided the buffet and stuck to the main restaurant. After 9:30 good luck finding a snack. It was pretty much limited to pizza & pasta. Entertainment was hit or miss. We attended most of the shows. The production shows with Celebrity's own entertainers were some of the worst. The ports with the exception of Agadir, Morocco were great. Our tour of Taroudant, Morocco was a big disappointment. Over all I would rate my experience on Celebrity, Very Good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I are in our 50s and have been cruising now for a while with an increased emphasis in the past couple years. We have cruised Celebrity before on Connie as well as Princess, RCI, and Carnival. This was our longest cruise by far ... Read More
My wife and I are in our 50s and have been cruising now for a while with an increased emphasis in the past couple years. We have cruised Celebrity before on Connie as well as Princess, RCI, and Carnival. This was our longest cruise by far as our previous long cruise was a 10 day Caribbean. It was our first transatlantic and our first foray into Mediterranean cruising as well. We flew into Rome 3 days before the cruise from Miami after a layover in Madrid. Having missed our connection in Madrid due to some silly rule from Iberian Air about not letting the crew onboard our plane, we arrived 3 hours later than expected. We traveled with a group through a group package that turned out to be somewhat of a disaster on the transportation front. Being somewhat abandoned at the Rome airport by our TA/transportation arrangement, we were forced to purchase our own bus to the Hotel Diana Rooftop. The hotel was fine and had a very good location. Fortunately the weather cooperated as our room did not have AC. Embarkation was another crazy day. We received notification from Celebrity the night before the cruise that the embarkation port was being changed from Civitavecchia to Naples due to weather. What a night of confusion, both from our TA and from Celebrity. I know this had to be extremely difficult on Celebrity's part as they had to contact a couple thousand passengers through various unreliable means. Having to organize 90 buses to disembark passengers from a port 175 miles away and pickup as many and get them all to Naples had to be an unbelievable logistical challenge. They came through, though, and were well organized in the Rome airport to transport passengers and their luggage to Naples. They checked our bags directly from the bus to the ship which made checking in and getting onboard very easy. Connie is showing her age somewhat, but she still sparkles in most areas. There were always crew cleaning, patching, painting, and maintaining throughout the cruise. This is still one of our favorite ships. We like that it is not a huge ship and the number of passengers never makes you feel like it is crowded. The passengers were more of a seasoned citizen variety with a few exceptions. There were only 8 kids on the cruise. From the various languages I could hear spoken throughout the cruise, passengers were primarily from the US but with a good sprinkling of European and Canadian cruisers with a few Australians as well. There was always something to do, but we spent most of our free time reading. It was sometimes difficult to find quiet places to read since many others had the same plan as ours. The activities were the typical trivia, random game shows, casino games, etc. There were very few good weather days so there wasn't much outdoor pool activity except on a couple days. Having booked Aqua class, we ate in Blu every evening and some mornings. We found the food superior there to the few times we ate lunch in the MDR. The buffet was adequate with good variety. At times the hot food was cold and the cold food warm, but there was variety at lunch and dinner. The two nights we ate dinner in the buffet were very good since they have a make to order grill in the back of the Oceanview cafe. The dinners in Blu were different than when we we were on Connie last April. There didn't seem to be as much of the "clean cuisine" concept as before as evidenced by the insistence to put gravy on every type of meat dish. Cafe Al Bachio always had something yummy whenever we needed a snack. We had booked 4 excursions through Cruise Critic members, 3 of which came off without a hitch. The other one was cancelled due to the operator not showing up. We felt bad for the organizers because it was a large group. We booked two shore excursions through Celebrity and almost got left behind on one of them (Pisa). Fortunately I was able to run to catch the tour before they left us. Rain left us disappointed in Florence but the weather cooperated at all other ports. Agadir was enlightening and a real adventure. Cartagena was nice as were the Canary Islands. Our Aqua A2 cabin was located on deck 9 unfortunately beneath the Lido deck/pool area. On any nights where music was being played we heard it pretty loud and clear and pretty much had to stay up as long as they were playing. In the early morning we would hear chairs scraping as they were being moved as well as heavy footed people walking the deck. The cabin itself was very comfortable as was the bed. Only the location under the Lido deck made it a slight disappointment. Our room stewards were awesome and always greeted us with smiles and well wishes for our day. Wait staff in Blu was exceptional as well. We really enjoyed getting to know some of the folks there since this was a long cruise. They got to know our names and habits as the cruise progressed. Particularly exceptional were Rich Gleason, the cruise director. We've been on many cruises where the cruise director is only seen in two locations- the morning show and introducing the show headliners. Rich was everywhere on this cruise, from jumping in the pool and participating in the crew/guest volleyball game, to helping with the egg drop challenge and many other areas. He was always visible in various lounges and walking the ship talking to passengers in every venue. He was just outstanding. We actually had two captains on this cruise, Captain Nikolas and Captain Tasos. I enjoyed Captain Nikolas but Captain Tasos was incredible. Again, I've never see a captain so visible and participate in so many activities. His performance at the Liar's game was incredibly funny. Overall entertainment was pretty good. The few production shows were good to very good. I was impressed that they had live entertainment every night as well as many guest lecturers that educated and entertained us in many ways. I had my perspective changed on a couple topics due to some of the lectures we attended. Disembarkation was a breeze as there apparently were a lot of customs agents that allowed us to get off of the ship earlier than expected. I wish I could say our TA redeemed themselves with a pickup in FLL. However, after waiting an hour an half in the rain with the prospect of waiting another 1-2 hours, we decided to forego our prepaid transportation and rent a car for the 3 hour drive home. In summary, this was a memorable and enjoyable cruise for us. If I had to pick one negative (other than our TA's blundering of the pre and post-cruise transportation) it was our cabin location and the noise that came along with it. The best part of the cruise had to be the great captain, cruise director and crew who went out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable. 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Sail Date November 2014
A little history first... I am early 40s and have been on 9 cruises to date of which 3 are westbound transatlantic crossings (including the one I am writing about). Typical cruise vacations are usually 3-4 weeks in length that include ... Read More
A little history first... I am early 40s and have been on 9 cruises to date of which 3 are westbound transatlantic crossings (including the one I am writing about). Typical cruise vacations are usually 3-4 weeks in length that include vacation time on land either pre or post cruise (or both). I read plenty of cruise reviews that have no details or explanations (not helpful) or reviews that focus on too many subjective complaints (also not helpful). I will comment on facts and actual events that occurred during my cruise. This 16 day westbound transatlantic on Constellation was to embark on 05-November-2014. Due to severe weather conditions at the port in Civitavecchia, passengers were notified on the evening of 04-November through a number of different methods (e-mail, telephone, text message) that the ship would remain in Naples, Italy to disembark passenger on the prior cruise and to embark passengers for the upcoming cruise. I started to receive notifications on my mobile phone around 5:00 PM (Rome time). I was able to communicate all of these changes to other passengers I was cruising with in my pre-arranged shuttle as well as post on the Cruise Critic board for the larger audience that would be affected. This was the first time for me to have this kind of event happen and it was a bit of a shock at first, but nothing that didn't work out in the end. I was fortunate to have already been in Italy for several days pre-cruise, so this last minute change was a hurdle that could be easily overcome. I made a quick call to the shuttle service I used (Rome Cabs) and they updated my final destination from the port to the FCO airport where Celebrity had motorcoaches waiting for us to take us to Naples to board the cruise ship. This worked out relatively smoothly given the vast number of people that were impacted by this change. Boarding the cruise ship in Naples was easy, but due to me forgetting my Express Pass at home, I had to fill out some paperwork provided by the cruise ship staff before I could check in. No worries, a few extra minutes to complete the paperwork and off I went to an agent to check in. Since all passengers were arriving by motorcoach sporadically throughout the day, there was never a line and that made boarding a breeze, even under these different circumstances. Because of the changes to the embarkation port, departure was at 8:00 PM (local time) and arrival in Livorno (Day 1 port stop) was delayed by about 2 hours. All in all, things would work out quite well. Muster drill was shifted a bit later to accommodate late passenger arrivals. For the next 16 days, I am in Aqua Class stateroom 9112. Again, our late arrival to the ship ensured that our room was immediately ready for us to access once on board the ship. Stateroom 9112 is a typical Aqua Class (A2 category) stateroom located on Deck 9 about 8 doors aft of the center stairwell on the Starboard side of the ship. The bed arrangement is near the bath. While this stateroom is below the Oceanview Cafe, noise was never an issue. No issues with noise from adjacent staterooms. In fact, our neighbors in 9110 were 2 of the 8 passengers in our shuttle van from Rome to the FCO airport. They were great neighbors and we had many long chats on our balcony. The proximity of this room to the center and rear stairwell allowed for easy/quick access to the Oceanview Cafe and Sunset Bar as well as elevators and stairwells for other parts of the ship (very convenient). We had excellent service from our stateroom attendant throughout the cruise. Very friendly and willing to assist us in any way possible to make our stay more enjoyable. He greeted us the first day, learned our needs for ice and our preferences for other things (in room tea, canape delivery, etc). The room was kept neat and spotless, the ice bucket was filled twice a day, and twice daily service happened so quickly when were out of the room. I did not miss the nightly chocolates as there were plenty of chocolate fixes around the ship. No towel animals either, but I would rather have fantastic service and no towel decorations, than to have lack luster service. Although we are booked in Aqua Class and Blu is our primary dining venue, I had pre-purchased a 5-dinner package in the specialty restaurants (2 dinners Tuscan Grill, 3 dinners Ocean Liners) with the first of these dinners to be had on Embarkation Day in Tuscan Grill. This was a very nice supplement to our many wonderful dinners enjoyed in Blu. As you can imagine, due to these changes the luggage did not get to our stateroom till much later in the evening. Since I had dinner reservations for 8:30 PM in Tuscan Grill, I was dressed more casually than I would prefer (wearing shorts and a polo), but the Tuscan Grill maitre d was wonderful and said to not worry. We would end up dining in Tuscan Grill 2 more times and it was some of the best service we had on the ship!! The first dinner in Blu would have been on the evening of Day 1. However, upon our arrival to the host desk at the entrance of Blu around 8:30pm, we were asked to take a seat in the Cellarmasters until a table was available for us. I was surprised and perplexed by this but did as we were asked. We were patiently waiting about 15-20 minutes before we were greeted by the Blu maitre d (an asst. maitre d from Ocean Liners covering for the regular Blu maitre d who was on vacation during this cruise). We were taken to Ocean Liners for dinner (no charge) on this night since tables in Blu were not clearing quickly enough to seat us anytime soon. While I was surprised, we were happy to be accommodated elsewhere. What I didn't know until many days later in the cruise is that this would become a reoccurring problem for us (excessive wait times to be seated in Blu). In fact, I changed up our arrival time on various days hoping to catch a break with arrival times between 7:00 PM and 8:45 PM. We seemed to arrive to a full dining room at any of these times on any given night. One night I was so frustrated about having to wait to be seated for dinner (after 15 minutes) that I went to check if there was immediate seating at either Tuscan Grill or Ocean Liners while we waited for an opening in Blu. When Ocean Liners could take us immediately, I used another night of my 5-dinner package to have us seated in Ocean Liners instead of waiting for seating in Blu. After the cruise I counted back and determined that 8 nights were spent in Blu and 8 nights were spent dining elsewhere on the ship. Only 1 night at Blu in 8 visits were we seated immediately for dinner. Having only ever been in Aqua Class one other time (on the Reflection, November 2013), I was surprised by the difficulty to be seated for dinner in a reasonable time frame. Of the 8 nights for dinner not spent in Blu, 2 of those dinners were with friends that were dining in the Select Dining area of the MDR. I haven't been in the MDR since 2011 and was very pleasantly surprised by the service and food. Because of this, the next (future) cruise will have us eating in the MDR. I enjoyed the Premium Alcohol package on this cruise and my partner had the Premium Non-alcohol package. No complaints for the most part, except for in the Specialty Dining venues where most wine by the glass is beyond the $13/glass package limit. In these situations, I would prevail upon the sommelier to find a recommendation that he could cover with the package. In all cases (except one) I liked the suggested options. The premium packages also allowed for many extra bottles of waters to take off the ship on port days, sparkling water with dinners, and specialty coffees at Cafe al Bacio. Service provided at bars all over the ship was good, even at busy times of the day. Bar service in Blu is a tad slow for my personal tastes, but once your relationship with your sommelier is established, your service improves. I still think that one sommelier for the whole restaurant is not enough (there should be 2). A single sommelier in Tuscan Grill or Ocean Liners seems reasonable as the pace of service is more relaxed. On this 16 day itinerary from Rome (technically Naples) to Fort Lauderdale, we had port stops in Livorno, Itally (Florence/Sienna/Pisa); Cartagena, Spain; Agadir, Morocco; 3 stops in the Canary Islands (Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife). The first 3 port stops were new for me. I didn't care for Morocco, but all the other port stops were amazing. We did wonderful private tours at the other ports, with the exception of Tenerife. This was our third time in 3 years to see Tenerife and we did it on our own as the port is easy to navigate by foot. My last time on an M-Class ship was the Millennium in 2011 and this was "pre-sosticization". These ships are so very beautiful and the solstice class upgrades and amenities make for a very comfortable cruise experience. While on board, I booked another cruise with Celebrity for 2015 on the Constellation. I'm not the kind of person to make note of every bit of peeling paint/rust or worn carpet/upholstery... or to take small one-off situations and blow them up out of proportion and harp about them forever on Cruise Critic threads. The public spaces were all very elegant and comfortable and neatly maintained. Public restrooms were clean and maintained at a frequency adequate to passenger traffic at various times of day. Service was generally very good at venues around the ship. Ship crew were usually smiling, very courteous, friendly, and talkative when they were not too busy. The food throughout the ship was generally very good to wonderful. I would prefer to see less self-service in the Oceanview Cafe (more staff to place food on your plate), which removes opportunities for illness and poor hygiene of passengers to affect you. Outside of the long wait times to be seated in Blu, there were no other issues that made for a mediocre or bad cruise experience while on the ship. Disembarkation in Port Everglades was at Pier 25 (or 27). Either way, it was not a fun/nice experience. The terminal is a dump (a roof and four walls). This particular day (21-November-2014) was very cool and rainy and windy. No comfortable means to take shelter from the elements once you are through customs/immigration and waiting for your private transport. If you are taking a cab to the airport right away, this is very easy to do. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The Constellation sailed on a 15 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam. The intermediate ports were Lisbon, Le Havre, Dover, and Zeebrugge. We enjoyed the smaller ship and thought the Connie was in good shape for its age. The ... Read More
The Constellation sailed on a 15 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam. The intermediate ports were Lisbon, Le Havre, Dover, and Zeebrugge. We enjoyed the smaller ship and thought the Connie was in good shape for its age. The weather was windy and rainy as we hit the northern ports, so that detracted some from our enjoyment of the cruise. The big difference between this cruise and the other six transatlantic cruises we have taken was the entertainment. On those other cruises the entertainment has been fair at best, but this one was different. We had two very good male singers and one good female singer from London's West End. The comedian was funny and the comedic juggler was a stitch. Singers and dancers were good, but the best shows by far were the classical music shows (even though I am not a big fan of classical). The concert pianist was Brooks Aehron from London. He was not only great on the piano, but was funnier than the comedian. He let us know at his second show that Celebrity was trying something new - the presentation of a young future star of the classical music world. On this cruise he accompanied Andrea Amat, an incredible young flute player. Her "Flight of the Bumblebee" was amazing. Hope that Celebrity keeps this program going. The only shows we did not enjoy were the magician (standard stuff with no comedy) and four girls who did Beatles music (they were OK, but would rather have four men). We missed the violinist but were told that he was very good.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Transatlantic Crossing  4/24-5/9/2014  Embarkation: We spent the night prior to the cruise in Fort Lauderdale. Transfer from the hotel to the ship was complimentary and easy. Check-in was efficient and took around fifteen minutes. Since ... Read More
Transatlantic Crossing  4/24-5/9/2014  Embarkation: We spent the night prior to the cruise in Fort Lauderdale. Transfer from the hotel to the ship was complimentary and easy. Check-in was efficient and took around fifteen minutes. Since the staterooms were not available until 1:30 PM, the Ocean View café was overly crowded with little sitting room available. Staff did not really assist guests to find searing. Some of the food offerings ran out and there was general confusion. Stateroom: We were in cabin 8086, Concierge class. It was located midships, was quiet and very comfortable. We especially liked the cabin layout as it felt larger than it was. There was ample storage space for fifteen days’ worth of clothing. The cabin was very clean and had been upgraded so appeared fairly new. Ship Condition: The Connie is not a new ship. It was supposed to be “Solstice-ized”. There is no comparison between a Solstice class ship and a Millennium class ship. This is especially noticeable in the Ocean View buffet. Solstice class ships offer a spacious buffet experience while the connie buffet is old-style and congested. Having said that, the ship was well maintained. Cabins were upgraded and the common areas looked new and modern. The ship’s exterior was in good condition. There was no appreciable rusting. The bright work was polished and the windows were clean. Specialty Dining: We ate in the Tuscan Grill early in the cruise. The food was delicious and the service second to none. We heard some complaints about the service but I felt the key was to make reservations for an early dining before the place became over crowded. The Tuscan Grill is a highly recommended treat if time and money permit. Ocean View Café: Breakfast was average for the cruise industry. Cold cereal was dispensed in bulk which limited daily selections to three or four choices. Milk was also served in bulk and became warm after sitting out for a time. I much prefer a cold cereal selection of individual serving boxes and milk in small cartons kept refrigerated. Omelets were average as were the pastries. Very little variation was observed from day to day. Lunches were a noticeable improvement from breakfast. More variety and delicious sandwiches, especially the chicken and tuna salad. Hamburgers and sausage from the poolside grill were the best I have ever seen on any cruise ship. Pizza was below average. Crust was too thick. For some reason the pizza improved during the evening hours. We ate some evening meals in the Ocean View Grill during in-port days. The Italian and Asian entrees were very good, better in some cases than the main dining room. San Marcos Dining Room: Our table was located n the center of the room and was very noisy. We were surrounded by eight person tables which made conversation nearly impossible. Several nights we took dessert in the Ocean View Café so we could carry on our discussions. The quality of thje food ranged from below average to very good. The fish entrée were not very appealing nor tasty. Steaks were average. The one night we had lobster was wonderful. Chicken dishes were usually well above average. The table breads were boring and basically did not vary during the fifteen day trip. Our waiter, Limon, was very good so service was very good, except for getting dessert and coffee. Conclusion: the dining room experience was not as good as on other ships. Entertainment: The ship singers and dancers were above average for cruise ships. The production shows were not geared for the mature guest. Might have been good for families or the younger audience. The classicall pianist, Brooks Aehron, was wonderful. Both his evening show and the “Classics on Celebrity” performance were outstanding. He was informative and entertaining. The “Classics on Celebrity” program is new with Celebrity and a welcome edition to the on-board enrichment programs. Jack Walker, vocalist, gave a top notch performance with music from serveral different styles (pop, Broadway, country, and opera). Fantastic voice and stage presence. Jaqui Scott, a London West End star, gave an absolutely wonderful performance combining show tunes with pop songs. The best performance of the cruise. Other performers were well above average as well. Without a doubt, this was the best entertainment of any cruise that we have taken. Enrichment Programs: The at-sea programs included history, music, and current events. The port lectures were informative and did not push ship-sponsored shopping. A welcome change from most cruise ships. Port Visits: The ship made stops in Lisbon, LaHavre, Brugge, and Dover. We used the ship excursions and were generally pleased. The one bad experience was in LaHavre where ther guide was awful. When we addressed this with the ship, we were promptly refunded the cost of the excursion. Debarkation: Being elite members of the Captain’s Club, we were given a special area tgo wait for debarkation. Coffee, juice and pastries were available. When our time was called, we departed the ship without any delay. Our luggage was waiting for us in the terminal area when we debarked.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This TA was the 2nd leg of a B2B. We were in Concierge class on deck 6 and we had a veranda that was triple size for that class stateroom, it was back where all the large suites were and we felt like "special" guests back there. ... Read More
This TA was the 2nd leg of a B2B. We were in Concierge class on deck 6 and we had a veranda that was triple size for that class stateroom, it was back where all the large suites were and we felt like "special" guests back there. Ship: Sparkling clean! This was our third cruise on Connie and she is getting better with age. Embarkation: As Concierge class we went to a special line with no waiting. Activities: So many to choose from we had trouble deciding what t do next. Often we had three activities on board we wanted to participate in at the same time so had to make some tough but happy choices. At times we would split up and do our own thing. Service: Second to none!!!!!!!!! Stateroom: Perfect and always made immaculate twice a day by the staff. A special shout out to our stewards, Muhajir and Rakesh. They were always smiling, always friendly, and always helpful. You guys are great, thanks so much for making this cruise so special! Dining: MDR was good as always, but the staff seemed to have more tables to cover so service was a bit slow at times. Tuscan Grille was outstanding, one of the best meals and service we have had anywhere thanks to our Italian waiter Fabrizio. Buffet was above average, you just have to pick and choose carefully. Wife loved the black bean soup at the lunch buffet but it was not served everyday. So she asked "Tiny" the head chef for the buffet if she could get some black bean soup the next day. Tiny said "yes ma'am" and so the whole ship had a black bean soup choice the next day. We loved the Key Lime pie served at Baccio and asked if we get it in the MDR for desert. The next evening our table of 6 was served a whole Key Lime pie much to the envy of the tables around us. Incredible! The expanded room service menu for Concierge class was great and we ate in the stateroom for breakfast several mornings. I loved the Omega 3 smoothies that are only available on the expanded room service menu. Fitness Center: First time we have ever used the fitness center and it was great. We went there early every morning and there was never a crowd. As a result gained less than 5 pounds during the 15 days. Entertainment: We were on Connie 18 months ago and the production shows were essentially the same. So we passed on most of the evening entertainment, it's always too loud anyway (I take earplugs to ease the pain). However, all the lecturers were great. Disembarkation: Concierge class has special waiting room with drinks and pastries. You go there and wait for your number to be called and walk (reluctantly) right off the ship. Easy, peasy. Summary: Our cruises on Celebrity just keep getting better and better. We have met lasting friends aboard and our table mates have always been great. We have discovered we like "sea days" better than port days so we will be doing more Transatlantics in the future. We are such fans of Celebrity, we are going to purchase stock in RCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My wife and I decided to give Celebrity a try after 16 cruises with Royal Caribbean. We have not gone out of Fort Lauderdale in a long time and after reading a couple of reviews on the port and on Constellation I was a bit concerned. Our ... Read More
My wife and I decided to give Celebrity a try after 16 cruises with Royal Caribbean. We have not gone out of Fort Lauderdale in a long time and after reading a couple of reviews on the port and on Constellation I was a bit concerned. Our flight into Fort Lauderdale was delayed by about an hour so we arrived at the port at about 12:30pm. I expected long lines to get in to the port, to drop off our luggage, and to check in. The process went extremely smooth and from the time we stepped out of the taxi to the moment we stepped onboard was less than 20 minutes. The rooms were already available so we went up to our room to drop off some things before heading up to get a bite to eat in what we expected to be a mob scene with no place to sit, etc. It was busy but there was no real wait and we had no issue finding tables toward the back. The food was good and there were a variety of choices. The fruit is what makes it for us and it was fresh and so good tasting. We next went to the main dining room to see what table we got for dinner. We are diamond members with RCL and always request a table for two. We always seem to be assigned to a table for 8 or 10 but they change it when we go ask. I expected much the same on Celebrity with this being our 1st time on them but lo and behold they put us at a table for two from the start. As for the ship itself its design makes it seem larger than it is. They utilize all the available space very well. With the recent updates the colors throughout were very pleasing and the ship looked clean and well maintained. I read a number of complaints about poor service, unfriendly staff, etc, but we experienced none of that. From the time we stepped on to the time we disembarked the service was outstanding. We ate in the MDR every night and the food was excellent as was the service. Every entrée was properly cooked and had great taste. I especially liked the apple pie on this ship. I am 52 and it was the best I have ever had and my uncle ran a bakery. His was the standard I have compared all others to and this one is the 1st to beat his. Sorry Uncle Ted. Our balcony cabin was clean and comfortable and there was plenty of room for storage of all our things. Our room steward was wonderful and very friendly. The pools were busy and we had a lot of spring breakers onboard but there were always deck chairs available. The solarium was very quiet and there were little nooks all over the ship to slip into a chair and just read a book if you want. The entertainment was very typical for a 5 night cruise. The comedian was ok but not one of the better we have seen onboard. The magician and the contortionist however were extremely talented and entertaining. Disembarkation, I have read horror stories about. Not here. We were scheduled to be called off the boat at 8am but we got off 15 minutes early. By 8am we already had our luggage, cleared customs, and was on our way to the airport. No, we did not do self-departure. We were very impressed with Celebrity and the Constellation. It met and exceeded our expectations. In fact, we have already booked 2 more on her within the next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
In November 2013 we sailed the Celebrity Constellation on a transatlantic crossing from Rome to Fort Lauderdale with stops in Livorno (Florence), Cartagena, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. We were booked in a Royal Suite which provided a ... Read More
In November 2013 we sailed the Celebrity Constellation on a transatlantic crossing from Rome to Fort Lauderdale with stops in Livorno (Florence), Cartagena, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. We were booked in a Royal Suite which provided a bedroom with access to the balcony and hot tub there, a sizeable living room and a small dining and bar area that could accommodate four for dining. Unfortunately, the condition of the dining table was terrible with major stains and blemishes. We asked to have it covered. (We entertained in our suite several times). This was our first cruise on Celebrity. Having sailed previously several times on Seabourn and having made a similar transatlantic crossing the previous year on the Seabourn Quest our expectations for the Constellation were somewhat lower than what we have experienced on Seabourn. We were very pleasantly surprised to find the service on the Constellation to be excellent and the crew to be cheerful, helpful, and eager to please. We were especially impressed with our butler Cipirian Priscasiu whose service was superb. Upon our arrival he was asked how difficult it would be to prepare a complicated morning protein shake of eggs, peanut butter, ice cream, and ice (one of us is a competitive athlete on a high calorie diet) and without a moments hesitation he said, “At what time each morning would you like me to bring this to you?” The shake together with our breakfast was delivered every morning at 8:30. While Chip did an outstanding job taking care of us we were also very pleased with the service staff both in our stateroom (Moreno) but also in the dining rooms and at the bars. We were accustomed to the excellent service we have experienced on board our Seabourn cruises but we agreed that the service on the Constellation was comparable to the care we have experienced on Seabourn. Particularly outstanding were Onur, Sheyla, Slojana, Iputu, and of course Marco whose spectacular bartending displays were always exciting. Because of the special service we received we elected not to utilize the prepaid gratuities options, offering some cash tips during the cruise and the giving each of the crew members who impressed us cash expressions of our appreciation on the day before our departure. We are without apologies both athletes AND foodies. We were not unhappy with the food on board the Constellation but here is where the comparison with Seabourn did not match up. We ate in all of the specialty restaurants and we found the cuisine and creativeness in Blu to be the best dining experience on the ship. We found the availability of fresh seafood to be limited and the wine list somewhat lack luster. Although we had been told to prepare for this, we found the need to carry and flash our “drink card” continuously somewhat annoying. We had purchased a premium liquor package ($1000+ per person) prior to sailing but we missed the all-inclusiveness of Seabourn and the ease with which you could go from venue to venue without having to go through the drill of pulling out your card and signing chits. The on board internet was both dysfunctional and expensive. This has to be improved! The cruise director, JC did an excellent job. Most interesting to us were his successful efforts to include passengers in the performances. Near the end of the cruise, a large chorus of passengers who had rehearsed together during the course of the cruise performed to a full theatre. They in addition to several passenger/singers (thank you Taina Plagmann in particular) received a standing ovation from the entire theatre. Finally, as we saw him often among and interacting with the passengers it became apparent that much of the high morale among the staff came from the exuberant and affable captain Tasos Kafetzis. It was clear he had the respect of his crew and they admired his leadership. Based on our very unexpectedly very pleasant cruise on Celebrity Constellation we have booked a short Caribbean cruise for next month on the Constellation and another long cruise through the Panama Canal on the Celebrity Infinity for later this year. We are hoping they will replicate our transatlantic cruise on the Constellation.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We are not new to cruising, this being our 33rd cruise since 1978 and I have to say with the exception of a couple of minor glitches, it will be known as the best cruise we have ever taken. This is the first review I’ve ever written. We ... Read More
We are not new to cruising, this being our 33rd cruise since 1978 and I have to say with the exception of a couple of minor glitches, it will be known as the best cruise we have ever taken. This is the first review I’ve ever written. We flew to Rome, spent 3 days before boarding. (We booked the hotel and choice air thru the cruise line and everything went perfect.) The 1st day in Rome, we went to Vatican City. Took small private tours thru Celebrity, for all our Rome tours, to tour the Vatican, you do need a ticket, and if you don't book a tour you will stand in line for 2 to 3 hours. All I can say about the Vatican, St Peters Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel, is that it was breathtaking! I just can't express the emotions we felt. We also toured the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. Which were very impressive. The Crown Plaza hotel, was okay, but for the cost, we've stayed in better. I did not consider it a 4 star....more like a Holiday Inn, It was also NOT with in walking distance of anything as was advertised. But the restaurant was fantastic and reasonably priced. On the 24th we boarded the ship and were thrilled to see how large our cabin was. We were able to get a 2 room FV aft cabin for the 2 of us. It was wonderful! We had the best Captain ever. Captain Tasos Kafetzis, and we will be sure to sail with him again. along with JC, our cruise director and Mark, activities director, whose specialty was watching for icebergs! One of our favorite restaurants on the ship is Bistro on 5, this is where we head as soon as we board It is delicious plus no standing in line. This is the only specialty restaurant we go to, the food in the main dining Room is wonderful. The only problem was, the lack of veggies, but we just asked for them. On the 25th, we toured the Leaning tower of Pisa; As interesting as the leaning tower was, seeing the Alps in the background, a very beautiful sight. We are Elite members and on this cruise instead of having our "private" cocktail party from 5 to 7, they gave us tickets to use for our drinks at various lounges. My husband and I decided we liked this option much better than standing in a long line, then TRYING to find seats just for a free drink! Our next stop was Cartagina, Spain. We docked within walking distance of the city so decided not to take a tour. A very relaxing day and beautiful little city, enjoyed it very much. Thursday, was a sea day and Thanksgiving, The weather is warm enough now to sit on our balcony and the beginning of our 25 hr days! Friday, we arrived in Agadir, Morocco, I’m not going to say much about this except to say it was really nasty, and it was quit apparent they didn't want Americans there! The ship refunded everyone their tour money and I was really relieved to be back on the ship. Next stop was Lanzarote, Canary Island. Once again we could walk into town and had a very nice relaxing time. Saturday was our last stop before crossing the Atlantic. We were scheduled for a camel ride thru the dessert, in Gran Canaria, Canary Island, I really recommend this! We had so much fun. The rest of the trip was spent crossing the Atlantic and it was so relaxing and so much fun. We love the Constellation. It's a beautiful ship and we will be sure to sail on her again!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
From the time we stepped on board to the time we stepped off it was pure pampering. Our Aquaclass cabin 1111 was on the top floor and going westbound we have had sun all day. This is one of the newer cabins and very quiet. We are Captains ... Read More
From the time we stepped on board to the time we stepped off it was pure pampering. Our Aquaclass cabin 1111 was on the top floor and going westbound we have had sun all day. This is one of the newer cabins and very quiet. We are Captains club members and since there were many on board, we received 3 coupons each to enjoy beverages before dinner between 5 and 7PM. We enjoyed many functions planned by cruise critic including slot pull. The entertainment on board was fine, We ate in Blue most nights and enjoyed a great variety of meals all awfully good. The service was outstanding on every level from the cleaning personnel to Captain Tasos. We looked forward to his 10AM announcements and stories about the gods. The Captain was visible and enjoyed meeting the guests. All the staff on board was pleasant and friendly. The ports were well picked but our favorite port was Agadir. The layout of the ship is great and very convenient to reach wherever you want to go. The seize of the Connie is just perfect for us. The 7 days at sea were blissfully enjoyed with awesome weather. We can't wait for our 2014 Transatlantic on the Connie. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Often times I wonder if we are traveling with the same folks. We love this ship, yet other travelers have only ugly remarks. Cruising is often very subjective. What pleases us does not please others. Perhaps our standards are not so high. ... Read More
Often times I wonder if we are traveling with the same folks. We love this ship, yet other travelers have only ugly remarks. Cruising is often very subjective. What pleases us does not please others. Perhaps our standards are not so high. I think of it this way: When I am at home, how's the cooking? Who's making my bed? Cleaning the bathroom? Forget it!!! So, that being said, let me tell you about our cruise.Boarding in Miami was a snap. Having sailed on the "Connie" two years ago, we knew where our inside cabin was and settled in. (the inside cabin was a booking mistake but after reaching the Baltic and the constant daylight....sunrise @ 4:30 am and sunset @ 11:00 p.m., we were blessed to have a total darkness room :)Cruising the Atlantic was fun...we read, napped, ate, then napped some more. There were so many "Elite" members aboard that coupons were given out for Happy Hour Free Cocktails. We were not terribly happy about this. It was like getting a McDonalds Happy Meal ticket. Everyone got 3 cocktail tickets, to be used in any bar. Not really special....and no appetizers. :( Complaints were made. Lionel, the Elite Rep. was not very visible during the crossing.Ports of call during the crossing and through the English Channel were fun. We loved Dover, Eng. (quaint and walkable). Two hours to Paris was worth the trip.Portugal is always a favorite. On to Amsterdam......many departed. We stayed on. We love back-to-backs because they can become two distinctive cruises. Sailing up the North Sea and into the Bay of Finland was special. Port intensive and loads of walking, but even the old people (us) managed to spread our feeble wings and explore.We had excursions in every port, including 2 days in St. Petersburg. It was exhausting but worth every minute. A bit about the ship: The Constellation was in dry dock in April. Supposedly, great things happened. No....not true. Maybe some carpet was replaced. I didn't notice. (We were on the "Connie" two years ago). Venues were removed, i.e. the movie theatre, (the reason here was that Pay-for-TV movies were more of a money-maker). Sad... more money-grabbing going on. John, the Cruise Director, (if tonight's the night you are going straight to bed...this is not the night to do it!!) We love him. Saw him on another Celebrity ship. Entertainment: Production shows = exceptional. Nigel West = tremendous. Comedy and magic = average. Classical music = average. General musical entertainment = good. Food: Well, that is so subjective. We felt the San Marco was very good, but perhaps not as good as two years ago. (We only had escargot on the last leg of the trip). The buffet is what it is. Try the pizza....yum. The Tuscan Grill is worth every penny. Excellent!Special kudos to my friends in Reflections!! Hope to see you again Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was my 9th cruise, third with Celebrity, and only my second transatlantic. I now consider myself thoroughly addicted to cruising in general, and longer duration repositionings/transatlantics in particular. I am ALWAYS looking for ... Read More
This was my 9th cruise, third with Celebrity, and only my second transatlantic. I now consider myself thoroughly addicted to cruising in general, and longer duration repositionings/transatlantics in particular. I am ALWAYS looking for interesting ports with historic significance and beautiful scenery, but the very relaxing pace of numerous sea days is also appealing. Being retired and of modest means, PRICING is ALWAYS a very important consideration. This cruise fit ALL of my requirements VERY nicely. I booked with my favorite online agency over five months in advance to assure necessary dates for my girlfriend's work schedule. I considered $609.00pp with $102.00pp for taxes to be an EXCELLENT rate for a 15 night cruise. The $150.00 OBC from the agency, along with the $250.00 OBC from rcl shareholder benefit made it OUTSTANDING. We drove the four hours from Fargo, ND to Minneapolis to hop our nonstop Delta flight to London Heathrow. We booked through Choice Air and considered the fare of $394.00pp to be outstanding as well. The seats were cramped as is usual in coach, but the food was fine and the service quite good. We landed early due to favorable winds and BREEZED through customs VERY quickly. Got a cab in SECONDS, and was at our hotel in 3 or 4 MINUTES! The Jury's Inn at Heathrow was a GREAT choice that allowed us to settle in quickly and relax after an all night flight. The facility was spotless, service was flawless, the room was quiet, the bathroom was perfect, and the beds were VERY comfortable. The Hatton Cross tube station (for sightseeing access to downtown London) was a 3-4 minute walk, and the 5 minute shuttle back to the terminal for the bus to Southampton was simple. Booking through Hotwire at $104.00, made it even BETTER! Sightseeing in London was rendered less than enjoyable due to the cold, wet, windy weather and any future trips there will be made earlier in the year! BRRRR! Wished we would have spent AT LEAST one or two extra nights.(next time!) We took the VERY reasonably priced National Express Bus from Heathrow to Southampton. The bus station inside the terminal is quite easy to find and there was a nice coffee shop that made the short wait for the bus comfortable and enjoyable. The bus itself was clean, the ride was comfortable and about an hour and a half long through pretty rural countryside with a short stop in Winchester. (Didn't get to see the Cathedral!) Took a cab from the bus stop to the Ibis Hotel in Southampton only to find out it was only 3 or 4 blocks away! The hotels, bus stop, cruise terminal, and downtown shopping/mall/eateries are ALL within an easy to walk 3-6 blocks from each other. VERY convenient, relaxing and enjoyable. Although the service was great, unfortunately, the Ibis is a VERY dated facility with cramped rooms that I would not choose again, even though it was fairly priced at $84.00. (Hotwire) The hotel front desk had a direct line to book the 3 minute cab to the port. We only had to wait 5 minutes. The Cabbie even made a quick stop at a food market to see if I could get a case of Coke to feed my sugar and caffeine addiction at a rate lower than $2.30 per can on the ship! I found out that cases of cans are very hard to find, so obviously I could NEVER live there! At the port, our pre-tagged luggage went DIRECTLY from the cab to the ship via porters. I only carried a book with the necessary documents folded inside. The ship was diligently fighting an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise so boarding was delayed and the lines to clear security were long and slow moving. As is usual, SOME people were outraged and indignant that they should have to wait SSOOO long. Get a grip folks, I hate to be the first person to burst your alternate reality bubble, but you are REALLY, SERIOUSLY, and TRULY... NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS EARTH, and the planet does NOT revolve around YOU. After about 45 minutes in line for security, we were checked in less than 5 minutes later, and boarded about 20 minutes after that. The Constellation is a beautiful and quite comfortable work of marketing, art and engineering. Our inside room was well designed, efficiently laid out, and spotlessly clean. Smart use of mirrors in the cabin (and everywhere else on the ship!) make the spaces look much larger. My only negative comments here are the rather worn and cheap looking "sofa" in the cabin and the old fashioned shower curtain in the bathroom. (Solstice class ships have taken care of both of these minor glitches, at a cost of going backwards in terms of cabin storage space.) Most public spaces are designed with rich dark woods to appear soothing, relaxed and cushy-comfortable. Rendezvous Lounge, Cellar Masters, the Main Dining Room and Michael's Club and even the Main Theatre. To me, it's a much different "feel" than the more contemporary chic-elegance of S class ships. Ocean Liners specialty restaurant is the equivalent of Murano on an S class and is every bit as impressive, delicious and enjoyable. Tuscan Grille has the same menu and service as S class ships, and is MY favorite, but the location on M class ships just can't compare. We got two for one deals in BOTH as the staff was trying to fill empty seats on nights that were NOT formal ones. The buffet is not quite as well laid out as S class ships but kept me VERY happy with omelets for breakfast and all of the Indian and Asian curries for lunch. 8 different flavors of home made ice cream each day also kept me smiling but I definitely noticed the disappearance of MY favorite flavor, cinnamon.(?) Bistro on Five was very nicely retrofitted and the Aqua Spa Cafe is standard. The gooddie case at Cafe Al Bacio is fun but not all that great. The venue is very relaxing overlooking the atrium as well as outside views, and the cappuccino flavored gelato is just WAYYY too good to be true! The "old" martini bar is now Cellar Masters and seems to waste a whole bunch of valuable square footage in the middle of deck 5 next to the Bistro, but is VERY comfortable. The "new" martini bar (and Crush)looks as if it were "cut and pasted" (quite nicely!) from any S class ship. Anybody who complains about drink prices there must have a MUCH higher tolerance for alcohol than I, 'cause the way those bartenders measure a pour is VERY generous! If you have a sweet tooth do yourself a favor and try the Almond Joy Martini, downright TASTY! Entertainment was pretty standard with an acapella group, a very fun party band that could play ANYTHING, a newly arrived Caribbean band, and the typical Main Theatre shows of Pianists, Violinists, Singers, Comedians and of course, the Ships own production company. Most shows were quite good, but some were just not my cup of tea. The Elvis Impersonator, Shaun O'Shea WAS pretty darn good! Our shore excursion to the Normandy Beaches from La Havre, was with Overlord Tours and was so far above and beyond mind boggling as to defy description. Absolutely unbelievable. Profound, inspirational, sobering, DO NOT MISS IT. Our shore excursion in Lisbon was "Pirates of the Cruiseships" with "We Hate Tourism Tours" An incredibly fun whirlwind tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo de Roca. If you want to have fun and see as much as you can in the one day you have available, you just have to give these guys a try! Fantastic! This brings me to my ONLY serious complaint about the entire cruise. The music. The average age for longer cruises, and transatlantics in particular, range above 65. At 55, I was one of the 200 or 300 YOUNGEST guests on board and if I wasn't enjoying the the music, you can be CERTAIN that the VAST MAJORITY of those older than I, were quite probably not big fans of the contemporary techno beat CRAP that is constantly being played. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT as soon as the band stopped, the DJs would have the entire place CLEARED OUT by the 2nd or 3rd song. I watched crowds of 200 to 300 people evaporate down to groups of 15 to 30 in less than 10 minutes because of your inappropriate music. HEY! CELEBRITY! Your CUTOMERS are the people paying the bills and they want to hear THEIR music. NOT the music your 25 or 30 year old DJs are playing that quite literally, DRIVES your guests OUT of your lounges and AWAY from your bars EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Your DJs don't know the music that they should be playing even exists! STOP IT! NOW! It's EASY! Get some CD collections from Time Life Music and make your customers happy! Did I mention that the music onboard was a SERIOUS complaint? (cleansing breath) Disembarkation was the simplest, fastest, and easiest I have ever experienced! We left our room at 8am when the announcement was made. We were in line for less than 5 minutes before swiping our cards. We were through customs in less than 10 minutes and on a rent a car shuttle less than 5 minutes after that! WOW! Overall a WONDERFUL experience for a fantastic price, BUT, please fix the music! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We expect a lot from Celebrity and they delivered. Connie, as the Constellation is affectionately called by her many afficianados, is well maintained and a pleasure to spend on for multiple days at sea. The Cruise Director's staff ... Read More
We expect a lot from Celebrity and they delivered. Connie, as the Constellation is affectionately called by her many afficianados, is well maintained and a pleasure to spend on for multiple days at sea. The Cruise Director's staff did an excellent job with the entertainment and activities, plenty to do for those who wanted to be busy but also many comfortable places for reading and relaxationn. The cuisine is above average for cruise lines; it's not Oceania but well about average, well prepared and varied Let's follow the outlinee: Getting to the ship: We flew to London a couple days early to reacquaint with that great city. Stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Earl's Court. Not luxe, but adequate in a very costly city and convenient to the metro and buses. (HIghly recommend the Oyster Pass for transportation). Train from Waterloo to Southhampton is convenient and frequent, make reservations online in advance for best rates. We paid only 6 pounds per person for the trip. Taxi from Southhampton Central Station is only a couple of pounds and readily available. Boarding process was somewhat chaotic. Extensive security screening, long lines and slow. Once beyond security, check-in was not so troublesome. All in, it took about an hour from arrival at the port to boarding. Once on board, about 2 pm, cabins were not ready as the ship was once again doing deep cleaning to guard against recurrence of the norovirus that had reared its ugly head on a couple of prior cruises for Constellation. (Before going on, let me say there was no noro on this cruise to the best of my knowledge. Diligent handwashing and use of sanitizers, as well as "hands-off service at the Buffet and the dining room, seem to have worked.) Shortly after 3, announcement made that cabins were ready for occupancy. Cabin: We had a veranda (read balcony) cabin on deck 9 directly below the Seaside Cafe (read Buffet). We had seen commentary that these cabins were subject to noise disturbance in the night; we had no such problem and the overhang from the deck above made the veranda quite comfortable and weather proof Cabin seemed smaller that on some lines but was adequate. We were not sure the veranda would be useful on transatlantic but we used it daily for reading or just relaxing. We stayed busy enough that we did not have breakfast on the veranda but are sure it would have been a lovely experience. Shower was spacious, even for a large person like myself. Despite some commentary about Celebrity, shower gel is available but not part of the routine supply in the bathroom, just ask for it. Closet space was fully adequate. Only complaint:beds are hard, not a generous mattress on a hard platform. Potential cruisers looking for some real space might want to look at the Family Veranda cabins on the stern, they are fabulous. Cuisine: It is difficult to evaluate the cuisine on cruises these days. They all seem to get some things very right, and some not so right. On balance, Celebrity hits the mark more frequently than some of the others. perhaps just a teeny notch above RCI and more above NCL but in a close contest with HAL and Princess. We did not test the speciality dining rooms as the meals in the MDR were always more than acceptable (and Celebrity may have pushed the envelope just a tad too much with its cover charges for the speciality dining rooms). Menus in MDR were offered wide variety of well prepared meal, with only one repeat menu on a relatively long cruise. Service staff, at least for our table, was attentive, professional and appropriately friendly. (It may have helped that the lead waiter was Turkish and we were able to greet him and carry on rudimentary conversation in Turkish, nevertheless dinner was always a pleasant experience.) The Seaside Cafe offered excellent choices for breakfast ,including a station devoted to poached eggs and the range of dishes possible with poached eggs. (Great oat bran muffins too) The creperie ($5 cover charge per person) offers a reasonable and very attractive option for lunch. Activities: Not much to say here. I go overboard with Trivia. There were at least 4 opportunities per day, including progressive. But there was much more. Three speakers, one on golf, one on esoteric things like medieval alcohol and tattooing and one, the most popular, on famous criminal cases out of Los Angeles gave daily lectures on sea days. Culinary demonstrations involving a guest celebrity chef were well received and fun. Since this array will change on each and every cruise, the details are not important, just that Celebrity and the staff did a fine job of ensuring that the sea days were full of activities, with a range of subjects to appeal to most anyone. Entertainment: Classical pianist, entertaining violinist, three vocalists with superior talent, plus a resident cast that performed the compulsory production shows, and supporting it all a first class orchestra. Perhaps the best lineup of entertainment on any of our many cruises Ship Connie is well maintained. Celebrity ships are not up to HAL in terms of decor but Connie boasts lots of fine art and well decorated public space. We prefer the vast promenade on some of the RCI ships but space was never a problem on Connie, she seemed particularly roomy in all the public areas. Should mentiion here that the senior officers on board, up to and including the Captain, were seen throughout the ship, friendly and approachable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I'll start at the beginning because that is a very good place to start. We had originally booked a transatlantic on Celebrity Equinox for November 25 but we had to scuttle those plans thanks to a condition I contracted called Charcot ... Read More
I'll start at the beginning because that is a very good place to start. We had originally booked a transatlantic on Celebrity Equinox for November 25 but we had to scuttle those plans thanks to a condition I contracted called Charcot Foot which resulted in four months in a cast and the prospect of life in a wheelchair. In mid-October I was given the good news that I could walk very limited steps and my orthopedic surgeon saw no reason that we couldn't get away for a little r&r while between medical appointments. That very evening we were scouring the websites to find a crossing that would fit into our timeframes. We ended up with our favourite line, Celebrity, and Concierge Class accommodation on the Connie that was less in money than a normal verandah. Ever conscious of the dollars being spent so close to Christmas, we found a most reasonable airfare with Icelandair and, a month later, we were on our way! I won't go into the trials of travelling with a wheelchair. For those impressions please visit the home page of www.barrier-freecruising.com. We arrived at Heathrow following a fourteen hour journey from Toronto to Boston to Reykjavik to London. Kind of long but, at $520pp, I'm not complaining. Because of a tight arrival time, and our luggage plus a wheelchair, I decided to surprise Barb by renting a car and driver for the trip to Southampton. He met us in the baggage area, loaded our cases and chair and soon we were on our way. We only made one stop during the ninety minute drive and our driver pointed out some of the landmarks along the way. There was a delay boarding the ship due to a shortage of ship's crew assigned to assist some of the special needs passengers but, despite this, the entire time spent from cab to shipboard was no more than thirty minutes. Having crossed the Atlantic the other direction in spring on Celebrity Eclipse, it was hard not to start comparing the two ship styles right away. The first was the Seaside Cafe where we went to get a nibble or three while waiting for the cabins to be prepared. I will mention right at the start that Constellation was still undergoing a strict health regime due to an outbreak of Norovirus on an earlier November outing. For the first five days of our cruise all food handling was done by the Celebrity staff right down to putting salt and pepper on your food in the dining room. It meant for slower lines in the cafe but Barb and I appreciated the situation and the ship's most cautious response. Some people actually enjoyed the additional pampering. Back to the Seaside Cafe. I immediately missed the 'food islands' concept on Eclipse and the other solstice ships. There was nothing wrong with the food. It was completely up to Celebrity standards but I think the idea of the separate serving areas makes for a much quicker flow from chaffing dish to tray to table to tummy. I did like the way some of the eating areas by the windows actually jutted over the sea and you could look down to the ocean below. We made our way to the cabin when it was announced they were ready. Celebrity advertises that Concierge Class includes fresh flowers, fruit and savouries in the room as well as upgraded bed linens, bath robes and a 'pillow menu'. The room itself appeared smaller than the same category on Eclipse but, according to the ships' deck plans, they are almost the same size. Could be the layout. Past CC reviews have referred to stains and other signs of age in their staterooms. I looked but I didn't see anything worth mentioning. I should state that we booked a C1 and not an accessible AC since these sell out very quickly due to the limited number available. I was able to fold the wheelchair and hobble around between bed and bath and Saline, our room steward, rustled up a shower stool for me. I get to try the AC category when Barb, her wheelchair-bound daughter and I re-board Eclipse again to head back across the pond in spring. Something was very wrong in the dining room on the first two nights. Orders were mixed up and, worst of all, on the second night out we waited almost an hour for our appetizers and another hour plus for our entrees to arrive. We, and the others at the table, were very upset by this and let Customer Service know. We learned a week into the cruise that our wait team had originally been assigned to five tables and not just the two that they would normally serve. We were further upset that no proper apology was made by the maitre d' and, in fact, he never once approached our table during the entire cruise. It appeared that he delegated his assistant maitre d' to deal with the complainers. The food was Celebrity good and we felt that, on Constellation, the portions were actually bigger than on Eclipse. We didn't try any of the specialty dining venues but the feedback from fellow travellers seemed to be all positive. Cruise Director Sue Denning and her staff seemed to have the pulse of the ocean going passengers and only missed the mark when it came to the deejays late at night. But then again, with the great food, ocean air, theatrical shows and a daytime of tours and events, who needs to stay up late anyway? The shows were some of the best I have seen at sea. The dance/singing troupe worked their hearts out and I really don't know how they did two shows a night. If one guest performer really stood out I would have to say it was Sean O'Shea. It has been a long time since I have watched such a high energy show. His sense of timing is impeccable and it was one show I hated to see come to an end. By the way, Sue and some of her entourage, including Perry Grant (like him or not) move to Eclipse later this winter and I wish she could bring that orchestra with her. As the kids say.. they are AWESOME! We did three shore excursions.. all on our own. In Le Havre we hired Patrice, a local cabbie who is proud of his town, his region and his car. We shared the cab for three hours with another passenger and drove all around the historic city and then to the stunning cliffs at Etretat. Total cost was 50Euros each with tip. In Lisbon (Lisboa) we teamed up with Johnny, a 24 year old cabbie whose family has been in the tourism business for decades and who, himself, studies tourism to obtain a degree. His English was excellent and he took the two of us through every side street of the old district, out to the Belem area, let us shop and take pictures whenever and wherever we wanted.. all for a total price of 80Euros, tip included. Our last stop was Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands. Again we elected to do our own sightseeing and our driver was Alberto. Between his limited English and our fractured Spanish, we wound our way from Santa Cruz to Porto de la Cruz with the majestic Tede volcano dominating the scenery. He knew which stops would yield the best pictures. Altogether a nice three hours costing 80Euros. By the time we reached Tenerife the weather was already nice and warm.. for a pair of Canadians. It would take several days at sea for the southern Florida crowd to start to feel at home. How was the crossing? With only one five hour exception when we encountered some swells, it was smooth and steady as she goes. There was plenty, or little, to do during those eight days. Sherene made our visits to the shops enjoyable, the cooking demonstrations were as much fun as they were informative (maybe more), the strolling acapela group popped up everywhere and, as previously mentioned, the nighttime shows in the theatre were top notch. We didn't spend a lot of time on the upper decks by the pools or in the solarium, but instead made great use of our balcony.. me for laying back and snoozing while Barb work hard on finishing a Christmas stocking for one of her children. I fondly say that Barb cross-stitched her way across the Atlantic. We purchased our airport transfers while on the ship and disembarkation went very smoothly and soon we were at MIA waiting for our flight home. I would certainly sail on Celebrity Constellation again. Except for the usual high volume times, her elevators were never crowded, the hallways easy to negotiate (except next time I will bring a stroller.. too much carpeting for wheelchair users), the service was excellent and friendly and the food was Celebrity good. We are booked on Eclipse in the spring but, this time, in an accessible stateroom. Roll on April! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Third voyage aboard Connie. We were eager to see her makeover but a bit disappointed when we did. Stateroom bathrooms lead the gripe list. Replacing towels but failing to tend to rust (rot) spots in grout, tiles, etc. just does not make ... Read More
Third voyage aboard Connie. We were eager to see her makeover but a bit disappointed when we did. Stateroom bathrooms lead the gripe list. Replacing towels but failing to tend to rust (rot) spots in grout, tiles, etc. just does not make sense in my book. And it makes the defects stand out very, very clearly. Reupholstering is nice. But take a moment to find the chairs, couches and other furniture whose inner springs or foam needs replacing, too. Clearly, this was not done. Pizza??? Only ship that made me yearn for Papa John. Buffets? B O R I N G. Please "X," show the creativity that once made shipboard dining (minus the extra charges) a highlight of any cruise. No complaints about the crew. They, like most cruise ship staff, have had their ranks thinned and work their behinds off. Courtesy was never an issue. The pool area was not touched. That was abundantly evident. Again, do things halfway and the improvements serve to make the decay and wear stand out even more than it did before the ship was "Solticized" (whatever the heck that is supposed to mean!) The voyage itself was fine. Captain Peppas (whom we have sailed with several times before on other "X" ships) seems to have honed his personality. He was out-and-about more than we have ever seen him. He is still hesitant about engaging passengers in conversation but was always polite when approached. Guess I am somewhat biased because I am a die-hard Captain Nick Pagonis loyalist. Cruise Director Rich Clesen is a personable, hard-working young man. We truly lucked out on this crossing by having the incredible pianist Eliot Finkel aboard. As usual, Mr. Finkel brought down the house when he performed an afternoon concert for we classical music aficionados. Venerable comedian Don Gavin was tur-to-form with a routine that was quite enjoyable. And what can one say about Perry Grant? Perry continues to pack the house no matter where or when he performs. To us, he is the Best Entertainer on the Seven Seas. Mr. Hanrahan, I know it is a monster expense to rehab a cruise ship the size of Connie. However, if you are going to do it, wait till you can do it from fore-to-aft and from ceiling-to-floor. Do it right or don't do it at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
The night before the cruise we stayed at the Airport Courtyard by Marriott. While the hotel was nice and offered free shuttle to the hotel from the airport and from the hotel to the port, it seemed to be located in the middle of nowhere. ... Read More
The night before the cruise we stayed at the Airport Courtyard by Marriott. While the hotel was nice and offered free shuttle to the hotel from the airport and from the hotel to the port, it seemed to be located in the middle of nowhere. We couldn't even find a place to buy a postcard. Embarkation was very smooth. When we got to our cabin we met our neighbors right away. It wasn't long before we met our stateroom attendant, Ovidio. He and his assistant did a great job in keeping the stateroom clean and providing us with ice and water throughout the cruise. The Constellation is our favorite ship and she was in ship-shape form. During the seven days at sea we were privileged to have some wonderful speakers on board. First among these was Professor David Hughes, a renowned astronomer from England. Next we had some great talks by former NFL-player turned astronaut, Leland Melvin. Both gentlemen were extremely personable and informative. Our sea days were jam-packed with fun things to do. We did have two rough days due to storms, but luckily we didn't feel any ill effects. Our first port was Ponta Delgada in the Azores. The shore excursion we picked was a jeep safari. The jeep was comfortable - only 5 in our jeep - and the guide took us through some amazing scenery. Actually, the Azores proved to be quite a pleasant surprise. The next port was Lisbon, Portugal, where we took a four hour city tour. Unfortunately our tour bus was too hot. We did enjoy the various stops we made. In Le Havre, France, we chose to take the excursion to the beaches of Normandy. This included a pleasant lunch at the Caen Memorial Museum. We were very moved. It was neat to see the White Cliffs of Dover when we docked. Here we took a tour of the Kentish countryside and stopped in Rye. It was fun to see people walking around and shopping and having tea. Our cruise director was Rich Clesen. He's probably one of the best we've had. You could see him everywhere around the ship and even out on the pier when people were going on their excursions. Our favorite entertainer, Perry Grant, was in top form with his great singing, piano-playing, and repartee. For the most part our dinners were very good. A couple of nights were near-misses, though. We enjoyed a couple of lunches and a breakfast at Bistro on 5 and highly recommend it. We also liked the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast. The disembarkation was very easy in Amsterdam. Celebrity took us to the airport via a bus and our bags were waiting curbside. The only bad thing was that our cruise was over. 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
To put things in perspective: We paid relatively very little for this 13 night TA (some $900 p.p. for a Concierge class balcony cabin) so we tried to adjust our expectations accordingly. Unfortunately, Celebrity managed to deliver a ... Read More
To put things in perspective: We paid relatively very little for this 13 night TA (some $900 p.p. for a Concierge class balcony cabin) so we tried to adjust our expectations accordingly. Unfortunately, Celebrity managed to deliver a product which, on balance, fell below even that reduced level. First impressions do tend to color the nature of one's judgment and embarkation in Barcelona was an utter fiasco, the worst we've ever encountered. We had to wait on the pier for over four hours and, in spite of being Concierge Class and Captain's Club elite status, which ought to count for something, were put in the very last embarkation group. When we finally complained about this, we were given a totally dismissive answer, being told that, as we were not suite passengers, we should'nt complain. We eventually discovered that the delay was the result of the ship undergoing a complete sanitizing procedure due to the novovirus which had taken hold on the vessel for the last several voyages. If there had been an announcement explaining the circumstances this might have engendered more patience among the waiting passengers (force majeure cannot, after all, be argued with) but Celebrity kept stubbornly mum. Once aboard, after noting that the usual Celebrity welcoming ceremonies were being dispensed with, we were told that the cabins would not be ready for occupancy for another three hours. Everyone managed to cope with this additional delay, even though it meant that the first night's dinner became more of an informal occasion than one might have expected. Once in our cabin, we noted with pleasure that the on Constellation, unlike on the new ships, the Concierge Class cabins are in fact noticeably bigger, allowing room for a full sized couch instead of the cramped love seat that one finds in the run of the mill cabins. Indeed, we were extremely pleased with the cabin and with the faultless and invariably cheerful service provided by our steward, Amat. As for the other Concierge class amenities, fresh fruit, a small plate of canapes brought around daily in mid afternoon, a bottle of undistinguished bubbly provided at embarkation, they were hardly worth the extra money and in the ongoing debate on these boards on Concierge vs. Aqua Class on the big ships I would come down strongly in favor of the latter. On board, the anti novovirus campaign which had been shrouded in secrecy before we boarded, was omnipresent. At every doorway crew members were stationed with spray bottles of disinfectant for one's hands. At the buffet noone was allowed to help himself to anything, all foods, breads, drinks were dispensed by crew members, at peak times at least half the tables had signs on them announcing they were unavailable because they awaited sanitizing. Even though this occasioned some delays this was fine with us, we are all in favor of combatting infection. What we objected to was that although the casino and all the shops, certainly notorious venues of infection, (one may disinfect the chips, the cards, the merchandise, but the first time any of these are handled by a passenger they once more become a potential source of infection) the library, which unlike the former venues is not a revenue producer, was kept closed throughout the voyage. Complaints about this elicited, at first, vague promises that it would open soon, later airy dismissals. It was evident to us that Celebrity's position was a completely cynical one: there were not enough passengers seriously interested in obtaining books to justify the expense and trouble of santizing the library. All this could have been avoided if Celebrity had posted a notice on its web site ahead of time that the library would be closed so that one could bring one's own reading matter aboard(this was known, as it was closed throughout the first half of the Back to Back) but, God forbid, such an announcement could have had a negative effect on last minute bookings. Even so, the sanitizing campaign was unsuccessful: in spite of the Captain's confident pronouncement that "we are winning the battle" a substantial proportion of the passengers came down with some sort of gastro-intestinal or respiratory infection, or both. Our major source of compaint, however, was the quality of the food on offer. The fare at the buffet, while as varied as ever, was simply not as good to our taste. The room service menu, except at breakfast, was extremely limited and not well prepared (on the day we took sick I recall a mini steak which was both incredibly tough an thoroughly overcooked). But it was the main dining room which had declined most steeply from the level we had experienced on Constellation five years and three years ago. I would say the gamut was from good (I recall an eminently satisfactory veal cutlet and a nicely prepared, if oversalted, veal liver) to mediocre (most of the entrees, including all fish, which were invariably tasteless, most of them having simply been boiled in water) to outright bad, including all steaks, which were without exception tough, inferior quality meat, and a truly disastrous lobster which was served on the last formal night. This consisted of cut up, previously boiled chunks of meat, mixed with potatoes and a vile sauce and inserted in a half shell to give one the impression that one was being served the real thing. This had no business on the table of any cruise line, much less one that claims to be well above the average. A further complaint is that at the time at which we booked, six months ahead of the cruise, we requested a table for two and were assured that this would be forthcoming. When we went to the main dining room we were seated at a table for six and, upon speaking to the maitre d'hotel, were informed that there was simply no table for two free. We ate at the specialty restaurant, Ocean Liners, one evening. There the food was truly excellent, I had a memorable lamb saddle. So, the moral is, if one wishes to eat well one has to dine there every evening. However, the cost is now $40 p.p., in addition to a cover charge of $10 p.p.(plus 15% service charge). Over a thirteen night cruise this increases the price by $1,595 for two, never mind that the less expensive wines available in the main dining room are not on offer there. I have come to the conclusion that, if the total cost rises up into that range, I would be better served to throw in a few hundred dollars more and book on one of the premium lines (Azamara, Oceania) or on those luxury lines that, occasionally, offer an affordable TA voyage (Seabourne, Sea Dream). What did we like about the crossing: As I've mentioned already, our cabin was more than satisfactory, large enough for two with ample storage space. The evening entertainment, for the most part, was excellent. We very much enjoyed the very talented classical pianist and the equally good Irish soprano, as well as the highly professional dancers and musicians. The one ship's excursion we booked, the bus trip to Teneriffe's National Park, was eminently worthwhile, with a truly startling landscape upon arrival and, for once, it wasn't egregiously overpriced. And, the Captain's Club amenities constituted a real bonus. It was a pleasure to get a whole week's laundry from our pre cruise trip through Spain done for free and the 90 minute free Internet access p.p. was more than adequate to our needs. Although we aren't morning drinkers and consequently didn't partake of the Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Champagne on offer, we very much enjoyed the breakfasts in the Ocean Liners, with the specialty coffees made with much better tasting coffee than was available in the other dining venues and unlimited quantities of truly excellent smoked salmon and delicious almond croissants. The complimentary cocktail hour was truly welcome. Perhaps, as my Charming Dinner Companion who is a wine drinker, remarked, the quality of the wines being passed around might have been a tad better, but I had no complaint whatsoever about the quality of the Scotch and our table companions, who are Martini drinkers, informed us that those, as well, were excellent. And my CDC was extremely pleased with the complimentary water color classes and dance lessons as well as with the hair cut she got in the spa. Over all, then, a mixed bag. It may well be that on the regular cruises, which are more expensive, the food is better. But we take exclusively TA cruises, generally two a year, and for me that was the deal breaker. I look forward to our Azamara TA in the Spring, in the hope that my judgment will turn out to be correct. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We also boarded the Constellation in Barcelona on November 20, 2011 for the transatlantic crossing to Ft. Laudcerdale. We were given a document upon arriving into the check in hall regarding the delay in embarkation and the extraordinary ... Read More
We also boarded the Constellation in Barcelona on November 20, 2011 for the transatlantic crossing to Ft. Laudcerdale. We were given a document upon arriving into the check in hall regarding the delay in embarkation and the extraordinary sanitary measures that had to be taken due to the norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise. We were inconvenienced in such a small way, and preferred that the issues of sanitation were taken care of prior to our boarding. Celebrity presented all passengers with this document, so there was no reason not to know why we were being delayed. Snacks and drinks were provided while we waited, and we were personally very grateful that these precautions were taken, and that we were informed. About every 30 minutes during the time we arrived and actually got onboard, an announcement was made in the waiting hall regarding the delay and the need to completely sanitize the ship, and the apology for the delay. Yes, we were delayed a few hours, but once we got onboard, we were again grateful for the extraordinary sanitary precautions. We also were in a concierge balcony, excellent room, stewards Alvin and Arnold on the 9th deck were amazing, and met our every need. As far as the dining room went, we truly enjoyed everything that we ordered, and some if was very gourmet to the point of not being able to pronounce some of it. We enjoyed the steaks, and veal, I do agree that the expected lobster night which ended up being lobster thermidor was a bit disappointing, but overall we felt that the meals were excellent. The captain kept us informed on a daily basis regarding our itinerary, and at one point, we did have to skip Madeira, Portugal due to a general strike where no services at the port could be provided. We were THRILLED to have the port of Gibralter added to our itinerary in place of Portugal. The ship's officers did everything in their power to keep us informed of what was going on, and any changes were either sent via letter to our stateroom or announced over the p.a., as well as on the television in our staterooms. The cruise director, Sue was wonderful. The entertainment was some of the best we have seen aboard any cruise line, and the onboard crew entertainers had just performed on our cruise for the first time together, and we felt they were wonderful. We never felt that we were being dismissed at any point, each request was met with grace and a smile. There are some people who feel that they are owed something more, or something special over everyone else. I would much rather feel safe, and had no problem waiting for someone to serve me my buffet requests, or pour my coffee if it meant keeping me healthy for my cruise. Cudos to the entire Celebrity Staff for an excellent cruise, great food and entertainment. While this was our first time on Celebrity, it will definitely not be our last. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
At boarding in Barcelona we were informed that the ship had to be sanitized because of a virus on the previous cruise. We were bussed to town where we could wander until 5 PM Ship and cabin spotless clean and shiny. Staff very polite, ... Read More
At boarding in Barcelona we were informed that the ship had to be sanitized because of a virus on the previous cruise. We were bussed to town where we could wander until 5 PM Ship and cabin spotless clean and shiny. Staff very polite, smiling, attentive and efficient. We noticed that the library was closed. This is an important aspect of cruising for us since we are bookworms. We were assured that it would reopen "soon" The meals and wines at the restaurant were of outstaning quality, as always with Celebrity. At the self-service restaurant however you had to stand in line for everything, including some extra sugar,water, milk..... Passengers were not allowed to touch anything = too long waiting periods All this to avoid repetition of the virus experience. What really bothered us, more and more as the cruise went on, was the loud music everywhere and all the time. This music (techno) was disturbing to everybody. It sounded like background music for a film about nightmares. It was the conversation subject number one.Most passengers were 55 to 75. Very few amateurs of these "sounds" aboard.Protests by us and fellow passengers did not help : "we're under orders from Miami"..... ?????? The shows except one (the imitator) were of superb quality. Very enjoyable. We appreciated the possibility to check our account on the cabin's TV.It gave us the opportunity to have two overcharges corrected immediately. Our thanks for the dedication of our cabin attendant Alvin and waiter Geronimo (yes : and Indian but from India). Except for that dreadful music and closed library : a most enjoyable cruise experience. The library remained closed for the duration. This with seven consecutive days at sea.It was the only place aboard that remained inaccessible because of possible infection (????). All kitchens, bars,sauna open...... Go figure ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
First off we must have been on a different vacation than the other reviews. I did check on cruise critic first as I knew that the 2 previous cruise's did have a problem with the Norovirus. It was there that we found out that ... Read More
First off we must have been on a different vacation than the other reviews. I did check on cruise critic first as I knew that the 2 previous cruise's did have a problem with the Norovirus. It was there that we found out that boarding would not begin until 2pm. We checked out of our hotel at noon took a taxi to the pier, checked in then we were advised that we would again have to wait until 2pm to board but in actual fact we started boarding at 1:30pm. On board we enjoyed a great lunch at Bistro on Five. We were also advised that we could not get in to our cabins until 5pm due to the deep cleaning which was fine with us. We never had a problem in the MDR, food is always subjective but we took our waiter's advice & everything he advised us to eat was great. The ports were wonderful, was a little disappointed that we did not stop at Madeira, Portugal but Gibraltor more than made up for it. The seas were very good to us for the crossing, except 1 day but was not too bad. Celebrity did everything it could to get rid of the Norovirus & yes the buffet was sometimes slow but we were on vacation, enjoying life. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We arrived in Barcelona a week before boarding the ship. We stayed at the Hotel Pultizer. Great place to stay! Wonderful hotel and friendly staff! Rooms were great too! Since we knew the ship was coming into port with the Norovirus, we ... Read More
We arrived in Barcelona a week before boarding the ship. We stayed at the Hotel Pultizer. Great place to stay! Wonderful hotel and friendly staff! Rooms were great too! Since we knew the ship was coming into port with the Norovirus, we did not hurry to the port. We arrived around 2pm and were on board by around 4pm. I thought it was well organized with all the people that were waiting to board. They had plenty of announcements to inform everyone what was going on and when they were going to start to board. They provided some snacks and drinks. This is where the complaining began! As we were entering the port, they had someone ready with hand sanitizer. Then when you hit the next set of doors, there was another person ready to sanitize again. But the lady behind us told the second lady she just sanitized her hands at the first door, and did not want to sanitize them again. And she began to argue with her because she did not want to sanitize! Really...just take a squirt and move on! Once we got on board, there was no drink waiting for you. Totally understood why and was not a problem for us! But others were very upset not to have their free champagne! Really...they don't have to even offer that, but they usually do, under normal boarding. So, we headed to the first bar and ordered ourselves a drink. We purchased the premium alcohol package and loved it! We then headed to get something to eat. We were in our cabins by around 530pm. Our luggage arrived by 6pm, we ordered shrimp cocktails, and a cheese and cracker platter after our luggage arrived and unpacked and had a snack before heading to the Martini Bar for our first martini of the trip! We met our cabin steward, Andrew. He was fabulous! We saw him just about every time we left our cabin. We ordered cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktails the first day before dinner, and he made sure we had that in our cabin every night at the same time. We never had to ask again. He would even bring us special treats at times too! If he was in the hall as we were heading to our cabin, he would run to our door and open it for us! He really made the trip extra special! We pulled out of Barcelona around 6pm local time. We arrived in Alicante under cloudy skies and some lightning. Went on a walking tour of Guadalest. It is a very cool, very small village, in the mountains above the Costa Blanca section of the Spanish coast. We visited the oldest, largest house in the village, the Orduna House, which is right below what is left of the castle at the top of the village. The house is about 365 years old, and is now a municipal museum. It rained on us the entire time, and we got soaked! We left our umbrellas on the ship! We also passed by Benidorm, which is a huge tourist destination for people all over Europe! There were so many people who complained about this tour and wanted a refund because of the rain! Really...! What the heck is wrong with people?? Arrived in Malaga and set out on foot and walked around Malaga all day. Our first stop was the city center, and the Cathedral de Malaga. Lots of little shops and cafes up and down these little side streets. Most of the pedestrian walkways and alleys are paved with marble! Very clean! We then headed up the hill to the Castillo de Gibralfaro. Great views of the city below and coastline! We had a change of itinerary and would not be visiting Funchal (Madeira) Portugal. This was one port we were most excited to stop at. Not the cruise lines fault, and was due to a general strike that was called for the day we were to port in. We were just happy to hear they had another port for us to dock into and not another sea day! Here again, we heard people complaining about this and wanted some sort of refund for missing this port! Really??? We had a blast in Gibraltar, and took a guided tour of "the rock of Gibraltar", as well as the tunnels excavated by the British during WWII, St. Michaels cave, and the "Barbary Apes" that inhabit the area. The town itself had a nice long pedestrian mall type thing, and a TON of jewelry/watch and electronic gadget stores! After our tour, we went to Roy's, a recommendation from our tour guide, for the best authentic English-style fish n' chips that included mushy peas! Lunch was amazing! This place is highly recommended the next time you are in Gibraltar! This was our favorite port! So cool to cruise through the straits of Gibraltar during the day! If we would have ported in Portugal, we would have cruised through at night and could not see anything! That would have been like cruising through the Panama Canal in the dark! Thanksgiving Day was a day spent at sea with beautiful weather and calm seas. We spent the day on the deck using the pool and hot tubs and just kicked back and relaxed in the sun. Plenty of lounge chairs by the pool to be used. No chair hogs in sight! We just wondered where everyone was! Never felt crowded, and I believe the ship was almost full, if not full. We pulled into Santa Cruz de Tenerife just after sunrise. We took a guided tour that included the original capital of the island, La Laguna and walked around all the buildings from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. We had a brief visit at the market place in La Laguna, and saw all the nice fruits, veggies, and weird salted fish! They even had a couple of bars in there! We then went to the north end of the island and visited the museum of wine that documents the long history of winemaking here in the island. We then went to a bodega and sampled the local wines, meats, cheeses. We purchased a bunch of stuff, including saffron, and some locally-produced rum! We did not leave on time and I believe we left about an hour of so later than scheduled. This was our least favorite port. I think I was expecting something else...what, I am not sure! Next stop would be Fort Lauderdale, FL in 7 days! The trip across the pond was great! We only encountered one day of rain and high seas, and the others were beautiful! We spent our afternoons laying out on the pool deck and swimming in the pool and relaxing in the hot tubs! We were always able to find good prime lounges every time we went. Did not matter what time of day it was! We were very grateful to the captain for changing the course we were headed on, to a more southern route....this kept us in the nice warm weather and the calm seas! We really enjoyed our cruise! Yes, it was not perfect and there were some issues, but you will encounter that on any cruise line (even on Regents there were some issues). It did not bother us at all with all the sanitizing that was being done. Knew it was for our own health. Heard lots of people complaining about it and other petty stuff! There were more cranky people on this cruise than any other I have ever been on. Plenty of chairs by the pool at all times of the day. We did have a problem in the Ocean Liners, but when addressed it was corrected and when we dined there again it was perfect! We also dined in the Tuscan Grille twice...the best dinners on the cruise! We loved the grilled salmon for lunch with a salad from the Aqua Spa Cafe! Breakfast in the main dining room was awful! Service way to long, but we believe that was due to having to take people from the wait staff to help in the buffet area to help serve. We went twice and that was it. It took 45 minutes for my fresh squeezed OJ, the only time I found it! Room service twice and that too was not good! We never received our entire order. So, we decided on the Bistro 5 for breakfast...wonderful and we also ate in the Aqua Spa cafe for breakfast...also wonderful! We had a really hard time getting fresh squeezed OJ no matter where we were for breakfast! They told us it would take a while since they did not have the fresh squeezed at that location. So my question was where is the fresh squeezed OJ at?? Never did get an answer to that. Oh well, I was not going to let that ruin my cruise! As for the staff and crew, they were all great and friendly! Not a big fan of the Cruise Director, Sue Denning. Seems lots of people love her, but to be honest, we only saw her a few times during the entire cruise! I approached her once to ask a question, and she just blew me off. Not sure what the deal was, but not a good vibe from her. Never saw her out by the pool mixing with the passengers. We have seen much better cruise directors! The quality of the food was average to above average. Some nights and dishes were better than others. We found something we enjoyed every night and never went away hungry!! The beverage package was the best investment we made! We really enjoyed seeing all the zeros on our ship board account! And trying all the different cocktails and Martinis! We were able to order over the 12.00 limit, and they would just charge us the difference. This did not happen too often. The only time we really went over, was when we ordered the flight of martinis, and had to pay 3.00 extra plus 15%. I You cannot use the machines in the Cellar Masters with your sea pass card. You can purchase a card to use in the machines. We ordered wine by the glass at Cellar Masters, and then took the name of the wine we liked to dinner and gave it to our sommelier and she made sure we had this wine every night with dinner. She was not very good at recommending wines for us, so we went tasting in Cellar Masters and found what we liked. We really do enjoy Celebrity, and book our next cruise for next November on the Eclipse! So excited! This will be our first cruise on the S class...! We love the M class, and hope we will enjoy the S class as much. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We arrived in Barcelona a week before boarding the ship. We stayed at the Hotel Pultizer. Great place to stay! Wonderful hotel and friendly staff! Rooms were great too! Since we knew the ship was coming into port with the Norovirus, ... Read More
We arrived in Barcelona a week before boarding the ship. We stayed at the Hotel Pultizer. Great place to stay! Wonderful hotel and friendly staff! Rooms were great too! Since we knew the ship was coming into port with the Norovirus, we did not hurry to the port. We arrived around 2pm and were on board by around 4pm. I thought it was well organized with all the people that were waiting to board. They had plenty of announcements to inform everyone what was going on and when they were going to start to board. They provided some snacks and drinks. This is where the complaining began! As we were entering the port, they had someone ready with hand sanitizer. Then when you hit the next set of doors, there was another person ready to sanitize again. But the lady behind us told the second lady she just sanitized her hands at the first door, and did not want to sanitize them again. And she began to argue with her because she did not want to sanitize! Really...just take a squirt and move on! Once we got on board, there was no drink waiting for you. Totally understood why and was not a problem for us! But others were very upset not to have their free champagne! Really...they don't have to even offer that, but they usually do, under normal boarding. So, we headed to the first bar and ordered ourselves a drink. We purchased the premium alcohol package and loved it! We then headed to get something to eat. We were in our cabins by around 530pm. Our luggage arrived by 6pm, we ordered shrimp cocktails, and a cheese and cracker platter after our luggage arrived and unpacked and had a snack before heading to the Martini Bar for our first martini of the trip! We met our cabin steward, Andrew. He was fabulous! We saw him just about every time we left our cabin. We ordered cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktails the first day before dinner, and he made sure we had that in our cabin every night at the same time. We never had to ask again. He would even bring us special treats at times too! If he was in the hall as we were heading to our cabin, he would run to our door and open it for us! He really made the trip extra special! We pulled out of Barcelona around 6pm local time. We arrived in Alicante under cloudy skies and some lightning. Went on a walking tour of Guadalest. It is a very cool, very small village, in the mountains above the Costa Blanca section of the Spanish coast. We visited the oldest, largest house in the village, the Orduna House, which is right below what is left of the castle at the top of the village. The house is about 365 years old, and is now a municipal museum. It rained on us the entire time, and we got soaked! We left our umbrellas on the ship! We also passed by Benidorm, which is a huge tourist destination for people all over Europe! There were so many people who complained about this tour and wanted a refund because of the rain! Really...! What the heck is wrong with people?? Arrived in Malaga and set out on foot and walked around Malaga all day. Our first stop was the city center, and the Cathedral de Malaga. Lots of little shops and cafes up and down these little side streets. Most of the pedestrian walkways and alleys are paved with marble! Very clean! We then headed up the hill to the Castillo de Gibralfaro. Great views of the city below and coastline! We had a change of itinerary and would not be visiting Funchal (Madeira) Portugal. This was one port we were most excited to stop at. Not the cruise lines fault, and was due to a general strike that was called for the day we were to port in. We were just happy to hear they had another port for us to dock into and not another sea day! Here again, we heard people complaining about this and wanted some sort of refund for missing this port! Really??? We had a blast in Gibraltar, and took a guided tour of "the rock of Gibraltar", as well as the tunnels excavated by the British during WWII, St. Michaels cave, and the "Barbary Apes" that inhabit the area. The town itself had a nice long pedestrian mall type thing, and a TON of jewelry/watch and electronic gadget stores! After our tour, we went to Roy's, a recommendation from our tour guide, for the best authentic English-style fish n' chips that included mushy peas! Lunch was amazing! This place is highly recommended the next time you are in Gibraltar! This was our favorite port! So cool to cruise through the straits of Gibraltar during the day! If we would have ported in Portugal, we would have cruised through at night and could not see anything! That would have been like cruising through the Panama Canal in the dark! Thanksgiving Day was a day spent at sea with beautiful weather and calm seas. We spent the day on the deck using the pool and hot tubs and just kicked back and relaxed in the sun. Plenty of lounge chairs by the pool to be used. No chair hogs in sight! We just wondered where everyone was! Never felt crowded, and I believe the ship was almost full, if not full. We pulled into Santa Cruz de Tenerife just after sunrise. We took a guided tour that included the original capital of the island, La Laguna and walked around all the buildings from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. We had a brief visit at the market place in La Laguna, and saw all the nice fruits, veggies, and weird salted fish! They even had a couple of bars in there! We then went to the north end of the island and visited the museum of wine that documents the long history of winemaking here in the island. We then went to a bodega and sampled the local wines, meats, cheeses. We purchased a bunch of stuff, including saffron, and some locally-produced rum! We did not leave on time and I believe we left about an hour of so later than scheduled. This was our least favorite port. I think I was expecting something else...what, I am not sure! Next stop would be Fort Lauderdale, FL in 7 days! The trip across the pond was great! We only encountered one day of rain and high seas, and the others were beautiful! We spent our afternoons laying out on the pool deck and swimming in the pool and relaxing in the hot tubs! We were always able to find good prime lounges every time we went. Did not matter what time of day it was! We were very grateful to the captain for changing the course we were headed on, to a more southern route....this kept us in the nice warm weather and the calm seas! We really enjoyed our cruise! Yes, it was not perfect and there were some issues, but you will encounter that on any cruise line (even on Regents there were some issues). It did not bother us at all with all the sanitizing that was being done. Knew it was for our own health. Heard lots of people complaining about it and other petty stuff! There were more cranky people on this cruise than any other I have ever been on. Plenty of chairs by the pool at all times of the day. We did have a problem in the Ocean Liners, but when addressed it was corrected and when we dined there again it was perfect! We also dined in the Tuscan Grille twice...the best dinners on the cruise! We loved the grilled salmon for lunch with a salad from the Aqua Spa Cafe! Breakfast in the main dining room was awful! Service way to long, but we believe that was due to having to take people from the wait staff to help in the buffet area to help serve. We went twice and that was it. It took 45 minutes for my fresh squeezed OJ, the only time I found it! Room service twice and that too was not good! We never received our entire order. So, we decided on the Bistro 5 for breakfast...wonderful and we also ate in the Aqua Spa cafe for breakfast...also wonderful! We had a really hard time getting fresh squeezed OJ no matter where we were for breakfast! They told us it would take a while since they did not have the fresh squeezed at that location. So my question was where is the fresh squeezed OJ at?? Never did get an answer to that. Oh well, I was not going to let that ruin my cruise! As for the staff and crew, they were all great and friendly! Not a big fan of the Cruise Director, Sue Denning. Seems lots of people love her, but to be honest, we only saw her a few times during the entire cruise! I approached her once to ask a question, and she just blew me off. Not sure what the deal was, but not a good vibe from her. Never saw her out by the pool mixing with the passengers. We have seen much better cruise directors! The quality of the food was average to above average. Some nights and dishes were better than others. We found something we enjoyed every night and never went away hungry!! The beverage package was the best investment we made! We really enjoyed seeing all the zeros on our ship board account! And trying all the different cocktails and Martinis! We were able to order over the 12.00 limit, and they would just charge us the difference. This did not happen too often. The only time we really went over, was when we ordered the flight of martinis, and had to pay 3.00 extra plus 15%. You cannot use the machines in the Cellar Masters with your sea pass card. You can purchase a card to use in the machines. We ordered wine by the glass at Cellar Masters, and then took the name of the wine we liked to dinner and gave it to our sommelier and she made sure we had this wine every night with dinner. She was not very good at recommending wines for us, so we went tasting in Cellar Masters and found what we liked. We really do enjoy Celebrity, and book our next cruise for next November on the Eclipse! So excited! This will be our first cruise on the S class...! We love the M class, and hope we will enjoy the S class as much. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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