We chose this cruise for the Itinerary and hopefully the time of year and value...and it did not disappoint in that regard. We had amazing weather. This was our third time on Constellation in three years, so we were doing a lot of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary and hopefully the time of year and value...and it did not disappoint in that regard. We had amazing weather. This was our third time on Constellation in three years, so we were doing a lot of comparing. The ship is comfortable but dull. The food has gone downhill. We believe this may be because they are really pushing the specialty restaurants. The buffet has lots of variety, but much of it tastes like cafeteria food. You are best served sticking to the salads and the grilled and carved foods. The afternoon tea time offerings are kind of fun, and if they work out with arrival on the ship after a long day of touring and exhaustion, it is enjoyable to take it back to your cabin or on deck for sail away. The dining dinners were just ok as far as my review goes, but the staff is wonderful. I had two really good dinners early in the cruise, but the options seemed to go downhill. The entertainment was ok, nothing special. We are not gamblers, but the casino seemed to be quiet. This is a hectic itinerary, so maybe people were just tired. What makes this cruise are the staff, who are really great, and the cruisers, who are friendly. If you stay open to opportunities to meet people, you can make a lot of friends...and they might just save your cruise...read on.
We had an "interesting" experience our fifth day, and second At Sea day. I woke up really sick with cruise crud...sinus infection, cough, the works. Two new friends we had met on board fixed me up with Emergen-C, Zicam, even prednisone for a few days. Lesson learned...ask your doctor to give you an antibiotic to take with you JUST IN CASE, and bring every possible over the counter drug you can think of. You can get run down from all the touring, lack of sleep, etc. That night, still not feeling great, we went to bed relatively early...11ish, and we were awakened at midnight by screaming in the hallway. Long story short, a hot water pipe burst on deck 2, flooding around six or eight cabins, including ours. The Celebrity staff handled it as best they could...shop vacs, relocating passengers in the middle of the night. It took awhile, but by 2:30 AM we had moved temporarily to a stateroom on deck 9. The next morning we were exhausted and they were still shopvac-ing on deck 2, so we asked to move permanently to our new room. Guest services complied, and although we hated to say goodbye to our amazing stateroom attendant Jay, we moved everything to 9, and gained a balcony for no extra charge. Celebrity basically rebuilt the flooded rooms while we cruised...new carpet, new furnishings, etc. Not sure how everyone else was compensated, but we were pleased. They offered us a night at a Specialty restaurant....no drinks, but free dinner...and we chose Tuscan Grill. It was great, but I was still pretty sick, and didn't last til dessert. Towards the end of the cruise, we received future cruise credit as well, for our inconvenience.
The only other thing I would warn cruisers about, especially regarding this itinerary. The big stops...Cadiz, Marseille, Livorno and Civitavecchia...require a decent amount of travel time if you want to go to Seville, Provence, Florence, or Rome. Be forewarned that you will be getting up very early to make tour connections, and doing a lot of driving. Gibraltar was a pleasant surprise for me...don't let the videos of the Barbary Apes scare you. A good tour guide will make sure you have a safe, fun and interactive experience with them.
Eat at Ray's Fish and Chips...nothing special, but decent and affordable. One portion is definitely enough for two. Alicante, Sete and Corsica are beautiful but smaller ports, so figure out what you plan to do ahead of time, especially eating in port. In Alicante we did a "free" walking tour that we enjoyed, and then explored on our own, but we weren't sure where to eat. We lucked up with a local tapas place called El Pale, but we just found it by accident. Sete was kind of dead with lots of the shops closed, but again we got lucky in a local restaurant called Le Gout du Jour. Corsica had a farmer's market in the port, and we did the double decker bus tour which was fine...opt for a boat tour if you are more adventurous and don't mind spending the cash. Thanks to Thor for lots of touring ideas and organization, to Debbie D and Terry and Marsha for healing me! Read Less