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61 Celebrity Constellation Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Overall rating: Eight out of Ten! Booking: We booked this cruise directly through Celebrity UK on 6th Sept 2015 by paying a €330 deposit. The stateroom we booked was A1-1124 Aqua Class. The attraction of this early booking ... Read More
Overall rating: Eight out of Ten! Booking: We booked this cruise directly through Celebrity UK on 6th Sept 2015 by paying a €330 deposit. The stateroom we booked was A1-1124 Aqua Class. The attraction of this early booking deal as advertised was second person at 50% discount (First passenger cost €3,505.33 and the Second passenger cost €1,826.33). This included Classic Drinks and Gratuities. The balance of €5,001.66 was due and paid on 16th April 2016 bringing the total to €5,331.66. Compare this with the price our friends paid to accompanies us (in Concierge) which was $3,200 for Concierge only weeks before sailing, see “Cost” section later. Embarkation: As expected the embarkation process was straightforward, short queue and immediate access to the ship where we joined our friends (who travelled Concierge Class – See later) for a special Concierge lunch. We received no notification about any similar Aqua Class lunch? Staterooms: The Staterooms in Concierge and Agua Class are similar in size and layout, our friends were in Concierge on deck 8 (Room 8132) and we were Agua Class on Deck 11 (Room 1125). The two attendants in Aqua were very pleasant and helpful. The bathroom shower was just OK but not great, it lacked power. The binoculars were not working but these were replaced. Overall no real issues with our stateroom. Food and Restaurants: A major complaint is the unreasonable opening hours of the restaurants, which Celebrity doesn’t advertise clearly on their website. Blu only opens for breakfast from 6:30 to 8:30am, which is outrageous for people on holidays. Many people on the ship were commenting negatively about this. A business hotel in any city would be open for breakfast until 10am every day. Overall, the food was very good. The Maître d’ in Blu was a very friendly, efficient and pleasant person from Vancouver Canada and the main reception girl (from Ukraine) was welcoming, professional, accommodating and pleasant (this was her last cruise after 5 years). Service: The service in the Blu restaurant (available only to Aqua Class) was just OK. At times it felt that there were not enough people to serve the guests, and the waiters were running around trying to give everybody the service level they paid for. There were many occasions where we had to wait for the wine waiter who appeared quite stressed, this included at the start of the meal where we waited for glasses and the selection of our first drink. The service at Guest Services Deck 3 was often very slow with long queues. My friend had to wait 30 minutes just to get change of a €50 note to give some tips. The ATM’s on-board are a rip-off charging either $6.50 or €6.50 per transaction. No ATM’s in countries I’ve ever visited charge additional fees on top of normal bank fees. Overall: Overall the cruise ship was good, but you could feel that it was older, but well maintained. Simply put it was like a well-established place with a lived-in look. Personally, I would prefer a newer ship, and possibly one of the larger ships – this was not a big deal. This is our third Celebrity Cruise, the first one was on Celebrity Solstice in 2012 from Barcelona and it really spoilt us! We were in Concierge class and nothing but excellent service, lovely food and fantastic ship. Our second cruise in 2014 was in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Eclipse (Aqua Class) which was also lovely although I would prefer Europe as a destination. I feel the overall level of service has declined with Celebrity since the first cruise. If our first cruise (Celebrity Solstice) was 5-star, this was 4.75-Star! Celebrity are cutting down costs and this shows in a lot of places – they will lose custom, other cruise lines are catching up! Cost: My biggest complaint is that we paid much too much for this trip. Our friends booked the exact same cruise in May 2016 (i.e. only weeks before sailing) and got Concierge class for $3,200 including $150 on-board credit, including Gratuities and Classic Drinks package. With exchange rates that is almost half the cost we paid (€5,330.66). We were punished for early booking. I did ask Celebrity to look at our cost and offer some compensation before we paid the balance. We realised at that stage the ship was full in Aqua (which is small on the Constellation – about 150 people) and Concierge class and we could therefore not rebook. All our requests for any level of “feel good” compensation (e.g. on-board credit) were totally and utterly dismissed! I did not press my case before the trip in case the cancelled my booking! Another cost related issue I have is that in three ports (advertised as being cities) the ship actually docks several miles outside the city. I realise this is a practical requirement, however Celebrity are bordering on “sharp practice” to charge for a bus to bring Celebrity passengers to Celebrity advertised locations. This charge was between $12 and $15 per person, per city. Some examples from this trip are Ravenna ($15 pp) and Dubrovnik ($12 pp). What lesson has been learnt? Do not book directly through Celebrity! Do not book early! Note the extra Celebrity charges for transport into their stated destination e.g. Ravenna and Dubrovnik! Keep an eye on falling standards on Celebrity vs. other Cruise lines! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We enjoyed our cruise, and we liked the ship a lot. It was a good size for us and everything seemed to be well maintained. The public rooms were fine and theater is very pretty. The staff was very friendly. The transfer from the ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise, and we liked the ship a lot. It was a good size for us and everything seemed to be well maintained. The public rooms were fine and theater is very pretty. The staff was very friendly. The transfer from the airport to the pier was fine, embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, and the luggage was delivered very fast. The entertainment was pretty good (especially the shows in the theater), and the cabin was nice. The only real problems were with anytime dining and the cabin steward. Although we had signed up for anytime dining, we ended up eating most of our meals in the buffet. Unless you made reservations as soon as you got on the ship, you could only get a table in the dining room for 5:45 or after 8:00 unless you were willing to wait a long time. The staff in the dining room were telling passengers that the ship allows too many people to sign up for anytime dining. We don't really mind the buffet but the offerings got monotonous and often the food wasn't very hot. The cabin stewards were very nice but just weren't on the ball. We would go off on a morning excursion and come back at lunch time to find the room not cleaned yet. Once we came back and the door was not even closed. Another day we came back at 4:00 to find the trash in the hall and a pile of dirty towels on the floor in the bathroom. I think they got distracted and just never came back. One thing that impressed me (all ships should do this) was printing the port emergency contact information on the newspaper every day. I liked the production shows and the CD, but the house bands were just OK. All in all, we enjoyed the trip and would go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We enjoy cruising and have sailed with quite a few lines but we do prefer Celebrity. We are Captains Club Select members so we have tried several ships, this cruise was from Venice to Naples and back. Firstly we didn't expect ... Read More
We enjoy cruising and have sailed with quite a few lines but we do prefer Celebrity. We are Captains Club Select members so we have tried several ships, this cruise was from Venice to Naples and back. Firstly we didn't expect hailstorms, thunderstorms and cold weather! Still, the sea was calm. Thank heavens we were on a cruise ship so we had shows, music, entertainment and eating to keep us busy. We booked through Celebrity and they arranged the flights.we had to change at Brussels and we won't do this again. Waiting almost 4 hours between two 90 minute is not a lot of fun. The ship is clean and tidy This time we tried Aqua class and we really enjoyed it. We should have had priority boarding but the embarkation staff didn't seem to realize this and tried to direct us to a huge line until I pointed this out. The Aqua line was empty. This also happened to several other people we spoke to. No problem on the ship except for the hard sell which went with the free glass of champagne - drinks, dining, spa photos. Pretty hectic! So cabin (stateroom?) 9083. Very clean and tidy. Lovely multi jet shower which was very refreshing. Balcony has a huge overhang from the deck above so you don't get any sun, but we knew this and it kept the rain off. I asked for and got a couple of blankets so we could wrap up and sit outside. I also asked for the fridge to be emptied so we could put our stuff in so no problem.Our cabin steward was Noel. He was excellent and friendly. If you're going on deck 9 have a look at the deck plans as some rooms can be noisy under some sections due to furniture being arranged very early in the mornings.Ours was OK Aqua class means you can dine in Blu restaurant. Absolutely fabulous! We didn't eat anywhere else for evening meals. David (Maitre'D) had a chat with everyone every night and the rest of the staff were just as good. No reservations and good food. When we saw the chaos and arguments outside the anytime dining section of the main restaurant we were so glad we had this option. We ourselves had trouble with this on our last cruise. You pay your gratuities upfront to get anytime dining only to be told there is nothing available between 6.30 and 8.15! Celebrity needs to get a grip on this. I would go for fixed dining and not prepay the gratuities so you won't be sitting around for 45 mins with a pager waiting. I think that building the Blu restaurant has taken space out of the anytime section which causes this. Entertainment - shows were good (except for the magician) but the variety and quality of the music has really slipped. No acappello, no string quartet, just a duo with a guitar and a disc jockey with a deck. Done to save money I suppose, but we don't like this trend. The variety of music around the ship is what attracted us to Celebrity in the first place. We don't like the Liars Club, Mr and Mrs type shows so we gave them a miss. Enrichment activities seem to have slipped a bit too. Quite a bit of general and music trivia which was good fun, line dancing and lessons with the show cast, three talks about the Mediterranean region history, scrapbooking on the sea days.Staffing for these areas seem to have been reduced too. Staffing - Cruise Director Maarten was excellent, always about and friendly. He didn't go over the top like some do! The star in this area was Sam - she was always friendly and tireless with a real bubbly personality. She needs promoting! The whole crew were friendly and always give you a smile and greeting when you passed them. Never saw the captain. He did give one talk but we didn't go because we were doing something else. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Just got to share an amazing experience aboard the Constellation hosted by a fabulous Captain destined for high recognition in the industry. Captain Tasos was endearing throughout the cruise participating in lectures, volleyball and ... Read More
Just got to share an amazing experience aboard the Constellation hosted by a fabulous Captain destined for high recognition in the industry. Captain Tasos was endearing throughout the cruise participating in lectures, volleyball and light entertainment. Considering his prestigious position I found the guy to be charming. I particularly liked his style and his sense of humour. My favourite resting place was the Martini Bar hosted by Gede. He kept his guests entertained with trickery and juggling whilst serving guests with a variety of drinks. The staff were polite and courteous throughout our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Sorry about the length of this but we have a lot to say! It was clear from the start that the ship has medical problems - and not brought on in Istanbul by the current passengers as was suggested. Gel being dispensed everywhere, all food ... Read More
Sorry about the length of this but we have a lot to say! It was clear from the start that the ship has medical problems - and not brought on in Istanbul by the current passengers as was suggested. Gel being dispensed everywhere, all food and drink being served, continual hand washing instructions,no library books, cushions glasses ice buckets info folder all gradually disappearing from the cabins, etc. In spite of this many passengers and crew came down with the virus throughout the cruise - people did throw up pretty much everywhere - pool, busses, dining room, lifts, but the crew worked very hard continually cleaning and clearing up so the ship did stay clean.I did wonder about the instructions that if you got it you had to make your way through the whole ship to the medical centre on deck 1 - surely they should have stayed in their cabins and been visited by the doctor? We didn't get it (noro) but it felt like the sword of Damocles was hanging over us all the time. A couple of points - The hard working but "brassy" CD Sue Denning gave a daily briefing, but it was really the same every day, "Thank you and keep washing your hands". She continually said that she would tell us the truth, but the one thing wouldn't tell us was how many people were affected. We understood that it was 400 - 500 people. Also I wonder how much the crew are involved in spreading problems. I saw one of the panini servers wearing plastic gloves pick up a handful of crisps, put them in his mouth and then go on serving, cutting and spreading the bread. I immediately reported this to a manager but don't know what action was taken. To be fair I also saw an idiot passenger use the restroom and then go out without washing his hands! Ok, on to the rest. If you take trips in Israel my advice is to arrange your own. If you take ship tours it may say "shopping time" but you won't get it at the many interesting little shops you will walking by, no, you'll get it at the end in a very large isolated store where the tour guide gets 35% of everything you buy (and it's not cheap!)- get the picture? This happened on all 3 trips for us and we didn't like it - so no tip for the guide, they get quite enough!! Finally the best for us was the variety and quality of the music / entertainment. This was the best we have ever experienced on a cruise. There was music happening all over the ship including - The ships Song and Dance company - It was the last 2 weeks of their service and they were great. The shows were fantastic. Ship's Orchestra - they were excellent performing and backing other acts. Jefferson Ang - Guitar and singing in the coffee bar. 545 Express - acapella group and very good. Arabesque Trio - 2 violins and piano. Lovely classical music in one of the lounges. Great Ideas Party Band - fantastic atmosphere every night. To see the boy and girl singer both perform footloose (?) was really amazing. Pity they didn't have a CD to sell - I would have bought it! Perry Grant - singing and piano. Very entertaining, but I couldn't face seeing the same performance and comedy every night although quite a few did! The visiting entertainers - were all good but the absolute highlight for us was SAMANTHA JAY. What a talented lady this girl is. She plays the oboe, violin, saxophone and piano in a wonderful fast moving show with popular and classical music. She also seems a genuine and modest person - a real star! If you get the chance go and see her. So we did enjoy the cruise in spite of everything and hope that the deep clean (again)in Barcelona where they made everyone leave the ship (including back to back passengers)will do the trick. I think they are worried about not being allowed to dock in USA. I somehow doubt it will be enough though. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Barcelona: Arrived a day prior to rest up and check out the city. Nice city and we enjoyed visiting the local attractions. Embarkation: Smooth, in the room within 15 minutes after stepping out of the cab. Ship: This was our ... Read More
Barcelona: Arrived a day prior to rest up and check out the city. Nice city and we enjoyed visiting the local attractions. Embarkation: Smooth, in the room within 15 minutes after stepping out of the cab. Ship: This was our fourth time on this ship (British Isles/Norway, Baltic, Canada/New England) and I must say the new color scheme, speciality restaurant addition, and filling in the hole on deck 5 just added to what was already a wonderful ship. Overall the crew was great with a few exceptions. Dining: We had the best waiter (Tuscan Grill) and the worst waiter (main dining room) on the same trip. Tuscan Grill waiter (Mustafa) was by far the best waiter we have on any of our 26 plus cruises. Sadly, he finishes his contract at the end of the month and will not return for a couple of months. Our dining room waiter was extremely slow and appeared to be overworked. He was polite and tried his best but he simply was not up to the Celebrity standard. Food/Service: IMO, the food quality and service at the specialty restaurant is what you received in the main dining room ten years ago. I have noticed a slow decline in the Main dining room food. Now the food is ok but it used to be memorable. Entertainment: As this was a port intensive trip there was little time to enjoy the shipboard shows. It was apparent that Celebrity figured out that everyone was simply too tired to stay up watching shows and cut back on the entertainment budget. The hypnotist was absolutely terrible. Lindsey Hamilton was excellent as usual. She even added some new songs to her show since she has been working with Celebrity fro the past few years. I went to one of the production shows and it was ok. The Acapela group was good and the bar band was average. Again, most were in bed after dinner so there was always a small crowd at the shows. Debarkation: Tried the carry your own bags off early departure this time as we had an early flight. Was off the ship by 7:00 and in a cab by 7:15. If you can carry your own bags I would recommend this option. You don't have to pack so early or worry about finding your bags in the terminal. Overall: Great cruise with a very busy itinerary. A couple of sea days mixed in would have made it a more relaxing trip but we knew what we were getting into when we booked. Having sailed Royal, Princess, Holland, and Celebrity within the past 3 years, I am amazed how similar they have all become. I would normally recommend Celebrity over the others because they have better food but I could not honestly state that anymore. The food is the same in all the main dining rooms and if you want quality food and service...go to the specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
What can be said about a port-intensive cruise like the Celebrity western Med? It's seven days of some of the most exciting sights in the world. For the record, the itinerary consists of sailing out of Barcelona to Villefranche ... Read More
What can be said about a port-intensive cruise like the Celebrity western Med? It's seven days of some of the most exciting sights in the world. For the record, the itinerary consists of sailing out of Barcelona to Villefranche (Nice), Genoa, Livorno (Florence and Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples. This was our first European cruise and we most certainly will do this itinerary again. Too much to see and not enough time. Sensory overload! ABOUT US: Married couple, mid-forties, no children and our 22nd cruise overall, our ninth with Celebrity. They have been our favorite line since our second cruise, but they better be careful or they may have some competition to that status. More on that later. EMBARKATION: To be sure, this was the smoothest embarkation and debarkation we have ever encountered. Actually, it was almost too fast! I couldn't get my paperwork out of my bag fast enough to get from one point to the next and I was holding THEM up! Bravo to the port staff in Barcelona! THE SHIP: Celebrity did an outstanding job with the refurbishment of the Constellation. She was squeaky clean and truly seemed like a brand new ship. Kudos to their refurb team for a job well done. It's hard to review the ship in great detail as we spend most of our time off of the ship. Loved the new wine cellar, Bistro on Five and the Tuscan Grille. Our stateroom was quite comfy, though my foot dangled off the end of the rounded corner of the bed (thanks to my 6-foot three frame). PORTS: We spent two days in Barcelona before the cruise which was a great way to get used to the 6-hour time difference and to visit La Sagrada Familia. The temple is a true work of art and I am so glad we visited it. Barcelona was a nice city but they give you an attitude when you ask if they speak English. I usually got an abrupt "NO." I understand totally, but at the same time, I am trying to spend money in your country. You could be a little more helpful if you want my business. That's ok, there were other businesses who suffered through my lack of knowledge of their language and I had a great time. First stop on the cruise was Villefranche. It was a very nice town and if the weather was better, we would have investigated more of it. We went to Monaco which was nice and I can now say I've been there, but that's about it. Next was Genoa. We chose to visit Cinque Terre, which was beautiful, but there was no need to visit four of the five villages. Vernazza and Monterosso would have been plenty. In Livorno, we chose to do both a tour of Pisa and the Tuscan Wine tour. We totally hated our tour guide in Pisa and a separate email will be sent to the tour company about her. The wine tour was great but not very exciting. If you go on this itinerary, get a ride to Pisa and spend the whole day there, period. That's all you need to do, no excursion necessary, unless you want a guide. Rome was spectacular. We hired Romeinlimo (highly recommended) and toured the Coliseum and the Vatican. Again, too much to see and not enough time. Next time, we'll go straight to the Vatican and spend the day there. In Naples, forget about seeing anything of the city. You don't want to. Dirty and pickpocket intensive. We chose an excursion to Sorrento (great choice) and a trip to Pompeii. We can now say that we've been to Pompeii, and it was fabulous, but tablemates of ours showed us pictures of their trip to Herculaneum. If you are into that sort of "ruins" thing, go there instead. Much better things to see and a more compact site than Pompeii. We will definitely check it out next time. ENTERTAINMENT: Lots of great entertainment on board this cruise. The magician/comedian was the only "so-so" act of the cruise. We've seen him before and he's just ok, not great. The "Hi-C's" (or was it "Four C's"?) acapella group were AWESOME! The production shows were very good too. Better than I had thought they would be. The party band was good, the string ensemble quite lovely, and even the guy who just played guitar (can't remember his name) was quite good. He was especially good at his Irish and British folk songs that the Europeans on board really appreciated. FOOD: This is where I have to raise an eyebrow. We had late seating in the dining room (since many of the excursions returned to the ship at 6pm), and many of our dishes had the look and taste of being "warmed up." It seemed like they made all of the food at 6 for the first seating, and kept the rest on warmers until late seating. One night (Thursday) I didn't like anything on the menu. This was truly a first for me. I have always been a big fan of the food on Celebrity, but this time we were not blown away at all. We dined in both the Tuscan Grille and the Ocean Liners, and both had impeccable food and quality, but I expect that kind of quality in the MDR! When it comes to specialty dining, I like having options like Japanese, Mexican, or Italian instead of the offerings on the Constellation. Also, the specialty options are too expensive. $35 per person before you even sit down, and then they start out by trying to upsell you to bottled or sparkling water. What was my $35 for? They need to slow down on all of the upsells in the specialty restaurants. As for the MDR, we were not as pleased as we normally are with Celebrity. OVERALL: Where Celebrity gets us every time (except the food issue that I just mentioned) is their incredible professionalism. EVERY employee meets your eye and says hello to you. Many of the senior staff await your return to the ship following your excursion. For some reason, the other lines we have cruised just don't get this simple gesture. It makes us feel like they truly appreciate our business. We'll be back, but I hope they work on the food issue that we had. I'll say this much, no more late seating for us. 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Sail Date October 2010
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and will certainly be booking another one next year. However there were a few things that bothered us. Not sure whether we were missing something or not but where was ALL the entertainment ? We were aware ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and will certainly be booking another one next year. However there were a few things that bothered us. Not sure whether we were missing something or not but where was ALL the entertainment ? We were aware of the shows held in the theatre every night and in Michael's Club (Perry Grant) but other than that there didn't seem to be much going on. The band that played on deck and in the Reflections Lounge were absolutely terrible ! The Sailaway Party just didn't seem to happen either Although the band was playing, there were no bells and whistles and no one dancing. There was a party that was held one night late on the deck and we got there to find one couple dancing and not many other people around ! It seemed to us that the Cruise Director or Activities Department did not do adequate "marketing" of all of these events. Although the Cruise Director (Rich) was always visible in person and on TV, there just didn't seem to be much of a party vibe on board. We had intended to do some serious dancing but there just didn't seem to be appropriate music in either the Reflections Lounge or Rendevous Room. Perry Grant in Michael's Club was fantastic !!!! Our on shore excursions were great, well organised but JUST TOO LONG ! We returned to ship between 6 and 7 pm in the evenings and found it quite a rush to shower and change in time for dinner at 9pm. (Also very tired after excursions). Spent two days on board during the day and yet there just didn't seem to be much going on. No tour of the bridge was advertised either ? In general, the food was great all around, our room attendants were fantastic. They were the only crew who actually got to know our names. Our waiter at dinner didn't bother to find out what our names were. One thing that disturbed me was that some of the entertainers / staff from the ship were on the shore excursions along with the passengers / guests. One guy from the Accopella singing group was on two of our excursions and to be honest he was a total nuisance. He spoke loudly all the time on the coach to his friends while the tour guide was talking. We eventually had to tell him to shut up so that we could hear what was going on. He just got on our nerves. Unfortunately I didn't get his name. I don't think that the crew/staff should be mingling with the guests. They should be doing their own thing on shore. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Our Background: My husband, my sister and I, age range 45 to 60 cruised on Constellation Oct. 16 to 23, 2010. We are not first time cruisers. First time on Constellation. Our past cruises mostly Celebrity mid size ships, always ... Read More
Our Background: My husband, my sister and I, age range 45 to 60 cruised on Constellation Oct. 16 to 23, 2010. We are not first time cruisers. First time on Constellation. Our past cruises mostly Celebrity mid size ships, always balcony cabins Cruise selection based mostly on itinerary and dates rather than the ship. The review & opinions expressed below stem from our personal perception, thus highly subjective. This is a port-intense itinerary, so there were many services that we did not have time or reason to experience. Services such as spa, art auction, wine cellar, specialty restaurants, cafes, accupunture, botox, teeth whitening, etc... Summary of our likes and dislikes of Celebrity Constellation experience: LIKE: • Room service was fantastic! We ordered coffee early in the morning, and it was delivered to our room, with a smile, every time! • The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and swift, No fuss or hassle. • Not many loud announcements during the day. • Some Specials, promotions are done on print, rather than loud hawking throughout the ship. • Friendly, Hardworking staff. Always YES to requests. • The lounges feel more intimate and comfortable. (love the chairs!) • GYM is spacious, and the trainers are friendly. (have had experience before where the trainers express their disapproval when I use the floor space without joining their paying classes.) • Almost daily, my sister used the equipment in the gym, found it adequate. • Love the brunch! • The Salt water Adult Pool! • The renovation really updated the feel of the ship. • History / art lecture , seminar onboard by Mary (forgot her last name.) • Love the hot sauna in the woman's change room! DISLIKE: • Cabin was smaller than Princess, even with all the large mirrors in the room. • Noises from the deck above (cafeteria) early in the morning • Too much selling • VAT added to every purchase, to every service • No Free Specialty coffee at dinner NOTABLE INCIDENTS: On sea day, the pool areas were full, which is expected. unoccupied lounge chairs were difficult to find. However, there were many chairs with only beach towels; probably forgotten or the passengers just left them there assuming the crew will pick them up. I decided to grab one lounge chair with a beach towel. Should someone shows up to claim this seat, I would simply move. No one did. I sat and read for 3 hours. Main Room Dining has always been a significant part of our cruise experience; This is the first time that we did not enjoy our dining as our previous Celebrity cruises. Food--our seared Tuna, no matter how raw we ordered was way over-cooked. Over-cooked tuna was just too dry. To me, it was wasted. We love Tuna! It was a valiant attempt . Searing Tuna perfectly on this mass scale, to me, is next to impossible. The personable service provided by the same waiter and assistant for our entire cruise is something we look forward to. We did not receive that during this cruise. My personal observation is that the staff are stretched and stressed. And we felt it. They could not devote the time for that personal & individual attention that my husband and I really enjoyed. Even with the same nightly requests, we still had a mix up: decaffeinated coffee was mixed with caffeinated coffee (sleepless night). The rhythm between the courses and water or coffee refilling were interrupted frequently. An experience with our wine steward maybe worth mentioning: he brought a new bottle of wine to us (we bought a package.), put it on our table, and left without opening the bottle. After 20 minutes or so, and several attempts of flagging him, we finally had to ask a "supervisor." A waiter from another table opened the bottle for us. The wine steward was then sent over to our table to "explain" why he did not open the wine, rather than the straight truth: he forgot. When we dismissed his phoney reasons (our meal has not started), he then changed his tune, and apologized. By then, he did not seem sincere, and was talking too much. We just wanted to enjoy our wine and dinner. The supervisor did come over after and made sure everything was set straight. Sad to say, after that incident, no one from our table wanted to order drinks from that wine steward. REVIEW OF PORTS This was a port-intense itinerary and the reason we chose this cruise. We really luck out—with the exception of Nice, the weather was fantastic! Everyday was warm and sunny! Barcelona--We stayed a few days in Barcelona pre and post cruise. Montserrat is definitely worth a visit. A note on the train schedule: The published train schedules did not necessary correspond to their actual schedules. Our supposedly 7:36am train departed at 7:22am. We thought we were on the wrong train. Even the attendant did not know the actual time. We did not join any tour in Barcelona, we find the city easy to navigate by ourselves. We walked a lot. While walking the city, we "discovered" many pleasant surprises such as local craft and food markets, irresistible bakeries, charming cafes... We watched our belongings very carefully, so the pick pocket did not take advantage of us. My husband did observe the network of "scammers", promoting the shell game. There were 7 of them working together. There were so much to see and absorb. Long but fulfilling days. These are the places where I believe no words can take the place of actually being there experiencing, smelling, touching, seeing, tasting... Being our first time visiting these places, we could not imagine getting to all those sites, without a local guide / driver. Time is limited. The traffic, the crowds, the line ups in these places were unbelievable, and I was told the summers are even worse. We booked 3 tours, all private, and with Fabrizio of Allarounditaly (allarounditaly.net) in Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Naples. Our tour driver/guide, Fabrizio was great and funny and knowledgeable. And he cares. To avoid long line ups, he helped us reserved tickets to Academic, and got us to purchase tickets in advance to the Vatican. The valuable time we saved from line up was spent admiring David, and the Sistine Chapel instead. One of our dining companions toured with the cruise line, waited in line for Vatican ticket, and did not have time to admire the Sistine Chapel. Via Cruise Critic roll call (wonderful place to get information and get companions!), we got together with 4 other fellow passengers. 7 of us formed our own tour group. I think it was the perfect size. We shared 3 long tour days, and really enjoyed each other's company! We had tons of laughter and fun! We also had our alone time. I think it worked out very well. One of the high light for me was visiting a winery on our way to Florence. It was situated on top of rolling hill, perfect illustration of Tuscany. The "retail" space was a tiny front office. I can tell this is an actual working winery, not a "tourist shopping destination": we were the only people there; the "salesperson" putting the labels on the bottles as we purchased; and somewhat annoyed workers pushing wheel barrels around us intrusive tourists! What a wonderful place to pick up organic virgin olive oil, organic honey, and of course, wine! We did not feel pressure to buy. In fact, we genuinely like to purchase more had they not run out! I could have bought a few more bottles of their famous organic extra virgin olive oil! Amalfi Coast is just breath-taking! It should be on everyone's bucket list, in my opinion. Sorrento, Positano are on our WILL-VISIT-AGAIN list. We enjoyed cruising, and visiting new places. And this trip encompass both. As I heard one passenger said, "the worst day on a cruise still beats any day at home!" We whole-heartedly agree! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Just returned from 7 night cruise, visiting France, Italy & Spain. We are seasoned cruisers this being our 14th cruise, arrived in Barcelona after a flight from Bristol UK, taxi transfer to port, 30 euros. Checking in very quick ... Read More
Just returned from 7 night cruise, visiting France, Italy & Spain. We are seasoned cruisers this being our 14th cruise, arrived in Barcelona after a flight from Bristol UK, taxi transfer to port, 30 euros. Checking in very quick and easy, despite Celebrity not having a boarding card for me, all sorted in a matter of minutes. First impressions a nice clean ship, informed ship not full despite 200 passengers moving from the "Century" as she was now in dry dock. Booked a trip to Portofino, I later cancelled this trip as I had been advised we will not be taking a boat to Portofino, transfer was by road - full refund given. Booked an inside cabin, plenty of room and cabin steward very good, booked first sitting in the dining room, service was slow despite ship not full, food average not as good as P&O Azura that we sailed on in August. Dress code laid back, formal night mixture of black jacket, suites. One complaint tax/service charge - 15% tax + 8% spanish tax, paid $11 dollars for one small can of budweiser and one can of murphys - rip off, needless to say we drank less. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
First off, I would like to say that I selected Constellation because I was travelling with an 8 and 12 year old and had heard that this was a good option...More about that later. Embarkation was not glamorous, but was quick and ... Read More
First off, I would like to say that I selected Constellation because I was travelling with an 8 and 12 year old and had heard that this was a good option...More about that later. Embarkation was not glamorous, but was quick and efficient. We chose Celebrity over Crystal b/c we were told by a travel agent that they are better for families. Thus, we afforded ourselves the Royal Suite and still came out significantly better than Crystal's prices. The suite was well-appointed - B & O stereo, 2 large flat-screen TVs, nice woodwork, walk-in closet, nice marble bathroom with a large tub (bring a bungee cord for the bathroom door, tho - a design flaw - it slams all night long). Butler service was helpful and made a nice difference for us in terms of unpacking/ packing, although I will say that at first the butler told us that he could not help us with packing b/c he had too many other suites to help and when we were clearly disappointed and he still had rec'd his tip, I think he thought better of it and decided to help out. I was happy to have the Royal Suite and it worked out well for a family w/ 2 young kids..there was a nice dining area for bkfst room service. I checked out the regular rooms and those were light and bright and we would have been fine in those as well...but if I had to do it again, I would still go for the Royal. Food - San Marco feels like Red Lobster or something of that level. Iceberg lettuce, weak sauces, definitely not a gourmet experience, but passable. Ambiance was okay. We had a very lousy table at first in front of a kitchen entrance. I was surprised that having the Royal Suite gave us no better seating/reservation privileges in any of the dining facilities. Oceanliners IS indeed a fine dining experience, but we were only able to access it twice..would have gone more if we could have. Breakfast was fine everywhere and there were many choices, depending on how much time you wanted to spend. I was surprised that I was impressed by the ship's theater and entertainment. It definitely added to our evenings as we do not go to casinos or cigar bars...the other bars were WAY too smoky for our taste so we didn't go even though we go out to bars at home! Kids -my children had an amazing time. That said there were some issues - The pool is weak. There is NO service around the deck. Very self-serve. I found it sort of unpleasant to be there even though we were on a Caribbean cruise and spent outdoor time on the beaches in the ports. The kids' programs sound great on paper and they have a decent facility, but the staff were EXTREMELY UNWELCOMING, something I have never experienced before in any hotel program or camp. In fact, the people working in the kids program were less friendly than the staff anywhere else on the ship were to my kids, including security!! We heard this from several other families as well. Strangely, it seemed to work out fine for families with kids aged 4-ish, but not for those with kids ages 6-15. I was really shocked. My kids attempted to join in on various activities many times and finally just gave up. They are very out-going kids and have been to loads of similar programs without any problem. When I finally went to speak to the director about this, she asked me to cite all the examples and gave meager excuses and didn't really care much. Her staff looked at her like she was out of her mind hearing her response. You are really on your own. DO NOT count on this program as we had. Anyway, the kids still had lots to do. There is a basketball court and they seemed to love just exploring the ship. The Aquaspa - a well-equipped underutilized facility - the dancers and entertainers were there more than the guests. Massages were okay. They do not offer you a locker to shower which I found odd and unhygienic. I inquired and they said that most of their guests did not wish to shower and they washed their hands. Yuck!! Ports - We enjoyed a great evening show in the Dominican Republic. Grenada was not great - too many hagglers on the beach. I wanted to pay them to leave us alone. Barbados - we arranged to go to the Sandy Lane Hotel for the day. this was a great choice. We had seen the caves on a previous trip. the shopping in Barbados is a completely unattractive waste of time. (Speaking of which, I did not find the info. that I got from Celebrity's shopping consultant to be very accurate - He encouraged time spent shopping in Antigua and Barbados - the selection and quality in St. Thomas are far superior, so it was really a waste of time to do any shopping in the other areas, far better to enjoy the beaches/sights. San Juan - go to the Old City Be careful about excursions. On our parasailing trip we paid extra for a role of film taken by the crew. When we got home it was empty. So disappointing to the kids who wanted to remember the experience with photos. One diving excursion had a boat that was more like a bus. When I saw it, I just couldn't bring myself to get on it. I am happy to have a place to write a review. Celebrity is NOT interested in any feedback. I found that strange. They told me to write a letter and they would respond in three weeks?! All in all, we had a great time and enjoyed our first cruise. If you are a sophisticated traveler, you will often feel like a tacky tourist and foolish on a cruise. It is definitely travel for the masses. You will not have individual or unique experiences, but if you laugh at all of that you can still have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
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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