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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The tenors of rock performed on this cruise and brought the house down. We also had a FABulous comedian and Filharmonics! WOW! We also loved the 2 specialty restaurants Q-Sine and The Porch. Service was the best we have ever had by ... Read More
The tenors of rock performed on this cruise and brought the house down. We also had a FABulous comedian and Filharmonics! WOW! We also loved the 2 specialty restaurants Q-Sine and The Porch. Service was the best we have ever had by far! Shout out to our Cabin Attendant Secreste, The Porch Gani, and Opus Gary. We enjoyed our first time in Labadee and rented the Nellies cabana. The internet packages and BINGO are too high. The martini bar was my favorite. This ship is absolutely beautiful. All entertainment was great. Storage in the bathroom was great. Wish we had more drawer space. Ship was easy to learn. The lawn club was a nice extra. We loved the Sky lounge and the sunset bar. We had 3 very nice parties on the ship. 2 elegant chic nights. Disembarkation was a breeze. Arrival took a little longer. We would do a repeat performance for sure! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This was a maiden voyage for Celebrity for these destinations. The cruise started in Abu Dhabi with 2 days in Dubai, 4 sea days, New Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai, 2 sea days, Oman, Abu Dhabi. Dubai is a fascinating city with awesome ... Read More
This was a maiden voyage for Celebrity for these destinations. The cruise started in Abu Dhabi with 2 days in Dubai, 4 sea days, New Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai, 2 sea days, Oman, Abu Dhabi. Dubai is a fascinating city with awesome architecture. This would have been a five star review except for the port of New Mangalore which was a complete bust. We were told that this port will be removed from future cruises. At least Celebrity learned from this experience and, after all, it was a maiden voyage. I hope the person who arranged this port doesn't get fired. The ports of Goa and Bombay were OK but nothing special. We really needed longer times in both for a better experience. Hopefully dropping New Mangalore will provide an additional day in Bombay. We were unable to get into Oman because of high winds. Cudos to the captain for keeping us safe...no heroics. However, we then beelined for Abu Dhabi when most passengers would rather have taken a leisurely sail instead. We arrived early in the afternoon at the port of AD but were unable to disembark to explore, much to the chagrin of everyone. The Aqua Class balcony was great and Blu restaurant was excellent as usual. We also did the Chef's dinner for $120.00 which is our favorite activity and never disappoints. Room steward and waiters were spot on the entire cruise. Entertainment was excellent also. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I traveled with a group of friends through Pied Piper Travel. It was a very nice cruise, and I enjoyed the ship. I was upset that In Blu you are not given the option to sit with others. Although I understand that couples and friends ... Read More
I traveled with a group of friends through Pied Piper Travel. It was a very nice cruise, and I enjoyed the ship. I was upset that In Blu you are not given the option to sit with others. Although I understand that couples and friends prefer to sit alone or together as a group, a single person is excluded. And again, although the tables are very close together, one doesn't know if the folks next to you would like to converse or be left alone. A simple question posed by the hostess or host as to whether people would like to be seated with others or not is easily enough done. I ended up dining with friends a couple of nights in the main dining room simply because I did not want to dine alone in Blu. Otherwise, I enjoyed the cruise. One exception is that the bartenders seem to be slow in recognizing customers at their bars. At the martini bar, some of the bartenders are more interested in showing their "Cocktail" juggling skills than they are in serving their customers. When it's busy, their first concern should be making the drinks. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Having cruised only once before with Royal Caribbean, we tried Celebrity Solstice because the timing suited and the ship got great reviews - deservedly! We booked through Vacationstogo.com - they were excellent! We booked an inside ... Read More
Having cruised only once before with Royal Caribbean, we tried Celebrity Solstice because the timing suited and the ship got great reviews - deservedly! We booked through Vacationstogo.com - they were excellent! We booked an inside stateroom because we only sleep in the stateroom and this was true of this cruise too. There was too much to do elsewhere. The shows at night were excellent with a wide variety of sensational acts. Some nights we would have 2 courses to get to the 7pm show then have desert in the Cafe. Other nights we would have the complete meal in the Dinging Room then go to the 9pm show. The food in the main dining room Grand Epernay was well above standard and then we spent one evening at Murano. Murano would equal any 5 star restaurant. Particularly if you are lucky enough to get Ibraham as your waiter. We selected fixed time dining on a table of 6 people so met 2 other couples and got on so well, we looked forward to dinner each evening (I hope they did too). This is not a ship to get bored in. There is everything from the well-stocked library across two levels to a range of bands and singers during the evening and night at various locations across the ship to guided behind-the-scenes tours of various aspects the ship to dancing and shows. There is also the specialty Corning Museum of Glass exhibitions of glass blowing daily which is absolutely fascinating to see. We did not book the ship's shore excursions preferring smaller more intimate tours we booked ourselves so can't comment on these. As members of Cruise Critic, we attended a morning tea hosted by the ship and attended by some of the senior crew where we had the chance to meet some really interesting Cruise Critic members and formed friendships from day 1. I would highly recommend the Celebrity Solstice. There were 2 staff members who were particularly good - Deborah from Guest Services and Ibraham from Murano. Celebrity should be extremely proud to have these staff. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Background-Single traveler 22 cruises on Celebrity, Elite Plus, 1 each on Cunard, Holland America, & NCL. Embarkation was smooth as silk, boarded the ship 40 minutes after arrival at the port in Civitavecchia, did two nights ... Read More
Background-Single traveler 22 cruises on Celebrity, Elite Plus, 1 each on Cunard, Holland America, & NCL. Embarkation was smooth as silk, boarded the ship 40 minutes after arrival at the port in Civitavecchia, did two nights beforehand in Civitavecchia at the Hotel San Giorgio (Nice **** service) Offship Facilities-I was happy to see Celebrity/RCCL putting more resources into some of the off ship facilities. After seeing the changes in several ports and then discussion with some of the senior officers, they confirmed that the company is upgrading its port facilities. Choice Air seems to improve in quality/selection each year. Shipboard excursions have improved drastically from the old spin around the city in a bus, to a more comprehensive list of activities to fit in with most lifestyles and budgets. They also seem to exhibit a much more obvious presence with their representatives at airports then I’ve seen in the past. My suggestion-promote Choice Air more than they do especially for open/multi leg cruises. My experience has been most people don’t know about it, or the arrival guarantees, and potential cost savings that can come with it. Ports-All were beautiful, but really enjoyed Nice the most. We also visited Marseilles, Barcelona and Tenerife. Nice is a wonderful walking city, and our weather that day was beautiful. Barcelona gorgeous as well, but weather there wasn’t as kind. Even though we had an overnight stay in Barcelona, the shuttle buses stopped running at 8:30PM, I thought they could of at least ran them till midnight as the taxis from Las Ramblas were pricey. In that regard felt bad for the crew as some of the dining room staff didn’t get out till 10 or 11 pm and without any shuttle buses running it didn’t really give them the chance to at least get a few hours in such a lively fun city. I do wish though that in regards to the ports, it was more consistent for port transportation. Some of the ports transportation to the city is free, other ports you pay for each time you ride a bus, other ports you pay for a daily pass. Some you pay in Euro’s, some you pay in dollars, or on your Sea Pass. Just wish it was uniform one way or another. My suggestion- offer a fixed price port transportation pass, charge $25, stamped on your sea pass like a beverage package, and you get the convenience of no paper tickets, and you’re set for whole trip. Ship itself- In a word stunning. Love that Celebrity is a learning organization, and took the best characteristics of the previous vessels and rolled them into this one. It has a much smarter use of space, without a lot of dead spots. Speaking of dead spots the internet wasn't one of them, since we had a strong signal all 15 nights and 16 days. Also liked that with Reflection they seem to be trying new things rather than just resting on a completed project. New options on dining and entertainment are currently being tried while others are on the drawing board. I think they said used to have 7 production shows, now they have more than double that. There are new items being introduced on the menus currently, and I had heard that the menus of Qsine and Murano are next to be trying some some new additions Although not a fan of Sushi myself, was happy to see the concept “Sushi on 5” introduced. The Bistro although a prime location was certainly not well visited venue before, so was glad to see them trying new ideas. My feeling is the Sushi concept will generate more interest than the Bistro ever did for certain demographic markets onboard. Activities- Excellent activities staff. Maarten the Cruise Director and Liam the Activities manager were superb at their craft, and you could tell they genuinely love what they do. They literally are running from one event to another especially during the sea days. My only criticism is they really have slashed the activity staff too thin. With 3100 passengers it just seems they need to have more than 1 cruise director, 1 activity manager and one additional cruise staff member onboard. They did have a two DJ’s on as well (just temporary), but too little staff for the work involved. Those three worked their tails off to make every event a success. Entertainment-It was better than on previous cruises, and they gave the audience what they wanted in most cases. We had two performances of Tenors of Rock, which exceeded any expectations I had. Where I think they really excelled was when they took the dancers and singers OUT of the theatre in put them in smaller venues. The shadow dancing at the martini bar was fun and fresh, having the singers in the lobby and at Celebrity Central in different musical genres was a nice fun musical surprise. I especially liked the Disco night tributes, as well as the mermaids and mermen poolside at the indoor pool. I also really enjoyed it when they upped the entertainment from a G rated format to a PG. They did a great job with “The Tonight Show” and “Liars Club” as two examples where it was a little naughty fun. Also it was clearly stated in program and before the show that it would contain some adult content, just in case that wasn’t your cup of tea. Was so glad to see new ideas, and shows being done in house, and that Celebrity is constantly testing new ideas on individual ships then rolling them out to the fleet once they are proven winners with the passengers. MDR- Some improvements on the menu, but it needs refreshing. Still good but not great. Great hard working and smiling waiter and assistant waiter, but they do seemed taxed in the amount of people they need to serve and getting things out in a timely manner. Some nights you could have 5-10 minutes between course other nights a half hour. It seems like the waiters would line up to pick up food, rather than a smooth transition, and this created delays between the courses. I did find the management in the MDR superb and responsive, but they are working with a short staff, and I think that more than anything hinders the operation. We noticed this same pattern on our last cruise on Solstice, while the specialty dining venues seems well staffed, the MDR seems to be always short a few extra set of hands. One thing I would suggest to other passengers, if you’re on the fence about trying the specialty dining, speak to the maître d' or assistant maître d' in the MDR to help facilitate your reservation. On more than one voyage they were able to get us a discount of between 30-50-% in the specialty dining venues just by being flexible on our day/time of reservation. I can honestly say, I’ve never had a sub-par meal in ANY of the specialty dining venues on ANY of the Celebrity ships. All the meals have been more than worth the surcharge that I paid. My suggestion-Celebrity should offer a pre-sale 3 for $99 specialty dining package on all ships. Right now the pre cruise specialty dining packages are oddly set up, with you having to preselect dates times venues in advance (and must select different venues), and the selection process doesn’t make common or economic sense in most cases. Generally dates and times offered are fixed hours and when you get onboard you find you can realistically change it to fit any dining schedule. Simplify it offer a package of 3 with the flexibility to choose your option once onboard Murano-Service extraordinary, great attention to detail, and presentation reminded me of a Michelin dining experience. The menu could use a little tweaking maybe add or try a new dish or two. Some of the dishes were pure classic gastronomic delights such as the châteaubriand , herb crusted rack of lamb, while others like the Dover sole véronique or Loup De Mer didn’t really seem to stand out from the pack. Although in my opinion they made up for any minor disappointments with the attention to detail and some of the delights of the other courses. Must tries were Creamy Maine Lobster Bisque, Young Spinach & Frisée Salad, and my absolute favorite the Chocolate and Grand Marnier Soufflé Luminae-In a word, Stellar. I loved the intimacy of dining in Luminae. Every night was a warm inviting experience where you feel like you had dined there for years, and the staff treated you as an honored member of the family. Every detail of Luminae is well thought through from the basic design elements (cutlery, china, and table decoration), to the lobby design, the doors, and the layout of the table themselves. Really enjoy the menu design. It’s more abbreviated than the MDR, but the choices and portions are fresh and creative rather than just recycling dishes from the other venues. Michaels Club-Nice place to stopover, great for help or advice. Just has that feel of a nice clubhouse without the stuffiness. The biggest asset in the Michaels’s club concierge. On more than one occasion I went there looking for advice. Who do I talk to about changing an alcove reservation? Any idea where the closest place on Las Ramblas to change currency? Any suggestions on ceramic art studios in Tenerife? All three cases, Michael’s club wonderful concierge had the answers. Lawn Club-Hands down it’s my favorite dining experience onboard. Something about sitting under the stars, the smell of a grill and the hint of a grassy perfume nearby is enchanting. I love seeing my food being prepared and the chefs putting together dishes that are great to look at and more importantly great to enjoy. Unlike many of the venues aboard, I think the simplicity of presentation at lawn club is a smart choice. The emphasis is on the meat, the seafood and the side dishes, rather than colored palettes of designer sauces, herbs, and flowery rosettes of vegetables. It works one hundred percent. Having tried just about everything on the menu, it’s a hard to pick one or two standouts. Every steak, shrimp, or piece of lamb I tried was succulent. Especially loved the side dishes as well, served in single portion ramekins. Lobster Mac N Cheese, Sweet n Spicy creamed corn were exceptional and save room for the carrot cake or the AWESOME chocolate chip cooking served hot with ice cream. DON’T MISS IT! One other nice thing they did with lawn club were lunches. Simplified and redid the offerings. Some of the greatest burgers you’ll ever taste ($10 surcharge). Beef was top grade, so was the presentation. I gave it am 8.5/10. Salad bar also included with the fee. My only complaint was that the fries were a bit soggy. I mentioned that to the F&B manager Clint, and he explained the trouble they had was they didn’t have a deep fryer at lawn club, but he was actively working to come up a solution so to offer top rate fries to go along with the awesome burger. I have no doubt they will. Tuscan Grille- Was honored to dine with the Captain on the 2nd or 3rd night in Tuscan, and again at a luncheon a few days before the end of the cruise . Obviously the company was great, and so was the food. First of all the views from Tuscan are awe inspiring having the sweeping aft views of the ships. The position and design of this restaurant just has a great feel to it. Tuscan to me anyway seems more wide open than any of the dining venues, with generous spacing between tables. First up were the starters, a generous selection of fontina, gorgonzola, prosciutto, soppressata, and marinated olives to name a few. I followed that with the house meatballs which were kind of dry, I do miss the kobe meatballs they used to have on the menu. These were good, but not great. Our table of 7 had different dishes with beef seeming to be receiving the most succulent reviews, especially the dry aged porterhouse, and the filet, which I thought were close to the quality you might expect at Morton’s or Ruth Chris. Swordfish was a big favorite as well. Cabin-Was in a C2 cabin. Lots of storage between the two large over the bed compartments, the closet and the 4 drawers in the central desk/storage console, plus a little more on the nightstands and the vanity in the bathroom. It’s a very well maintained ship after 4 years of use. I always look at the tile grout in the bathroom, caulking, seals on the balcony door, and the condition of the furniture and wood railing on the balcony and the bedding and linens, and no complaints about any of it. Minor thing for me were the pillows were flat, but easily remedied as my stateroom attendant Vigor, brought me a memory foam pillow, and then it fantastic. Also the mattress on the bed was reaaaallly comfortable, a friend told me later that Reflection has Celebrity eXhale bedding (linens and mattresses), it was like night and day compared to other cruises I’ve been on , this was so much a richer indulging experience in sleeping. Since I don’t drink alcohol the first day I asked that mini-bar be cleaned out, which was done by dinner time, and I stocked it with my beverage of choice (Pepsi). Stateroom service was truly top rate. Sent laundry out twice and both times returned within 16 hours using normal service. I love the elite plus perk of some free laundry tickets, dry cleaning, etc, and definitely take advantage of them to even leave the ship with clean laundry. At least 3 or 4 times during the cruise I saw the housekeeping manager for our floor who checked in and she asked if we needed any assistance with anything. We didn’t but certainly was nice being asked. My suggestion-Get rid of concierge class canapes. They used to be a nice selection of hors d'oeuvre with a good mixture of textures and flavors, but I’m sure because of economics now they have been whittled down to a few olives, some type of spread, and a few crackers. Was happy to hear also that Celebrity is testing a program to do away with all the Captain Club coupons for laundry, drinks, etc, and just build those perks right into your online account. I think it’s a great idea since half the time I seem to misplace the coupons. Art on board Celebrity- One thing I really enjoy on Celebrity is their art collection. It’s an eclectic mix of different mediums, and types. Some going back to the Chandris Family days while others are new pieces. I spend one day at sea just going up and down the 15 decks of the front and rear staircases and alcoves, and the lobby admiring and learning about the different pieces. Some I said WOW that’s amazing while others like the spray painted set of gold mini blinds I said to myself what in gods earth is that thing. Like anything though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the vast majority of the collection is magnificent, and worth the look around at it. Alcoves-Reflection is one of the three Celebrity ships (Silhouette and Solstice being the other two) to offer “The Alcoves”. Alcoves are located on deck 15 aft and on Reflection they number 10 in total. They have comfortable seating for four or five and are rentable by the day (from 9AM-9PM). I think they run $99 a day for port days and a bit more on sea days. We had made arrangements to reserve one for the last four days of our voyage (all sea days). The alcoves open up to the lawn facing inward, and the outside of them allow privacy from the deck pathway. They have a retractable roof to allow your choice of sun or shade, and have a handy direct telephone to your alcove butler. They come with a daily tray of cheeses and fruit and several bottles of cold water. They also offer the use of an IPAD. To me the alcove was the perfect place to read and relax. Several of my friends onboard would drop in during the day, so we made it a shared experience. One day we had rain, so went up in the morning and cancelled it for the day and rescheduled it for a different day. One suggestion for the Alcoves is reserve early, as some voyages the alcoves are pre-booked months in advance. You can reserve them under the dining options on the Celebrity website or by telephone through your TA or Celebrity Other Onboard Facilities • Future Cruise Sales-I was very impressed on how Celebrity has really stepped up the other facilities onboard. The future Cruise Sales office is now located on deck 4 is now a real inviting space, and offer some good values. In my experience in the past it never really offered any better deals than I could find online, now I find it does. It is well manned every day, and the manager and agents really work to get you some great values. For example one helped me get the same deal for a friend in the UK even though he wasn’t onboard. We were able to get the same perks and upgrades for him as if he was booking onboard. • Captains Club Desk-Very helpful and again well manned station. Was glad to see them at their own location rather than just adjoining guest relations. They had their hands full this cruise as I heard they had 1500+ elite and elite + on board. • Spa-Found Canyon Ranch a welcome addition. Did try an 80 minute deep tissue massage and it superb. Previously using the old spa services, I would have given them average at best. This time though, I didn’t have to listen to a spiel about buying products that I’ll never use. The massage was done with hands, not just elbows, and she knew 100% about trigger points and using the massage to get me the best benefit. Pricey for a massage at $225 for an 80 minute on a sea day, but was able to negotiate down to $177. • Gym-As you might expect top rate. Equipment is new and maintained and best views you’ll find in a gym anywhere. They have personal training as well as a good variety of group training (spin classes, pilates, walks. My understanding was the PT sessions run about $80/hr for a one on one, substantially less for any of the group classes • Casino-Like any casino, great place to go if you want to leave with less money than what you came in with, but at least here it’s friendly • Buffet-didn’t really try it other than a breakfast or two, a salad or two, and a daily ice cream, but it was always clean and tidy, and well watched over by the F&B managers • Decorations-As we were on for Halloween, a brilliant display of all hallows decorations were masterfully and artistically created on the main staircase and in front of guest relations. It’s hard to put into words how much of a masterpiece it was, hats off to whoever conceptualized and the created the idea, as was really in awe of the creativity and detail of it. • Announcements and the Daily-PA Announcements are kept to a minimum, except for Captain’s daily update at 10AM. They tended to run ships drills for crew on port days, so as not to really interfere with passengers coming and going. My Suggestion-You should try and say thank you in person and use the Attention to Detail cards and mention outstanding staff members by name when you see senior officers. I always follow up when I arrive home and send a letter or email to Celebrity (yes, some people still write letters), of any standout performers of the team onboard. Debarkation-Miami was a mess for debarkation. Ship arrived about 3 or 4 AM, but really didn’t start moving guests till about 9AM. Quite a few announcements kept us in the loop that the terminal was backed up, and invited us to stay onboard rather than stand in line at the port. Once inside the terminal things moved slowly, luggage was spread over a large area, so many folks complaining. There was only one small bottleneck exit from the cruise terminal, so it was extremely congested even outside. Summary-All in all, it was a top rated performance by Celebrity. They gave me what I was looking for R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N, treated me like an honored guest, always with a smile on their faces . They provided extremely good value for every dollar spent. I already miss the “Mr John, do you need help with anything” , and the attention to small details that they provided. In a few small cases where I found a small problem, they did everything in their power to correct it immediately. To me that is Modern Luxury. My Hats off to Captain Bouzakis , Hotel Director Niyazi Kormaz, F&B Manager Clint Kelu, GRM Julie Sherrington, Cruise Director Maarten Breuls, and Activities manager Liam Ryan who made this a spectacular holiday rather an just another cruise. I hope to sail with each one again. They genuinely share a love and pride for what they do, that coupled with an excellent teamwork skillset so even with our 9+ sea days, their combined effort and enthusiasm made this voyage appear seamless. Atmosphere-Always makes me feel fantastic to see such a multinational group of people getting along so well. We had 73 different nationalities onboard between staff and guests. There was everyone from a man from Tibet, to a group of friends from Norway, South Africans, Indonesians, Phillipinos, Belgians, Egyptians, Israelis, Vietnamese, English, Irish, Kiwis from New Zealand, Germans, Chinese, Croats, Russians, Ukrainians, it was a regular United Nations…… and closer to home Canadians and even a family that lived 25 miles from my house in New York. Literally it’s such a small world. It truly fascinates me to embrace our differences and share the commonalities with fellow guests and the onboard team, to me anyway it’s one of the true pleasures of cruise life. One additional note- As we arrived into the port of Miami on November 5th. We were boarded by the USPHS (US Public Health Service) team and the ship was subjected to a unannounced POSI (Periodic Operational Sanitation Inspections). This was done immediately upon pulling into port, and the crew had essentially been at sea for almost 10 days straight. Not surprisingly the team onboard Reflection scored a perfect 100% on their inspection. As we used to say in the Navy, Bravo Zulu (congratulations) to the men and women onboard Reflection for this well-earned perfect score. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
A group of our BFFs decided to cruise together. Greek Isles was the consensus destination. Celebrity had the best itinerary for our chosen cruise dates. My partner and I were mildly apprehensive as we prefer small ship experience and, ... Read More
A group of our BFFs decided to cruise together. Greek Isles was the consensus destination. Celebrity had the best itinerary for our chosen cruise dates. My partner and I were mildly apprehensive as we prefer small ship experience and, we did not expect high level of service on a 3,000 passenger ship. We're we ever surprised! Although the ship was huge and the cruise sold out, it never felt crowded. Even on sea days. We were in a Royal Suite (suite 1607) and had our own dining room. We never ate in the main dining room so I cannot speak to crowds in main dining room. The suite experience on Celebrity was the best we've ever experienced. The royal suite was very large (590 SF) with 2 bathrooms and a large veranda with a hot tub! The suite level included a premium beverage package, free dining at all specialty restaurants (more later on restaurants), 2 complementary bottles of spirits (vodka, gin and/or scotch), 300 ship board credit and pre-paid gratuities. And the best butler in the known universe, Izzy Young, who catered to our every need. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. FYI we are not new to cruising and have cruised on Oceania, princess (yuck!), Carnival (double yuck) and crystal. None compared to our celebrity royal suite experience. The restaurants were great! Don't miss Quisine for a fanciful, fun dining experience. Lawn club grill and murano were very good. We loved the front porch for lunchtime and sushi on 5 was fantastic. Luminae, the suite dining room was acceptable. Food was very good but service uneven. The suite cocktail lounge, michael's club, was great and served us as a rally point for our 10 person group. The bartender, elyesta, knew our names and served up our preferred drinks when we appeared. She also served up many laughs for us with her delightful sense of humor. The itinerary was excellent - Sicily, mynokos, Athens, kusadasi, Rhodes, santorini and Naples. we do not usually opt for ship sponsored shore excursions and plan independent private tours but decided to try a ship sponsored excursion on santorini. The tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable. Akrotiri is not to be missed. Getting on/off ship never took more than a few minutes - a surprise on this large ship. The staff was uniformly gracious and charming. Always smiling and greeting you with friendliness. The gym was good! Entertainment was OK. Would we cruise celebrity again? You bet we would! But we would select the suite experience. It was almost too good to be true. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We choose this cruise because after much research it came up as an exceptional choice. We wanted to leisurely cruise, with a quality liner, with all the trimmings. The destinations were important also, as we had never travelled to this ... Read More
We choose this cruise because after much research it came up as an exceptional choice. We wanted to leisurely cruise, with a quality liner, with all the trimmings. The destinations were important also, as we had never travelled to this area. The ship, the service, the activities, the exquisite food, the logistical organisation, and the facilities were absolutely outstanding, and we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. We definitely would quite easily do it again, and we definitely recommend this particular cruise/liner to our family and friends. The whole cruise was a delightful adventure. There were some minor delays, getting on and off the ship, and waiting to speak to someone at the service desk, but this was acceptable, as it was meticulously organised. There were many areas on the ship to get away to a quiet atmosphere, and that was really refreshing, The communication on the ship, before after and during was fantastic. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our very first ever cruise and overall, we really enjoyed it. My partner and I booked this cruise to celebrate my partner being promoted in his career after several years of being on a long and arduous training course. We had been ... Read More
This was our very first ever cruise and overall, we really enjoyed it. My partner and I booked this cruise to celebrate my partner being promoted in his career after several years of being on a long and arduous training course. We had been recommended to do a Celebrity cruise a few years ago and my parents and sister recently went on a P&O cruise and were raving about how much they enjoyed it, plus, we couldn't decide on a holiday destination this year. Hence, why we decided that we should do a cruise holiday as we could visit many places, experience many different cultures whilst enjoying the excellent facilities that cruising has to offer. As a younger gay couple in our late twenties, we were worried that being on a cruise would not be our thing as we had read many reviews on here about how the Celebrity Constellation was mainly full of older citizens and with activities more suited to those of that of an older age group. However, this couldn't be more far removed from the truth. We found many people from all different age ranges and we felt quite at ease with being on the ship. The original concern may be true if you go outside of the school holidays but we didn't find this with us going in August. At the same time, you don't need to worry about there being lots of children on-board with going in the middle of August. Part of the reason we booked the cruise with Celebrity was because we wanted to have a holiday with as few children around as possible. We thought many children/families that would do cruising, would go with Celebrity's sister company, Royal Caribbean. This was true. Don't get me wrong, there were families with small children on-board but most families had teenage children. Additionally, the Celebrity Constellation is a gay friendly ship and there were several events that the ship arranged that the LGBT community could attend. Many of the guests too that were on-board the ship were well travelled and were fairly open minded and so being a gay couple did not phase them and we became good friends with several couples. We set sail from Rome (Civitavecchia) which meant we had to fly out to Rome. Transfers and everything was already sorted out before and this was well organised and there was no fuss. At the airport, Celebrity representatives were there ready to assist to your need and were very friendly and supportive. If I was to be picky about anything, it would have been nice if Celebrity themselves collected the luggage for us at the airport and then delivered it straight to our rooms on-board the ship. There were several times where we had to collect/drop our bags, on/off the coach and deposit them before embarking the ship, which wasn’t a problem really. However, with this being Celebrity and them advertising that they want to make you feel like a celebrity, I thought that the company really missed a trick here. Furthermore, I was disappointed that they didn’t do this as I knew that when my parents and my sister and her husband went on their cruise with P&O, they dropped off their bags at check-in at the airport in England and the next time they were reunited with them was in their cabins. However, as I said, this is only a minor, picky point. Otherwise, embarkation went smoothly and without a hitch. When we first arrived on the ship, we were quite pleased to see that it wasn’t as dilapidated as many reviewers had made it out to be. It was lovely and clean and everything had its place. Both my partner and I were quite a gasp at how wonderful and beautiful it was inside. We were very impressed. We were greeted with champagne and other refreshments and it all had a lovely atmosphere to it, one that still resonates with me today as it was so welcoming. Due to our room being cleaned, we could not go into our cabin straightaway. Nevertheless, because we had travelled for about 12 hours and because it was nearing lunchtime, we decided to go and have something to eat at the buffet. Because we had heard about the fantastic pizza on-board, our instinct was to try that first. It wasn’t the greatest pizza I have had but it was by no means the worst. We were both expecting a lot worse in actual fact considering that it was a buffet. We then continued to see what other delights the buffet had to offer. We weren’t holding our breath but we were both pleasantly astounded by the variety of types of food that they offered and at how good it tasted. There was everything from fish to meats (cold and hot), cheeses, pasta, Chinese food, curry, sushi, just lots of food. It was a sight for the eyes! On most days, we enjoyed the food from the buffet and we tended to have our late lunches in there and most dishes were scrumptious. What was really good about it too was that each day, when we stopped at a different port of call, there would be a stand which served delicacies from that region/country and we both enjoyed this touch as the main dining room (San Marco) did not offer this opportunity. After our lunch, we proceeded to our cabin. We opted for an Oceanview Stateroom and we weren’t disappointed as our cabin had a massive port-hole that was practically floor to ceiling in height. This was a lovely touch as I was expecting quite a small window. However, we were situated in one of the cabins towards to the aft of the ship that had been converted from social space in the last overhaul. I’m aware that not all Oceanview staterooms are like this and so some research is needed if you wish for a cabin with a similar window. The cabin itself was quite spacious and a lot bigger than we were expecting, with plenty of storage facilities. We were both quite impressed at how much storage Celebrity had managed to work in. There was even room for your traditional safe and mini-bar fridge with additional storage space above them! The bathroom was small considering at how big the rest of the room was but even then, Celebrity managed to incorporate lots of storage solutions into the bathroom so it never felt tiny or ‘full of stuff’. Again, many people complained that the shower cubicle was too small but we didn’t find this. I am quite a big guy but I managed to fit in there perfectly with ample room to move about. I would say that it was roughly the same size as most UK showers. Shower pressure was good even when the ship was stationary but the water seemed a little ‘too’ treated and made my skin feel unnaturally smooth and shiny. Nevertheless, the best part of our cabin was the bed. Originally, I was concerned as we were told that the bed was a Queen’s size, which is just a bit larger than a single bed in Britain. However, I completely forgot, American ship, American sizes. Hence, the bed was much larger than I had anticipated and was in fact bigger than my King size bed at home. I had so much room in the bed that I couldn’t tap my partner on the shoulder goodnight, even with my arm stretched out. It was divine! What made it even better though was the fact that the bed was the most perfect bed we had both ever slept on. I cannot begin to describe how comfy the bed was. It was firm but squish-able, soft but supportive. It was just amazing! We liked the mattress so much that after the cruise we tried to buy one as we knew you could buy them but to no avail as they’re only available in America. To top it all off, we were greeted with an excellent turn-down service every night with chocolates on our pillows. Dining on the ship was excellent! We never had a bad meal on the ship, whether that was in the main dining room, The Grill by the pool deck, the speciality restaurants or the buffets. All over exceeded our expectations. We ate in the main dinning room most evenings and I can only compare the food to meals served in gastro pubs back in Britain. Very tasty, great flavours, well prepared and fantastic presentation. Every evening the menu changed and there was always something that everyone could have, whether you were a vegetarian, a vegan or even someone who was gluten intolerant. However, there was a part of the menu which remained the same each day and had many classics on there like French Onion Soup, and Grilled New York Sirloin Steak. Hence, there were safe options if you didn’t particularly enjoy that evenings selection. Portion sizes were a bit on the small side but this wasn’t a problem as we generally asked for more and over the course of the holiday, our waiter, Savio, would know exactly how much to bring out to us. Only negative about the main dining room was at breakfast time when a different waiter tried to sit us on a table for six even though we requested a table for two. He said that we could not make that request in the mornings as tables were reserved, which we knew was a lie as we had most of our breakfasts in the main dining room. We did say to the waiter about this and he said that was not true, to which we replied that we didn’t wish to eat there that morning, and we walked off. Luckily, Savio walked past us and questioned why we were going so quickly, when we explained the situation, Savio sorted out the problem for us and sat us on a table for two and couldn’t apologise enough for the rudeness of his colleague. We did go and eat in Ocean Liners (a speciality restaurant) one evening and were very happy with the service and food. We both had the chateaubriand which was exquisitely cooked and so tender that it just melted away in your mouth. My partner and I both agreed that it was a fabulous experience and we’d do it again but at the same time, we didn’t feel that we were missing out on anything either as the food was just as good in the main dining room. The only difference really was that you can tell that Celebrity had thought about the more minor touches that can really bring out the difference, like the presentation of the butter in different shapes, how drinks were presented and how your food was served to you by the waiter. Service on the ship was very good overall. The main dining room, buffet, house cleaning and bar staff were excellent and I could not fault them. They were always very happy to help, friendly and really took their time to get to know you, your tastes and just made you feel like a CELEBRITY! As I’ve said, our Head Waiter, Savio, was excellent and knew exactly what we liked (and how much of it). He really took care of us. Our drinks lady was fantastic at suggesting different cocktails that we would like to try and we built such a great rapport with her too. Our sommelier (Richard) too was very friendly and could pin-point exactly each night what I would like to drink and when. Our other waiter, Alex, was just as good and we really had a good laugh with them all. They are all a credit to the ship and the company and should be given extra special credit. They all went out of their way to keep us feeling like celebrities. Our room/cleaning staff were just as exceptional. I’m a bit of clean freak and so I would check if under the beds had been cleaned and new linen placed on the bed for example. Everything was perfect! Not a dirty mark in sight! Point for improvement though, it would have been nice if the outside of the port-hole would have been cleaned at least once on our journey as after each voyage, there was a greater build-up of sea salt on the window, which was making it harder to see out of towards the end of our cruise. However, this is probably not a house keeping staff chore. Nevertheless, our room attendant Winston was also phenomenal at making us feel like a celebrity. He knew that I didn’t like dark chocolate and so he would go out of his way every day to make sure I had milk chocolate on my pillows instead. He was also very polite and would always greet us with a happy smiley face if we ever saw him on the corridors. However, there were two negative points that we both felt quite disgruntled with in regards to the service. First being one of the photographers. On the more formal evening, we asked a photographer (can’t remember his name) if he could take our photo. In a rude manner, he turned around to us and said that he was closing at 10pm and so couldn’t do another shoot. My partner then replied back to him saying that it was only 9:30pm to which the photographer snapped, I’M CLOSED! This really spoilt our holiday and made us feel quite angry. On another occasion, we proceeded again to approach this fellow to ask to take our photo, thinking he was having a bad day, to which he completely blanked us. This made our blood boil and we made a formal complaint about him when the cruise survey came around. The other negative was that I had planned to get engaged on-board the ship as we were sailing in to Venice. Several days before I made the proposal, I asked Guest Relations if they could do anything for me to make the moment memorable and special. I had asked if me and my partner could go on the helipad briefly so that I could do the engagement at the front of the ship. At the start of the cruise, I had seen some other guests on there, having a tour around, hence why I didn’t think it would be too much of a problem. The reply I got was not very helpful. I was told that due to health and safety, they couldn’t do this, even though I had told her about seeing others on the helipad previously. I then proceeded to ask her if it was possible to hire out a couple of the musicians to come and play out on the top deck towards the aft of the ship. I said that I was more than willing to pay for them. Again, her reply was that she couldn’t do this. Therefore, I replied to her, what could she/the company do to make this a memorable experience. Her reply was that I could go towards the back of the ship, on the top deck and do it there. Again, I repeated if there was anything else they could to add to that experience to which she replied, no. To say I wasn’t very impressed was an understatement and so if you’re thinking of doing something extra special for a loved one, or planning a special surprise, don’t do it with Celebrity as they didn’t make me or the occasion feel as special as it could be. There was lots of entertainment and activities to do throughout the duration of the cruise and we didn’t get bored. You could get as involved or as little involved as you wanted and their very helpful Celebrity Daily magazine, let you keep up-to-date of the different activities that you could do during the following day. I think it would have been fantastic if the Constellation had a cinema on the ship like they do on P&O and Princess. Like this, I could have caught up on some good movies. They did hold open air cinema nights but one of them was cancelled due to poor weather and the other was of Jungle Book, which I wasn’t fussed about seeing. Shows that were put on by house staff were quite bizarre and were not up to the ‘Broadway standard’. Costumes, lighting, backdrops, acrobatic aerialists were all very good, but the singers were mediocre with only one fabulous female singer. Dancers were sometimes out of time and lacked sharpness and precision, which I thought was disappointing, considering Celebrity touted their shows as being of a ‘Broadway standard’. I was expecting dancers with the professionalism of Strictly Come Dancing but instead was given something very different. However, the shows were passable and were good at a basic level of entertainment value. We didn’t do any shore excursions with them. We did have one booked with them before the cruise, which was to go up to Mount Etna and experience the craters but this was cancelled two months before the cruise with no reason given. We did try and book another one whilst on the cruise that appeared quite similar to the one we originally booked but we refused to pay the price of $370pp when originally, the itinerary we booked would have only cost us $150pp. Nevertheless, there were lots of lovely excursions that you could have booked whilst on the ship so long as you were willing to part with a hefty lump sum of money. My best advice on getting good value for money and going to see some fantastic places is doing some research before you leave on your ports of call so that you know what it is that you want to see and how you are going to get there. It does take a bit of time planning it beforehand but it makes such a difference when you’re actually on holiday as it makes it stress free and doesn’t waste any of your precious holiday time. Additionally, Celebrity were very good at providing shuttle coaches (at a small fee) if ports were quite a distance from the main city and I would recommend these and they are well organised with very little wait time. In summary, overall a very good cruise with very good staff, a beautiful ship with luscious interiors, food and beverages, with some fantastic ports of call. Apart from those irritating moments which I mentioned previously, it was lovely relaxing holiday that we both thoroughly enjoyed and were quite upset when it all came to an end. I would definitely recommend Celebrity to anyone, even with those negatives as generally, the experience proved a relaxing and re-energising holiday where most of your needs are met and you are mostly made to feel like a celebrity. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise was a charter cruise, chartered by Atlantis Events and was an all gay cruise. Cabin service I did 13 "normal" cruises and 12 gay cruises, but this was the first time that I was very disappointed of the service ... Read More
This cruise was a charter cruise, chartered by Atlantis Events and was an all gay cruise. Cabin service I did 13 "normal" cruises and 12 gay cruises, but this was the first time that I was very disappointed of the service of the cabin steward (female)! We had cabin nr, 8102 and this cruise was supposed to be our honeymoon cruise. During our acquaintance I told the steward that I only need ice in the evening. The first evening I had ice, but not at the second evening. After asking for use at het assistant, I got my ice. Next day, again no ice and I decided from that moment to take ice from the ice machine upstairs. The 8th day when I entered my cabin at approx. 6pm, I notice that the cabin was not cleaned. During the call the cabin steward said that when she wants to clean the room there was still someone in the cabin and then she had her break. The 9th day I entered the room at 3 pm and again the room was not cleaned!! In both cases there was no one in the cabin for hours, so I think she was very lazy or had problems with gays or had problem with my dark colour! Food: The breakfast and lunch buffet were fantastic! The menu of the restaurant was the first week excellent, but the last 3 days very poor! The first week it was difficult to choose because all looked delicious. The last 3 days the choice was difficult again, but this time to find something we liked!! We don't know if this was the result of the charter?! Pool service Was sometimes below the service you can expect from a Celebrity ship! The reason was simple: we had a non alcoholic package and the waiter "earned" nothing extra! So for other guests they were very friendly, but for us NO! Coffee bar Il Bacio The service was perfect!! LAST REMARK: DON'T BOOK A CABIN IN FRONT OF THE SHIP, YOU WILL BE CRAZY OF THE NOISE OF THE ANCHOR AND PARKING AT THE QUAI!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Guest Relations >> The first 3 days of the trip were miserable. The assigned room smelled like an ashtray. We spoke to Guest Relations, who confirmed that all rooms were non-smoking. We asked for another room, but were informed that ... Read More
Guest Relations >> The first 3 days of the trip were miserable. The assigned room smelled like an ashtray. We spoke to Guest Relations, who confirmed that all rooms were non-smoking. We asked for another room, but were informed that the cruise was sold out & that no other options were available - which we later found out not to be the case. She supposedly notified housekeeping to do a super clean on the assigned room. After 4 hours & a wasted afternoon, we went back to the room & found that nothing had been done. We also noticed that the room refrigerator was warm & sweating - suggesting that the room steward had left it open when servicing the room between cruises. So we went back, who then had the head of housekeeping come to the room. Even he agreed that the room smelled like smoke. So we went back to Guest Relations and were only able to get another room after talking to the company that had booked the entire cruise ship. was argumentative and rude. Later in the cruise, we had a 3rd interaction with her that was more of the same. I think that she needs to find another line of work. Bar service >> Our first 2 experiences with the bar service on the 1st day of the cruise were unacceptable. In both cases, the bartender had trouble processing a simple drink order. The machine did not work or the machine was out of paper - on the first day of a cruise. Both instances necessitated a manager to help out. Later that week, at the Martini Bar, the bartender prepared and served drinks after handling the trash can without washing his hands, instead only wiping his hands with a napkin. GastroPub >> on Thursday, Aug 19th @ 9:15pm the serves at the GastroPub seemed surprised when we ordered food - a bar that serves drink & food. We waited for 20+ minutes for service of any kind. They were not busy, as only 2 other patrons were sitting at the bar having drinks. A 2nd visit to the same restaurant was even worse. They were surprised that we wanted to even order food. The server on the visit had to check to see if she could even take a food order. So we left after 20+ minutes due to lack of service. Would not recommend. Room key >> Room key kept not working. On one day, we had to have new room keys made within a 30 minute period. Guest relations blamed it on the fact that the cruise organizers (Atlantis) had "special keys". During the 10 day cruise, we had a total of 4 key sets made. Tuscan Grille >> great service, larger than 8 oz serving of filet mignon. Would recommend, even at $45 per person. Silhouette Dining Room >> The first time we tried the Silhouette Dining Room was horrible! The 2nd time was delightful. On the first occasion, we ordered a bottle of champagne. Over the course of a 40 minute meal, no one offered to refill the glasses. We would have done it ourselves, the the bucket was 2 tables over and we were unable to get the waiter's attention to help us out. Toward the latter 1/3 of the meal, I asked to speak to the wine steward or Sommelier (Milovan).. Both came to our table & apologized for the level of service. Both admitted that they were not accustomed to dealing with such an affluent group (our group had booked the entire ship). Both insinuated that our group was not the normal cruise population that they were use to dealing with & that the servers were being challenged above what they were accustomed to. The 1st meal was mediocre at best -- escargot was cold, lamb portion was small & tough. The server failed to bring additional bread and butter as requested. Our 2nd experience at the same restaurant was mostly great. The only flaw here was that we were served Evian rather than the Pellegrino that we had ordered. Marina was the best server we have ever had on one of the 8 cruises that I have done. Would highly recommend her, but not the restaurant under any other circumstances. Would only recommend this ship if you have low expectations & can tolerate poor service. Read Less
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