Despite some negative comments about Celebrity and the Constellation in particular this cruise was far better than recent Princess cruise experiences. Yes the ship is going in for a refit (just like they all are these days) but it was in ... Read More
Despite some negative comments about Celebrity and the Constellation in particular this cruise was far better than recent Princess cruise experiences. Yes the ship is going in for a refit (just like they all are these days) but it was in reasonable condition and clean.
Cabin was functional but the TV programmes offered were appalling, out dated.
Yes, the drink prices were over the top but the two hour half price "Happy Hour" was good value but limited in what was available. The library was struggling with the concept that books make up a library not empty shelf space.
The tours expensive (just like most cruise ships) ensured a lot of guests did their own thing in each port.. Service and staff excellent generally and the photographers, who are a pest at times on other cruise lines, were low key to almost invisible.
Boarded at Abu Dhabi, Fabulous port facility and embarkation smooth. These day you can buy wine and alcohol in the facility after going through the boarding process.
Cruise included Muscat, Aqaba, Suez Canal, Athens, Katakolon and then Rome. We did our own tours off the dock and no problems.The locals looked after us. Wonderful people at each port with Wadi Rum in Jordan a standout experience along with the Suez Canal. We have been to Petra before and did a private tour of Wadi Rum. Train to Olympia in Greece is 10 Euro return and is well organised and ready to go after the ship docks.
. Not many free activities offered by the Cruise Directors staff that did not flirt with the hard sell or just ask for money up front. About 60 activities offered on sea days but only about 6 were free of selling in some way.
Will not get into the unofficial reserving of limited deck chairs. Chairs claimed with towels and books at 7-30am and no-one using them for hours while cruise staff did nothing about it.
Just on complaints, any made were rationalised from the company point of view and then generally ignored. Examples, deck chair use, poor activities offered, poor TV programmes, smoking issues.
Dancers beware, none really offered on the ship. So called ballroom music was from the 1950's and played so softly it was hard to hear and it was just an accident if the music was danceable. Repeated complaints got the dancers nowhere. The bands did not play dance music, Jazz or Pop music both too loud.
The shows were basic and lacking energy.. The dancers were a little out of time and the dance choreography mediocre, singers quite good, but the acrobats in each show were true professionals.. The performer shows were passable except for the British Beatles cover band who were great fun.
The food, dining room generally average. Pay restaurants we don't use. Buffet excellent but lacking in vegetarian and vegan food. Only one option each lunch and dinner that varied little for the entire cruise. The pasta, stir fry and pizza stations, if you want vegetarian, were very good as were the staff running them. However the manager Danilo and the chef in the buffet would arrange a special meal if asked and were very helpful.
The only illness on board was a cold that joyfully shared itself around. No norovirus reported which was a surprise as enforcement of hand washing in the buffet was non existent until about 8 days into the cruise so possibly the norovirus was sneaking around.
The one drama was sailing past Somalia and the Pirate Drill with lights out on deck at 6 pm each night. Security was tightened with armed guards on patrol and a stop at sea to what appeared to be a transfer some security people and weapons. No complaints by anyone about that experience.
Overall a good cruise and we will book Celebrity in future as any failings we found can be experienced on most other cruise lines and we choose cruises for destination reasons. Read Less