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8 Celebrity Constellation Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Caribbean - Southern from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

We booked Cabin 9129, C3 level at an EXTREMELY excellent rate and we were not disappointed by the Constellation, ports of call, quality of our room, food quality, level or service......well, what can I say except that we have already ... Read More
We booked Cabin 9129, C3 level at an EXTREMELY excellent rate and we were not disappointed by the Constellation, ports of call, quality of our room, food quality, level or service......well, what can I say except that we have already booked a 2013 cruise on the Equinox (or second on that ship and our third cruise with Celebrity!). My partner and I live in Southern California, are in our mid to late 60's, enjoy traveling, good food combined with good service and so far Celebrity has consistently delivered! We were a little hesitant booking on the Constellation, due to her age and size, but no fear, she is a great ship! The Constellation reminded us of a Art Deco decor, reminiscent of the Queen Mary here in Long Beach, CA where we live. The warm wood tones, the understated colors and the general ambiance is VERY inviting, providing a very relaxing tone to our general experience the 15 fantastic days and nights on this ship. Our Cabin: Very spacious, clean, with plenty of storage, comfortable furniture-an excellent home away from home! Room Attendants: Extremely friendly, attentive and never intrusive. Our clean room, bedding and towel magically appeared when we returned. Whenever we requested something a little extra, it was graciously provided. We asked is we could have shrimp cocktails provided instead of the "usual" Hors D'oeuvres, extra wine glasses and Hors D'oeuvres for guests we were having in our cabin....never a problem! Food Quality: We had late dining at 8:30. Main dining room food quality was if we were eating at a fine restaurant in Los Angles with service to match. Our two waiters, Juan and Javier were just amazing! Always providing extra desserts, and any little extra we would ask for. I LOVE dessert and ice cream and Celebrity has never failed to provide a high quality and diversity of either! Premium Restaurants: We had three meals at the Oceans as I am very fond of French and Continental food. NEVER a disappointment! We reserved our first night there at $40/person and after telling our waiters at our Main Dining room what a wonderful time we had, they offered us a "special" of $20/person and took good advantage of the excellent price for two other nights! Loved the table side service with the only Flambe, open flame, service on the ship! I love Foie gras they served and after the first dinner there, they always served me a double portion! How could you NOT love that kind of service for THAT price! The waiters were as good as any we have had in Beverly Hills, but with no attitude! Dinner was not only prepared to perfection, but our waiters make it fun and relaxing. We always had the table for the evening and never rushed with our dinner. I only wish what the menu would have changed, but on the other hand, how can you not enjoy, lobster, filet, rack of lamb, venison, turbot, and sea scallops prepared tableside on a menu? Our last meal there, our waiter prepared Steak Diane, tableside for us, which was not on the menu! Buffett: There were two Grand Buffets served during our sailing and Celebrity never fails to deliver with the quality, diversity, beauty of presentation (the ice sculptures and the chocolate sculptures were wonderful!). I have been to only one other buffet sytle presentation that rivals Celebrity's and that is the Martinique in Oakbrook, Illinois. General Buffett: Overall, the food is of a better-than-average quality. I found the pizza to be exceptional as well as the diversity of desserts and ice creams to be EXCEPTIONAL. Some of the specialty areas such as the Panini's and sandwich stations to be very good as well! The hamburger/hotdog cafe poolside was very good. Sometimes you need to have a really good hamburger and the pool grill delivered! Entertainment: Very high quality of performers, musicians, and cabaret performances. "Discovered" Perry Grant and had many fun evening in Michaels. You either like him or not, but judging from the standing room only crowds for both of his performances each evening and range of ages of attendees, he does have a very strong following! Bar and Drinks: I find that Celebrity does not over-charge for drinks, which they easily can do with a "captured" ship clientele. My partner drinks Grey Goose Martini and the $10 charge for that at the Martini Bar is VERY reasonable! Can't get a GG Martini for that price at a home bar/restaurant! Waiter and bar staff most attentive and professional and were there to make sure you enjoyed yourself and you were made to feel special. Shore Excursions: We book only one shore excursion. Most of our excursions we booked ourselves online but the one that we book with the ship was an excellent value for the price. It was just a lot shorter excursion than what we would have received if we booked on-line, but the places that we visited and the transportation was first class! Officers: All were very attentive, always asking if we were having a god time and if there was anything they could do to make our stay even more enjoyable. Amazing Captain! Cruise Director Rich was always around the ship making sure everyone is enjoying their experience. Embarkation: Since we had an early flight, we self-embarked, with no delay either leaving the ship or going through customs. MUCH faster leaving the ship than coming on board! Overall Impressions: First of all the value for the dollar that we received for this trip was AMAZING! We booked this trip, with a C3 level room for $128/night/person AND $100 shipboard credit! I don't know what you can find that kind of value with the level of accommodations and service we receive with Celebrity! We were on the Celebrity for 15 days and there was only one meal/desert (being VERY picky and subjective, mind you!) that did not rise to the usual level of Celebrity quality and that was a Crepe Suzette we had in the main dining room that was too sweet for my taste. We have already book another Celebrity cruise, "11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise" on the Equinox, March 4th, 2013. We are SERIOUSLY considering another Celebrity cruise, "15 Night Westbound Panama Canal Cruise" on the Century, February 4th, 2014. If our scheduling and budget will allow it, I am sure that Celebrity will again deliver an AMAZING experience for the two of us! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My husband and I are adventurous early retirees. We flew from the Pacific Northwest very much looking forward to our first taste of the Caribbean. We arrived early and enjoyed a week touring the Everglades and the Florida Keys. ... Read More
My husband and I are adventurous early retirees. We flew from the Pacific Northwest very much looking forward to our first taste of the Caribbean. We arrived early and enjoyed a week touring the Everglades and the Florida Keys. Boarding was delayed due to Norovirus on the preceding cruise. It went quickly once they began. There was no welcome drink as is usual. Perhaps this was due to the extra cleaning which was intense. Nor did anyone offer to show us to our cabin, and I worried that our last suitcase was lost as it did not appear until nearly 9:PM. The staff were their usual efficient selves though overworked due to all the extra cleaning. We noticed twice during the cruise that cabins were being fumigated by crew in hazmat suits & masks. Passengers were not notified of the spraying or what was used. I had concerns as I have asthma, but I was not told anything. In the dining areas there was no self serve, no salt or pepper on the tables, few trays. It was sometimes difficult to get coffee, or much of anything as there was often a shortage of cups, glasses, or cutlery. It was sparse. Menu items were repeated many times with few exceptions. We seldom go to dinner in the main dining room as we hate to waste 2 1/2 hours of our day for one meal. There seems to be no way to not tip for services you don't use though. We did enjoy the Tuscan Grille very much. There was one upsetting problem about that, we had made our reservations before the cruise as we were told that was better and we got a reduced rate that way. I then found they had even better Specials during the cruise. We may have gotten a 10% Special, but people who popped in on almost any day during the cruise were getting 20% off. Ship shore excursions were boring, overpriced, and badly run. For example - the young couple with an infant & stroller who were told that the Blackbeard's Castle tour where you had to walk down 99 steps was appropriate for them. They also just left you there and you had to walk over a mile back to the ship. We took a couple of private excursions and were delighted with the difference. The entertainment was passable if not exciting. The Library has been reduced to half size with Very Few books. The Internet was down for almost half of the cruise - no refunds. The worst thing was that my husband contracted Norovirus. He is Mr. Clean and had not passed a single sanitizer station without using it. He carries his own bottle of sanitizer. Still he became ill the morning of the eighth day. He reported to Sick Bay which was closed from 9:30 AM to 5:PM. No luck there. He then went to Customer Relations in the Main Lobby area and told them he was ill as required. They told him to go back to his cabin and they would have a Nurse contact him. She never did. That evening when Sick Bay opened he drug himself down there and threw up on their floor. The gave him medication and Quarantined him in the cabin. Customer Relations called a couple of times to see if we needed anything. They said they would cancel our Shore Excursions for us - which they did Not. The Shore Excursions were still on our bill when we checked it before disembarkation. The Shore Excursion desk said they could not cancel them as we had not returned the tickets. That's hard to do while you are quarantined besides they told us they did it when they quarantined us. In all we missed three of the eight featured ports (Barbados, St. Lucia, & Antigua). Celebrity said they would compensate us for the portion of the cruise we missed due to being Quarantined in our cabin. I understand that according to their estimate that was from 6:PM on the eighth day (more than 8 hours after he became ill since Medical was closed) until 10:PM the next night. This was supposed to happen within four weeks. It has now been seven weeks since the cruise and despite my inquiry (to which they say they will respond within 24-48 hours) Nothing! It seems our next two vacations are planned. Neither of them includes a cruise. That is really too bad as I have always enjoyed them very much until this last trip. Would I do it again - without the Norovirus and the unfilled promises - yes. I would love to see the ports we missed and take more private tours. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD ON CELEBRITY'S CONSTELLATION *****14 Night Exotic southern Caribbean Cruise SHIP: Constellation, Date: April 23-May 7 2011, Master of the Vessel: Captain Athanasios G. Peppas My name is Kim ... Read More
IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD ON CELEBRITY'S CONSTELLATION *****14 Night Exotic southern Caribbean Cruise SHIP: Constellation, Date: April 23-May 7 2011, Master of the Vessel: Captain Athanasios G. Peppas My name is Kim Bartholomew (Tikigal, for those who know me on Cruise Critics), and I live in the Orlando, Florida area. I have been a professional mystery shopper for 7 years. In my previous career, I was a flight attendant for 20 years, who had spent time both check riding other flight attendants, their service, and served on a quality & service volunteer board which made our cabin service the best in the skies during the 70's thru the 90's. I do not work for Celebrity, and am not compensated for my reviews of my cruises. I do pay particular attention to detail, service, attitude, promptness, cleanliness, staff coordination, and all around appearance of the ship. EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION PROCESS: 5 Stars I traveled with my parents on this trip, and was booked in a Concierge class room in 9122. After arriving in FLL, and parking at the offsite parking, which was very inexpensive, we were immediately shuttled to the ship. Our luggage drop went smoothly, and traveled through a preliminary security. There were lines for Suites, Concierge, Elite, and check in areas by deck numbers as well. Virginia Mckeown was our check in gal. Very sweet, and brand new. She did her best in her brand new job. It may have been a few minutes more, but we didn't mind the wait. We were greeted with champagne, and our rooms were available to drop off our luggage immediately. Captains Club Host: Mr. Graeham Kelleher. He was very personable and cared very much for each of his Captain's club guests during the entire cruise. Words can't express how much we considered him family by the time we left our cruise. Lunch was available at the Ocean Cafe buffet on deck 10. We had plenty of time afterwards to get to know the ship, or take a small nap. The debarkation process was simple and efficient. Once our number had been called at 8:30 AM, we left in an orderly fashion, picked up our luggage and went thru customs. Although the two lines looked endlessly long, and we were at the end, we were through the whole process in 10 minutes (baggage claim, customs, and out to the real world). We boarded our shuttle for the parking lot, and were on our way home all within an hour. Concierge Room 9122:5 stars plenty of room to unload 7 suitcases. We had room for the 3 of us to put away everything, hanging and folding. At first you think you need more, but at the end, you have found all the little cubby holes in the room that is for storage. Don't forget the secret storage next to the TV, that is by the aisle way. It contains 3 more shelves. My only complaint here is the Safe is too small for your belongings. Especially in rooms built for 3-4 passengers, and the suites, should contain large safes! My carpets were clean and not soiled. There was no odor in the room. There was ample closet space to hang or store all of our belongings. We had fresh towels and linens on the bed daily, and my sofa bed (there were 3 in the room) was made for "The Princess and the Pea". How to make up a comfortable sofa bed if you are the 3rd person in the cabin: 1-2 foam egg crates on top of mattress, followed by 1 blanket, 1 bottom sheet, 1 top sheet, 1 blanket, and 2 pillows. Your dream land waits!!! Room Service: Awesome! We ordered breakfast out on the balcony every morning with fresh coffee and juice plus tidbits. We usually discussed the program for the day, and decided where we would all meet. Nothing is finer than a beautiful view of the water or your local port in the early morning hours. It was also a fine place to be for many passengers during sunset sail way's, enjoying a fine bottle of wine and Celebrity appetizers. LAUNDRY SERVICE: 1 Star: To reach Princess Cruise Line Standards for Diamond or Elite, Princess had unlimited dry-cleaning, and laundry service every day. The clothes were hung up, or in dry cleaning bags hung, and articles folded and put on your bed or dresser. Celebrity laundry comes back in a paper bag, with most items like shirts or shorts coming in a smaller size than when they left. Nothing is pressed, unless you have a Captain's Club coupon for 1 free pressing or 1 item dry cleaned for free. I do not understand this process, even though I have mentioned cold water only. If Celebrity truly wanted to be one step up on Princess, this is the department that needs attention. CLEANLINESS AND HOUSEKEEPING: 5 Stars Hand sanitizers everywhere, and in constant use, as instructed by the staff before entering many events or for the dining hall. I also noticed them constantly disinfecting the hand railings coming on to the ship from the island. Now, that is attention to detail, my friends! The restrooms were always spotless, no watermarks on the sinks or mirrors. There were plenty of paper products or towels in each public bathroom. Commodes were consistently sparkling clean, with a nice pleasant smell. Doors and trash cans were always clean and emptied often. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Grade A Some people remark that Celebrity doesn't have a lot to do aboard ship, but I found that to be quite the contrary. Activities for free included morning stretch and relax class, trivia, pool aerobics, ping pong tournaments, basketball challenges, line dance classes, napkin folding, golf challenges, a lesson in facial rejuvenation and acupressure, pool games, listening to strolling A Cappella, more trivia, a nightly movie in the cinema, piano music, nightly shows in the Celebrity Theater, a lovely string quartet, dancing in different venues including Cosmos, galley tours, art auction events, shuffleboard tournaments, Zumba classes, cards, and the library if you are really stuck. For fees there were Mega Slot Tournaments, Chilates and body sculpting classes, champagne cocktail, martini or wine tastings, spa treatments, Texas Hold'em Cash Tournaments, and the Champagne High Tea at Sea. These are just a few, but I know there were more, I just couldn't get to all of them. FOOD: 5 Stars The Celebrity Constellation was my 4th cruise for 2011 on Celebrity, with two more booked ahead before year's end, and I am feeling more and more able to compare apples to apples, rather than to oranges. Celebrity is streamlining their food to be comparable with other ships in their fleet, and although some specialty restaurants still do a better job cooking than others, the menu's are basically the same, and have been taught by one executive chef system wide, teaching the other chef's on each ship his dishes, and how he likes them prepared. Each ship's executive chef seems to put a little twist of his own into the menu, and for that I am grateful, or else I would be bored with an identical taste in cuisine on each cruise. For this year at least, I know the menu. I do not know how long the particular head executive chef for Celebrity will be under contract, or know when the menu will be totally replaced. I would like to highlight a few areas of both compliment and concern: 1) The left hand side of the main dining room menu has items that are available every night of the week and seem to have been long standing favorites of past guests. I no longer have to ask the matre de for a standing order of escargot, I can just order it. These include: Chilled jumbo shrimp cocktail, Escargot, antipasti platters, French onion soup, lobster bisque, Caprese and Caesar salad, king salmon, grilled chicken, NY steak, cheesecake, apple pie, and Crème Brule. All outstanding, and being with family, we were able to try each other's dishes without having to order extra. 2) The right hand side of the menu varied so differently each night from beef Carpaccio or frog legs as appetizers to the Chilean sea bass, and quail for dinner. Each dish was expertly prepared and served picture perfect. If you didn't want the sauce, just ask your waiter! I think my waiter was a genie granting my every wish or whim. I was in heaven not having to cook for 11 days, and having gourmet food nightly. Honestly, it was a wonderful experience. 3) I did find that the portions have been downsized, which I found positive. After cruising for the past 20 years, I noticed how much waste there was in food (passengers unable to finish large portions of their meal). It truly was sad to see so much waste. Now, you are always able to double order if you wish of anything, or order it again, or just order a little bit, and in a few minutes, it will arrive from the galley. Happily the waiter will serve you another portion, and never will question your judgment. It is a much better system than discarding plates and plates of food. It has also helped Celebrity keep the costs lower on food on the cruise, thereby keeping my total price down for the cruise fare. My hats off to Celebrity for this. Next time someone says, the portions seemed smaller than last time; think of what I have just stated. 4) Excellent presentation of service. Each waiter we had, no matter where we were on the ship, were skilled in service, presentation, table set up, and clean up. Their mannerisms were consistently friendly and respectful. I was never ignored, like I have been on other cruise lines. The Waite staff was there to please. I never saw any crew member act disrespectful towards a guest. 5) The complimentary appetizers served in the room truly need to be updated. Mostly pieces of bread with a cream cheese of sorts on top or an occasional shrimp. I think humus, and the more modern appetizers would work better in our rooms, with pita crisps, rather than bread, keeping in the "healthy theme" that the ship often touts. So what constitutes healthy appetizers? Maybe some new evaluation would be good in this department, as I have seen the same, year in and year out. First night: went to the Sunset bar on deck 10 to meet the other Cruise Critics for our own Sail away party we had planned on line. Great fun and a must. You will meet many friends whom you have been on line with for months if you follow the thread for your ship. Day 2: At sea. Went to the San Marco Restaurant from Easter breakfast, the Reflections Lounge on Deck 11 for our Celebrity hosted Cruise Critic party and gift exchange. Deck 11 has fabulous views from the lounge, and is also the nightly spot for our Captain's Club parties. The ship has scrapbooking on board, and supplies all the goodies, plenty of trivia, and we went to a Senior Officers cocktail party. The Captain made his grand appearance tonight coming down the stairs during late seating for the Captain's Table formal night dinner. It was very impressive to see. Day 3: Newlywed Not so Newlywed Game in the Reflections Lounge: too funny! Scrapbooking, art auction, movies, trivia, dance shows. So much to see and do. Antigua: went on a tour of the Island, awesome! We hired a van driver to take 5 of us around. Saw lots of history, and where the British War ships hid, defending the Island. Ate in the specialty restaurant and had Lobster with Cognac and Cream sauce. Fabulous!! Also went to an elegant tea on the ship in the afternoon, with very interesting sandwiches, desserts, and teas! Loved St. Lucia for its beauty and the water sports, also attended the late night Liar's Club performance given by the ship's officers. A MUST!! Words we don't know and their crazy explanations! Grenada: Loved the spice Island. Also known for snorkeling and scuba, catamaran trips, and other pirate excursions. If you are shopping: You must go to Dot's Plaza. They have hand painted shirts and batik clothing for sale, spices and coffee's prewraped, and exotic jams, jellies, vanilla, and coffees. Celebrity Celebrated when Prince William married Kate Middleton. I was so pleased. We woke up at 4:30 A.M., put on our hats and party outfits and went to the Cinema to watch the entire set of events unfold on the big screen. Wow. Celebrity had coffee for us, and pastries, teas, it was so so English!!! And the theatre was quite full!! Later, the ship kept up the celebration with an English theme, we had Beatles trivia, Beatles look alike and sounded alike shows. The wedding was the talk of the day Show not to Miss: Land of Make Believe. Best set design and costumes out of any performance I have ever seen on board a ship. Like a fairy tale wedding in some parts. Also saw Strike up the Orchestra with Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. Aruba: A beautiful place to make your snorkeling and scuba dreams come true. The water is so so blue and clear. I took a cab to Baby Beach with family and friends to see where my parents used to play back in the 1940's. It was very nostalgic for them. It is very friendly and hospitable. Curacao: Place to shop for linens, leather coasters, handmade table cloths, jewelry hand painted pictures. Also another good stop for scuba and snorkeling and touring by water. The aqua water is beautiful on the ABC islands. Bonaire: Took the Mushi Mushi fun snorkeling on the Catamaran. Best trip of the vacation. The snorkeling was incredible. You can also go into town and buy coins from shipwrecks and unusual jewelry. At sea days: Did a backstage tour of the theatre with Amy Kelleher, the Producer of the Constellation shows. She was so nice, informative, and took the time to answer everyone's questions. We simply loved the tour and the costumes, lighting, and set design presentation she gave us. More trivia, dance lessons and a formal night as well. We did a Galley tour with Adalberto Herrara, Executive Sous Chef from Columbia. Also met with Thomas Stelbrink, Executive chef (Very informative). He has 45 chefs underneath him. Attending the champagne art auction, learned how to fold napkins, and learned the scarf color order of chefs on board. The galley was quite large and I was able to snap a few photos as well. I have done my share of scrapbooking as well. Unfortunate Medical Incident: A passenger needed blood, and they had to land a helicopter on the helipad, first time I had never seen that happen. Many passengers, as well gave blood to help the elderly gentleman (only if you had a blood bank ID card). It was another reminder to have cruise insurance, as helicopters aren't an inexpensive item to order. STAFF CAPTAIN'S CLUB Delightful! I can't say enough good things about this program. The benefits far exceeded my expectations, from complimentary nightly functions in the Elite Lounge (Reflections), to the Seniors Officer's party. Graeme Kelleher our Captain's Club host was outstanding, paying particular attention to every detail, to make the event perfect for all members. Our waiter in the Captains Club lounge was Randy Manding: Awesome, always had our drinks waiting for us when they opened the door at 5:00 PM. He was the Wow factor for us, and put him right into the A Plus category Dining Room: Mauricio Gironza, Rubinco Traykoski: anticipating our needs, prompt excellent service. Ocean Liners Specialty Restaurant: Srdjan Prastala, Maitre d'hôtel, very nice, always smiling. Nicola Savic- Chef de rang-so cute- he should be in Movies. Very good at his job! Fernando- Asst. Maitre d'hôtel great service as well, and our hat off to Assistant Waiter in Ocean Liners for Captain's Club breakfast is Moses Catbagan: always smiling, anticipated our every need, excellent service. Cruise Director: Sue Denning: Funny, witty, a plus for our ship as a legend in the entertainment business. She knew my name by the end of the first day, and always asked about how I was. Loved her scarf tying session! Hotel Director: Bernhard Stacner any problem, come see him. He solved all the issues aboard ship in the hotel department. Excellent! Master of the ship: Captain Athanasios G. Peppas If you want to meet this man, he is overwhelmingly friendly, informative, and concerned about you and the company. He has recently married and has a young son. They were a pleasure to meet while on board, although we only saw his family once. The Captain was everywhere, from the bridge, to shows, to greeting us at Cruise Critic and Captain's Club parties, and participating in various fun events with the passengers. After comparing him with captain's on some cruise lines who stay to themselves, I say...Come sail with Celebrity and enjoy the whole experience, and be pampered by a most professional and caring staff! Truly, Celebrity Cruise Lines did an outstanding job. The friendships made on board on this ship have been unparallel to any other cruise I have been on. These are once in a lifetime experiences, and I consider myself fortunate for the new friends made on board, and for the renewal of friends from past cruises, and for the experiences afforded to us by Celebrity. I hope you have enjoyed the review. My slideshow of the trip is at Trip Advisory.com. Here is the link to it. http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-01a1-0fb4-cbd0?lb Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We are a retired couple, usually traveling with one other couple, sailing once or twice a year. We prefer 10 to 14 or more days. We have been to the Caribbean seven times, Hawaii once, and New England/Canada once. We have Alaska/West ... Read More
We are a retired couple, usually traveling with one other couple, sailing once or twice a year. We prefer 10 to 14 or more days. We have been to the Caribbean seven times, Hawaii once, and New England/Canada once. We have Alaska/West Coast scheduled as well as another Caribbean in 2012. Our preferred lines are Celebrity and Holland America.We just returned from a 14-day voyage on Celebrity Constellation that took us to St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao. We had previously visited Barbados, Grenada, Aruba & Bonaire, but the others were new to us.Generally, we were very impressed with the update of the Constellation. We sailed with her in Oct 2009, so were eager to see what had been improved. The bedding, upholstery, carpets, & drapes had been done, not only in the cabins, but in the public areas as well. The whole new decor is beautiful.The update seemed to flow over to the crew - this whole crew was so friendly, eager to please and upbeat in every way! From the Captain all the way down, they made themselves available. Our first female Cruise Director, Sue, was really fantastic. And the female Maitre D, Lucy, was available every night of the cruise, not just the last night as we have seen before. Dining: We hope they never get rid of the "everyday" menu in the dining room because we do not always find something on their daily menu we can eat. We are pretty conservative eaters, not used to lots of sauces and gravies. We like our veggies to look like veggies and even though we are old, we don't need them mashed up or chopped. So, we usually had things like salmon or steak but getting the steak done to order was sometimes a problem (no matter which side of the menu it was on). That said, our waiters bent over backward to make it right for us and they brought anything and everything we ask for. We did not go hungry and we did not go to the specialty restaurant and pay for what we should have been getting in the dining room!Entertainment: We enjoyed all of the entertainment on board. The Take Note Quartet entertained us nightly in the Rendez-Vous Lounge - they were super. Of course, Perry Grant was good (when you could get in the door for his show). Inspiration Strings group was fantastic. The acapella group lost one of it's members early on to illness and he eventually had to fly home, but they managed to entertain with only 3 of them and the help of a 15-year old passenger who sat in one night. The orchestra and dancers were good, the comedians entertaining, singers very talented, etc. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
A review of 14-day Constellation cruise - 3/26-4/9/11We are Carolyn and John from Charleston, SC and had a delightful cruise aboard the Constellation. We spent a night pre-cruise at the Hampton Inn in Vero Beach, which was very nice and ... Read More
A review of 14-day Constellation cruise - 3/26-4/9/11We are Carolyn and John from Charleston, SC and had a delightful cruise aboard the Constellation. We spent a night pre-cruise at the Hampton Inn in Vero Beach, which was very nice and then just had a two-hour drive into Ft. Lauderdale, where we left our car at the Port Everglades parking garage. We went straight in, were speedily checked in and were on the ship by 11:30 am. We were in the line for Captain's Club Elite/Concierge and there was no waiting at all. Somehow we were listed as VIP's and were given a personal escort to the gangway and then greeted with champagne/mimosas and on to our cabin, which this time we were fortunate to have a veranda/concierge class for the first time in 22 cruises. Boy, are we spoiled! Awaiting us was chilled champagne, fresh flowers, and a bowl of fruit. And the flowers and fruit, plus afternoon canapes, continued every day throughout the cruise. We left our carryon bags in the cabin, and went up to the Seaside Cafe for their buffet lunch (delicious and included fried chicken). Our luggage arrived before 2:30 and we were unpacked in short order. We received an invitation to view the sailaway from the helipad; so we headed on up after the lifeboat drill and had a lovely view of our sailaway (along with about 30 other passengers and some of the ship' officers who chatted with us, all the while with cocktails being served). Time for our early sitting dinner at 6pm and meeting our tablemates (table for 10). Enjoyed the whole cruise with Carlos & Milagros also from Charleston, Ron and Grace from Canada, Susan & Laula from Kansas City, and Chris & Andrea from Ft. Myers. We thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of being CC Elite and also in having a balcony cabin for the first time. We found our cabin stewards John and Ram to be excellent as they cared for us throughout the trip, as we also found our waiters in the dining room (Eddie and Oscar, and Asst. Matre'D Eric) to be most accommodating in providing a fantastic experience for us and our table, going so far as to celebrate two birthdays, bringing sugarfree versions of special desserts, and extra breads & desserts (key lime pie) that we requested along the way.We loved the entertainment; went to every show and to see every performer, and they were really all outstanding; a very nice variety of performers to complement the fantastic singers and dancers and aerialists in the production shows. And Sue Denning was outstanding; all I could say after her one-women show was "Wow". She is truly a great cruise director as well as a performer on her own.We enjoyed all the Captain's Club activities and Graeme the CC Host was fabulous as he got to know and interact with everyone; enjoyed meeting his wife Amy who is the production manager for the theater. We loved the bridge tour (with the Captain always available there and at all the other venues), the galley tour, the backstage tour, and the elegant tea.We had been to four of the ports previously, so concentrated of the four that were new to us: Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, and Curacao and had tours to each of these that were very informative and well done. Several of our tablemates enjoyed snorkeling and were very complimentary of the islands' snorkeling capabilities.Embarkation was handled very efficiently; we were called at 7:50am, and after locating our luggage, we found a porter to help with luggage, and he took us all the way to the parking garage and we were pulling out of the garage at 8:30am and on our way home.All in all we were very pleased and happy with this cruise; one of the best ever in our total of 22 voyages! The only suggestion we made on the passenger survey was that consideration be given to a different venue than the Reflections Lounge for the Chocolate Buffet so that more passengers could find seats and gain access to the wonderful chocolate delicacies. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
The renovation of public areas and fresh decoration all over the Constellation ship made the ship seem like new. The "Celebrity Life" concept is intended to enhance the passengers' total experience. Cruise Director Sue made ... Read More
The renovation of public areas and fresh decoration all over the Constellation ship made the ship seem like new. The "Celebrity Life" concept is intended to enhance the passengers' total experience. Cruise Director Sue made it work and was to be found everywhere at all hours. She coordinated activities brilliantly and enchanted the passengers with her no nonsense comments, quick wit and charm. As you read our limited comments, please bear in mind that we are two active seniors, no kids in tow, early-risers and not night owls.EMBARKATION: The day we sailed there were a lot of ships in Port Everglades. Allow plenty of time to get through the vehicle check points. We reached the Celebrity terminal about 12:30. All went like clockwork thereafter and we were in our state room 45 minutes later. THE SHIP: The location of our Veranda Stateroom mid-ships on Vista Deck was ideal, with easy access to both 5th and 10th Deck amenities and the Internet room, Online@Celebrity. We suppose it would have been a very stable location though fortunately we had no rough weather to test that theory. Fine weather meant we got a lot of use out of the Veranda as an extension of the living area. No going back to an Ocean View for us - except perhaps in a cold climate. Our stewardess Jennifer and her assistant Rosario kept our cabin tidy and spotlessly clean at all times, adjusting to daily variations in our schedule. DINING: At home and abroad (apart from Spain!) we like to dine about 7:30 pm. Fixed Seating Dinner times don't suit us and we went for the Select Dining option in the San Marco. We seldom had to wait for super-organized hostess Mila to find a table and any 5 or 10 minute waits were because we insisted on a table for two served by the same waiters: Keviraj and his assistant Seiland contributed much to the enjoyment of our meals. They quickly learnt not to add croutons to our Caesar salad, to ignore whatever dessert we ordered and serve us the sugar-free one! Expert sommelier Sheldon Pierre ensured a bottle of wine reached us even before the first course and waiter friends from earlier cruises, Rafael and Lloyd, dropped by to say hello. Maitre d' Jan kept a sharp eye on the whole floor, ensured nobody's needs were overlooked and that service was consistently superb. There were always plenty of food choices. I liked to experiment with the daily specials, my companion stuck more to the classics, and neither was disappointed. Dinner at Ocean Liners specialty restaurant was a pleasant change of pace. We can recommend the Maine lobster bisque, crispy loup de mer, and Grand Marnier soufflE.New to Constellation is Bistro on Five is a successful Solstice Class ship eaterie with comfortable tables in pleasant surroundings. For a nominal cover charge of $5 per person, charming Dsmitri and his equally charming chef served fresh daily soups, great paninis and yummy crepes, savory or sweet: crepes Grand Marnier were our favorite.Breakfast and lunch in the San Marco are more relaxed than elbowing your way around the buffet and were enjoyed especially on days at sea when there was no hurry to get ashore. A breakfast of porridge (oatmeal) and kippers set this old Englishman up for the day! When we were pressed for time and ate at the buffet, we found that further aft on the 10th deck the crowds thin out and you can enjoy your poached eggs, waffles or Asian Delights in relative peace. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: As on prior cruises, we were delighted with the Celebrity Singers & Dancers. Their youth and vitality is a refreshing contrast to us and indeed to most of the audience! Iconic Perry Grant has a devoted following that packs nightly into Michael's Club. He was able to transfer his intimate conversational, singing and piano routine successfully to the theater for the main show one evening. For us, the best of the other Showtime performers was Vocal Entertainer Jack Walker. We really missed a classical music performer as we thought Celebrity was committed to providing at least one classical evening on cruises of ten days or more. The Inspiration Strings were charming but not a substitute for a solo concert performer.We were excited to find Dr Milos Radakovich, who we met as guest lecturer on the Infinity round Cape Horn, was giving the Beyond the Podium series of lectures on a variety of topics. He's a gem and delivers a lot of fascinating scientific information with a humorous touch. We were disappointed however that there wasn't a second lecturer on the history and politics of the countries on our itinerary, as there was one on prior cruises who regaled us with tales of the Spanish Main.The second morning on board, Celebrity arranged a cruisecritic coffee party where we met many cc pen-pals in person. This enabled us to keep in touch during the week. Right afterwards about 30 of us went to the Casino for a slot pull: each put in 15 dollars and we split the winnings, which were almost as much as we gambled and we had fun with it.Captain's Club members were invited to interesting visits up on the navigation bridge with the captain and behind the scenes in the Celebrity Theater.Perhaps because the cruise dates didn't coincide with school vacation, there were very few children on board and we don't know how pleased they or their parents were with the activities organized for them. Our days tended to end soon after dinner so we are ignorant about the fun later at the bars or on the dance floors. SHORE EXCURSIONS & SHOPPING: As we'd toured St Maarten once before, we decided that Philipsburg would be a shopping port. The shops opened at 9:00 and by 11:30 we were back on board. A well-made linen guayabera shirt by Oleg Cassini was a bargain for less than US$50 at Angelo St Maartin on Backstreet Square. Delicious chocolates at The Belgian Chocolate Box can be delivered to your state room at no charge. Celebrity offered "Shipwreck Cove Snorkel" which was a disappointment due to absence of fish. The young crew was inattentive, set the music loud enough to avoid chat and gave no explanation of the coastline as we passed by en route. At the cove there were few fish around which the diver/ instructor said was usual due to construction close to the water and the aftermath of last year's hurricane: they only went there because it was a convenient distance from the dock!With other cc members, in advance we hired Lawrence Leston, a fine local guide, to show us the highlights of Antigua lawrenceofantigua@gmail.com . He took us all over the island and did a great job explaining what we saw which included Shirley Point with its magnificent views, Nelson's shipyard and Falmouth, the home port of the renowned annual sailboat race.St Lucia was another island we had visited before when a COSOL tour was ideal for newcomers. This time we joined a small cc group with Spencer Ambrose (www.spencerambrose.com ) on a boat trip down the coast to Jalousie Beach, positioned right below the Pitons, the island's signature peaks that rise hundreds of feet out of the sea. It is one of the most dramatic locations imaginable and we could snorkel in crystal waters off a white-sand beach. A tasty creole lunch was served and there were unlimited drinks available. On the way back, we dipped into various bays including Marigot, the setting where Rex Harrison starred in "Doctor Doolittle", and gawped at the homes of Mick Jagger and Oprah Winfrey. The whole trip was done in a small skiff and was quite a bumpy ride even on our calm day. If you expect the comfort of a larger vessel this isn't for you, but we all enjoyed ourselves.We had toured Barbados extensively with Cameron Reid two years ago, camireid@yahoo.com, so this time we ambled on our own into bustling Bridgetown, an easy walk from the dock, and dropped into several markets, the Anglican Cathedral and St Mary's Church, and admired the government buildings. Spices are a big export product from Grenada where again we pre-booked a cc island tour with a very knowledgeable local, Clement Baptiste (clembap@hotmail.com) Apart from recounting the history of his island entertainingly as he drove, Clement demonstrated for us how spices are grown and harvested and took us to "Nutmegland Co-operative" for a fascinating tour of the 3-storey nutmeg plant before returning to port via the rain forest. Nutmeg and other spices are packed for customs so you can take them home as interesting gifts.We had visited Aruba before so simply walked to the attractive shops near the ship where we couldn't turn down friendly Del Sol staff's offer of Color-Change T-shirts and a beach bag. Later we enjoyed Celebrity Tour AR73, De Palm Island Snorkeling Adventure. The island is far from a pristine nature reserve. Expect piped music and water rides for kiddies, but also a nice complimentary buffet of fresh food and unlimited drink. You get to see a lot of fish around the piers and rocks, the water is calm and ideal for small children, and there are plenty of lounge chairs in shade or full sun on the sandy beach.Curacao's capital Willemstad isn't a UNESCO site for nothing. We were delighted with its quaint Dutch architecture, wandered across to the town center, saw the Caribbean's oldest synagogue and window shopped the floating fish market. If you want Dutch cheese, go to Haanchi Snoa #4. With no tour planned, one of the yellow-shirted reps circulating just across Queen Emma Bridge booked us on an 11 am tour with Casper Tours (caspertrs@carib-online.net). For $15 US each, paid on board, a lively young woman conducted us around the capital with a useful commentary, out to cliffs for some outstanding views, after a visit to the Curacao distillery. Bonaire's little port is compact and clean, with vendors of original souvenirs at reasonable prices. Celebrity's BO12 "Samur Sail, Beach and Snorkel" tour was great. The Samur is a large Thai junk dating from the 1960s that has sailed the world and the present owner is Swiss German. He and his delightful family conducted the tour competently and helped us into the water when we got to the beach. Of Klein Bonaire Island, we saw zillions of colorful fish and live coral. You must be fit enough to step down from the dock into a zodiac to ride over to the Samur, clamber aboard, repeat this at Klein Bonaire and then again when you get back to the port. No problem for anyone of any age the day we did it, however, even though the sea was choppy. Passengers we asked supposed that the "Shopping Guide" is primarily an advertising medium for large multinational store chains such as Little Holland, Little Switzerland, Swatch Boutique, Swarovski, Effy Jewelers, and Colombian Emeralds International. These stores are present in almost every Caribbean port and can afford the privilege of being promoted by cruise lines. It would be useful if Celebrity"s shopping experts could also seek out and recommend some local stores selling unusual and original items. We deplore the mean-spirited (pun intended) policy of confiscating even one bottle of rum purchased on shore. Celebrity did not confiscate local wine purchases when we sailed the Mediterranean last year.Finally, we were disappointed with the new daily "Map" as it has become almost entirely a shopping guide. On prior cruises the "Port Explorer & Shopping Guide" devoted a couple of pages to useful information about Places of Interest in each port. DISEMBARKATION: Well organized by group color luggage tags and stress free. We were on shore at 9:30 in plenty of time to meet our driver at 10:00 for the ride home.IN SUMMARY: New friends, the service and food, fine weather and 8 very different islands to explore, all contributed to a memorable cruise that we recommend unconditionally. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We love to cruise and try to get out to sea as often as is possible and affordable. This was our 4th Celebrity cruise and about the 16th Caribbean cruise. After our flight from Manchester, NH we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and ... Read More
We love to cruise and try to get out to sea as often as is possible and affordable. This was our 4th Celebrity cruise and about the 16th Caribbean cruise. After our flight from Manchester, NH we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and waited quite a long time (about 90 minutes) for our shuttle to the hotel. After 3 calls he finally arrived. Tt wasn't a great way to start off but bright and early the next day we were ready to go. We waited in the hot sun another 2 hours before our van arrived. The hotel was almost 100% occupied by cruisers and not well prepared. It was the Comfort Inn Airport/Cruise Port at Stirling Rd. in Hollywood. That's the end of my complaints! The embarcation process was very slow because the ship had just made a Trans-Atlantic repositioning and had to be throughly inspected. We were made as comfortable as possible and the delay was explained and understandable. The ship looked great and we found our cabin easily. It was on deck 6 and had a balcony overlooking the tops of the lifeboats. It was no problem for us as we could see straight out and it was very quiet. Our overall impression of the Constellation was that it was very pretty after the new renovation, very sleak and modern and clean. We travel with very good friends from England and found them at the lifeboat drill. We get along so well that we are all bound and determined to sail the 7 seas until we finally drop. We were lucky to find them several years ago on a cruise to Hawaii. We have our 5th cruise with them lready booked on the Solstice next September to the Med. Our dining table was on the 2nd floor to the back of the ship and our waiters were very good to us. None of us had a single complaint about the food. It was always well prepared and delicious. It never ceases to amaze me how well they can handle all those people and get the food out nice and hot and never anything but yummy. My diet starts tomorrow. We are Diamond members of RCI and Elite on Celebrity so could enjoy the Elite Captains Club lounge. Because of so many members onboard, we met in Reflections. The bar menu was excellent and the service was great. We were very well taken care of up there and there was always a friendly waiter offering us service. The service aboard the Constellation reflects the high morale of the crew. In 14 days we never met anyone, from the Captain on down, who didn't great us with a smile and offer help. They are the friendliest and nicest crew we have ever encountered. The officers were very visable and the Captain even jumped in the pool and competed with the passengers (my husband included) in a pool volleyball contest. We both sincerely hope we will be able to cruise with them again. They greatly added to our good time aboard ship. The weather wasn't great and we got quite a few showers. We got sunshine everyday so it wasn't a complete washout. Two nights the seas were pretty high and I got a little queasy but by the next day had found my sealegs and I was fine. The entertainment was very good to excellent. We only discovered Perry Grant toward the last week of the cruise but tried to see his shows whenever we could. That man is so talented! He has a beautiful voice, plays great piano and has a quick wit. We both waited for every word out of his mouth because he is a riot. I believe he is the funniest and most talented man on the seas! He packs the room (Michael's Club) with standing room only. We both loved his musical choices. Our one complaint about the whole cruise isn't much but we all wish that Celebrity could do a more efficient job with the disembarcation. It just wasn't well organized and at one point the announcement was made that all colors could leave. The hallways and elevators were jammed. It could be dangerous and they need to do better. We both hope we will be able to book the Constellation again soon. We were told that it has the highest return passenger rate of any Celebrity ship and it's easy to see why. When people are treated well, as the crew is, they are happy and it is passed on tp the passengers. We were happy to learn that the Captain will be with us on the Solstice next year. We can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Embarkation was fairly efficient but slow. It seems that 1900 of the 2000 passengers all arrived at the same time and the staff were somewhat overwhelmed. A second boarding point would help tremendously in relieving the congestion which ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly efficient but slow. It seems that 1900 of the 2000 passengers all arrived at the same time and the staff were somewhat overwhelmed. A second boarding point would help tremendously in relieving the congestion which now occurs at the one gangway. We were once again greeted with a glass of champagne on boarding. A nice touch! The ship was clean and in good repair. In fact cleanliness has almost become a religion on the Constellation, with a staff member greeting each guest entering any dining area with a dab of disinfectant to wash our hands. Additionally, hand rails, elevator buttons, chairs etc were being cleaned several times a day. All in an effort to avoid a visit from the Norwalk virus. Great job Celebrity!!! We ate all of our evening meals in the San Marco Dining Room, while using the buffet and/or the grill on Deck 10 for our other meals. I guess I'm easily satisfied, because I have no significant complaints about the food in the San Marco. The one negative experience I had was because I ordered something that I didn't recognize, and did not ask our very efficient server Meyra to describe that particular entree. I can't say enough good things about Meyra, and her assistant Paul. They were efficient but personable at the same time. Qualities not always found together. I will agree with one other reviewer though. I like my meals hot, and they were seldom served that way. This was particularly noticeable in the buffet restaurant. However, Constellation's buffet is not unique in this. All buffets that I've patronized, both afloat and ashore, have this same problem of keeping food hot. In fact anyone who figures out how to keep buffet food hot will receive my nomination for a Nobel Prize in the Culinary Arts. If our cruise held one disappointment, it was the quality of the entertainment in the Celebrity Theatre. I would strongly urge Celebrity's booking agent to lose the contact information for the hypnotist(?). Enough said there! Not every entertainer is going to please every taste. However the technical aspects of some presentations could have used a little more attention to detail. In one specific example: The sound technician is able to control the volume for each band member's microphone as well as that for the feature entertainer. Yet in most cases, the sound from the band was allowed to overwhelm that of the feature performer. The production numbers were as always populated by a group of talented enthusiastic young performers and were quite entertaining. Perry Grant; a talented entertainer, but not deserving of the "rock star" adulation heaped on him by the Cruise Director. Only one comment on the ports of call. Cartagena Columbia is a beautiful, safe city full of historic architecture and museums, and we may visit again. However it also has, what seems like, millions of street vendors selling just about anything that can be carried. Every place our tour bus stopped, several dozen would appear as if by magic. They can be somewhat aggressive in their sales pitch, but if ignored with a "no, gracias", they will usually go away - eventually. Disembarkation was pretty smooth and efficient. Because there were only two ships in port that day, even our experience at Fort Lauderdale Airport seemed almost civilized this time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
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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