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3 Southampton Celebrity Constellation Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of the destination and having sailed on Celebrity Summit twice, I thought I would experience 5 Star cruising again. I was very disappointed with this cruise. Although the staff, including the Captain and the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the destination and having sailed on Celebrity Summit twice, I thought I would experience 5 Star cruising again. I was very disappointed with this cruise. Although the staff, including the Captain and the Cruise Director were brilliant, I felt that there was no atmosphere on the ship. We sailed on P. & O. Britannia last December and had a wonderful time. Both times we booked a superior balcony cabin. On the Britannia we had a bottle of champagne, chocolates, sweets and flowers waiting for us in our cabin. Celebrity, nothing. Celebrity seemed to want money from you all the time. To visit the bridge cost $150. I know that norovirus had taken hold on the ship which caused problems for the staff but I think Celebrity have cut too many corners. On the Chic Nights people were either overdressed or too casual. We took advise on the dress code and were probably dressed correctly for a Chic Night but felt out of place with so many people dressed up in their tux and long dresses. Please bring back the formal night Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We've just returned from our first Celebrity cruise, which sailed from Southampton to Le Havre, Le Verdon (for Bordeaux), Bilboa, Vigo, and Porto. For background, we have cruised approximately 10 times before on a variety of ... Read More
We've just returned from our first Celebrity cruise, which sailed from Southampton to Le Havre, Le Verdon (for Bordeaux), Bilboa, Vigo, and Porto. For background, we have cruised approximately 10 times before on a variety of lines/ships, and booked this "last minute" for a relaxation holiday, as neither of us is particularly passionate about wine. We had been to a couple of the destinations before, and planned to do our own thing in each port rather than book on the organised excursions. Our initial impression was good - information arrived in good time, including the change of dock at Southampton, and despite being a late "guarantee" booking we were allocated our cabin number a couple of weeks prior to departure. We drove to the port and used a valet parking company for £93 for the 12 nights. The boarding process was a breeze and took less than 15 minutes and we were aboard at approx 1pm. We were surprised to find no-one around to show you to your cabin, but we found it easily and were very pleased with it. It was clean, spacious and had a very large porthole which made it light and airey. Altho' I had requested twin beds, it had been prepared as a double. However, our cabin steward(ess), who arrived within minutes of us, arranged for it to be disassembled whilst we were at lunch, and also cleared the mini-bar at our request to make way for our own drinks. Having unpacked our luggage which arrived within a quarter of an hour, and stowed it in the capacious wardrobes, and variety of drawers and cupboards, we headed for the buffet, Seaside Cafe, on deck 10. As we expected, since it was lunchtime on the first day, it was pretty chaotic, and it seemed that most of the 2000 passengers aboard must have descended simultaneously. Nonetheless we found a table to share, and did a scout of the food counters and were pleased by the variety on offer - Pizza, made to order pasta, Asian Delights, English favorites, Sandwiches, Salads etc. etc. plus a good selection of desserts and an ice-cream bar (I can wholeheartedly recommend the hot chocolate sauce....) It soon transpired that the main reason for the chaos (in my Opinion) was the layout of the food stations, and the fact that most of the food was seved to you rather than self-service. This led to queueing and to-ing and fro-ing. The best example of this is the Tea/Coffee station where you pick up a cup in the middle, go to one end for the coffee (assuming that there was some - often there wasn't), then you had to swerve around the person pouring their cold drink which was set between you and the milk, you then had to cross the corridor (a motorway of food gatherers!) to get sugar and a teaspoon, and cross back to put the used sugar sachet and used teaspoon in their respective recepticals. It's a small thing, but would be soooo easy to rectify and it must irritate many people each time they went for drinks. Breakfast the next day was even worse and it took me 25 minutes to gather the components of a cooked breakfast, fruit, and 2 coffees and 2 juices (the first 3 coffee stations I visited were empty, and when I pointed this out to an assistant he simply swapped the signs for the caffeinated and the de-caf and said there was plenty!!!! It drove me mad the number of times that the coffee and/or milk containers were empty when I was trying to get hot drinks, and I was surprised that they didn't seem to have anyone responsible for checking them on a regular basis. It also surprised me that there was only one day when a waiter was offering coffees or teas at the table at breakfast, on most ships we have been on this was a daily service. Dinner the first night was also a surprise, because having asked for a table for 2, and assuming that because this was in our booking documentation it had been assigned to us, we were shown to a table for 10. As it happened this turned out very well and we had some very interesting and entertaining evenings, but I would have preferred to have been told in advance that this would be the case. Why bother to ask you what you would prefer and then give you the absolute opposite? The food in the main dining room was, to my mind, variable. I had steaks a couple of times and they were really good, however other main courses reminded me of school dinners (and that is not a compliment). I was disappointed that a "luxury" cruise line didn't do more on the presentation of its food - it seemed singularly lacking in swirls, dustings, scattering and artistic smears, but maybe this was to encourage you to go "up market" with the pay extra restaurants? I thought, on the whole, that the food was a good "pub grub" standard but certainly not 5* restaurant. The formal nights were the most disappointing, with no real noteworthy dishes at the first 2. The last formal night had options of Lobster, Beef Wellington, and Quail (amongst others) which got me excited, but the reality was underwhelming - the lobster came with a mound of watery rice and even more watery broccoli and the Beef Wellington came with a distinctly soggy bottom. Another major gripe was that the MDR was not open for breakfast or lunch on any of the port days - so only available for 3 out of the 12 days. This meant little choice but to cope with the chaos of the buffet at breakfast. There seemed far fewer staff than we had on a comparable Princess cruise earlier in the year, and I wondered whether they had pared back to make these cruises more cost effective and that closing the MDR had been one of the casulties? We made up by eating afternoon tea, and some of the best warm scones to be found at sea! On the subject of staff, I know it's very subjective, but I found them a little down-spirited on this cruise, and wondered whether it was the effect of THAT DOCUMENTARY. Mostly we did have very good service , but there were a few occasions where they gave the impression that they couldn't really be bothered. To the lady in the sunshine cafe who bought me Jello when I really needed it - thank you very much and may you too be shown the kindness of strangers. To the person who chose to do nothing but recommend expensive and inappropriate ship services to a person in need of help, may you one day understand how it feels. And to the senior staff who I found so casually unhelpful and mis-informative in Le Verdon, I shall make my views known elsewhere.... On the plus side, we found the entertainment generally very good, particularly the production shows which were not far off West End standards. The musicians around the ship were varied and great, and the activities team were fun and professional in equal measure. I thought that there was something for everyone, and if shows weren't you thing then there was always the Cinema, or free and pay-per-view movies in the cabin. You could also spend your evenings in a variety of bars. We found that compared to UK land and ships prices the drinks were on the expensive side (probably 50% up on those of P&O, Thomsons etc, but comparable to Princess).As we don't drink much it doesn't really worry us, but we'd like to say a big thank you to those that do, and those that spend freely in the Casino and the Art Auctions because the cross subsidies help make it a very good value for money cruise for us. However, would I do it again.......on balance, probably not. The couple of bad experiences with senior staff and the underwhelming dining experiences are enough to make us want to spend our money elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
When we booked this cruise the information showed Bordeaux as one of the ports. When we received our confirmation, Le Verdon was shown in parentheses next to Bordeaux. When I checked to see what was going on, I was told that the ship was ... Read More
When we booked this cruise the information showed Bordeaux as one of the ports. When we received our confirmation, Le Verdon was shown in parentheses next to Bordeaux. When I checked to see what was going on, I was told that the ship was too large to actually dock in Bordeaux itself, so Le Verdon was the closest alternative. Le Verdon is quite a distance from Bordeaux and there is absolutely no taxi service, buses or trains to take you from the port into the city of Bordeaux from the dock area. Actually, Le Verdon is sort of a seaside wasteland, as there are only a few cargo containers sitting around on the dock and absolutely nothing else within sight. There apparently is a little village some walking distance away from the dock, but since it was not the summer season, everyone who made the trek there said that everything was closed. We ended up taking the $89pp round trip bus into Bordeaux, but did not use the return trip, as we had booked a private wine Chateaux tour the following day from Bordeaux with two other couples, and it included the trip back to the ship. Our first stop was Le Havre, which is quite a distance from Paris and can be reached by taking a train one's own. Le Havre itself is an has some virtues and is not far by train from other historic cities such as Rouen, etc. The ship offered a bus into what was billed as the city center in Le Havre, but suggested that the port itself was not safe to walk through, which we found to be absolutely untrue. We made the nice walk into the city to find the train station, for which there were signs all along the way. We ended up walking around the historic part of Le Havre the first day in port, and then joined up with another couple to rent a car and drove to Rouen and Honfleur. The car rental agency is not far from the dock area, so very doable. The passengers who took the $15 bus trip into the city center ended up being deposited at the port entrance, a 2 minute ride, but still not in the center of the city. People were lined up to take taxis too, but I am not aware of the cost. The information provided by the ship for these two ports was sadly lacking if you wanted to do anything on your own. It appeared that Celebrity just wanted to gouge passengers for their own tours, which were very expensive for what was offered. The information for the subsequent ports was more detailed, although not greatly, especially if one is a do it yourself traveler like ourselves. Most people we spoke with about the ports felt Celebrity seemed to be "patching together" a cruise that was added when they abandoned some earlier planned itineraries and that the tours were thus poorly planned and too expensive for what they involved. The ship itself seems a bit tired in some areas in spite of having been "Solsticized" not long ago. We heard that the ship is due for another remodel very soon, and it surely needs it. Part of the carpet trim near the floor in our cabin was missing and there was a layer of dust around the edges of the carpet that looked to have been there quite a while. There was black mold around the bottom of our shower, and several places where rust was clearly evident on the metal edges near doors, etc. While the crew seemed to be very helpful and friendly for the most part, the desk could have been a bit more responsive and friendly when we were asking about port options, etc. They acted a bit put upon. The concierge, on the other hand, was very helpful and understanding while still acting very friendly, even when we were complaining about the lack of port information. Our room steward seemed to be very overworked, and often gave us only one washcloth instead of two, but hurriedly came up with a second when asked. He also was quick to provide more hangars on our first day on board. Food was fairly good for the most part, although a bit repetitive, especially in the buffet. On a couple of occasions, the food in the main dining room was outstanding, especially the fillet and the rack of lamb. Desserts all were excellent and service was impeccable. Our waiter, assistant waiter and wine steward were all tip top in every way. The brunch in the main dining room was a bit of a disappointment. We felt breakfast in the buffet was just as good, or even better in many ways. The main pool on the ship is quite large and looked to be great for a lap swimmer like myself, but although I prefer colder water than others, it was way too cold for a swim. Was a huge disappointment for me, as swimming is my primary exercise and I was excited when I saw pictures of the pool online. The therapy pool indoors is too hot and not large enough for lap swimming. While we enjoyed ourselves on this cruise and had a great time meeting and making new friends on board, we probably will never sail with Celebrity again, as this was our second cruise with this line, and both were a bit disappointing for one reason or another. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
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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