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11 Southampton Celebrity Constellation Cruise Reviews

Mainly to see Iceland and spend time in London before boarding. Iceland did not disappoint. It was wonderful, vast and scenic. Our first port was St. Peter's Port, Channel Islands. We took a ship's tour to Cornet Castle which ... Read More
Mainly to see Iceland and spend time in London before boarding. Iceland did not disappoint. It was wonderful, vast and scenic. Our first port was St. Peter's Port, Channel Islands. We took a ship's tour to Cornet Castle which was very nice. Next port was Cork Ireland and we took a tour called best of Ireland. We first went to Kinsale which was a long drive and we were given very little time there to even say what is was like to see. A waste of a drive. Then to a Hall in Cork for lunch which was okay not great with very lame entertainment. Then onto Blarney Castle which was beautiful. We had ample time and enjoyed it very much. Akueryri - we took the jewels of the North which was wonderful. Isafjordur - we took a morning and afternoon tour one was Life and Culture and the other Artic foxes and Avalanche. They were both good. We had excellent guides and the scenery was amazing. Iceland is all about natural settings although we did visit two small churches which were charming. In Reykjavik we took the golden circle tour and on the second day a 4x4 Safari. Both good. Running out of space here and not sure how it all works. Belfast - I wish we had more time there. Went to the Giant's Causeway, loved it, but there is a lot to see in Belfast. Other passengers seemed to enjoy the tours of the city and the Titanic Museum. We had a very good from the podium speaker who made you want to see this city. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first cruise with Celebrity. We selected this cruise not for the itinerary but for the excellent rates. We were not disappointed! The itinerary was great too. We would have signed up for a B2B while on board had we not had ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity. We selected this cruise not for the itinerary but for the excellent rates. We were not disappointed! The itinerary was great too. We would have signed up for a B2B while on board had we not had commitments for Thanksgiving. I estimate that about 50% of the passengers were British, 40% American, and 10% other, primarily Chinese and Hispanic. Embarkation was disorganized. We had opted for transfers from Heathrow to Southampton with Choice Air. There was a delay in boarding because of an outbreak of Norovirus on the Constellation. Consequently, we were given a free, four hour tour of Winchester on the way to the ship. This turned out to be an enjoyable bonus although it was very cold, our luggage had been sent ahead, and we did not have appropriate clothing with us. We did not arrive at the ship until 1730. Once at embarkation, it was pandemonium trying to find our room and an available elevator. The decor of the Constellation tends to be contemporary. Everyone, both staff and passengers were very friendly. We took only one on-board excursion and that was to Paris. At the other ports, we did our own self-guided tours. The two ports of call in France were a couple hours distant from anything of real interest. The ports in Spain and Portugal were convenient and enjoyable. Men, in particular, were dressed very casually during the day (saw some threadbare tee shirts and jeans with holes in them) which surprised us for what is billed as a "premium" cruise line. Our 4 table-mates at our 1800 fixed seating were a real joy! We often observed that we were some of the last to leave the MDR after 2 hours of convivial conversation. Positives: our Concierge Class room and the ship were spotless. The staff was very friendly and very helpful and offered 5 star service. The destination expert lecturer, Dr. Caitlin, was outstanding. The food at both the MDR and buffet ranged from outstanding to average. We quickly learned what we liked best and avoided other offerings. We did not eat at the specialty restaurants. Very few on board announcements over the speaker system. Negatives: It took several days to get the upgrades we expected with Concierge Class and some upgrades were never received. Music in the main theater was TOO LOUD! Buffet at the Seaside Cafe needs to be reorganized - food would get cold trying to get around to all the food venues. We were constantly being "hustled" by the staff to purchase upgraded dining. Danish pastries at the buffet were inedible (which was a blessing in disguise!). Overall, we would rate the cruise as 85 out of 100. Since this was our first cruise on Celebrity, we will take responsibility for misunderstanding some of the on-board protocols and not getting more out of the cruise. Had we been more experienced on Celebrity, I would probably rate this 5 stars and 90 to 92 out of 100. Was the cruise perfect? No. Would we do it again? YES, in a heartbeat, in fact we signed up for a future cruise while on board and have no buyers remorse! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This cruise was somewhat blighted by the outbreak of norovirus which, as another reviewer mentioned, caused a major dislocation to the ship's procedures. Small examples: the library was closed for a couple of days because all the ... Read More
This cruise was somewhat blighted by the outbreak of norovirus which, as another reviewer mentioned, caused a major dislocation to the ship's procedures. Small examples: the library was closed for a couple of days because all the books were being sterilized: items such as glasses in cabins, kettles etc disappeared on the last day at sea - again to be sterilized. The worst disruptions were in the self service restaurants - they were no longer self service: we had to ask for everything. We weren't permitted to just pick up the bowl of melon sitting there in front of us, we had to find a member of staff to hand it to us. The combination of staff shortages and communication problems made getting breakfast/lunch in these restaurants a bit like Russian roulette. Definitely not a pleasurable experience. In fairness, the staff were doing their best under very difficult circumstances. I don't know whether the same problem was having an impact in the San Marco Restaurant, but as Celebrity Select diners, I would say that this was probably the worst flexible dining experience we have had on any ship. And we have been on an awful lot of ships on different cruise lines. In fact, as I said to my wife on our 2nd or 3rd day, if this was our first experience of Celebrity, we probably wouldn't do it again. However, we do have "previous" on the Eclipse in Aqua Class, an altogether better experience. To be specific, we frequently had to queue at the dining room entrance, once for ten minutes or so. Then if we wanted a table for two, there was a 50/50 chance of having to wait, up to 15 minutes. In contrast with other cruise lines who have got this better organised, there were no pagers - we just had to sit down and wait in the adjacent Cellar Masters. Once inside, the staff were just on the edge of coping, but sommeliers were so rare it sometimes took real persistence to even get a wine list before our main course was served. Whilst still on the subject of dining, we had two complimentary cover charge dinners, one at the Tuscan Grill and one at Ocean Liners. In the former, in addition to signing for wine, we had a $10 "service" charge to sign for. There was no equivalent charge at Ocean Liners. Curious, I queried the charge with Customer Relations. Me: "We prepaid our gratuities, so why are we being charged again for service?" CR: "Because service charges in cover-charge restaurants are not covered by your prepaid gratuities". Me: "Where does it specify this on the Celebrity web site?". CR: "service charges in cover-charge restaurants are not covered by your prepaid gratuities". Me: "Why is this charge imposed in the Tuscan Grill but not in Ocean Liners?" CR: "service charges in cover-charged restaurants are not covered by your prepaid gratuities" After a while, they got fed up with me asking the same questions and I got fed up with hearing the same answer repeated, so they agreed to reverse the charge. In a nutshell, this is an example of one of the things I don't like about Celebrity: they appear to make up the rules as they go along. Their web site says absolutely nothing about service in cover charge restaurants and in fact gives the impression that prepaid gratuities cover everything. If they could find a way to charge cruisers for the air breathed in when on board, they would certainly do so, and then add a 15% service charge on top. Even the self service enomatic wine dispensers in Cellar Masters attract a 15% service charge when topping up your wine card. And I didn't have the heart to repeat to our butler that we had prepaid our gratuities and that would take care of his tip, because I think he might have thrown himself off our balcony in response. Cabins: we had a guaranteed suite, and this turned out to be an Accessibility Sky Suite. I was very pleased initially because the floor area appeared to be much more than a standard Sky suite. However, when we got into the cabin we realised that virtually all the extra space is squandered by the need for wheelchair access to the cabin and bathroom. This meant that there was no bathtub, and the shower was miserably inadequate, especially when compared with the excellent showers in Aqua class on the Eclipse. And despite there being large areas of wall space near the door, there were no coat hooks whatsoever. The cupboard and clothes hanging space was just about adequate - for one person that is. For two it was quite inadequate. Ports and excursions: as other reviewers have pointed out, some of the ports on this cruise are a long way away from places of interest. For example, Le Verdon is a coach drive of nearly two hours from Bordeaux. As a matter of policy, we decided to book excursions on every port day, and we did indeed have some very memorable excursions. To anyone considering this cruise, I would say this: you should be prepared to bite the bullet and pay up for Celebrity's ludicrously expensive excursions, because if you don't, on too many port days you will be wandering around aimlessly in less than attractive surroundings. This is getting far too long, so I'll just sum up by comparing this cruise to a curate's egg: good in parts, but with some pretty dodgy bits as well.... Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was my 9th cruise, third with Celebrity, and only my second transatlantic. I now consider myself thoroughly addicted to cruising in general, and longer duration repositionings/transatlantics in particular. I am ALWAYS looking for ... Read More
This was my 9th cruise, third with Celebrity, and only my second transatlantic. I now consider myself thoroughly addicted to cruising in general, and longer duration repositionings/transatlantics in particular. I am ALWAYS looking for interesting ports with historic significance and beautiful scenery, but the very relaxing pace of numerous sea days is also appealing. Being retired and of modest means, PRICING is ALWAYS a very important consideration. This cruise fit ALL of my requirements VERY nicely. I booked with my favorite online agency over five months in advance to assure necessary dates for my girlfriend's work schedule. I considered $609.00pp with $102.00pp for taxes to be an EXCELLENT rate for a 15 night cruise. The $150.00 OBC from the agency, along with the $250.00 OBC from rcl shareholder benefit made it OUTSTANDING. We drove the four hours from Fargo, ND to Minneapolis to hop our nonstop Delta flight to London Heathrow. We booked through Choice Air and considered the fare of $394.00pp to be outstanding as well. The seats were cramped as is usual in coach, but the food was fine and the service quite good. We landed early due to favorable winds and BREEZED through customs VERY quickly. Got a cab in SECONDS, and was at our hotel in 3 or 4 MINUTES! The Jury's Inn at Heathrow was a GREAT choice that allowed us to settle in quickly and relax after an all night flight. The facility was spotless, service was flawless, the room was quiet, the bathroom was perfect, and the beds were VERY comfortable. The Hatton Cross tube station (for sightseeing access to downtown London) was a 3-4 minute walk, and the 5 minute shuttle back to the terminal for the bus to Southampton was simple. Booking through Hotwire at $104.00, made it even BETTER! Sightseeing in London was rendered less than enjoyable due to the cold, wet, windy weather and any future trips there will be made earlier in the year! BRRRR! Wished we would have spent AT LEAST one or two extra nights.(next time!) We took the VERY reasonably priced National Express Bus from Heathrow to Southampton. The bus station inside the terminal is quite easy to find and there was a nice coffee shop that made the short wait for the bus comfortable and enjoyable. The bus itself was clean, the ride was comfortable and about an hour and a half long through pretty rural countryside with a short stop in Winchester. (Didn't get to see the Cathedral!) Took a cab from the bus stop to the Ibis Hotel in Southampton only to find out it was only 3 or 4 blocks away! The hotels, bus stop, cruise terminal, and downtown shopping/mall/eateries are ALL within an easy to walk 3-6 blocks from each other. VERY convenient, relaxing and enjoyable. Although the service was great, unfortunately, the Ibis is a VERY dated facility with cramped rooms that I would not choose again, even though it was fairly priced at $84.00. (Hotwire) The hotel front desk had a direct line to book the 3 minute cab to the port. We only had to wait 5 minutes. The Cabbie even made a quick stop at a food market to see if I could get a case of Coke to feed my sugar and caffeine addiction at a rate lower than $2.30 per can on the ship! I found out that cases of cans are very hard to find, so obviously I could NEVER live there! At the port, our pre-tagged luggage went DIRECTLY from the cab to the ship via porters. I only carried a book with the necessary documents folded inside. The ship was diligently fighting an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise so boarding was delayed and the lines to clear security were long and slow moving. As is usual, SOME people were outraged and indignant that they should have to wait SSOOO long. Get a grip folks, I hate to be the first person to burst your alternate reality bubble, but you are REALLY, SERIOUSLY, and TRULY... NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS EARTH, and the planet does NOT revolve around YOU. After about 45 minutes in line for security, we were checked in less than 5 minutes later, and boarded about 20 minutes after that. The Constellation is a beautiful and quite comfortable work of marketing, art and engineering. Our inside room was well designed, efficiently laid out, and spotlessly clean. Smart use of mirrors in the cabin (and everywhere else on the ship!) make the spaces look much larger. My only negative comments here are the rather worn and cheap looking "sofa" in the cabin and the old fashioned shower curtain in the bathroom. (Solstice class ships have taken care of both of these minor glitches, at a cost of going backwards in terms of cabin storage space.) Most public spaces are designed with rich dark woods to appear soothing, relaxed and cushy-comfortable. Rendezvous Lounge, Cellar Masters, the Main Dining Room and Michael's Club and even the Main Theatre. To me, it's a much different "feel" than the more contemporary chic-elegance of S class ships. Ocean Liners specialty restaurant is the equivalent of Murano on an S class and is every bit as impressive, delicious and enjoyable. Tuscan Grille has the same menu and service as S class ships, and is MY favorite, but the location on M class ships just can't compare. We got two for one deals in BOTH as the staff was trying to fill empty seats on nights that were NOT formal ones. The buffet is not quite as well laid out as S class ships but kept me VERY happy with omelets for breakfast and all of the Indian and Asian curries for lunch. 8 different flavors of home made ice cream each day also kept me smiling but I definitely noticed the disappearance of MY favorite flavor, cinnamon.(?) Bistro on Five was very nicely retrofitted and the Aqua Spa Cafe is standard. The gooddie case at Cafe Al Bacio is fun but not all that great. The venue is very relaxing overlooking the atrium as well as outside views, and the cappuccino flavored gelato is just WAYYY too good to be true! The "old" martini bar is now Cellar Masters and seems to waste a whole bunch of valuable square footage in the middle of deck 5 next to the Bistro, but is VERY comfortable. The "new" martini bar (and Crush)looks as if it were "cut and pasted" (quite nicely!) from any S class ship. Anybody who complains about drink prices there must have a MUCH higher tolerance for alcohol than I, 'cause the way those bartenders measure a pour is VERY generous! If you have a sweet tooth do yourself a favor and try the Almond Joy Martini, downright TASTY! Entertainment was pretty standard with an acapella group, a very fun party band that could play ANYTHING, a newly arrived Caribbean band, and the typical Main Theatre shows of Pianists, Violinists, Singers, Comedians and of course, the Ships own production company. Most shows were quite good, but some were just not my cup of tea. The Elvis Impersonator, Shaun O'Shea WAS pretty darn good! Our shore excursion to the Normandy Beaches from La Havre, was with Overlord Tours and was so far above and beyond mind boggling as to defy description. Absolutely unbelievable. Profound, inspirational, sobering, DO NOT MISS IT. Our shore excursion in Lisbon was "Pirates of the Cruiseships" with "We Hate Tourism Tours" An incredibly fun whirlwind tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo de Roca. If you want to have fun and see as much as you can in the one day you have available, you just have to give these guys a try! Fantastic! This brings me to my ONLY serious complaint about the entire cruise. The music. The average age for longer cruises, and transatlantics in particular, range above 65. At 55, I was one of the 200 or 300 YOUNGEST guests on board and if I wasn't enjoying the the music, you can be CERTAIN that the VAST MAJORITY of those older than I, were quite probably not big fans of the contemporary techno beat CRAP that is constantly being played. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT as soon as the band stopped, the DJs would have the entire place CLEARED OUT by the 2nd or 3rd song. I watched crowds of 200 to 300 people evaporate down to groups of 15 to 30 in less than 10 minutes because of your inappropriate music. HEY! CELEBRITY! Your CUTOMERS are the people paying the bills and they want to hear THEIR music. NOT the music your 25 or 30 year old DJs are playing that quite literally, DRIVES your guests OUT of your lounges and AWAY from your bars EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Your DJs don't know the music that they should be playing even exists! STOP IT! NOW! It's EASY! Get some CD collections from Time Life Music and make your customers happy! Did I mention that the music onboard was a SERIOUS complaint? (cleansing breath) Disembarkation was the simplest, fastest, and easiest I have ever experienced! We left our room at 8am when the announcement was made. We were in line for less than 5 minutes before swiping our cards. We were through customs in less than 10 minutes and on a rent a car shuttle less than 5 minutes after that! WOW! Overall a WONDERFUL experience for a fantastic price, BUT, please fix the music! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Upon arrival to the ship, all went like clockwork until we got to the buffet line. Then, it was like 1000 people hadn't eaten for a month! There was pushing, almost shoving to get to the buffet line. Welcome to your cruise! Having ... Read More
Upon arrival to the ship, all went like clockwork until we got to the buffet line. Then, it was like 1000 people hadn't eaten for a month! There was pushing, almost shoving to get to the buffet line. Welcome to your cruise! Having a walking disability, made it difficult to maneuver. Why Celebrity didn't have the restaurant open, when they knew the number of passengers boarding (at the same time)? Le Havre, Bordeaux, Bilbao our first three port's were interesting, most chose tours due to these being primarily shipping ports. (Except Bilbao) Tours were very expensive. More definition is needed for tours! Many tours were marked "moderate" were more strenuous! Who defines these? Obviously NOT a disabled person! Vigo Spain: Enjoyable tour of town. Fatima Portugal: Best deal of our cruise (although 5 hour bus ride to Fatima and back). Thoroughly enjoyed this tour, although our guide was lost for lunch. Had dinner at the Tuscan Grille (awesome). I wish I could say the same for the food at the San Marco dining room. Average at best. Loved the Poolside grill. This was a "Wine Immmersive" Cruise in yet the corkage charge was applied. Why? We purchased wine during our vineyard tours then had to open our bottle in our cabin as to not incur this obscene charge! Why wouldn't Celebrity have given a discount on corkage fee? Especially when you pay up to $199 for a wine tour. Seems like a small thing, but a liquor bill can add up very quickly. Room Steward (Matt) was terrific! I only wish maintenance would have waited to work on the hand rail on the deck. They decided to paint and stain our deck rail and left a terrible mess, but Matt was on-the-spot cleaning up their mess. This was our 3rd Celebrity Cruise was somewhat disappointed with this ship and personnel. This ship (although somewhat refurbed) is in dire need of a thorough updating (not just painting here and there, during a cruise). Personnel not very helpful with tours/handicap accessibility. Considering the average age of this cruise had to be mid to high 60's! Tried to go to one of the shows, unfortunately there were no places to sit. Spent days at sea (at night) in the casino. Casino very fun (during sea nights). Loved "Happy Hour" specials. Overall, loved this itinerary, tours cost much more than anticipated, but this trip was terrific. Glad we came in early and did Paris before the cruise. Wouldn't have had time to see Paris AND Normandy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was our first time on Celebrity. We had been told it was an upmarket Royal Caribbean but we found it to be very much on a par. The good news was our cabin. We booked Concierge Class which was well worthwhile. The cabin was very ... Read More
This was our first time on Celebrity. We had been told it was an upmarket Royal Caribbean but we found it to be very much on a par. The good news was our cabin. We booked Concierge Class which was well worthwhile. The cabin was very spacious and had a large shower. We ate breakfast on the balcony most days. We enjoyed the main dining room and the two specialty restaurants. We ate lunch at the AquaSpa cafe - beautiful piece of grilled tuna or salmon with salad. The buffet is just as badly organised as most cruise lines. Couples have to "guard" their tables so one eats while the other gets their next course. I wish other lines could see how well Oceania does buffets. The buffet food quality was significantly below that of the main dining room. The production crew did a great job with their 3 shows. The headline acts left a lot to be desired. The hypnotist spent 40 of his 50 minutes just finding and testing potential subjects leaving little time for any demonstrations. The pianist could only play very quickly and loudly without any subtlety. When the comedy juggler showed that he could juggle spit, we decided to walk out. The ports were very interesting. The only disappointment was Le Verdon which required a $90 per head coach trip to Bordeaux. The highlight was Bilboa with the Guggenheim museum. The outbreak of Norovirus caused a major dislocation to the ship's procedures. Waiters and kitchen staff ensured there was no contact between food and the passengers. Sometimes this went to absurd levels such as dispensing sugar and sweetener sachets individually, removing cotton buds and brochures from the staterooms etc. The activities at sea were fairly minimal for a ship with over 2000 passengers - we have had more variety on much smaller ships. Overall we had a great time. We enjoyed the cruise experience, the ports and the friends we made on board. We would travel Celebrity again if it had an attractive itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We have just returned from our first Celebrity cruise, 12 nights which sailed from Southampton to Le Havre (for Paris), Le Verdon (for Bordeaux), Bilboa, Vigo, and Porto. As my wife is expecting, we asked at check-in if we could be ... Read More
We have just returned from our first Celebrity cruise, 12 nights which sailed from Southampton to Le Havre (for Paris), Le Verdon (for Bordeaux), Bilboa, Vigo, and Porto. As my wife is expecting, we asked at check-in if we could be rushed through which they said no problem and we were moved to the front and we were on the ship within 10 minutes. Big thumbs up. Initial impressions of the ship that although it was a mid-sized ship, the same as our last 2 cruises on the P&O Oceana, it seemed larger with more public areas. The main thing that was missing was the atrium, which was disappointing as this is usually the most impressive part of the ship. After doing a quick tour as the ship I didn't like it, I thought there was too many cafe's, bars that all looked the same and didn't think I would find my bearings. Mid way through the cruise I got used to it, and found it it to be an impressive ship with a good layout. There was a wide variety of nationalities on the ship, a lot from over the other side of the Atlantic and I thought with us being a young couple, we thought we would be fairly lonely on this cruise. However after a day or 2 we started to meet some very nice people, some whom we are staying in though with. We booked an outside cabin mid ship and low, which we were very happy with, especially for the price we paid. It had a large port hole, a small settee, plenty of storage, double shower and plenty of room. Due to the position of the cabin, there was very little movement throughout the cruise and the captain used the stabilisers when he thought it would get rough. Our stateroom attendant was friendly and chatty (even though we called him by his last name all cruise, whoops !) and helped us with anything we needed. In the buffet Sea Side restaurant at the top of the ship there was a good variety of food, from shepherds pie to sushi, and curry's to pizza. The layout wasn't great, you needed to keep going back and forth especially at the drinks station which could have been laid out a lot better and easier. However it was good enough and plenty of seats made sure you were never short of somewhere to sit. We were on an early sitting (6:00) on a table for 2 in the San Marco restaurant which we attended on the second night. The waiters were friendly and helpful but not very personable. As we did a tour to Paris on the third day we asked Oliver the Assistant Maitre D if we could change to the late sitting (8:30). He sorted it and we were moved to a different area of the restaurant. We found it more enjoyable there and the waiters more chatty and entertaining so we asked to be moved permanently which Oliver arranged. After a night or 2 we joined a couple we had befriended in the casino and sat on their table for the rest of the holiday. The food generally wasn't anything special and the service lacked on a few occasions but overall the dining experience was good. On a couple of occasions we had lunch in the Crepe Bistro which for $5 each was definitely worth it. The crepes and paninis were excellent and there was a good atmosphere and good service. One night, Oliver sorted out a reduced price for the Tuscan grill for the 4 of us. It should have been $30 each, but we got it for $24 each plus a complimentary glass of wine. The wine was charged to our bill which we weren't happy about but they removed it when queried. The food and service in the Tuscan Grill was excellent, there were 6 courses: Appetiser, Soup, Pasta Course, Fish Course, Meat Course and Dessert. We couldn't manage the dessert so we arranged to return the following night for it, which wasn't a problem :) In fact we joined another couple we had befriended the following night and they brought us practically every dessert on the menu, they really couldn't do enough for you and I highly recommend this restaurant as a treat. The Casino was large with a lot of tables and slots. The slots needed updating and the tables were $6 minimum to play, so I only played 1 night. I mainly played texas hold em on the electronic table which was $60 per game (house took $10 each). This was the social hub of the ship for me and we met a lot of great people here. The Thalassotherapy pool was great and I went here nearly every day. As there was hardly any sun on this cruise it was great to have this option and would have been a little bored without this. The changing area was very clean and with good facilities including a sauna with a large port hole. The gym had a good variety and number of up to date machines with a separate area for free weights and aerobics. The spa was expensive, but this is par for the course on cruise ships. The Cafe on board with the big yellow chairs was nice to sit in through the day and the herbal teas were great. We didn't attend many shows but the theatre was impressive and what we did see was good. The excursions were many and varied, but all were over priced. This didn't seem to put people off as they are well marketed. We only took 1 trip to Paris which worked out about £80 each and included a sightseeing tour, a couple of hours free time and a cruise down the River Seine. As Paris is about 2.5 hours away from port we thought this was not too bad, but it was a long day. The drinks prices on board were expensive and it was a good job we both weren't drinking as our cruise bill would've been very high ! A 15% tip was added on for each drink which soon adds up. In the cafe you could pay nearly £3.50 for a drink you could get for free in the self service restaurant. Photos were expensive but they didn't seem to hassle you as much on this cruise and quickly scarpered when I said we hadn't spoken for 3 days (works every time :) The tips charges were $11.50/day (£7.15) compared to P&O £3.50/day. We asked for these to be adjusted off as we prefer to pay in cash. For example, we didn't eat in the main restaurant 5 nights so we didn't want to tip the waiters there as we were tipping other waiters elsewhere. The payout for things like Bingo was very low and needs to be addressed. Ports: Le Havre - OK for Paris, but 1 day was enough here. Le Verdon - Rubbish Bilbao - Nice port, plenty to do Vigo - Again nice port Porto - Handy for the beach and not too far from town. Disembarking at the end of the cruise was quick and easy. Overall the cruise was very good (bar the weather) and Celebrity certainly know what they are doing. P&O seem behing the times compared to them and need to up their game. However, we will not be cruising with them in the near future as they wanted to charge £500 + tips for a 6 month old baby when we asked for a quote for next year. We thought this rediculous and will probably get a last minute deal with P&O as they don't charge up to 2 years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We travelled to Southampton with inter-cruise coaches,we had to pick it up at Burton Wood services as the one from Leeds was full. it took 6hrs with a 45 min stop and two pickups on the way. but once you hand your luggage to the driver you ... Read More
We travelled to Southampton with inter-cruise coaches,we had to pick it up at Burton Wood services as the one from Leeds was full. it took 6hrs with a 45 min stop and two pickups on the way. but once you hand your luggage to the driver you don't see it again till it arrives outside your stateroom. This was my first Celebrity cruise, I must say I was not as impressed as I hoped to be, I found the ship to be quite dark and dull in places, and the Grand Foyer was not very grand at all, we had our photo taken at the bottom of the stairs on one of the formal nights and we look like we are at the bottom of an escalator in a shopping mall.. Cabin. Our cabin I thought better than the ones on Princess as the bathroom and the shower were bigger and the wardrobe had doors. we have always had a balcony before and as we booked at the last moment we could only get a cabin on deck 3, these just have a porthole, the only problem I found was you couldn't open the window and get any fresh air, and they got very stuffy after a short time. We did have a kettle with tea and sugar but no coffee, they had sachets of Hot Chocolate at the buffet to bring down. I wish I had taken my own hair dryer as the one with the hose in the bathroom was rubbish. Plenty of space under the bed for suitcases etc. Our cabin steward was very good and any request was carried out quickly. Duty Free. There was no duty free shop as UK regulations prohibit the on-board sale of Tobacco and Alcohol and perfume etc was subject to 20 percent VAT. Food. We found the food to be very good in the dinning room, but the service was a bit haphazard, we were at a table for 6 on second sitting and I don't think we had one meal where our orders were all correct, we quite often ended up with things we didn't order and had to wait while they were changed, I also have never been asked to reuse the cutlery from my salad to eat my main course before, I thought it was just a blip on the first evening when the waiter put my knife and fork on my side plate to reuse. they did it again on the second night, so this time I asked for clean ones and for the next night till they got the message. Also a couple of nights our meal was nearly over before our wine arrived. but they are small things and the food was beautifully presented and always hot... The buffet was a bit hit and miss and set out a bit oddly with a gap in the middle and if you didn't carry on to the bottom you would miss quite a bit as farther down they had a station doing Eggs Benedict and poached eggs etc, at the bottom end they had the waffle and pancake station and you could go out of the doors there to eat outside. at lunchtime they did hot sandwiches there and Pizzas, in the evening they would cook chicken salmon etc to order and had baked potatoes fries veg salad etc to go with it. they had a pasta station where they would cook to order. Poolside Grille. you could get burgers and hot dogs fries salad etc from 11.30am to 6.00pm. AquaSpa Cafe. light breakfast and lunches with Salmon etc cooked to order. Formal nights. Dress ranged from men wearing trousers and a sports jacket to a Dinner suit, and ladies in anything from a sundress a cocktail dress or full evening dress. The Captains Welcome toast was at 8.30pm while we were having dinner or 10.45pm which was when the show was on in the theater, so the timings were a bit strange Room Service. Room Service was fast and even though a limited choice was tasty and hot. we had our evening meal in our cabin after we go back from Porto, we were so tired we just had dinner and watched a couple of films on TV. We had breakfast on the last morning as we had an early disembarkation, it came on time and was very good and saved us time. Entertainment The shows we went to were quite good, but they are down to personal choice and not everyone has the same taste and I heard people saying the magician was fantastic and also rubbish, so it is up to the individual. Perry Grant who sings and plays the piano in Michael's Bar was quite funny the first couple of times but did more or less the same thing each evening. he had a sort of cult following who he took the mickey out of all the time. there were the usual things like bingo and slot pulls which we didn't go to so can't comment. we did go to Dancing with the officers which was quite funny, that was followed by Karaoke which wasn't, we left after the second rendition of "That's Life" There was a Trivia Quiz now and then and some people took it VERY seriously and got quite cross if they lost, and as the prize was only a sun visor it was not much of a loss. Pools. The outdoor pool was freezing cold, plenty of loungers but a lot were in the shade unless you went up on the top deck where there was no shade at all,the pool attendants did go round removing towels people had left to reserve beds after so long, the indoor Thalassotherapy pool was like a pool sized hot tub with two bubble beds and water spouts to massage your head and neck, this was usually full and people reserved loungers and didn't come back for hours. Shuttle Service. The Shuttle service from the ship cost $15 and the first one was a fiasco, as they had not ordered enough coaches and we waited over an hour, some waited one and a half. when we finally got on the coach we were told it would be complimentary, and we did in fact get a refund, in the end we were refunded for all the shuttles but don't know if this will be the case on future cruises. it seems that we were so far away from anywhere at some of the places we docked it was a bit like you had to pay or be stuck there, one dock was just a few containers and a shed and miles of nothing, no taxis to be had. Excursions. We didn't go on any of the excursions, just did our own thing. Le Havre. At Le Havre we got a taxi into the town which cost 8 euros and as we shared with another couple who were waiting which made it very cheap, we did the same on the second day and went on the little tourist motor train that goes round, it is not hop on hop off though. and cost 5 euros. Bordeaux. At Bordeaux we got the shuttle to Soulac Sur Mer which is a little sea side town with the usual tourist shops and lots of bars for lunch and some nice wine. it's a pleasant place to pass a few hours. Bilbao. We got the Shuttle into Bilbao on the first day about a 25 min journey. it was a five min walk to the Guggenheim, it was only 8 euros to get in as the 3rd floor was closed because they were putting in new exhibits, I don't know what the usual price is. we enjoyed the Hockney exhibit very much as the paintings are from near where we live. we then walked by the river to the old town for lunch and got the tram back to the Guggenheim for 1.40 euros and the shuttle back. the day after we got off and walked round the bay, a nice beach and a couple of hotels. the marina next to the ship had a little shop where we got some 2litre bottles of coke and bottled water to bring on board, we asked our steward to empty the fridge of the pay for drinks so we could chill ours, there was no problem with this. Vigo. At Vigo the ship docks right at the town so we just got off and wandered, it's a beautiful place but very hilly, we had wine and tapas outside a nice bar which was only 16 euros for 4 of us and we had 2 glasses each. there is a shopping mall by the ship where we got one or two gifts to bring home. Porto. Porto we docked at the end of the town and as we came through the terminal celebrity were selling tickets for the yellow hop on hop off bus for 15 euros, there was a very long queue as people who wanted the shuttle to the end of the dock thought that was the queue for them, it was all very badly organised, we just walked out onto the shuttle (it is only a 2 min journey but as it is a working dock we were not allowed to walk) and got the Blue ho ho bus for 10 euros, it was just unfortunate they had a marathon and part of the route was shut to traffic. there was also the red ho ho bus as well but I don't know the price. it was a short day as we had to be back on board for 5.45pm also as it was Sunday hardly anything was open. Wine We were allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on each time we got back on board, some people got off a couple of times and fetched two bottles on each time. At Porto we got two bottles of Port which were taken from us and returned the last afternoon. Health. My sister picked up a bug the day we left Porto and we had to go to sick bay and they gave her an injection, she was ill the last two days and quarantined, they did not charge for her treatment and she got a letter to say she would get a credit off her next cruise for the time spent in quarantine. another couple of people we talked to were also ill and spent time in quarantine. disembarkation. we were asked to wait in the Rendezvous bar at 7.30am but it was 8.15am by the time we were called as they had problems with offloading the luggage, but once off it was straight to pick up our luggage and out, so only about 15 mins. We just booked the cruise for a nice relaxing holiday and were not much interested in the wine aspect so didn't take much notice of the wine related activities on board, but we did enjoy our cruise and I hope they iron out the difficulties for the next cruise. I would not go on the Constellation again as I didn't think it was anything special but this again is personal taste. and some of the places where we docked left a lot to be desired, but we may look into other Celebrity ships for the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
There have already been several quite comprehensive reviews of Constellation and the 'Immersive Wine Cruise' she's sailing. Without repeating too much, here are our impressions. First up, the Millennium Class Celebrity ... Read More
There have already been several quite comprehensive reviews of Constellation and the 'Immersive Wine Cruise' she's sailing. Without repeating too much, here are our impressions. First up, the Millennium Class Celebrity ships are not as new as the Solstice vessels, but its not all bad. For one thing, they carry fewer passengers and so are less crowded. They have also been 'solsticised' which effectively means redecoration and re-branding of some inside venues. Constellation is 10 years old but there is still life left in this ship and compared with the prices you'll pay for a cruise on a Solstice ship, its worth a look. This cruise attracted a fair few North Americans. Mostly middle aged or retired couples with a passion for Europe and Wine. I'd say they made up around 50-60% of passengers. But if there was any loud vulgarity it wasn't our North American cousins, but the lower end of the cruising market Brits who lowered the tone. We were grateful not to see any football strips being worn though. The ship is suitable for a quieter cruise than one might get on a larger Royal Caribbean ship like Independence of the Seas. But this makes for a more relaxed break. Ports of call were all good. Even Le Verdon which was near to Royan which is worth a visit. Do research and make plans though, to make the best of your time. Food is competent, but no more by cruising standards unless you pay for Ocean Liners and the Tuscan Grill. The MDR is not as accessible as it should be, closing quite early for breakfast and not open for lunch in port. Bad Celebrity! This is not good enough. I suspect that Celebrity were staffing both the Buffet and MDR from the same roster and so were not able to run both venues competently at the same time. Select Dining was not quite so 'select' as Celebrity might like to suggest. We had to wait to be seated most evenings. Logistically I fail to see how it could have been run any better though. This is a case of managing expectations. I think Celebrity slightly oversold Select Dining in order to get those tips prepaid. Still, the waits were not unreasonably long or poorly managed. Entertainment was likewise competent but not exceptional. But at this price do you really get everything? I would have like to have seen more live music in places like the MDR. Alas, the resident string trio were playing in Cafe El Bacio during evening dining times, where you paid to drink the good coffee. I get that you want to drive people to these paid-for venues but the MDR is a big part of the overall experience and should not be neglected in this way. Move the String Trio to where the people are Celeb! Crew were all good. Very attentive, polite and well turned out. Our stateroom attendant earned himself an extra tip. In light of the rather naive and stupid documentary about Celebrity on UK Channel 4 the night we returned, we think we did alright by the guy. I am pleased to say we did not see a towel animal the entire cruise. The pool deck and solarium were the part of the ship where it most showed its age. This is puzzling as 'solsticising' the pool deck should not be too expensive. A bit of new pool furniture?? But that aside, the pool decks were perfectly usable and we could usually find a space. The solarium came in handy when the weather was less accommodating. Our only excursions were shuttle buses and we ended up demanding (and getting) a refund for the utterly dire service in Le Havre, which left me waiting for a shuttle bus for over an hour. It was better value in Bilbao though where proper coaches were used. The service was convenient and frequent, making it worth the $15. In summary I would have no hesitation of paying a similar amount of money to what we paid this time to cruise on Celebrity Constellation again. It perhaps suffers unfairly by comparison with its newer sister ships but is perfectly acceptable by comparison with other ships in the fleets of other lines. Well done Celebrity and Constellation! You've got our £75 open passage booking so you know we'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
we have just returned from the celebrity wine immersion cruise overall we had a very nice cruise we met nice people, had a nice dining table the food was wonderful and service excellent our cabin was fine although we often heard ... Read More
we have just returned from the celebrity wine immersion cruise overall we had a very nice cruise we met nice people, had a nice dining table the food was wonderful and service excellent our cabin was fine although we often heard noises, laughing, and conversations from cabins nearby some stuffing had been put in the door between our neighbouring cabin our cabin girl jennifer remembered us from another cruise.. amazing the prices on the excursions were very high so we only took one to paris as we had never been there before otherwise we did our own thing with hop on buses royon and soulac were disasters at royon we found the tourist board and there were wine tours but we didn't know that you had to phone for a taxi and we had no phone we waited at a taxi stand in the rain for quite a while but of coarse no taxi came also at soulac there were no taxis to go to wineriesalso at le havre we shared a taxi for 6 and went to honfleur which was a beautiful medieval village, had a great time wandering, eating mussels and having wine we also found the prices for on board drinks,wine packages high and $25 for corkage is really alot at southampton we booked the holiday inn online, not knowing that it was out in the wilderness Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We are a mother and son and this is our first Celebrity cruise although we have both cruised with other lines. Because we live in the North of Scotland we decided to spend a couple of days in southampton prior to boarding the ship. We ... Read More
We are a mother and son and this is our first Celebrity cruise although we have both cruised with other lines. Because we live in the North of Scotland we decided to spend a couple of days in southampton prior to boarding the ship. We booked the Jury's Inn Hotel in Southampton which was well located for the city center being only a short walk away. We were lucky in that we got to see the brand new Liberty of the Seas who was berthed at the City Cruise terminal for the 2 days we were there. apparently this was one of the busiest weeks that Southampton docks have ever had with several ships being in, including QM2, Oriana, Arcadia, Artemis and the newly named Ocean Village 2. The day of embarkation we arrived at the terminal just before 12 and were through check-in within 5 minutes. This was where we got the pleasant surprise of an upgrade from an inside to a balcony cabin. We were then on the ship within 15mins with a glass of bubbly in hand. The ship seemed to be in a good state of repair with only a few things looking worn, you wouldn't think she was going into refit straight after this cruise. Our cabin was nicely located on deck 7 just aft of the midship elevators and only ever having inside cabins it was nice to have daylight streaming into the cabin. The balcony was a nice touch but the weather didn't really afford much time there. One thing i did find disconcerting was the mirrored wall. The dining room was a lovely two deck room and we had a table on the lower floor just by the staircase. I would have to say that i found the service to be quite ordinary and that we have received better service and more personable service on other lines we have cruised. The food itself was quite average with poor quality steaks, a limited choice and at times the food was not very hot. I found the room to be particularly noisy and had trouble speaking to the people on the other side of the table. The seaside cafe and grill would have to be the best buffet areas I have come across, with a good selection of food especially the Pizza and the burgers. The service we received here seemed to be better than that in the restaurant. Entertainment was generally good with the production shows being standard cruise ship fare. Although i find it strange that they bother to get the dancers to mine to the songs when most of them didn't do a very good job of it. There was an Irish comedian whose name I forget which is a bit like his show and also a cabaret singer from Scotland called Jack Walker who was particularly good, who was worth going back to the late show for. The ports of call were good but I found both Cork and Dublin just like any big city in the UK with some nice places of interest but generally the same shops selling the same things. There were several issues that put a slight damper on our cruise, these being not receiving our luggage until 8.30pm even after being told at 4.30 that they had located our luggage and would be sent directly to our cabin. We later found out it was actually sent to our original cabin of 9021 and that our cabin steward was going to cabin 9012 to look for it. Our cards were changed 8 times between us as my card would not open the cabin door and this took several visits to guest relations to get resolved. They also added double the amount of tips to our onboard account even after asking for the tips not to be added to our account. Overall we had a good cruise, meeting some very nice people and visiting some good ports of call but it was let down by some minor issues. We left this cruise feeling that Celebrity did not live up to its reputation where service and food are concerned and that it is no better than many of the other mass market lines out there. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
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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