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18,760 Celebrity Cruise Reviews

Summary: This is a very nice upscale cruise ship. BUT I had heard a lot of hype about how good Celebrity was and the reality didn't live up to the hype. There are other Cruise Lines which are superior to at least this one ... Read More
Summary: This is a very nice upscale cruise ship. BUT I had heard a lot of hype about how good Celebrity was and the reality didn't live up to the hype. There are other Cruise Lines which are superior to at least this one experience. However, it's a cruise - what could be bad? In what follows I don't want to sound too negative, but there were alot of issues Pros: - Food quality tended to be very good. - Breakfast served before 10AM included excellent waffles, french toast, and pancakes. - Entertainment was very good. - Ship was clean for the most part and the staff tended to be very friendly. Cons: - Embarkation was a mess. The ship left port at 4:00PM with a life boat drill scheduled for 3:15PM, and they didn't start embarkation until 12:00. The welcome aboard lunch buffet shut down at 2:30PM. The result was that many in our party did not make it on board in time for lunch. - When we got on board the ship at 1:30PM, the cabins were not ready. - One person's luggage went missing. It didn't show up until after dinner on the first evening. - One of the cabins had electrical problems. - One of the cabins had mold in the bathroom. - The cabins are some of the smallest I have ever seen on a cruise ship, and we have done extensive cruising. My wife has a small handicapped travel scooter, and we had difficulty getting it in the cabin. Once in it blocked the entrance and the bathroom. There was no way to store it. - We had a large party (12 people) with 6 cabins. The first night we were not seated together because they got the reservation mixed up. - Breakfast ended at 10AM promptly. There was an extended breakfast until 11:30AM, but it lacked several items. - Lunch was from 12:00 to 2:30PM. After that food service was shut down except for the hamburger and hot dog grill outside (nothing special), pizza inside (mediocre), and ice cream (very good). - Selection of food choices was limited. There were about 20% fewer items on the menus than I had seen on other cruise lines. There was a single vegetarian selection each night. - No lobster or filet mignon on the dinner menu. The dinner menu did have prime rib one night and rack of lamb another. - The breakfast at the buffet was missing several items. Although there is a poached egg station, they overcook the eggs so you end up with hard-boiled eggs benedict. There were no breakfast sandwiches. There is no tea or coffee service at the tables, you had to get it yourself. - There is an upcharge for almost everything. Besides the now common "specialty" restaurants, there is an upcharge for things like many room service items. They wanted $4.50 for a glass of orange juice, although other juices, tea, lemonade, and coffee are available for no additional charge. If you bought the liquor or the soda package, you have to upcharge to "premium" for items like smoothies. Movies in the cabin are pay per view (about $6). Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our second short cruise on the Constellation and we were also on her sister ship, the Summit in late July. The last two trips we booked a Sky Suite and it is well worth the extra expense. The rooms are a little larger than the ... Read More
This was our second short cruise on the Constellation and we were also on her sister ship, the Summit in late July. The last two trips we booked a Sky Suite and it is well worth the extra expense. The rooms are a little larger than the balcony staterooms but Luminae Restaurant is a wonderful addition given to suite occupants, along with access to Michael's Lounge. Embarkation was a breeze for everyone and we quickly went to Luninae to make reservations for our five dinners. Luminae was open for every meal except one luncheon when we were in Cozumel. We saw old "friends" on the Constellation, including Baldo, the fun and talented activiites director and Captain Kafetzis who is the charming younger brother of the Captain who we had on the Summit (now on the Silhouette I believe). Both Captains are fun loving and accessible. The many activities on the ship seemed to be enjoyed by most. The food was good as was the selection. The only shortcoming on the cruise was the entertainment, especially in the Celebrity Theater, which was adequate but underwhelming. The dancers were far more talented than the singers. We were pleasantly surprised that the boat was in such good condition and the entire staff was friendly and accommodating. We had a wonderful time. We usually take longer cruises on smaller, more upscale ships, but these short cruises have also become a nice way to get away and Celebrity has met and exceeded our expectations in almost every way. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The Celebrity Constellation exceeded our expectations! This was our first cruise on Celebrity. It was a wonderful cruise with my family during the Christmas holiday. Our family just sailed on Holland America in March 2015 and had a ... Read More
The Celebrity Constellation exceeded our expectations! This was our first cruise on Celebrity. It was a wonderful cruise with my family during the Christmas holiday. Our family just sailed on Holland America in March 2015 and had a wonderful time. We are big HAL fans and wanted to sail them again, but this 5-night cruise fit our family’s schedule best. I heard great things about Celebrity before sailing with them. We were not disappointed. Our family has previously sailed on Princess (2x), Royal Caribbean (1x) and Carnival (1x) (we won’t cruise Carnival ever again). I tend to read many of the reviews on travel websites before making decisions, especially on Cruise Critic. I am fortunate to have traveled extensively my entire life. My family considers ourselves to be well-traveled, so we understand travel comes with both good and bad moments. I’m reminded when I read poor reviews and negative comments that many times those are from travelers who have unrealistic expectations or are not seasoned travelers who are unable to appreciate the true adventure of travel. The negative reviews I read on here about the Constellation and/or Celebrity were unfounded. The Celebrity Constellation, “Connie”, is a beautiful ship that is very well maintained! The ship is elegant and sophisticated. The Constellation feels like a luxurious, classic, smaller, and traditional ship. The foyer is beautiful and included special holiday décor. There were several public areas decorated for the holidays. Christmas music played all over the ship, including in the buffet. You didn’t forget it was the holidays! The public spaces were always immaculate. The elevators were quick and clean. I was pleased to see how well the crew maintained the public areas and dining spaces considering this sailing was sold out with many families onboard. The crowd was very diverse. This was a holiday cruise, so there were many families onboard. The clientele was chic and well dressed. It is clear Celebrity, like Holland America, caters to a more educated and well-traveled clientele. Very stylish set of passengers. The captain is WONDERFUL! He is engaging, personable, and funny! The crew was always polite and spoke to you. The crew was very, very helpful and kind. The captain and crew made this holiday cruise special for all the passengers. We were in cabins 9162 and 9160 in the Concierge Class. These are both aft cabins. We’ve never sailed in an aft cabin before. WOW! They were amazing. The views were spectacular and the large balconies were an unexpected surprise. We thoroughly enjoyed our balcony the entire cruise. We booked this cruise two weeks before we sailed. Travel agent snatched up these two cabins since few cabins were left. I would say book Concierge Class to have access to the aft cabins. We recommend staying in aft cabins on levels 8 or 7 to avoid some of the noise from the Sunset Bar. There was some noise in the mornings and late afternoons of chairs moving, but it wasn’t excessive or disruptive. The cabin was spacious. The bathroom was a nice size, including a good size shower. The linens were nice. Lots of storage and plenty of closet space. Our cabin stewards were Darkham and Nickola. They were incredible and very, very helpful! Two of the best we have had cruising. The cabins were always clean. The stewards were kind to honor requests for ice and shoe shine services. Fresh fruit was also in the cabin each day. We ate only in the MDR for dinner. The specialty restaurants seemed almost empty the entire trip. We chose Select Dining. Celebrity just initiated “evening chic” that allows passengers to decide how best to dress on the “dress up” night. It was nice to not have to worry about a tie, but most passengers were dressed well every night. Evening chic had a range from dress shirts and slacks for men and dresses for women to even a few tuxes and cocktail dresses. Most people were in smart, business casual. We enjoyed Cedric and Angel as our headwaiters at different tables in the MDR. Olga was an amazing assistant waitress and was one of the best we have ever had on a cruise. She and Angel both remembered our special requests the next night we dined with them. The MDR hostesses were helpful and pleasant, despite stressful times helping guests with reservations. The MDR manager was attentive and even made his rounds with the executive chef one evening. The food was very good. Again, the bad reviews you see seem to be from passengers I believe don’t have realistic food expectations for large dining experiences. The food always was well-presented, good temperatures, and delicious. We had one slow service night, but the other nights were great. Not every meal was 5 stars, but overall we were pleased with the food in MDR. When we didn’t order room service for breakfast, we ate in the Oceanview Café. It was always nice and clean. Very attentive crew. Buffet has lots of food options. The hot food options at lunch were always delicious and varied. Good ice cream and cookies! Burgers by the pool were not good. The entertainment on the Constellation was good. The production quality was professional, but a couple of singers struggled. Peter Fisk (guitarist) and Flying Colors Duo (singer & guitarist) were great musicians. We enjoyed a special holiday production on Christmas Eve afternoon that included a special singing from the kids in the Fun Factory. Santa even made a special appearance on Christmas morning! We enjoyed Kathleen and the Saints in the Rendezvous lounge and enjoyed watching the dancers. The band even dedicated one night to Christmas music. Rendezvous is also one of the few places to have happy hour (4-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-Midnight). Best wine price at happy hour was $5.00 vs. $9.00 for comparable wine at other bars. The pools were nice and usually full. There were plenty of chairs. The Sky Deck on the bow of the ship has a wonderful view and tends to be a nice and quiet spot. There are also nice chairs and sofas in the pool and solarium areas. They go quickly, but usually have plenty of openings late afternoon. The pool always had music, including live music or a special DJ. Not too loud, but gave the atmosphere a fun vibe and kept it “chic”. The DJs on the ship did a nice job, especially with music in the foyer in the evenings. The Reflections Lounge has a TERRIFIC view, but very underutilized during the day. We spent an hour or so during our days at sea playing card games there, but no one was there. The lounge is a fun spot at night for special group games and dancing. The library was nice, but small and not utilized much. The spa has lots of options, including the wonderful Persian Gardens ($79 cruise pass). The Solarium is very nice. Pool is hot, but relaxing and quiet. The fitness center was a good size with a few classes. There is plenty to do onboard. The daily list of activities is varied and diverse. Lots to do. There was a variety of evening entertainment for the family and even a few adult only events late in the evening with comedians and an acrobatics routine. The acrobats were featured in several of the evening shows. They were AMAZING! I need to commend Celebrity for offering a non-denominational Christmas Eve service and a Midnight Mass. The non-denominational service started at 10:30 p.m. and held in a large conference room. It was standing room only. Very nice service and made it a special Christmas Eve for our family. It was nice to not have to sacrifice our holiday service tradition onboard. Celebrity really did a great job making you feel the Christmas spirit. A small crew went caroling around the ship the evening of December 23. There was a large Christmas caroling sing-along in the Grand Foyer on Christmas Eve. It was packed full of passengers and crew signing. Very, very fun and a nice holiday touch. Everyone needs to experience Christmas at sea and in the warm, sunny, beautiful Caribbean! We did the Cozumel island tour (Mayan ruins) that was only 4 hours. It was ok. We did our own excursion in Key West. We bought the Old Town Trolley Tour to ride around the key and see the Southernmost Point and other Key West sites. On disembarkation day, we left our cabin at 8:30 a.m. to go and wait in the Cellar Masters lounge (Concierge Class dedicated waiting area). They had coffee, tea, juice, and some pastries. We ate in the Oceanview Café prior to coming to the lounge. They annouced around 9:00 a.m. that all non-Celebrity transfers could disembark. We left shortly after around 9:10 a.m. and were in our car around 9:50 a.m. Very easy, especially since we had an immigration process at Key West before sailing to Ft. Lauderdale. Our family will definitely sail Celebrity again. We found ourselves comparing Celebrity to HAL. There are pros and cons to each. I will add a forum posting to offer those comparisons. I will also add a forum with some tips for this cruise. We still prefer HAL overall, but have narrowed our cruise preferences down to only two cruise lines – HAL and Celebrity. They are the absolute best. Very comparable experiences with service as a top priority. It is clear Celebrity is focused on a high quality experience. We thank them for making our family’s 2015 Christmas one to remember. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just got off Equinox for the 12 day Holiday cruise. Below are some highlights. Hope this helps those making decisions about sailing with Celebrity over the holidays as well as the ship and the recent changes that Celebrity has made. ... Read More
Just got off Equinox for the 12 day Holiday cruise. Below are some highlights. Hope this helps those making decisions about sailing with Celebrity over the holidays as well as the ship and the recent changes that Celebrity has made. Overall, the brand and the marketing that you see is finally what you can expect onboard a very chic, sophisticated and modern cruising experience. First, one word WOW. Celebrity amazed us once again. Traveling we had 2 adults 54 as well as 2 Adult kids 25. Having not sailed with Celebrity in the last 4 years and hearing of all the changes we wondered how it would go. It was spectacular. First about the changes as there are quite a few. A few words of warning. Unless you are a very young minded 60 to 65+ or someone that likes changes you may be disappointed by expecting the old style of cruising. Perhaps you should consider finding ships that are more representative of the age group as these are changes. Evening Chic is a change. DH did not bring a suit and felt comfortable even though there were many suits and a few tuxes and gowns. DD and I felt very comfortable in cocktail dresses etc. Almost every person we encountered in the dining room were perfectly dressed and we never focused on anyone not dressed appropriately as we did not really see any. LOVED EVENING CHIC! Entertainment and the new production shows were FANTASTIC. In years passed we were typically less than enchanted with the onboard entertainment. This is where Celebrity has finally stepped it up! Every production show was filled with beautiful music, singers, fantastic dancers and aerobatics. They were MODERN updated Vegas and Broadway type shows. The SET show was edgy and realistic of today’s type of TV, Film etc. Finally Celebrity IMHO has gone from a 2 star or 3 star in Entertainment to a 5! GREAT DECISION TO HAVE A LATE DINING SHOW MOVED TO 7PM!!!!! This cruise we actually had time to do more during the evening. DINING Main Dining – New updated menus with classic standbys every night. And while you can order all the Courses , they now list only Starters and Main Course options so you do not feel it necessary to do an appetizer, soup, salad and Main Course. This combined with Select Dining and Specialty restaurants seems to have really sped up the dinner service!!!!! Specialty Restaurants- We tried all of them and with the exception of Tuscan Grill (which we have always loved) they were EXCEPTIONAL. Only comment on Tuscan Grill is that we miss the table side Pasta and a few other little “extras” that gave it the over the top experience. Murano is no less than a 3 Hour Gastronomic Experience…..speaking of Gastronomic…The Gastro Pub Truffle fries and Burger were AMAZING! I do wonder if it will last however as it never seemed crowded. Bistro on 5. Updated menu, new choices and still GOOD! Sushi- While I am not much of a fan, this was a big disappointment to my family that is. They moved the time to later which really messes with Cocktail Hour and Appetizers! Hopefully they will move it back to the earlier time. Oceanview – Great Selections and Well DONE! Even on a very full cruise we managed to find a table and had great wait staff as well. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES No Captains toast and introduction in the Equinox Theatre. Instead, they had a Senior Officer toast in the Grand Foyer. Finally a great use of that space as they did many smaller events there and had regular entertainment, dancing, life events etc. NO Grand Buffet Brunch. Not sure how much money this saves them but I can say they put the extra effort in Oceanview with Ice Sculptures and Ginger Bread Houses etc. for Christmas. NO farewell Formal Gala with napkin waving and staff introductions. While we did not miss that, we wondered if their staff does? The largest part of what makes Celebrity work is their onboard crew. From room attendants, wait staff, concierge, guest relations, security, spa and activity directors this team is what drives the high level of service and they do it day in and day out with smiles! Sometimes just a smile to them and a please and thank you goes a long way but they work for TIPS and we wondered if the tipping system, lack of the Farewell Gala etc. actually costs them additional income. NO Sorbet parade on Sea Days –It was a nice touch, but is no longer. NO Steel Drums on Pool Deck, Sunset bar etc. Loved that touch. Now however, they seem to play a lot more updated current music over the speaker system and they have turned up the volume so you can actually hear the music in cafes etc. that do not have live entertainment. No Beach Towels – No longer in our concierge room and were told that the Pool towels are now that acceptable solution. NO Towel animal displays regularly from room staff. I always thought it was a FUN above and beyond touch but I believe they are more focused on keeping the teams on more rooms and turning them over quickly each day. Baggage Delivery for Concierge class should be express but we got our bags about 7 PM. Not sure we saw ANY benefit this trip for the upgrade to Concierge Class. Together we utilized the Spa, Casino, All restaurants, Most Bars (Premium Beverage), Internet, Shore Excursions, The Studio and Photo Gallery (Bought package) and Shopped. We are not Art people so avoided that area. My ratings: 5 Stars for Service 5 Stars for Food 5 Stars for Entertainment 5 Stars for Bars (Although they need to fix the beverage package for wine drinkers) 0 for the Internet Service 2 for in Room TV (rarely worked) 5 Stars for getting us through REALLY ROUGH SEAS 4 Stars for the Improved Spa Service 5 Stars for Casino 5 Stars for activity choices 5 Stars for Holiday Decorating and Christmas Awareness with Caroling, Mass, Dinners etc. 5 Stars for overall ship condition 5 Stars for Embarkation and Disembarkation 5 Stars for Captain Club Parties Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our second cruise with Celebrity and it was not close to the superb standards of the Celebrity Cruise in October to New England/Canada. So many issues and lots of little things that made this an OK but not great cruise. Foremost ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity and it was not close to the superb standards of the Celebrity Cruise in October to New England/Canada. So many issues and lots of little things that made this an OK but not great cruise. Foremost was the docking so far away from cities and the requirement to pay to get into "town". Shame that such a quality cruise line does not offer a free ride into town when docked so far away. Of particular irritation was docking at Phu By instead of Ho Chi Minh city. There was another cruise line docked in the city and wonder why Celebrity could not come into town as well. Internet on board was pathetic. Shows were good to great except for a violinist on New Year's Eve. Cruise director was good and food in Blu was superb, along with wait staff. Staterooms were good along with attendants. No Chaplain on board for Christmas. Lots of children running "wild" on the ship. Dock in Hong Kong requires a very, very long walk to get on and off. Ports of call were spot on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We just got back from December 20 trip out of Hong Kong, and wanted to highlight some of the things that we most enjoyed so that others planning their trips can take advantage of them. Also, a few negatives... Hong Kong is a wonderful ... Read More
We just got back from December 20 trip out of Hong Kong, and wanted to highlight some of the things that we most enjoyed so that others planning their trips can take advantage of them. Also, a few negatives... Hong Kong is a wonderful city to leave from. If you arrive early, it's easy to navigate the city -- say, go to the Giant Buddha, Victoria Peak, or the hop-on buses -- on your own. Hong Kong is a great food city, and we recommend the Din Tau Fung dumpling stores. Our Hotel was the Royal Pacific, which was very nice, huge, and convenient to Kowloon shopping. Our embarkation was a miracle. We literally breezed onto the boat. We had an arrival time between 12 and 4, and I think we arrived midpoint. There was no line anywhere -- barely a soul around. Where was everyone? A mystery. Debarkation was easy as well; we went on the Taste of Singapore tour (very good and included a historic food court visit) and were dropped at the airport. Most of our tours were interesting and well-organized. My two favorites were the bike ride in Hoi Ann (although I'm sure anything in Hoi Ann would be nice; it's a lovely town) and the elephant sanctuary in Pattaya. We also had our best tour lunch in Hoi Ann, at a place with the inauspicious name of Cargo. The Halong bay area is beautiful; scenically, that was the highlight of our trip. The morning we were there. The cave visit is touristy, with the caves lit up a bit garishly. I'm sure these are spectacular caves, but the experience is a bit spoiled by the amount of tourism. We did a long day in Hanoi, and enjoyed the electric car ride (necessary! it's hard to cross the street) and found the Ho Chi Minh sites interesting. In Saigon, we went to the Cuchi tunnels, a trip to which remains a disturbing experience (I had been 20 years ago). What I really did like, however, was the Chinatown and the trip to the Chinese temple in downtown Saigon. It's a bit of a hidden oasis in a crowded downtown area. In Thailand, we very much enjoyed the elephant sanctuary in Pattaya. We had our one lemon of a trip in Thailand -- the 3 hour ride to the non-existent floating market. Our tour guide did not even point out the remains of the old floating market. He left us in a tourist mall and went off to eat by himself. The crafts visit at the end of the trip was also a disappointment, although, in all fairness, the buffet lunch was good. For the most part, we enjoyed the food on the ship and were delighted that the chef brought in local fresh fruits while in port. In the oceanview, we had Thai baby coconuts, rambuttan, Asian pears, whole kiwis, etc. What a nice change from the usual melon slices! Celebrity, if you see this, please keep bringing in fresh local fruit! We loved the wine steward in Blu, Fernando, and our all-time favorite person on the ship is Agus in the Martini Bar. In terms of Celebrity Life activities, I enjoyed the watercoloring class, although I only went 1 time. I also enjoyed the Tai Chi and made it to that 3 times! The Sauna in the changing room near the gym remains a favorite place (open to everyone) and the Persian Gardens were fine, although not as nice as on S.Class ships. Our cabin, 1131, was attended by excellent stewards (Marissa and Jobis). It was in good condition overall, although there were some permanent stains on the bathroom tiles and there were occasional plumbing issues (attended to immediately). I thought the ship looked to be in good shape, and I really enjoyed the art on board, although they no longer had descriptive materials about the various art pieces. For those staying on the Deck 11, you'll be relieved to know that there was not any smoking on Deck 10 below. Thank you Celebrity for that decision. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Embarked at Valparaiso for 14 day South America cruise. Bit slow at check in (suite class queue, supposed to be priority), but staff helpful and friendly. The Infinity showing some signs of wear and tear, particularly the outdoor spaces, ... Read More
Embarked at Valparaiso for 14 day South America cruise. Bit slow at check in (suite class queue, supposed to be priority), but staff helpful and friendly. The Infinity showing some signs of wear and tear, particularly the outdoor spaces, and needs some work. Nice spacious Aqua Class balcony suite, very large bathroom (with separate shower cubicle, a first for us). Prompt and helpful room staff, but a small word of caution here on the bed pillows and linens - no pillow menu, and the default is feather, so if you need hypoallergenic, you need to ask right at the start (don't know if available, as we realised this at the end, after a few days of sneezing and allergic symptoms!). Outdoor pools small and cold, alternative of indoor solarium thellasotherapy pool is adequate, but also small. Canyon spa average, generally lacking the amenities and finesse of a first class facility (masseuse got it wrong on selected therapy, charge had to be reversed after complaining; steam, sauna, Turkish in Persian Garden all just about ok). Good gym, enough space and equipment. Speciality restaurants all very good (Qsine, Tuscan, Luminae), main restaurant (Trellis) a bit inconsistent, but excellent service generally. Bars and lounges very good, Al Bacio coffee lounge excellent with really good staff. Generally very good theatre shows, with some original and unusual performers, but also some routine average ones. Casino just average, one croupier particularly bad attitude (enough for us to just walk away). Good port stops right through, with interesting shore excursions (we did our own private cars everywhere, a more flexible, relaxed and better priced option). Overall a very good cruise with an interesting itinerary, but the Infinity could do with upgrading in some areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I are both around 40 years old, this is our 10th cruise and third Celebrity cruise (all on solstice class ships). We are both fairly laid back with reasonable expectations. Overall, we thought the cruise was amazing. in ... Read More
My wife and I are both around 40 years old, this is our 10th cruise and third Celebrity cruise (all on solstice class ships). We are both fairly laid back with reasonable expectations. Overall, we thought the cruise was amazing. in fact, usually on our last night of a cruise we like to talk about what we liked and didn't like about the cruise we are on and we were hard pressed to find any negatives. Embarkation/Disembarkation: We arrived a little on the early side and we were probably on the ship in 15 minutes. Disembarkation is always organized chaos and overall it was fine. If you really want to beat the crowds and chaos your best bet is to walk off your own luggage and try and get off the ship as early as possible. We had a later flight and chose to get off the ship at our assigned time and picked up our bags in the terminal. The ship: The solstice class ships are amazing. You never feel overly crowded and our cruise being on the Xmas break was fully booked. It looked great and was kept super clean. I actually remarked to my wife that almost half the time I used a public bathroom there was a crew member in there cleaning, stocking hand towels, etc. Dining: Dining is always somewhat tough to rate as it is often very individual based. For example, just between my wife and I, she is a little more picky so I often am a little more happy with the food on all of our cruises. That being said, we both thought the food was great. We only ate dinners in the main dining room at the open seating top level. We always find we enjoy the main dining room on all our cruises and rarely try the pay restaurants. We only ate with each other so the wait time was never that bad for a table for two. We did find that the length of the meal can be longer or shorter depending on the wait staff, as some wait staff like to chat with the guests more than others. We also think the buffet on the Silhouette (as with the other solstice class ships) is great. The layout makes it never feel overly busy and the food choice and quality is good. We ate breakfast and some lunches at the buffet. We also tried the Mast Grill several times and thought the burgers and fries were pretty good. Entertainment: Overall we have found NCL to have the best entertainment in our opinion, but we did enjoy the entertainment on this cruise. However, we did not see every show. We saw two comedians (both were quite good) and we saw the magic/juggling show which was also enjoyable. Christmas: While we don't celebrate Christmas we love the time of year. The ship was decorated nicely and on the 24th a group of the crew sang Christmas carols in the main atrium and there was fake snow falling from the upper levels above. It was pretty impressive. Activities: Can't really comment as we generally don't participate and just prefer relaxing and getting sun. Overall, we had an amazing week. We still think Celebrity is doing a great job and you really can't go wrong on any of the solstice class ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My husband & I have only been cruising since 2012 (2 Princess, 1 Disney), so this Christmas Celebrity Silhouette (12/20-12/27) cruise was only our 4th. We loved it so much that we booked a future cruise on the Silhouette. The ship ... Read More
My husband & I have only been cruising since 2012 (2 Princess, 1 Disney), so this Christmas Celebrity Silhouette (12/20-12/27) cruise was only our 4th. We loved it so much that we booked a future cruise on the Silhouette. The ship was immaculate, well-staffed, and gorgeous. We had a deluxe veranda stateroom on the 7th deck, close to mid-ship elevators…very comfortable, and plenty of room for the 2 of us. Check-in was a breeze..no wait. Handed a glass of champagne as we embarked, and immediately booked a couple of specialty dining restos. No problem getting into Bistro on 5 for lunch….lovely. Had two dinners in Tuscan Grille (very nice), one in Murano (spectacular) and one on the last night at the Lawn Club. Didn't enjoy that as much as the others. Probably my fault, because I had over-indulged in food all week, should have skipped the flatbread. The salad bar was awesome, and by the time the delicious tenderloin shish-ke-bab arrived, I was too stuffed to enjoy it. As I said, my fault. However, I found the lighting to be too bright….not especially cozy for such a great location on the top deck. I read another review from someone who sailed the Silhouette TA, and claimed that Celebrity discriminated against Christians (i.e. only Jewish services). Our cruise over Christmas belied that claim. The ship was decorated "to the nines" for Christmas. There was a retired Catholic priest onboard who held services each morning (He said "This is not just a Catholic service; it is for all Christians). We went to Midnight Mass on Christmas. They played real Christmas carols throughout the week. We were pleasantly surprised. Another thing that might be of interest to future Celebrity cruisers. Our VISA card was compromised by fraud (yes, it has a chip) while we were on the cruise. Had a hard time by phone (long story) but got the card frozen at 1 AM on Xmas Day. When we went to Guest Services to change to another credit card, they informed us that they allow their passengers to make FREE phone calls from the ship to their bank in cases like this. Nice service, tho I hope you don't need it. The ship swallows up 3,000 people beautifully. We only felt crowded on the pool deck, but that was probably the busiest week of the year. Never had to wait in line for anything. On the down side, only a couple of things. The internet package I purchased was useless. I bought 90 minutes for approx. $59. Spent 42 minutes trying to access my e-mail, without success. Went to iLounge on 6 to cancel my package. No problem with refund. She said there was too much "traffic". Inconvenient, but no big deal for us. As for the Classic Drink Package: I drink chardonnay. The first two days, I was given two glasses of something that I could swear was riesling (my DH concurred). I sprang for the extra $11.80/day to upgrade to premium on the third day, only to find that I was getting the same choice of chardonnay (St. Francis, which wasn't bad) in all the bars. In the dining room, I ordered Kendall Jackson, only to find that it is "Kendall Jackson, Made for Celebrity", and not the same KJ I drink at home. I found the wine choices (chardonnay) to be severely limited. Maybe it is more worthwhile to upgrade if you drink hard liquor? My husband was happy drinking Heineken all week with his Classic Package. Also didn't understand why you could only get club soda as a sparkling water on the Classic. Isn't Perrier or Soleil a lot cheaper than the wine and liquor already offered? Maybe I went on too much about the "downside". It was overall a FABULOUS trip! As evidenced by the fact that we are booked on the same ship next year. HAPPY CRUISING!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Went with 2 other couples over Christmas . We had previously sailed to Bermuda on the Summit and were not disappointed. The Silouhette is a beautiful ship, very well maintained and very clean. The decor is stunning and richly appointed. ... Read More
Went with 2 other couples over Christmas . We had previously sailed to Bermuda on the Summit and were not disappointed. The Silouhette is a beautiful ship, very well maintained and very clean. The decor is stunning and richly appointed. Dark woods, marble and granite and high end art. This is the opposite of RC, Carnival etc. This is a ship geared towards adults and not children. The staff was excellent, professional and friendly. We were in Aqua class because we really enjoy Blu- the private dining for the Aqua suites . Blu did not disappoint us. Our server Rambo was great , knew what we drank and how we liked to order. Murano and Toscano were also top notch . The food on Celebrity is a step above other lines . Sometimes a big step. We enjoyed the casino and the music, indulged in the spa and loved our adjoining balconies and room service. The ship ran like clockwork, and we all would recommend it to any couple looking for a higher end adult cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My parents (50's) and I (mid-20's) sailed with Celebrity on the Summit this past week (12/19-12/26) to the Caribbean. We have previously sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, and Princess. This was our 5th cruise overall and the first ... Read More
My parents (50's) and I (mid-20's) sailed with Celebrity on the Summit this past week (12/19-12/26) to the Caribbean. We have previously sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, and Princess. This was our 5th cruise overall and the first with Celebrity. Negatives: 1. Dining Service and Selection My family is vegetarian and this was indicated as such on our meal preferences at time of booking. From the very beginning of the cruise, we were surprised by the lackluster options, and general service issues in the buffet. Main Dining Room (MDR) - In the MDR, the vegetarian menu only featured 2 entrees on a given day - compared to 8 for other passengers (4 everyday classics, and 4 selections for the day). On all our other cruises, we at least had 4 choices to choose from. On our first time in the MDR, our waiter refused to accommodate a simple request for any vegetarian pasta (available for room service and with meat in the MDR menu) and instead told us to special order for a subsequent day - which we were reluctant to do given the service level. On another day, rather stupidly, the 'vegetarian menu' was missing the pasta dish labeled as vegetarian from the main menu! Buffet - My family often felt a game was being played at the buffet. When returning from a day at shore around 4:30 PM, the only food options open would be the pasta bar and pizza bar - nothing else. This led to long lines and subpar service. At the pizza station for example, given the small 10" or so diameter of the pizza, given mini-slices were picked up faster than they could be made. Why couldn't the diameter be larger and more reasonable? To reduce Celebrity's food costs? Similarly, the wait for garlic bread was often over 30 minutes. In one instance, after being told 7 minutes until the next garlic bread serving, I decided to wait and then was told that garlic bread was not their priority and not to wait - quite rude for something my family is 'addicted' to. In another case (on another day with another crewmember), my father kept on being told a next serving of garlic bread was coming out in 3 minutes repeatedly, and whenever he went back there was none. He decided to wait 30 minutes until they finally brought it out, and of course they burned it such that it was inedible. On another note, the ice cream station decided to close unannounced from around 4:45 to 5:30 PM everyday - right when people were coming back onboard and would appreciate a refresher. Such a long break in service should be mentioned in the daily program - we saw countless people going back and confused given the advertised hours. Of course their for-pay Gelateria never had such 'breaks' from what we could tell. In terms of other food options, not much thought was put into the buffet for lunch and dinner. There would be cheese, etc. for nachos without the nachos themselves. For dessert at dinner on Christmas Eve there were only cupcakes. Really - cupcakes on a holiday cruise, and on Christmas Eve of all days? The one thing we did love about the buffet was the unlimited complimentary fruit punch and lemonade - as there was often nothing but water outside of breakfast on our previous cruises. The family was satisfied with the breakfast service overall. Room Service - For Concierge class, our 'afternoon savories' were advertised in-room daily. My family found these on the first evening of the cruise and nearly started eating the mini-sandwiches before I stopped them and decided to check with the stateroom attendant. Turns out that they were not vegetarian, as clearly indicated in our profile, and that the stateroom attendant was not informed of this restriction whatsoever. Another miss by Celebrity. In addition, there was no indication what items, if any, were special for Concierge class. 2. Double the Pricing without the Value Compared to our previous cruises, we felt the pricing on Celebrity on-board was significantly higher, while providing equivalent or inferior value in return. Here are some examples that irked us: 1. Bingo cards are often around $20 on most cruises. Why was the minimum entry $39? 2. Family photographs (boarding, dinners, etc.) are often around $20. These were priced at a 50% premium at $30 on Celebrity. 3. Drink packages were overpriced. On Carnival and others, a non-alcoholic premium package for sodas, juices, and mocktails often went for around $6-$12/day. Why was this priced at a significant premium on Celebrity at $18/day? I'm aware it included more, but we couldn't justify the splurge as we had on previous cruises. 4. The Gelateria offered scoops of Gelato starting at $4 if I recall right. This seemed like the most under-utilized public area of the ship, given the unwillingness of most to cough up given the ice cream station in the buffet area (when that managed to stay open at least...) I understand that Celebrity is a business and without capitalism, many of us wouldn't be taking a cruise to begin with. However, it just seemed a bit much. We ended up spending the least we have on any cruise on-board because of these differences. 3. Safety/Muster Drill Out of all the cruises we've been on, the safety drill on the Summit seemed to be an effort by the crew to just 'check the box' and poorly managed. The lounge for our Muster Station was so packed that no one could hear the start (or end) of the announcements regarding the safety drill. The TV screen was not readily visible to most of the people at the Muster Station. In our previous cruises, we lined up on a deck in an orderly fashion. In addition, when a fellow cruiser accidentally pushed the elevator emergency call button on the last evening of our cruise, it returned a busy signal. Quite comforting... 4. Mandatory Prepaid Gratuities & Concierge Class This was the first cruise where we had no choice but to prepay gratuities given the only dining option available - the Celebrity Select anytime dining. We've had anytime dining on all our other cruises without this requirement. The gratuity was higher at $13.45/day given our stateroom in the Concierge class. Despite the advertising that adjustments were possible with gratuities on Celebrity's website FAQs, the Summit program very clearly stated that no adjustments were possible for those that had prepaid. We would have liked for once to at least reallocate our gratuities given the service level we experienced for dining. Perhaps the service level we experienced was in part due to some staff (e.g. for Select in the MDR) being aware no adjustments were possible - exactly defeating the purpose of a gratuity? Regarding Concierge Class, the differentiation was hard to find value in other than for 'semi-elite' branding. We still waited once over 20 minutes for the MDR at a peak dining time despite the 'preference' supposedly awarded. We never came across the widely advertised pillow menu and only found out about our options by asking the stateroom attendant. Nothing readily obvious for how the shoe shine service worked. We nearly took the pocket-sized binoculars as a gift before deciding to clarify with our stateroom attendant who indicated they were for use during the cruise only. Really seemed like a waste overall, and certainly not worth an increased daily gratuity for. 5. Misleading Price Guarantees / False Advertising Onboard Lowest Authorized Price Guarantee - The shops onboard widely advertise a lowest authorized price / best price guarantee for everything they sell, without any apparent disclaimers. When buying a piece of jewelry under $25 early on in our cruise, we inquired how that worked and we were informed to just bring in any proof from an authorized retailer - even on our phone - and they would have no issues doing an adjustment. A few days later, when we wanted to buy a couple of more of the same item for gifts, I was ready with a screenshot from an authorized online retailer showing a discount on the order of 25%. As soon as we tried to make use of the guarantee, the sales associate was quick to come up with an excuse: no internet pricing or proof on any kind was to be honored. My family felt we were getting the run-around at this point, so we asked for a written copy of where that limitation was stated, as it clearly wasn't in all their advertising. It took a call to a manager and a few minutes of waiting before they could find a pocket-sized card stating the limitation. When asked how one reasonably was to make use of the guarantee, we were told to walk into a shop and take a picture of the item/UPC with the price. What are the chances of finding the same (likely discontinued) item and taking a picture to prove the lower price in front of a shop owner? Please don't have a guarantee if it's unreasonable to make use of it. Celebrity's 48-Hour Best Price Guarantee - Celebrity on its website advertises a 48-hour guarantee after final payment on either promotions or the price paid for the cruise, regardless of the travel agent you booked with. We saw an offer advertising more OBC, so we filled out the form. No confirmation was received of the request after submittal, and a week passed with no update. On calling Celebrity, at first we were given the run-around and told to call our TA (who had nothing to do with the guarantee), then told to allow 48-hours from the time of form submission for a response (which had way passed), after which we were put on hold and informed the request had been denied (what a surprise). We're not as upset on the denial as we are about the lack of communication on the request, and clear terms stating how the policy worked. Seemed like another advertising tactic that was not honored. Positives: To be fair and balanced, there were some outstanding parts of our cruise that we enjoyed as follows: 1. Evening Entertainment My family thoroughly enjoyed the evening entertainment. The Celebrity Summit dancers were overall fantastic, as were their Hollywood-style shows. The magic show of the cruise, iMagic, was a modern take on magic using prevalent technology. The a cappella group, Blue Jupiter, was highly unconventional for a cruise and quite interesting to see. 2. Room layout, organization, and maintenance The amount of storage space in our stateroom was unparalleled, simply put. The layout of the room was such that the third bed could be fully in place and there was just enough space for someone to squeeze by into the balcony. On some previous cruises, the sofa bed went wall-to-wall such that the balcony became useless except for evenings. In addition, the shower was the largest we've seen of all our cruises. We could relax and unwind in the shower comfortably just like at home. For once our stateroom was nearly maintenance-free except for the mini-bar fridge not cooling that properly. 3. Service at Ports of Call We were pleased by the iced towels and flavored water provided when returning to the ship at each port of call. In one case, we saw crewmembers going out with a stack of umbrellas all the way to the entrance to the ship area so that fellow passengers could minimize getting wet. This was a nice touch we haven't seen on our previous cruises, but perhaps this is standard for the Caribbean given competition. Overall, we certainly did not have a horrible cruise, but neither did the cruise live up to our expectations. If we would do it again, we would certainly choose a competing cruise line given the concerns indicated. I hope this thorough review of our experience is useful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Where to begin. A little one us. We were on a family vacation, with grandparents who take 3-4 cruises a year mainly on Seabourne and Silverseas. My family with 3 young children and two other families within the larger family. All of us ... Read More
Where to begin. A little one us. We were on a family vacation, with grandparents who take 3-4 cruises a year mainly on Seabourne and Silverseas. My family with 3 young children and two other families within the larger family. All of us have cruised and over the years have probably taken betweens 30-35 cruises on different lines with the grandparents being on about 70 ish. Firstly, the checkin experience was actually very good, quick, seamless and efficient. Cabins, we had a suite, one of the family rooms and three other veranda cabins between us. All seemed nice and what you have come to expect when cruising. When you look beneath the surface they were not particularly clean, very dusty under the beds, build up of grime and scale in the bathrooms etc. Now, Cruise Director, the only time you saw him was on the TV with a completely idiotic Activity Manager. I understand this appeals to some but from the passengers we spoke to, none of them. Our previous experience of Cruise Directors are they are friendly, engageing with passengers and often seen around the ship, not this guy! He was too busy playing with the offices and staff rather than mixing with guests. This was confirmed by a number of staff we spoke too that he likes to stay in his office! Activity, staff....everything seemed like a hassle, no really thought and just going by the script and if something wasn't on the script had no authority, desire or empowerment to change things up. Their main attraction activities were good but being on a Back to Back Cruise saw there was no originality to the events, jokes or script! it was like watching a show on repeat. All the activity staff could not wait to get out of the guest areas as soon as they could. On to some other experiences, one of our party swallowed a 12inch piece of wire that is used to wrap meat, and he only just managed to pull it back upas the end got caught in his mouth. They restaurant manager firstly offered to replace his meal! then realised the severity of it so took him to medical from there on in all they were concerned with was trying to mitigate themselves from responsibility. Deck parties, although New Year was good, it could have been better, it seems they are just token efforts with no real work put into making them like they once were. They also need to recognise Back to Back cruiser more effectively, and help make their experience more seamless, like your seapass card, why can't they program it for 2 weeks? Why not say welcome back to all those who stayed on. Life boat drill! You have the guy on the stage saying go back to your cabin to get warm clothes and life jackets yet the announcement says go straight to your muster station....he did this both weeks. Guest relations again have no authority or empowerment with decisions. Staff would often walk past empty glasses and drinks and leave them. Clearing these around the deck was poor. If you asked someone for something and it wasn't part of their job they didn't want to know, they passed you on to someone else. The Captain i thought was fantastic, Kate was highly engaging, original and had a lovely way about her, some of this just needs to rub off on the staff. Overall, they need to drive engagement, empowerment and overall service. The biggest highly was a Senior Bar Tender called Dewa who was always seemingly working and interacted with guests with humour, originality and a great service ethos. Would we return to Celebrity.....pretty unlikely! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my second time on the Summit but this time went Aqua Class. Loved Blu for dinner. The staff was friendly and more than accommodating. The food was great and the wine selections were fabulous. My cabin attendant was very good and ... Read More
This was my second time on the Summit but this time went Aqua Class. Loved Blu for dinner. The staff was friendly and more than accommodating. The food was great and the wine selections were fabulous. My cabin attendant was very good and had my room done by the time I returned from breakfast. Well done! So, here the thing: I was on deck 9 and even though they don't say it, my view was obstructed by the overhang of deck 10 and the beams that hold it up. You can't see the sky! They also need to do a better job policing the no smoking policy. There are no signs anywhere (hint, hint) and the smell of cigars and cigarettes permeated decks 10 and 11 (pool and sun deck). Also, there seems to be a trend with people bringing their Bluetooth speakers wherever they go. It would be nice if the crew asked them to turn them off. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I had the great pleasure to spend Christmas in the beautiful Caribbean aboard the Celebrity Summit. All aspects of the cruise exceeded expectations. The cabin steward and his assistant were excellent and very professional. ... Read More
My wife and I had the great pleasure to spend Christmas in the beautiful Caribbean aboard the Celebrity Summit. All aspects of the cruise exceeded expectations. The cabin steward and his assistant were excellent and very professional. Our main dining room waiter,assistant and wine steward were the best that we have had! The quality and portion size of the food was outstanding. The bartenders and pool staff were very friendly and service oriented. The Cruise Director (Ken) and his assistant did an excellent job and their morning program was a hoot! The on-ship entertainment was outstanding. It was so impressive to see Captain "Kate" and her key officers so assessable and friendly. It is easy to see why the Summit and her staff are rated so high. We had such a wonderful experience, that we booked the same Holiday Cruise on the Summit next Christmas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have always preferred Celebrity to other cruise ship lines, but our latest experience on Reflection was absolutely awful from beginning to end. Not only did this cruise not measure up to our previous cruise experiences on Celebrity, it ... Read More
We have always preferred Celebrity to other cruise ship lines, but our latest experience on Reflection was absolutely awful from beginning to end. Not only did this cruise not measure up to our previous cruise experiences on Celebrity, it fell far short of average. This sailing was packed with people thanks to the drinks package promo. Couple that with 450 children and teens traveling with those adults and connect the dots. Celebrity has never catered to children, or teens, and doesn't have a lot for them to do. So, we had kids behaving badly while their parents were who knows where, doing who knows what. By the second day I was ready to get off this ship. I was sick of dodging running children in the hallways and hearing them screaming through the late dinner seating. Unfortunately, we were still at sea and there was no easy escape. We were assigned a cabin on Deck 7 near the Hideaway. I would never book there again and certainly not on a cruise with a lot of kids. The Hideaway became their gathering place in lieu of anywhere else to go and it was apparently also where they chose to dine. It is not a restaurant, but it was constantly littered with stacked up dirty dishes from the buffet. We were in a stateroom between passengers traveling in a large group. Some were adults, and some were kids. These people continually slammed their cabin door or doors to the extent that the walls of ours actually shook. We mentioned it to them politely, but eventually we had to visit Guest Relations because it got very disruptive. We were assured it would be taken care of. Taking care of it consisted of Guest Services leaving a voicemail message on our neighbor's phone. That resulted in more frequent and more enthusiastic door slamming. On the first day in port we returned to our cabin to discover our balcony, and everything on it, covered with sand. A check of the adjacent balconies revealed that the only sand on those balconies in either direction was in Coke bottles, half filled with sand, and sitting out in full view. There is no excuse for irresponsible and rude behavior, but when it borders on purposefully and provocatively offensive acts, it is the responsibility of the cruise line staff to take care of it. Their solution? "Call us whenever it happens and please accept this credit for $200 on a future Celebrity cruise." Are you kidding? Celebrity's food has always been near top notch. It was no more than acceptably average on this cruise. Most notable was that the food in the buffet was far below its usual level. Dinners in the main restaurant started out well early in the week and by week's end consisted mainly of stews of varying meats. It was nearly impossible to get a reservation for any of the specialty restaurants on any night unless you had cash and/or connections and yet, the night we dined there, the restaurant was clearly not serving at capacity. Re the "Nickel and Dime" complaint we often heard spoken of and complained about around the martini bar at night. This was a legitimate concern and people saw through it quickly and did not like it. We started this cruise with almost $600 worth of shipboard credits. That seemed like a lot, and I was worried about using them up. I shouldn't have worried. We ended up with a $400 bill above and beyond the shipboard credit. We took no shore excursions and bought no gifts. I should have stayed out of the Aqua Spa where massage therapists are taught to offer you a further discounted booking after the massage, when you are least likely to be sensible. All in all a very disappointing cruise experience. The only bright spot was seeing Putu working the Martini Bar. We had loved him on Eclipse on a transatlantic. One small spark in a firestorm of wasted time and money. Bye bye Celebrity. You blew it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Review: Celebrity Reflection “Not So Suite” Christmas Cruise Itinerary: Miami - San Juan - Charlotte Amalie - Phillipsburg - Miami December 19 - 26, 2015 Cabin: 2184 (Sky Suite) Butler: Keegan Cabin Steward: Michael ... Read More
Review: Celebrity Reflection “Not So Suite” Christmas Cruise Itinerary: Miami - San Juan - Charlotte Amalie - Phillipsburg - Miami December 19 - 26, 2015 Cabin: 2184 (Sky Suite) Butler: Keegan Cabin Steward: Michael First of all, a warning that this will not be a traditional review in many respects. We are not traditional cruisers...we don't go to the shows much, nor do we take organized shore excursions very often. We prefer to do our own thing at many ports of call. For us, a cruise is about relaxing and doing what we want, when we want. Also, my reviews tend to be lengthy, so for those who just want the bottom line, here it is: Embarkation: 5 out of 5 The Ship: 4 out of 5 The Cabin: 2 out of 5 Dining: 4 out of 5 Ports and Shore Excursions: 3 out of 5 The Suite Experience: 2 out of 5 The Casino Experience: 0 out of 5 Disembarkation: 3 out of 5 Overall Value for the Money: 2 out of 5 Now if you want the details, please read on: We elected this cruise because it fit in the window of some airline tickets we had already bought for a cruise on NCL that did not work out. It had the same itinerary, with 3 of the 7 days being sea days, which we both enjoy. As you'll see from the signature, we have been loyal NCL cruisers for many years, and so some of this review will also contrast the NCL and Celebrity way of doing things. EMBARKATION: We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before embarkation, as FLL is less crowded and crazy than MIA. The night was spent at the Hilton Galleria on the Intercoastal, which has the advantage of being right on a Water Taxi stop, and having a nearby (walkable) mall, shopping, and dining options. Unfortunately, I would not recommend the hotel: it's old, tired, and badly needs renovation. If you do stay there, and have asked for a room with an Intercoastal view, make sure you get a room on the side away from Sunshine Blvd to avoid the noise of the traffic and drawbridge. On Saturday morning, a car service took us from the hotel to the Port of Miami in about 40 minutes. We chose to arrive earlier than we normally do, as embarkation at the POM can sometimes be a lengthy affair. As it was, we got to the port about 11:15 am and were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves on board in about 15 minutes from the time we gave our bags to the porter outside. Great work by the Port staff and Celebrity. Embarkation provided the first contrast between Celebrity and NCL. When you embark as a suite guest on NCL, there is separate suite lounge where your paperwork is processed, and then you are escorted on board the ship by one of the butlers and delivered to Cagney's restaurant for embarkation lunch. On Celebrity, there's no suite lounge and no escort. There are separate registration lines for Suites and Priority boarding, and your paperwork is processed quickly and efficiently at those stations. But once you're done there, you simply walk on board and do whatever you will. We arrived on board before the suite restaurant, Luminae, opened for lunch, so we opted for a bite in the buffet and a walk around of the ship (more about dining on Reflection later in the review). Cabins were open for occupancy at 1:30 pm. Muster drill scheduled for 2:45 and sail away for 3:30. Our suitcases were delivered during the muster drill...very early for most cruise lines and points for Reflection's hard working staff. We sailed about 20 minutes late, the first ship out of port, followed by NCL Escape and two Carnival ships. THE SHIP: Reflection isn't a bad looking ship, as modern cruise ships go. None of them look much like ships anymore; they're all more like floating apartment blocks. Reflection's design looks a little top heavy to me, with the ship-length overhang for the upper three decks cantilevered out over the cabin balconies. On board, Reflection is crisp and modern. Color schemes are generally subdued, furniture modern. As one of Celebrity's newer ships, nothing looks very worn yet, and everything appears well maintained. There are a few oddities. First of all, there's no true Promenade deck that makes a complete circumference around the ship. Instead, the outer part of Deck 5 only runs down each side of the ship, and most of the view from that deck is blocked by lifeboats. So those who enjoy walking the Promenade for a little light exercise are forced to use the jogging track on Deck 15, which is much more crowded with runners and sunbathers in deck lounges. Secondly, Deck 15 forward, which on most ships is some of the most valuable real estate, is given over to the teen and kids clubs. Right beneath the teen club, on Deck 14, are the high dollar suites...it's hard to imagine that those suites are very quiet! Because of the suites, the forward looking Sky lounge only gets the starboard half of Deck 14, which is a shame as that's usually a favorite place to sit, relax, read, and watch the ship's progress on sea days. At the rear of the ship, on the upper decks, are the buffet, and the Lawn club, Lawn club grill (a specialty restaurant) and the Sunset bar. The rest of the ship is fairly conventional in layout. Conveniently, the Opus main dining room, and most of the suite and specialty restaurants, are all located together at the stern of the ship on decks 3, 4, and 5. There's the usual multi-story atrium & elevator tower at mid-aft, running from deck 3 all the way up to deck 15. Around it, on the lower decks, are the normal assortment of guest service offices, bars, shops, casino, a coffee bar, wine bar, and the “Bistro on 5” restaurant (also an up-charge restaurant). A nice feature in the atrium are the little “Hideaway” spaces on different decks as you go up: The Hideaway on decks 7 and 8, and game room on deck 9, and the library on decks 10 and 11. Aside from the game room, they're convenient places to find a spot to sit and read, and there's coffee available during the day in the Hideaway on Deck 7. Missing (or at least I never found it) was the Asian theme restaurant that's a normal feature on most ships, and that I'd read was also available on Reflection. THE CABIN: 2184 is a “Sky Suite” (not sure if it's an S1 or S2) on deck 12, the upper-most accommodation deck (if you don't count the suites on deck 14). The cabin was surprisingly spacious, double the width of a normal balcony cabin, and about the same size as the Penthouse suites on most NCL ships. The usual twin beds pushed together to make a double, and a fairly comfortable couch that I assume folds out into another double bed. Large Screen TV, good storage with two closets and plenty of drawers and one safe. My DW appreciated the lit vanity mirror over the desk. Single-sink bathroom with reasonable storage, a good size tub with a rain shower head and hand shower. About the only thing that might be a problem is the height of the shower - I'm 5'7” and the shower head was only a couple of inches above my head...I'm not sure how a taller person would be able to stand and use the shower. The cabin balcony was quite wide, with room for two lounge chairs, a round table, and a single upright chair. Because Deck 12 is right under the overhang for the upper decks, you're protected from the sun (and the rain) by that overhang, although your view is also somewhat restricted. There are movable dividers between the balconies, so if you were cruising with family or friends in the next cabin you might be able to ask for the divider to be opened. I don't know what Celebrity's policy on this is..some cruise lines will do it, some will not. Unfortunately, that's about all I can say that's positive about this cabin. The cabin is located right under the Ocean View Buffet, and we had misgivings from the start about what that might mean as far as noise. Celebrity went to great lengths to assure us that “the area above is carpeted” and while that's true, it doesn't help much. The actual location of this cabin is approximately right under one of the main beverage stations in the buffet, so a good portion of the cabin overhead is not under carpet at all. Our entire cruise was spend listening to the rumbling of serving carts across the floor, the crashing of dropped items in the kitchens and clean up areas, and the stampeding feet of the buffet patrons. Since the buffet is open 24/7, the noise basically never stopped. In addition, the noise problem is made worse because one of the main vertical support columns runs from the upper decks, down through the buffet, down through this cabin, and presumably all the way down into the bottom of the ship. This metal column acted like a drum, bringing noise from all directions into the room, but mostly, again, from the buffet above. I would not suggest this cabin to anyone who isn't a heavy sleeper! DINING: This is obviously Celebrity's focus. With one notable exception, I'd call this a “Foodie” cruise line. The food is all well prepared, with lots of emphasis on presentation at the table. Portion sizes, thankfully, are more European than American. Food in the Opus main dining room was, in our opinion, a cut above what we've encountered on other cruise lines. As with most lines, there's a daily menu that changes throughout the cruise, with a set of “everyday” items that are always available. As suite guests, we had the Luminae restaurant available for all our meals. I think this perk was the one of the main highlights of the cruise. Luminae is a separate dining room on the lower floor of the Opus MDR. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and Lunch menus remain the same throughout the cruise, and dinner menus change every night. As an added feature, if you can't find something you like, you have the option of ordering off the MDR menu. The food was uniformly excellent and delicious in Luminae. Dinners are a “Five Course” meal, of which you select the appetizer, entree, and dessert. Your first and fourth courses consist of a savory bite at the start of the meal and a small sweet bite at the end of the meal before dessert. These little bites change each night. Service was attentive but not too overbearing, as long as you don't mind repeated visits from the Maitre'D to check on your happiness. Because the food in Luminae is so good, we did not feel the need to sample the specialty restaurants as we would have on other cruise lines. I'm not sure if this works in favor of Celebrity's bottom line! However, we did eat in the Tuscan Grille on Christmas Eve. Since the Reflection does not have a designated steak house, we chose the Tuscan Grille at the recommendation of the concierge who though it would provide us with a good steak. The concierge was not wrong in that regard - the steak was excellent. However, the other dishes were a let down after the great food in Luminae, and the waiter was one of the few Reflection staff we encountered who just seemed to be going through the motions. The one exception to the generally excellent food: The buffet. Breakfast was always acceptable (it's hard to mess breakfast up), but lunches were mediocre at best. It was simply mass prepared, buffet food, and no different than any other cruise line in this respect. Glaringly absent was that staple of a hamburger and fries - to get those during the day you had to go to the Mast Grill. But don't bother...it's just a pre-cooked buffet hamburger anyway. By contrast, the lunchtime hamburger in Luminae was excellent, so it's pretty obvious where Celebrity puts the emphasis. Wine by the glass and by the bottle is available in all the restaurants. Celebrity has a very high opinion of their wine cellar, at least as reflected in the prices they charge. Each restaurant has at least one Sommelier to advise on wine selection. It is possible to open a bottle of wine in one restaurant and have it available for you in another if you don't finish it at that first meal. Celebrity's Wine and beverage packages are, in my opinion, very expensive. Many people seemed to have them, and I have to assume they were selected as a booking perk. Whether they are good value for the money depends on how much and what you drink. In our case, we're not heavy drinkers, so we elected not to take one of the packages. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: The first port of call on this itinerary is San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, because of the distance from Miami, you don't arrive in San Juan until 3:30pm in the afternoon ship's time - 4:30 pm local time (note that the ship remained on Miami time the entire cruise). This means you're really rushed to do any shopping or sightseeing, not only by the onset of night, but because most of the shops close at 5:00 pm, and the major historic sights close at 6:00 pm. We had hoped to catch a walking and restaurant tasting tour of the old town area, but when I tried to book it through the tour operator, I was informed that we arrived too late to make the last tour of the day. Because the distance to the next port of call is so short, the ship remains in San Juan until 11:30 pm. I'm guessing that many people must use the opportunity to go ashore for dinner and/or a bar crawl. It's too bad Celebrity can't find a first port of call that could be reached earlier in the day, but I wouldn't want that to be Nassau (the Grand Central station of the Caribbean) and geography simply precludes most other ports. The second port of call is Charlotte Amelie, St. John, US Virgin Islands. On all our previous stops at this port we've docked at the Havensight piers, which are much more convenient to the town itself. Celebrity docks at the Crown Bay piers, which are a good 10 minute taxi ride from the town. The ship docks at 8:30 am and leaves at 5:00 pm. Plenty of time to do almost anything you'd like on the island. Here we opted for a shore excursion, to the “Secret Sands” beach. We were attracted to this tour because the beach is in a nature preserve or park, and the impression is given that this is a “beach less-traveled”. Ummm...not quite. Our group was driven to the beach in the usual Caribbean taxi-bus. Traffic, as usual on all the Caribbean islands, was terrible, and the ride across the island to the beach (Which is formally called Smith's Bay Beach) took about 30 minutes. On arrival, we found the beach moderately crowded. The beach itself is a beautiful, as advertised. A long crescent of white sand, gently shelving into the water, and surrounded by a reef. We were warned that the reef had a lot of fire coral, but also told that good snorkeling was available there. The tour operator (Topsails) laid on lounge chairs, water & soda, and offered up rum punch. Shady spots were quickly filled, but there were plenty. The beach and park have had upgrades since the tour description was written, and there are now picnic areas, and a large shower and restroom facility. There was a crowd of college kids having a little pre-Christmas party at the beach, but they weren't very disruptive. We spent a very pleasant few hours at the beach, and then were collected by the taxi-bus. The route back to the ship was via an overlook on Skyline drive...great views, but only a few minutes available there as our driver was obviously worried about getting us back in time. The third port is Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. Again, the ship docked at 8:30 am and left at 5:00, so plenty of time for those who wanted to do things on the island. As we've been there a few times before, we elected to stay onboard most of the day, other than a little wander through the port shops. Staying on board on shore days is one of our favorite things to do, as you end up with the ship almost all to yourself. I spent the afternoon trying out the pools, both the outdoor pool and in the solarium pool. They are fresh water pools, and neither one is heated, but the swimming was pleasant and the solarium relaxing. Two full sea days follow as the ship returns to Miami. Naturally, the pools are packed during the day, and the cruise staff lays on activities all over the ship to keep people occupied. Because this was a holiday cruise, Christmas eve (Thursday) was one of two “Evening Chic” nights and there was caroling in the atrium and a special Christmas show in the theater. The next morning Santa made an appearance on board in the Sky lounge for the kids. THE SUITE EXPERIENCE: Beyond dining in Luminae, suite guests receive the attentions of a butler, and can use Michael's club, a private bar & lounge on Deck 5. Drinks are complimentary in the club, and at least one of the two suite concierge staff is always on duty there to assist with all the details of your cruise. Therefore, on paper at least, the suite experience is roughly the same between Celebrity and NCL But for some reason, the experience didn't feel the same. Partly, that was from little things. For instance, NCL suites are all equipped with espresso machines. Celebrity suites don't even have a coffee maker, and when I inquired with our Butler about morning coffee in the room, I was told I'd have to use the hang tag and order coffee for a particular time from room service. Another small thing: NCL suites all have a bowl of fresh fruit in them, replenished daily, and over the course of the cruise, the butler learns your preference on the fruit and makes sure you have what you like. The same is true for bottled water...it's always kept replenished and iced on NCL, but when I inquired about it on Celebrity, I was directed to the charge-per-item Mini Bar in the suite. Now those may seem like small things to fuss about, but they contribute to the overall “feel” of special service and luxury that the cruise lines are trying to promote with their suites. For us, they were part of the reason we were left feeling that the suite experience on Celebrity didn't measure up to what we'd hoped it would be. THE CASINO EXPERIENCE: Those who aren't gamblers can skip this part. We do enjoy playing in the casino, though, and while we're not high rollers, we are steady players who enjoy gambling, spend a lot of time in the casino, play max bets, and expect that our casino spending will also be rewarded by the casino club. In this case, Celebrity's casino club is a total failure, particularly when compared with NCL. It began with the casino manager, who seemed to understand very little about Celebrity's casino club system, how the points earned on board might relate to future cruise offers, and how they might relate to future offers from MGM Casinos, Celebrity's land casino partner. It continued as we found that there is apparently no graduated player club level system, and apparently no reward system for frequent and higher dollar players on board during the cruise. By contrast, on any NCL cruise, our play would normally quickly have been rewarded with offers of comped specialty restaurant dinners, bottles of wine and extra treats delivered to the cabin, and comped spa benefits. Additionally, we would have been offered free drinks in the casino, and quickly found ourselves on first-name basis with the casino hosts, who would have stopped by to see what they could do for us. None of that happened on this cruise. The casino was also the “tightest” ship's casino we've ever played in. Yes, we know full well that ship's casinos aren't regulated, and are always set for lower returns than land casinos. We understand that and accept it. But the Reflection casino is beyond tight. In most ship's casinos, you'll still have a reasonable number of jackpots being won, and you'll hear the bells and the excitement around you as that happens. But Reflection's casino was a quiet jackpot desert. In spite of that, the ship's daily paper continue to publish ever increasing numbers of “Dollars paid out” by the casino. I'm not at all sure how they came by those figures, as I can only personally confirm seeing two hand-pay jackpots being issued during the whole length of the cruise. Celebrity simply doesn't seem to place much emphasis on their casino program. There's no “excitement” generated by the casino staff, no announcements of jackpots (how could there be?), no pushing of lotto or slot contests or other special competitions. Once a night there was a brief run of random “giveaways” and a rather bored announcement of a Texas Hold game with seats open. This is all surprising, in that casino revenues are usually one of the mainstays of a cruise line's income. Bottom line here: if you enjoy gambling as part of your cruise entertainment, don't bother with a Celebrity cruise. DISEMBARKATION: The ship-side of disembarkation was quick and efficient. We went down for breakfast in Luminae with our backpacks and totes. After breakfast we simply walked off the ship with the rest of the people exiting at that time. Port-side was a mess. Since we were suite customers, we'd been issued separate suite baggage tags. They were red, and said “Zenith” on them. When I went down to ask about suite disembarkation with the concierge the day before, I was told that the suite bags would be in a special area in the terminal. That fits with what most cruise lines do for their suite customers. Unfortunately the word apparently didn't get down to the Port of Miami personnel. When we got to baggage claim, we found one baggage carousel, filled with all the bags (suite and non-suite) randomly mixed together. There was a sign above the carousel saying “Red” and listing some numbers, and while our bag tags were indeed red, they had no number. There were apparently also 2 other carousels with bags running on them in different rooms. When I inquired with a Port of Miami person about how we would find our bags, she asked for my number. When I said I didn't have one, because we were in a suite, she said “they're all mixed in” and quickly walked away. Several other suite passengers came in asking the same questions, and all were amazed that there was no separate suite baggage claim as they'd been told, and as is normally done on other cruise lines. So...no choice but to sit and watch all the bags go by. No different than an airport, of course, but not exactly what Celebrity said the procedure would be. Eventually we found our bags...luckily they were on this carousel. I have no idea what bags were on the other carousels, or how we would have known which carousel to look on. Customs and Immigration was quick, with short lines moving quickly past the officers desks. Once outside we had to wait a bit for our driver to show up, but once he did we were back at FLL in about 45 minutes, with plenty of time before our noon flight. SUMMARY: As with all cruises, ultimately it's a matter of what you're cruising for. For us, Celebrity had some definite advantages when it came to food, the overall feel of the ship, and being a “dressier” cruise. The disadvantage were a suite experience that didn't measure up to what we'd hoped it would be, and a complete failure of the casino to measure up in any way. Since the ports of call and the time spent in them are the same from cruise line to cruise line, it's the onboard experience that makes or breaks a cruise. We may not return to Celebrity as a result, but we were glad to have had the opportunity to try it out. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We did the Xmas cruise . Too many children running AMOK ! (our fault to pick a holiday cruise !) The specialty restaurant (Tuscan-twice) was VERY average and not worth the money (service was good). The main dining room was very good to ... Read More
We did the Xmas cruise . Too many children running AMOK ! (our fault to pick a holiday cruise !) The specialty restaurant (Tuscan-twice) was VERY average and not worth the money (service was good). The main dining room was very good to excellent! The evening shows were excellent ( loved the Beatles group Paperback Writer )We had two days of comedians. In this day in age of political correctness run crazy it's tough to be a comedian ! Daytime entertainment and early evening entertainment was very lackluster and the venue poor (center of ship 4th floor salon ) Space was limited and passengers were hanging off the balcony and sitting on stairs to see. Otherwise, trying to sell me watches or a painting is NOT entertainment. Many of us wanted to watch FOOTBALL ! No sports bar.... and initially the only place having the Giants game on was a small bar by the casino (10 bar stools) ! After more then a few New York fans got on their case they opened another small room with a TV nearby. The "Reflection" crew was friendly and the ship spotless. The ship just feels closed in compared to ships I have sailed on the "Royal Caribbean" I say all that to say this .... I am done with Celebrity ! I prefer Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our third cruise as a family, and was the most enjoyable of our voyages at sea. Let me say at the outset that the quality of the service on board the Reflection was, at every moment, stellar. From our stateroom attendants to ... Read More
This was our third cruise as a family, and was the most enjoyable of our voyages at sea. Let me say at the outset that the quality of the service on board the Reflection was, at every moment, stellar. From our stateroom attendants to the waitstaff and the bartenders, every employee with whom we had contact had a smile on their face and a willingness to go the extra mile to make our cruise memorable. Here's a sterling example of that commitment: I use a CPAP machine for sleep. There were no electrical outlets near our bed (one of the trifling complaints I have about our voyage), and as a result we needed to use an extension cord to plug my CPAP into an outlet in the bathroom. Apart from being quick at the ready to get us an extension cord, our attendants taped the cord to the floor of the bedroom so that it wouldn't present a tripping hazard. Our room was spacious for a stateroom and had a balcony. We traveled with another family and our attendant removed the barrier covers between the balconies, which really enhanced our experience. It was really worth the slight extra expense to have the balconies, which we sat out on during "cocktail hour" and late at night. The on-board entertainment was top-flight. We saw a Broadway revue, a comedian who was quite funny, and Christina Bianco, the YouTube sensation who does vocal impressionism of other musical artists. There was also a Christmas show in which she was feartured. We took in some late-night jazz as well, and of course there was the usual high-energy stuff in the atrium (acrobatics, 80s music night). On two of the nights we went to somewhat raunchy game shows featuring audience members; they were quite funny though perhaps a bit much for the over-60 crowd (or teens). We didn't partake in the pool entertainment but it sure looked fun. There was plenty of space to lay out by the pool. Unlike prior cruises, we didn't have to clamor for chairs. There are three levels, all with generous space, even for a group. the poolside music, while constant, was never obnoxiously loud. The three poolside decks have plenty of bars, hideaways and dining spots, and it was really fun to walk the track around the 15th deck (the middle poolside deck) to take in the various sights and sounds. There was a dizzying array of on-board activities away from the pool, apart from the usual diversions (shopping, casino). I went to two classes, one on art buying and the other on mixology. Both were quite informative. There's an art studio on Deck 15 which offered classes. The spa has all sorts of treatments available but is quite pricey (perhaps because Celebrity licenses the Canyon Ranch name for it). I signed up for an acupuncture treatment but then walked out of the spa when the acupuncturist asked me to sign a release of liability before starting the treatment. I used the fitness center every day. At times there were waits to get on both the elipticals and the bikes, and some of the machines clearly needed to be replaced. But overall my fitness center experience was positive. There's an extensive area for weight training as well as a lot of classes. However, the spinning classes were booked solid within an hour of boarding. Our biggest complaint was the food. We ate in the main dining room for five of the seven nights and the quality of the cuisine gradually deteriorated until the last night when it seemed like the kitchen quit on the passengers; by that point the food was pretty bland. For the other two nights we ate in specialty restaurants--the Tuscan Grille and QSine--and these were among the best meals we had in any restaurant, on land or at sea, in recent memory. There is a $45 per person charge to eat in these and the other specialty venues but I highly recommend the additional expenditure. The breakfasts and lunches (both buffets) were plentiful and tasty. I highly recommend having breakfast in the outdoor portion of the Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14. As for the ports...we stopped in San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. The San Juan stop was a throwaway. We arrived at 3:30 p.m. and left at 11 p.m. The port is in Old San Juan which is one big tourist trap. We stopped into Senor Frogs for drinks and nachos but took a pass on dinner and re-boarded at 7:30. I really think San Juan is a refueling stop disguised as a true destination. The other ports were worth the day excursions. In St. Thomas we went to Magen's Bay, a beautiful beach (the cab ride is a steep $10 per person each way but worth it). In St. Maarten we spent the day at Little Bay Beach at the Divi Hotel, another beautiful place to chill. Unlike at Magen's, there's a full-service restaurant at Little Bay. Just a couple of things to note in wrapping up: 1. The Reflection staff has a heavy-handed way of trying to sell beverage packages; that's because they are a big money-maker. Unless you plan to get seriously wasted, don't waste your money. Pina Coladas and daquiris were $9 each and the premium drink package is $55 a day, so don't go for the bait. Celebrity also charges you for soda, which is ridiculous. Again, hold your money and drink all the lemonade, iced tea and fruit punch you can drink, all of which is free and easily available. 2. I paid $249 for on-board wi-fi. I had two issues with the Internet. For one thing, only one person can be online at a time; this is different from in a hotel. But beyond this, the wi-fi was slower than dial-up, and Skype was unusable. The scuttlebutt is that Celebrity is upgrading its wi-fi system wide as of late February, with connection speeds projected to be 10 times what they are at present. 3. I wish that Celebrity would have a better way of facilitating the ability for teens and college students to meet one another. So in summary, my complaints are rather minor. We plan on cruising with Celebrity next year, with the same family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are not new to cruising but were new to Celebrity, the Celebrity Reflection & Christmas Cruise. My wife drove in from Mississippi & I flew in from outside the country. On the night of the 18th the Miami airport was one of ... Read More
We are not new to cruising but were new to Celebrity, the Celebrity Reflection & Christmas Cruise. My wife drove in from Mississippi & I flew in from outside the country. On the night of the 18th the Miami airport was one of the busiest days of the year according to local TV news and the shuttle driver. Embassy Suites Shuttle pick me up as advertised. Pretty good deal so my wife did not have to traverse the traffic surrounding the airport. The one complaint I have about Miami airport is you have to pay for the luggage trolleys. Every other airport outside the U.S.A., trolleys are free because it keeps people moving. We stayed at the Embassy Suites near the airport. A decent place the first night. When we got off the cruise we had a reservation for the night of the 26th with a request for early check-in. This was frustrating because my wife was told we would be able to check in early as the hotel was wide open when she made the reservation. I needed the early check in to pack my luggage for my return overseas that night. Normal check in is supposed to be 4pm. We did get early by half an hour. GRRRR!!! The room was in terrible shape. The chairs for the decks were bad shape. The bathroom was dirty. I believe we have crossed Embassy Suites off our list from now on. Dropped off my wife & luggage with a porter and parked the car. Were were at Terminal G which is directly across the street from the parking garage. Pretty sweet. $140 for the week. Not to bad. As far as the check-in went it was the best organized for a cruise we have been on so far. We checked in about 2pm. There was only about a 15 min. wait to check in. I will not complain about that. Then onto our room. We had a Veranda room on the 9th deck. The only question I have about the room was that I wish someone had thought change the arrangement around a little. As you come into the room I wish you would go directly into the bedroom area and the sitting area would be near the sliding glass door. Light really bothers me when I'm sleeping. Okay another comment. I don't know who the designer of the room was but if you are putting a slide for drapes up and they do not meet in the middle but are designed to overlap some at least have the part that some light can get through facing away from the head of the bed. Again, light REALLY bothers me when I'm trying to sleep. Rarely do I sleep past daybreak. The Steward we had, Harry was fantastic. If he saw us walking to our room he would stop what he was doing and opened our door for us. The room was always cleaned on time and spotless except for our crap we had laying around. We both have breathing machines for sleeping. I don't know why but cruise ships NEVER put receptacles near the bed. We asked for an extension cord. Used big magnetic clips to run the cord over the ceiling to the a surge protector that we put behind the bed on the floor. Both machines plugged into it. Pretty slick especially what we have done in the past. Nightmarish. I called the 1877 number on the day of the cruise and asked if they had UK style receptacles on the ship and was told they did. My computer and phone charger are UK style plugs. On the way to the cruise terminal, I told my wife we needed to go to Best Buy to get a universal adapter in case the person told me the wrong info and I was stuck without a way to charge my computer and phone. My spidey sense told me something was not right with the info I was given. Bought a universal adapter & thank goodness I listened to my spidey sense. They had European style receptacles not UK style. They are different. VERY different. Our luggage arrived in a timely fashion. Heck my wife's bag was waiting when we got to the room. By 4pm all of our luggage was at our room. Fastest so far by any cruise line or ship. This is our 7th cruise. 3 Princess Cruises & 3 Carnival Cruises. The ship is laid out very nicely I thought. Actually I cannot think of anything I would change except maybe the elevators. But in a third set towards the aft end of the ship to relieve the traffic on the two existing. Really liked the coffee shop on the 5th deck. We purchased the premium beverage package, internet package and onboard credit. Was a really good deal we thought at the time. We would get the premium beverage package again just for the shear convenience. Was nice to walk up to a bar and order a drink and just swipe the card. I like that Celebrity does not make you sign a receipt every time you get a drink. The internet package was not so good. Really not good at all. Celebrity needs to refund EVERYONE's money for that package. On at sea days when most people were awake you could not do ANYTHING online. I am required to have email by my employer whenever I travel for vacation or business. This did not work out so good. The only way to get emails was to log on about 4am & download. Then answer everything by 8am to be able to get the emails off. Celebrity needs to limit the amount of people that can purchase the package or UP the available bandwidth. The capt. announced at the Cruise Critic Meet-n-Greet, that in January the ship was getting a new internet speed and would increase the speed by 10 times. I really doubt it will increase by that much but it should help if even half that much would be available. Celebrity needs to refund our money for the internet packages!! Ports: We arrived after 4pm in San Juan and that was too late to rent a car and do what we wanted to do, go to the outlet mall for my wife to shop. All we ended up doing was going to Senor Frogs and getting some nasty crab dip and bad margaritas. Drop $40 and get back on the boat. Next port was St Thomas. Arrived on schedule. My wife went on a tour and I went diving. I almost cancelled my diving shore excursion diving because of the reviews. Underwater Safari was the dive shop. We walked to the dive boat from the ship and was about a 40 min. boat ride to he dive site. The seas were very rough but the dive was in a secluded cove. The dive boat tied up to a mooring buoy and we kitted up and got wet. The 1st dive was to the starboard side of the dive boat. There was plenty of coral and wildlife to look at. Really good visibility which IMHO is what makes a dive good. Believe me when I say that I have done some crappy scuba dives in Bahrain where the vis is only about a meter or so. The vis. there was over 50'. Had a shorter than I like surface interval. I talked to the boat captain about that and he said it was because of the cruise ship schedule. One of the ships was scheduled to leave at 5pm. We were back on the ship by 2:30 so we could have had a longer surface interval. There were not any problems with DCS but still would have liked the rest better. The first dive was about 65' if I remember correctly. I go through my air quicker than most so I was up before any one else and the dive master made sure I knew where the boat was and I swam back by myself while he watched over the others in the group. The second dive was off the port side of the dive boat and was a wreck that the dive masters knew the history of quite well. Really enjoyed both dives and the dive masters were great. Next Port was St Marteen (sp?): My wife took another tour and thought she could stop and go shopping and they would have someone take he back to the boat. But when you read the fine print it said you could be dropped off and then pay for your own way back in a taxi. This is not good for a lady, by herself in a foreign country. What is something happened and she missed the sailing time? She was on a cruise ship sponsored excursion, would the ship have waited? I don't know. She complained but was not taken seriously by the clerk at the excursion counter. II went diving again. Again was considering cancelling this dive because of the online reviews. The dive shop was Scuba Fun. We met at the dock and went to a mini bus that took us to the shop about a quarter of a mile away from the dock. Did the compulsory paperwork and then loaded onto the boat. Think it was a bout a 45 min. boat ride to the dive site. Did something I have not done before, giant stride off a boat not tied up. Just drifting along. Pretty cool. One of the dive masters was very young to my 50+ year old self. Did the first dive and it was again great vis. and great temp. (80f). I was joking with the young dive master that he was skipping school to work that day. He gained my confidence after that first dive and he told us his age and it was as I thought 18. He was taking a year off of school between graduating and starting college. Loved to dive and before he graduated got his dive master and instructor cert. Level headed kid. I am so glad I did not cancel this dive because of the reviews. Saw an eagle ray, moray eel, lobster, lion fish, flounders, sharks, barracudas and much more. If anyone reading this and has been considering getting certified scuba diver do yourself a favor on one of your port calls do a discovery scuba excursion and see what it is about. I did that Nov. 2014 and was hooked. My wife bought me an open water certification package from the local dive shop in Slidell, LA and I got certified Feb. 2015. I did my 27th dive on this cruise. In that year time I also have completed my advance open water diver certification. I explain it like being in a salt water aquarium and being face to face with the fish. It is a whole new world. The Opus dining room was for the most part fantastic. Have to give a shout out to Vera. She has such an outgoing & infectious personality with a smile on her face all the time. We sent some food back once we both did not care for and it seemed Vera took it personally. Also, we were at Jose's table a couple of times and his team provided outstanding service also. So a shout out to Jose. As far as the Oceanview Cafe goes it was better than all the other cruises we have been on but it is still a buffet. Wish they would make fresh guacamole. The pre-made stuff sucks. Specialty Restaurants: the only one we dabbled in was the Tuscan Grill. We had a very bad experience there. Before I get into the bad part just want to say that the restaurant manager and Ship's Food & Beverage Manager did everything possible to try and fix the bad experience. We dined there on the 1st full day at sea (Sunday Night). First it started with the reservation my wife made before she left home. She was told we had better pay ahead of time as the restaurant was filling up fast. So she paid in advance. By the way the restaurant was less than half full. We sat down and immediately I started to sweat. It was warm in the place. I asked the server (who shall remain nameless) to please adjust the temperature. He laughed and said the bridge controls the temperature. I told him to call the bridge to lower the temperature. Our wine was served and when the bread was delivered I asked if he called the bridge to adjust the temperature down. He said not yet, laughed, took our order and I said to please cal the bridge. He brought out appetizer and I was still dripping with sweat. (I believe the sun had been shining on the back of the boat before sundown, that explains why it was so hot there.) As he was putting down the appetizer, I asked if he had called the bridge yet, he laughed at me again. I had had enough!!! I said I wanted a different seat and the manager at my table. The server (who shall remain nameless) then took me seriously. I told him we were paying extra money to eat there and that I was not going to be paying that extra to sweat through a meal. He had me upset by then. The server (who shall remain nameless), FINALLY went and spoke to the manger (yes we watched the server (who shall remain nameless) talk to the manager as they glanced our way numerous times. The manger disappeared for a few minutes and then appeared at our table apologizing about the temperature and telling us it was warm in there & he had called the bridge to lower the temperature. He apologized about the server (who shall remain nameless) for not taking care of it sooner. I told him about the belittling effect the server (who shall remain nameless) had on me when he laughed about calling the bridge. Our apps were nothing to write home about. Really nothing. Then the main course was served. My wife ordered the Branzino and I ordered a filet. My filet was perfection. It was cooked to a perfect medium. Yes, I know most consider that over cooked but I like it that way. My wife's branzino was very over cooked it resembled jerky. I also had a side of risotto. That was absolutely HORRIBLE. It had the consistency of dry mash potatoes. It was actually heaped in a pile on my plate. Did not spread out at all. The top of the risotto was crispy from sitting under the heat lamp. You can tell whoever cooked it did not do any tasting as there was not ANY salt in it. And here is another big complaint about our server (who shall remain nameless), I tried to put salt on the risotto and turned the salt mill and hardly any salt came out. I did this a number of times, even cupped my hand under the salt mill and turned about three times and nothing was in my hand. I called the server (who shall remain nameless) over and asked for another salt mill as this one is empty. He picked it up and shook it banged it on the table a couple of times cupped his hand under the mill turned it about 10 times and got some salt in his hand. He then looked at me and laughed and said it has salt in it. I have to ask at this point what would it have hurt to just hand me another salt mill and take that one to the back? We finished what we could of the main course and sent the rest back. Got desert. That was good but not specialty dining restaurant good. At this point I will say Carnival has spoiled us on this with the Chef table offerings. They are so good and entertaining. But I digress. Also, when my wife made the reservation for the Specialty dining she told them we were both celebrating our birthdays as both of our birthdays are in Dec. & this was our special treat. NOTHING was mentioned throughout the meal about this. NOTHING. We did not really expect more than acknowledgment & that would have been fine. So the next morning my wife went to customer service and told them of the bad experience and just happened that the restaurant manager was there and she spoke to him again. From what I understand he just shook his head and said I'm sorry and to please come back. After she told me that I told her I wanted more satisfaction. She had a picture of the mangers & officers of the vessel. We took that down to customer service & told the clerk there that we wanted to talk to him & showed her the picture. He immediately came to the lobby and pulled us aside. We sat down and discussed everything with him and told him we were not looking for anything for free that we just wanted the management to know what was going on at the back restaurant. That no one was watching them & keeping the standards set by the cruise line. He offered us dinners and many other things but again, we were not complaining for any freebies. The server (who shall remain nameless) just needs to pulled from there and send down to the buffet until he learns better customer service. Again, the manager tried to make it up to us. He made reservations for us which we cancelled. He brought us champagne and a birthday cake when were dining in the main dining room, Opus. He came and greeted us one night at dinner to invite us to go to the grill again. I did not complain to get a freebie. That is not who I am. As I am complaining here I also point out people who do an extraordinary job. The last two days of the cruise were the most relaxing. Two sea days in a row. So nice. The entertainment was okay. My wife and I usually look forward to the shows. The second night onboard there was a show featuring Broadway show tunes. This is the first time we have ever left a show early. It was that bad. The entertainment crew put on a special show they produced for Christmas Eve and we really enjoyed it. Pretty cool. We enjoyed the Q & A with the show staff. Disembarkation was really really smooth. Carnival makes constant announcements for when a group can leave the ship. We got up about 6:30. Finished packing. Went and had breakfast at Opus when they opened. Went back to the room, made one final check to make sure we were not leaving anything. Then made our way to the theater to wait to be told we could disembark. By the time we got there, half an hour early, we asked what number they were up to and we were told we could vamoose. So away we went. Luggage was where it was supposed to be. Gathered it up with a porter and went through immigration & customs. Miami really has it going on there. Really no hassle and best so far. The ONLY issue with getting off the ship & to our car was, I told my wife to wait by the curb and I would get the car and drive to get her & the luggage. Well when I got out of the garage, the porter had taken her to the side walk by the garage. I stopped to get her and some clown behind me started honking his horn. He could have very easily gone around me. I got out of my car and was confronting the jerk and a cop came up and told both of us to get back in the car and told the clown behind me to drive around. After the cop calmed me down, I told the officer I got confused when I saw my wife someplace I was not expecting her and that I was going to drive around and load up. He told me to get the luggage and load up on the street there and would block traffic for us. Pretty cool. He made a bad situation good. Thanks. Again Miami has the cruise industry figured out. I will happily take a cruise out of there again. I know this review is very long but I had a lot to say and if any one reads it all I hope it helps you out on your cruise. Peace out! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was exactly our 3rd cruise on the Constellation. We are a couple in our 50s who have cruised Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and more recently Celebrity. This was our first time in a Celebrity Suite, which we were ... Read More
This was exactly our 3rd cruise on the Constellation. We are a couple in our 50s who have cruised Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and more recently Celebrity. This was our first time in a Celebrity Suite, which we were able to afford from having our suite guarantee upgraded. So while this was our 3rd time on Connie, it was a completely different experience being in a suite. Prior two cruises were in Aqua (with daily bottled water). Departure from Ft Lauderdale was a breeze. We arrived around 10:45. Since my wife was in a wheelchair recovering from foot surgery, I was able to park in the handicapped slot in Terminal 4, which was literally 20 yards from the entrance. A very nice Celebrity employee wheeled her to check-in and we were checked in quickly. Erick, the Michael's Club concierge, took us from there to Michael's club to wait until our room was ready. No sitting or waiting to board. Definitely different than our non-suite experiences. Departure lunch was in Luminae. I had the Signature burger, which was out of this world delicious. More on Luminae later. We stayed in Celebrity Suite 6104. This was a very spacious room with a separate bedroom/bathroom. There were two flat screen TVs, neither of which was used very much. This has a double wide balcony (same depth as regular balconies) with 3 chairs, two footstools, and a table. We were a bit disappointed there were no loungers, but as it turned out, the weather never let us stay out on the balcony but for a few minutes on one day. There is a dining table in the room. The separate bedroom has a king-sized bed and a large walk-in closet with a vanity. The bathroom has a double vanity and jetted, raised tub. There is a hand held shower, but because the tub is raised, anyone over 6' is going to have to duck to wash their hair. This was the worst part of the cabin. The best part was just the overall space and the floor to ceiling windows the entire length of the balcony. The balcony sticks out farther than any other room on the ship, so it's a bit strange when you can see everyone else's balcony. First time in a suite meant also first time with a butler. We were at somewhat of a loss on what a butler did, but our butler Ram made sure we were comfortable and brought us daily canapes. He also traded our welcome champagne to a nice white wine that we had later in the cruise. Service throughout the cruise was exemplary. I'm sure some of that was because we were in a suite, but having come off of a non-suite cruise on the Infinity, I found the service of comparable good quality. One thing that is very noticeable is that every member of the crew was very pleasant and friendly. We only have one "incident" coming back from Key West. They swabbed my wife's wheelchair for residue and had a positive result. So they pulled us aside, asked us a lot of questions about who handled the chair, what we purchased, etc. They thoroughly inspected everything we bought. Not finding anything, they swabbed again and cleared us. It delayed our re-boarding maybe 10 minutes, but I was glad to see they were thorough about it. They were very apologetic for holding us up, but we understood the need for caution in this day and time. Food in Luminae varied from incredible to inedible. Unlike seemingly most other areas, they did not try to make the food bland so as not to offend anyone. There were sharp flavors and unique combinations. When that happens, sometimes we just didn't like the combination (celery/horseradish sherbet cleansing the palate). Other times, it was fabulous (filet mignon, grilled lamb, and aforementioned signature burger). My wife did end up sending one dish back because it was just too salty. Selections in Luminae are also limited. They only have appetizers and main entrees. No soup or salad menu (although you can order from the MDR menu, if you like). We ate breakfast in Blu one morning just for the tableside muesli. Michael's Club was an interesting experience. It was never crowded and only once did we see it with more than 4 or 5 people in it. That was for the senior officer mingle. Meeting Captain Tasos was great as he is our favorite captain. We don't drink very much, so the ability to get free drinks in Michael's Club was little used on our part. Entertainment was varied. We skipped the two production shows because we had seen them before. The other two nights there was an outstanding magician and a comedian/ventriloquist. Both were very entertaining and funny. Around the ship, Christmas music was playing and then there was at least one group along with the Celebrity orchestra. And then, of course, the ubiquitous Celebrity DJ playing bumper club music in the main foyer area. It was interesting sitting in Cafe Al Bacio listening to Bing Crosby singing Silver Bells on the piped in music with the bump/bump club music coming from one deck down. Disembarkation was a breeze, again made easier because we were in a suite. One employee pushed my wife's wheelchair off of the ship and another pushed her all the way through customs and to our car. We were ship to car in about 15 minutes tops. Overall, this was an excellent cruise made better by the suite experience. Unfortunately, we probably won't be in another suite anytime soon. The "erosion of value" I mention in the title really just speaks to the cost-cutting measures being taken, from reduction in areas like buffet staff, to removal of daily water bottles in Aqua (our next 3 booked cruises), smaller portions and lower quality meats, higher priced specialty restaurants. But I don't want to end on a negative note. The staff and crew of Connie are top notch and are what really make a cruise special. This one was no different and has not eroded in any way. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having cruised on Eclipse in September 2014 to the Canaries we decided to try a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate my husbands 65th birthday. I also added on 3 days in Miami prior to the cruise and 3 days after which was ... Read More
Having cruised on Eclipse in September 2014 to the Canaries we decided to try a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate my husbands 65th birthday. I also added on 3 days in Miami prior to the cruise and 3 days after which was fabulous. We were only kept waiting at the cruise terminal for about 35 minutes before being checked in and allowed to board the ship. There were plenty of staff on hand to guide people to the appropriate areas and once onboard most folks headed for lunch in the Ocean View Cafe. We were given a glass of sparkling wine on arrival and welcomed aboard. The one thing I like about Celebrity is that they are scrupulous about hand cleansing and this avoids tummy upsets etc., which some ships seem to suffer from. Plenty of food and variety on offer in the cafe and after a stroll on deck 16 we went to our cabin on deck 9 and our cases were already there, so I unpacked. Once that was done we again visited deck 16 and watched the ship slide slowly away from port as the scenery of Miami started to puts its lights on - what a view! After that it was back to the cabin for an evening G&T before a shower and get ready for evening dinner. At dinner we opted for an 8.30pm mealtime in Monnlight Sonata and shared a table with 4 other guests, a couple from USA and a couple from Canada. This proved to be an excellent mix and we enjoyed all of the time we spent in their company. Food wise we could not fault any meal we had here and if you wanted more than one of anything the waiters were only too happy to oblige. I do find the alcohol prices onboard rather expensive, but we chose not to have a drinks package as we do like our afternoon G&T's and these would not be included in a package. The itinerary was excellent and first stop we visited Labadee, Haiti where lunch was provided ashore and we took a boat cruise which was excellent. After drinks onboard the boat moored at a beach and we were given floats and encouraged to swim in the beautiful warm waters. Drinks (cans) were then thrown out to everyone who required them and we sat and chatted to all sorts of people whilst floating in the sea. After a day at sea we then visited Aruba which looked to be a lovely island. Unfortunately my husband had severe toothache and after speaking with Guest Relations we arranged a visit to a dental clinic where he had the tooth extracted. So we never got to see the island really. Next island was Curacao which was absolutely lovely. After a quick visit as we didn't book an excursion with hubby not feeling too chipper we stayed onboard and enjoyed a quiet ship for lunch. 4th stop was Bonaire which again was a beautiful island with an immensely natural deep harbour. We chose to do a glass bottomed boat trip which was very informative about how the islands coral and environment was cared for and preserved. Our guide was born on the island and provided an excellent commentary all of the 1 1/2 hour cruise. There were then 2 sea days before we returned to Miami. Sea days were always spent lying in the hot sun on the 16th deck where plenty of sun loungers etc., were always available, interspersed with a dip in the pool and lunch and drinks again. We enjoyed this cruise immensely and Celebrity lived up to our expectations apart from 2 things. We loved to get showered and dressed up for the evening meal and actually love the formal nights as well. Now Celebrity have changed to Evening Chic we thought that the standard of dress fell considerately and other nights we did have some teenagers in shorts and caps. On speaking with the waiter and Maitre D we were assured that everyone was checked as they entered the restaurant, however we saw differently. The other thing we thought was disappointing was the entertainment in the bars. The groups singer seemed weak of voice and the choice of music pretty poor. However, the theatre entertainment was superb with some wonderful shows and acts. All in all - would I choose Celebrity again - yes, however I am intending to research other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My family of four has a lot of cruise experience, having been on Carnival, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean over the past 15 years. Probably 20 cruises total, I have lost count. This was our first experience on ... Read More
My family of four has a lot of cruise experience, having been on Carnival, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean over the past 15 years. Probably 20 cruises total, I have lost count. This was our first experience on Celebrity. My philosophy is that every cruise line has pluses and minuses. I read a lot of reviews on Cruise Critic where people complain about their cruises. We have never had a bad cruise. That is not to say that some are not better than others, but the trick to not having a bad cruise is to identify in the first day or two what the strengths and weaknesses of the particular boat and the crew, then go with the strengths and avoid the weaknesses. You don’t want to be spending your whole cruise saying “Royal Caribbean did this better, or Disney did that better, or Carnival is better than this, etc.” Having never cruised on Celebrity, we were apprehensive about certain things we had read in reviews of the boat, just like our first time on all of the other lines. There were complaints about service and the food. However, our nine-day cruise which included stops in Labadee, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao turned out to be really great, with relatively few shortcomings. The Eclipse itself is spectacular. It is modern, immaculate, and state-of-the-art. The only other boat we have ever saiied on that even comes close to it is the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas. If I were to nit pick, I would complain about the lack of storage in the state rooms, which definitely could use a few more drawers. Some may object to the décor/theme of the boat, which is some type of ultra contemporary/modern, with a lot of abstract art. That is really a matter of taste. The pool area is too small as well. None of these were barriers to a great cruise. We had two cabins for the four of us, one an inside room and one a balcony, so not only did we get to sample two different room types, but we also got to sample two different sets of cabin attendants. The cabin attendants in both cases were phenomenal. It has always been my experience that these people are the best people on the boats. You have to wonder where they find these people! Totally satisfied here. The TVs are larger and more modern than on most ships. They are powered by Apple TV so they feature on demand movies and programming. The Main dining room food was the best I have experienced in all of our past cruises. I think why people complain about the food on the Celebrity line in some of the other reviews is that it is somewhat basic and doesn’t vary as much as on the lines. However, I think it is better to do your food good and right than it is to do it with great variation but be fair to mediocre, as we have experienced on some of the other lines. Everything we got was perfectly prepared and hot, although the portions were small. In the buffet upstairs, the variety was not near what we have seen on other boats, but the quality was superior. We did eat in one specialty restaurant one time, Qsine. That was probably our least favorite meal, as the up charge is expensive and the entire experience is “funky”. They have this strange, super eclectic menu, which you will be sharing with everybody in your family at your table, in extremely small portions, sort of an endless “sampling” experience. It’s not that the food was bad, we just found the concept almost too unique or too innovative. Still we would not rate this really as a negative experience, it’s just that it was not our cup of tea. It did not help the two of us in our family are not big “experimental” eaters, and 2 of us are. The two that are experimental eaters liked the experience better than myself and my son who are kind of fussy. So it was back to the MDR for us. All in all we were very happy with our dining. This is definitely a grown-up ship, focusing on being elegant. It is the totally anti-Carnival experience. No towel animals, no pool parties, many daily activities focusing around some type of intellectual topic. As an example, we had a former director of NASA on our cruise, and he did a four-part series on every sea day about the space program. It was really great. They also have a glass blowing exposition up on the top deck. They did several demonstrations, including for the kids, as they do have several kids programs on board. Still, this might not be the best Cruise line for your kids, unless they are a little more mature and not party animals. Different strokes for different folks, but we had no problem finding things that we enjoyed. The casino is completely non-smoking. I thought this was a huge plus. Every other boat I have been on that has a casino has a smoking section, but the shipboard casinos are so small, they might as well have smoking throughout the whole casino, as there is no way to isolate the smoking in a small area. I thought this was the best casinos set up I have seen on a boat. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the entertainment on Celebrity. We thought the entertainment was adequate, or maybe a little better than adequate. It wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t a bust like I had read on several other reviews. They had two guest comedians come on the boat that were really good, as well as a comedian/ventriloquist. Just like the boat is modern, the two shows we saw were modern in their themes as well. I thought they were decent shows, but I could see where they might not be everybody’s cup of tea. In summary, We found Celebrity to be a really good cruise line and the Eclipse is a great ship. We had a really super cruise. I can wholeheartedly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Background: We are near retirement age, self-employed professionals, childless. Our only previous cruise was on the Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda in October 2014. We liked the size and feel of the Dawn, which led us to book an M-class ship ... Read More
Background: We are near retirement age, self-employed professionals, childless. Our only previous cruise was on the Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda in October 2014. We liked the size and feel of the Dawn, which led us to book an M-class ship (Millennium) for an Alaska cruise next May. I surprised my wife with this Connie cruise just before our annual family visit to Florida. I figured that sailing on Millie's sister ship would give us an idea of whether we wanted to go through with our Alaska plans. We were not disappointed (and my wife, who suspected nothing until we landed in Fort Lauderdale and I told the cabbie we were going to the port, was thrilled). I was apprehensive after reading the negative reviews of Connie, but the only sign of wear that either of us detected was that the carpets were worn and looked slightly dull, presumably from ground-in dirt. The level of maintenance throughout the ship and the condition of everything we saw was topnotch. The staff, on average, was slightly better than on the Dawn: the cabin stewards were equally friendly, and staff/crew members who didn't directly serve us made more of an effort to smile and greet us in passing. Our steward, Roman, was personable and anxious to please; he did a fine job, and a couple of mixups due to a slight language barrier were easily remedied. I had originally booked a guarantee oceanview cabin (at a ridiculously low price). After final payment the fares came down and I upgraded, first to a guarantee balcony and finally to a guarantee Concierge Class. The Concierge amenities were nice, but I wouldn't pay a huge premium for them; the most substantial was a bottle of sparkling wine, which we swapped for a not-half-bad California red. We had Select Dining (= no set seating time), but ate most of our meals in the Oceanview Café (buffet/cafeteria), as we're pretty laid-back and like eating on our own schedule. The food ranged from pretty good to excellent, with two exceptions: (1) On our last morning I had watery scrambled eggs of uncertain provenance. My fault; I should have waited for a made-to-order omelet. (2) The "orange juice" in the drink fountain was adulterated with sugar and water (same stuff as on NCL; it would be illegal to call it juice in a landside USA establishment). "Premium" OJ was available at the bar for $5 including mandatory tip, but it was free with our one room-service breakfast. (We tried room service the first morning, but not again. The quality was quite good, but the food arrived at room temperature.) As I choose fish when possible, I was sorry that the Oceanview's fish entrée stayed the same for two or three days. But overall there was a nice selection of hot entrées and cold salads, as well as pizza, pasta, sushi, and a station that grilled meats to order (which some passengers apparently never found because it was somewhat separated from the rest of the buffet). The desserts were much better than the Dawn's, which had tasted of sugar and nothing else. The entertainment was excellent. The two production shows, "iHollywood" and "Celebrate the World," were nearly up to Broadway standards, except for one unfortunate fellow who was clearly a last-minute substitute: not only was he unsure in his movements, but none of his costumes fit. We felt sorry for him. The specialty acts blew us away. Jason Bishop is one of the best magicians I've ever seen. He can handle the big illusions as well as anyone, but he's also a master card manipulator, something that takes years of grueling practice. Gareth Oliver and his partner Alice bill themselves as the world's only ventriloquist double act. The way they took turns speaking and singing for each other had us in stitches (and they themselves cracked up at one point). I do wish that Alice, and also Jason's female assistant, had received better billing. We attended a talk/slideshow by Captain Tasos on the building of a Solstice-class ship. He's a wonderful speaker, full of dry humor, who can make statistics and technical information entertaining. We learned why onboard swimming pools are so small (water is heavy, and a bigger pool could seriously unbalance the ship). An S-class ship goes to drydock once in five years; the rest of the time she's constantly in use. One engine out of four is shut down at a time for routine maintenance. It takes a mile to stop a ship of that size, but only half a mile to do a 90-degree turn, so maneuvering around an obstacle is better than trying to stop short of it. And so on. We didn't use many of the services available. My wife got a mani-pedi in the spa; she said it was fine, though it cost twice as much as she'd ever paid before. I was disappointed that the Promenade Deck didn't go all the way around; the jogging track on the upper deck wasn't conducive to walking, as we were treated to high winds. The library had a nice assortment of modern and classic fiction and nonfiction; I borrowed a complete Sherlock Holmes to read myself to sleep with. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and fast. It helps that Port Everglades is adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale airport, and is state-of-the-art, with 9 passenger terminals averaging 50 check-in windows each. It's also a major cargo port; we enjoyed watching the cranes loading and unloading the container ships. We booked two official shore excursions. In Key West we took the Conch Train tour package that included admission to the Aquarium (run by the same folks). The train was a nice leisurely way to get oriented, and the Aquarium was small but well-maintained, with interesting exhibits. We got there just ahead of a large school group and had several feeding demonstrations to ourselves. In Nassau we went on the Glass Bottom Boat. It was mostly a harbor tour, with the guide pointing out the homes of the rich and famous; the underwater viewing lasted only about 20 minutes, but that was probably enough for most people, as we had to stand for that part. As with the NCL Dawn, we thought the Celebrity Constellation was just the right size for a cruise ship: large enough to have a reasonable complement of venues and amenities, but small enough that we didn't feel overwhelmed by the size of the physical plant or the number of people. We give it a solid 9 out of 10 and are looking forward to Alaska on the Millie more than ever. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have many reviews on this ship before taking the cruise but there is nothing like taking it yourself for a real view. I have taken the Allure of the Seas and it is a totally different experience. the Allure is like a shopping mall and ... Read More
I have many reviews on this ship before taking the cruise but there is nothing like taking it yourself for a real view. I have taken the Allure of the Seas and it is a totally different experience. the Allure is like a shopping mall and fun park. The Constellation is more older couples that just want to hang out in the little lounges and have a quite evening. Getting the baggage to the room was a disgrace. They had one poor little guy carrying all the bags. That is being a cheapo. I guess for this it is great. Not a lot happening activity wise. The entertainment was good by the ships cast. They had a magician one night was had good illusions but he thought he was a comedian and sounded like a dumb high school kid whenever he talked. The food was great in the buffet during lunch. Dinner was another story. They waited till the food was gone and then took forever to replace it instead of anticipating before it is all gone. The rooms to me were better than the Allure. Slightly bigger and definitely more storage room for clothes. Drawers. In the Allure, we had to put the suitcases on the couch. The TV had a great selection of channels and the bed was very comfortable. The main dinning room was very good but a little long on clearing the dishes after. The ship is beautiful. Nothing to be said there. Very stunning decor. Just not much to do. There was high winds to that put a crimp in the outside walking and balcony nights. We had a little but December is not too good. We both got sea sick as this ship does not take swells to good. The Allure is much bigger so less movement. The captain was extremely friendly and available to all passengers for questions and photos. Bottom line, nice quite adult cruise. Nothing special. Time to move on. On any cruise, be sure you get a shipboard credit to help with drinks, purchases and internet. The prices on those items are sheer rape. I paid for Concierge class and I see no value whatsoever for that. Maybe it is necessary for balcony rooms. to me there is nothing special. They said someone would escort you to your room with white gloves. Well if you want that, go to Japan because it didn't happen. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
2nd time cruising with Celebrity and was disappointed. The meals in the main dining room were awful, tried Silk Harvest ,only average so settled for dining every night apart from the first 2 in the Ocean Cafe , the food was better there ... Read More
2nd time cruising with Celebrity and was disappointed. The meals in the main dining room were awful, tried Silk Harvest ,only average so settled for dining every night apart from the first 2 in the Ocean Cafe , the food was better there but we missed being looked after in a more formal setting. The shows were average 2 good performances from a juggler and Will Martin, violinist ok the rest were not good. The staff at guest relations were offhand. Stopped going to the spa as expensive and then comes the hard sell marketing ploy to buy their products Went to bingo, once was enough painfully slow. Enjoyed the seminars about iphones and ipads. Great gym went to 4 yoga sessions.Will not be cruising with Celebrity again Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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